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Welcome John Weinstein CFP®, MBA

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Decision Investments is pleased to announce that long time friend and colleague, John Weinstein CFP®, MBA has accepted a Managing Partner and Portfolio Manager position effective today. John brings with him 14 years experience working with a large Wall Street firm and an established base of clients, relationships and assets.  John joins a growing number of successful Financial Advisors who appreciate the many benefits of working with a smaller independent  firm.

As a Managing Partner, John’s primary focus is on Financial Planning and Portfolio Management. John holds a Cerified Financial Planner CFP® designation and earned a Masters in Business Administration MBA from George Washington University. Beyond his overall investing capabilities, John focuses on identifying investments that pay above average dividends while still trading at attractive valuations.

John is civically minded and has been an active volunteer with the La Jolla Town Council, La Jolla Newcomers, Voices for Children, Big Brother/Big Sister, It’s all about the Kids Foundation and with the San Diego Film Festival.

John’s passion for the industry and for helping others shows every day. In addition to his extensive knowledge in Financial Planning and Investing, he prides himself on a client-centric mindset which includes same day responses to client questions, offering client education events and providing truly individualized investing solutions. Decision Investments and our clients are fortunate to benefit from all that John will be able to contribute in his new role.

Market Stats

Monday, August 8th, 2011

The chart below highlights just how fast, furious and widespread the decline has been over the last couple of weeks.  Among other ugly stats, you will notice that Small cap companies as well as the Telecom, Materials, Industrials and Financials sectors all sold off near 20% from recent highs. The declines in Brazil, Australia, Italy, France and Germany were even steeper. 

The broad based selling, resulting (in large part) from the S&P downgrading US debt, caused trillions of dollars in lost market capitalization for US Equities. Where did the money go?  Ironically, most of it went into the “safe haven” of US government debt pushing treasury prices higher and yields lower.

All of the market gains that took place during the period that the Fed was conducting “QE2” have been wiped out and the yields on stocks compared to bonds hasn’t been this high since 1962. No investor, institutional or otherwise, knows what is going to happen next but seasoned investors don’t sit idle in volatile markets.  Whether it’s selling names that have broken down technically or buying oversold opportunities, the key is paying attention and being active. 

c/o Bespoke Investments

We encourage you to revisit Dow 12,000, Now What?, which we wrote in January when we posited that the “big Bounce” from market lows was over and offered strategies to help protect and grow portfolios in volatile markets.  We do feel strongly that there are opportunities to exploit at current levels but would like to see the S&P stabilize before we make any more purchases.

In the coming weeks we will try to identify companies who have been unduly punished as a result of the broad sell off…companies down 20% or more that  likely won’t be selling 20% fewer burgers, servers, coffee, mobile phones or services (as a result of  an S&P downgrade, or European debt crisis)  than they were poised to sell three weeks ago when the markets turned.

Dow 12,000…Now What? Part II

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Yes… the image you see is what Dow 12,000 looks like coming from the other (less desirable) direction. Today marks the sixth time the Dow Jones Industrial Average has crossed the 12,000 level since the first time on October 19th 2006 (no relation to Black Monday, October 19th 1987).     We felt this was an opportune time to revisit our post from January 27 of this year entitled Dow 12,000…Now What?’ and to share our sentiments on the current environment for the economy and the financial markets. 

The market has declined now for six straight weeks and the decline accelerated recently when a trifecta of negative indicators came in worse than expected.  These areas of weakness included housing, employment and consumer confidence.  As of this writing, the tech heavy NASDAQ composite has slipped into negative territory for the year as the technology, materials and financial sectors have declined the most over the last month.  Utilities, healthcare and consumer staples have held up best over the last several weeks.  (more…)

Where is the silver lining?

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

-By Tim Dyer

One year ago today, the popular commodity Silver (as measured by the index fund: SLV) was exchanging hands at $18.50 a share. Fast forward to today and you will see those same shares of SLV trading at a little over $33.  That is a pretty healthy gain of 78% vs the 20% return of domestic stocks over the same period.  What is even more eye popping is not only where SLV sits currently but where it has been. The current price is down 30% from the recent high of  $48 that was achieved on April 28th. The move from $18.50 to $48 was a move of over 150% in less that a year!  Volume on this index traded over 180 million shares at the high as the Federal Reserve issued a statement that interest rates were destined to stay low in the near term. Is that a lot you ask? YES! The most widely traded index is the SPY (S&P500) which had volume of 120 million. SLV had traded 60 million more shares that the SPY index traded for the day! 60 million times $48 a shares is a LOT of money to change hands.

Silver has had a historic run, the chart has gone parabolic ( Wall Street jargon for “looks like a hockey stick curve”).  It is not surprising that investors have been scratching their heads wondering if this is a pullback or the start of a new downtrend.  The risk level is now elevated and investors should use caution if they want to allocate money to this asset.

The silver lining here: “The trend is your friend, till the bend at the end.” The move from here, up or down,  is not for the faint of hearted and protecting profits may result in lost opportunity cost but not loss of capital.

2010 IRA Contribution Limits

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Contribution limits and filing deadlines for IRA’s, Roth IRA’s, Profit Sharing Plans and individual 401K’s.

 Traditional IRA Contribution Amounts / Deadlines

Year Maximum Contribution
(if under age 50)
Maximum Contribution
(if over age 50)
Contribution Deadline Limits on Tax Deductibility
2010 $5,000 $6,000 4/18/2011 Neither You or Your Spouse in Employer Plan – Contribution is Fully Tax Deductible
You’re in an Employer Plan
Single $56,000-$66,000
Married- Filing Jointly $89,000-$109,000
Married- Filing Separately $0-$10,000
Only Your Spouse in an Employer Plan
Married- Filing Jointly $167,000-$177,000
Married- Filing Separately $0-$10,000
2011 $5,000 $6,000 4/16/2012 Neither You or Your Spouse in Employer Plan – Contribution is Fully Tax Deductible
You’re in an Employer Plan
Single $56,000-$66,000
Married- Filing Jointly $90,000-$110,000
Married- Filing Separately $0-$10,000
Only Your Spouse in an Employer Plan
Married- Filing Jointly $169,000-$179,000
Married- Filing Separately $0-$10,000

Roth IRA Contribution Amounts / Deadlines

Year Maximum Contribution
(if under age 50)
Maximum Contribution
(if over age 50)
Contribution Deadline Income Limits for Contributions
2010 $5,000 $6,000 4/18/2011 Tax Filing Status Income
Single $105,000-$120,000
Married- Filing Jointly $167,000-$177,000
Married- Filing Separately $0-$10,000
2011 $5,000 $6,000 4/16/2012 Tax Filing Status Income
Single $107,000-$122,000
Married- Filing Jointly $169,000-$179,000
Married- Filing Separately $0-$10,000

Coverdell ESA Contribution Amounts / Deadlines

Year Maximum Contribution Contribution Deadline Income Limits for Contributions
2010 $2,000 4/18/2011 Tax Filing Status Income
Single $95,000-$110,000
Married- Filing Jointly $190,000-$220,000
2011 $2,000 4/16/2012 Tax Filing Status Income
Single $95,000-$110,000
Married- Filing Jointly $190,000-$220,000

SEP IRA/Profit Sharing/Money Purchase Contribution Amounts / Deadlines

Year Maximum Contribution Contribution Deadline
2010 $49,000 4/18/2011 (plus extensions)
2011 $49,000 4/16/2012 (plus extensions)

SIMPLE IRA Contribution Amounts / Deadlines

Year Maximum Contribution
(if under age 50)
Maximum Contribution
(if over age 50)
Contribution Deadline
2010 $11,500 $14,000 4/18/2011 (plus extensions)
2011 $11,500 $14,000 4/16/2012 (plus extensions

INDIVIDUAL & ROTH INDIVIDUAL 401(K) Contribution Amounts / Deadlines

Year Maximum Salary Deferral
(if under age 50)
Maximum Salary Deferral
(if over age 50)
Contribution Deadline
2010 $16,500 $22,000 4/18/2011 (plus extensions)
2011 $16,500 $22,000 4/16/2012 (plus extensions)
Year Maximum Contribution
(if under age 50)
Maximum Contribution
(if over age 50)
Contribution Deadline
2010 $49,000 $54,500 4/18/2011 (plus extensions)
2011 $49,000 $54,500 4/16/2012 (plus extensions)