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The Bond Conversation
The Bond Conversation

Interest rates rise, bond prices fall. Rates go up, prices go down. A short conversation between father and son about bonds and how they work.

Curtis Gross
Market Correction - August 2015

No doubt that the recent stock market volatility has captured your attention over the past few days.  To help clients process this information, we thought it might be helpful to offer a historical perspective to recent events.  Performance of the equity markets over the past 5 years has clouded investors prospective of how volatile the stock market can be.

J. Michael Martin
Our Portfolio Response to China's Devaluation

Last Wednesday, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced a 1.9% devaluation of its currency, the largest in its history! The Dow Jones Industrial Average quickly plunged to a new low for 2015, down about 1.5% in just a couple hours! The dollar price of the 10 yr. U.S. Treasury bond rose +1.2% on the news, and European stocks closed down -2.7% on the day (London closes at 11:00 AM New York time).

The Fiduciary Standard and What It Means to You
The Fiduciary Standard and What It Means to You

When looking for help from experts in the financial world, a common concern is how to choose who to trust. Financial professionals are governed by guidelines to ensure that they do not take advantage of their privileged position. These guidelines are codified under a “standard of care.”

There are two very distinct standards of care for financial professionals: the fiduciary standard and the suitability standard. 

FAI Senior Advisor, Mark Stinson, Named Baltimore SmartCEO Magazine's Top Money Manager Awards Finalist
FAI Senior Advisor, Mark Stinson, Named Baltimore SmartCEO Magazine's Top Money Manager Awards Finalist

FAI Senior Advisor Mark Stinson was recently recognized as a finalist for the 2015 Baltimore SmartCEO Magazine's Top Money Manager Awards! Congrats, Mark!

The Grandparent "Gotcha" in 529 College Savings Plans!
The Grandparent "Gotcha" in 529 College Savings Plans!

Merely opening a 529 for a grandchild does not affect the grandchild’s eligibility for financial aid because a 529 owned by a grandparent is not reportable on the Federal Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA). However, withdrawals from the grandparent’s account to pay for college is treated as untaxed income to the grandchild.

Three Ways FAI Reduces Your Taxes With Portfolio Management
Three Ways FAI Reduces Your Taxes With Portfolio Management

Everyone likes making money on their investments, but most people don’t like having to pay taxes on those returns. Interestingly, only certain portions of your investment return are subject to taxes in any given year. Interest and dividends are taxable in the year made (unless they are earned in a tax-deferred account such as an IRA or 401(k).

Plan Now For Your 2018 Medicare Premium
Plan Now For Your 2018 Medicare Premium

Since Medicare rates are increasing substantially in 2018 (as much as 30% for high income recipients), Early and Happy may not want to defer income into 2016 because this may increase their 2018 Medicare premiums.

The State of Maryland Loses Double Taxation Case in the U.S. Supreme Court
The State of Maryland Loses Double Taxation Case in the U.S. Supreme Court

On May 18, the Supreme Court of the U.S. determined, in Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland versus Wynne, that the State of Maryland can no longer “double” tax residents that work outside of Maryland. Hope explained to Early that she lives in Columbia, Maryland and her business is located in Virginia, but she is paying state tax to Maryland and Virginia.

J. Michael Martin
FAI Investment Outlook 3Q 2015

Before the markets  opened on Monday, June 29th, the S&P 500 was sporting a ho–hum YTD total return (e.g. price change plus dividends) of 3.1%. But the last two trading days of 2Q were bogged down with worries about unmanageable debts in Greece and Puerto Rico; falling prices smacked the total return for stocks in the first six months of the year down to just 1.2%!