"The Birnie Fam Bid Fenway Adieu!"

I’ll be channeling my inner John Updike for this effort. As every native New England bred “sahx” fan of a certain age can attest, it was Sir Updike who penned the quintessential farewell article to Boston Red Sox Legend (intentional cap “L” FYI!) Ted “Teddy Ballgame / Splendid Splinter/ The Kid” Williams which appeared in the October 22, 1960 issue of The New Yorker magazine. Click link below to read Updike's masterpiece!
Over the years, so many of you have permitted me to be a part of your personal lives – willingly and emotionally opening up to me with your dreams, fears and financially driven challenges. It is this confidential place in your lives I value greatly. Today I share a bit of the Birnie family chronicles with you.  
Earlier today we had to put down our first family dog “Fenway” (but of course) after 14 years of loyalty and love. In baseball terms, we had to take the future hall of fame starting pitcher out of the game!

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Skip The Dip

Dipped Ice Cream 2Growing up in New England, we had several “regional” ice cream shops – many of which have faded into oblivion - unfortunately much like the NY Football Giants 2017 & 2018 seasons! One of our local Connecticut favorites was Carvel’s Soft Serve whose owner Tom Carvel was the company’s iconic TV pitchman urging folks to buy among other treats – a whale shaped ice cream cake for “your Whale of a Dad”!

One of the “go to” Carvel items was the soft served swirl cone dipped in either Red, Brown or Tan “Dips” which hardened to enhance the flavor profile of the product. They are omnipresent now – but in early to mid-1970’s a “dip” was a thing! One of the counter servers had a standard line “Never Skip the Dip!” when coaching up a customer pondering their order. Looking back, I’m not sure how hard the decision was with only Chocolate or Vanilla / with or without a dip into a vat of a "sweet plastic" tasting Chocolate, Strawberry or Butterscotch as the only decisions facing you. (I’ll pause for a second now, so readers can mentally go back to relive their childhood ice cream experiences!)

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"Fire your Advisor and rent him a Beach House each fall - you'd be financially better off"!

Beach House
I recently had a conversation with a couple nearing retirement who were considering hiring us as their primary Wealth Advisory firm. After our presentation and due diligence discussions including a deep analysis of the significantly high annual fees they were paying their current advisor, the couple expressed how difficult it would be to terminate that relationship.

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Celebrating the Caps - The Markets finally joining the Parade!

“The vine is back after a summer time siesta!” Douglas Birnie

Celebrating a Caps Cup – seems the markets finally joined the parade!

As a long-time Boston Sports fan (with the NY Football Giants being the lone non-New England based exception – story below), I found myself the recipient of many a verbal and written jab this spring as the Washington Capitals finally skated their way into the history books – hoisting a franchise first Stanley Cup Trophy. With the Caps victory following an Eagles Super Bowl Victory, the sports world has jarred fans of these two franchises awake from their respective decades long championship hibernation. I was fortunate enough to attend Game 3 and experience the arenas overflowing nervous energy explode into ear piercing joy as the Red Rocked their way thru the Vegas Knights. While the city, players and PWA’s Jamie (shown above) celebrated their way thru June, I snuck over to Ireland to enjoy 6 days of G & G (Golf and Guinness). 

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Peeling the Onion

"Peeling the Onion" on Mutual Funds Capital Gains Tax - Brings Tears to the Eyes!

Wall Street rarely (OK never) sends “a warning memo” in advance of a pending negative market event to investors. Imagine the erosion of portfolio values that would have been avoided in the late 2000’s if they did! However, in the 4th Quarter of every year – mutual fund companies do just that – they post their estimated capital gains distributions for each fund. Furthermore, the companies tell investors well in advance the exact date they will be distributing them.

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