HFS Headlines

Are we in it for the long haul?

Posted by on Jul 23, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on Are we in it for the long haul?

Are we in it for the long haul?

Since 1960, the average American life expectancy rose from 69 years of age to 79 years of age, as modern medicine has made treatment more effective, complimented with more time being spent on preventative care, and thus boosting the health of individuals around the globe. The increased emphasis on mental and physical health has also played a large role in this development. Many employers now incentivize their team members to purchase gym memberships, and to reach other fitness goals throughout the year in order to receive bonuses. We live in a proactive society, built on change, in the pursuit of lasting health and happiness. (more…)

Q3 Global Asset Allocation

Posted by on Jul 15, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on Q3 Global Asset Allocation

Global Asset Allocation Views – Q3 2019

Q2 Highlights –

Markets – The S&P 500 returned 3.79% to settle at its all-time closing high.  The Russell 2000 (a representation of small cap companies) closed up 1.74% and posted a new two month high.  International markets were also positive with Europe being the main regional standout and Emerging Markets lagging.

Interest Rates – At its most recent meeting, the Federal Reserve decided to keep rates unchanged.  The dot plots, or future projections, are projecting a rate cut by year-end.  The 10-year rate, closely tracked by market participants, closed at 2.01% for the quarter, near levels last seen since Q4 2016.  Rates have moved lower due to expectations for Fed easing as well as continued interest in treasuries from overseas buyers. (more…)

There’s a Retirement Crisis in America!

Posted by on Jun 17, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on There’s a Retirement Crisis in America!

There’s a Retirement Crisis in America!

Americans are struggling to save enough for retirement, therefore the House of representatives has passed “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019” or SECURE Act by a bi-partisan vote of 417-3.   The Senate is expected to move quickly on this bill which could occur before the August recess.  How will this bill help to address the savings gap which is impacting millions of Americans? (more…)

Global Asset Allocation Views – Q2 2019

Posted by on May 2, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on Global Asset Allocation Views – Q2 2019

Global Asset Allocation Views – Q2 2019

The beginning of 2019 is off to a hot start with the major stock indices within range of their all-time highs set last September, and enjoying their best start of the year going back to 1998.  The Federal Reserve has come out in an unprecedented fashion to declare they will not raise rates the rest of 2019.  The U.S. and China appear closer to a trade deal, but many disputes still linger with respect to automobiles and parts as further tariffs may be levied on Mexico and the EU.  Global growth has moderated as China continues its transition to a more consumer driven economy.  To offset the impact of U.S. tariffs, the Chinese government has allowed a loosening of credit to spur growth.  With the U.S. government back open, will any important legislation get done in this lame duck session?  How will Democratic investigations impact President Trump’s position and is there anything yet to surface that could still roil markets? (more…)

Crunch Time Tips for Tax Time

Posted by on Mar 25, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on Crunch Time Tips for Tax Time

Crunch Time Tips for Tax Time

Each year HFS strives to educate our team and our clients on helpful tips for tax time. Click here, New Year, New Tax Changes, for a review of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes. You, your CPA, and your Financial Planner can work together to plan so you have no surprises near year end. You put your trust in the team around you to be on top of the latest information and adjust plans as necessary to stay on course.

Due to the changes in tax law, the amount of people who itemize their tax returns will fall from 46 million to 16 million in the US according to The Financial Planning Association guide Money: Tax Guide 2019. This is largely due to the following changes: (more…)

Is Financial Stress Eating Up Your Profits?

Posted by on Feb 14, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on Is Financial Stress Eating Up Your Profits?

Is Financial Stress Eating Up Your Profits?

Financial stress is a silent killer that may be robbing your business of thousands or even millions of dollars of profit annually.  Mercer estimated that employers lost approximately 250 billion in wages in 2017 because of financial stress1.  The survey which was based on 3,000 workers found that employees are spending approximately 150 hours annually during work time on financial issues1.  Seventy percent of HR professionals say financial stress is impacting their workforce.  In addition, financial stress can also lead to increased absenteeism, lower productivity, and higher healthcare costs.  Many Americans are anxious about their retirement security and for good reason, companies have abandon the Defined Benefit pension plan, for the Defined Contribution or 401(k) plan.  Two thirds of employees age 55-64 don’t have enough in retirement savings to cover one year of income.  Sixty three percent of our workforce doesn’t have enough in a rainy day fund to cover a $500 emergency2(more…)

Global Asset Allocation Views – Q1 2019

Posted by on Jan 29, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on Global Asset Allocation Views – Q1 2019

Global Asset Allocation Views – Q1 2019

Global Asset Allocation Views – Q1 2019

Quarter in Review

            The 4th quarter of 2018 did not go as planned, though in reality nothing about investing truly ever goes to plan.  The S&P 500 had just hit an all-time high and we were heading into historically what has been the strongest part of the calendar.  Then Fed Chairman Jerome Powell spoke.  An unscripted comment about how we are ‘a long way’ from neutral on interest rates and the rest is history.  Many people still remember 2007 and how the Fed overzealously tightened.  As the floodgates opened, under the radar events began to occur: 1) sentiment began to dampen as economic data came in lower than expected, 2) investors were busy harvesting losses and more eager to sell than to buy, and finally 3) institutional investors went missing as a large number of hedge funds closed up shop and algorithmic trading computers were having their support levels broken leading to forced selling.  A selling stampede occurred and there was no liquidity to prop up the market.

The S&P 500, on a total return basis, finished the year in the red for the first time since 2008.  The US Aggregate bond index closed flat for the year, while international markets fell even harder than domestic stocks as trade concerns, US Fed tightening, and a firm dollar all were significant headwinds for international companies.  It is prudent to never overreact to short-term bouts of volatility. (more…)

Do You Know the Real Rate of Return On Your Investments?

Posted by on Jan 29, 2019 in blog | Comments Off on Do You Know the Real Rate of Return On Your Investments?

Do You Know the Real Rate of Return On Your Investments?

Many investors look at their monthly statements or review their account online and look at a couple of numbers to determine how their investments are doing. The first number is usually the balance in your account. If it is more than it was the last time you looked at it then you feel good. Next they look at the percentage return on their portfolio to see if it is a number they can feel good about. Obviously, the higher the number the better. However, before you put your statement away it is important for you to understand what your rate of return is really telling you.

In August 2014 Thornburg Investment Management authored a study on investment returns and what the real rate of return is on a portfolio. You can review the study by clicking here. Thornburg notes that nominal returns are a misleading indicator of what the returns on your portfolio actually mean in terms of the buying power of your money. Different investment vehicles offer different potential for real rates of return. The big question is; how should you invest your hard earned dollars to give you the best buying power when you need the money?

In order to determine the Real Real Rate of Return you need to consider not only the interest rate or market growth of your invested dollars but also the erosion of the nominal return from taxes, expenses and inflation. (more…)

Out with the old and in with the new…year?

Posted by on Dec 18, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on Out with the old and in with the new…year?

Out with the old and in with the new…year?

The year of 2018 is sprinting to the finish line. The snow is starting to fall and the fireplace is crackling as we hustle through December. Days like today are the best time to reflect on the year in review. Your reflection can help you establish your “why.” Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Why do you go to work each day? Why do you choose to raise children? Your why is your purpose. To review the year passed is to review your purpose:

-Who are you most grateful for?

-What are you most grateful for?

-Did you make a meaningful impact in the life of someone else? (more…)

The ABCs of ESG

Posted by on Dec 12, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on The ABCs of ESG

The ABCs of ESG

What is ESG?

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) is an investment discipline focused on non-financial factors that investors have determined as being critical for a firm’s long-term performance.  These factors focus on a variety of issues ranging from climate change, gender equality in the workplace, and board independence.  Companies have begun to voluntarily report on their ESG issues with many investment institutions urging the SEC to make it mandatory.

(more…)