Why Own Bonds In Your Portfolio

Published March 23, 2024 76 Views

Expected returns for stocks are 8% to 10% annually. Expected returns for bonds are in the 4% to 5% range. So why do we hold bonds in our portfolios? Generally speaking, there are four main reasons to hold bonds. 1. Bonds lower the risk and dampen volatility in a portfolio. Bonds are sa...

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Snowbirds – Plan Carefully Before Flying South

Published February 26, 2024 117 Views

The holidays are over and many retirees in cold-weather states are looking to migrate south for the winter. For New Yorkers, Florida offers not only sunshine and warmth, but also tax savings for those who intend to no longer make NY their primary home. That is because, unlike New York, Florida impos...

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Q4 2023 Market Commentary

Published February 1, 2024 198 Views

The 4th quarter saw strong performance from nearly all asset classes, capping what turned out to be a great year for capital markets. The biggest driver of performance in Q4 was better-than-expected inflation numbers. In August, the Core PCE (the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation) trailing 12 month...

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The Rising Cost of Our National Debt

Published November 19, 2023 253 Views

We are seeing and hearing much more lately about our Nation’s deficit spending and the accumulated amount of National Debt. The deficit for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023, is estimated to be $1.7 trillion. The current total debt outstanding is approximately $33.5 trillion, up from $5.7 tr...

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Student Loans are Back

Published November 2, 2023 298 Views

Following the SCOUTS decision to strike down the Biden administration's student loan forgiveness plan, most borrowers began making student payments last month after the three-year COVID freeze. The Biden administration announced a new income-driven repayment (IDR) plan for federal student loans call...

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Q3 Market Commentary

Published October 29, 2023 258 Views

Equities rallied through July in part thanks to corporate earnings that came in slightly better than expected. The market peaked on July 31st, at that time up 3.7% on the quarter and 18% for the year. Over the ensuing 3 weeks, markets fell 5.3% as longer-term interest rates rose by 0.40%. Stocks reg...

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Consumer Sentiment Revisited

Published August 15, 2023 332 Views

For those avid readers of our blog, a year ago we posted an article examining the interplay between consumer sentiment (how people feel about the economy), and actual subsequent 12-month returns of the S&P 500. A major takeaway was that historically people’s feelings about the state of the economy h...

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R.I.P Harry

Published August 1, 2023 340 Views

American economist and Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Harry Markowitz, died last month at the age of 95. Harry Markowitz may be the most widely recognized name in the history of investment academia, research, and portfolio management. Before the publication of his research in the 1950’s, investment risk...

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Q2 2023 Market Commentary

Published July 26, 2023 307 Views

Stocks puttered along through April and May with little conviction. This changed in the final week of May which saw the start of a rally and by the end of June, US equities were up 8.3% for the quarter. International equities only gained 3% and bonds fell by 1% as interest rates rose. April was h...

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The Cyclical Nature of Inflation’s Components

Published May 27, 2023 357 Views

Recently, a client told me she had read that private college would cost $250,000/year for children born today. Intuitively that seems crazy but where was the author getting that number and will they be correct? From 1990 to 2020 total inflation in the U.S. averaged 2.5%. Over the same period, edu...

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Q1 2023 Market Commentary

Published April 27, 2023 405 Views

Despite renewed inflation concerns and a banking crisis, equities gained about 7% during the quarter and bonds added 3% as interest rates fell. January was a quiet month and by February 2nd, stocks were up 9.7% to start the year. The rally was short-lived. The jobs report released on February 3rd...

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Stock Prices and Random Walks

Published April 27, 2023 460 Views

It has been 50 years since economist Burton Malkiel first introduced the investing world to the stock-picking blindfolded dart-throwing monkey! If you are unfamiliar with Burton, he is a Princeton economist and veteran financial executive whose philosophy has become a cornerstone in modern invest...

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The Federal Debt – Does it Matter?

Published April 27, 2023 366 Views

We are beginning to hear more about the accumulated Federal debt. Why? The U.S. has been running an annual budget deficit for almost as long as we can remember. The last year with a budget surplus was 2001. The Federal Government typically runs a manageable annual deficit. In times of significant...

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How Schwab Protects Your Money

Published April 27, 2023 385 Views

Recent news regarding bank failures has prompted some to question the health of Schwab as a going concern, and the safety of their investments. While these questions are understandable, we believe there is little reason to be worried. The first thing to remember is your securities—like stocks, bo...

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SECURE Act 2.0

Published March 8, 2023 357 Views

In our Third-Quarter Newsletter, we highlighted potential legislation relating to retirement planning for people of all ages - with many of the most substantive changes impacting tax-advantaged savings accounts. These provisions, which are part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, of...

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Published February 14, 2023 402 Views

What is a Qualified Charitable Distribution (a “QCD”) and why might it be advantageous for those who can do them? A QCD is a distribution from your IRA directly to a qualified charity (versus taking a distribution from your IRA and then making a charitable contribution). A QCD counts towards yo...

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Q4 2022 Market Commentary

Published January 17, 2023 385 Views

  The 4th quarter was a much-needed reprieve from the poor performance of markets in the first 9 months of the year. Events like the midterm elections and the FTX/crypto blowup caught headlines along the way, but the driver of market performance continued to be inflation and the Federal Reserve....

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People are Worse at Predicting Markets than they Realize

Published December 22, 2022 452 Views

Wall Street Journal reporter, Jason Zweig, published a fascinating story last week that details how difficult markets are to predict and provides great documentation of hindsight bias. Hindsight bias is the phenomenon where people perceive events in the past as having been more predictable than t...

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Social Security COLA and Medicare Part B Premiums Help Seniors

Published December 8, 2022 486 Views

A big headline in recent weeks has been the 8.7% cost-of-living increase Seniors will be getting next year. That increase, the largest since 1982, will be very useful in offsetting the higher costs consumers are seeing. Luckily for seniors, the good news didn’t stop there. Around the same time, i...

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Don’t Chase Returns: a Lesson from the Dow Jones Industrial Average

Published November 16, 2022 557 Views

It’s human nature to prefer owning stocks that have performed well recently. But the reality is that returns tend to be cyclical and a decade of outperformance is usually followed by underperformance. In the stock market, there are countless examples of this phenomenon: Large Cap US Stocks in the...

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Ed's Retirement Musings

Published November 9, 2022 544 Views

As we get older and begin to reflect on our mortality, our priorities begin to change. In reading many articles and surveys about what is most important to retirees, the top of the lists include physical, mental and emotional health, relationships, socialization, and maintaining independence. Far...

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Proposed IRS Rule Changes & SECURE Act 2.0

Published October 19, 2022 476 Views

You may be aware that if you inherit a retirement account after 2019 you must fully deplete that account within 10 years - exceptions include being the surviving spouse, being less than 10 years younger than the original owner or falling into another special category of beneficiary. What you may...

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Q3 2022 Market Commentary

Published October 5, 2022 465 Views

An old joke on Wall Street is that the Chair of Federal Reserve is the most powerful person in the world. To many it’s no longer a joke. If there are whispers the Fed may not hike as aggressively, all asset classes seem to rally together and if we get hawkish language from the Fed, everything drops...

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Forecasting Expected Returns

Published September 9, 2022 637 Views

2022 has been an ugly year for the markets. The total world stock market is down 17.5% and bonds are down 11.5%. But company earnings have grown 6% this year and bonds haven’t defaulted so what gives? Discount Rates: The most direct answer is that “discount rates” used to value stocks and bonds h...

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The Best Number from Today’s Great Jobs Report

Published September 2, 2022 522 Views

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics posted a great jobs report. The economy added 315,000 jobs, above the consensus estimate with manufacturing job gains coming in strong as well, adding 22,000 positions – again above the consensus. While low wage growth is generally not something to celebrate, th...

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Be Fearful when Others are Greedy, and Greedy when Others are Fearful – A Quantitative Examination

Published August 4, 2022 630 Views

This famous quote by Warren Buffet is one of the most well-known quotes related to investing. At its core is the idea that investors’ emotions betray them, and it pays to be contrarian. When the market is up, people feel good about investing and want to “get in.” On the other hand, when the market i...

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Taxes & Legislation

Published July 5, 2022 774 Views

Income tax planning is a crucial aspect of the overall financial planning process. Making tax efficient decisions requires a deep understanding of the tax rules and regulations. Changes to these rules may present new planning opportunities for those paying close attention. Those not paying attention...

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It's Been a Tough Year for the Market, Hang In there

Published June 16, 2022 736 Views

Today’s Struggles: So far, 2022 has been a historically bad year – especially for bonds. The aggregate bond market is down 11.6%. If the year ended today, that would be far worse than its worst year on record, 1994, when it dropped 2.9% (The index’s inception is 1976). Similarly, global stocks would...

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Historical Context for Food & Energy Prices

Published June 2, 2022 579 Views

Food and Energy prices have risen steadily from January 2021 through May 2022. Over that 17-month period, the direct cost of food and energy has increased by 22%, which has been a huge driver of inflation. That 22% increase means it is a larger share of total consumer spending. As of March, it stood...

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Introducing Rialto Wealth Management

Published May 17, 2022 908 Views

In Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, it was asked, “What news on the Rialto?” now finally there’s an answer. Welcome to Rialto Wealth Management! The founding partners, Ed Barno, Mike Antonacci, and Ethan Gilbert are excited to draw upon their combined over sixty years of work in the financia...

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Rialto Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, advisory firm based in Syracuse, NY. From financial planning to investment management, we help families across New York and beyond. We can be reached by phone at (315) 992-9129 or via email through our website’s secure and confidential contact page.