Crestwood Advisors Group announces merger with Catamount Wealth Management and expands into Westport, CT

Boston, MA, July 1, 2019 – Crestwood Advisors Group LLC is pleased to announce the merger with Catamount Wealth Management. As a result of this merger, Crestwood is expanding into Westport, CT and will now have three offices and 35 professionals managing approximately $3.0 billion in assets on behalf of high net worth individuals and families.

Catamount Wealth Management (Catamount) was founded by Louis Albanese in 2003 and, together with Laurie Stefanowicz, manage about $300 million for high net worth individuals and families. The entire Catamount team will continue to operate from their existing offices in Westport, CT.

“We have enjoyed getting to know the people of Crestwood for well over a year and believe combining efforts with the talented professionals in Boston will enhance our strengths, deepen our bench and provide the best outcomes for clients” said Louis Albanese. “Having greater scale is increasingly important for clients. Partnering with Crestwood increases our resources and broadens our expertise to provide outstanding services to our clients.” added Laurie Stefanowicz.

Michael Eckton, Crestwood’s CEO & Managing Partner said “We are thrilled to welcome the Catamount team. Collectively they have such deep and broad experience working with nearly identical clients and we are eager to collaborate with them for the greater benefit of all our clients.” Eckton added, “Our new colleagues in Westport share our commitment to deliver highly personal, robust wealth management solutions and adding this talented team to the Crestwood family deepens our already significant client presence in Fairfield County.”

For more information, please contact: Michael A. Eckton, CFA, CEO & Managing Partner or 617-523-8880.

About Crestwood Advisors Group LLC
Crestwood Advisors Group LLC is an independent, fee-only, wealth management firm with approximately $3.0 billion in assets under management. Founded in 2003, Crestwood Advisors Group provides investment management with financial planning strategies to help high net worth individuals and families identity and prioritize their goals and build sustainable wealth so that they may enjoy more financially secure and purposeful lives.

Tariff Man

U.S. trade conflicts have entered a new phase. President Trump has demonstrated his tariff threats are real, individual companies can be blacklisted and his rationale for new tariffs can extend beyond trade balances to include immigration. This new phase has alarmed investors, forced economists to reduce growth estimates and precipitated a 5% selloff in global stock markets during May.

President Trump enacted the tariffs in an effort to bring jobs back to the U.S. and to ensure fair trade. We agree there is a lot of room to improve trade in the U.S., to make it more fair and better support displaced workers. However, as investors, Crestwood believes tariffs are bad policy and will hurt U.S. GDP growth as they disrupt companies’ supply chains, weaken companies’ margins and create uncertainty.

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Crestwood Advisors Group announces merger with MacGuire, Cheswick & Tuttle Investment Counsel and expands into Darien, CT

Boston, MA, April 1, 2019 – Crestwood Advisors Group LLC is pleased to announce the merger with MacGuire, Cheswick & Tuttle Investment Counsel LLC. As a result of this merger, Crestwood expands into Darien, CT and will have two offices and 30 professionals managing approximately $2.5 billion in assets under management primarily on behalf of high net worth individuals and families.

MacGuire, Cheswick & Tuttle (MCT), founded in 2009 through the combination of K.A. MacGuire & Associates and the former Cheswick Investment Co. Inc., manages over $500 million for private clients. David P. Tuttle, Kevin A. MacGuire and Susan Cheswick Brewer, the three founders and senior investment professionals at MCT representing over 85 years of combined experience, will join Crestwood Advisors as Managing Directors and Portfolio Managers. The entire MCT team will continue to operate from their existing offices in Darien, CT. Continue reading

Importance of Time and Diversification

This past December, stock prices fell -14%, bottoming out on 12/24/18 with a one-day loss of -2.7%. Watching your investments decline close to 15% in 16 days is scary, disconcerting and discouraging. With an aging bull market and increasing volatility, why stay invested?

In order to add value by market timing (owning more stocks in good times and selling stocks when the outlook is gloomy), one needs to anticipate market’s ups and downs. Every year, well respected market professionals try to forecast the annual return for the S&P 500 index. Below, we’ve compared the expert’s average annual return expectation versus the actual market returns over time. Continue reading

Trade War – a Game of Chicken

In 1934 Congress passed the Reciprocal Tariff Act which essentially ceded to the President authority to negotiate tariffs with other countries. This bill was passed as the U.S. was exiting the Great Depression and Congress looked to reverse the disastrous Smoot-Hawley Tariff bill of 1930. (Further background on the Smoot-Hawley bill can be found in an earlier write-up here.) When drafting the Smoot-Hawley Tariff bill, the scope and size of the bill increased dramatically as many Congressmen added provisions to protect businesses in their home states. By passing the Reciprocal Tariff Act of 1934, Congress essentially acknowledged they were not capable of containing special interests and empowered the President with authority over tariffs.
President Trump has wielded these trade powers in a new and unpredictable manner. Investors are concerned that a trade war could bring higher inflation and a global economic slowdown. The trade issues began in March when President Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports with some countries like Mexico and Canada being exempted. The tariffs affected approximately $40 billion in imported goods. The Federal Reserve of Dallas estimates these tariffs could lower U.S. GDP by an inconsequential 0.24% as steel and aluminum imports account for a relatively small piece of the U.S. economy. Continue reading

Trumps Tariffs

On March 1st, 2018 President Trump announced his intention to impose significant tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The announcement sent stock and bond prices falling, stoking fears of higher prices and slower economic growth. Protecting domestic industries like steel and aluminum may have raw appeal, but tariffs are flawed in theory and have a history of hurting economic growth. History shows a link between tariffs and populism which last flourished in the 1930’s. President Trump’s proposed tariffs threaten the post WWII global trade order and stock and bond markets are now paying attention.
Tariffs are bad policy

Basic economics instructs that tariffs benefit a select few producers and harm consumers through higher prices as they reduce competition and allow less efficient producers to continue to operate. In 1776, Adam Smith wrote of comparative advantage stating that countries should focus on their low cost production and trade for goods where their costs of production are relatively high. In general, society benefits from trade as wealth rises everywhere. Continue reading

Volatility is Back!

Stock markets around the globe have sold off over the past few trading days, giving back most of their gains for 2018. Notably, the S&P 500 was down 4.1% yesterday and 6.1% over the past two days, a level of volatility not seen since 2011. This sharp downturn has increased fears of a looming bear market. While we cannot predict where the market goes in the coming days and weeks, today’s market has key fundamental strengths most bear markets lack.
Economic Indicators are positive
The main differentiator between a stock market correction and a prolonged bear market is that bear markets are normally associated with a recession. During a recession, consumption, the main driver of the U.S. economy, falls for an extended period as unemployment rises. Stock markets don’t react well to recessions because earnings across sectors can decrease meaningfully. The fortuitous cycle that helps stocks during periods of earnings increases, improved outlooks and higher valuations reverses as earnings fall, outlooks dim and stock values plunge. Recessions are painful to stock investors.
Unemployment today stands at 4.1%, the lowest level in 17 years! In January, the U.S. economy continued its steady improvements, adding another 200,000 jobs, which marked the 88th consecutive month with U.S. job growth, the longest stretch since 1939. The U.S. economy is unlikely to fall into recession with such strong job growth. Continue reading

Crestwood on the MOVE!

We hope that your 2018 is off to a great start! We wanted to share the exciting news of our upcoming move. Our continued growth has created the need for more space and the opportunity to redesign a new office to allow us to better serve our clients!
As of February 26th, Crestwood Advisors will be located at:

One Liberty Square
Suite 500
Boston, MA 02109

We look forward to giving you a tour of our new space at your next visit. Parking arrangements at nearby P.O. Square Garage will remain the most convenient option when visiting. Please update your records, and as always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions.

Crestwood Advisors adds new partner

We are pleased to announce the addition of Alyson L. Nickse, CFP®, CDFA®as a Partner at Crestwood Advisors.  Alyson joined Crestwood Advisors in September 2012 as a Wealth Manager and has over 15 years experience in wealth management.  Her focus on building integrated, holistic wealth plans that help our clients achieve their investment, philanthropic, estate & tax planning goals benefits both Crestwood and our clients as we continue to grow.  Alyson graduated with a BA from Colby College and has earned her CFP® and CDFA® designations and is a founding member of the Crestwood Women & Wealth Collaborative.

We remain committed to devoting and retaining the resources necessary to deliver the wealth management results that our clients expect from us.  We continue to experience significant growth in client assets under management and we are confident that this is due to the strength of our entire team’s focus on delivering strong investment and wealth management solutions to our clients and our commitment to open, honest and ongoing dialogue with our clients.

We are happy to welcome Alyson as a Partner at Crestwood Advisors and delighted to share the news with you.

As always, please contact us if you have any questions.

A discussion of “Liquid Alternative” Investments

Throughout financial history, every bull market seems to be characterized by some new investment product or vehicle that captures investors’ fancy. Like housing bonds in the early 2000’s, mutual funds in the 1980’s, and junk bonds in the 1970’s, liquid alternative assets appear to be that vehicle of the current bull market.
Prior to 2008, alternative investments were primarily available to only endowments and institutional investors. However, in recent years, investment companies created mutual funds with the promise of bringing similar strategies to all investors. These funds have seen tremendous growth and broad acceptance as many investors and advisors have allocated to these liquid alternatives in an attempt to build more diversified, sophisticated and endowment-like portfolios. Unfortunately, performance of liquid alternatives funds over the last five years has broadly disappointed investors. Continue reading