Financial Planning Newsletters

Seasonal Musings

June 28, 2013

As noted in the past, at Cornerstone we get to take our birthday off. Last year at this time I wrote about my trip to Mackworth Island and how good it was to go solo, to walk and sit by the sea, to slow down for a short period and simply just be. I decided this may be a good annual event and was undeterred when heading back this June despite the gray and gusty rain-sprinkled day. A person can sit and think in all types of weather!

Read More

On Growth and Happiness

March 6, 2013

“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth; we are happy when we are growing.”

I’ve always appreciated this quote by William Bulter Yeats and long associated growth with learning. I bought a set of World Book encyclopedias when I graduated from high school and remember opening the books at random. I rebuilt the engine of my ’67 Cougar with my not-yet husband. Yes, learning equals growth equals happiness. But is growth always good?

Read More

Continuing Fallout From The Mortgage Debacle

March 6, 2013

An ironic outcome of the financial crisis of 2008 is that, while interest rates are at historic lows, refinancing or obtaining a mortgage is more difficult than ever. Recently several of our clients experienced trouble while trying to refinance their existing mortgages. Either the bank wanted information that proved difficult for the client to provide (proof that a company pension would continue at least 10 years) or the process took so long that the client got frustrated and walked away. These experiences are not unusual, according to several mortgage lenders I have spoken with recently. Because of all the bad loans out there, banks are being very stringent with their requirements. They want to be sure that any loan they approve will pass FHA inspection (so they can sell it to the FHA and get if off their books) or is strong enough to keep on their books. On the whole this is a good thing – those “no income” loans of old are gone for good, we hope. But it is making life harder for even those with good credit histories and steady income.

Read More

How Much is That Stock?

March 6, 2013

There is no perfect equation that establishes the price of a stock, unfortunately. In the marketplace of buyers and sellers this figure is based on supply and demand; an increase in demand for a stock puts upward pressure on its price and a decrease in demand creates an over-supply and pushes the price of a stock down. Beyond this, there are 3 basic areas that come into play: Fundamental factors, technical factors and market sentiment.

Read More