The Siena Investor – Spring 2016

Keep Calm and Step Forward As you may already have observed, 2016 got off to a bad start for equity markets around the globe. In fact, for the S&P 500 Index, the first five trading days were the worst-ever start to a year, with a loss of 6%. Combined with the weak performance of global equities in 2015, and all the geopolitical turmoil in the world, the stomachs of many investors started to rumble, especially upon hearing pronouncements from market “gurus” forecasting doom and gloom.

The Siena Investor – Fall 2015

Staying The Course During Periods of Market Volatility Over the third quarter of 2015, market volatility has escalated and global equity markets have experienced substantial losses. While there are no doubt a multitude of contributing factors, the slowdown in the Chinese economy—the world’s second largest— and the sharp pull back in its stick market are contributing factors. Given the current downturn and increase in stock market volatility, many investors are concerned and wondering whether now is the time to rethink their portfolios. While we believe investors should always make sure their appetite for risk matches the risk embedded in their investment portfolios, market movements alone are not a good reason…

The Siena Investor – Summer 2015

Benefits of Delaying Social Security It can be tempting to begin taking Social Security benefits the moment you are eligible. You’re ready to retire and have paid a lot into the Social Security system, so why not file immediately? Our second quarter newsletter dives into some reasons why you may want to delay taking your benefits, an in-depth look into the often overlooked filing strategy of double dipping, and the possible costs of delaying. When considering when to start taking your Social Security benefits there is no “one size fits all” solution. Your decision should carefully consider all possibilities and filing strategies to best…

The Siena Investor – Spring 2015

The Perception of Taxes Taxes are often considered a necessary evil. How we perceive taxes and how we feel about paying them are complex issues. For investors, two significant situations to avoid when it comes to taxes are: Focusing solely on how much of an investment gain could be lost to taxes Worrying so much about taxes that it adversely affects decision making

The Siena Investor – Winter 2014

What to Do if the Bear has Emerged From Its Hibernation It seems like investors have had plenty to worry about recently, even without considering the last few weeks of stock market volatility. After all, we’ve seen: Slowing growth in most of the developed world, including the possibility that European economies will enter their third recession since 2007. Growth in China’s economy decelerating faster than expected. ISIS on the march. The end of the Federal Reserve’s bond buying program, and the accompanying threat of rising interest rates. A rising dollar’s negative impact on the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers. “Sky high” valuations as the Shiller CAPE 10 rose…

The Siena Investor – Fall 2014

One Generation to the Next Passing wealth to the next generation can be a complex topic.  The success of your estate plan depends on properly communicating the details of your plan to family members.  The topic of what comes after your passing can be an especially difficult conversation. Remember, when the entire family participates in important decisions, others in the family will begin to recognize that family unity is something to be valued.

The Siena Investor – Summer 2014

The Importance of Education. The advice to follow an evidence-based approach to investing is significantly different from most of the advice heard on Wall Street and in the financial media. It also is different from the strategy followed by the typical individual investor. Therefore, we believe it is extremely important to be aware of the academic research demonstrating that markets are generally highly efficient.

The Siena Investor – Spring 2014

How Risky Are Individual Stocks?  2003 provided a great example of just how risky individual stocks can be. According to Morningstar there were 5,758 stocks in existence for the entire year. While the S&P 500 rose more than 28 percent in 2003, 866 stocks (15 percent) produced negative returns. Their average loss was 33 percent and they underperformed the S&P an average 61 percent.

in Context – Winter 2013

featured articles: Upcoming Budget Decisions – With the eleventh hour passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, some might think we have put the fiscal cliff behind us. Unfortunately, this is not the case. While the federal government has temporarily suspended the debt limit until May, without government action the mandatory spending cuts associated with the fiscal cliff will begin in March. Understanding the Debt Ceiling – The first aggregate limit on U.S. government debt, now commonly referred to as the debt ceiling, was enacted in 1939 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau asked Congress to replace the…

The Siena Investor – Winter 2013

What Do I Do With My Retirement Plan Accounts? For those retiring soon, there are several options to consider when deciding how to handle assets saved in company-sponsored retirement plans.