Reviewing Your Estate Plan

Reviewing Your Estate Plan Some people don’t want to create or update their estate plan -  it is unpleasant to think about death. But we nudge clients to review it periodically and keep it accurate. An estate plan is basically a map that explains how you want your personal and financial affairs to be handled in case of incapacity or your death, and it should be checked as your lives change and … [Read more...]

What Is Blockchain?

What Is Blockchain? Clients often ask about bitcoin, but blockchain technology is more interesting and is what really makes bitcoin possible. It’s a data structure used to create a secure digital ledger shared among a distributed network of computers. It was initially designed for the peer-to-peer exchange for the virtual currency bitcoin. However, many businesses are now developing and … [Read more...]

Tax Update Post-TCJA

Tax Update The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made fundamental changes to the U.S. tax code, and the 2018 returns were the first time most taxpayers felt the impact of these sometimes painful changes. Most still don’t understand it. In an April 2019 Gallup poll, 43% of Americans said they were unsure how the new tax law affected them personally. Despite a stated effort to simplify the federal … [Read more...]

The Markets in July

The Markets in July Stocks ran hot and cold in July, influenced by worsening global economic conditions, ongoing trade negotiations with China, and softening domestic business investment. While the Fed’s decision to reduce short-term interest rates was not unexpected, stocks reeled at month’s end. Some analysts questioned the timing of the interest rate reduction, particularly in the event of … [Read more...]

The Markets in June

The Markets in June 2019 June, and the whole second quarter, was full of ups and downs for stocks. The trade war between the U.S. and China ebbed and flowed as news went from positive to negative and back again. Employment was steady and the unemployment rate remained low, but wage growth was moderate at best. Manufacturing and industrial production hit a snag, as did business fixed … [Read more...]

Single women and money

Study: Single women and money Single women – those who have never married, those who have experienced divorce, and those who have outlived a spouse – need to take a more proactive approach to growing and protecting their finances, according to a new study. The Single Women and Money Study found that while the overwhelming majority of single women (97%) believe it is important to be engaged in … [Read more...]

Keep Your Eye Out for Scams

Scams to Watch Out For While scams are especially prevalent during tax season, they can take place any time during the year. A client recently had a call from someone at Social Security, or so they told her. They coaxed this very intelligent woman into revealing quite a bit about her financial life, using profoundly professional-sounding authority and a sense of urgency about her Social Security … [Read more...]

The Markets in April

The Markets in April As April came to a close, major benchmark indexes posted strong returns. Both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 reached new highs during the month, amid a shrinking trade deficit, favorable economic projections, low inflation, and stable interest rates. The Nasdaq led the way, nearing a monthly gain of almost 5.0%, followed by the large caps of the S&P 500, the small caps of the … [Read more...]

Talking to Your Kids About Money

Talking to Your Kids About Money Do you feel comfortable talking to your children about money? It can be a tricky topic, and of course it’s only one of the many tricky topics and conversations with teens. But by being open with your kids about money, you can share your values as well as teach them basic financial management skills. According to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection … [Read more...]

Why Name a “Trusted Contact”

Why name a “Trusted Contact” Do you need a Trusted Contact? Not everyone needs one, as cozy and protective as it sounds. We suggest that you take this step with intention and careful thought, not just because the custodian sends you a form to name someone. In an effort to prevent senior financial fraud, FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) created a rule to allow custodians to … [Read more...]

Hidden Gem: HSAs

Hidden Gem: HSA in Retirement The health savings account or “HSA” is a little-understood vehicle for tax-deferred savings for medical expenses. This tax-preferred account can prove useful not only during your working years but also in retirement. Many people think it is just to defer current-year taxes for medical out-of-pocket costs, but it can be used much more strategically, even in … [Read more...]

Medicare Costs in 2019

What Will You Pay for Medicare in 2019? Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts change annually. Here’s a look at some of the costs for 2019 for those enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Medicare Part B premiums Most with Medicare who receive Social Security benefits will pay the standard monthly Part B premium of $135.50 in 2019. However, for some whose premiums … [Read more...]

The Markets in January

The Markets in January Several markets indexes saw their best January performance in three decades. A strong labor market, low inflation, and a patient Federal Reserve Board all sent encouraging messages, and several market indexes rose to their best January results in three decades. That followed precipitous plunges in December and November. The Russell 2000 led, closing the month more than 11% … [Read more...]

Don’t Fear the Volatility

We have long known of the media’s – and our own – infatuation with extremes: Best! Worst! Delight! Despair! These sentiments fuel our dreams and inspire works of art. But if you allow superlatives to rule your investing, it could lead to trouble. If you get caught up in reports highlighting the near-term extremes and devaluing the tides of time, you risk losing a clear understanding of what’s … [Read more...]

Famous People Who Didn’t Plan

Famous People Who Didn’t Plan Properly It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of taking the time to plan your estate. Nevertheless, many haven’t done so, for many different reasons. You might think that the rich and famous would be way ahead of the curve when it comes to planning their estates properly, considering the resources and lawyers presumably available to them. Yet there are … [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.

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Contact Us

130 West 19th Street (8th Floor)
New York, N.Y. 10011
(212) 537-3899

93 Church Street
Lenox, Mass. 01240
(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)
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