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Our first priority is helping you take care of yourself and your family. We want to learn more about your personal situation, identify your dreams and goals, and understand your tolerance for risk. Long-term relationships that encourage open and honest communication have been the cornerstone of my foundation of success.

Smart Tax Moves for 2024

Smart Tax Moves for 2024

As we kick off a new tax year, here are some smart tax moves to consider making, as well as some moves you will want to avoid making.

Navigating the Housing Maze: Beyond The Numbers

Navigating the Housing Maze: Beyond The Numbers

Shelter transcends mere refuge; it's a deep-rooted instinct to seek a home as part of our identity, finding solace in the familiar. This past Christmas, I witnessed my two young sons gleefully declare "mine!" over their newfound treasures; upon reflection, I saw how this yearning for ownership persists into adulthood. While “owning your own home” was often looked to as a pivotal milestone toward the American dream, the combination of soaring home prices, volatile mortgage markets, and changing priorities have made the path a bit murkier.  Now the "rent vs. buy" debate seems to have morphed into a balance of flexibility, financial prudence, and personal aspirations.  Here are some of the considerations

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Our warmest regards to you and your families for a healthy and engaging 2024.  Wow, I cannot believe we are already saying 2024!  The old saying that “the days are long but years are short”, seems to be the biggest understatement I recall in recent memory.  Our family had a very substantive year in that everyone is healthy and employed, we enjoyed a couple of nice family trips, and our oldest son got engaged—truly an exciting year for all of us.

<strong>Way to go Evelyn!</strong>

Way to go Evelyn!

Please welcome our newest Notary Public, Evelyn Cetina.

Congratulations Evelyn!

T<strong>hings We&#8217;ve Been Asked</strong>

Things We’ve Been Asked

What year-end tax planning topics should I consider?

<strong>Portfolio Changes &#173;This Year</strong>

Portfolio Changes ­This Year

We have implemented several changes in client accounts so far this year. During February 2023, we trimmed the core US Large Cap equity strategy and added a second BulletShare target date bond  ETF. We also replaced the large cap growth strategy T.Rowe Price Blue Chip with JPM Active Growth ETF, impressed by both lower management fees and a strong performance track record.

<strong>Congratulations Kody!</strong>

Congratulations Kody!

We're delighted to share the exciting news that Kody Brown has been promoted to a full equity partner at Sterling Financial Group, Inc. (SFG).

<strong>Estate Settlement</strong>

Estate Settlement

Many clients and colleagues are surprised to learn that we offer comprehensive Estate Settlement and Trust Management Services. Ofien these times are very stressful for families, and we offer a steady hand to provide a seamless and integrated approach to managing the estate settlement process and post-death trust administration. We understand the intricacies and sensitivities involved in these processes and can guide you through this important journey with compassion, expertise, and coordination with your other professionals.

ss is built on a foundation of thoughtful client relationships.

<strong>STERLING FINANCIAL REPORT</strong>

STERLING FINANCIAL REPORT

Legendary investor, Robert Arnott, defines a stock bubble as a stock that is trading at impossible growth assumptions and the next investor in the stock is unconcerned with the fundamentals of the company. I bring up bubbles because many would say the NASDAQ 100 stock index (heavy in technology stock) is in bubble range as it is up +33% year-to-date, even though it has declined for the last several weeks. For example, the valuation of artificial intelligence darling stock NVIDIA is trading at an implausible 33 times sales. For comparison, other quality companies, such as APPLE, are trading at a mere 7 times sales, while a very large bank, J.P. Morgan, is trading at 3 times sales.

Back to School: Repayments Resume

Back to School: Repayments Resume

During the COVID-19 pandemic, federal student loan payments were suspended, interest rates were temporarily set to zero, and lenders were advised to halt collections on defaulted loans. However, the recent bipartisan debt ceiling has put an end to student loan relief from Covid-era rules.

U.S. Housing Market Crossroads

U.S. Housing Market Crossroads

Conflicting trends in recent months appear to indicate that the overall U.S. housing market is at a crossroads. In May 2023, median U.S. home prices fell slightly, down 3.1% year over year to $396,100. In addition, the number of homes for sale in the U.S. fell by 7.1% year over year to 1.4 million as of May, the lowest level since 2012. In June, the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of previously owned homes are down 23.2% since last spring.

ChatGPT and Beyond

ChatGPT and Beyond

ChatGPT, an advanced language model developed by OpenAI, has revolutionized the field of artificial intelligence (“AI”) with its remarkable ability to understand and generate human-like responses in natural language conversations. This groundbreaking technology has captured widespread attention and ignited interest in the capabilities of AI, due especially to three breakthroughs

The First Half of 2023 is Officially Over

The First Half of 2023 is Officially Over

Well that went quickly! The first half of 2023 is officially over, and with it, certain concerns seem to have abated, while other topics seem to occupy a great deal of our mind-space. One governmental institution that constantly captures media attention due to its fascinating evolution and present-day significance, is the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, commonly known as the Fed. In this piece, we aim to provide a concise overview of its evolution, significant milestones, and unwavering commitment to combating inflation. Established over a century ago in 1913, the Fed was created with the objective of establishing a stable monetary framework and safeguarding against financial crises. Throughout its history, the Fed has implemented diverse monetary policies to ensure price stability, eventually adopting a "dual mandate" of maintaining both price stability and full employment.

The Strength of our Custodians

The Strength of our Custodians

Our clients custody their investment assets through either Charles Schwab & Co., Inc (“Schwab”) or LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (“LPL”). Considering recent events, we thought that we should highlight the custodial relationship, as well as the strengths of our firm’s two custodial partners.

Client Interview

Client Interview

As a firm, we have many diverse long-term clients, so we thought instead of just highlighting what are sometimes abstract economic ideas, we would harness the knowledge and firsthand experience of those we know. Below is an excerpt from a late March 2023 interview with one Los Angeles-based jewelry manufacturer.

SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 Retirement Savings Expansion

SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 Retirement Savings Expansion

Major retirement plan changes resulted from the passage of the SECURE 2.0 Act last year, and starting January 1st of 2023, there are 92 new provisions that went into effect. We have selected several of the more significant changes that will shape the savings and retirement landscape of employers and employees alike.

<span>Don Vernon turns 90 years old</span>

Don Vernon turns 90 years old

My father-in-law, Don Vernon, turns 90 years old this month. Happy birthday, Don! Among many accomplishments, Don was married to his wife Kathleen for over 60 years and had three daughters (a doctor, a lawyer, and, my favorite, an engineer—my wife—Ellen Hatch!). Don also served this country on an aircraft carrier in the Navy and had a brilliant career in the defense sector most recently as an executive with SAIC. In thinking about this birthday, I couldn’t help but be reminded of what's happened in the world during the last 9 to 12 months is not all that dissimilar from the trials and tribulations over the past 90 years. 

A New Home for Mom

A New Home for Mom

At some point, most of us will no longer be able to live independently. Having recently helped my mom get placed in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), I have learned a great deal about this topic. While by no means a complete list, here are some things to consider, as well as some takeaways:

Good-bye and good riddance to 2022

Good-bye and good riddance to 2022

Goodbye and good riddance to 2022, and welcome to 2023! I say good riddance because both personally and professionally, I am glad to leave the many challenges of 2022 behind — and I have heard from many of you who feel the same. While we cannot change what happened, we can learn and grow from it and move forward, exactly what we intend to do here at Sterling Financial Group.

Should I Consider I Bonds?

Should I Consider I Bonds?

If you have extra cash at the bank, shorter-term investment options such as money market funds and CDs, now provide more  interesting  returns  than  they  did  last  year. If you have some funds you won’t need for at least one year, you might also consider Series I Savings Bonds (“I Bonds”).

Reframing Risk

Reframing Risk

Risk tolerance and time horizons are central topics to both financial planning and investment management. In volatile market periods risk tolerance is put to the test, like a ship’s captain during a big storm. Over the last decade, liberal use of both fiscal and monetary policies by our federal government have suppressed market volatility. Though these efforts were positive for equity markets (if you focus on the above average returns during that period), the decreased volatility in risk assets has unfortunately “insulated” many investors. As a result of investors’ notoriously short-term memories, their risk tolerance may be out of balance with their current portfolio.

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