The Power of Rebalancing for Retirees

The stock market has taken a wild ride so far in 2020. Starting on February 19th, the global stock market lost approximately 35% in five weeks.* Following that, the global stock market gained 42% from March 23rd through June 16th.* The market has been extremely volatile over this period, which typically drives investors crazy, but ultimately provides a unique opportunity for retirement investing. Over the last six months we have been rebalancing portfolios as we’ve mentioned in several videos and blog posts. We know that there is extensive research supporting rebalancing as a risk reduction tool, which is especially valuable for retirees. Typically, this involves selling stocks and buying bonds, mainly because stocks tend to earn higher returns than bonds over the long run. Thus, portfolios become overweight in stocks and create the need to rebalance. But when markets decline, rebalancing provides an opportunity to take advantage of depressed stock prices and...

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Elise Murphy and Rosanne Braxton Recognized by Junior League

Two members of the Level family were recognized recently by the Junior League of Buffalo for their efforts to assist the local organization.  Level's President Rosanne Braxton, CFP® was awarded the organizations Sustainer Award, while Elise Murphy, CFP® was recognized with the Membership Council Award. The Junior League of Buffalo, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers....

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Retirement Planning During A Global Pandemic

One of the benefits of financial planning is proactively preparing for periods of financial instability and chaos. Clearly, we are in such a period as all of us are experiencing the full range of anxiety and insecurity caused by: The health risk to ourselves and our loved ones. The sense of isolation and disruption. The financial impact on our income and investments. The fear of the unknown; this is unprecedented! Let’s acknowledge that the specific nature of the pandemic and the emotional impact of being isolated were not factors that many folks anticipated or planned for. And while it is impossible to avoid the emotional discomfort, we can gain some measure of security by applying logic, research, and smart strategy to the things we can control, especially within our finances. The economic impacts of this crisis have been experienced before and a good financial plan can address these periods of instability and...

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Tax Filing Deadline Extended

What’s new with taxes? Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the IRS has made the decision to extend the 2019 tax filing deadline from April 15th 2020 to July 15th 2020. This move gives all taxpayers, regardless of their status or if they owe money, three months longer to file. Tax payments that were due on April 15th 2020 can also be deferred to July 15th 2020 without incurring interest or penalty. Keep in mind that the extension applies to Federal tax filing/payments. When it comes to filing or paying your state taxes, they might have a different deadline. There is some good news for those who live in New York; state officials have said the deadline will be extended to match the Federal deadline of July 15th. Who does this apply to? This applies to any individuals, trusts, associations, companies, estates, or corporations that file within the U.S. Should you wait to file? The answer...

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Important Information For Our Clients Pertaining to Business Continuity

The Governor of New York has issued a state-wide mandate that 100% of non-essential employees work from home, effective Sunday evening. As you may know, most of our staff has been working remotely since Monday, and any remaining employees will begin working at home starting March 23rd at 8:30am. We expect no interruption in our ability to service our clients, with very few exceptions noted below. We will continue to operate as we have all this week.  Our various modes of contact are listed below and we encourage our clients to reach out to us as they normally would. On an indefinite basis, the following exceptions will apply to our normal operations: Both our Hamburg and Amherst offices will be closed. No in-person meetings will be held.  Zoom (web conferencing) and phone meetings are always available. Clients should not drop off items to our offices.  We encourage our clients to mail or...

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The Path to Recovery

The stock market has continued to tumble as investors flee to safety over concerns about the impact on the economy from COVID-19.  Rightfully so, there is an expectation of an economic slowdown as a result of people staying inside to try and limit the spread of the virus.  Does this mean investors should expect stocks to continue to decline for months? First, the stock market has already priced in a recession, that is why the market is down over 30% already.  The stock market is a forward-looking machine and it always has been.  This applies to recoveries as well, and we fully expect the market to recover before the economic data actually shows a recovery.  This is why selling stocks and “waiting until things look better” is a bad investment strategy.  By the time things look better, the market will already have started to recover. Case in point, this chart shows the...

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