The Power of Homeownership

Brian Burton

Weekly Update

Key Takeaways: Having a fixed-rate mortgage keeps a large portion of your budget constant versus the variability of rental costs Lower expenses in retirement creates more disposable income, greater flexibility in combatting rising costs, and the ability to invest Saving what’s left rarely works – making monthly mortgage payments creates a forced savings vehicle saving … Continued

Finding the Best Order for Funding Retirement

Brian Burton

Atheneum

With a task as important as funding your retirement, determining which accounts to fund and in what order should not be taken lightly.  Whether it’s a company plan, individual retirement account or taxable account, there are a lot of ways to save for retirement.  So how do you decide where to put each dollar you … Continued

The Hidden Benefits of Saving Early in Life

Brian Burton

Atheneum

We’re all aware that saving for retirement is not a strong suit for many Americans.  There is no end to the alarming statistics regarding our lack of preparedness for when it’s finally time to call it a day.  The most recent head-scratcher I came across was a survey done by J.P. Morgan Asset Management and … Continued

Inflation Concerns: Are Higher Prices Here to Stay?

Brian Burton

Weekly Update

Higher prices are here – I learned this last month when booking a rental car for our summer vacation, a 6-day rental for which I had typically budgeted $400-$500 was now going to cost over $1,000.  Although an unpleasant surprise, the reasoning is quite simple, the demand for travel has skyrocketed, in conjunction with a … Continued

Is the Recent Climb in Interest Rates a Real Threat?

Brian Burton

Weekly Update

If you pay close attention to mortgage rates like we do, you may have noticed a fairly significant move higher over the last few months.  In fact, 30-year mortgage rates have risen in nine of the past eleven weeks, up 41 basis points from a low of 2.93 percent earlier this year, to the current … Continued

GameStop and the Rise of Meme Trading

Brian Burton

Weekly Update

Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook all reported earnings last week and somehow the results were buried behind article after article on a video game retailer involved in two industries on life support, selling discs and mall stores.  So why all the hype for a company with revenues down 45% over the last decade and whose profits … Continued

How Uncertainty is Changing Consumer Behavior

Brian Burton

Weekly Update

This pandemic has presented new and continuously evolving challenges for all of us, and it appears these uncertainties are likely to last for some time. Nearly all sectors of the global economy have felt some level of pain, forcing businesses both big and small to adapt in order to survive. One specific area where we … Continued

Key Takeaways from Fed Chair Powell’s 60 Minutes Interview

Brian Burton

Weekly Update

In a speech last Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, spooked markets when he warned that the economic recovery will be “prolonged and bumpy”.  Although Powell’s forecast for a prolonged recovery should have come as no surprise, the S&P closed down 2.26% for the week, its worst week since March 20 when the index lost … Continued

The Ballast Life Episode #7: Conversation with Dr. Philip Overall

Brian Burton

Podcast

Brian Burton, Partner and Director of Portfolio Strategy at Ballast, recently sat down with Dr. Philip Overall, Medical Director of Emergency Services at St. Claire Regional Medical Center to discuss what he and his colleagues are facing with the pandemic and what they are doing to help keep themselves and the community safe.  Click below … Continued