THE IMPORTANCE OF PERSONAL UMBRELLA POLICIES

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 What would happen if you or your child caused a car accident that resulted in serious injuries or the deaths of others?

 How would you pay for the treatment and damages of someone who was hurt in your home and claimed negligence? What happens when they claim to have suffered greatly because of the injury?

 What if your dog was attacked by a stranger on your property and bit the person in self-defense—but you were still sued?

 These are questions that anyone could face. However, one component of a wealth protection plan that is often overlooked or underused—even by the affluent—is the umbrella policy.

 Here’s why an umbrella policy can make sense if you have significant assets.

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Quarterly Market Review 3rd Qtr 2018

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In the third quarter of 2018 domestic stocks (+7.12%) continued to outpace other regions (Developed +1.31% and Emerging -1.09%) and Large Caps outperformed Small Cap stocks. Real estate investment trust (-0.17%) under performed equities. While value stocks only out performed growth stocks in emerging markets and were actually the only positive performing stocks for the group. In the US interest rates increased. The US Bond Market barely stayed positive (0.02%) while the Treasury Yield Curve maintained a similar and relatively flattening shape as last quarter calling into question the need for longer dated maturities. The international bond market was slightly down (-0.17%).

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Smart Ways to Take Control of a Trust

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Many successful families use trusts to minimize taxes, transfer wealth and protect assets from creditors and others. You may have already set up a trust, or you may hold an inheritance you received in a trust that was created decades ago.

Trouble is, too many families relinquish more control over their trusts than they need to, basically hoping that the trustees they have put in charge will serve them well. They take a passive role in their trusts rather than an active or proactive role.

The result: Families can potentially put their goals at risk. Yes, trustees have a legal obligation to serve you and your family. But they also have a duty to serve their owners and shareholders! These corporate trustees have a real financial interest in retaining control over your trust. They also try to avoid controversy: If a dispute among beneficiaries breaks out, they often become passive and look to a court to instruct them.

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What to Do When Your Doctor Has Bad News

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 It’s what no one ever wants to hear: “The test resu

lts have come back positive.”

And yet it’s quite likely that you, a loved one or both will one day be given a serious health diagnosis that throws your world into uncertainty, confusion and fear. That means you have two choices:

  • Wish and hope that you or someone you care about never gets really bad news from a physician—and be forced to react quickly and emotionally if that does happen.
  • Be proactive and get a handle now on the best steps to take if you’re faced with a major medical diagnosis.

You can likely guess which approach we recommend. With that in mind, we asked one of the nation’s top concierge physicians—Dr. Dan Carlin of World Clinic—for his best advice on what to do (and not do) when the news about your health is really bad.

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E+R=O, a Formula for Success¹

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An Enduring Investment Philosophy

Investing is a long-term endeavor. Indeed, people will spend decades pursuing their financial goals. But being an investor can be complicated, challenging, frustrating, and sometimes frightening. This is exactly why, as David Booth says, it is important to have an investment philosophy you can stick with, one that can help you stay the course.

This simple idea highlights an important question: How can investors, maintain discipline through bull markets, bear markets, political strife, economic instability, or whatever crisis du jour threatens progress towards their investment goals?

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1. Jack Canfield, The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2004).

QUARTERLY MARKET REVIEW - Q2 2018

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The US Stock Market posted a positive return, outperforming both non-US Developed and Emerging Markets in the second quarter.  The Large Cap value premium was negative for the quarter but the size premium was positive because Small Caps outperformed Large Caps.  Small Cap value outperformed all sectors, except for domestic REITs, where the value premium was also at play.  Both Developed and Emerging Markets largely remained negative for the quarter.

Bonds generally saw interests rates rise and shorter term bonds persisted to rise faster than longer dated maturities, seeing some slight continued flattening of the yield curve .  However bonds remained largely positive for the quarter with currency having some impact on unhedged international bonds.

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It’s Time to Get Serious About Your Happiness

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There’s a great quote by Jean-Paul Sartre: “We are our choices.” When it comes to our happiness and our overall success in life, that’s truer than you might have realized.

Taking time to examine the choices you make in your life and work each day and over the long term to make sure they are enhancing your well-being can do more than just make you happier. Working on enhancing happiness has actually been shown to have a tangible return on investment and can make you more successful.

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2018 Oregon Production Investment Fund Tax Credit Auction - Begins July 9th

Every year in July the Oregon Production Investment Fund (OPIF), a state agency,  auctions tax credits. According to accountants you can take this credit as a charitable deduction on your federal income taxes and additionally take the tax credit on your state taxes too.  The tax credits are generally beneficial if you pay Alternative Minimum Tax and can reduce the amount of tax you owe in April by buying the prior July.

However, due to changes in the US Tax Code for the 2018 fiscal year, one might expect the OPIF auction to see less volume in bids and hence see lower winning bids this year "bucking" the run up of the past few years.  The reason one might expect less volume is that the changes in the US Tax Code should greatly reduce the number of individuals paying AMT.  The Tax Policy Center expects tax collection in AMT to be reduced by 87%.  And is expected to reduce filers from 5 million to 200k.  Additionally, many less tax filers will even be deducting there taxes this year.  So, those buying the OPIF might see better value in the credits, even though less bidders may be looking to benefit from these credits.  Although the OPIF staff is still anticipating strong demand for this autction.

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Lessons from Matrix Book 2018: (1) Impact of Inflation (2) Stock and Bond Volatility

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The Matrix book is a uniquely visual demonstration of data and is an annual survey of investment performance that draws on historical data to look beyond short-term market fluctuations and shed light on the dimensions that explain differences in returns.  The Book is a unique tool for seeing decades of returns and telling stories about investing. In these videos, Joel Hefner shows how the Matrix Book can illustrate some of the trade-offs associated with investing as well as how investors can improve their chances of having a successful investment experience.

WATCH THE VIDEO:  THE IMPACT OF INFLATION

WATCH THE VIDEO:  THE UPS AND DOWNS OF STOCK AND BONDS

SAVVY NEGOTIATING: TO GET THE MOON, ASK FOR THE STARS

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One key way to build serious wealth—whether in a business or your everyday life—is to effectively and consistently negotiate deals that are good for you and your bottom line. Ideally, everyone walks away from a negotiation feeling good about the outcome—a win-win scenario. But ultimately, to be successful you must achieve your minimum goals and preferably a whole lot more.

Trouble is, it’s common for people to end up failing to get what they want due to how they approach negotiations right from the start—from the first declarations of their terms. Here’s how you can avoid that negative outcome and get the results you truly want when hashing out a deal or arrangement with another party.

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FIVE BIG MISTAKES EXECUTORS MAKE—AND HOW TO AVOID THEM

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 Being named the executor of a family member’s (or other loved one’s) estate is, in many ways, an honor. The decision shows that the person saw you as a highly trustworthy, capable person of integrity.

But it’s also a major responsibility that can quickly become a burden if you aren’t set up to do your job properly. The fact is, administering an estate comes with plenty of potential pitfalls that can threaten your loved one’s wealth—and your peace of mind. That goes double if the death is unexpected and leaves you reeling emotionally as you try to take on the legally required duties of an executor.

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The Super Rich Stress Test Their Financial Plans—and So Should You!

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The Super Rich (those with a net worth of $500 million or more) who have family offices typically engage a sizable lineup of professional advisors to help them create and implement financial plans. To help ensure those plans are both state-of-the-art as well as in line with their needs and wants, many of them regularly “stress test” these plans.

Here’s why you should join them in that effort—even if you’re not nearly as wealthy.

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Market Turbulation: Now and Then

By Dave Goetsch

Dave Goetsch, Executive Producer of  The Big Bang Theory, reflects on his investment experience in the recent market downturn and contrasts his new perspective with memories of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

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Seeing all the recent headlines about the sudden downturn in the stock market has transported me back to February of 2009, when I was close to despair. It’s striking how different I feel now. 

In February 2009, the stock market was down around 50% from its high, and everyone seemed to feel like the sky was falling. I was familiar with this state of panic because my relationship to the financial markets was that I didn’t trust them. 

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Additionally a short Video about tuning out the noise...takes viewers on a journery through the "lost decade," featuring the media's amplified coverage of headline events and pointing to the positive outcome that a disciplined investor could have experienced in the recovery.

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Quarterly Market Review - Q1 2018

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In Q1 the stock rally that lasted several quarters appears to have resided.  Emerging markets outperformed both domestic and developed markets.  And, domestic real estate performed the worst. Value stocks in emerging markets outperformed but were allusive in developed and domestic markets.  Small caps outperformed large in both developed and the US, but under performed in emerging markets.   Bonds generally experienced rising yields for the quarter across various maturities and credit risk. International bonds performed the best.

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How to Promote Entrepreneurship in Your Family

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A trend found among the ultra rich that might be helpful to you is that they are using family banks to promote values of entrepreneurship and accountability within their families.  The families organize the money as a bank and fund other family members businesses weather it be to start something new, grow an existing business or reorganizing another one.  They are finding that the family can pass on these values with the formation of a family bank.

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Q4 AND THE ANNUAL 2017 MARKET SUMMARY

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Stock prices continued to rise strongly throughout Q4 as they also did for the year.  Emerging markets led the way for a second quarter in a row followed by domestic stocks and then developed markets.  The value factor lagged growth in all three regions of the world for the quarter, but small caps outperformed large caps in both emerging markets ( up  9.23%) and developed markets, but under performed domestically.  Internationally the Asia countries led the US and developed countries in performance and South Africa had the best quarter in emerging markets (up 20.91%).  Interest rates were mixed in bonds for the quarter but generally remained positive for performance.  High credit quality and shorter term bonds saw yields rise and generally performed the worst and the yield curve appeared to continue to flatten.

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HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (HSA) - ONE OF THE BEST VEHICLES FOR RETIREMENT SAVINGS

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Health Savings Accounts, part of high deductible health care policies, remain one of the best retirement savings vehicles.  They are not like flexible spending accounts.  The key benefit to the HSAs over these plans is that you can save what you don't use well into retirement and benefit from a triple tax benefit-- pretax deduction, tax-free growth, tax fee withdrawals.

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This is a WSJ article.  Often the WSJ does not allow direct links to their articles or limits access over time.  However, if you search (i.e.: google it) the title "How to Get Entirely Tax-Free Retirement Income" you can find and access the article instead of through our website.

We are a Nation of Procrastinators, Not a Nation of Portfolio Managers

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This year’s Nobel Prize in economics went to Professor Richard Thaler who described financial behavior as largely a problem of self-control where people don’t act rationally as assumed in economic models but act on their own best intentions.  This finding explains irrational events we see in the markets or explains the tail risk we see from overreactions and contrasts with a very important theory in economics known as efficient market hypothesis where markets absorb information and act rationally.  One can assume in today’s world of the "information age" and busy schedules that this concept is more pervasive than in the past.  It is recognition of these behaviors that led Thaler to recommend automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans.  And, is certainly a sound reason for those with wealth to utilize a good professional adviser.

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These are WSJ articles.  Often the WSJ does not allow direct links to their articles or limits access over time.  However, if you search (i.e.: google it) the title "Richard Thaler: A Nobel Prize for Human Nauter" and "Why Richard Thaler Matters to Investors" you can find and access the article instead of through our website.

Q3 2017 Market Summary

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Stock prices continued to rise strongly throughout Q3 with emerging markets leading the way followed by developed and lastly US markets.  Bond returns also remained positive for the quarter even with higher yields which had larger increases among shorter duration bonds.  The value effect was positive in non-US developed markets but negative in the US and emerging markets.  Small caps outperformed large caps in US and non-US developed markets but under-performed in emerging markets.

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