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The Market Provides Another Lesson

The stock market entered its own polar vortex in December 2018 and tested the discipline of even the most seasoned investors.  December was brutal in both how much the stock market went down, but also in how relentless the decline was.  There was basically no pause button in the three-week span from December 4th to December 24th.  Take a look at the data on the S&P 500 for yourself: [caption id="attachment_7720" align="alignnone" width="255"] *data from Yahoo Finance[/caption] On top of that, the pundits came out punching with claims of the economy entering a recession and how the stock market would continue to go down dramatically.  The S&P 500 ended up losing 9.18% for the month**.  It was a dark moment and people were at their wits’ end.  Some investors inevitably bailed on their investment plans and sold all of their stocks. **according to YCharts We have always maintained, and so has the evidence, that...

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Level Names Steven Elwell, CFP® New Chief Investment Officer

PRESS RELEASE Amherst, NY: Level Financial Advisors has named Steven Elwell, CFP® the firm’s Chief Investment Officer, effective January 1, 2019.  Elwell, a partner at the Amherst-based company, most recently served as Vice President.  He replaces Richard Schroeder, CFP®, who retired in December after twenty years with the organization. Elwell was hired by the firm in 2007 and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional. He is originally from Arkport, NY and a graduate of SUNY Alfred with a bachelor’s degree in financial planning.  In his new role he will continue to serve his clients, along with being on the corporation’s executive board. Additionally, he will chair the firm’s investment committee and guide their overall investment philosophy. Level manages $385 million in assets for 611 households. They celebrate their 40th anniversary this year.  Founded by Alan Vogt in 1979 as Paramount Planning, the company changed its name to Schroeder, Braxton and Vogt in 1999,...

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A Giant Lives On

The investment world lost one of its most influential figures January 16th, as John Clifton Bogle, better known a Jack Bogle, passed away at his home in Pennsylvania.  Jack was 89 years old and responsible for introducing the first index mutual fund for individual investors in 1976.  He built Vanguard from scratch, which ultimately became the world’s largest mutual fund company, and now manages over $5 trillion dollars for investors. Jack has always been an advocate for the individual investor, refusing to market Vanguard funds through back-end payments to brokers, therefore passing the cost savings on to investors.  Jack has authored some of the most important investment books of my lifetime, including my personal favorite Enough. True Measures of Money, Business and Life (2008).  The book brings together both an outline for building wealth and a deeper meaning for using it to enhance your life and the lives of people around...

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4 New Year’s Resolutions For Pre-Retirees

2019 is already upon us and with every new year comes the resolutions. If you’re on the verge of retirement it is even more important to have your financial house in order.  With that thought, I’ve created a list of new year’s resolutions specifically geared to those who plan to retire in 2019.  Those of you who are still a few years away from retirement can also use these tips to get a jump start on planning (reminder: the earlier you start planning the easier it will be). 1) TRACK YOUR EXPENSES TO DETERMINE WHAT YOU NEED TO LIVE ON How much money do you need per month to be comfortable? I prefer people calculate this on a monthly basis since many of us can do this with relative ease.  Of course, don’t forget any quarterly or yearly expenses.  This is the most important number when it comes to your retirement.  It is the...

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Level Acquires Angelucci Wealth Management

Michael Angelucci

PRESS RELEASE Level Financial Advisors announced today the acquisition of Angelucci Wealth Management, LLC, effective January 1, 2019.  The firm’s principle, Michael Angelucci, CFP®, MBA will join Level’s team of advisors in the New Year. Angelucci opened his Williamsville-based wealth management business in 2007, providing financial planning and fee-only investment management services to 120 clients.  The firm carries $25M in assets under management and another $90M in assets under financial advisement.  Angelucci will continue to service these clients from Level’s offices on Sweet Home Road in Amherst. “We are extremely excited to have Mike join our team,” said Level’s chief operating officer Michael Heburn. “First and foremost, he’s a great cultural fit for our company and our clients.  But just as important, Mike shares our philosophy on financial planning and doing what’s in the best interest of our clients, making him a natural fit for our growing firm.” Angelucci has a Bachelor of Arts...

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5 Ways to Take Advantage of the Recent Downturn

The S&P 500 is down roughly 15% from its recent highs and the NASDAQ is down even more.  This has caused many investors to be concerned about their financial future and wonder what can be done. For most people, the prudent thing to do is to stick with their investment plan and not let fear drive themselves to make major shifts in their strategy during extremely volatile times.  Significant evidence shows that investors have been terrible at timing the market (see the annual Dalbar Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior studies ) and that doesn’t even mention the emotional roller coaster that comes with that form of speculation. With that said, there are several things you can do to take advantage of lower stock prices. These strategies involve taking a long term view of investing (think 5+ years) and remaining disciplined in sticking with your financial plan.  Here are the ways to take...

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