Freedom Architect Articles

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In My View
The following is a portfolio review by Mr. Steven Albrecht, President and CEO of Charter Trust Company.

This is the time of year when nearly every investment management firm, research organization, professional news agency and media site start to produce economic and market forecasts. Writers and forecasters predominately focus on either the economy or the markets depending on their expertise. They mostly avoid merging the discussions to avoid the danger of attempting to rationalize the relationship between the two forces. Throughout history it has been extremely difficult to bring logic to these seemingly rationally intertwined pieces of our lives. [more]

The U.S. large cap stock market is headed for another record high. Is it over valued, fair, undervalued?
The answer is Yes.
Wondering where the market is headed? The Market Discussion from Charter Trust Company provides us with a great up-to-date analysis concerning the current valuation of the U.S. markets and the factors that may influence market movements going forward. I want to thank Mr. Steven Albrecht, Chairman, Charter Trust Company, for providing this insightful analysis.” [See Market Discussion.]

Economic Outlook, March 2013, Economic Poilicy Division
Following is the economic report of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, prepared by Dr. Martin Regalia, Chief Economist for the chamber. In summary, some aspects of the economy are improving, though very slowly. I hope you find this interesting and insightful. [See report.]

Can a company director always obtain access to the advice of counsel that was provided to the company?
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC” or the “Court”) issued a recent decision that clarifies the circumstances in which members of a board of directors can access the company’s attorney-client privileged communications. In Chambers v. Gold Medal Bakery, Inc., SJC Docket No. 11231, a pair of directors in a close corporation, Gold Medal Bakery, Inc. (“Gold Medal”), sought privileged materials on the basis that, as directors and shareholders, they are entitled to view the advice of the company’s counsel. However, the directors seeking the information were embroiled in a lawsuit with the company over a buyout of the directors’ shares. The Court held that a general rule exists that gives directors access to the advice of the company’s counsel, however, that rule assumes that the interests of the directors are not adverse to the interests of the corporation on a given issue. . . [more]

What Are Your Top Ten Most Crucial Goals
When working with clients I am often asked, “where do we start?” Clients, especially new ones, want to start as many projects as possible, leading to project overload. In the end, nothing gets done well, and the management team is overwhelmed with B-level work that does not bring money in the door. Then the owner is upset, and around in a circle we go. . . [more]

America, The Next 90 Days
The “fiscal cliff” negotiations were not particularly productive. If anything, the negotiations displayed the extreme polarization of both political parties. Leadership of the Republicans and Democrats in Congress is fractured, and President Obama does not appear interested in negotiating. . . [more]

IRS Announces Pension Plan Limitations and Other Inflation-Adjusted Amounts for 2013
On October 18, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service issued IR-2012-77, a news release announcing the 2013 inflation adjustments affecting pension plans and other retirement-related items. The following are among the more significant changes (and non-changes) for 2013. . . [more]

Is the Fun in the Striving, or The Arriving?
As an entrepreneur owner-manager, do you ever wonder, “Hmm…will I ever get this business to achieve a wealth creation event, someday? It sure would be nice to think that all of the passion, effort, and sweat, not to mention cash I have risked in this business, would result in a capital gain where I could get some serious chips off the table, and get out of my day-to-day responsibilities. Now that would be a great goal to achieve.” Wouldn’t it?. . . [more]

What Smart People Are Doing About Upcoming Tax Changes
The U.S. government has been playing “kick the can” with our tax system for the past four years or so. The Bush tax cuts that dropped the top personal income tax rate and significantly reduced the tax on capital gains and dividends were scheduled to expire at the end of last year. Instead, faced with the skittish stock market, Congress and President Obama extended the cuts, which are now scheduled to expire at the end of 2012. In the meantime, there have been plenty of stories about taxes being too high — or too low. The following discusses some basic facts. . . [more]

New Hampshire Economic Model Can Get America Working Again
The recent report that unemployment in the United States remained at 8.2% was taken as bad news by most Americans. The President, however, called it a “step forward” for the economy. Stagnant job growth and high unemployment can hardly be taken as a positive sign for American workers. The struggling economic environment we find ourselves in is a result of the poor policies of the White House. . . [more]

Would You Let Congress Run Your Business? May 2012
Reform of the U.S. Postal Service is back in the news, but one big obstacle lies in the way. Congress. The Postal Service provides a simple example of why business leaders need to be very concerned about what is, or is not, happening in Congress. . . [more]

Bigelow EOM Risk Preference Study – Preliminary Results, April 27 2012
This article is an interesting analysis of the theoretical foundations of finance and psychology as they apply to Entrepreneur Owner-Managers (EOMs). The research was designed to determine the risk preferences of EOMs in comparison to their Expert Advisors. This ongoing research is being conducted by my good friend Peter Worrell, the Managing Director of The Bigelow Company, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, www.bigelowco.com.

My personal takeaway from the preliminary results is that Experts Advisors are much too conservative with the advice they provide their Entrepreneur Owner-Manager clients. Expert Advisors are not pushing the envelope and challenging their clients. Perhaps the risk-averse nature of most Expert Advisors is why so many Entrepreneur Owner-Manager clients are suspect or reluctant to bringing on Expert Advisors. They are not getting their money’s worth. I hope you enjoy the article.

Has the Market Reached the Current Limits on Optimism, April 2012

Behind the Jobs Numbers: Answers to Questions about Jobs, March 2012

When Will Employment Return to Normal, February 2012

The Long and Winding Road to Economic Recovery, April 2010

Road to Economic Recovery to be Paved by the Private Sector, April 2010

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