A Message from Our President

April 1, 2020

Although we must remain physically apart during this challenging time, we want to provide assurance that your Merit team will remain very much with you in the days and weeks ahead.  Not a moment goes by that we are not grateful for the trust and confidence you place in us.  Rest assured, in good times…

The Gift of Giving

March 20, 2020
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FIRST THINGS FIRST For centuries, some of the world’s greatest thinkers have contended that helping others is the key to happiness. So you might think that volunteering your time, talent and treasure is a surefire and instant way to get through the grief that widowhood brings. I have found that simply isn’t true. Or at…

Market Update – Week of March 16th

March 17, 2020

As news continued to flood in last week, market participants did their best to judge the long-term impact of every single morsel which led to quite a volatile environment.  The news wasn’t all negative as 2 of the 5 days posted large gains.  In fact, Friday March 13th was one of the best 1-day gains…

Coronavirus Update

March 13, 2020

To keep you informed, we wanted to provide an update on Merit’s efforts to remain proactive and prudent regarding the developing Coronavirus situation. What actions is Merit taking regarding the supervision and monitoring of my investments? Our investment team is reviewing the markets constantly to provide your advisors with the most up-to-date information.  They continue to…

Merit Market Minute

March 11, 2020

After setting all-time high levels last month, stocks began to reverse course mid-February as coronavirus fears took hold.  Below please find our viewpoints, guidance and expectations.  A Moment to ReminisceEven typing the date “March 9th” brings back memories from when I typed a similar letter on March 9th, 2009, the low point for stock markets…

February 2020 Market and Strategy Update

February 28, 2020

After setting all-time high levels this month, stocks reversed course as coronavirus concerns begin to hit both economic and corporate earnings forecasts. The growing fears surrounding coronavirus added to an expanding recognition that global economic activity is slowing.  In some respects, equity markets seemed to defy gravity over the past several quarters, marching higher in…

How to Help Parents – and Yourself – Live Better at 80, 90 and Beyond

February 25, 2020
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They say we get wiser as we get older, but let’s face it: Many new uncertainties and challenges can crop up as people get deeper into their golden years. Changes in physical health and issues with memory can mean you—or your elderly parents—might require new types of never-before-needed assistance. With that in mind, here’s a…

When Money Isn’t Just Money

February 14, 2020
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By Joy Kirsch REPETITION-WORTHY ADVICE FOR WIDOWS Make sure your bills are paid so you can keep your good credit. (Don’t pay your husband’s bills from your part of the estate.) Get your financial documents in order. Know where your money is. Seek the help of trusted professionals. And, when it comes to major decisions,…

Investment Outlook 2020

January 27, 2020

IntroductionAt the end of each year, the Merit Investment Team reviews happenings from the past year, offers perspective on the year to come, and formulates the resulting potential strategy changes.  Both stock and bond markets marched forward in 2019, crushing many investor expectations.  The S&P 500 Index rose 31%, about three times the expected annual…

A Different Kind of Bucket List

January 16, 2020
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NAGGING QUESTIONS In the early days after losing a spouse, financial decisions can seem pretty far down on your list of concerns. Your days can be consumed by planning a funeral, attending to piles of paperwork, and – let’s be honest – holding yourself together while receiving the stream of well-intentioned friends and family members…