Blog

The Virtues of Transparency

Financial transparency is more than simply disclosing required information. As financial advisors, it impacts nearly every aspect of the role we play. It is such a large part of who we are, that we wanted to share our thoughts on transparency...
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The Benefits of a Durable Financial Plan

As everyone tries to make sense of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding market downturn, many people are wondering what actions they should take to protect their finances. Although many investors have some sort of plan to help guide them, the majority are still concerned about how this pandemic will impact their futures and financial goals.
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The Key to a Successful Financial Plan

There are many reasons why the Federal Reserve has yet to reverse its course on historically low interest rates. The most obvious reason is also the most surprising: inflation, or the lack thereof...
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What is Your Succession Plan?

When your plumber who has kept your toilets flushing happily for 25 years says he is retiring, what is your plan? Demographics and professional transitions have been a topic of discussion on our team over the past few years and should be for your family as well...
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Why Do We Pay More Than We Should?

Tax deferral in one’s 401ks and retirement savings are often a case of “out of sight, out of mind”. Automated savings is understandably easy to do but, as always, there’s often a critical catch: will your nest egg be worth what it should be in real, spendable, after tax dollars when you need it?
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The Market and Economy Disconnect

These are chaotic and unchartered times. As unemployment rises and the GDP continues to settle into negative territory, the stock market is partying like its pre-crash 1920's, or 1990's, or mid-2000's. A recent cover story in Bloomberg Businessweek pondered "The Great Disconnect: Why do stocks keep going up?" Nobel Prize-winning columnist Paul Krugman noted in a recent New York Times column...
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TSG Webinar - Is it 2021 Yet?

Tom Sedoric and Casey Snyder hosted The Sedoric Group's first webinar on July 23, 2020.
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The Bill for Financial Illiteracy is Past Due

If the miracles promised you by the pharmaceutical industry seem to dominate the advertising between your favorite television shows, a close second is the financial services industry with ads aplenty about how company X, Y, or Z can miraculously help you and your family set and meet your life’s goals.
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Wants and Needs in a Pandemic

Amid the ongoing public health and economic calamity caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there are chutes of hope and humanity if we choose to see them. The tragedy is real but so are the opportunities for reflection and readjustment as we continue to work our way through this unprecedented situation.There have been many celebratory events such as graduations, weddings, holiday vacations, and family get togethers that have been rescheduled or put on hold. Few cou
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How to Keep Your Wits When Market Volatility Occurs

Pick any day or a couple of days when markets swoon and one thing is as sure as Newton’s Law of Gravity: the Pavlovian reaction of greed and fear among investors. When you throw in 24/7 news cycles of social media speculation and news with reports lacking historical context...
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Thoughts About the New Normal

We are now weeks into an economic and social environment that few of us could have ever imagined at the beginning of 2020. In its history, this country has weathered numerous recessions and the Great Depression of the 20th Century, but we have never been forced to metaphorically put the economy into a coma due to the country’s gravest public health crisis in over a century. With each passing day, the political pressures are increasing to “reopen” the country to greater economic activity while..
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TSG Slide Presentation

Slide presentation created by The Sedoric Group in response to the current economic environment, global interest rates, and taxes.
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Special Market Update Conference Call

Tom Sedoric and Casey Snyder sat down for a conversation on April 21 to discuss the current economic environment and provide their insights on the unusual economic events of 2020.
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Knowing the True Cost

Shortly before Christmas, the 2020 federal budget bill passed with strong bipartisan majorities and was signed into law by President Trump. As it came amid the holiday season, a possible government shutdown, and an impeachment vote in the House of Representatives, it was easy overlook that the more than $4.6 trillion budget came with the typical additions to federal spending we have seen over the years...
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Forecasting Folly Marches On

Among many things, the New Year brings two inevitable events: the grind of tax season (especially for the unprepared) and a slew of economic and market forecasts that often read like a rejected comedy skit for Saturday Night Live...
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Semi-Annual Conference Call

Tom Sedoric and Casey Snyder host a conversation about the current economic environment, and provide their insights on the unusual economic events of 2019.
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The Sedoric Group 2020 Outlook

The Sedoric Group Outlook is sent to all our clients to provide them with a summary of important financial events and policy changes from the past year. This includes discussion of the themes we see developing in the years ahead and actionable items to consider. The 2020 Outlook provides our take on negative interest rates, an overview of the SECURE Act, and how to reframe risk.
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Understanding Taxes: How to Plan for Changes in Tax Policy

What might you respond to an advisor who emphatically tells you that taxes will, without a doubt, increase in the future? Would you thank them for being a wise fiduciary and for thinking proactively to help you prepare for a future of potential economic and tax volatility?
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The Multiple Dimensions of Risk and Tolerance

Quantifying the essential component of risk tolerance for our clients is no simple matter. For years, accessing risk has been more of an overall psychological assessment than anything. The formula reduced to its basics was a combination of determining how people remember and react to market fluctuations, an honest accounting of their financial habits, and their long-term goals...
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Taking Debt Seriously

When we advise clients that tax rates likely aren’t going to be lower in the foreseeable future, we encourage them to mitigate the risk within their plan and portfolio by working together to create future tax flexibility and efficiency . When they ask us why this will be the case, it is our obligation to educate them about a wide range of issues...
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2019 Year End Letter from The Sedoric Group

It’s hard to believe we’re already talking end-of-year and the holidays, but I guess that’s why they say time is our most precious resource. We write our year-end letter not to burden your inbox, but rather because year-end is a busy time of year for important reasons most people...
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The Negative Yield Black Hole

The headlines of late have been filled with impeachment scenarios in the United States and incompetent leadership in Great Britain as the Brexit countdown to real economic consequences winds down...
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The 401(k) Boondoggle

Without much fanfare in May, the House of Representatives passed one of most significant retirement “saving” pieces of legislation in decades. Known as the SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement), the measure is an attempt by Congress to get more Americans to save for retirement. As of this writing it is hung up in the Senate but elements of the bill will impact us all eventually and we are always wary of cute acronyms...
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Keep Your Recency Bias in Check

Do you know what “recency bias” is? And if so, when was the last time you had a heart to heart conversation with yourself about recency bias? Unlike lawyers in a courtroom, these are intended to be leading questions for a very good reason: little is more detrimental to a portfolio’s long-term health than the belief that the status quo is here to stay...
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The Next Recession? Hold That Thought

When will the next recession hit? This question is often the subject of speculation and guesswork; yet few have an honest answer. It is not a pessimistic query. Investment choices are as much psychological as they are strategic and tremors regarding recessions are real. It’s normal to think that after an abnormally long period of sub-par expansion that economic growth has to end…
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Are Risk Assets Pricey?

Here is the latest update of a popular market valuation method using the most recent Standard & Poor's "as reported" earnings and earnings estimates and the index monthly average of daily closes for the past month. For the earnings, see the table below created from Standard & Poor's latest earnings spreadsheet...
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A Financial Clash Between Generations

Family dinners are likely to be much more interesting in the future. A debate about paying entitlements may be the topic de jour. In an era of increasing political polarization it has become too easy and too simplistic to paint the many combative issues with just a swipe of a broad “Blue vs. Red” brush stroke...
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What Is Tax Loss Harvesting and When Should I Do It?

During volatile down periods in the market such as we saw in December, we were busy for many reasons. We worked with our clients to educate them about what was happening (markets go up and down) but also to perform constructive triage via Tax Loss Harvesting - an important element of a wise investment strategy meant to help save investors’ money over time...
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2019 Stakeholder Report

We thank you in advance for taking the time to read the following synopsis of 2018, some thoughts on the year ahead, our practice update, and a few tax season guidelines.
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The Unexpected is "Normal"

What is one of the top challenges faced by any fiduciary in an era of 24/7 news bombardment? The answer is reminding their clients of this critical fundamental fact: most financial goals will take years of review, honing and attention...
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Holiday Thank You 2018

The Holiday Letters are firing up, our talented team is crafting our own greeting to each of you, and Thanksgiving provided us all with an immense sense of gratitude. Our client’s support during our migration to Steward Partners still brings a flood of emotion for us...
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Planning for Life Events: Housing Transitions

For most people, housing transitions are infrequent, though hugely influential. After paying expenses devoted to taxes, savings, and children, housing-related expenses (mortgage costs, taxes, upkeep and insurance) typically consume the largest percentage of...
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What Is a Market Correction? This Is What It Feels Like

In July of this year, a major investment firm announced that ‘global markets were on track to be the most volatile since 2008’ 1 . For many, this was hard to imagine at the time. Now, not so much. October 2018 was a healthy reminder of what a correction feels like...
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Do Investors Know What Broker Protocol Means?

While we live in most uncertain times, one would like to be assured that “financial advisors” would act as fiduciaries for their clients - placing client needs before their own as well as their firm’s needs...
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Why it's Important to be Aware of Market Cyclicality

After lagging U.S. equities from 2012 through 2016, foreign markets had a huge boost in 2017, with the MSCI Emerging market index generating ~37% gains. 2017 was also the second year in a row during which all mainstream asset classes were positive. This was a fun result, especially for the disciplined and global investor, and one very few expected, given the geopolitical climate heading into 2017. And while investors may have hoped for the same events to transpire this year...
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The Virtue of Stewardship

The reference dictionary.com defines the word “steward” as “a person who acts as a surrogate of another or others, especially by managing property, financial affairs, an estate, etc.”
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The Sedoric Group Q&A

Please enjoy this insight into the why and the how of our new partnership with Steward Partners and relationship with Raymond James evolved and developed. We thank you for your patience, encouragement and support in making this transition as seamless and productive as possible...
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Preparing for the Future Today

The future landscape of the financial services industry continues to knock, knock, knock on the door today - and every day. Whether financial services firms will be welcomed in the future, or not, will likely determine if they will survive. How might the current firms even thrive in a tomorrow that is rapidly changing and being structured now is unknown...
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A Sharing Economy Comes With a Price

Our economy is spawning a new sector of micro-entrepreneurs and, while the current overall economic impact is minor (not unlike Amazon in 2000), this technological transformation is expected to explode in the next decade...
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2018 Stakeholder Report

The Sedoric Group has never been more energized to help clients reach their desired destination in this environment. We are fiduciaries and everything we do is with our client’s goals and objectives in mind. It is because of you we continue to invest in the evolution of our team and the array of services we provide. We thank you in advance for taking the time to read our annual Stakeholder Report and promise that whatever 2018 has in store...
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What is the Protocol for Broker Recruiting?

Imagine a sports team with aging “stars” that are hard to replace, fans who invest their hardearned money and deserve the best, and team owners having trouble adapting to a new...
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Educational Reconsideration and the College Debt Crisis

Among his many talents, founding father Benjamin Franklin had a knack for getting to the core of transcendent issues of his times and remarkably ours too. The self-taught Franklin became a success because he understood rightly in the 18th Century that...
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The Cost of Raising a Child

A decade or two ago it would have been inconceivable for Americans to consider their family size as an economic decision. Even bringing it up now seems slightly un-American. No matter what the family size was during the unprecedented post-World War II economic boom, it felt that standards of living would continue to rise and rise. For many, that model has now been reduced to a nostalgic mirage...
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Will the Can Kick Back?

Regular readers know that we are not shy about tackling controversial issues that impact both our clients and the larger society. The very real and potential generational battle about the future is one deserving of thoughtful consideration and discussion. This subtle clash is in the form of an inter-generational conflict between...
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Critical Thinking

The myriad choices we make over a lifetime regarding our finances, education, health, family, social life, and career often have a cumulative and profound impact on our financial security and our ability to enjoy the fruits of our labor. In an era of uncertain, and likely lower, financial...
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Is A House an Asset or Not?

Just as we have questioned the true value and cost of higher education in an era of increasing student loan debt (and stagnating wages), how we handle the questions of where to live and how much to spend on housing should also come under scrutiny...
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2017 Stakeholder Report

The annual Stakeholder Report is sent to all clients to prove a look back at the previous year. The report also provides news about the practice and our team...
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The Active or Passive Management Debate

After almost 8 years in a U.S. bull market, there seems to be an incessant drumbeat for passive investment strategies by both institutional and individual investors alike. The ongoing debate around active vs. passive management stems from the fact that on average...
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The Dilemma of the Rising Cost of Higher Education

Never has the need for education been so great, yet never have the majority of options consumed such a high percentage of gross income, nor left students with such burdening sums of student loan debt. No state represents this conundrum better than New Hampshire which was recently ranked first for the highest average ...
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How Clients Communicate

Today, everyone has their own unique style of communication, and these various modes can be both a blessing and a curse for the engaged relationship. However, it is a real dilemma when a client chooses to sporadically siphon information using various mediums and neglects to openly and consistently communicate with those they’ve installed as partners in their financial security...
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Getting the Details Right: Estate Planning Checklist

Imagine this scenario: A client has a number of various retirement accounts that have grown over decades of work. The client has divorced and remarried. Years later, her first husband passes away for any number of reasons (a busy life and career to name a few), yet remains the beneficiary of...
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Low Rates and Complacency

Expectations can be a funny beast. When I was in college and then early in my career in the 1970s, my father and his friends felt ‘terrible’ about the world being handed to my generation. It was the end of the Vietnam War and for the first time an American President had resigned. There was skyrocketing inflation and soaring interest rates (also known by that dreaded term of stagflation), and the post-World War II era of cheap oil that...
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Sequence Matters

Of all the tools at the disposal of investors, few people recognize the financial significance of sequencing. Sequencing has the potential to add great value, but when ignored can be a devastating mistake for those seeking financial security and independence. In fact, when it comes to financial decisions, proper sequencing is as important as...
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These are the Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor

What does planning-dependent mean? First, it requires a sense of clarity about expectations, opportunities, risks, weaknesses and sequence. Whether it’s at the beginning phase of accumulating your first nest egg or later on in the process, it is critical to know why you are investing before considering what you should actually invest in...
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Tax Efficient Investing Across The Generations

Taxes are typically our greatest lifetime expense and we make every effort to mitigate their drag on our clients’ retirement portfolios. During our three decades of helping families in their quest for retirement security...
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The Era of Coflation

Historians will likely look back at this post-2009 period as one of coflation. A caveat is worthy here because if you haven’t heard of this, you aren’t alone. It is a new concept first mentioned in 2010, and expanded upon in our practice over the past 5 years. It helps us explain to clients what is happening today at both macro and micro levels...
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Lunch with Paul Volcker

Recently, I had the pleasure of an extended lunch with one of my all-time heroes, Paul Volcker, former Fed Chairman (1979-1987) and the first Chair of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board (2009-2011). I was curious to learn and discuss his opinion on many economic and political topics, but in particular how the Volcker Rule has played out as part of the larger Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation...
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Buy Low, Sell High - or Don't

Three years ago, I wrote about the S&P 500 based on valuations from a historical perspective and subsequent returns. The results were clear: low starting valuations were followed by high returns, and high starting valuations were followed by low returns...
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Jim Rothenberg and The Multiplier Effect

A picture of Jim Rothenberg has hung proudly in my office for many years. I considered Rothenberg as one of my earliest mentors in a distant way – we met five times in 30 years. His recent death at the age of 69 was not only stunning for family, friends, and admirers...
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How Not To Fail In Retirement: Setting A Retirement Budget

We recently read an academic article titled “Why Clients Fail at Retirement,” that caused us to reflect again on the many dimensions of the client/adviser relationship. The thoughtful article written by Evan Simonoff in Financial Advisor magazine...
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Is There Value in Advice?

What is the value of financial advice? It is an interesting and debated question. Ultimately, the value depends on how well the advisor knows his or her client, how well the investor knows and can communicate what they want and need...
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Questioning Global Investment Diversification

After a five year bull market in U.S. equities, many investors may be questioning the purpose of owning anything other than a U.S. index fund – I understand, I’m human too. Anyone who hasn’t questioned the proposed benefits of global diversification...
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On Mentoring

Three years ago, I posted a column about the importance of mentoring and reverse mentoring in one’s life and career. In retrospect, the word “importance” may have been an understatement...
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Do Financial Advisors Practice What They Preach?

We recently posted a MarketWatch column titled The Most Important Question to Ask a Fund Manager that outlines key criteria for selecting an asset manager. Chuck Jaffe at Dow Jones sums up the research succinctly: “…
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Good for Gamma

If one is candid with one’s clients, then managing expectations is a vital part of one’s job - especially in challenging and uncertain economic times such as these.
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In Praise of Competent Tax Counsel

Another hectic tax season is safely in our rear view mirror and we recently hosted a quarterly conference call for our clients to discuss the road ahead. Our client calls typically cover a wide range of topics including portfolio actions, economic commentary...
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The Myth of Tax Deferral Revisited

I’m puzzled why there are not more discussions and articles about tax efficiency and investments - particularly when it comes to the issue of tax deferral. There are myriad posts on the importance of expense ratios, performance and management but very little is ever written on the significance of...
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What Steinem Taught Me

What does it mean to be a feminist today, less than a century after women constitutionally secured the right to vote? And, what does it mean for men?
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Bias Confirmed

Confirmation bias, the tendency of people to seek and embrace information that matches their existing beliefs and paradigm, is one of the many flaws we humans have when it comes to using data in our personal and professional lives...
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Civic Engagement

A while back I wrote on the notion of hedging one’s citizenship and Emersonian self-reliance in response to the policy and political disorder that seemingly continues to surround us. The goal of hedging one’s citizenship is to embrace one’s duties as a citizen or look elsewhere...
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Beyond Asset Allocation

What is the difference between asset allocation and asset location? It is a simple distinction that too many investors, or even their advisors, don’t understand to their detriment...
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The Velocity of Investing

Financial advisors should not only be strong strategists for their clients but be equally passionate educators. There is no subject that gets me going more than market volatility in general and in particular the potential dangers of high frequency trading (HFT). Volatility is a part of...
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INET in New Hampshire

The ghost of systemic economic collapse in 2008 and 2009 loomed over the recent INET conference at Bretton Woods like the dirt crusted snow on the White Mountains. The Institute for New Economic Thinking’s second official meeting was held...
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KIPPERS for the Holidays

What is KIPPERS and why is it becoming an important term to know? It’s one of the most astute slang terms I’ve heard in years and is an acronym: Kids Invading Parental Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings – namely adult children who are, or should be, financially independent in their working years...
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Self-Reliance Revisited

In his essay on “Self-Reliance,” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote something dear to the heart of all financial advisors: “The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks. See the line from a sufficient distance, and it straightened itself to the average tendency.”
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