Insights & Observations Blog

Insights & Observations

Context and perspective to improve behavioral  finance patterns and  make smarter financial decisions. A focus above the fray, on what matters most for effective financial outcomes and goal achievement.

  • retirement plan sponsors

    The SECURE Act: What individuals, business owners and retirement plan sponsors need to know

    Business owners, especially smaller employers, now have more incentives and options to offer retirement savings plan.  Individuals have additional opportunities to grow their retirement savings.  Signed in to law by the President on December 20, 2019, The SECURE Act (‘Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement”) brings the most significant pension reform in more than… [Read More]

    disaster preparation

    Is your business prepared for the next disaster?

    Preparing your business for a natural disaster is as critical as preparing your home, yet many business owners do not have an emergency plan in place.  In the Bay Area, earthquakes are a constant threat with no advanced warning, and the “new normal” of California fire season reminds us how devastating nature can be. The… [Read More]

    Save (a bit) more in 2020 with new retirement plan contribution limits

    The IRS recently released the 2020 dollar limits for qualified retirement plan contributions, bumping up employees’ and owners’ ability to defer compensation and invest for their future. Because of low inflation, most of the common contribution levels increased by only $500, with defined contribution total dollar amounts (from employee and employer contributions combined) increasing by… [Read More]

    What is the yield curve, and what does it mean when it becomes inverted?

    In the past several months, something unusual has happened to bond yields, something that had not happened since 2007: the yield curve inverted. What is the yield curve, and why is it noteworthy when it becomes inverted? Typically, an investor expects to be paid more to tie up his or her money for a longer… [Read More]

    Q319 Quarterly Context Video

    How many generations does it typically take to wipe out family wealth, and what can you do about it? What is the impact of emotional investing on the average investor’s returns? How would the economies of all US 50 states rank if they were countries? How should Fiduciaries evaluate target date funds? Is a CEO economic… [Read More]

    2 strategies to reduce taxes that you may not have considered

    With high incomes and appreciated portfolios, many of our clients around the Bay Area seek relief from paying a large sum to Uncle Sam.  Identifying tax minimization opportunities can be difficult as your income and account balances increase; however, there are a few ways you can keep more of what you make.  Here are two… [Read More]

    The 3 flavors of fiduciaries for retirement plans

    After the rise and fall of the Department of Labor’s “fiduciary rule,” followed by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent release of the Regulation Best Interest rule, many retirement plan sponsors are now familiar with the term “fiduciary.”  A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care under the law.  Fiduciaries to an ERISA-qualified plan are… [Read More]

    3 reasons owners should invest outside of their business

    How do many business owners continue to grow and manage their businesses?  They reinvest company profits back into the business. As financial advisors to many business owners, we have learned from experience how important it is to strike the right balance between your company assets and some diversified investments outside of your business. While it… [Read More]

    How to help your adult children stay in the Bay Area

    Living in San Francisco is expensive. Very expensive. Median rent is nearly twice the national average and 81% of homes cost more than $1 million. It is no wonder that many Bay Area natives find their children leaving to live in places like Seattle, Denver, and Austin, where they can afford a house and where… [Read More]

    Start this conversation with your aging parents now

    The time to discuss issues related to your parents aging is before you need to. Some senior care professionals promote the idea of the “40-70 rule”, advising that you begin conversations with your parents about their plans and desires once you reach age 40 or they are age 70. While this may seem early since… [Read More]

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