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Impact of new US tax plan

Tax Overhaul or Economic Recklessness?

As the Trump Administration celebrates its legislative victory of “sweeping tax reform” (most notably the reduction of corporate tax rates), there is reason to be wary of the economics underpinning the new tax plan. The assumptions as set forth by the administration’s economic advisors, such as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, depend in part on corporate growth projections and the belief that the tax breaks at the top will trickle down to middle class wage earners.

To Bit or Not to Bit: That is the Question…

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are receiving intense media coverage, prompting many investors to wonder whether these new types of electronic money deserve a place in their portfolios.

Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin emerged only in the past decade. Unlike traditional money, no paper notes or metal coins are involved. No central bank issues the currency, and no regulator or nation state stands behind it.

Impact investing looks like the space to watch

As with every new generation, attitudes and preferences change, and millennials are no exception to this rule. Some of this undoubtedly comes from the natural instinct for independence. However, factors such as higher university education rates and access to the wealth of information available for free online have certainly had an effect on the tech-savvy millennials who have grown up with this technology. This is especially obvious when you contrast their lives with the baby-boomers who are currently in the process of transferring their estates to them, many of whom have wholly different penchants when it comes to investing.

Plus ça change

Last week I was discussing with a client the recurrence of similar themes in financial markets across the decades. For example, the ostensible similarities between the “Nifty Fifty” era of the late 1960s and early 1970s and the current fascination with the “FAANG” stocks – Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet. For those who weren’t around then, the Nifty Fifty stocks were a basket of famous names that were the leading growth stocks of their day. It was said that they were “single-decision stocks” which meant that you could simply buy them and hold them on the basis that they would always grow. They included the likes of Kodak, Coca Cola and Xerox.

Cash Flow Planning

I attended a conference earlier this week and one of the featured speakers, Jeffery Coyle of Monograph Wealth Advisors in California, discussed the role of fixed income over time in an asset allocation strategy.  The presentation was thought-provoking because it was, in many ways, contrary to generally accepted industry practices.