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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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A Return to the Fundamentals

To say the least, the first quarter of 2018 was a bumpy ride. We started off great, hitting an all-time high on the S&P 500 on January 26th. Then volatility kicked in, which included dips that bottomed out almost 8% off that high in the next few weeks alone. The months of February and March […]

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Face-to-Face with the Fed

The new head of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, recently made his first public speech as Fed chair, which happened to be in Chicago. We were part of hearing that message directly. One warning: if you ever watch a Fed chair talk, don’t expect a riveting presentation. The statements are carefully prepared and delivered in […]

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Goldilocks and the Three Inflations

Goldilocks stumbled across a house in the woods with bowls of porridge left on the table. She tasted each one and found the first too hot, the second too cold, and the third just right. In today’s economy markets are hoping inflation is that third bowl of porridge and can be ‘just right.’ Over the […]

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Rising Interest Rates and Bonds – It’s Not All Bad

You might be looking at your bonds, wondering why in the world they are negative.  Well, in bond investing, one of the biggest factors that impacts the price of bonds is interest rates. When rates go up, bond prices go down. This is something you may have heard before. In recent weeks, bond yields spiked […]

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Geopolitics Take Center Stage in 2018

January started with a bang.  The stock market continued its seemingly non-stop ascent, leading many to two rather divergent thoughts; 1) This thing has to end, and 2) Let’s get in!  As February rolled in, another feeling that thankfully has been missing for several years greeted us once again.  The feeling of risk.  February marked […]

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Risk Makes a Comeback

Monday brought volatility back to the forefront of everyone’s minds in a jaw-dropping 1,000 point pullback.  This was the biggest point pullback ever. That type of headline will get anyone’s attention.  However, it is also a pullback that started from a Dow at the highest level ever.  As the level gets higher, the point pullbacks […]

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“Analyze This” – BDF Annual Client Event Recap

On January 18, BDF held its Annual Client Event in Itasca with over 300 clients and guests in attendance. Chad Carlson, Director of Investment Research, and Mark Balasa, Chief Investment Officer, were the keynote speakers. 2017 Market Review Chad reviewed 2017, which was a phenomenal year for both stock and bond returns – far exceeding […]

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Tax Reform and Munis: Much Ado About Nothing?

Despite the potential to broadly overhaul the tax treatment of a large swath of the muni bond market, the final legislation actually left most of the municipal bond market untouched. Muni bonds tax-exempt status was never really in jeopardy, but smaller segments of the broader market were targeted for potential overhaul. Private activity bonds (bonds […]

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What the $$$$ is Bitcoin?

It seems like almost hourly there is a new headline about Bitcoin. It’s been a truly remarkable year – starting the year at $900 and quickly surpassing price levels of over $17,000! But what is this technology? Below is a high-level summary of Bitcoin and the fundamentals of how it operates. What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin […]

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Year-End Distributions – What You Need to Know

As Andy Williams said, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Nope – it’s not the holidays, not egg nog, not Santa…it’s year-end distributions! Throughout the year, we look for ways to avoid taxes on distributions, so the items we plan to discuss are either already done or in progress. But hopefully this should […]

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Where Did The Volatility Go?

Where did the volatility go? 2017 has been a remarkably smooth ride in the equity market to-date. The VIX, which measures market volatility, has been stubbornly low all year, staying well below the 10-year average of about 17. In fact, the VIX has yet to even hit the 10-year average all year!  What is the […]

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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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