Metrics of the Economic Recovery

Since the pandemic began, disruptions in business activity have not been uniform across regions, and often have been different from one week to the next, based on damage done by local COVID-19 outbreaks. Unfortunately, many government statistics used to monitor the health of the U.S. economy are backward-looking and somewhat delayed. Changes in gross domestic product (GDP) indicate the rate at … [Read more...]

Different This Time?

I was a new dad in the late 1990s, during a heady time in the stock market. Companies like Pets.com, e-Greetings, Red Hal, CMGI, Webvan all were hot, and all the other new parents talked about that at every kid birthday party. Some felt like they struck gold, and the others were feeling left out. Sound familiar? The internet was pretty young at the time, and many people were day-trading, some … [Read more...]

The Markets in March

First Quarter of 2021 As we closed out 2020, the overwhelming sentiment was that it couldn't get much worse. But it’s been more mixed, and in the first quarter we’ve seen the emergence of virus mutations, uneven although faster-than-expected distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and a relaxation of pandemic-related restrictions that had both positive and negative impacts. Stocks continued to push … [Read more...]

The Markets in February

February began on a high note amid encouraging Q4 earnings reports and employment data. However, news was not all positive, including the COVID-related death toll in the United States hitting 500,000. Nevertheless, two vaccines were rolled out last month, with a third one up for release soon. The Federal Reserve offered assurances that continued accommodative measures would remain in place for the … [Read more...]

Investing: Strategy vs. Reaction

Investing: Strategy vs. Reaction You can always count on market swings to challenge your patience as an investor, but these current swings – and the reasons for them – are unprecedented in their speed and depth. Tune Out the Noise The media generates news 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and they need to fill all that time. You can check the market and access the news any time and … [Read more...]

Financial Advice for You – And Those In Need: Pandemic Times 2020

Financial Advice for You – And Those In Need March 23, 2020 -- We are in uncharted territory, that’s for sure. As one client told me this week, “I’m now more concerned about my health than my wealth.” It’s easy to feel anxiety about a multitude of things, and there is plenty to worry about now. On top of all of that, there are extreme weather warnings across the United States -- tornados, … [Read more...]

The Coronavirus and You

We don’t know how bad this is going to be. That’s the scary part. We can wash our hands, wear masks, talk about morbidity percentages, but the extent of the coronavirus – and its impact on the markets – is unknown. So what to do? We can look at the historical context of previous plagues and pandemics and viruses and their impact. It does help ease our minds to look at the history of pandemics … [Read more...]

The Markets in February

The Markets in February Spurred by a growing number of new cases of the coronavirus and amid political uncertainty, the markets experienced a massive sell-off, the largest we’ve seen since 2008. Investors' fears during the month of economic tumult caused by the coronavirus were too much to ignore, despite a statement from Fed chairman Jerome Powell that the central bank was prepared to cut rates. … [Read more...]

The Markets in January

What happened in the markets in January January was full of ups and downs amid much lots of market uncertainty. The month began with many of the benchmark indexes losing value (except for the Nasdaq) only to surge ahead during the middle of the month. Then at month’s end, fears of a widespread coronavirus pushed down stocks. Only the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained value in the month, as each of the … [Read more...]

The Markets in April

The Markets in April 2020 T.S. Elliot wrote “April is the cruelest month” in his poem The Waste Land, and he was not far off this year. The month began on a bad note for stocks as each of the major indexes lost value. Economic reports reflected the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: historic job loss and unemployment claims that rose each week, shuttered businesses, negative crude oil prices amid … [Read more...]

The Markets in June

The Markets in June 2020 June was a month of dramatic highs and lows for stocks. The Dow for example climbed 6.8% in the first week of the month, then fell 5.5% in the second week. However, by the close of June, each of the major indexes posted gains, with the tech holdings of the Nasdaq leading the way, up nearly 6.0% from its May closing value. April, May, and June of 2020 saw the best … [Read more...]

The Markets in May

The Markets in May 2020 The month of May saw some U.S. states and foreign countries ease the restrictions put in place for the COVID-19 pandemic. As economies slowly picked up, confidence in stocks grew, driving values higher. However, optimism was kept in check by weak economic reports and growing tensions between China and the U.S. The unemployment rate hit its highest level since the Great … [Read more...]

The Perils of Market-Timing: A Reminder

There is no lack of unquieting news that impacts the markets daily. And volatility looks to be a big player in the markets for at least the near-term. Here are a few important reminders on the perils of trying to time the market – at any time. To take some kind of action may offer brief relief, but market-timing ultimately runs counter to your best strategies for building durable long-term wealth. … [Read more...]

The Federal Reserve

How the Federal Reserve Moves the Economy If you follow the news, you’ve probably heard references to “the Fed” as in “the Fed held interest rates,” or “market watchers are predicting what the Fed will do next.” So what exactly is the Fed and what does it do? I learned about the intricacies of central banks when I was studying at Columbia Business School, and here are some of the basics. The … [Read more...]

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...]

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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(212) 537-3899

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(413) 551-7000

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– Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
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