Gavin L. DiStasi's blog

Even Keel

On March 23rd, the S&P 500 hit an intraday low of 2191, which represented a decline of roughly 35 percent from its peak of 3393, reached just a few weeks before. As the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic and its potential economic fallout began to sink in, the markets, and subsequently, the financial news media, went into full-on panic mode, and the decline, while not record-breaking in its depth, was remarkable for being the quickest such decline in the history of the markets.

Pro Bono Financial Advice for Those Affected by COVID-19

In recent weeks, as it has become clear just how devastating the financial impacts of the Covid-19-related shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders have been, and likely will continue to be for some time, we have been trying to figure out how we might best be positioned to help some of those who are being hit the hardest. And with the numbers out this week, which indicate that as many as one in four American workers have filed for unemployment benefits, we felt the time had come to do something, anything, to try to help some of those folks in our community.

And This Too Shall Pass

I was having a conversation with a client earlier this week, and she mentioned to me that what we were living through at present was truly unprecedented, and that no amount of statistics or past reference points could possibly be informative to the current environment, and therefore, all bets were off, when it comes to the markets and investing in the short to medium-term. It’s the kind of statement I’ve heard before, during times of extreme market stress, and it instantly made me think of something that Jarrett says all the time, and perhaps many of you have heard before.

Per Capita vs. Per Stirpes

Much has been written on this blog and in other financial publications, about the importance of beneficiary designations in retirement accounts, and I believe that most clients understand why it’s so important to be sure they have thought this through before choosing their designations. But one aspect of the designation that many do not always have a handle on prior to making their choices is whether, in the case of multiple beneficiaries, they should select the Per Capita or Per Stirpes designations.


With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us this week, it is naturally the time of year when you get inundated with the “what I’m thankful for” articles and blog posts. There’s nothing wrong with that, as it’s certainly a good thing to reflect on one’s blessings to be sure. But for whatever reason, we have never done one of those ourselves, until now.