HSW Advisors Blogs

Zombie Banks

A commonly-used measure of a bank’s health is the return it makes on the equity* on its balance sheet (“ROE”).  A higher return on equity indicates a company is effectively using the contributions of equity investors to generate good returns, grow profits and return them to investors at attractive rates.   *A company’s equity, or ...

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In the past year, the subject of China’s economic growth rate has infused an added measure of volatility into world markets.  As the second largest economy, and a major importer (mostly of raw materials) and exporter (mostly of finished goods), China’s global influence is quite important.  However, if we draw the lens back a bit ...

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Halloween and Retirement

Jacqueline Simpson, in Encyclopedia of Death and Dying, states: “Halloween is closely associated in folklore with death and the supernatural.”  America celebrates this tradition by visiting haunted houses and watching scary movies.  But in reality, one of the most frightening aspects of retirement is not retiring: not because someone does not want to retire, but ...

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The Lawsuits of 2015

There are many happenings in Washington this year when it comes to managing retirement plans, primarily as it relates to 1) Lawsuits in managing 401(k) plans and 2) Fiduciary responsibility in managing retirement plans. This blog post focuses on this year’s principal lawsuits focused on 401(k) plans. The next blog post will discuss the proposed ...

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Accentuate the Positive

Image: photobucket.com   On a recent trip to China, I noticed how everywhere cranes constructed new apartments for those moving from rural areas to the big cities. This was true in all of the cities I toured – Xi’an, Ljiang, Shangri-La and Shanghai.  New apartment complexes, shopping malls and hotels with luxury brands being ...

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Here we go again

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto   Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) have once again experienced a significant pullback. The group is down approximately 8% since May 1, 2015. The issues are a triple whammy this time, consisting of lower commodity prices (most focused in NGLs), higher interest rates and increased equity supply. While the pullback is material, it ...

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I.O.U. - Part II

Image: ctmiller.net   If a little debt can be a good thing, what then are the best practices? We know from the 2008 Great Depression that excessive borrowing (aka leverage) was a major problem.  The collateral upon which leverage applied was questionable, and the number of turns of leverage (the number of times you can ...

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Focus on the Music

Photo: etftrends.com   I have written in the past about how corrections can be welcome events. The pause that refreshes. The correction we experienced in MLPs from the highs of late August to the lows of Mid October did not feel welcome or refreshing but I remain optimistic about future midstream MLP performance given that ...

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I.O.U. - Part I

  Growing up in Canada, I always heard my grandfather Paul say, “Debt is a four-letter word.”  I knew early on what a “four-letter word” meant, but really wanted to know about this thing called “debt,” and why it was so bad. Like many successful business people, my grandfather was a self-made man.  He ...

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Reading the Signs

Image: Randy Glasbergen   The first non-textbook on investing I ever read was One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch.  In it, the former Fidelity fund manager detailed his homespun rules of investing.  One I remember, and follow to this day, is that when people line up to enter a store and the ...

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HSW Advisors is registered with HighTower Securities, LLC, member FINRA, MSRB and SIPC, and with HighTower Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the SEC. Securities are offered through HighTower Securities, LLC; advisory services are offered through HighTower Advisors, LLC.

This is not an offer to buy or sell securities. No investment process is free of risk, and there is no guarantee that the investment process or the investment opportunities referenced herein will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of current or future performance and is not a guarantee. The investment opportunities referenced herein may not be suitable for all investors.

All data and information reference herein are from sources believed to be reliable. Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices, or other information contained in this research is provided as general market commentary, it does not constitute investment advice. The team and HighTower shall not in any way be liable for claims, and make no expressed or implied representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the data and other information, or for statements or errors contained in or omissions from the obtained data and information referenced herein. The data and information are provided as of the date referenced. Such data and information are subject to change without notice.

This document was created for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of the team and do not represent those of HighTower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates.


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about the authors

Kenneth Hoffman  

has advised high-net-worth families since 1981 on investment strategy, asset allocation and portfolio design. In addition, Ken has an expertise in institutional consulting for retirement planning - both for defined benefit and defined contribution plans.

Designing Benefits is a blog that decodesthe ever-changing retirement planning landscape. Employing his distinctive industry knowledge, Ken highlights issues with today's retirement plans and provides solutions to these common flaws.

Jordan Waxman  

is in his 20th year as a private wealth advisor. He is an attorney, an MBA, Accredited Investment Fiduciary® Designee, Certified Financial PlannerTM, Certified Investment Strategist® and Certified Investment Management Analyst®.

Inside the Vault is a blog that will clarify and illuminate all aspects of private wealth management and investments. Jordan will describe the inner-workings of the investment world, highlighting inherent risks, opportunities and potential conflicts of interest.

Richard Steinberg  

is the Chief Investment Officer of HSW Advisors and anAccredited Investment Fiduciary® Designee, managing high-grade, tax-exempt fixed income portfolios for domestic clients, as well as analyzing and recommending alternative investments. He has advised high net-worth families and institutions for over 27 years.

The Pipeline is a blog that comments on and deciphers the outwardly complex world of MLPs. Through Rich’s expert observation, the once unconventional MLP sector will be illuminated for all.