D3 Business Update:

We are reviewing our Family Office Client Estate Plans: You will be receiving a letter from us in early December that summarizes our review of your estate plans.  Our focus is to identify clients subject to Federal or Illinois estate tax, determine if clients have all documents needed to execute their estate plans, identify all beneficiaries on accounts and recommend ways to avoid probate expenses.


Estimated Tax Update:  Due to the financial markets excellent performance this year and the anticipation of sizeable capital gain distributions from client investments, we estimate that almost all clients with taxable accounts will be impacted. For our Family Office clients we will be updating our estimated tax calculations (please forward your paystubs to us if you have received any bonuses). For our asset management clients (where we do not prepare your tax returns) we will be sending you an email estimating the taxable capital gains that will be distributed.  You should use these numbers to estimate if you will owe additional taxes come April 15, 2014.


D3 Technology Update: We have updated our technology infrastructure at D3. Our focus was on security and disaster recovery.  We now have daily data  redundancy at our Downers Grove and Chicago offices.  Additionally, to access any data maintained by D3 (including client data), requires 2 factor authentication (login, password and randomly generated security code that changes every 30 seconds).  This is considered state of the art technology for protecting our clients information and having a live data backup in case of a physical disaster.

Investment Outlook:

The financial markets have performed well this year. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are at all-time highs.  The NASDQ composite while performing better than the other two major indices, is at a 14 year high (still not as high as during the tech bubble peak).


We came across this interesting chart from Liz Sonders, Chief Investment Strategist from Schwab:

S&P 10 Year Rolling Returns


“As the chart above shows, the 10-year average of annual market returns is still running below typical long-term performances.  Looking at the long-term pattern of this chart, the market tends to trend in one direction for multi decades (well-overshooting the mean) before heading back down to well-undershoot the mean. Currently we are less than five years into the up cycle and history suggests there is more room to run,” she says.


Regardless of historic averages, our current focus is on valuations.  Price/earnings ratios are still reasonable, but to see further significant increases in stock prices, we should see some significant increases in revenues and earnings.  How well sales go this holiday season may very well provide insight into future earnings growth.


Investment Strategy:

We are keeping a close eye on equity valuations and momentum.   We have attempted to minimize the tax impact of capital gains, but we are now in a position where very few of the investments in our client portfolios have losses.


We have started to review our asset allocation models in conjunction with our long term risk reward projections for each asset class.  Our goal is to emphasize asset classes that will have a greater probability of consistent long term performance.



We look forward to seeing everyone attending the D3 Financial Counselors annual client appreciation dinner at the University Club in Chicago.  In this time of Thanksgiving, this is an opportunity for us to say thanks to you. Without your confidence in our ability to serve your needs we would not be able to celebrate your success and our success.


As always, please keep us in mind when your family and friends have financial questions.  We are focused on value added solutions, and if we can’t add more value than our fees, we don’t expect them to pay.


Happy Thanksgiving!


Don Duncan MBA CPA CFA™ CFP®                    Michael Meyers MBA CFP®

Adam Glassberg CFP® CIMA®                               Patty Shipinski, Office Manager

Ryan Pace CFP®


We serve our clients by providing Integrity, Trust, Wisdom and Confidence