Blog Posts

We once read an article about what to say when your parents ask you about Bitcoin and it makes sense that even though we’ve been hearing about Bitcoin for years, the concept may not be understood by everybody. The article explains, “Well, it’s like money in that it has value and you can use it to buy goods and services. It’s also like a stock because the value fluctuates based on supply and demand. Unlike stock, there are no dividends, just whatever the bitcoin is worth on a given day.”

A common question that follows the explanation usually seeks to uncover where you find Bitcoins. Bitcoins are virtual and can be accessed from your computer, which acts as a “wallet.” A global system is used to update everyone’s holdings and a sophisticated computer system is used to help track the money. The money is not backed by any government and isn’t regulated like other currency.

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As the end of 2016 grows closer, we have to say that this has certainly been an eventful year. A long presidential election campaign left many Americans feeling bruised and more divided than ever. And many people were surprised when Donald Trump emerged as the victor. Similar to Brexit’s unexpected win in June, election polling and conventional wisdom proved to be quite wrong once people actually voted.

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Every four years, investors have to grapple with the volatility and uncertainty that comes with a presidential election. Sure-bets drop out, long-shot candidates surge to the front. Every election comes with plenty of surprises and uncertainty and the 2016 election is no different. As financial professionals, we field a lot of questions from our clients and friends about how politics and elections affect financial markets so we are going to address some of these common questions and concerns:

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By Jessica Searcy-Maldonado

Backdoor payments, hidden fees, loopholes in the rules…these were the conflicts of interest buried in fine print that advisors who were not acting as fiduciaries used to chisel away about a quarter of their clients’ retirement savings. When the Department of Labor issued their fiduciary rule, the theme was clear: when advising clients on retirement, advisors would legally be considered fiduciaries required to put their clients’ best interests before their own interests and excessive profits and loopholes would no longer stand. This sounds great for the investor, but what about the hidden consequences?

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By Michael J. Searcy

When it comes to an advisor managing the money you are saving and investing for retirement, the management and recommendations should be transparent and made with your best interest in mind.

The Department of Labor believed this strongly enough to spend years working on a rule that was finally issued on April 6, 2016. The rule states that any advisor managing a retirement plan or its participants is a fiduciary, legally bound to make decisions in the best interest of their clients. This rule also applies to advisors who recommend consumers move their investments from a retirement plan to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

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