Financial Exchange Blog

Barry Armstrong has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry and hosts WRKO's Financial Exchange program every weekday from 10 a.m. to noon. Barry also works with the independent financial professionals at Armstrong Advisory Group, which he founded himself, to serve individual investors and small businesses in New England. For the most up to date information on The Financial Exchange, as well as industry news and info, follow Barry on Twitter @BarryGArmstrong.

01/10/2013 - 2:32pm
By: Armstrong Advisory Group
Should you consider asset protection planning?

The Use of Irrevocable Medicaid Income Only Trusts

Question:  Who would consider using these Medicaid irrevocable trusts?

Answer:  While there is no hard and fast rule as to who can use these trusts, it is generally recommended to folks who have attained 60 years of age or older.  In addition, you should consider using these irrevocable trusts if in fact one of your objectives in the estate and elder law planning world is to protect assets from the cost of long term care.  In the event this type of asset protection planning is...

01/03/2013 - 3:56pm
By: Armstrong Advisory Group
Why was 2012 a great year?
  • 2012 was an above-average year for the U.S. stock market. The S&P 500 attained a total return of over 16%. In comparison, the average annual total return for U.S. stocks during the 20th century was 10.4%. Yet, the U.S. economy stagnated over the past 12 months with GDP growing at approximately 2% – below the average annual GDP growth rate of 3.28% in the 20th century. How can we reconcile the above-average stock market performance with the below-average economic performance? This contrast demonstrates that stock market participants care about relative, not absolute, numbers. With...
12/20/2012 - 5:47pm
By: Armstrong Advisory Group
The tough facts about the U.S.' finances

In continuing my discussion on this topic from a few weeks ago, I now turn to a look at government revenue and economic growth. The average income tax rate for an American citizen is approximately 13 percent. In order to cover current government expenses this tax rate would have had to double – without even including the negative effects that higher tax rates would likely have on GDP growth. Is a doubling of income tax rates realistic and/or politically palatable? Absolutely not. Are higher tax rates not only likely but also necessary? Most likely,...