Margo has been retired for the past 10 years.  She gets the most out of life and enjoys serving on the Board of Directors of Keeler Tavern Museum.  This volunteer position includes managing the Gift Shop, Co-Chairman of the Antiques and Treasures Sale and is the manager of the Christmas Boutique.

Margo assisted with the Keeler Tavern Museum in Ridgefield, CT in planning their annual (18th) Antiques and Treasures Sale.  It was held in early August at the Garden House, the barn and under tents on the Museum property at 132 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT.

This event, a fundraiser for the Museum, will feature period furnishings and objects d’art from the 18th to 20th centuries.  The furniture will be beautifully displayed with accessories for sale including lines, silver, porcelains, antique dolls, china, glass, art work, oriental carpets, mirrors, clocks, lamps, fireplace sets and other decorative items.  Estate jewelry, Civil War artifacts, antique children’s books and much more will be featured and available to purchase.

After viewing the treasures indoors, visitors can stroll through the glorious flower filled garden designed by Cass Gilbert, architect of the Woolworth Bldg. and choose wrought iron furniture or other outdoor pieces for their own garden or terrace.  Visitors may continue on to the large tent and barn to view furniture suitable for apartments or dorm rooms.  A short walk to the front lawn is where small bargain treasures are for sale.

The monies raised from these sales help the Museum maintain the property and sponsor various programs.  For additional information on the Museum please call 203/438-5485 or visit

Everyone has heard the stories of a famous person or family member that passed away without a will or without ever informing his spouse or adult children about his financial affairs.  Often, this places a huge financial and emotional burden on grieving loved ones and causes a lot of stress.  Whether it involves tracking down a complete list of all assets/life insurance owned or just maintaining the bills after a death, adult children and spouses have a much easier time when a road map is created and provided to them.

A role of a financial advisor is to persuade clients to have discussions with their spouse and adult children about their finances.  The biggest barrier advisors hear when discussing the topic is it will be a difficult discussion.  That is why we suggest four strategies to foster better communication:

1.      Use your advisor or another family member as a buffer to start and encourage conversation

2.      Let the client dictate the agenda of what is and is not discussed (estate plan, value of investments/assets, allocation of assets upon death, funeral arrangements/etc.)

3.      Start slowly – create a 1-page document listing all accounts with account numbers and passwords, important contacts, phone numbers and share with spouse/adult children

4.       Create a sense of urgency by using real life examples of clients and famous people that recently passed away.

Is it time for you to have this conversation?  Even if you think it will be too difficult, you should still discuss with an advisor and understand the ramifications if you do not.

For more information on this topic please read the NY Times article:

One of the main reasons we have chosen to utilize DFA (Dimensional Fund Advisors) as our primary investment/mutual fund strategy is their scientific approach based on ongoing academic research.  Below is an excerpt of their newest “dimension” of investing.  We look forward to discussing how this new layer of investment strategy works in our client portfolios.

Adapted From “Despite its Success, Firm is Tinkering with the Way it Builds Equity Portfolios” by Jason Kephart of Investment News, 8/7/13.

For the first time in more than 20 years, Dimensional Fund Advisors is changing the way it builds equity portfolios. Thanks to a breakthrough in asset-pricing research last year, DFA is adding a third layer of screening to its equity portfolios, which already tilt toward small and value stocks. The new layer, or dimension, focuses on a company’s persistence of profitability — basically a stock’s ability to earn a profit consistently.

The idea that a profitable company is going to perform better than a less profitable company over time isn’t a new idea. In fact, it is kind of common sense. The challenge for DFA, which bases all its investment methodologies on academic research, was finding a reliable way to use data to identify future profitability.

“New research has to be very robust, very reliable and have real information that’s not already captured in the other dimensions,” said Eduardo Repetto, Dimensional’s co-chief executive and chief investment officer. The breakthrough came late last year when DFA began looking at companies’ earnings-to-assets and earnings-to-book, rather than cash flow or earnings-to-price.

The company found that using a stock’s price doesn’t lead to any reliable data, because the price of a stock can be very volatile. Using a company’s assets or book value, by contrast, provides a more reliable look at how profitable a company is and how likely it is to continue to be profitable.

When DFA looked at the back-tested results of overweighting the most profitable companies in its portfolios, the results weren’t inconsequential, Mr. Repetto said. In fact, the power of the profitability dimension is about par with the premium seen over time by overweighting value. When the two are combined, it leads to even better results.

“When it’s combined with size, and in particular with value, you can really form portfolios that add value relative to not using that dimension,” Mr. Repetto said.

The new overlay already has been added to seven equity portfolios with about $2 billion in assets, or less than 1% of DFA’s approximately $240 billion in equity portfolios. The plan is to roll it out across the entire lineup by year’s end, Mr. Repetto said. “Right now, we’re working with clients so everyone understands what we’re doing,” he said. “We don’t want anyone to be surprised.”  “This is not magic; it’s based on our understanding of asset prices,” Mr. Repetto said.

“Whenever we can do something good for our clients, it’s in our best interest to do it,” he said.