Market Watch 2017 Q4 - Mosaic’s Quarterly Market Commentary

Kevin Gahagan / Jan 17, 2018 / Investments / Market Watch

2017 marked a year of widespread data breaches, the beginning of the Trump presidency, devastating hurricanes, wildfires that raged throughout California, and a cryptocurrency frenzy reminiscent of the bubble. However, through it all, 2017 saw a long, steady rise in the stock markets.

It was a year of record highs as we saw the NASDAQ surpass the 7,000 mark and the Dow Jones Industrial Average roar past the 25,000 mark. US large cap returns reached 21.8%, pushed by the technology sector’s rise of 35.4%. Although small cap stock returns were lower in comparison, they still returned a very positive 14.7%. As strong as US market returns were, international markets performed even better.

All of the encouraging economic trends seen in 2017 makes us optimistic about the prospects for 2018. We are currently in the second longest economic recovery in US history.

With this in mind, many argue a recession must be imminent.

But positive economic data in the US and in most countries globally gives us a less pessimistic outlook. Labor markets are strong, economies are growing around the world, and consumer and investor confidence is high.

In addition, consistently low inflation, falling unemployment, and rising standards of living around the world all offer reason for optimism about the year ahead.


Our new issue of Market Watch is out now.

More insights are inside the issue, including a breakdown of current economic factors influencing the markets. Read our quarterly market commentary today to get a better idea of our investment approach.

Click here for the full issue.



In the News: Student Loan Interest, Targeted Savings, Debt & More

Mosaic / Jan 5, 2018 / Mosaic News

Mosaic experts wrote and were featured in financial news in December, weighing in on diverse topics.

  • Much like cockroaches during the apocalypse, your student loan is highly likely to survive your filing bankruptcy.
  • If you attach emotional significance to a targeted savings goal, you're more able to keep to the habit of working towards that goal. 
  • Likewise, if you conceptualize a day in the life of yourself as a retiree, you will be more likely to plan a fulfilling experience once you exit the workforce.
  • Self-employed workers have far more benefits than just wearing pajamas to work.
  • Credit card debt is on the rise. This is not good. 

Here follows financial food for thought from our experts, cited in publications ranging from US News & World Report to Yahoo! Finance. 


2 payroll deductions to make right now

Norm Boone / Jan 3, 2018 / Financial Planning

With the new year come changes. For those of us in the workforce: here are 2 quick financial tasks to see to now.

Taking care of these small tasks now counts as a big win - theres a few feathers for your cap. 



How will the tax cuts impact your finances? Steps to consider now

Norm Boone / Dec 28, 2017 / Financial Planning

Well, they’ve finally done it.

The Republicans passed a major bill, in this case the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), without a single Democratic vote. Before explaining the key parts you should be aware of, let me just say that

a) I think there are more good parts than bad parts to this bill, and

b) it is a true shame any time the only way our democratic process works is when one party shoves a bill down the other party’s throat without any apparent attempt to find ways to work together.

So, what steps should you take now that the TCJA has been passed? What are your financial considerations, tax cuts and all? Let’s look at what the new tax legislation will change. 

Ive included some the key things you will want to consider doing before year end.


How to use the ADV to evaluate a financial planning firm

Norm Boone / Dec 26, 2017 / Financial Planning

Looking for a financial planner? I’ve got the ultimate pro tip to help you evaluate a financial planning firm.

Before you entrust your money to an investment advisor, you should learn everything you can about the firm or individual and how they do business. Fortunately, many resources can help you evaluate a financial advisor, including the SEC-required document Uniform Application for Investment Adviser Registration and Report by Exempt Reporting Advisers—the ADV for short. 

Here’s how to leverage this incredibly useful information.


Circle Roundup: The Smart Guide to Charitable Giving Policies

Mary Ballin / Dec 21, 2017 / Investments / Women's Events

Tis the season of giving… and in our fourth-quarter Women’s Circles, aptly titled “A path to giving,” we discussed aligning our desire for giving to charity with our core values, covering ways to clarify which charities to choose, and ways to give that are a little better for everyone involved than just giving cash.

Read on for some great tips and interesting research rounded up from our recent Circle into a handy guide—and you’ll learn how to craft a charitable giving policy that you can rely on.



Mosaic Newsletter: Political Turmoil, giving to charities efficiently & More

Mosaic / Dec 19, 2017 / Mosaic News

The Mosaic newsletter, Effective Financial Strategies, is out now! 

What's Inside:
  • Learn about what impact political turmoil has on the economy;
  • Find out actionable ways to give to charities with a little tax-advantageous advice; 
  • Meet our new investment-focused resident Zach Schlaht, and read about his passions;
  • Read about upcoming Women’s Circles;
  • Stay up to date on Mosaic advisors: their speeches given, conferences attended, and books read, with takeaways from each.

Efficient Ways to Give to Charities

Mary Ballin / Dec 14, 2017 / Financial Planning

As an advisor, what method of charitable giving would I recommend?

The most effective practice depends entirely on your situation, and on your intent. To help guide your decision, here’s a breakdown of some different ways to give to charities, along with pros and cons of each, including tax considerations.


New ebook! Financial health for every stage of your relationship

Sabrina Lowell / Dec 12, 2017 / Retirement Planning / Financial Planning

Love and money

You’re in a relationship; it has shaped the course of your life. Regardless of what stage your relationship is in, you’ll have to deal with money. Doing so can promote open communication, trust around money habits, and can lead to a positive experience around money conversations for both partners.


In the News: Property value, holiday spending tips and more

Mosaic / Dec 8, 2017 / Mosaic News

Mosaic experts wrote and were featured in financial news in November, weighing in on diverse topics such as:

  • how spiking property value can impact your homeowners insurance,
  • how to split a home’s value in a divorce,
  • why financial coaching is effective,
  • old-fashioned, frugal ways to celebrate the holidays,
  • holiday spending tips, and more.

 Read on:


How a hobby taught a teenager about money

Mosaic / Nov 15, 2017 / Mosaic News

By Cooper Phillips. Cooper is Director of Client Development Sheila Schroeder’s 16-year-old son.

Mosaic asked Cooper to write an essay because he serves as a great example of an intellectually-curious teenager taking initiative and learning about time, resources, value, and money management.

I’m currently a high school sophomore living in San Francisco. Between my time spent in class and participating in sports, I have been creating my own resale and restoration business, forging my own path to financial success. 


In the News: Alternatives, elder care and retirement, millennials and credit cards

Mosaic / Nov 3, 2017 / Mosaic News

Mosaic experts wrote and were featured in financial news in October, weighing in on diverse topics such as:

  • How fear of debt may be holding many millennials back from properly taking advantage of the practical aspects of credit cards,
  • How Mosaic selects its alternative investments, and
  • How caring for aging parents may threaten an adult childs retirement.

 Read on:


Ask an Advisor: Property Insurance and Rising Home Value

Kevin Gahagan / Nov 1, 2017 / Risk Management / Insurance

Bay Area property value is rising. And rising. Kevin Gahagan, CFP®, Mosaic’s principle and Chief of Investments, has practical advice for curious local homeowners with regards to how this may impact their property insurance, and a few words for dwelling coverage  with regards to Californias recent wildfires.


Market Watch 2017 Q3 - Mosaic’s Quarterly Market Commentary

Kevin Gahagan / Oct 27, 2017 / Investments / Market Watch

There was solid economic growth and rising values in markets around the globe in the third quarter. 

This trend held for all major asset classes—both equity and fixed income. In the US, both large and small company stocks generated solid returns for the quarter. This continued the trend seen so far this year and throughout 2016.

Given the more recent decline in the value of the US dollar, international equity returns have been even more robust than those in US over this period.


Further summary:
  • Domestic stocks performed well year-to-date. The S&P 500 Index (US large companies) and the Russell 2000 (small US stocks) rose 14.2% and 10.9% respectively.
  • Equities in the developed countries overseas enjoyed substantial gains with the MSCI EAFE Index (large companies) returning 20.5% while the EAFE Small Cap Index rose 25.8%.
  • Emerging market stocks have risen 28.1% over the last twelve months (MSCI Emerging Markets Index).
  • Domestic bond market returns faced a headwind of rising interest rates in 2017, yet still delivered modestly positive returns in most categories.
  • Economists expect moderate inflation in 2018. The Fed can be expected to continue raising interest rates while it also seeks to reduce its balance sheet. We believe they’ll do both gradually with care to limit  economic impacts.


More inside the issue, including a breakdown of current economic factors influencing the markets:

Click here for the full issue.



Life is short: Build a milestone fund as a targeted savings account

Sheila Schroeder / Oct 25, 2017 / Life Balance / Financial Planning

My uncle died yesterday. He was 88. His funeral is in Tokyo, this weekend, and Im going.  Funerals are important. So, too, are weddings, baby showers, birthdays, holidays, graduations, family reunions...  All of these events are about celebrating life: past, present or future. They mark the high and low points in our lives.

My milestone fund ensures I’ll be able to fly across the world for my uncle's funeral in a few days, and I wont be dipping into my emergency fund or accruing sudden credit card debt I cant immediately cover in order to pay for it.

This article discusses 4 steps to build your own milestone fund, so you’ll never miss life’s important moments.

We've also got an infographic featuring tips for using targeted savings accounts to help you decide whether this tactic may work for your needs.