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Happy Summer!  Earlier this year, we conducted our annual client survey and were delighted and encouraged by the results.  One of the most important missions of our business is to deliver unparalleled client service and exceed our clients' expectations.  The survey results, which can be found here, suggest that we are largely fulfilling that mission. 

While the results were exciting, we strive to improve and we invite you to let us know how we can do better.  We welcome your input and hope you enjoy this month's RPG Planner.
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Plan Right                      

  • The Fallacies of Rising Interest Rates.  We recently published this article on 3 common misperceptions about rising interest rates and explained how rising interest rates help, not hurt, long-term investors.
  • Tax Saving Tips for Low Income Years.  Low income years present several outstanding tax opportunities which many people fail to exploit.  In this recently published article, we provide 7 specific ways to take advantage of these opportunities. 
  • Picking Disability Coverage. recently ran our article on the important choice of finding the right disability insurance.  

Around the Web


Investment Commentary

Since claiming independence in 1822, Greece has spent nearly 90 years in default – not quite the model bill-paying citizen.  While the Greek’s missed debt payment to the IMF should be of little surprise given their history of financial imprudence, investor focus has shifted to this economy that is smaller in economic size than US cities such as Atlanta, Seattle, and Miami. 

It’s well known now that the Greeks voted overwhelmingly to reject proposed bailout measures and now we collectively await a decision from the rest of the eurozone on what comes next.  The country’s financial state is dire with depositor limited withdrawals of $67 per day crippling an already crippled economy. 
The future for Greece is still unclear and changing from day-to-day but there never was a rosy outcome for this eurozone member.  Other eurozone members will soon decide whether to offer additional bailout terms to keep Greece in the eurozone or face the financial impact of a Greek default and the Pandora’s Box of permitting a eurozone member to exit.  

The unfolding story has the drama and uncertainty of a classic Greek tragedy but may have little impact on global financial markets.  While some draw upon comparisons to the domino effects of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the Greek domino may not be big enough to hit any other dominoes if/when it falls.  The European Central Bank (ECB) used the last three years to restructure Greek debts, bringing nearly 75% of Greek debt into its European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF).  With most Greek debt now off the balance sheets of leveraged European banks, the threat of contagion is dramatically reduced.  The real concern of eurozone policy makers comes if Greece exits the eurozone and resultantly opens a currently non-existent door for peripheral countries like Spain or Italy to follow. 

In spite of the Greek noise, global stocks finished the quarter roughly flat (MSCI World +0.3%) after a modest decline in June (-2.3%).  Bonds fell 1.7% in the second quarter (Barclays Aggregate) as encouraging economic and employment data pushed yields higher and prices lower.  We will comment further on stocks and bonds in our upcoming quarterly letter but in the meantime, you can reference the RPG Monthly Market Snapshot by clicking here for some key economic data points and index returns.                 



Fun Stuff and Free Resources

  • For those of you with young kids at home and time to read (recognizing the two are often in conflict), there is an excellent new book from New York Times columnist Rob Lieber, The Opposite of Spoiled, that dives into the subject of imprinting good values and raising money-wise children.   

RPG News and Notes 

  • John Howard recently joined the Wealth Matters Radio Show as a guest speaker to talk about the planning stage of estate planning.  He explains the importance of multi-generational conversations and effective estate planning.  The airing is available here in podcast format.  
  • Keeping to the topic of estate planning, Jason Lina was a guest on the Atlanta Estate Planning Experts Podcast on June 3rd.  He discusses some common estate planning mistakes that families make, among other topics.
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