Pledged Asset Lines: Features and Updates

Nick Levinson Life with Money

Many of PPA’s clients have short-term funding needs. The reasons vary: Some people require infusions of cash between pay checks, including those paid once a month, once a quarter, or only after completed transactions. Others need cash to make a down payment on a new house before their current house is sold. Still others want to finance renovation work on …

The Stock Market Isn’t the Economy

Nick Levinson Comments

Stock market performance in 2022 has been dismal. Through October 31, the S&P 500, a broad measure of large companies in the US, had declined 19%. The causes have been diverse: The highest overall inflation in 40 years. Interest rates that have spiked, with the 10-year US Treasury yield rising from 1.5% at the end of 2021 to over 4% …

Core Values Embodied in Work: A Reflection on Victor Levinson

Nick Levinson Life with Money

This past Sunday, family and friends of Victor Levinson gathered in New York City to remember Vic and reflect on his life, work, and relationships. Reflections were shared by several of Vic’s lifelong friends; three of his grandchildren; and his three adult children (Nick, Lynn, and Tom). Each of the reflections offered a special window onto Vic. Nick’s reflections, in …

Consistent Advice Through Difficult Times

Nick Levinson Comments

After a miserable month of September when stock prices declined 8% and bond prices dropped 4%, we want to provide some context for what’s happened so far in 2022. Accounting for the most recent few days of significant gains in October, the S&P 500 is down a little more than 20% for the year. Bonds have fallen about 15%. The …

New Words for Familiar Feelings: Definitions for Life, Work & Money

Nick Levinson Life with Money

We’ve been sending you our new Life with Money column for several weeks now. Although I (Nick) have written a few of the market updates, this is my first time contributing a more personal essay. Some of what we’ve written has touched on religious and spiritual traditions and their approach to money. While I don’t have any organized religious practice, a …

What a Difference a Day Makes! (Or Does It?)

Nick Levinson Comments

We were planning to write this commentary on Monday, September 12th. If we had, the story might have mentioned the past four days of positive results for the markets, with the S&P 500 index rising more than 5%. This “mini-recovery” came right after a significant decline that interrupted an earlier potential recovery from late June through mid-August. But we didn’t …

Real Estate as Part of Your Portfolio

Nick Levinson Comments

We’ve written extensively over the last few months about inflation, interest rates, and how recent changes have impacted the stock and bond markets. This month we take up the effects of inflation and interest rate increases on real estate, which, along with an investment portfolio, is one of the largest assets many of us own. First, a little background: We …

Bonds and Stocks Tumble Together

Nick Levinson Comments

You’ve probably seen the headlines about how badly the stock market has performed so far in 2022. “Bear market.” “Worst first half of a year in the last fifty years.” The broadest index of world stocks declined over 21% through June 30, 2022, caused in part by the highest inflation in 40 years and the largest land war in Europe …

The Psychology of Money

Nick Levinson Comments

“Behavioral finance” is a relatively new but increasingly influential part of the financial world. Where traditional economic/finance theory assumes that consumers and investors regularly maximize their opportunities, behavioral finance acknowledges that this is not always the case. If you’re interested, excellent books on the subject include Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman; Misbehaving by Richard Thaler; Nudge by Thaler …