Giving Strategy for Charity Gala Season

Cameron Hamilton

Weekly Update

Fewer than 15% of taxpayers itemize deductions since 2018 tax reform. Timing the donations you already plan to make can maximize tax deductions. Your charities can still receive stable monthly income via a Donor Advised Fund. This week marks the first official week of summer and, at least for my family, this change of season … 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

Interest Rates & Inflation

Andy Reynolds

Weekly Update

Over the past decade, the Federal Reserve has been pushing for modestly higher interest rates and inflation.  To anyone following the markets or economic news, this statement is nothing new to hear.  However, with higher inflation starting to build momentum, an economy that is beginning to stand on its own, and the potential of a US government … Continued

The Grey Area of Paying Off a Mortgage Early

Frank Yozwiak

Atheneum

A key question that soon-to-be retirees often face is whether or not to eliminate a debt before retirement.  Generally, we would love to see all our clients enter their retirements debt free.  However, there could be some instances where making monthly debt payments is not necessarily a bad thing (i.e., zero-percent financing on a car).  … 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

Insight into Fixed Income & Timing of Social Security

Andy Reynolds

Atheneum

When entering retirement, the question of how to structure income can be the most influential factor in determining a family’s long-term financial well-being.  Several factors such as income source, inflation, and sequence of returns present risks and opportunities for retirees.  Today’s Atheneum discusses how we might explore retirement income with John and Jane Smith.  They … Continued

Toilet Paper… and Pork?

Frank Yozwiak

Weekly Update

A little over a year ago, in March 2020, life as we then knew it was drastically changed.  Many of those who were fortunate enough to remain employed found themselves working at home for the first time.  March Madness was cancelled, Disney World closed its gates, and toilet paper seemed to rank highly among the … Continued

How Will A Bear Market Affect Your Plan?

John Boardman

Atheneum

In this week’s edition of the Ballast Atheneum, I am going to explore a subject no one wants to see but we all must prepare for; Will my portfolio survive a bear market?  Fortunately, we can use some of our technology tools, specifically, Monte Carlo analysis to determine how prepared a client is for a … Continued

The Housing Market is on Fire!

Andy Reynolds

Weekly Update

Key Takeaways: Housing inventory has declined by 52% from last year and is 15.6% more expensive. Millennials are finally participating in home purchases in a more prevalent way. Low inventory and increased construction costs have made home purchase decisions difficult for buyers. To put it bluntly, the housing market is on fire!  Over the past … Continued

Thoughts on NFTs

John Boardman

Weekly Update

We believe it is our responsibility to give our thoughts on current investment trends, even if it involves an asset that we do not currently invest in for our clients.  Of all the “assets” we have detailed in previous commentaries, none are as esoteric as NFTs, or Non-fungible Tokens.  I use quotation marks around the … Continued