Blog

Welcome to the Artifex Intelliplan Blog

Commentary on the world of finance, and other things
We at Artifex believe in enhancing the wisdom of our clients and readers. While most of our topics will be related to investments, personal finance, and the economy, we also endeavor to include thought-provoking commentary on topics that will help you expand your "mental models", as referred to by Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet. We want you to learn from us and others how to think logically and see the world through an informed lens.

Some of our regular topics include:

  • Monthly "Savvy Cybersecurity" updates with tips to keep your data safe
  • Economic and market commentary
  • Financial planning and investment management best practices
  • Thoughts to improve your mindset and your life

Friday, June 14, 2024

As we enter the traditional wedding month of June, we wanted to explore the range of expenses that can be related to this special event. The average US wedding costs $35,0001 According to The Knot Real Weddings Study of nearly 10,000...

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Stocks rose last week despite conflicting stories from economic reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.29 percent while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index powered ahead 1.31 percent. The Nasdaq Composite led, picking up 2...

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Sir John Templeton once said, “The four most expensive words in investing are: ‘This time it’s different.'” And normally, we would agree. But the phrase “This time it’s different” may apply to what's happened in financial markets in...

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

A few years ago, there were ads from financial services companies asking, “What’s your number?” The number was the money you needed to retire comfortably. This was an effective way for financial services companies to get people...

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

There isn’t a week that goes by when you don’t read about some data breach. Safeguarding your personal information starts with understanding cybersecurity risks, knowing what to look for, and doing everything you can to help protect...

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Monday, May 6, 2024

Stocks notched a solid gain last week, rallying behind upbeat earnings, a dovish Fed, and mixed economic data. Stocks Pop, Drop, Then Rally Markets began the week with an upward bump as positive news from some mega-cap tech companies...

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Stocks fell for a third straight week, as Fed Chair Jerome Powell's mixed but upbeat message could not offset the anxiety caused by the Middle East conflict. Stocks Retreat Markets began the week rattled by further escalation in the...

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

At the end of 2025, portions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) are set to expire. Many changes will come with the sunsetting of many rules, including the possibility that federal estate and gift tax exemption levels will revert to...

Monday, April 15, 2024

Stocks fell last week as investors sorted through conflicting inflation reports and assessed geopolitical tensions. Inflation Spooks Markets On Wednesday, the March Consumer Price Index (CPI) report rattled markets, revealing that...

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

One of my activities over the last few years has been researching and implementing additional tools that we can use to enhance the risk and return profiles of our client portfolios. A major focus of these activities is the world of...

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Stocks dropped last week as investors focused on “what's next” for interest rates after mixed comments from multiple Fed officials. Fed Officials Weigh In Stocks struggled out of the gate again last week, ending Monday and Tuesday in...

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Stocks were narrowly higher for the week as investors digested mixed economic news about consumer confidence. All three of the major averages posted gains for Q1 2024. Stocks Finish Strong Markets slipped for the first half of the...

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Give your children the gift of financial literacy. They’ll thank you later! As a parent, you are well aware of your responsibility in helping your children grow up happy and healthy. Once they enter their teen years, the pressure can...

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

As the presidential election race heats up, a common question on investors’ minds is, “How might the looming White House vote impact the markets?” Some may wonder if they should tweak their portfolios or sit tight...

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Stocks fell for the second straight week on inflation concerns despite a report on consumer prices that was initially well received by investors. Stocks Slide Tuesday was the only bright spot during the week as stock prices rose after...

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Experts estimate there are more than 44 million people with disabilities in the U.S., representing 13.4% of the population.1 Many parents of children with disabilities choose to establish a special needs trust. This can help provide...

Monday, March 11, 2024

Stocks were down for the week as investors appeared to take some profits and traders parsed Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s Congressional testimony. Markets Wobble  Stocks had a rough start to the week, with the Dow, S&P 500, and...

Monday, March 4, 2024

Stocks extended their tech-led advance last week as signs of a resilient and still-enthusiastic consumer boosted momentum. Nasdaq Sets New High Stocks traded in a narrow band early in the week but ended the five-trading sessions with...

Monday, February 26, 2024

Stocks vaulted to new heights last week on the back of an artificial intelligence (AI) semiconductor company, marking investors’ belief that AI has the potential to transform the U.S. economy. Stocks Rally to Record Highs Stocks...

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Stocks fell last week as investors reacted to disappointing inflation updates and other economic reports that fell short of estimates. Stocks Snap Winning Streak Markets were quiet Monday but opened lower Tuesday in response to the...

Monday, February 12, 2024

Money can be a touchy subject, especially regarding our closest relationships. Whether we like it or not, finance plays an integral role in our partnerships, families, and friendships. So, how can we foster healthy attitudes and...

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

In the ever-evolving financial landscape, staying informed about the latest changes and potential implications for your retirement savings is crucial. Shifts in retirement regulations define 2024, and we’re committed to keeping...

Monday, January 29, 2024

Stocks continued their upward climb last week as excitement around big tech continued; positive economic reports stoked investors’ belief that the Federal Reserve has pulled off a soft landing. Stocks Power Ahead Big tech was...

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

It’s a fun time of year for football fans. The NFL playoffs are starting, and the Big Game is just around the corner. While football fans will tune in for the matchups, commercials, and Usher’s Big Game halftime show, you...

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

As we get ready to turn the page on 2023 and welcome the new year with all its possibilities, we’d like to take some time to reflect on the year that was—the notable events, trends, and developments that defined our...

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

With the start of the new year, we wanted to discuss a topic that will likely garner attention throughout 2024: the potential sunsetting of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in 2025. Although some of the provisions within the TCJA are...

Monday, December 11, 2023

Your Child is Turning 18: Handling Healthcare, Academics, and Finances Together As your child blows out the candles on their 18th birthday, you may still see your baby girl or boy. But in the eyes of the law your child is considered a...

Monday, December 4, 2023

As we get ready to turn the page on 2023 and welcome the new year with all its possibilities, we’d like to take some time to reflect on the year that was—the notable events, trends, and developments that defined our...

Monday, November 20, 2023

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or any other form of dementia, this can be an extremely challenging time. While promising new treatments are developing and research continues, a cure remains elusive....

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Divorce is one of the most stressful life events. Even the most amicable splits can be complicated and emotionally draining. We likely all know couples who have gone through divorce, and it can be a trying time for everyone involved....

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Some thoughts about the markets over the last three years and a few observations about the seemingly illogical performance of a few particular asset classes.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

While we haven’t yet said goodbye to 2023, it’s not too early to begin thinking about any tax changes that may be on the horizon. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 was designed to overhaul the federal tax code by...

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Many of us have adapted to a world with remote team members and back-to-back Zoom calls with customers spread across the country, which certainly has its benefits. Nevertheless, one drawback is the difficulty of getting together in...

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Stocks ended mixed last week amid the outbreak of hostilities in the Middle East and higher-than-expected inflation data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.20%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 0.45%. But the Nasdaq...

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

SECURE 2.0: Changes Going Into Effect in 2024 Passed in 2019, the SECURE Act was the most substantial retirement legislation in over a decade. It contained important changes designed to help investors save more and be better prepared...

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Time to Think About Year-End Financial Strategies As we roll into fall and the fourth quarter, now is a good time to pause and reflect on proactive ways to set up your finances for 2024. Economically speaking, we are now in a much...

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

While artificial intelligence (AI) is making headlines today, the concept of "thinking machines" can be traced back to ancient philosophers and mathematicians. The phrase artificial intelligence was first used in the mid-20th century,...

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Our periodic Cybersecurity review to help you keep your information safe, and your systems working. In this issue, we cover: The scams targeting college students; Savvy Cybersecurity quick links; Cybersecurity shorts; Software updates.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Social Security, the program you may have spent a lifetime paying into, is designed to offer stability, supplemental income, and other valuable benefits that can play a role in your overall financial strategy after you retire. We've...

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

If you ask the average investor which month is the most volatile for the stock market, they will probably say October. It's a reasonable answer, but it's incorrect. Despite October's reputation for market-defining events like the...

Saturday, August 26, 2023

How much are you withholding per paycheck?Is the amount too little? (Or too much?) Find out the answer before the year ends. You may not want to discover next year that your withholding amount for this year was too small. The I.R.S....

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

As financial professionals, we understand how vital it is to safeguard your personal and financial information. Unfortunately, in our increasingly digital world, cybersecurity risks, such as phishing attacks, have become a prevalent...

Monday, August 7, 2023

You’ve done a great job teaching your children vital life lessons and instilling values that will last a lifetime. As summer ends and a new school year begins, one thing that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially for...

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Changes are coming to the complicated form that students must submit to qualify for college financial aid, known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).The Department of Education is calling it the “most...

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

IntroductionOver the last several months, I have met with quite a few self-proclaimed do-it-yourself (DIY) investors who, after struggling with the markets in 2022, approached me asking for a second opinion. Interestingly, almost every...

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Changes to 529 Plans in the SECURE 2.0 ActThe SECURE Act was initially passed by Congress at the end of 2019 and was intended to improve retirement savings opportunities. It was a big deal at the time and the most significant piece of...

Thursday, July 6, 2023

What if your child needs braces? The cost may be as much as $6,000 for metal braces—more modern versions can run as much as $13,000. Your health insurance may cover only a portion of the cost. If you're well past the braces stage...

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Getting your affairs in order and outlining what you want done with your estate after you’re gone is one of the greatest gifts you can leave your loved ones. However, not preparing for the transfer of your assets can lead to...

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Senior care costs can be overwhelming, particularly when long-term care is required due to illness or medical conditions. With the number of seniors in the U.S. expected to rise exponentially by 2030, it's crucial to be prepared for...

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Estate management can be a complex and daunting task for many people, but it’s a critical step in helping your assets get managed and distributed according to your wishes.One popular tool that can be used in estate strategies is...

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Economies move in cycles – always have, always willThe Federal Reserve has been steadily increasing interest rates in an attempt to slow the rate of inflation. Its efforts are yielding some results, although inflation remains...

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

What’s Going On With The Banks?We wanted to share a quick update in light of the recent news about Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and discuss our thoughts on its impact on the markets and future Fed moves. What...

Friday, February 17, 2023

Model investment portfolio updates from Artifex Financial GroupArtifex Financial Group is committed to providing our clients with the best possible investment experience. Our model investment portfolios are updated on a regular basis...

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Is AI the flavor of the month, or does it have staying power?Everyone's talking about artificial intelligence (AI) these days. It's the flavor of the month in the world of technology, and businesses are clamoring to get their hands on...