Market View (April 2016) – A Light at the End of the Tunnel?

  |  April 28, 2016

Much like previous quarters, the first quarter of 2016 was interesting to say the least.  The quarter began with concerns over the global economy.  Was the precipitous fall in the price of oil an indication of a slowing global economy, or just an issue of over-supply? Would the Federal Reserve raise rates too quickly and choke economic growth?  These concerns overwhelmed any positive news and equity markets declined through January and the first half of February. Read more. Read More

Quality of Earnings: Important Considerations for Buyers and Sellers

  |  April 27, 2016

When it comes to evaluating “quality,” buyers, sellers and, most importantly, financial institutions, often have widely diverse opinions, that can greatly affect their decision to proceed with a particular transaction.

Nobody likes surprises. All parties involved spend considerable time and energy just to get to a proposed transaction. In evaluating the quality of earnings, the elements that always receive significant attention are the depth and breadth of the businesses’ key customer/vendor relationships; repeatable business processes that are executed daily without exception; and the strength of key staff beyond the owner(s). Read more. Read More

Special Alert: Phishing Scams on the Rise

  |  April 11, 2016

Don’t automatically believe the Internal Revenue Service or other government agency is calling you – even if your caller ID tells you so. And don’t assume that just because you receive an email claiming to be from the IRS, it really is.

The Internal Revenue Service and the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) are warning taxpayers to be especially vigilant – not only during tax season, but also throughout the year. Sophisticated telephone and email scams are on the rise, using so-called “phishing” campaigns to obtain sensitive personal information from unsuspecting individuals. Read more. Read More

Your Investment Accounts: How to Deal with Identity Theft and Data Breaches

  |  February 19, 2016

An Investor Alert recently issued by the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy recommends the steps investors should take to safeguard their investment accounts if they are victims of identity theft or if their electronic data is hacked. While the Alert was directed primarily toward safeguarding investment accounts, many of these actions should be taken to protect credit card and bank accounts, as well.

You should always take steps to protect your personal financial information, such as Social Security numbers, bank and investment account numbers, user names and passwords. If you are the victim of identity theft, however, or you discover your personal financial data has been breached, there are a number of steps you need to take as soon as possible. Read more. Read More

The Year in Review and What to Watch for in 2016

  |  February 9, 2016

Changes in interest rates, stock market values and economic and industry conditions can all impact the value of privately held businesses. In general, increases in the equity markets, lower interest rates and higher growth expectations – due to improving economic, industry or specific company expectations – point to higher values. Conversely, declines in the equity markets, rising interest rates and lower growth expectations may put downward pressure on values. In the coming year, business valuations could be impacted by a number of current events. Read more. Read More

Financial Matters (Winter 2016) – Why Are Annuities So Complex?

  |  February 2, 2016

‘Indexed’ annuities (sometimes called ‘equity-indexed’ annuities) were a reaction from the insurance industry to investors wanting to participate in the market but not experience the downside (‘have cake and eat it too’). Hence, a product that participated on the upside and protected the downside. But at a cost of additional fees and limits on access to your funds.

Like other annuity products, ‘indexed’ annuities are a contract between you and the insurer. The financial strength of the insurer is paramount in ensuring that they can meet these commitments. But the complexity of the product and optional features (riders) can be difficult for anyone, including insurance agents, to understand. Read more. Read More

Market View (January 2016) Year in Review

  |  January 19, 2016

What a year for 2015! From seeing the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years to hitting all-time highs in the U.S. equity markets, the year marked some great and historic moments.  One very notable moment that we can all relate to was the price of a gasoline at the pumps – we saw the price per gallon fall (and stay) below $2.00.  Although low gasoline prices are great for us (the consumer), it did create some issues for the oil markets, many oil related companies and their employees, as well as state coffers. As a result, we saw the energy sector, along with a slowdown in China, have a negative effect on global markets. 

As these events began to unfold throughout the year, we saw volatility return to the markets as U.S. equity markets peaked in May and within a few months, we experienced our first equity market correction since 2011. Read more. Read More

New Indian Tax Extenders Offer Investment Incentives

  |  January 7, 2016

Just before its year-end recess, Congress approved its anticipated tax-extender package, which President Obama has since signed into law. The package makes permanent – or extends authorization for – a number of tax provisions affecting economic development in Indian Country.

The Indian Tax Extenders are designed to motivate both direct investment in projects on Indian lands and the hiring of Indian people. Read more. Read More