2018 Q4 Quarterly Update

The markets gave us a reminder these past few months that they can and do decline, sometimes with little warning and astonishing rapidity. After more than nine years of fairly consistent upward movement, all major stock indices were in the red for both the fourth quarter and the year. Some of the popular indices whipsawed… Read more »

What you need to know about RMDs

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are annual withdrawals that owners of tax-deferred retirement accounts[1] must take once they reach age 70½.[2] Benjamin Franklin popularized the notion that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”; in exchange for allowing contributions and growth in tax-deferred accounts to escape taxation for so… Read more »

2018 Q3 Quarterly Update

Domestic large caps supplanted shares of smaller companies on the leaderboard this past quarter; the return for the thirty companies comprising the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell just shy of double digits, registering in at 9.63%, whereas the broader S&P 500 registered a respectable 7.71% for the period. While bested, shares in smaller companies still… Read more »

‘Zero Cost’ Investments are Here

It appears as if the era of ‘no cost’ investments may be upon us. Fidelity has announced that they are launching several no-load Fidelity ZEROsm index funds which have no annual operating expenses.1 Although Schultz Collins [SC] welcomes this development, it may be a bit premature to buy these funds. Consider, for example, the Fidelity… Read more »

But Aren’t All Investment Advisors Fiduciaries?

From time to time, we are asked about differences in standards of practice among various types of investment practitioners. Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) that meet a threshold of assets under management are regulated by the SEC under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 (the 1940 Act). Smaller RIAs are regulated by state securities regulators. Generally,… Read more »

2018 Q2 Quarterly Update

Shares in larger domestic firms registered positive returns for the quarter with the Dow Jones Industrials up 1.26% and the S&P 500 advancing 3.43% for the ninety-day period. Small company stocks in the U.S. were the stellar performers for the quarter with a 7.75% return for the Russell 2000 Index. Measured in local currency larger… Read more »

Building Blocks Chart

The Building Blocks Chart is a pictorial depiction of the relative performance of asset classes over calendar-year periods. What’s the likelihood that last year’s winners will repeat? Should the investor avoid asset classes exhibiting recent poor performance? As the table illustrates, the relative performance of asset classes can shift dramatically from year to year. Investors… Read more »

2018 Q1 Quarterly Update

Back to normal: That may be one way to describe the recent volatility in the equity markets, following last year’s unusually steady upward trending stock returns. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) had one of its largest increases ever, surging 80% during the first quarter amid investor concerns about inflation, rising interest rates and global trade… Read more »

2017 Q4 Quarterly Update

By now we expect that you are aware that both the domestic and foreign equity markets enjoyed impressive results last year. The S&P 500 gained 21.8% for the12-month period and the Russell 2000 index of smaller U.S. companies was up 14.6%. In foreign markets, the MSCI Europe Index returned 25.6% for the year, aided by… Read more »

Change in Custody Rule for Assets

A No Action letter released by the SEC in February 2017 clarified its interpretation of the rule1 for asset custody. Quoting from a précis on the subject prepared by Fidelity Investments: The SEC has clarified that an adviser who has the power to disburse client funds to a third party under a standing letter of… Read more »