Sycamore Updates and Investment Decisions

Hello from Sycamore,

We admire everyone’s efforts to stay safe as we all continue to navigate through challenging times caused by COVID-19. At Sycamore, we take pride that during these times of uncertainty, there are quite a few things we can remain certain about:

  1. We are fully operational via phone or email for all questions, concerns, and account reviews.
  2. Our clients continue to be the most important asset to our business.
  3. Helping our clients achieve their financial goals, is our number 1 objective.

We use a ‘risk first analysis’ in our investment decisions. This means when considering an investment, we judge the stability of a company and its industry, and the longevity of that stock within its sector. Using this approach has helped us limit exposure to industries like airlines and entertainment that are not very predictable, and due to the uncertain nature of these businesses, we’ve kept most of them out of your portfolios.

This is not our first rodeo, we are no stranger to the fact that there will be good markets and volatile markets. Understanding this, when we put your individual financial plan into place, we consider this as we make the rate of return assumptions.

As we look back over 2019, we can proudly say Sycamore’s Growth & Income portfolios experienced gross returns above 27%. We also feel that it is important to point out that as we write this, the markets are currently sitting around 24,000 which also happens to be higher than where we began the 2019 year.

We continue to thank all of you for being great investors. Stay safe, wash your hands, and stay invested!

Thank you for your business and trust,

Brent Yard
Sycamore Financial Group

*Data not audited
**Results reported gross of fees
***Past performance does not assure future results. Investors cannot invest directly in the stock market indexes such as the S&P 500. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate. Investor value, when sold may be worth more or less than their original cost.

 

By |2020-04-28T22:47:49+00:00April 28th, 2020|2020 Newsletters|0 Comments

COVID-19 Stimulus Package

Hello from Sycamore,

On March 27th, 2020 congress passed and the President signed into law a roughly $2 trillion stimulus package to help individuals and businesses deal with the fall out due to COVID-19. We have not had a chance to learn the specifics of this bill but understand the basics. Here are some of the policies that we think are pertinent to investors.

  1. Required minimum distributions from IRA type accounts have been waived for 2020.
  2. If you have already taken your 2020 RMD it appears that you may be able to ‘roll’ that distribution back into the IRA but only if you can put the money back within 60 days of the distribution. If you took your distribution early in 2020, these monies cannot be put back into your IRA type account.
  3. The tax filing deadline has been moved to July 15th, 2020 and with this, so has the date to make contributions to IRAs and health savings accounts for 2019.
  4. The 10% tax penalty on withdraws from IRA type account for those not yet 59.5 years old is waived on withdraws up to $100,000.
  5. IRA distributions in 2020 will be allowed to be paid back in full within 3 years and not incur any tax as long as the distribution is due to disaster relief. If you elect not to repay this amount, the distribution is taxable as ordinary income. Additionally, you may have the ability to pay this tax liability over 3 years.
  6. Loans from your 401(k) etc. are now allowed up to $100,000 or 100% of the account balance.

If you currently take RMD’s from your account with Sycamore and do not need the money for living expenses, it may be wise to delay those payments. This would allow for a reduced tax bill and potential for having to liquidate assets at a reduced price.

We want to remind you that we are fully operational during these times but are conducting business only remotely. The health and safety of our community continue to be at the forefront of Sycamore’s mind.

Brent Yard
Sycamore Financial Group

*Past performance does not assure future results. Investors cannot invest directly in the stock market indexes such as the S&P 500. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate. Investor value, when sold may be worth more or less than their original cost.

By |2020-04-02T06:04:52+00:00April 2nd, 2020|2020 Newsletters|0 Comments

Surviving the “Bear”

Hello from Sycamore,

Sir John Templeton, founder of the Templeton funds, had some investment advice for us in August of 1958. “To buy when others are despondently selling and to sell when others are avidly buying requires the greatest fortitude and pays the greatest ultimate reward”. In March of 1994 Sir John had additional wisdom for us. “ This time is different are among the most costly four words in market history”.

I think we can all agree that talking about the last bear market (with the benefit of hindsight) and living through the current bear are two very different things.

All bear markets are different and also the same. Each time we have a sell-off based on emotion, there’s a different event/trigger that causes the sell-off. But each bear market is the same because they involve emotional investment decisions rather than rational  (based on the math or data) decision making. All bear markets are stressful because we are not able to see into the future but this one is more stressful than most because we are all dealing with the possibility of becoming infected with COVID-19 in addition to watching our accounts lose market value.

When you originally made your investment allocation decision, you were not being towed around by your emotions. Changing that original allocation decision based on the current market condition is usually a mistake.

History tells us that ‘bear’ markets generally serve up many wonderful investment opportunities for those that remain cool, calm and collected.

Thank you all for being great investors and for having ice water in your veins and for your business and trust!

Craig Smith
Sycamore Financial Group

*Past performance does not assure future results. Investors cannot invest directly in the stock market indexes such as the S&P 500. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate. Investor value, when sold may be worth more or less than their original cost.

By |2020-04-01T04:41:33+00:00March 30th, 2020|2020 Newsletters|0 Comments

Coronavirus Precautions Announcement

Hello from Sycamore,

As you are aware, the current coronavirus which is a new variant known as COVID-19, is spreading from person to person in parts of the United states and has recently been diagnosed in Indiana. To help our clients and our community we will be fully operational during this time but will only be conducting business remotely. It will still be business as usual, just over the phone, email or Skype. We will do our best to answer every call or email as quickly as possible.

If you have a scheduled review during the weeks of March 16 – July 5, 2020, these will be conducted over the phone only. If you wish to reschedule please contact our office.

We do realize that this may seem abundantly cautious, but at Sycamore our clients and community are our number one priority.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work together to stay healthy.

Thanks for your business and trust!

Allison Rumschik
Sycamore Financial Group

By |2020-05-19T22:55:03+00:00March 16th, 2020|2020 Newsletters|0 Comments

This Cranky Market

Hello from Sycamore,

As I type this the market is down about 25% from its recent high and down about 9% today. The recent decline and wide daily fluctuations combined with the current media frenzy can make us all uneasy as investors. We wanted to review some points about your account(s) and let you know what we are thinking.

First, at the core of our stock selection process is the business of the corporation and its ability to consistently grow earnings. We work hard to try to reduce risk by not paying too much for those earnings. Companies or industries that we feel are not consistent profit generators or are in a business that we feel may have a limited future are not in your portfolio. For instance, we do not own any airline stocks and about two years ago we sold out of oil and gas securities as well as oilfield service companies.  We also broadly diversify to try and limit the exposure to any single industry or company. Currently, we believe that the fundamental health of the companies in your portfolio(s) is good.

We do not do any market timing. While we are no happier with the current decline than anyone else, we will not be making any adjustments in your portfolio based on that decline.

Second, this market decline has been quick and volatile, but it doesn’t seem too bad when we compare it to other declines. Stock market declines are fairly common though certainly not much fun. The link below will take you to a communication we sent to our clients in 2010.   While this information is a bit dated…it represents the big picture and we believe is pertinent today.

https://sycamoreweb.com/volatility-since-1900s/

We cannot see into the future so we are not certain of the best path to take but history has taught us many times that share prices will follow corporate profitability over the long run. That is how we select investment holdings for you and why we continue to advise holding those investments over long periods.

One final thought. This may be a good time to put any idle cash to work. We’re finding several bargains.

Thanks for your business and trust!
Sycamore Financial Group

*Past performance does not assure future results. Investors cannot invest directly in the stock market indexes such as the S&P 500. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate. Investor value, when sold may be worth more or less than their original cost.

By |2020-03-16T04:02:30+00:00March 12th, 2020|2020 Newsletters|0 Comments

Could the Saver’s Credit Help You Save More?

Hello from Sycamore,

The ‘Saver’s Credit’ may make it possible for you to receive a tax credit on your eligible contributions to your IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan. Depending on your adjusted gross income, you may be eligible to receive a tax credit of up to 50% on the first $2,000 of contributions you make to a qualified retirement plan or IRA. These savings are in addition to any tax deferral that may be available on the contribution.

Limitations do apply – you must be 18 or older, cannot be a full-time student and may not be claimed as a dependent on anyone’s tax returns. The table below  help you understand if you might qualify.

What does this really mean?

If you are married filing jointly and your adjusted gross income is $50,000 you could receive up to 10% tax credit on the first $2,000 you contribute to your retirement accounts. $2,000 x 10% = $200 tax credit.

If you are single with an adjusted gross income of $20,000 you could receive up to 20% back on the first $2,000 you contribute. $2000 x 20% = $400 tax credit.

If you fall into one of these categories, what should you do?

  1. Maximize your contributions to your IRA or retirement plans.
  2. Increase your contribution to maximize your credit.
  3. Bring this piece of paper to your tax preparer.
  4. Call Sycamore for more information or with questions.

Thanks for your business and trust!
Sycamore Financial Group

*Past performance does not assure future results. Investors cannot invest directly in the stock market indexes such as the S&P 500. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate. Investor value, when sold may be worth more or less than their original cost.

By |2020-03-16T04:01:40+00:00March 3rd, 2020|2020 Newsletters|0 Comments