What you need to know about the SECURE Act

On December 20, 2019, a $1.4 trillion spending package was signed into law that unbeknownst to many outside the financial industry, included a game changing piece of legislation that impacted your retirement accounts. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act or ‘SECURE Act’ for short, made some dramatic changes to your retirement that […]

Quarterly Letter – Fourth Quarter 2019

Investors had a lot to cheer for in 2019 as equity and bond markets generated returns well above their historic averages. The returns were impressive considering a year marked by several headwinds including a burgeoning trade war, flat corporate earnings, and signs of decelerating economic growth. However, the old investor adage that ‘the market climbs […]

Quarterly Letter – Third Quarter 2019

So far, 2019 is shaping up to be a very good year for investors with both equities and bonds generating positive returns. A brief look at market returns would suggest the world at large is in great shape, but investment markets have shrugged off several not-so-positive developments in recent months. These include a persistent, if […]

Quarterly Letter – Second Quarter 2019

Volatility was back in force during the second quarter with sizeable gains in April and June, offset by a short-lived equity market route in May. We believe all this jostling can be ascribed to shifting monetary policy as well as geopolitical and economic events, including the trade war between the U.S. and China. In our […]

Quarterly Letter – First Quarter 2019

What a difference three months can make! Global equity markets made an about-face, registering sizeable gains to start the year. We attribute the sharp reversal to a marked shift in monetary policy and outlook by the Federal Reserve accompanied by a cessation in rate hikes; an issue that has been at the forefront of investors’ […]

Quarterly Letter – Fourth Quarter 2018

The old adage that ‘markets go up on an escalator and down on an elevator’ proved to be true in 2018. For much of the year, U.S. stocks shined and international and emerging market stocks languished as trade tariffs soured investor sentiment in foreign markets. However, sentiment for U.S. stocks also faded later in the […]

Quarterly Letter – Third Quarter 2018

As the year unfolds, the U.S. market and economy continue to charge ahead while returns elsewhere are lagging. It is said, ‘the market climbs a wall of worry’ and there are a number of market risks that have our attention. These include expanding trade tariffs, various geopolitical dangers, rising short-term interest rates, accelerating inflation, signs […]

Quarterly Letter – Second Quarter 2018

The first half of 2018 has sure given investors plenty to digest as market watchers begin to look beyond the impact of tax reform and positive economic conditions to wonder what might be next for the economy and markets.  From our vantage point, we still see plenty of reasons for optimism in the near-term, but […]

The Difference the Right Financial Advisor Makes

Dimensional Fund Advisors recently conducted a survey to assess how investors measure the value of their Advisors. The survey results and a short video that illustrates the vital roles you’re Advisor and financial play to remain disciplined during times of market volatility is available using the link below. Click to view Tuning Out The Noise […]

Thought Leader Forum on Wealth Management

Recently the Portland Business Journal brought advisors from several regional firms together to discuss Wealth Management.  Included at the table was Confluence Advisor Ryan Berning, CFP® to provide fresh insight on current wealth management issues. Erica Heartquist moderated the discussion on behalf of the Portland Business Journal and it was published in their December 2017 […]