What you need to know about Social Security

As a financial adviser, one of the most common questions I am asked is: Will Social Security still be there, in its current form, in the next 15-20 years?

After all, consider the following statistics.

Realtors fund scholarships for high school seniors

The 18th annual Silicon Valley Realtors Scholars Program for graduating seniors from 18 public high schools in Silicon Valley is under way.

The Charitable Foundation of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors (SILVAR), a professional trade organization representing more than 5,000 realtors and affiliate members engaged in the real estate business on the Peninsula and in the South Bay, sponsors the program.

Calibrating investment expectations in the absence of facts

Now that 2016 is behind us, investors’ thoughts naturally turn to 2017. What return should they expect from their investments this year?

The great difficulty in answering that question is that we have limited facts to guide us. Sure, there is a plethora of historical data, as well as economists and media pundits who are paid to offer their predictions. (Note that they get paid whether or not their predictions turn out to be anywhere close to reality.) But there are no sources that can tell us what will actually happen with any degree of certainty.

There's more to investment success than simply purchasing stocks

I am an investment professional, so I spend a huge part of my time helping clients develop investment strategies and choose specific investments that balance the need for growth with the need for asset preservation.

The value of these efforts pays off over time by maximizing the likelihood of their being able to live the life that they want. But investment performance is only one contributor to financial success. An even more important one is simply saving. Your ability to diligently and consistently add to your investment portfolio throughout your working years will do more for your future than anything else

Los Altos realtor assumes leadership position at SILVAR

Courtesy of SILVAR
Los Altos realtor Denise Welsh, newly installed president of SILVAR, gives a speech at Los Altos Golf & Country Club Jan. 19.

The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors installed its 2017 leadership team Jan. 19 at Los Altos Golf & Country Club. At the helm of the local trade association this year is Los Altos realtor Denise Welsh.

Welsh is a broker associate with the Alain Pinel Realtors Los Altos office. Other officers include Bill Moody, a realtor with Referral Realty in Cupertino, as president-elect; and Phyllis Carmichael, a realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Los Altos, as treasurer.

Revisiting the idea of 'smart beta'

In Part I on this topic in my Dec. 21 column, I explained what beta is. Understanding “beta” is integral to understanding the marketing concept known as “smart beta.”

In this column, I will address smart beta and whether it’s worth allocating your investment dollars to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that use it.

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