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Infinium’s Mark Starosciak was interviewed by local Denver TV station today

08.14.2013

Fox 31 News Denver stopped by Infinium's office today to speak to me about the ever-rising cost of raising a child. After reading over the USDA report, the most shocking fact was the $250k+ number they quoted up to age 18 didn't even include the cost of college! So tack on an additional $50-$100k in today's dollars (or even more for out-of-state or private) and you come up with a really big number. 

Fox 31 News Interviews Infinium Investment Advisors' Mark Starosciak

 

Mark S. Starosciak, Managing Partner & Financial Advisor

Infinium Investment Advisors

 

Opinions and views expressed by our Financial Advisors are provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment or tax advice. Content on this website is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security or financial product, or investment strategy. The ideas expressed on this site are solely the opinions of the Financial Advisor(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of firms affiliated with the author(s). The author(s) may or may not have a position in any security referenced herein. Consult your investment and/or tax adviser before making any investment decisions for its appropriateness in your personal situation

One of Our Favorite Money Managers Knows He’s Smarter Than Ben Bernanke

06.19.2013

Michael Aronstein is one of our favorite money managers mostly because he is so pragmatic and debunks a lot of the myths in the financial markets. He tries to pay attention to only those data points that matter, and forget about everything else. He has a venerable track record and is always full of tons of market wisdom. The link below is to an interview he recently gave to Bloomberg where he lays out the case for why the Fed is always behind the curve and is a lagging indicator, not a leading indicator of what is to come:

Michael Aronstein on Bloomberg

As always, please consult your own financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

 

Mark S. Starosciak, Managing Partner & Financial Advisor

Infinium Investment Advisors

 

Opinions and views expressed by our Financial Advisors are provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment or tax advice. Content on this website is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security or financial product, or investment strategy. The ideas expressed on this site are solely the opinions of the Financial Advisor(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of firms affiliated with the author(s). The author(s) may or may not have a position in any security referenced herein. Consult your investment and/or tax adviser before making any investment decisions for its appropriateness in your personal situation.

Mr. Market Says, “Take your Medicine!”

05.14.2013

"Take one's medicine: to undergo or accept punishment, especially deserved punishment"

www.dictionary.com

 

Wait a minute; I thought a thundering bull market was suppose to help investors, not hurt them! Unfortunately for many people (including the professionals) who have remained stubbornly bearish, the recent run higher has exposed the huge opportunity cost they have suffered by avoiding stocks. In essence, the bears are now forced to "take their medicine" and realize that, despite all of the negative headlines over the past several years, markets heal and recover. There is no denying this fact now given the NASDAQ, Dow, and S&P 500 are all at post-crisis highs. Whether or not this rally continues and for how long is a completely different question that we address below. 

A popular saying in the investment business is "price is truth." Translated this means that the current value of the markets reflects what the majority of investors believe at any given time. Not to say that the masses are always correct; indeed, they often get it wrong but price does provide us a window into the minds of all market participants.

So the natural question is, "Does the market have it correct right now?" The short answer is yes given a variety of broad trends that are currently happening today: a housing recovery, better employment, historically low interest rates, central banks around the world pumping money into the system, and little political noise out of Europe to name a few. So let's be clear, all of these are positive catalysts for growth.

However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the markets and the economy are not joined at the hip. Frequently they are quite disconnected and sometimes move in a direction completely opposite of what one might expect. Misinterpreting this relationship is one of the most deadly mistakes we see investors make when managing their hard-earned savings.

Speaking of Federal Reserve liquidity and money printing, many voices we hear today believe that's the real reason the markets are going up.  The logic follows that once the Fed takes away the easy money punch bowl, that will sink the markets. Not so fast. The chart below shows the strong relationship between initial jobless claims (inverted) and the S&P 500. As claims rise, the market falls and vice versa. The idea that liquidity in the markets is solely responsible for this run up is not founded in fact; what is certain is that less people are filing for unemployment benefits and presumably they are instead finding work. And when people are working, they are making their rent and mortgage payments, they are going on vacations, quite possibly saving money via a company retirement plan, and overall consuming goods and services. Remember, the US economy is more than 2/3 driven by consumer spending and more jobs means more spending. In our opinion, initial jobless claims is a key indicator to watch and an uptick in that data point may very well coincide with a market top.

sandpvsinitialclaimsMay10

Courtesy of www.businessinsider.com and Federal Reserve Economic Data http://www.federalreserve.gov

 

Given the generally positive environment we see today, Infinium Investment Advisors must be equally as bullish, right? Hardly. Regular readers of our blog and viewers of our video updates know we are contrarians by nature. Experience shows us that if you follow the crowd for too long, you will fall into the trap of underperforming and missing highly profitable opportunities. Last year our case for stocks centered around the fact that far too many investors wanted nothing to do with stocks. Even though the trajectory has been solidly up since the bottom in March 2009, investors have largely steered clear of equities and favored bonds, cash and even precious metals like gold. It's funny, though, that the point of maximum profit potentially usually coincides with the point of maximum pessimism.

Our last update discussed the fact that when fear turns to greed, momentum alone can carry the markets higher and farther than most people believe is possible and logical. We are quickly approaching the point where these markets have exhausted in the short-term and gravity pulls them back into a normal range. Many indicators that we watch are telling us to be cautious here; not necessarily outright bearish since the averages are up somewhere in the neighborhood of +14% year-to-date, but rather, the market will return to a reasonable back-and-forth, instead of straight up. So the risk/reward is less-than-favorable here and investors need to tread very carefully when considering putting new capital to work in riskier assets.

Finally, what do investors do today that may have been overly bearish and missed out on this bull run? Our view is, take your medicine, admit you were wrong, and sit down with a financial planner who can craft for you a sound investment strategy. There are far too many traps in today's markets that can sidetrack you and really hurt your chances at financial success. This doesn't mean to run out and load up on stocks here as making wholesale changes in your allocation is rarely the correct move.

Take the time to map out what your money needs to do for you and when. You owe this to yourself and your family. 

 

Mark S. Starosciak, Managing Partner & Financial Advisor

Infinium Investment Advisors

 

Opinions and views expressed by our Financial Advisors are provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment or tax advice. Content on this website is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security or financial product, or investment strategy. The ideas expressed on this site are solely the opinions of the Financial Advisor(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of firms affiliated with the author(s). The author(s) may or may not have a position in any security referenced herein. Consult your investment and/or tax adviser before making any investment decisions for its appropriateness in your personal situation.

IRA Rollover / 401k Rollover Chart

05.13.2013

Here is the latest IRA Rollover / 401k Rollover Chart from the IRS:

 

www.IRS.gov

 

Mark S. Starosciak, Managing Partner & Financial Advisor

Infinium Investment Advisors

 

Opinions and views expressed by our Financial Advisors are provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment or tax advice. Content on this website is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security or financial product, or investment strategy. The ideas expressed on this site are solely the opinions of the Financial Advisor(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of firms affiliated with the author(s). The author(s) may or may not have a position in any security referenced herein. Consult your investment and/or tax adviser before making any investment decisions for its appropriateness in your personal situation.

Consider A 401k Roth Conversion Now

02.18.2013

All of the bickering in Washington over the Fiscal Cliff actually resulted in a new and interesting option for 401k (457, 403b, etc.) savers -- the ability to convert an existing company-sponsored retirement plan into a Roth retirement plan.

Here's how it works: Prior to the Fiscal Cliff negotiations, only "distributable" company retirement plan assets could be converted into a Roth. Now, the Feds are allowing anyone with a plan balance to convert those dollars into a Roth-based account. Your employer must already offer (or begin to offer) a Roth option, and allow for the conversion. Check with your HR representative to find out the details of your particular plan.

Rarely does the Federal government offer we tax payers a "deal" on anything; so what's the rub you ask? Upon conversion, the amount redesignated into tthe Roth-based account will become taxable, thus creating the potential revenue windfall for the IRS. In fact, Congress has estimated the take could be as high as $12 billion if enough savers make the conversion.

As financial advisors, we are always trying to assess if a certain strategy makes sense for our clients, and in this case, we cannot endorse this move without first looking at your overall financial picture. If you would like Infinium to review your situation, please contact us or schedule an introductory phone call by clicking this link:

Schedule Call

This article summarizes the latest changes to investor's 401k Roth Converstion option:

401k-to-Roth 401k Conversion

 

Mark S. Starosciak, Managing Partner & Financial Advisor

Infinium Investment Advisors

 

 

Opinions and views expressed by our Financial Advisors are provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment or tax advice. Content on this website is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security or financial product, or investment strategy. The ideas expressed on this site are solely the opinions of the Financial Advisor(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of firms affiliated with the author(s). The author(s) may or may not have a position in any security referenced herein. Consult your investment and/or tax adviser before making any investment decisions for its appropriateness in your personal situation

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