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Sep 08 2017

I’m Changing for You and Your Financial Success

amit-chopra-sm-cfpBy Amit Chopra, CFP

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For the past 12 years I have helped retirees and those entering retirement structure their portfolios to help manage their investment to last throughout their retirement. The last 12 years have afforded me the privilege of working with wonderful clients, as well as learning the challenges associated with retirement and various stages in my own investment cycle. I thought I understood the sacrifices my clients made to build their wealth, but it wasn’t until I had children of my own that I truly understood how difficult it is to build wealth. The sacrifices everyone makes day in and day out to give themselves and their families a better future is the essence of why I choose a career as a financial advisor. To help make sure that the wealth that was created over decades of hard work and diligent saving and investing could last through retirement and be passed on to the next generation.

But, as with most things in life, times and the services needed to help ensure a client’s financial success have evolved over the past 12 years. Endlessly rising college and post graduate tuitions are posing significant challenges for many families, as are rising healthcare costs and increasing life expectancies. Most uniquely to the current period are the differences in expected levels and types of communication and service between Baby Boomers and Millennials. For this reason collaborative financial planning needs to be started at the earliest time possible. Most people think that they need to have complex or significant savings, or perhaps go through a major financial event to benefit from financial planning. My experience has shown me otherwise, for instance, something as simple as 401(k) allocations can play a major role in the future. Optimizing tax efficiency, beginning education funding for your children, making sure you are adequately protected with life insurance are just some of the areas where engaging with a financial advisor can put you leaps and bounds ahead of your peers.

With this in mind I invite you to follow this Facebook page for regular content and market commentary that is important to financial planning and to a younger generation. If you have questions about investing, considering purchasing a home or starting a family, financial planning can help. Designing a path that incorporates your career desires and additional education (graduate or post graduate) requirements, are all part of a responsible plan.

For most of us, we have a different approach to saving and investing than our parents do. We focus on spending money on experience rather than on goods. We don’t feel this push to home ownership the way our parents did and would prefer to pay down debt from student loans before doing anything. As simple as this all sounds, paying down debt while growing your assets to use for experiences, homes, retirement, or whatever you choose is trickier than it sounds. Engage a fee based financial advisor to help put a roadmap together. Most importantly will be after a plan is created, implementing the plan, monitoring it, and keeping it up to date are paramount for success. A financial planner will do just that. Financial services is changing, find out how using a fee based financial planner can help eliminate conflicts of interest and help you feel more comfortable with the financial decisions coming.

Amit Chopra is an investment consultant and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with Gary Goldberg Financial Services in Suffern NY and can be reached a (845) 368-2906 or at


Jan 30 2017

Last Weeks Market Recap

Market Recap

Equities inched higher last week as the S&P and other major indexes gained about 1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the psychologically important 20,000 mark. Treasury Yields remained relatively steady, and the U.S. dollar lost a little bit of ground against other major currencies as some of President Trump’s policies came into focus. On the economic front, data was mixed with Durable Goods orders and GDP disappointing slightly, while existing home sales and trade data came in line with expectations. On the earnings front, so far 170 of the S&P 500 constituents have reported. Of these, 52% have reported positive revenue (sales) surprises, while 74% have reported positive earnings surprises – following the trend of recent quarters.


Looking ahead

After President Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven middle-eastern countries, which was announced on Friday, expect the media to focus on this topic and the potential impact on businesses. In our view, it is unlikely that this will have a deep or lasting economic effect, however there could be a long-lasting impact on international relations. From a market perspective, earnings will continue to matter most, followed by economic data releases relating to home prices, inflation and consumer confidence. Wednesday’s FOMC meeting could bring the second consecutive interest rate hike, however given some of the more benign inflation and growth data released last week there is an equal chance of no moves.

Dec 19 2016

This Week’s Market Moving Events

As the year draws to an end, investors are wondering if the ‘Trump Rally’, which has propelled stocks some 6% higher since election-day, can last into the first quarter and beyond. Recent economic news has been encouraging, and market participants will be watching the slew of data being released this Thursday to gauge the probability of a continuation of the rally. One immediate headwind stocks may face are corporate earnings, through last Friday, 77 of the S&P 500 constituents have issued negative EPS guidance (according to FactSet). And, with an expected EPS growth rate of 2.2% the current rally seems to be pricing in a good amount of upside surprises. None-the-less, markets have a long history of swinging to extremes before correcting to a more normalized valuation, so bears may be disappointed in the early parts of the New-Year.


This Weeks Market Moving Events:


  • Monday: PMI Services, Janet Yellen Speaks
  • Tuesday: U.S. Redbook report
  • Wednesday: Mortgage Applications, Existing Home Sales
  • Thursday: U.S. GDP (Q3), Jobless Claims, Chicago Fed National Activity Index, Corporate Profits, Home Prices, Personal Income, Leading Indicators, Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index
  • Friday: New Home Sales, Consumer Sentiment

Dec 05 2016

U.S. equity markets look to continue their rally

On the heels of a strong November jobs report and the lowest unemployment rate in a decade, U.S. equity markets look to continue their rally this week. Markets are once again defying conventional wisdom and proving many ‘talking-heads’ wrong, as futures point to a higher open in spite of Sunday’s referendum vote by Italians to stick with their current political structure. President elect Trump’s spat with China over the weekend doesn’t appear to unhinge investors either, as consensus that the Fed will raise rate next week is almost unanimous. The real question for market participants is ‘how many dominos can fall before markets react negatively?’


Looking Ahead:

Economic data and corporate earnings will be the ultimate drivers of market performance, and in the short-term these appear to be sufficiently healthy to support a continuation of the rally. However, February’s German elections and the possibility of a cyclical slow-down in Q1 will likely be a bit much for market participants, as such investors are wise not to become overly exuberant.


This Week’s Market Moving Events:

Monday: Consumer Spending, PMI Services, ISM non-Manufacturing, Labor Market Conditions

Tuesday: International Trade, Productivity & Cost Index, Redbook report, Factory Orders

Wednesday: Mortgage Applications, JOLTS Report

Thursday: Jobless Claims, Chinese Data

Friday: Consumer Sentiment, Wholesale Trade

Oct 31 2016

This Week’s Market Moving Events:

Market Recap:

With a week to go before the Presidential Elections investors are fretting over the outcome and what it might mean for markets. Putting aside the possibility that the results might be contested and therefore unknown for several weeks (think back to Bush / Gore in 2000), the real focus for investors should be on economic data, the Fed and the congressional races that might impact fiscal policy over the next two years.

As far as rising interest rates go, while conventional wisdom states that rising interest rates have a drag-down effect on the economy and is generally viewed as a poor environment for stocks and bonds, evidence suggests the opposite holds true. Central Banks raise interest rates in response to an ‘over-heating’ of the economy or concerns of rapidly rising inflation. While many would argue that this environment does not exist today, there is a solid case to be made for raising rates at this juncture. The impact of declining energy prices is likely behind us, meaning that this will no longer put downward pressure on inflation, while continued employment growth should translate into higher wages – early signs of which can already be seen in the monthly JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Statistics) report. From a historical perspective, the U.S. economy, corporate earnings and stock market returns have all fared well in the early stages of a rising rate environment.

For those worried about a deep or prolonged correction, keep in mind that since 1980, the market (as measured by the S&P 500) has been in negative territory at some point in each year – with an average intra-year drop of just over 14%, all the while ending in positive territory for the year 75% of the time.

This Week’s Market Moving Events:

  • Monday: Personal Income & Spending, Chicago PMI, Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey, Japanese and Chinese economic data (after the close).
  • Tuesday: Motor Vehicle Sales, Redbook Report, PMI & ISM Manufacturing, Construction Spending.
  • Wednesday: FOMC Statement
  • Thursday: Chain Store Sales, Jobless Claims, PMI Services, Factory Orders, ISM Non-Manufacturing data.
  • Friday: October Employment Report, International Trade.

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