Banking Sector Update

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

What happened?

We know that many of you are following the news regarding Silicon Valley Bank (or “SVB”) and Signature Bank. For those that haven’t heard, regulators shuttered both banks and seized deposits after growing concerns of their financial situation. Over the last couple years, those firms were flush with cash and their deposits flourished. However, following the Fed’s aggressive rate increases over the past year, those deposits shrunk at an exponential pace, forcing the banks to liquidate at a significant realized loss.

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Déjà Vu All Over Again

Monday, May 9, 2022

Yikes.  Through today, the S&P 500 is down roughly 16.0% year to date. Adding insult to injury, the yield on 10-year Treasuries has risen sharply, from 1.60% at the beginning of the year to above 3.00%, causing bond prices to fall.

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Be Not Afraid, Part 3: Elections and Markets

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

We are one week away from what many are calling the most consequential election of our lifetimes.

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End of the Beginning?

Friday, March 27, 2020

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

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Music Hath Charms...

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Okay, this message has nothing to do with the markets or the C word. I assume that, like me, you’d like a short break from hearing about the Dow, social distancing, rates of infection and sheltering in place. So I thought we’d try to give ourselves some relief by turning to my favorite non-economic subject: music.

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Fear Itself

Friday, March 13, 2020

We’re all familiar with the quote from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, made at his first inaugural speech in the depths of the Great Depression. But at this time, it feels right to give the whole quote: “let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

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It’s the End of the Bubble as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

After we wrote our first piece regarding the coronavirus-induced market selloff last week, the news has continued to be gloomy.

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Coronavirus: Financial Pandemic or Just a Little Sniffle?

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Coronavirus (or COVID-19, as the disease is known) is becoming a huge concern all over the world.

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Talk is Cheap . . . or is it?

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

So much for the biggest stock market gains in the first half of a year since 1997. The last four days have taken a lot of the wind out of the market’s sails. This article discusses the recent drop in value of the U.S. stock market.

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White Elephant

Monday, December 24, 2018

The worst December for stocks since the Great Depression. A decline in the Nasdaq of more than 20% since its high in August, dropping it into Bear territory. A loss of $1.2 trillion in value from Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Netflix and Microsoft.

 Bah, Humbug.

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A Matter of Trust

Friday, March 30, 2018

In today's toxic environment, how can an investor trust an advisor’s recommendation to accept some volatility in exchange for longer-term gain? How can the investor know that her advisor is looking after the investor’s best interests, when even the U.S. Court of Appeals says that the advisor doesn’t have to?

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Be Not Afraid (Again): Big Market Moves are Normal

Monday, February 5, 2018

The big drops in the stock and bond markets on February 2 - 5 gave many investors scary flashbacks.  But the truth is that drops like that are to be expected, not feared. 

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2018 Predictions (Sort Of)

Saturday, December 16, 2017

It’s time once again for eggnog, office parties, family gatherings, hotly-contested college football playoffs and financial predictions from investment advisors.  Not wanting to follow the crowd, Riverview Trust Company wants to share its own insights for 2018. 


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The Fed and the Markets (Part 3)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

We’re looking at the effect of the Fed’s actions on the stock and bond markets. In the first installment, we looked at how the Fed promotes economic growth and price stability. In the second, we examined the way stocks and bonds are valued, and how economic factors (including those triggered by the Fed) move those values. In this final segment, we’re going to see how the Fed’s actions actually have affected the markets over the past year.

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The Fed and Markets (Part 2)

Friday, August 18, 2017

In the second installment of a three-part series, we look at how stocks and bonds are valued, and how economic factors (including those triggered by the Fed) move those values.

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The Fed and the Markets (Part 1)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Everyone talks about the Fed and what it's up to, but many people are unclear about how it works and the ways it impacts the markets.  The first of a three-part series

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What ARE You Paying For?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

With low-cost investment houses and robo-advisers competing for your business, it's more important than ever to be clear about what you're getting for the investment management fees you're paying.

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Investment Shock Absorbers

Friday, April 14, 2017

Ever ridden in a car with worn-out shock absorbers? Every bump is jarring, every corner stomach-churning, and every red light an excuse to assume the brace position. Owning an undiversified portfolio can trigger similar reactions.

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Client Alert: The IRS Annual "Dirty Dozen" List of Tax Scams for 2017

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The IRS announced its 2017 "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams today. Take a look at the enclosed links to stay up-to-date on what to watch out for when filing your own taxes this month!

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Still Time to Make 2016 IRA Contributions

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Even though we just moved our clocks ahead, in the world of IRAs time stands still (at least for a little while yet), because there's still time to make a 2016 regular IRA contribution.

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Don't Look Now

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

There’s so much going on these days.  The stock market is rising, bond prices are dropping (sort of), emerging markets are all over the place.  Portfolio-watching is becoming as big a spectator sport as football.  Maybe bigger, given football’s recent television ratings.  But watching your portfolio can be bad for your financial health.  The more often people look at their investments, the less likely they are to take on risk.

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Fiduciary Standard: Why the Objections?

Friday, January 20, 2017

There is a lot written lately about the "fiduciary standard" in investing, largely because the Department of Labor is set to impose that standard on advisors who manage retirement accounts. Essentially, it means putting the interests of another ahead of your own. This seems like it should be the undisputed goal of every investment advisor: we should always be putting our clients' interests ahead of our own. So why is the brokerage industry fighting it?

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What a Difference a Day (or Two) Makes

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Dow has increased by about 3% since the first of the month. It went up dramatically when it became clear that Clinton was going to win. It went up about the same amount when it became clear that Trump actually won. So much for predicting market moves. So what lessons can we learn from politics and the market?

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Be Not Afraid: Fear, Politics and Investing

Monday, October 31, 2016

In this election season, all decisions seem to be fear-based. Each side stirs up voter fear about the other. Fear of terrorism, crime, international tension, permanent job loss. Fear of some other group (government bureaucrats, religious fanatics, illegal immigrants) taking something from us. Republicans are hunkering down against Democrats, and vice versa.

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