Physician's Wealth Manager
- As the New Year approaches, it’s more important than ever to monitor the debate over federal tax policy, be proactive in developing tax and investment strategies that are suited for today’s changing tax environment, and work with professional advisors to ensure you don’t pay more taxes than you should.
- The question on every investor's mind: Is gold expensive or is it cheap? In other words, will gold prices move up from here, or is the run in gold over? Before we get to a possible answer, it's important to first understand what an investment in gold really is.
- Over the last 18 months, investors turned to bond mutual funds to net higher yields -- pumping nearly $400 billion into bond funds in 2009 and another $112 million through May 5, 2010. The question is, how long will this bond-friendly, low-interest-rate environment last?
- New “hybrid” long-term care insurance policies offer the benefits normally associated with an annuity or life insurance, plus protection against long-term care expenses. Even better: Funds distributed from these policies are now tax-free.
- The S&P 500 posted its first negative "named" decade ever from 2000 to 2009. That means, if you invested $1 in the S&P 500 at the beginning of '00, you would have had 91 cents at the end of '09. So, were the 2000s the "lost decade" for investors? Not for all -- investors who maintained diversified portfolios actually fared much better.
- After the stock market's strong end to 2009, and its initial gains earlier this year, fear and uncertainty is gripping investors once again. As usual, many are turning to financial experts for insight on when the carnage might end. But as Tom shows, these forecasts often turn out to be dead wrong.
- During FCIC testimony, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, responding to questions of whether betting against securities it was selling to investors was a conflict of interest, said that Goldman had no legal obligation to disclose its bets. "We are not a fiduciary," he said.
- GICs, like CDs, pay a fixed interest rate over a certain period of time, however, you live and die with the solvency of the insurance company. If it goes belly up, your investment goes with it.
- If there can be one financial lesson drawn from 2009, it is to maintain a well-diversified portfolio with different asset classes with low correlations to one another. This ensures you are not dependent on any single asset class to achieve your investment goals.
- My advice to investors is to think holistically about your portfolio. In other words, you don't own stocks in a vacuum. You own them in the context of your overall portfolio. Take a look at your collection of stocks and/or mutual funds and examine how they interact. If they all move in the same direction, your portfolio is not as diversified as it should be. That is true for all of your asset classes, not just stocks.
Thomas A. Orecchio, CFA, CFP, ChFC, CLU, AIF is principal and wealth manager at Modera Wealth Management in Westwood,NJ. From portfolio management and tax planning alternative investments and estate planning, Tom assists physicians through truly comprehensive wealth management. Mr. Orecchio can be reached at TomO@ModeraWealth.com.
Tom Orecchio examines the principles of wealth management and financial planning-from portfolio and tax management to alternative investments and estate planning-to help physicians achieve financial success.