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Diversifying Real Estate Debt, Philanthropy & a Tribute to Suzanne Lawrence | Q2 2011 Abacus Newsletter

It is with profound sadness that we say goodbye to our long-term colleague, Suzanne Lawrence. She died of cancer on April 27th at 9:30am. Suzanne was a person of great integrity, commitment, and warmth, and a trusted Client Services Associate and Manager of Operations for Abacus for over thirteen years. She taught us how to slow down in this fast world, and deliberated thoroughly before making important decisions.
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Gold: A Risky Asset for the Risk-Averse

Investors' fears about an unpredictable future will play a role in the success or failure of their investment experience. Strangely, some of the most successful investors might be those with brain damage, at least according to The Wall Street Journal article "Lessons from the Brain-Damaged Investor."
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Is Diversification Dead? Homebuyer Credit ROTH IRA Conversion | Q1 2010 Abacus Newsletter

In 2009, diversification came back into vogue. All stock asset classes, REITS, commodities and bonds had positive returns last year. In 2008, the only asset classes that didn't lose were cash, CD's and short-term bonds. We believe that diversification works over the long-term and that 2009's outperformance by certain asset classes such as domestic and international small cap equities and value equities is repeatable.
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Season of Giving

As we enter the season of giving and giving thanks, I realize with some regret that I haven't been as charitable this year as in years past. But, I justify, how could I possibly give as I have in the past? My income is off by 50% this year! Surely if there's a time to cut back, to retrench, to be more conservative, this is it.
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Curbing the Car Craving

My Volvo wagon is 12 years old, has soiled carpets (I've got two kids!) and the stitching on the leather seat is coming undone. But, the most irritating thing is the driver's door which creaks like a train braking as it enters Grand Central Station.
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