As Published in the Summer 2012 Edition of NJ Lifestyle
It is almost futile to attempt to time the markets or consistently predict with any high level accuracy what will unfold in the future, especially with so many major unresolved and pending issues currently confronting investors. As advisors, we strive to remain objective. We weigh the known data and information in order to position our clients and give them the best chance of success, while also reducing, as much as possible, the potential downside risk related to any known or unknown fat tail events. With the first half of 2012 in the rear-view mirror, it is a good time to evaluate and reassess the strengths and weaknesses in the Global Economy. This article will attempt to identify and differentiate between the Good, the Not-So-Bad, and the downright Ugly.
As Published in the Shore 2012 Edition of NJ Lifestyle
Since we are in an election year, you would think our politicians would spend time trying to solve our nation’s monumental fiscal problems: A national debt of $15.6 trillion and a 2011 federal budget deficit of $1.5 trillion. Instead, most political journalists and insiders believe that nothing will be done until after the elections in November. What is so troubling about this is that only leaves about 6-7 weeks to address what Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke referred to as the “Fiscal Cliff”. There are four events that will happen automatically on December 31, 2012 if Congress fails to act:
- End of the Bush-era tax cuts
- End of the 2% social security payroll tax holiday
- End of the extended unemployment benefits package
- Automatic spending and budget cuts that are a result of the Budget Control Act Bush Era Tax Cuts
As Published in the Spring 2012 Edition of NJ Lifestyle
- Much Longer Retirement: Due to the increase in longevity, today’s retirees that retire in their 60’s may be retired for 30 years, whereas their parents’ life expectancy at age 60 was fifteen years or less. Being retired potentially twice as long as their parents’ means Boomers need more money saved.
- Savings Instead of Pensions: Although the Boomers’ parents had a much lower per capita income, many had corporate pensions. Boomers were the first generation to demand higher salaries and the freedom to change employers and, for that flexibility, saw their pensions phased out for 401(k)s. Many Boomers don’t have enough saved in their retirement savings plans and do not have the corporate pension to fund their basic needs.
As Published in the Winter 2012 Edition of NJ Lifestyle
The Year 2011 was a historic year in many respects:
- Protest, social unrest and change in Northern Africa and the Middle East
- The death of Osama Bin Laden and the end of the Iraq War
- The elevated risks of the on-going sovereign debt crisis in Europe
- Removal of the Unites States AAA credit rating by Standard & Poor’s
- US Congress gridlock, including the debt ceiling debacle
- Occupy Wall Street movement