Volatility, Emotions, and the Transition to Retirement

Retirement is arguably one of the largest life transitions you will ever experience, and the changes that accompany this major life achievement can make many, if not all pre-retirees, emotional. From no longer seeing your colleagues on a daily basis, to wondering what you will do to fill up your free time, the list can go on and on. Change is scary, and graduating to this new chapter of your life will bring up a host of financial and personal concerns.

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Top 5 Ways to Spend Leftover 529 Funds

The original purpose of a 529 plan is to pay for a college education, but what should you do if your child or grandchild graduates and you have money left over? If you are one of the individuals fortunate enough to be in this position, you are not without options. Let's review 5 options for you to choose from.

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How Could COVID-19 and ESG Affect Executive Compensation?

Published in the Baltimore Business Journal on September 17, 2020

To say that we are in unprecedented times would be an understatement. In the context of business, what has happened in the last six months as a result of the pandemic, social unrest and ensuing global social issues related to labor, the supply chain and employee safety has highlighted discrepancies between executive and average employee compensation, putting imbalances front and center.

The result? Economic consequences will cause investors to scrutinize the existing structure of executive pay and how to incentivize corporate bosses to put greater focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

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Should You Add Gold to Your Investment Portfolio?

Gold has been a valuable and highly coveted commodity for centuries. Unlike other common investment asset classes, you can touch gold, see gold, and keep it in your physical possession. And since gold values tend to move inversely to the stock market, it is often sought after when the markets tank or the value of the US dollar weakens as it is now in the summer of 2020. Gold is also touted as a good way to hedge against inflation. But despite its historical popularity and namesake as being a “safer” investment option in a financial crisis, investing in gold is not without its own risks.

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“Following the Herd” Mentality

Herding refers to the instinctive habit of people to imitate the financial behavior of a majority. Herding is based on the idea that people feel most comfortable following the crowd and tend to assume that the consensus view is the correct one. In financial markets, this takes place when investors believe others to be better informed than themselves and follow them almost blindly, disregarding their own information and market fundamentals.

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Why are stocks recovering as the economy declines?

Since hitting record lows in March, the stock market has made quite a rebound, with the S&P 500 up more than 36% through the end of May. Not only did the COVID-19 pandemic catalyze one of the quickest bear market drops in history, but also one of the fastest rebounds! How can stocks be soaring if the economy isn’t getting any better? How can we account for this timely bounce back without any key performance indicators to signal a recovery?

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3 Money Smart Ways to Reinvest Your COVID-19 College Tuition Refund

Has your college canceled its in-person and online classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Unfortunately, this has become the norm this spring. Social isolation has rendered continuing education for the 2019-2020 school year impassable. A plethora of students are unable to complete their courses prompting many colleges to offer refunds for tuition and fees. But what is the best way to repurpose your college refund for the future?

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How to Protect Your Assets at Each Life Stage

Do insurance options seem overwhelming at times? It can be tricky to navigate the many different plan types and terminologies to find the right fit for your needs. Unfortunately, most people know very little about insurance, 90% of Americans aren’t even comfortable explaining basic terms like premium or deductible. Insurance needs to change as we age and move through different stages of our lives. The same policy or plan that benefits you today could very well be a poor choice for you later down the road.

Use this guide to help determine which policies you do and don’t need throughout your life.

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How to Take Advantage of the Market Downturn

Unfortunately, many investors aren’t aware that there are ways to leverage market downturns to take advantage of future recovery periods. Consider following some of these strategies our financial planners have recommended to recovery gains and potentially improve your long-term returns.

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Advice for Investing in Turbulent Times

Published in the Baltimore Business Journal on April 2, 2020

There is a certain comfort knowing everyone, including the most seasoned investment managers, has been blindsided by the COVID-19 virus and that we are all going through the same thing. Gary Williams has been a financial advisor for 25 years, let's take a look at what he has been telling his clients about their investments and the markets.

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