­

About Brian Robertson

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Brian Robertson has created 14 blog entries.

On Guard for the Fragile Decade

Some call it the “fragile decade,” that first 10 years of retirement when market movements can have a profound effect on a portfolio’s ability to sustain income and financial security for the years ahead.  It has a lot to do with the sequencing of returns. In the years leading up to retirement, many investors have discretionary income to make meaningful contributions to retirement savings, and they’re not yet drawing from those nest eggs.  If markets are down, they’re buying in at lower prices with better upside prospects ahead.  But once that employment income must be replaced, at least in part, [...]

A New Oil Paradigm Shuffles the Deck

A plunge in oil prices is feeding consumer pocketbooks and reshuffling the economic and strategic cards across the globe. OPEC’s recent decision to sustain current production levels looks like a high stakes game of chicken.  These countries produce 40% of global oil but failed to anticipate the magnitude of the U.S. production surge – up 80% in six years.  That increase is greater than the output of every OPEC country except Saudi Arabia.  And it has coincided with recovering production in some previous trouble spots just as economic activity appears to have stalled in some key corners of the world. [...]

Roth IRAs Are Increasingly Popular, Especially With Younger Investors

Analysis released last year by the Internal Revenue Service shows younger investors are choosing Roth IRAs over the traditional variety in large numbers.  Fund manager T. Rowe Price confirms that as of year-end 2013, investors under 34 have eight times more money in Roth IRAs than in traditional IRAs. There’s logic to that, assuming young investors are looking at currently low marginal tax rates, lots of years to enjoy tax-deferred growth, and easier access to a portion of their Roth assets if a need arises a few years down the road.  But as those same workers edge into higher marginal [...]

A SIMPLE Plan

I recently set up a SIMPLE IRA plan for a business in Corvallis. Their goal was to help their employees save for retirement while not spending a small fortune on administrative costs.  If this is the case for your business, you may want to take a look at a SIMPLE IRA plan. Who is eligible: Businesses with less than 100 employees, tax-exempt organizations, and government entities. Who must be covered:  Any employee earning $5,000 during any two preceding years. Required Employer Contribution: Dollar-for-dollar match up to 3% of pay OR 2% of gross pay up to $245,000 for all eligible participants who earn [...]

Will Stock Selling by Boomers Tank the Market?

For the better part of two decades some market sages have warned that stocks could face a stiff, steady headwind as retiring baby boomers trim their equity holdings in favor of more conservative allocations and start spending their nest eggs. It’s the flipside of the view that the great bull market of the 1980s and ‘90s was partly fueled by the boomers surging into the prime earning and saving phase of their lives. Demographics certainly can influence markets, but it’s probably more of an indirect effect tied to the relative dynamism of the national economy. Recent studies question the idea [...]

Bonds Can Be Risky

If you own individual bonds or bonds within mutual funds, you may want to start taking a more cautious approach to your bond investing.  Although bonds are typically considered a relatively safe investment, we may be entering a period where bond prices could be volatile. We are seeing signs that interest rates could be moving up in the near future.  Rising interest rates are not a good thing for bond investors as bonds generally lose value when rates rise.  For example, if you own a bond that matures in 10 years, or own a bond fund with an average maturity [...]

Traditional IRA Vs. Roth IRA

Let’s explore some of the differences between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. With a traditional IRA, your contributions may be tax-deductible and can grow tax-deferred. In retirement, traditional IRA distributions are taxable as ordinary income. With a Roth IRA, your contributions are non-deductible, but have the opportunity to grow tax free. At retirement age, distributions from a Roth IRA are tax free. Here is a list of some of the primary differences: Traditional IRA Roth IRA Tax Treatment of Contributions: Tax-deductible Non-deductible Tax Treatment of Distributions: Taxable as ordinary income Tax free Mandatory Distributions: Mandatory at age 70.5 [...]

Core Investing Beliefs Part 2: Managing an Investment Portfolio

In the last post, we talked about our first core investing belief, that asset allocation is the most important decision in investment management. This post introduces our second core investing belief, that changing financial markets require continuous monitoring and tactical flexibility. This philosophy is contrary to the typical buy-and-hold approach that investors have been persuaded to embrace. Many people are convinced the proper way to invest is to simply leave their money in the market and hope for a decent return. We believe there is a better way! We feel investors should emulate the large, institutional investors by taking a [...]

Core Investing Beliefs Part 1

We have 2 primary investment beliefs: 1)   That asset allocation is the most important decision in investment management. 2)   That changing financial markets require continuous monitoring and tactical flexibility. This post focuses on asset allocation and we’ll address the second core belief in the next post. Asset Allocation is simply the term we use in the financial industry to describe how your money is invested in all of the various investment options available, and in what proportion.  For example, if you have a financial advisor making the asset allocation decisions for you, they are deciding how much you should be investing [...]