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Wealth Watch Newsletter

The markets are complex.  In today’s data age, it’s easy to find more points of information.  However, it’s harder than ever to find out what parts of that information actually matter to you.  That’s the reason behind Wealth Watch.  At BDF, we want to make sure we are always thinking about what’s relevant and keeping you in the loop.

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Black Monday in Retrospect

October 19, 2017 marked the 30th anniversary of the infamous “Black Monday.” On Monday, October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Index (Dow) plunged 508 points, or 22.6%, which was the biggest single day decline in percentage terms in the history of the market. To put it in perspective, that is the equivalent of an over […]

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Do Tax Cuts Matter?

Who doesn’t like a tax cut? If personally choosing between more taxes or less, every one of us would vote “less.” So, when the proposed tax reform promises to not only put more dollars in Americans’ pockets but also greatly stimulate the U.S. economy, the knee-jerk reaction is “that sounds great!” But is it? Do […]

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Public’s Demise, Private’s Rise

The definition of “making it” as an entrepreneur used to be going public.  However, this goal of yesteryear seems no longer valid.  In fact, in an earlier article this year, the Economist talks about the co-founder of Airbnb, Brian Chesky.  When asked if he would list Airbnb on the NYSE, he said “there was no […]

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Debt Ceiling Dithering

As summer winds down, Washington is again engaging in everyone’s favorite game of “Do we raise the debt ceiling?” Once a non-event with little media coverage, the debt ceiling debate has now become a manufactured crisis of sorts and a veritable political hot potato. While no one is quite sure what the economic implications of […]

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The 7th Inning – This Recovery Is Almost Done

The last several weeks there has been a greater amount of noise around our current economic recovery.  In fact, some have strongly stated this recovery is done.  In digging deeper (as you always need to!), the crux of these statements boiled down to a few things: The market and economy have been in an expansion […]

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Did Amazon Kill Retail?

As we wrap up another quarterly earnings season marked by strong earnings, the retail sector has the feel of a dead man walking. Macy’s, Kohl’s and JC Penney had dismal earnings reports. Of the major brick and mortar retail sales Nordstrom was the rare positive earnings surprise (a modest 1.7% growth in same store sales). […]

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Are Tech Stocks Worth Biting into or Ready to Bite the Dust?

“FANG” stocks are all the rage – and no I am not referring to snakes or vampires!  FANG is the term coined by CNBC analyst Jim Kramer to describe large technology stocks Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google.  And if you read the headlines lately, it’s easy to think these stocks could rule the world.  Facebook […]

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Fed Watching Redux

In our April 13, 2017, Wealth Watch entitled “Fed Watching,” we suggested that “Fed watching” may become more interesting in the months ahead as the Fed shifted to tighter monetary policy. At that point, the Fed had raised rates for the second time in three months and said it would consider steps to unwind its balance sheet. No details […]

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China’s A Shares an “A” Idea?

On June 20th, index provider MSCI announced big news.  They finally decided to include mainland Chinese stocks (known as A-Shares) to their indexes.  The world’s second largest economy will now get a stage in a huge index.  The MSCI Emerging Markets Index alone is tracked globally by an estimated $1.5 trillion of assets.  By including […]

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Diving Into Covered Call Writing

The markets have been wonderful over the past year and a half.  Some may say even too wonderful.  Currently we have low yields on bonds and stocks at all-time highs. As always, BDF’s Investment Committee scours the landscape for ways we can make long-term fundamental improvements to your portfolio.  You often hear a lot about […]

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Brexit: 1 Year Later

Last June, English voters shocked the world and voted to leave the European Union. The unexpected result roiled equity markets and caused the value of the pound to plummet. David Cameron, then Prime Minister, quickly stepped down and shortly thereafter Theresa May, a Conservative who campaigned for Brexit, took over. Concerns around the British economy […]

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The State of the State

Recently, Gurtin Municipal Bond Management presented “Illinois and Chicago Credit Update,” a special, insider’s look at the true state of the municipal bond market in Illinois and Chicago. It was an informative but sobering look at the many financial challenges Illinois and Chicago face. Here are some of Gurtin’s insights. State of Illinois State general […]

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