The Markets in August

The Markets in August August closed on a weak note for stocks, ending a tumultuous month marked by high volatility. Investors sold stocks, fearing that the ongoing U.S.-China trade war would negatively impact domestic and global economies. As a result, gold prices surged and long-term bond yields plummeted as prices rose. Despite the wide market swings, consumers spent more of their income as … [Read more...]

The Markets in April

The Markets in April April was marked by the threatened tariff war between the United States and China. Tensions between the world’s two largest economies certainly impacted stocks both home and abroad. Escalating strife in Syria gave additional reason for concern. However, surging energy stocks lifted the market as crude oil prices approached $70 per barrel for the first time in almost three … [Read more...]

The Markets in March

The first quarter of 2018 began with strong market gains, but it did not end that way. March was not a good month for the benchmark indexes here, except for the small caps of the Russell 2000. Otherwise, each of the indexes closed March in the red, led by the Dow, which was followed by the Global Dow, Nasdaq, and the S&P 500. March brought more concerns for investors with the administration’s … [Read more...]

The Markets in January

Equities pulled back from record-setting gains toward the end of January, but not by enough to erase gains for the month. Unemployment remained low as the number of available job openings continued to recede, possibly signaling a push for higher wages. Fourth-quarter corporate earnings were relatively strong. The government shut down for a few days before approving a stopgap budget resolution. … [Read more...]

Divorce and Social Security

By Matt Carey How does divorce affect Social Security benefits? Some people don’t realize that after a divorce, you can choose whether to claim retirement benefits based on your own earnings record or on your ex-spouse's earnings record. Of course, that’s provided certain requirements are met. What requirements must be met? You could qualify to take benefits based on your ex-spouse's record if … [Read more...]

What Is a “Custodian?”

Change of Custodian A custodian is a financial institution with regulatory responsibilities for an investor’s securities, a “house” where your investments live. Blue Spark Capital Advisors is changing custodians to Fidelity from TD, a move that we believe is better for our clients in several ways. You should have received the paperwork, call us with any questions. Investments that you entrust … [Read more...]

The Markets in October

Market News Despite continuing White House drama and several serious natural disasters, stock growth remained steady for much of October 2017. Favorable corporate earnings reports, a strong jobs sector, and growing consumer income overcame any trepidations. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted monthly gains, led by the large caps of the Dow, which gained over 4% for the month and is … [Read more...]

Can We Make Divorce Easier?

Know Your Options in Divorce By Matt Carey Divorce is often traumatic, with a large emotional impact on all parties. And the financial ramifications of dissolving a marriage can be no less devastating. I’ve found that many put the financial considerations last on their list. It’s very easy to want to “get it over with” but many have regrets later. That’s why it is important to bring on … [Read more...]

The Markets in September

Trading during summer months is usually slow, and the third quarter of 2017 proved no different. The market regained some confidence in September, pushing stocks ahead of August closing values. Each of the indexes listed here posted gains, led by the small-cap Russell 2000, which rose 6.09%, followed by the Global Dow, the Dow, and the S&P 500, which each closed up about 2.0%. The tech-heavy … [Read more...]

The Markets in August

Equities saw several peaks and valleys throughout August, before rallying at the end of the month. Strong second-quarter GDP figures, steady job gains, and increased consumer spending sent stocks higher, despite stagnant inflation and heavy losses caused by Hurricane Harvey. The large caps of the S&P 500 and Dow posted marginal monthly gains, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the way, closing … [Read more...]

Social Security and Medicare: Challenges

Every year, the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds release reports to Congress on the programs’ financial condition and projected financial outlook. The newest reports discuss the challenges and project a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 2.2% for 2018. Why are they facing financial challenges? Social Security and Medicare are funded primarily through the … [Read more...]

CNBC News: Maura Griffin on Same-Sex Planning

CNBC News: Blue Spark's Maura Griffin on Same-Sex Financial Planning Financial advisors recommend couples thinking about same-sex financial planning have a discussion about how the Supreme Court decision will affect their finances and consider the ramifications of all possible outcomes. "One size is not for all, so one broad answer wouldn't address the factors involved. The financial choices are … [Read more...]

Wilbraham Monson grad visits Maura Griffin

Valeria Surkovaite ’14 and Maura Griffin at Blue Spark Valeria Surkovaite ’14 visited Maura Griffin at Blue Spark Capital Advisors offices while she was in New York City and had a meeting with Founder, CEO & fellow Wilbraham Monson Academy alumna Maura Griffin. Valeria told WMA alumni magazine, "It was extremely nice to meet a fellow alumna and although our graduation years are far apart, … [Read more...]

Forbes names Blue Spark a “Top Financial Leader”

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U.S. News and World Report: Maura Griffin on “Retirement Milestones

U.S. News and World Report: [read] Preparing for retirement is massive undertaking, so knowing how to measure your progress is very important. Maura Griffin was recently interviewed by U.S. News about what experiences you can expect as you transition into retirement.   … [Read more...]

Blue Spark Capital Advisors

We're a fee-only Registered Investment Advisory and financial planning firm based in New York City and the Berkshires.

We specialize in working with women after divorce, death of a spouse, or other life transitions such as retirement or job change. We provide financial planning and investment management services.

We believe in a holistic approach. Movement in each piece of your financial plan impacts the others, so we consider your entire picture.


Contact Us

31 Hudson Yards (11th Floor)
New York, N.Y. 10001
(212) 537-3899

Berkshire Block
321 Main St, Suite 205
Great Barrington, Mass. 01230
(413) 551-7000

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"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful."
– Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)