News & Education

The Armbruster Capital Management News & Education section of our website incorporates articles and newsletter specifically geared towards issues that our clients are facing today.

Portfolio Review – Q4 2019 Newsletter

The S&P 500 rose 32% for 2019. Looking at data back to 1926, that was the 18th best year for the stock market, placing it in the top 20% of annual gains. However, that understates the actual achievement, as many of the better years occurred during or in the wake of the Great Depression when stocks fell and rose wildly.

Chris’ Corner – The SECURE Act – Q4 2019 Newsletter

On December 20th, the President signed into law the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. The law is intended to increase retirement savings by expanding investment options and changing some of the qualified account rules. The SECURE Act may help some savers, but it comes with some negative consequences for estate planning and inheritors. Let’s look at how some of the changes affect you.

Firm News – Q4 2019 Newsletter

Last year was a good one for our firm. We wrote previously about adding Steve Sheflin to our investment team. We’ll likely add another capable body or two in the coming year, and are already interviewing to support our growth.

Portfolio Review – Q3 2019 Newsletter

The third quarter was mediocre in terms of investment returns. Large-cap stocks in the U.S. were up 1.7%, but most other stocks lost money. Bonds actually outpaced stocks in the third quarter, with a gain of 2.3%. Real estate was the bigger winner, earning 7.3% as investors sought out more stable segments of the stock market. See full investment returns for the quarter and year-to-date in the nearby chart.

Chris’ Corner – Year End Planning – Q3 2019 Newsletter

As the days grow short and foliage begins to change, our thoughts naturally are drawn to year-end financial planning. Maxing out contributions to 401(k) or IRA accounts (2019 limit is $19,000, plus $6,000 catch-up), making sure your beneficiaries are up to date on your accounts, and satisfying your Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) if you are over age 70.5, are popular items to consider. However, a few lesser known topics are also worthy of consideration:

Firm News – Q3 2019 Newsletter

We are excited to announce that Steve Sheflin is our new Chief Investment Officer. We’re also proud that Colby Feane was recently named as a 2019 Forty Under 40 honoree by the Rochester Business Journal.

401(k) investor plans that use index funds save time and money

The share of 401(k) assets invested in index funds has risen from 17 percent in 2006 to 33 percent in 2016, a recent report from financial data firm Brightscope and the Investment Company Institute shows. While that is impressive growth, the share of retirement assets in index funds should be much larger, probably close to 100 percent.

Portfolio Review – Q2 2019 Newsletter

The second quarter was another strong period for stocks, and surprisingly strong for bonds. Large-cap stocks, as represented by the S&P 500, led the way with a gain of 4.3%. Mid-cap, small-cap, and international stocks all generated respectable returns, but lagged the S&P 500.

Challenging Times Ahead – Q2 2019 Newsletter

A year and a half ago, we wrote articles on how the economy could continue to grow for three more years and the stock market could increase 30% from March 2018. We based our stock market forecast on valuations, despite the fact that many thought stocks were already overvalued.

Firm News – Q2 2019 Newsletter

A year and a half ago, we wrote articles on how the economy could continue to grow for three more years and the stock market could increase 30% from March 2018. We based our stock market forecast on valuations, despite the fact that many thought stocks were already overvalued.

Prospect of Lean Returns For Stocks, Bonds Suggest Getting Creative

Most investors have a mix of stocks and bonds in their portfolios. Stocks are there for long-term growth, whereas bonds are generally purchased for stability and income generation. This has worked out pretty well historically, as stock returns averaged over 10 percent annually since the 1920s, and bonds have yielded over 5 percent, according to Ibbotson data. A balanced portfolio of 60 percent in stocks and 40 percent in bonds has become the de facto standard for many investment portfolios, as the returns have been substantial enough to meet most investors’ returns, while keeping risk in check.

At This Stage of Economic Expansion, Is It Like 1996 or 1999

In a recent interview with CNBC, famed investor Warren Buffett marveled at the current economic environment. He not¬ed that unemployment is at multi-decade lows and the federal budget deficit is at an all-time high, yet inflation and interest rates are historically low. No economics textbook, in Buffett’s estimation, could have predicted such an environment.

Buy-and-rebalance Approach Best Course for Long-term Wealth

The current economic expansion is now 117 months old. Looking at data that goes back to 1854, this is just shy of the record 120-month expansion that occurred from 1991 to 2001. It seems likely we’ll soon exceed the prior record, but how long can the economy continue to grow, and how long can the stock market continue its associated bull run?

Economic and Investment Overview – Q1 2019 Newsletter

Lately, the stock market has been a lot like the weather in Rochester, NY. If you don’t like it, you only have to wait three months for things to radically change. The fourth quarter of last year was one of the worst since the Great Depression. But we didn’t have to wait long for redemption. It arrived early this year, with a 13.6% gain in the first quarter (see market segment returns in the nearby graph).

A True Investment Loss – Q1 2019 Newsletter

Perhaps the fiercest advocate for the individual investor and shareholder rights ever to walk the planet died during the first quarter: John C. Bogle, who preferred to be called Jack by his legion of friends, founder of the Vanguard Group. Jack was best known for launching the first index mutual fund in 1976. This new approach to investing would ultimately revolutionalize the entire industry

Compliance Corner – Q1 2019 Newsletter

We are in a highly regulated business, which causes a few headaches, but regulations are largely good; they offer our clients important protections. There are certain disclosures that we are required to make regularly regarding our policies and procedures.

Portfolio Review – Q4 2018 Newsletter

Stocks posted their worst returns since 2008 last year. Most of the damage occurred in the fourth quarter when stocks dropped 13.5%. This was the 12th worst quarterly performance since the Great Depression.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? – Q4 2018 Newsletter

The stock market declined by 4.4% in 2018. It was the first year stocks posted a loss since 2008. The S&P 500 rose 20% in 2017, 12% in 2016, and more than 13% annualized over the last decade. Yet, a one-year decline of 4% has caused all sorts of consternation. I admit that the peak-to-trough loss was much larger (17.5% so far), and the fourth quarter was one of the worst on record (down 13.5% in just three months).

Alternatives Out Of Focus – Q4 2018 Newsletter

They say all the world loves a clown. That may be true, but one thing I know that is even truer is that all the world currently hates alternative investments.

Flourish Cash Management – Q4 2018 Newsletter

Interestingly, cash was the best performing asset class in 2018, earning 1.8%. That’s a pretty meager return, but it was better than losing money in stocks or breaking even in bonds.

Dying Without a Will Could Cause Hardship for Heirs

Prince, or the artist formerly known as Prince, or whatever his name ultimately was, made headlines throughout his life for his talent and eccentricities. However, the headlines after his death in 2016 revolved around the fact that he died with an estimated $200 million estate and no documents in place to guide its disposition.

True Portfolio Diversification Involves Multiple Asset Classes

The diversification of an investment portfolio has been described as the one “free lunch” in the investment world. That is because holding a portfo¬lio of assets with unique risk and return characteristics can result in higher long-term returns and a lower risk profile.

Sensible Investment Strategies Can Help Weather Gloomy Market Forces

October has come and gone, which is likely a relief for investors. October gets a bad rap when it comes to the stock market, and perhaps deservedly so: It was October of 1929 when the slide into the Great Depression began in earnest with a 20 percent dip in the stock market. It was also October, in 1987, when Black Monday resulted in the stock market falling over 20 percent in a single day. October of 2008 saw stocks decline 17 percent.

Portfolio Review – Q3 2018 Newsletter

The third quarter of 2018 was a mixed bag for investors. Stocks, at least domestic stocks, performed admirably. The S&P 500 rose 7.7% in the quarter and is now up 10.6% year-to-date. Small-cap stocks have performed even better so far this year, rising 14.5%.

Mid-term Elections and the Market – Q3 2018 Newsletter

The mid-term elections are right around the corner. That means that the phone is ringing with questions about how the elections could impact the stock market. Generally, we prefer to keep politics and investing separate, but we grudgingly accept that they can influence one another in the short run.

Firm News – Q3 2018 Newsletter

October 1st was our ten-year anniversary. It is true that Armbruster Capital was incorporated a little over nine years ago. However, Mark started working at our predecessor firm, and building what would become Armbruster Capital, a decade ago.

Eight More Years of Economic Expansion? – Q3 2018 Newsletter

Where is the US economy headed?
Recent news coverage about an inverted yield curve, potential trade wars, and troubles in emerging markets have created some unease.

The US Economy: Eight More Years of Expansion?

Mark Armbruster, CFA. Where is the US economy headed? Recent news coverage about an inverted yield curve, potential trade wars,

Inverted Yield Curve May Not Always Signal Recession On The way

The stock market achieved an all-time high in late January, but then saw a subsequent drop of more than 10 percent. Since then, it has vacillated wildly, reacting to strong economic news, yet also showing signs of concern. The Fed has been raising short-term interest rates, and volatility has returned in earnest. This has set up a “Tale of Two Markets” scenario, which is making investors question if they should get out of stocks altogether.

Portfolio Review – Q2 2018 Newsletter

While it may come as a surprise, the second quarter of 2018 was actually quite strong for stock investors. The S&P 500 rose 3.4%, mid-cap stocks gained 4.3%, and small-cap stocks returned almost 9.0%. Even REITs rebounded in the quarter for a gain of 7.8%.

A Tale of Two Markets – Q2 2018 Newsletter

Certainly, we’re in a divided age currently where the glass could look half full or half empty depending on which side of the political aisle you sit. Unfortunately, that has been true for some time now. The same dynamic is also at play in the stock market.

Financial Exploitation of Specified Adults – Q2 2018 Newsletter

The SEC recently approved two new rules: (1) the adoption of new FINRA Rule 2165 (Financial Exploitation of Specified Adults) to permit members to place temporary holds on disbursements of funds or securities from the accounts of customers where there is a reasonable belief of financial exploitation of these customers; and

Small-cap Value Stocks May Be The Way

Small-cap value stocks have been uniquely poor performers recently. They posted strong returns in 2016, but otherwise, each of the past seven years small-cap value stocks have either significantly lagged or just barely beaten large-cap growth stocks.

Beware of Experts Bearing Forecasts

Mark Armbruster, CFA. I read another article recently that warned of an impending market downturn and cited Nobel laureate Robert J.

Portfolio Review – Q1 2018 Newsletter

Volatility has returned. While stock market returns were truly remarkable in 2017, the good times only continued into late January of this year. Since then, the market declined more than 8% from its peak into the end of the quarter. However, the downturn isn’t the real story.

Alternatives In Focus: Alternative Lending – Q1 2018 Newsletter

We started using the Stone Ridge Alternative Lending fund (LENDX) roughly a year and a half ago. It has returned around 6% annualized since we started investing, which is in-line with our long-term expectations for alternative investments.

Small Cap Value…Time to Shine? – Q1 2018 Newsletter

Small-cap value stocks have been uniquely poor performers recently. They posted strong returns in 2016, but otherwise, each of the past seven years small-cap value stocks have either significantly lagged or just barely beat large-cap growth stocks.

Rising Interest Rates Change Strategies for Investors

Stock and bond market investors watch with trepidation as the Federal Reserve Board determines how much to raise interest rates this year. The Fed has already taken short-term interest rates from roughly zero percent to a target of 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent, and promises further hikes throughout 2018.

The Case For Further Stock Market Gains

Mark Armbruster, CFA. The stock market’s valuation recently surpassed its 1929 peak, and the S&P 500 now trades near the

Caution Flag is Up When Considering Purchase of an Annuity

Perhaps no financial product is more controversial than annuities. At best, an annuity is an insurance offering that provides a guaranteed stream of income that you cannot outlive. At worst, it is a high-cost way to earn subpar investment returns.

Certain Investors May Find Privately Traded REITS to Their Liking

With both stock and bond market valuations at lofty levels, many investors are starting to wonder if they will be able to continue to earn the types of returns they have enjoyed over the past nine years. Continued gains in the stock market would push valuations to potentially dangerous levels, and bond yields aren’t that far north of zero currently.

Current Thinking – Q4 2017 Newsletter

With the exception of Donald Trump and Bitcoin, stock market valuations seem to be making the most headlines these days.

Index Investing – Q4 2017 Newsletter

Index investing was much in the news in 2017. An article in the Wall Street Journal in late November noted that U.S. index funds have seen cash inflows of around $1.7 trillion since 2009, compared with outflows of nearly $1 trillion for actively-managed mutual funds. Another article noted that investors had collectively invested $436.5 billion this year into index funds globally through December 20, according to EPFR Global.

Alternatives in Focus – Q4 2017 Newsletter

While 2017 was a great year for stocks, it was mediocre for alternative investments. The benchmark index we often look at, the HFRI Fund-Weighted Composite Index, earned 8.5% last year. While that isn’t too bad, our alternative investments did not produce returns in that range.

Portal Launch – Q4 2017 Newsletter

With the new technology we implemented last year, we have been able to offer clients a portal to log into their accounts to run various detailed reports on their portfolios. We believe this has been a great success.

2018 Tax Facts – Q4 2017 Newsletter

1.$18,500 maximum salary deferral to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan (up $500 from 2017).

Compliance Corner – Q4 2017 Newsletter

We are in a highly regulated business, which causes a few headaches, but is largely a good thing that offers our clients important protections. There are certain disclosures we are required to make regularly regarding our policies and procedures. A few of them are

Bitcoin phenomenon illustrates importance of rational investing

As of this writing, cybercurrency Bitcoin has appreciated in value in excess of 1,500 percent so far this year. That makes it one of the best performing investments ever, even when considering tulip bulbs in 1636, stock in the South Sea Company in 1720, and internet stocks in the late 1990s. Most of the academic studies written on financial markets start with a few basic premises: investors are rational, they want to maximize returns, and they want to minimize risk. Is it possible that the move in Bitcoin is a rational response to new data that has emerged over the course of the past year? Probably not. Bitcoin remains largely the same from a structural standpoint today as it did a year ago.

Socially Responsible Investing in the US

Today, socially responsible investing, or SRI, accounts for around 25 percent of all managed assets in the U.S. The percentage is even higher in Europe and is rising fast in parts of Asia. SRI investing can take many forms, but the most popular is negative screening. That means excluding companies that participate in undesirable activities, such as the manufacture of tobacco products, weapons or fossil fuels. However…

Study of Stock Bubbles Debunks Theory of Impending Crash

Most of us have seen the recent headlines about the stock market hitting new highs. By some measures, stocks now trade at valuation levels only seen twice before: in 1929 and in 1999. If you recall, the aftermath of those periods was not terribly profitable for investors.

Portfolio Review – Q3 2017 Newsletter

The third quarter of 2017 was one of continued political strife at home, missile launches and increasing tension in Asia, several devastating natural disasters, and efforts by the Federal Reserve to slow the economy. In the face of that, the stock market rose to record highs.

Identity Theft – Q3 2017 Newsletter

By now, everyone is aware of the massive data breach at Equifax. Something like 143 million Americans had their personal information exposed in the hack. That effectively means that every American adult was impacted. You can check to see if you are on the list here: I’ll bet you are.

Alternatives In Focus: Reinsurance – Q3 2017 Newsletter

Our alternative investment portfolio was looking pretty good through August of this year. All of the funds except one were in the black, and returns were on track for around a 6% gain. Then September hit.

The Market Is Going Up – Q3 2017 Newsletter

What if someone told you that there was more upside in the market from today’s levels? What if they said it could rise 4,445% from here?

Tax Planning Time – Q3 2017 Newsletter

As hard as it may be to believe, yearend is just around the corner, and that means it is time to think about tax planning. This year, it seems that year-end tax planning is facing a perfect storm of unknowns.

Firm News – Q3 2017 Newsletter

We may have announced it before, but we recently updated our website. There are a host of resources there, including electronic versions of all our newsletters, articles, and even a few videos. We try to send most of this to you directly, but there are a few items that you likely missed.

Equifax Data Breach 2017 – What can I do to protect myself?

What happened? On 9/7/2017 Equifax announced a massive personal data breach potentially impacting approximately 143 million United States consumers. The

What Happens to the Market if America Goes to War?

Mark Armbruster, CFA. The stock market hates uncertainty, and there is plenty of uncertainty with respect to the tensions over

Portfolio Review – Q2 Newsletter

The rally in investment assets continued in the second quarter of 2017. All major asset classes earned positive returns for the quarter, and most have posted very strong returns year-to-date.

Alternatives in Focus – Q2 Newsletter

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about our alternative investments recently, so we thought we would introduce a new, at least quasi-regular, column in our newsletter  focusing on this asset class. We’ll talk this time about  why we  use alternative investments, but in the future, we’ll do a deeper review of some of the funds.

Firm News – Q2 Newsletter

We recently added a new team member. Craig Julien joined us in early June to help us with our systems, operations, and IT. Craig has a couple decades of experience in the IT industry, most recently with the accounting firm EFPR Group. Accordingly, Craig knows firsthand about data security and the importance of confidentiality in the financial industry. He’s already done a great job of tweaking our systems so they are more efficient and user friendly, and we’re looking forward to some enhancements that will make electronic account access easier for our clients as well.

Stock Indices Important for Gauging Portfolio Performance

Several years ago, I worked with an investment adviser who did not like to show investment performance to his clients. In fact, he never even calculated returns for his managed accounts. He really had no idea or interest in how he was performing, and certainly did not want his clients questioning him about their returns.

Current Events, Even War, Not Good Basis for Investing

Back in 1970, Edwin Starr released a recording of the song “War.” The notable lyrics, “war/what is it good for/ absolutely nothing,” have been quoted often in the 40 years since. However, contrary to Starr’s lines, it turns out there may be one thing that war is indeed good for: the stock market.

2016 Shows Folly of Pundit Predictions

Last year was a year of surprises. Sure the Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced that they are dissolving their marriage, but I’m talking about more interesting topics, like those that impacted the capital markets.

Indexing Fares Well Over the Long Term

Standard & Poor’s recently released its biannual study of mutual fund performance. S&P looks at the performance of actively-managed mutual funds versus appropriate stock market indices to see if the funds, as a group, added value for their investors.

Portfolio Review – Q1 Newsletter

The first quarter of 2017 was a solid one for stock investors. Large-cap stocks rose over 6.0% in the quarter, as measured by the returns of the S&P 500 index. Historically, election years and the first year of a Presidential term are the strongest for stocks, and 2017 is shaping up to follow the historic pattern.

Stock Market Valuation

It is conference season, which means we’ve been on the road lately meeting with fund companies and hearing about their latest research. One point that virtually everyone is making these days is that traditional asset classes (stocks and bonds) are richly valued, and likely won’t generate the same level of returns in the future that we have experienced historically.

The ACM Journal 2016 Q4

Portfolio Review The financial markets were a mixed bag in 2016. Despite early volatility, stocks ended the year on a

Performance shades merits of active management

I come to praise active management, not to bury it. Active management has been much maligned recently, including in this column, because of the increasing dominance of index investing over active stock picking.

Indeed, according to estimates from Morningstar, actively managed U.S. stock funds have seen outflows of over $185 billion so far this year. By comparison, U.S. stock market index funds have attracted almost $125 billion in new assets. What’s driving this disparity?

Comparing index mutual funds and active managers

The index fund recently celebrated its 40th birthday. The Vanguard 500 Index Fund, the very first indexed mutual fund, began on Aug. 31, 1976. That might not seem like such a big deal, but consider that during a typical 10-year period, roughly half of all stock mutual funds close their doors. Merely surviving for 40 years is quite a feat, but the fact that the Vanguard 500 Index Fund is now among the largest mutual funds in the world makes it all the more impressive.

In fact, of the 25 largest mutual funds, all but 10 are index funds. Of the 10 non-index funds on the list, only six are actively managed.

The ACM Journal 2016 Q3

Portfolio Review Investment returns in the third quarter were strong and rewarded risk taking. Looking at the U.S. stock market,

Using Alternatives in Client Portfolios

By Murray Coleman September 7, 2016 Mark Armbruster speaks with Murray Coleman on how with low-interest rates and high correlations of other

Potential Brexit impact at least two years away

The year 1993 was a pivotal one in the entertainment world. The TV show “Friends” began filming that year and soon became a runaway success. The show launched Jennifer Aniston into mega-celebrity status. Because of her newfound fame, she came into contact with other A-list celebrities, and ultimately she married Brad Pitt.

The ACM Journal 2016 Q2

Portfolio Review The stock market performed quite well in the second quarter, earning 2.5%. This is surprising, because had the

The ACM Journal 2014 Q2

REIT Valuations at All Time Highs Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are stocks that invest in real estate and mortgages.

Strategies that will help navigate a low-return market

Here’s a depressing thought: The expected net-of-fee, real return from a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds is around 1.7 percent annually over the coming decade. Of course, that assumes you don’t pay taxes. If you do, the expected return is less. A recent study by consulting and research firm McKinsey Global Institute raised exactly this issue (though their numbers were a bit different), suggesting investors need to get used to lower returns. Others have made the same case.

New fiduciary standard cultivates consumer confusion

What do a rutabaga and a turnip have in common with your investments? Quite a lot, as it turns out.

For the past hundred years or so, as agricultural science progressed and found new ways to grow food more efficiently via the use of chemicals, a small organic food movement has persisted. Proponents of the movement argued that chemically or genetically adulterated food was unhealthy and potentially dangerous.

The ACM Journal 2016 Q1

We Shall Overcomb “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” - Mark Twain You may not

The ACM Journal 2015 Q4

The Year in Review Investment returns in 2015 were not as bad as in 2008. That is the only positive

Don’t throw in the towel; you can navigate volatility

Don’t throw in the towel; you can navigate volatility On Aug. 24, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 1,000 points within the day. This sort of volatility is what makes investors nervous—and question their commitment to their long-term investment strategies. Selling out of the market during downturns, however, is one of the most damaging actions an investor can take.

The ACM Journal 2015 Q3

Portfolio Review As evidenced by the chart below, the third quarter was nothing short of awful for investors. Practically every

Are you sure your adviser acts in your best interest?

Imagine: You are ill and go to your doctor for help. Unbeknownst to you, your doctor is on the payroll of a pharmaceutical firm, and he gets a cut of all the sales he makes of a particular drug. You describe your symptoms, and the doctor prescribes medication.

The ACM Journal 2015 Q2

Portfolio Review Despite some volatility, the stock market was performing reasonably well in the second quarter. That is right up

Retirement plans don’t have to cause headaches

Many organizations view retirement plans as a necessary evil. These plans may help attract and retain talent, but they can also be expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to monitor and administer. As a result, corporate retirement plans are often ignored by those who oversee them.

Seeking income? Chasing yields can be tricky territory

Income-producing investments, bonds producing a lot of interest income and stocks paying large dividends have been on a tear over the last few years.

With yields on bonds falling to all-time lows, investors seeking income from their portfolios have been turning to master limited partnerships, real estate investment trusts, junk bonds and stocks with large dividend yields.

The ACM Journal 2015 Q1

A Forecast for Volatility Those who regularly make forecasts of the economy, stock market and interest rates are typically wrong.

The ACM Journal 2014 Q4

Portfolio Review   The good news is that the stock market had a strong year in 2014. The S&P 500

A little planning can bring you significant savings

Year end is right around the corner—a time when a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of, well, tax planning.

For most of us, the thought of tax planning is enough to either make us glaze over in a daze of boredom and confusion or send us screaming for the exits as we wait for the annual fleecing by the tax man.

Break free from the traps of the investment world

Question: What do you call an economist with a forecast? Answer: Wrong. We are constantly inundated with forecasts from “the experts.” This is true not only from economists but also from political pundits, Fed watchers, stock market strategists and other prognosticators.

The ACM Journal 2014 Q3

What to do if the Stock Market Corrects   Lately, volatility seems to have returned to the stock market. It is

The ACM Journal 2013 Q4

Are Stocks Overvalued and Ready to Correct? We have fielded a lot of questions lately about the level of the

Stick to basics; they go a long way toward meeting objectives

The world is full of investment pornography. This is a term coined by a mutual fund marketing executive I know to describe misleading claims in the investment industry. One such claim is that smart, hard-working investment managers with cutting-edge technology can outperform the market by actively trading stocks or other investments. Although it seems intuitive that this approach would produce positive results, the evidence indicates differently.

Downturns can be scary but also ripe with opportunity

Given the length of the current stock market rally and the level stock market valuations have reached, there is a large and growing consensus that the next downturn is right around the corner.

Many believe that rather than just a modest decline, the next downturn will be another sharp, painful correction, similar to what we experienced in 2008.

Don’t fear end of market highs; keep long-term view

Is the stock market overvalued and ready to crash?

I have fielded a lot of questions lately on just that topic. Typically, investors get uneasy when the stock market declines in value. However, with visions of 2008 still in our heads, many investors are increasingly nervous as stocks continue to make new highs.

For investors, asset diversification pays off if you do it right

Individual investors make bad decisions. That is the conclusion of a recent study, showing that 401(k) plan investors are increasingly tilting their accounts toward stocks although stock market valuations have risen significantly.

High fees, expenses and taxes can drain long-term returns

With winter finally winding down and the holidays squarely behind us, I’d like to say something very Grinchy: It is actually better to receive than to give. This may sound like blasphemy, particularly in Rochester, a city renowned for its philanthropy. But I’m not talking about charitable giving. I’m talking about your investment portfolio.

The ACM Journal 2014 Q1

Capital Markets Review   The first quarter of 2014 was generally solid for most segments of the capital markets. Domestic

Bonds are boring but can be a secure bet in uncertain times

I ’ve said it before: No one likes bonds. They’re boring, they don’t have much opportunity to appreciate in value, they can be rather complicated and their income is generally subject to unfavorable tax rates.

The ACM Journal 2013 Q3

The third quarter of 2013 started out on a positive note, with strong gains in the stock market during July.

What I Believe, But Cannot Prove: True Alpha Does Not Exist for Individual Investors

Mark Armbruster, CFA. I believe, but cannot prove, that true alpha does not exist for individual investors. There are too