Municipal Bond ETF’s Still Have Illinois Bonds

July 1, 2017ETF's, News No Comments
Top Exchange Traded Funds are still Invested in Illinois The largest Exchange Traded Funds (ETF's) in the country are still holding the debt of Illinois. Technically speaking, all 50 states have always had Investment Grade bonds. That is, their bonds are rated at or above Standard & Poor's BBB rating (Moody's Baa rating). ETF's have [...]

The Case for Gold in a Variable Annuity

June 10, 2017Investing No Comments
The Vehicle Gold as an investment is as old as it is controversial. Warren Buffett is not a fan of it. 1 First Eagle Global Value Fund's senior leader Jean Marie Eveillard believes gold "cannot be overvalued." 2 Former Federal Reserve Bank chief Alan Greenspan ruminated even ruminated on gold recently: "Gold is a currency. It is still, [...]

Municipal Bonds Don’t Believe in Trump Tax Reform

June 2, 2017News No Comments
Do Municipal Bonds Believe the Tax Reform Hype? The bond market is a highly opinionated market. The yields and total return of bond markets reflect investors' sentiments on not only today's prevailing interest rates, but all income over the lifetime of a given type and maturity of bond. For example, a 10 year Treasury Bond's [...]

Portland Housing Prices Increase in March

May 30, 2017News, Real Estate 1 Comment
Portland Real Estate Index Increases Again Portland Real Estate had its largest month-over-month increase of 2017 in March. The Portland Case Shiller housing price index jumped 1.03% from February to March, beating the national average rate of increase. This new data from Standard & Poor's is interesting, given local media reports that apartment rental prices [...]

What’s in the Trump Budget Proposal?

May 24, 2017Uncategorized No Comments
What's in the Trump Budget Proposal? On Tuesday, May 23rd, the Trump administration released it's first budget proposal. The Trump budget proposal contains many "deep" cuts, many of which are attracting media and finance sector attention. There are also notable expansions in the budgets of select Agencies and programs, all of which we will detail. [...]

Housing vs REIT’s: Investing in Real Estate

May 23, 2017Investing, Real Estate No Comments
Housing versus REIT's Real Estate is a unique class of investment. For many, Real Estate is both the largest asset and the largest liability in their financial life. We have classic personal finance dichotomies such as "own versus rent" related to Real Estate. Even the sages of the Talmud weighed in on the topic of Real Estate investment, with [...]

Global Economic Growth

May 13, 2017Investing No Comments
Global Economic Growth What predicates strong economic growth? We look at one World Bank study The Global Growth Study In 2008, the World Bank funded a study by Nobel Prize winner Michael Spence to answer questions such as "why have only 13 developing world economies achieved sustained, high growth since World War II?" 1 The 198 [...]

Closed-End Funds: An Introduction

May 12, 2017Investing No Comments
Closed-End Funds: An Investment Company The Investment Company Act of 1940 established the framework for today's "funds." Closed-End Funds (CEF's) are one of the four main investment company types commonly operating, the other three being the Mutual Fund, the Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), and the Unit Investment Trust (UIT). Closed-End funds are professionally managed investment companies that [...]

Pacific Northwest Economic Growth Leads U.S. According to BLS Report

April 10, 2017News No Comments
Oregon, Idaho, Washington Lead US Average in Recent Economic Report Pacific Northwest Relatively Strong in the BLS Coincident Economic Activity Index for January, 2017 The Index Every month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes an index of Coincident Economic Activity for all 50 states. This coincident index is produced a number of days after [...]

US March Jobs Growth Disappoints

April 7, 2017News No Comments
US March Jobs Grew by 98,000 Though the economy added March jobs, it did so at half the expected rate of 180,000 The Index The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports on job growth monthly. It's a widely watched statistic, as it is considered to predict broader economic growth and gauge the health of the [...]