Getting Better All the Time

Cameron Hamilton

Weekly Update

With the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial indices both down on the year, as well as news reports of air strikes and potential trade wars, there are no shortage of gloom and doom prognostications available.  On any particular day there is someone among us in the US declaring the end times.  However, as financial … Continued

How Much is Enough – An Intro to Monte Carlo Simulations

Brian Burton

Atheneum

When it comes to retirement planning, one of the most often asked questions is, “What’s my number?”  In other words, how much money do I need to save to retire comfortably?  Simple, right?  Well, not exactly — it’s far more than just a static number posted on our refrigerators.  Although there are quick formulas and … Continued

Will Tax Reform Hurt Charitable Giving?

Cameron Hamilton

Weekly Update

Congress passed its tax reform bill last December with the title “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”  For most families the tax cuts part of the title will be true thanks to lower tax brackets.  The other boon to taxpayers, especially to middle income earners, is the increased standard deduction.  In 2018 it nearly doubles to … Continued

Simplify Budgeting to One Key Number

Frank Yozwiak

Atheneum

“Where does the money go?” is a question we unfortunately hear all too soon when discussing budgeting and cash flow.  Often the only thing simple about a family’s cash flow is that it is simply confusing.  As we wrap up our Cash Flow discussions in the Ballast Atheneum, today we’ll lay out how we help … Continued

Cash Flow Auto-Pilot

Andy Reynolds

Atheneum

During this quarter, our Ballast Atheneum has focused on many aspects of cash flow planning, including: budgeting, retirement savings vs. paying down debt, costs of vehicle ownership, and cash flow planning vs. long-term care.  This week’s Atheneum article shares a case study that we try to create for working clients.  We have implemented this Retirement … Continued

Making Better Financial Decisions in the Face of Market Adversity

Brian Burton

Weekly Update

February’s sudden and sharp stock market correction shocked capital markets, sending many retail investors out of stocks and onto the sidelines.  For the week ending February 7, U.S. stock funds saw a record $23.9 billion withdrawn by investors in favor of perceived safe havens.¹  What is defined as a drop of 10% or more from … Continued

Cash Flow Planning and Long Term Care

John Boardman

Atheneum

One of the most challenging planning areas for us as practitioners is Long Term Care.  In principle, it should be easy to universally recommend everyone go out and buy a Long Term Care policy that pays for skilled nursing needs at the end of their life.  However, we have found planning in this area to … Continued

2017 Tax Information

Ballast

Weekly Update

As of last week, all 1099s from TD Ameritrade have been mailed to clients.  Please allow through the middle of next week for your documents to be delivered through regular mail to your address of record.  Tax documents will be labeled “Important Tax Information Enclosed”, but may look similar to other mailings.  If expect a … Continued

Engaging Experts in Special Needs

Cameron Hamilton

Weekly Update

Our guiding principle at Ballast is simple- build a team that we would want to take care of our own families.  Sometimes this means better educating ourselves or adding expertise through hiring.  However, at times the best course is to go out and find an expert in the community.  With special needs families, we’ve found … Continued

Special Commentary Market Update

Ballast

Weekly Update

The last several days have reminded all investors that volatility is part of long-term investing.  With the S&P 500 down nearly 10% from its peak over the past ten trading days, many have been quickly reminded that markets do not continually increase.  The most recent 10% market pullback was the beginning of 2016; for that … Continued