MFA Quarterly Commentaries

2020 Q1: Zooming Out

Posted by on Apr 5, 2020 in MFA Insights

This will certainly be a quarter to remember. With the global spread of Covid-19, we witnessed the fastest onset of a bear market ever. Performance figures for this quarter reflect that. We are not making too much of them and encourage you not to either. Fortunately, we’ve also experienced a fast and large rebound since the end of the quarter and yourcurrent numbers (which you can find on your private client portal) look better than those in yourquarterly report. While the word “Zoom” is now ubiquitous thanks to the rise of that now-popular videoconferencing service, we are writing about a...

Read More

2019 Q4: The market has no memory.

Posted by on Jan 5, 2020 in MFA Insights

here were lessons learned in 2019 that apply not only to the year just passed but to the recently ended decade as well. Having just completed a high-return year at the end of what turned out to be a pretty normal decade, it is instructive to go back to where we started.

Read More

2019 Q3: When in Doubt, Give us a Shout

Posted by on Oct 5, 2019 in MFA Insights

“I have a big problem…Do you know anyone at Bank of America?”
That’s the worrisome text I got from my friend at 8PM on a Saturday night.
His mother-in-law had just wired $300,000 to scam artist.

Read More

2019 Q2: Keeping the Right Focus

Posted by on Jul 6, 2019 in MFA Insights

We live in a world where we often have a skewed perspective about risk and don’t realize it. For example, do you know people who wouldn’t swim in the ocean after seeing the movie Jaws? You might even know people who wouldn’t evenswim in a lake. That’s because somehow that dramatic (and terrifying) movie raised the perceived risk of sharks to totally disproportionate levels. (In case you are wondering, the odds of a shark getting you are 1 in 3.7 million.) It’s very easy to have dramatic events take on a heightened sense of riskiness or likelihood. For example, in our times, there exist...

Read More

2019 Q1: What a Difference a Quarter Makes

Posted by on May 1, 2019 in MFA Quarterly Commentaries

The first quarter of 2019 delivered exceptionally high investment returns. Global stocks saw double digit growth.
• US Stocks and Global Real Estate were both up over 14%
• Developed International Stocks were up 10.5%
• Emerging Markets Stocks were up 10%
• US and Global Bonds were up 3%
This did wonders for rebuilding portfolio values after the tough end to 2018.

Read More

March 2019: Charitable Contributions – Are They Still Tax Deductible?

Posted by on Mar 27, 2019 in MFA Insights

The recent tax law has changed the nature of charitable giving a bit and we’re writing with a brief summary of how you can enjoy the greatest tax-deductibility of your charitable contributions.

Generally speaking, when you make a contribution to a qualified charity or non-profit, that amount is allowed to be potentially deducted on your income tax return (and thus lower your taxes). Whether you actually end up getting a deduction depends mainly on whether or not you do what is called itemizing your deductions.

For 2019, each individual is allowed to take $12,200 off of income while couples can take $24,400 off. This “Standard Deduction” is a flat deduction the IRS offers to everyone.

But, if you have actual deductible expenses which total more than that standard deduction, you can “itemize” your deductions and claim a greater reduction in income.

Read More