Menu Width:
# of Menus
Menu Item Width
 
Login

STAARBlog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Posted by in News

May 8, 2017

By J. André Weisbrod

Do you regret some major financial decisions?  Most people do.

In 2016 Bankrate.com published results of a survey that found only 17% of Americans said they had no financial regrets.  The biggest regrets were:

·         Not saving for retirement early enough

·         Not saving for emergency expenses

·         Taking on too much student loan debt

·         Taking on too much credit card debt

·         Not saving enough for children’s’ educations

·         Buying a bigger house than you could afford

I have heard many people express regrets over these actions as well as others, including spending too much on vacations, too much on cars, buying the wrong or too expensive insurance, and making bad investments.  None of us is perfect and I imagine most of us – even the 17% in denial above – would change some financial decisions if we could.

Living in the past doesn’t do much good.  But learning from it is very good.  The younger we get this the better.   But no matter our age or situation, we can take actions to improve our financial condition.  I submit seven major actions:

Continue reading
Hits: 105 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

March 30, 2017

By: J. André Weisbrod

Every year around this time a nationwide consternation builds up regarding taxes.  This is especially true for investors with diversified portfolios, and even truer for investors who own private investments, including partnerships, small corporations and LLCs.

I think people often get more agitated than they need to be.  Understanding the processes can help us relax a bit.

Continue reading
Hits: 180 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

January 16, 2017

Dear Reader,

I am reaching out to you in this blog letter because I care about you.  It’s not just business. 

There is a lot of information, disinformation and misinformation out there about financial matters.  A lot of sales people are hyping various products that are supposed to solve problems.  Many make claims that are not substantiated by facts and/or audited figures. 

I submit to you that the biggest issue we all face is wise planning.  Someone once said… 

“Failure to plan is tantamount to planning to fail.” 

I agree.  First let me talk a bit about the past year and why many have a poor understanding of what happened and why expectations for many were not met and why reactions to disappointment could expose you to significant financial mistakes. 

I recently wrote an article published exclusively in Seeking Alpha Pro.  It will be available to all readers in early February.  (If you want to read a wide variety of articles on investing and markets, I encourage you to visit the Seeking Alpha site.)  A few introductory points were these: 

Continue reading
Hits: 178 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Posted August 17, 2016

Save the Date!  Life Changing!  2nd Workshop Opportunity

Coming September 17!  9 AM – Noon
(Continental breakfast starting 8:30 AM)

(The first 18 family units to sign up will also receive “The Path to Prosperity” 12 volume audio books by Steve Beaman, a $75 value – don’t procrastinate because 10 are already signed up.  This is in addition to the workshop Workbook.  Reservation procedure is at the end.)

OK, here we go again.  Don’t miss this opportunity.  Where can you get a guaranteed 33% return on your money?  The answer in a moment.  For Families (including teenagers).  For Singles.  College Students.

Are you Fit of Phttt?!!  Would you like to be in better shape?  Physically, mentally, spiritually, financially?  Better in your career or business?  Better with relationships?  Family, marriage, friends and church?

This Saturday morning event will lift your mind and spirit.  Be ready to be surprised.

Seeking the Abundant Life:
The Calling and Power of Biblical Stewardship

Did you know that stewardship is about much, much more than money?  That money is only one part of the calling we all have to preserve, utilize and manage our lives and all we have been given?  We will take a fresh look at the concept of dominion and stewardship, discussing and applying scripture to all aspects of our lives: personal, family, work, business, entrepreneurship, recreation, health, finances church, and ministry. 

Get ready to learn from each other.  The stimulating and effective format will emphasize Bible study and discussion as we seek to learn from each other.  “As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…” (First Peter 4:10)  We all have experiences and many have expert knowledge in areas we will be covering.  So bring your experience and knowledge so we can all give and receive.

Sponsored by the Triumph Church Stewardship Committee, the workshop is organized and presented by award-winning author, All-American athlete, speaker and financial advisor André Weisbrod.  Couples, singles, and high school and college students:  This workshop could be a life-changer.

Date:  Saturday morning, September 17, 2016

Where: Triumph Church on Mt. Nebo Road.

Time:  Continental Breakfast starts at 8:30 AM.  We will come together at 8:55 AM and the workshop will start promptly at 9 AM and go to noon.

Oh, about that guaranteed 33% return?  The workshop will cost each family unit (up to 4 people) $15.  And if you complete the workshop you will get your money back plus $5!  Now how can you let that go?  Be there or be square.

To reserve your seat(s), please mail the following:

Your Name:

Names of family attending with you:

Mail with your check for $15 payable to Triumph Church to Andre Weisbrod, Abundant Life Workshop, 604 McKnight park Dr., Pittsburgh, PA 15237.  Your check will not be cashed.  When you complete the workshop, you will get your check back plus $5 (if you do not complete the course, Triumph will accept your check as a donation. . Thank you!

Don't be Phttt!  be fit!  All-around!  We'd love to see you!

Continue reading
Hits: 395 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Exclusively on Seeking Alpha

Published June 9, 2016

By J. André Weisbrod

SUMMARY

·         After a fearful swoon at the beginning of the year, most stock markets are back in positive territory.

·         While we did some buying and increased equity exposure during the dip, we were not confident enough to be aggressive.

·         Multiple unsuccessful attempts to forge new highs over the past year indicate that an aging bull may be at or near its end.

·         Economic conditions are mixed and at times data is confusing or contradictory.

·         Overall market valuations are above average and possibly in warning territory.

·         Large volume computer-generated trading has turned the stock market into a rigged casino that is against traditional fundamental investing.

·         The huge expansion of ETFs and the trend toward “robo” investing create new market influences that could actually increase risk and hurt investors.

·         Three of the forces holding up stocks up are suspect.  One could evaporate with a negative event or a funky algorithm gone haywire.  The second compounds the first and creates greater future risk.  The third is a ruse, plain and simple.

·         There may be nuts out there, but they might not be ones even a seeing squirrel might like.

·         This is a time to err on the conservative side.

CLICK HER TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE 
http://seekingalpha.com/article/3980949-blind-squirrels-nuts-investment-environment

Are you in the right place financially?  Is your strategy sound?  Does your investment portfolio need a review?  Have you recently thought through your risk management?  If you would like to discuss these or any other financial matters, please call 412-367-9076.

-----------------------------------------------------------

If you need help managing your personal or business economic trends, we are here for you.  Call 412-367-9076 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation in person or by phone.  STAAR Financial Advisors, Inc. offers wealth creation, management and utilization opportunities for people, families, businesses and organizations at all stages of life.  We provide planning, business consulting and investment management, including private equity opportunities for accredited investors.

If you enjoyed this and other articles, please "like" us on Facebook and follow on Twitter to be notified of new articles and other content.

Copyright 2016, STAAR Financial Advisors, Inc, 604 McKnight Park Dr, Pittsburgh, PA 15237.  All rights reserved.  No publication or dissemination of the contents, either electronically, via internet or physical printing is permitted without written consent of STAAR Financial Advisors.  Subscribers and clients may copy or print for their own use.  Quotes and links may be used according to accepted convention as long as proper attribution and credits are made.

Investing involves risk.  When investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate or even many so-called guaranteed investments, the future value of your account(s) can be worth more or less than when you first invest.  Past performance is no assurance or guarantee of future results.  Before making investment decisions you should consult the appropriate investment, financial planning, accounting and tax professionals. You are responsible for all decisions you make as a result of using the SFAMoney web site or any materials and information provided by STAAR Financial Advisors, Inc. either on this site, via email or any other conveyance methods.

This site is not intended as an individual advisory service.  The information provided herein is not intended to be specific advice as to whether you should engage in a particular trading strategy or buy, sell, or hold any financial product.   Individual Advisory and Private and Institutional Asset Management Services are provided separately.  VIP consultation services is provided as an expansion of the information contained on the site.  The VIP services on the site may provide additional information and insights, but will not make specific recommendations regarding specific portfolios.  Every individual and every organization may have unique financial situations and objectives and any specific actions are the responsibility of the investor.  We recommend that you consult with your own financial experts prior to investing and that you carefully read any prospectuses and related materials carefully before investing.  Should you wish to employ STAAR Financial Advisors, Inc. as a personal adviser for your specific investment and financial planning needs, call 1-800-332-7738, PIN # 3370 or 412-367-9076 or inquire on line by CLICKING HERE.

Nothing contained on this site should be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any security. Nor is it intended as investment, tax, financial or legal advice.

Continue reading
Hits: 391 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Part 2: Strategies for Different People at Different Stages of Life

May 17, 2016

By: J. André Weisbrod

Summary

  • Where to put your investment capital is a key consideration for anyone.
  • Part 1 made a compelling case for equity investments for people of all ages.
  • But there is a more important planning consideration that must come first:  Will you have or do you have enough capital? If you are not yet retired, are you investing enough of your income so that you can become financially independent?  If you are at retirement age or already in retirement, do you have enough capital to create an inflation-proof income for the rest of your life?  If not, then “retirement” (I prefer the word “independence”) may not be an option.  Sign up for a free membership on our website and you can access many free planning Cool Tools.
  • Where to put your investments is a futile question if you haven’t addressed the previous issue.
  • Once you have addressed the planning considerations, you can then address where to put your investments.

When I was a young boy I would watch my father come home from work, clear out his pockets full of keys and notes and money and put them on his dresser.  The change was put in a cardboard box. 

Continue reading
Hits: 509 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Where to Put Your Investments
Part 1:  The Investor’s Dilemma

May 4, 2016

By:  J. André Weisbrod

SUMMARY

  • Global economies are shaky with some bright spots, but with many problem economies.

  • The U.S. economy is sluggish, though still growing.

  • Interest rates are near historical lows and will probably rise over the coming years.

  • Inflation has increased in spite of low gas prices.  Inflation and interest rates are generally linked over long periods of time.

  • Rising interest rates cause the value of bonds to go down.  A rise of 2 percentage points could result in longer term bonds losing as much as 20% of their value.  That is stock market kind of risk.

  • There are few places to place investments that have a good probability of offering a “real return” above inflation and taxes over the next 10 years.

  • This fact has helped support the stock and real estate markets.  Other than companies and real estate, there is nowhere else to put your money that can make you a real return.

  • However, stock markets are looking shaky and showing signs of another retreat after recovering from the early 2016 drop.  Values have risen and now earnings and revenues appear to be slowing.

  • Long term, it is unlikely that you will make a sufficient real return above inflation and taxes unless you have a significant portion of your investment capital in stocks and real estate.

  • Therefore your stock and real estate allocations and the management of them are critical.

Consider a retiree’s challenge.  If inflation

Continue reading
Hits: 568 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News
Andre addresses the oil markets in this informative article exclusively on Seeking Alpha:  
 

 

·         The old adage is “buy low, sell high.” It is hard to refute. The exceptions occur when what goes low ends up out of business.

·         Buy low and sell high can work either on a short-term basis or a long-term basis. We are more long-term oriented.

·         So, what can we find that is truly cheap, yet holds intrinsic value that is likely to increase in value significantly over the next five years?

·         It’s hard to avoid looking at the energy sector.

·         The key is to find the right companies, ETFs and/or mutual funds.

 

To read the rest, click here: Time For The Contrary Investor.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/3838826-time-contrary-investor

Continue reading
Hits: 606 0 Comments
0
Hits: 725 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

The Only Thing to Fear…

Monday, January 18, 2016
By J. André Weisbrod

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  This is the famous quote from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1932 inaugural address.  With stock markets retreating amid global uncertainties, here are some considerations:

·         The two causes of the biggest financial mistakes are fear and greed.

·         The stock market loses value approximately three out of every ten years.  Over the past 10 years, only one was a complete loser, 2008.  2015 was a bit of a mix, but on balance a loser.  Will 2016 end up a loser?  Or will it be one of those years that see losses during the year but recover by the end?

Continue reading
Hits: 765 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

2016 Economic and Investment Outlook

January 14, 2016 

By: J. André Weisbrod

 

SUMMARY:

  • Predictions can be a fool’s errand.  The more variables, the more difficult it is to forecast outcomes.  That said…

  • Variables are legion and include: Overall economic growth and company profits; employment; International economies; oil prices; inflation; debt; politics; terrorism;

  • Though somewhat of a toss-up, I will suggest the probability for 2016 is for a modestly positive year for stocks and another flat or losing year for bonds.

  • The above bullets were written January 4, and I have preserved them intact.  Has anything changed except for China and the price of stocks?  Yes and no.  The China fiasco points out that we are vulnerable to global economic events as much or more than ever.  This is truly an interlinked and interdependent planet.  The third bullet, though, remains a statement I can live with.  A “toss-up.”

Continue reading
Hits: 788 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

2015 - The Investment Year in Review

January 8, 2016

By: J. André Weisbrod

SUMMARY POINTS:

·         2015 was a disappointing year, ending with a whimper.   Santa failed to show up.

·         2015 saw high volatility.

·         Except for large consumer companies, no major category experienced close to an average long-term return, though a few were modestly positive.  Most categories were well under average and over half were down for the year.

·         The best major sectors of the S&P 500 were Consumer, Health Care, Technology and Telecomm while the worst were Energy, Materials, Utilities and Industrials. 

·         Overall the S&P 500 was up 1.3%, but an equal-weighted S&P 500 actual lost 2.2%. 

·         Of interest is that equal weight indexes, which have generally outperformed the more quoted capital weight indexes over the past 15 years, mostly underperformed the capital weighted indexes the past couple years.  The equal weight S&P 500 returned -2.2% (3.5% less than the capital weighted index) in 2015.  We must remember that indexes do not have expenses.  This explains at least in part why professional managers have had trouble meeting or beating the S&P 500 the last couple years.  (See discussion and tables.)

Continue reading
Hits: 1056 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

On December 31 Andre Weisbrod discussed the 2015 markets and commented on the New Year.   For some reason the second segment has not yet been posted.  Look for his detailed evaluation blog later today. 

Continue reading
Hits: 668 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Taxable Capital Gains When Funds Don't Increase in Value?

December 30, 2015

By J. André Weisbrod

Summary:

  • Some investments increase in value and others decrease.
  • When an investment is sold a gain or loss is "realized" for tax purposes.
  •  It may be appropriate to sell appreciated investments in a year when the overall portfolio is down.
  • Therefore it is possible and even probable that you can realize taxable gains in a year when your portfolio loses value.
  • This is likely such a year for many mutual funds.
Continue reading
Hits: 663 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News
Dear Family, Clients and Friends,
 
This will be short and sweet.  I don't do it as much as I should, but when I pause and look past the daily challenges and stop to count blessings, I must look up and be thankful.
 
Thankful for a God (and others) who loves me and forgives me and encourages me.
Thankful for a great immediate and extended family.  A wonderful wife, children and grandchildren.  A special mother still living and all those who came before.
Thankful for the freedoms I have and for the country that offers them.  May we not give them up.  Ever.
Continue reading
Hits: 830 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

November 17, 2015

Health Insurance, Taxes, Independence & Retirement, Social Security

Health Insurance Open Enrollment Periods End Soon

Medicare/Medigap – October 15 to December 7, 2015.  This is the window in which you can shop for the best benefits and premiums without having to qualify via medical underwriting.  If you are newly eligible or even if you already have coverage, you should look at your options now.  Make sure you have the best coverage for your money.

ObamaCare - November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016.  If you have any health conditions that would make it difficult to obtain insurance at good rates through policies that require medical underwriting you should look at your options now.   Existing 2014/2015 plans expire on December 31, 2015. To avoid any gaps in coverage, you should consider enrolling by December 15, 2015.

Group Health Plans Should Be Reviewed Also

Continue reading
Hits: 843 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

September 24, 2015

Markets Continue to Struggle: Buying Opportunities Near?

By J. André Weisbrod

On August 14the I wrote that the probability of a correction of at least 10% had increased significantly.  (Click here to see that article.)  Indeed we had a much too brief downturn that only reached below 10% for two days.  Parts of it looked more like a flash crash than a true correction and if you examine the charts of some stocks and ETFs you would have seen ridiculous drops in the first hour of trading on August 24th that were unjustified and only could be the result of the modern-day computerized day-trading phenomenon that this writer thinks should be outlawed.  But the "rigged casino" aspect of today's markets will have to wait for another article.  Today I want to continue to examine what is more in line with long term historical market behavior with a dose of common sense.

Consider the following one-year daily chart of the S&P 500:

sp500_1Yr_092415.bmp

 

Continue reading
Hits: 930 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

August 14, 2015

By J. André Weisbrod

 

As of August 13, Global stocks were mixed year-to-date with the MSCI ACWI Index up 1.98 year-to-date..  Examples of wide variance are Latin America (down over 21%) and Europe and Japan (up almost 14%).   Developed foreign stocks (EAFE Index) were up 5.94% while emerging markets (MSCI EM) were down 8%.   In the U.S. the S&P 500 was up only 1.2% (most of the positive due to dividends) while the NY Stock Exchange Composite was down .87% and the Russell 2000 (Small Cap) was up only .76%.   Barclays Aggregate US bonds were up .55%.  The Global Bond Aggregate was down almost 3%.  All in all a diversified balanced portfolio’s performance year-to-date is likely to be flat to up a percent or two, and that is if the portfolio has no expenses, which is virtually impossible to achieve. 

Continue reading
Hits: 903 1 Comment
0

Posted by in News

STAAR Financial Advisors, Inc. has been named as Management Company to the newly-formed Strategic Assets Fund 1, LP.  The Fund is designed to bring together two under-served constituencies.  First are the millions of accredited investors who do not have the knowledge, opportunity or enough investable dollars to be active "angel" investors.  Second are the many small company and real estate entrepreneurs who need sources of capital, but often cannot get it from traditional banking, finance and equity sources.  Types of assets to be considered for investment will include private equity, private debt financing and real estate.  It is limited to accredited investors only.

Continue reading
Hits: 1168 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

January 5, 2015

Dear Clients and Friends,

2014 was an interesting year economically:  Here are some items that affected us all directly or indirectly.

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) went into effect.  It's an amalgam of good and bad, but it is probably here to stay.  It won't be as bad as the naysayers say, and it won't be as good as the Obama administration would like you to believe.  It's just a shame Washington is so broken that few if any can simply ask the question, "What will work best?" and plan it out together.  And while we were trying to provide insurance for more people, we left our veterans out to dry at the Veterans Administration hospitals.   We have worked with many of you to help you make the best choices regarding your health care and will continue to do so in 2015.

Most Americans expressed in polls a low view of our elected representatives and the mid-term elections clearly showed the public's dissatisfaction.  But will Washington listen?  In investments we disclaim that past performance does not necessarily indicate future results.  But in Washington, the past is too often prologue.  If a private for-profit corporation ran its affairs like Washington, it would have been out of business long ago.  And if such a failing company were to be taken over by venture capitalists, the first thing they would do would be to fire all the failures.    

Quantitative Easing Ended. The Federal government continued to borrow/print a lot more money, though it ended the QE (Quantitative Easing) program in the last part of the year.  

Interest rates and inflation remained abnormally and surprisingly low.  We thought rates would be rising by now.  We were wrong.  Government manipulation is a big part of it, but there is also a free market component as we saw with energy prices.  The laws of supply and demand still command the stage.  Hopefully government interventions will not kill the golden goose.

The economy improved.  While it can't be viewed as robust, it did improve enough to offer hope going forward.  Some reputable forecasters predict 3% or better GDP growth for 2015.

The Deficit/GDP Growth trend improved toward the end of the year.  The Question is whether the economy can continue to grow at a pace sufficient to cover the debts.  The jury is still out.  Ultimately, GDP needs to grow faster than debt in most years in order to preserve wealth long term.  It is possible, and I like some of the encouraging numbers, but the recent borrowing binge certainly makes it a higher hill to climb.  We probably need some years of 4% or better growth to adequately right the ship.

Stocks hit all time highs - so what? US Large Company Stocks had a good year.  But Small company stocks did not.  Nor did International stocks.  We think the overall U.S. stock markets are slightly overvalued, but not alarmingly so.  Some overseas markets are undervalued.  While the headlines talked constantly about markets achieving new highs, such hype is at best overly optimistic in sound.  If the markets don't hit new highs on a regular basis we are in trouble.  Markets historically rise 7 years out of ten.    Unless we hit another period like 2000-2009 new highs should be a normal occurrence, even if the markets go up at a below average pace.

Oil prices got hammered to an extent not anticipated by any of the experts we know.   We did not see this coming.  Nor do we know of any experts that we follow who predicted such a crash in oil prices.  Portfolios that include a decent weighting to energy got hurt at the end of 2014.  We think much of the sector's decline is overkill and therefore we see long term value in holding on and even adding to some positions.  We think oil prices are likely to rise back to the $80-85 area before the end of 2015.  Overall the price decline should help the economy unless prices remain too low too long.

China officially became the largest economy in the world.  And according to the Economist, "the aggregate purchasing power of the ‘E7’ emerging economies – Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkey – will overtake that of the G7 by 2030. By 2015, Asia Pacific will have a larger middle class than Europe and North America combined. And the global emerging middle class will represent an annual market of some US $6 trillion by 2021. Such trends and tipping-points mean the traditional way of classifying economies is becoming increasingly irrelevant." (Source: the Economist, Shift in Global Economic Power, by Silas Young)  Even though International investments had a relatively poor year, we continue to believe that global diversification will be important to investors' health.  We will be looking at which countries might stand to do best in 2015.   

The Dollar strengthened.  Another surprise was the degree toward which the dollar strengthened against t other currencies.  This contributed to the International markets’ subpar performance when converted to U.S. dollars.

Table A: 2014 Index Returns

Cash (3 Mo. T-Bills)

0.0%

Barclay's 1-5 Yr Gov't/Credit Bonds

1.4%

S&P 500 (Large U.S. Stocks)

13.7%

Russell 2000 (Small U.S. Stocks)

4.9%

EAFE (International Stocks)

-4.9%

Average (Balanced Portfolio)

3.0%

Market performance was mixed.  The S&P 500 large U.S. company stock index got all the headlines, with a total return of over 13%, but a broadly diversified portfolio would have performed in single digits.  Unfortunately when one index steals the show, investor expectations can be altered unrealistically.  Consider Table A:

If we factor in that the costs of managing money in mutual funds and/or private accounts is typically 1-2%, a reasonable expectation for a balanced portfolio for 2014 would be only a positive 1-4% maximum return depending on actual cash allocations.  If the managers were weighted toward energy or other underperforming sectors a negative return would be very possible.  And anyone making new investments during the year might not have made much or nothing at all depending on the timing of deposits and the actual investment choices.

Most Active Investment Managers trailed the indexes this year.  At the end of November Rueters reported that 85% of active managers of large cap funds were underperforming.  I don’t think that changed much in December.  They mentioned that even some of the most revered and successful managers were having a tough year.  Also in December, Bloomberg reported that many hedge funds were losing money and the largest number of hedge funds had closed since 2009.

One other factor that investors should consider is that indexes such as the S&P 500 are weighted to the largest companies.  For instance, the stock of Apple, which rose 40% in 2014, is the largest holding in the index.  Only ten stocks out of 500 make up nearly 18% of the index.  If just a few of those falter in 2015, the same managers that trailed in 2014 could perform very well by comparison in 2015.

Many STAAR portfolios trailed in 2014.  We have had years where our approach didn't work before.  One was in 1999 when we trailed indices by as much as 10 percentage points if I remember correctly.  That was a year that saw all the "experts" in the media announce that you didn't need advisers or managers... just throw all your money into index funds and throw away the key.  The next ten years the markets lost money while we made money, received 4 and 5 star ratings by Morningstar and were even named a top 15 manager by Kiplinger.

STAAR Financial Advisors was again was listed in Pittsburgh Magazine as a Five-Star Wealth manager.  It also continued as a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business.  We are so thankful for our clients and we continue to strive to serve you with care and integrity.   Remember, if you do well we do well and if you don’t do well neither do we.  Unlike many in the financial services business we are set up to be on your side.   We look forward to our client review meetings beginning in February.

Please look for our scheduling letter that should go out this week.


Thank you for your continued confidence.  We are working diligently on your behalf and hope the New Year brings us all a harvest of fulfillment and satisfaction.

Sincerely,

J. André Weisbrod

Continue reading
Hits: 1005 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

December 9, 2014

To Everyone, myself included... 

"Tis the Season..." 

Many years ago I remember reading about an experiment with rhesus monkeys.  A cookie was placed in the bottom of a stainless steel jar.  The neck of the jar was just wide enough for the monkey to thread his hand into the jar and reach the cookie.  Of course he would close his hand around the cookie, which expanded the circumference of his hand, preventing him from removing his hand and getting the cookie out of the jar.  Frustrated, the monkey would have a tantrum, banging the jar on the table and even gnawing at his arm till it bled.  But regardless, he would not open his hand and therefore lost all hope of getting the cookie as long as his hand was closed.  He had the cookie, but he didn't have the cookie.

Continue reading
Hits: 1284 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

November 21,2014

Financial & Tax-Saving Actions to Consider before Year End 2014

Please call 412-367-9076 if you have questions or need to act on any of these.

Continue reading
Hits: 1275 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

November 3, 2014

ODDS & ENDS

Medicare Open Enrollment Period InformationComment: Starting November 15 you should review your plans.  If you need help evaluating your Rx and/or supplemental plans, call our expert, Dan Busatto, at 724-787-7828.  Mention the SFAMoney Blog or STAAR Financial.

2015 Travel Deals that Could Be of InterestComment:  I love to travel and perhaps you do too.  These might fit some bucket lists.

Personal and Business Financial Planning Checklists for the Fall– Comment: I published this last year, but it still fits this year.

Continue reading
Hits: 2470 0 Comments
0
Hits: 5370 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

August 22, 2014

TAXES AND IMMIGRATION:  TWO MAJOR SYSTEMIC OVERHAULS COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING

By J. André Weisbrod

Do you want your financial future to be more secure?  Do you want to see the economy grow and businesses do well so that your investment portfolios have a better chance of producing good real returns?  Do you want your health care to be reliable and affordable?  Do you want to have better job and career opportunities?  Do you want to afford good housing, vacations and educations for your children.  Do you want your retirement to be more secure?  Do you want your neighborhood and city to be safer and more economically sound?  Do you want all this for your children and grandchildren?  If so then consider the following two major changes that could help bring these goals closer to fulfillment.

Continue reading
Hits: 1267 0 Comments
0
Hits: 10756 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

August 12, 2014

You could WIN! (see below)

 CLIENT & FRIENDS ROUND TABLE EVENT - Tuesday August 26, 7:15 - 8:45 PM

I will be holding a Client & Friends "round-table" discussion on the economy, markets and critical financial planning issues.  There is no charge.  But please bring a friend or colleague who you think would be interested in some stimulating and useful discussion.   

Some topics of discussion:

What are the 5 most critical financial principles that can make the biggest difference to your financial health?

  • What is wealth?  How is it created?  And what is its purpose?
  • How can we interpret current market conditions ?
  • How do we create the best chance of getting a decent "real return?"
  • What are the safest investments?
  • What are the biggest mistakes regarding retirement?  (mistakes made by young people, middle aged people, those nearing retirement age and those already there)
  • Submit your own questions ahead of time.

Seats may be limited and Advance reservations are required. So reserve your place as soon as possible. Call 412-367-9076.  Location will depend on number of people responding by Tuesday August 12.  (Note: some of you were told this would be on August 19, but we have changed the date to accommodate schedules.)

You could WIN!

We will be giving out some door prizes, including gourmet pies and great books, so don't miss out. 

_______________________________________________________

Andre Weisbrod
STAAR Financial Advisors, Inc
604 McKnight Park Dr
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
412-367-9076
Founder of STAAR Financial Advisors, Inc. and the STAAR Investment Trust
Recognized among five-star Pittsburgh Wealth Managers in Pittsburgh Magazine

Check out our STAARBlog at www.SFAMoney.com

Follow STAAR Financial on Face Book and Twitter

 

Continue reading
Tagged in: Education
Hits: 1118 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

August 4, 2014     "Let us not seek the Republican answer, or the Democratic answer, but

Continue reading
Tagged in: Quotes
Hits: 1223 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"Investing means putting your money...

Continue reading
Tagged in: Investments Quotes
Hits: 1284 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

From Madoff to Oz, Buyer Beware

By J. André Weisbrod

I recently read an article about a Pennsylvania financial adviser and registered representative who evidently created a Ponzi scheme that authorities suspect will have cost her clients millions.   Shades of Bernie who Madoff with the money.

Cut to Dr. Oz testifying before Congress and admitting he endorsed exaggerated if not bogus weight loss products to make a buck.  The sad fact is that far too many people are ready to compromise, bend truth or flat out lie for their own gain.  And just because a person has a well-known “name” offers no protection.

Continue reading
Hits: 2584 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

So far 2014 has been year where interest rates have stayed low, the private sector has grown modestly and stock markets have climbed the "wall of worry."  The only real surprise for us is that stocks have not had much of a correction since 2012.

Continue reading
Tagged in: Economy Markets
Hits: 1572 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

In anticipation of tomorrow, I offer these thoughts  May your holiday be refreshing.

Continue reading
Tagged in: Quotes
Hits: 1838 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"Empty pockets never held anyone back.  Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that." --  Norman Vincent Peale

Continue reading
Tagged in: Success
Hits: 1053 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"If there is anything I would do differently in my life, it is that I would study business more. I'm trying to teach my daughter Chloe at an early age about investing and money so she's not afraid of it." -- Donna Mills (actress)

Continue reading
Hits: 986 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"All budgets fail.  To succeed you must plan failure into your budget." -- J. Andre Weisbrod

Continue reading
Tagged in: Budget Quotes
Hits: 1034 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"Transformation in the world happens when people are healed and start investing in other people." -- Michael W. Smith

Continue reading
Tagged in: Investments Quotes
Hits: 1298 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case." -- Robert G. Allen

Continue reading
Tagged in: bank Quotes Wealth
Hits: 1083 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Record Close, Retiree Health Care Costs, Closing Credit Cards, Millennials Overwhelmed by Debt, Where Did the Young Workers Go, Inflation Risks Chain Reaction :Articles and Information from Other Sources

Continue reading
Hits: 3194 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

By Dan Busatto

We are just beginning to discover the ramifications of the Affordable Care Act.  Whether you are an employer or an individual looking to solve the health insurance puzzle, read this brief article.

Continue reading
Hits: 4493 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

States for Retirement, Fuel Efficient Cars, Spotting Deals, 10 Traits to Make You Rich, 10 Scams

Continue reading
Hits: 4123 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"Plan. Budget. Discipline. Succeed." - J. Andre Weisbrod  (See Proverbs 13:16, 16:3, 21:5, Psalm 127:1, Luke 14:28-30, I Corinth. 3:10-11)

Continue reading
Hits: 2361 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

May 5, 2014

Integrity and faithfulness come before wealth.  (Proverbs 11:1 & 3, 10:9, 22:1, 24:6, Psalm 37:16, Matthew 25:21, Luke 16:10-13 and many others)

Continue reading
Hits: 4269 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

May 2, 2014

I have been asked by a couple people recently why energy, real estate and utilities have been doing so well lately.  The secondary question is will the trend continue and what about portfolio emphasis going forward?

Continue reading
Hits: 0 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Current Economic Trends
April 24, 2014

Interest rates, Inflation, Quantitative Easing Taper, Federal Debt, Household Debt, Bull Market, Unemployment, Jobless Claims, Labor Force Participation, Population Growth, Economic Hubs, Middle East Societal Tensions, Income Disparity, Cyber Threats, Lack of Values in Leadership, Growth of Megacities, On Line Misinformation

Continue reading
Hits: 3209 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

April 14, 2014

"Taxation with representation ain't so hot either." -- Gerald Barzan

Continue reading
Tagged in: Congress Quotes Taxes
Hits: 1484 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

April 4, 2014: Andre Weisbrod, CEO and chief investing officer at Starr Financial Advisors with $41 million AUM in Pittsburgh, Pa.: I think this market is struggling to retain its momentum. From a historical and common-sense perspective, it is reasonable to expect more than a 5% correction to 

Continue reading
Hits: 3080 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

April 1, 2014

Pittsburgh, PA

Total Recall Capitol Association announced today that it has developed an algorithm to prevent losses while guaranteeing a 10% per year return.    The system was recently employed in government tests with the idea of replacing quantitative easing and making Social Security solvent indefinitely.  Former Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, commented that this is “the most brilliant development in a century.”

Continue reading
Tagged in: Odds & Ends
Hits: 2749 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

March 31, 2014

 

Articles of interest you might have missed:  March Madness in Washington; 10 things your real estate agent won’t tell you; Is Your Financial Future Under Control? 2 Out of 3 of Us Answer 'No'; In Financial Planning, Couples Should Work Together; A Common Sense Approach to Estate Planning

March Madness in Washington – Congress uses sleight of hand to keep the spending going.

10 things your real estate agent won’t tell you – Informative and worth reading if you are planning to buy or sell a home.  Note: As in any profession there are those who are more competent than others as well as more honest and open than others. 

Is Your Financial Future Under Control? 2 Out of 3 of Us Answer 'No'

In Financial Planning, Couples Should Work Together – This has been something I have been promoting for 32 years, including having written a book on the subject.  I am always concerned when women are not knowledgeable regarding the family finances.  It needs to be a team sport.

A Common Sense Approach to Estate Planning – Many famous people have died without even a will.  They include Sonny Bono, Pablo Picasso, Jimmy Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Howard Hughes, martin Luther King and even Abe Lincoln.  The results aren’t pretty.  This article is a good primer.

Are you looking for honest, trustworthy advice regarding your IRA, 401k, investment portfolios, insurance or personal or business planning?  Call STAAR Financial Advisors, Inc. at 412-367-9076 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

 

 

Continue reading
Hits: 1646 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life." -- Frank Lloyd Wright

Continue reading
Tagged in: Quotes
Hits: 1474 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

March 25, 2014

Allow me to preface this with the following disclosures:

·         I am a professional investment manager and financial planner.

·         I have a health insurance license.

·         I graduated college, attended grad school and have a professional designation.

·         I am also an idiot.

Continue reading
Hits: 3395 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"All that is required for evil to prevail in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." -- Edmund Burke.    Are you aware...

Continue reading
Hits: 1990 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"As a bull market continues, almost anything you buy goes up. It makes you feel that investing in stocks is very easy and safe and that you're a financial genius. " -- Ron Chernow

Continue reading
Tagged in: Markets Stocks
Hits: 5381 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.  Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you don't know when it's through if you are a crook or a martyr." -- Will Rogers

Continue reading
Tagged in: Quotes Taxes
Hits: 7627 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

PLANNING CORNER

February 25, 2014

If you are thinking of buying a house...

If you are a Newly-Wed or Nearly-Wed couple…

If you are over age 55 and are concerned about Long Term Care...

If you are nearing "retirement age" and are concerned about when to take Social Security…

If you are concerned about “inflation-proofing” your income…

If you are concerned about outliving your money…

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Continue reading
Hits: 10664 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"Seek quality and excellence in what you do and buy."  -- J. Andre Weisbrod  (Consider Proverbs 22:29 and Phil. 1:10 and 4:8)

Continue reading
Hits: 1145 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

News of Note February 17, 2014

Here are some news items (with links) from other sources along with my comments. 

Is the Correction Over? 

Americans Losing Faith in American Dream

Income Inequality

Bundesbank Does Not Think Emerging Markets Turmoil Will Derail Global Recovery

Dollar Weakness

Cost of living: How far will my salary go in another city?

 

Click below to read.

Continue reading
Hits: 6899 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Just for Fun - Laurel & Hardy with Santana - this has been kicking around the Internet and I thought I should share.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z99RtHSSfuE

Continue reading
Tagged in: Just for Fun
Hits: 2852 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Occasionally I come across an article that needs to be shared, and this is one of those.  It is thought provoking and cuts to the truth with some humor while creating a few "ouch" moments for most of us.  Enjoy.

 

77 Reasons Why You're Awful At Managing Money

Morgan Housel 

People usually get better at things over time. We're better farmers, faster runners, safer pilots, and more accurate weather forecasters than we were 50 years ago.

 

But there's something about money that gets the better of us. If you look at the rate of personal bankruptcies, financial crises, bubbles, student loans, debt defaults, and savings rates, I wonder whether people are just as bad at managing money today as they were in previous generations, maybe even worse. It's one of the only areas in life we seem to get progressively dumber at. 

Here are 77 reasons why people are awful at managing money.

Click here to go to the rest of the article: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-youre-awful-at-managing-money-2014-2

 

Continue reading
Hits: 21627 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

February 10, 2014

"I felt that I was literally standing on a plateau somewhere, a plateau somewhere out there in space that technology and science had allowed me to get to.   But now what I was seeing... even more important, what I was feeling at that moment in time... science and technology had no answers for it, literally no answers. 

Because there I was and there you are (earth) an overwhelming dynamic! I felt the world (had) too much purpose too much logic.  It was just too beautiful to have happened by accident. 

There has to be somebody bigger than you and me.  I mean this in a spiritual sense not a religious sense. There has to be a Creator of the universe who stands above the religions that we ourselves create to govern our lives."

(Astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man on the moon, during interview for the documentary, In the Shadow of the Moon)

 

Provided by STAAR Financial Advisors, Inc.  If you need assistance on any financial matter, call us at 412-367-9076 for a free initial consultation

 
Continue reading
Tagged in: attitude God Quotes Success
Hits: 4987 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"Do not value money for any more nor any less than its worth; it is a good servant but a bad master." --Alexandre Dumas 

Continue reading
Tagged in: Money Quotes
Hits: 2012 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful." -- Warren Buffett

Continue reading
Hits: 4450 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"All the Congress, all the accountants and tax lawyers, all the judges, and a convention of wizards all cannot tell for sure what the income tax law says." -- Walter B. Wriston

Continue reading
Tagged in: Taxes
Hits: 7727 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Do not co-sign for the debt of others. (Proverbs 6:1-5, 11:15, 17:18, 22:26)

Continue reading
Tagged in: Debt Quotes
Hits: 6203 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

"Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." -- Woody Allen

Continue reading
Tagged in: Money Quotes
Hits: 2841 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

 

January 6, 2013

"Today you have the same amount of time as the President, kings and queens and anyone else.  Until you die, you are as wealthy as anyone in your allotment of time.  So how will you use it?  Will you waste it?  Create something? Build something?  Help someone?  What will you do with this moment?  The answer will define you and your character." -- J. Andre Weisbrod. 

 

Copyright 2013, J. Andre Weisbrod

Continue reading
Hits: 2295 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

STAAR Strategies Report  January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

 The Economy and Markets in Review and Looking Forward

 

Indexes*

Tot. Returns as of 12/31/13

Russell 2000 (Small Company Stocks)

38.8%

S&P 500 (Large Company Stocks)

32.4%

EAFE (International Developed Country Stocks)

22.8%

MSCI EM (Emerging Country Stocks)

-5.7%

S&P Global REIT (Real Estate)

2.8%

MS Core Long Term Bonds

-6.9%

MS Core Intermediate Term Bonds

-1.1%

MS Core Short-Term Bonds

0.6%

T-Bills

0.1%

Gold and Silver (average of both)

-18.1%

Equal-Weighted Average

6.6%

*Preliminary, may change

 

It was a surprisingly outstanding year for US stocks and a very good year for the overall developed market International stocks.  Emerging markets lagged and gold and silver plummeted.   The MSCI Global IMI index returned.....

To read the rest of this article you must be a STAAR Financial Advisors client, fund shareholder or registered VIP site member.  If you are one of these, log-in now.  Otherwise you may sign up here:  Join.     (If you need help, call 412-491-1963).

Continue reading
Hits: 5204 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

December 23, 2013

Every December it seems to get a bit crazy.   It all comes out, from “bah humbugs!” to wonderful acts of kindness and generosity.

Let me start with finances.  This is after all a blog centering on personal economics.

It is easy to lose perspective and control of our finances at the end of the year.  Not just because we feel compelled to give a lot of gifts, but because we often have neglected to save for those gifts and pile it up on the plastic.  We also might fail to take a good look at our tax situation or other financial considerations going into the end of the year.  End of year finances can be stressful.

Continue reading
Hits: 16742 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

December 23, 2013

"No room at the motel.  Born in a dirty, smelly place, wrapped in rags and placed in the animals' feed trough.    What an entrance for a King!   In God's economy wealth comes in small simple packages wrapped with love."  J. Andre Weisbrod

Continue reading
Tagged in: Principles Quotes
Hits: 3913 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

December 16, 2013

Don’t do like everyone else does… don’t be conformed.  Standing on your own... for what you believe, for what is right... is healthy and will increase chances of true success.  (Proverbs 13:7 and Romans 12:1-2)

Continue reading
Tagged in: Quotes Success
Hits: 7550 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

December 9, 2013

"The only reason a great many American families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments."  ~Mad Magazine

Continue reading
Tagged in: Quotes
Hits: 11247 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

December 2, 2013

"If all the economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion." -- George Bernard Shaw;  "If the nation's economists were laid end to end, they would point in all directions." -- Arthur H. Motley

Continue reading
Tagged in: Economy Quotes
Hits: 6486 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

December 2, 2013

A friend sent me a video link (below) that proposes that if everyone just shifted 5% of their buying choices to American-made products, we could generate a million jobs.  It's an interesting video promoting an idea that has been around for decades.  I suggest you watch it now, then come back and I will add some comments.

Continue reading
Hits: 6269 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

November 28, 2013

I don't know about you, but today's world has accelerated to a point whereby the simple and sublime is lost in the velocity of complexity.   Are we so interconnected to our technologies that we have forgotten that there even is a pause button?  You know, the one that says that there needs to be days of rest, a hold on the hectic.  The one that lets us know how neurotic is the compulsion to fight crazy crowds at stores ever earlier and earlier just for a "sale?"

I joke that the millennial generation at age 85 will be frozen in "the position,"  hunch-backed with deformed thumbs, unable to see a person's face when they speak.  Or perhaps vocalization will be lost in the tyranny of abbreviated and coded "words" and imagined "friends" who only exist in electronic ether, never really met or known.

Thankfulness is to pause.  Thankfulness is reflection.  Thankfulness is

Continue reading
Hits: 4638 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.” -- G. K. Chesterton

None of us could live in the freedom we have without the sacrifice of those who went before us.  Our only proper response is thanksgiving and to take on the responsibility to use our freedom wisely and for the benefit of others.

Continue reading
Hits: 4663 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

November 5, 2013

 

Here are a few articles and videos you might have missed.  Finances, house prices, retirement, sports and slaps.

Continue reading
Hits: 4709 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

STAAR STRATEGIES REPORT

October 23, 2013

 

Stocks, Bonds and Real Estate: Where Will They Go From Here?

 

J. André Weisbrod

 

I won't try to be thorough or scholarly here.  And I am not going to predict the future.  I will offer some thoughts on the main factors I see that will affect markets and therefore our investments going forward.  At the end I will offer an aggressive model portfolio allocation.  

 

This article is reserved for Clients, Shareholders and VIP Members only.   Please become a VIP Member to view this and access other valuable articles and tools.

Continue reading
Hits: 10272 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

October 10, 2013, 4:00 PM 

Let me be frank.  I hate markets driven by news.

Continue reading
Hits: 9007 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

October 1, 2013

Ready for Halloween?  The tricks are coming early.  

Continue reading
Hits: 97562 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

THE SEVEN key ingredients for a healthy economy

September 26, 2013

by J. Andre Weisbrod

I offer these in outline form for your contemplation and comments.

Continue reading
Hits: 140497 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Current News of Interest for Your Finances
September 24, 2013

Economic forecasts, home prices, mortgage rates, the tooth fairy and more.

Continue reading
Hits: 14203 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

September 17, 2013

As the markets bounced back up over the last two weeks, we were reminded not so much of "irrational exuberance" as we were of shifting winds before a storm.   This market is too news-driven for our taste.  It is also trader-driven, which greatly affects short-term swings.  (To read the full report, click below.  This is for clients and VIP Members only, so you must log in to read.)

Read more... 

Continue reading
Hits: 5176 0 Comments
0
Hits: 29979 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

September 16, 2013

From College Degrees with Lowest Earning Power to Dark Chocolate to Cancer Care Crisis to Happiest Countries and a Financial Planning Flow Chart, I’ve compiled a list of some interesting articles that may or may not affect your finances, but I thought worth passing on.

Continue reading
Hits: 7202 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News
"Of course the truth is that the congresspersons are too busy raising campaign money to read the laws they pass.  The laws are written by staff tax nerds who can put pretty much any wording they want in there.  I bet that if you actually read the entire vastness of the U.S. Tax Code, you'd find at least one sex scene ("'Yes, yes, YES!' moaned Vanessa as Lance, his taut body moist with moisture, again and again depreciated her adjusted gross rate of annualized fiscal debenture")." -- Dave Barry
Continue reading
Tagged in: Congress Taxes
Hits: 3363 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

I have been dong some research on Social Security and was planning on writing an article.  But I found a good primer to which I provide the link (plus other links).  We are an RIA (Registered Investment Adviser) and along with our investment and wealth management services we provide clients with overall planning services.  It is important to have an overhead view of ...

Continue reading
Hits: 53293 0 Comments
0
Hits: 10523 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

July 10, 2013

There has been quite a fuss lately about the rise in long term interest rates.  Just the hint of the Federal Reserve easing up on its actions to keep rates low sent bond markets into turmoil.  But what does it all mean and what does it mean for people who own homes or are thinking of buying homes?

Because  pictures are indeed worth many words, consider the following chart.

Continue reading
Hits: 19727 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

How to Buy in a Much Needed Correction

By Andre Weisbrod

If you have been following my posts you know I have been expecting a correction for many weeks now.  In my May 30 blog article (VIP members and clients only) , As Bulls Go This is a Doozy! But Can it Continue?   I showed that this bull market had "gained significantly more in its first 1,060 days than the three previous bulls.  We are 4.2 years into this bull and so far its strength has been surprising with the S&P 500 increasing more than 30% higher than the 1987-2000 and 2002-2008 bulls grew in their first 4.2 years.  The early years of the 1974-1987 bull aren’t even close."   In my June 4 Facebook and Twitter post I said, "The action since the S&P 500 peak on May 21 looks very much like the beginnings of a correction."

As of today...

Continue reading
Hits: 8411 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Upcoming Event!  Save the date -- June 7

 

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it’s “FREE!”

  The Affordable Care Act Survival Guide

for Small Businesses, Churches And Organizations 

-- Don’t miss this -- Save the Date: Friday June 7, 3:30 PM --
Call 412-367-9076 now to reserve your seat(s)

Continue reading
Hits: 30742 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Yesterday we saw the market butting up against resistance.  Today it effectively broke through the ceiling.  Now...

Continue reading
Hits: 91766 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

On April 14th the S&P 500 hit a new intraday high at 1597.35.   For the last four days ...

Continue reading
Tagged in: Markets S&P 500 Stocks
Hits: 3668 0 Comments
0
Hits: 7597 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News
Continue reading
Hits: 7626 0 Comments
0
Hits: 5036 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Note:  In our March 20 update we neglected to comment on BA, which we added 1/18/13 in a $74.29-$75.16 intraday range.  It recently

Continue reading
Hits: 58304 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

The STAARBlogTM
March 19, 2013                        Follow STAAR Financial onFacebookandTwitter

By  J. André Weisbrod

Preparing for A.R.M.ageddon

Two Questions: 1. Should I use an ARM (adjustable rate mortgage) to finance my house or any other property?    2. Are bonds riskier than stocks? 

Continue reading
Hits: 5148 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

We have been looking at Obamacare and think that it is a very complex combination of good, bad and ugly.  The full ramifications will be revealed only as it is implemented and/or changed, and it is almost certain that no one really knows how it will all work out.  We do know that nearly all of us will be affected directly and indirectly.  We will be following developments closely and look here for future articles and seminar opportunities.  Follow this link for an opinion published on MarketWatch on how Obamacare will affect employment:

Continue reading
Hits: 49400 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

Ok, now we must applaud Representatives when they try to do good things, and we have been saying for a long time that our complex tax code is an economic inhibitor, hurting the wealth creation that is the only solution to systemic debt problems.  With apologies to my accountant friends, tackling small business tax rules is a good place to start.  For more, click...

Continue reading
Hits: 6081 0 Comments
0
Hits: 16415 0 Comments
0

Posted by in News

The STAARBlogTM
March 14, 2013                        Follow STAAR Financial onFacebookandTwitter

Editor: J. André Weisbrod

IRA Minimum Distribution Deadline April 1 if You Turned 70 1/2 in 2012

You got deductions and deferral for many years.  Now you are over age 70 and Uncle Sam wants his pound of flesh.  The rule is that you must begin taking distributions by April 1 of the year after you reach 70 1/2.

There are three mistakes people make when it comes to minimum distributions:

Continue reading
Hits: 10081 0 Comments
0