Capstone Connections

Investment Perspective – 1st Quarter 2019

International stock markets declined throughout 2018, and investor pessimism eventually pulled U.S. stocks down sharply at the end of the year. While stocks finished 2018 down 5.2% in the U.S. and 14.8% internationally, both went through “bear markets”: declines of 20% or more from recent peaks. The significant fall across stocks that had finished 2017 with double-digit returns reflected a healthy, albeit painful readjustment of lofty investor expectations… Continue reading

Posted in Investment Perspective, Investment Planning |

Our Perspectives on Recent Market Volatility

During the last three months of 2018, stock markets around the world sold off as investors became increasingly apprehensive about a global economic slowdown. Concerns about a slowdown actually started earlier in the year. Tariffs and threats of such slowed international trade, impacting China and Europe. Meanwhile, unfavorable currency movements hurt emerging market countries across the board that are heavily dependent on imports, exports, and international investment. More recently, investors are concerned that the slowdown is spreading and might eventually hurt the U.S. economy… Continue reading

Posted in Investment Planning, Topical |

2 Types of Insurance to Protect Your Family’s Long-Term Financial Security

According to the Social Security Administration, a person who turned twenty years old in 2017 has a 6.1% chance of dying before normal retirement age and a 26.8% chance of becoming disabled. As sobering as these statistics are, they are very much a reality of life. As with most financial decisions, the need for life insurance and disability insurance depends on an individual’s situation… Continue reading

Posted in Insurance Planning |

How to Protect Your Personal Assets from Lawsuits

It is nearly guaranteed you will see at least one billboard advertising legal services when you drive on a highway these days. Although accident and injury litigation are seemingly advertised the most, family and business conflict litigation are common as well. Due to the widespread use of “contingency fees”, individuals can sue one another without having to pay a dime in legal fees. Given the realities of this environment, the risk of loss that exists for individuals with significant assets is extremely high. The good news is that proper asset protection planning can help ensure that one’s assets are shielded from most legal claims… Continue reading

Posted in Estate Planning |

Capstone Welcomes John Koenig, CFP® as Financial Planner

Capstone Financial Advisors is pleased to announce the addition of John Koenig, CFP® as a Financial Planner. In his role, John will work with Capstone’s Senior Wealth Advisors to assist in the development and implementation of customized financial plans and advice for clients… Continue reading

Posted in Firm Updates |

Our Perspectives on Recent Market Volatility

It’s always hard to pinpoint exactly what causes market volatility like what we’ve experienced recently. This time around, it’s been a confluence of factors including, but not limited to, interest rate increases, currency movements, and trade tensions. Regardless of the causes, the result has been a quick and sharp sell-off in global stock markets, with technology stocks and emerging market country stocks leading the way down. Investor sentiment shifted quickly from elevated levels of optimism to pessimism… Continue reading

Posted in Investment Planning, Topical |

Investment Perspective – 4th Quarter 2018

The U.S. stock market has started to recover from the inflation- and trade-fueled risk that put last year’s strong rally on hold for most of 2018. A strengthening economy and double-digit corporate earnings growth have been keys to pushing the U.S. stock market to all-time highs. For International stocks, the story has been different especially in emerging markets, where trade tensions, currency moves, and political and economic disruptions have offset otherwise solid fundamentals… Continue reading

Posted in Investment Perspective, Investment Planning |

Should You Buy Long-Term Care Insurance?

Individuals age 65 or older are the fastest growing age group today and are expected to be over 25% of the population in the next 50 years. With an aging population comes an increased need for medical assistance. When coupled with advances in modern medicine and the resulting increase in life expectancies, people now require medical care for an even longer period of time. This increase in medical assistance will only mean an increase in future medical expenses for most families… Continue reading

Posted in Insurance Planning |

4 Ways to Optimize Your Itemized Deductions

Clients often ask if they will be able to itemize deductions on their tax return to claim more deductions than the “standard deduction”. The standard deduction differs depending on your filing status, but it is a flat amount that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows all qualified taxpayers to deduct from their income every year. In comparison, a taxpayer’s itemized deduction amount varies from year to year depending on actual expenses. As deductions reduce taxable income, no one wants expenses that could reduce their tax bill to go unused… Continue reading

Posted in Tax Planning |

4 Long Term Ways to Give to Charity

In contrast to traditional methods that typically involve budgeting for one-time annual donations directly to charity, “planned giving” involves making significant gifts to charities that are arranged in the present to be granted in future years. Several well-known planned giving strategies allow one to formally structure the timing and amount of charitable donations to help achieve various financial and tax planning goals… Continue reading

Posted in Charitable Planning |