Alp Atabek, AIF®

Recent Posts

COVID-19 Economy – What’s Happening within the Sectors?

In the new normal of our COVID-19 economy, it seems like it’s business as usual (with a slight twist) for some and a complete disruption to the normal business cycle for others. We frequently discuss the performances of various market indexes in our market updates; but for this commentary, we focus on breaking down what’s happening within the various sectors that comprise the S&P 500 Index – the primary U.S. market index – to provide you with a better understanding of how the markets are anything but business as usual.

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COVID-19, the Markets, and the Economy

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Blog Post

It was another tough week for the markets – rehashing the numbers merely magnifies the pain, so let’s leave it at that. A positive to acknowledge: The U.S. economy entered this period of uncertainty from a position of strength. The economy was robust, the unemployment rate, at 3.5%, was at historic lows, the consumer balance sheet was strong, and consumer debt service – after years of refinancing – was at modern-era lows. We shudder at the thought of what the damage to the economy would have been if we had had to battle this pandemic in 2009 while our economy was suffering in the aftermath of the credit crisis. This outbreak is an external factor penetrating the economy; it is not a by-the-book recession that involves the economy bubbling and bursting internally with a grim recovery outlook due to the issues stemming from weak fundamentals. Fundamentals were strong and trending positive before this acute event, meaning, from an economic standpoint, we are in a position to weather this storm, regain strength, and eventually recover.

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Are Your Employees Disengaged?

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Blog Post

It’s a usual weekday morning and you find yourself in an all too common situation that bogs down many executives and managers: Your employees seem unenthused and unengaged at the office. The worst thing you can do is sit there every day, watch this happen, and take no action to determine the root cause. So, what are the best ways to go about re-engaging employees, especially those paramount individuals that you don’t want to lose? Here are a few ideas for you to implement:

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Charitable Giving for Companies

Although tax reform has previously been antonymous with simplification, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 did actually simplify things. The simplifications came in the form of limiting or eliminating certain deductions and increasing the standard deduction; however, these changes did make it more difficult to itemize. How does this impact a company or a corporation looking to partake in philanthropic endeavors? The good news is there were no major changes via the new tax law for charitable contributions; however, some of the limitation adjustments have made donors develop a more informed giving process. In this post, we discuss the benefits and various strategies organizations can leverage when engaging charities and non-profit organizations.

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Which Unique Flavor is Your Investment Menu?

For many companies and organizations, the task of crafting the perfect investment menu can be an overwhelming mission; but it doesn’t need to be. It can be as simple as picking a dish from a menu. A well-made investment lineup is similar to the restaurant menu that offers just the right amount of options to make selecting the perfect dish an enjoyable experience.

When we’re constructing an investment menu for our clients, we advise committee members to build-out their investment menu to satisfy three types of investors: 1) the active investor, 2) the passive investor, and the 3) do-it-for-me investor. First and foremost, committee members need to be familiar with their plan's investment policy statement in order to design the line-up fittingly. Below, we detail a few items often included in a well-rounded investment menu.

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Brexit: Our Observations for Investors

By now, you’ve probably become quite familiar with the term “Brexit”. This is the shorthand way of referring to the UK leaving the economic and political partnership known as the European Union. While the vote that took place on Thursday, June 23, 2016, will have many far reaching consequences, the effect on the financial markets is definitely worth strong consideration on the part of investors. Here, we explain what we know now, our observations and what this could potentially mean for you moving forward. 

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