A Different Degree of Wealth

How Safe Is This Stuff?


Investors have been grappling with the safety of their investments in the traditional financial instruments like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and other alternative investments following the failure of crypto exchange FTX.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is taking measures to ensure that investors are provided with extra safeguards and that their investments are monitored and overseen properly. This article will provide a deeper look into the various protections and oversight that are available for investment and savings accounts unrelated to cryptocurrencies.

The SEC is also looking into more proactive measures to ensure that investors are aware of the risks that they are taking when they invest their money. It is also looking into ways to protect investors against scams and frauds that may arise because of the unregulated and uncharted nature of the cryptocurrency market. To further protect investors, the SEC has created a framework that requires cryptocurrency exchanges to register with the SEC and to comply with the same standards of securities regulations as other financial firms.

Key Points

  • FDIC insurance provides a financial safety net for consumers, covering all deposits in a bank account up to a maximum of $250,000
  • SIPC provides protection of up to $500,000 in securities and cash held in a brokerage account, including up to $250,000 for cash used to buy stocks
  • Custodians provide asset protection guarantees to ensure their investors’ assets are safe from any fraudulent activity
  • By understanding the various forms of protection available, investors can make informed decisions about their investments and have peace of mind knowing that their money is safe

What is FDIC Insurance?

FDIC insurance is a form of protection that you get when you deposit money into a bank account, designed to keep your money safe even in the event of a bank failure. This protection is provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which is a U.S. government agency created to provide a financial safety net for consumers. In the event of an insolvency or bankruptcy, FDIC will reimburse any lost deposits up to a maximum of $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category. This is a crucial form of protection for consumers, as it ensures that even in the worst case scenario, your money is protected and you will receive the funds you are due. FDIC insurance is an important part of financial security and peace of mind for consumers.

What does FDIC Insurance Cover?

FDIC insurance covers all deposits in a bank account, including money saved in checking and savings accounts, money invested into certificates of deposit (CDs), and other items that may be considered deposits such as money orders and cashier’s checks. It does not, however, cover investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other securities, which are considered to be separate investments and are not protected by FDIC insurance.

For more information on FDIC, please visit this link.

What is SIPC?

The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) is a nonprofit organization with a valuable purpose: to provide protection to investors in the event of a failed brokerage firm. Through this protection, investors can rest assured that their investments and cash in their accounts are safeguarded up to a maximum of $500,000 for each separate capacity, and that any investments that have been lost or stolen due to theft or fraud are covered.

This is especially significant in the modern era of investments and trading, as it ensures that investors’ hard-earned money is safe and secure up to the limits, even in the event of a failed brokerage firm. It is, therefore, very important for consumers to be aware of SIPC protection and its benefits, so that they can have peace of mind when it comes to their investments.

What is Covered by SIPC?

SIPC provides protection of up to $500,000 in securities and cash held in a brokerage account, including up to $250,000 for cash used to buy stocks. This protection applies to all types of securities, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments, as well as cash. Furthermore, in certain cases, SIPC may be able to provide additional protections if fraud or misuse of customers’ funds is determined, such as returning lost or stolen investments or providing reimbursement for any losses caused by the fraud. In addition, SIPC typically covers the return of a customer’s cash and securities if a brokerage firm fails financially, but does not cover any losses because of changes in the market value of investments. As a result, SIPC helps protect customers’ funds and investments, providing a valuable assurance of security and peace of mind.

For more information on SIPC, please visit this link.


A custodian is an institution that holds your assets for safekeeping, providing a secure environment to ensure the protection of your investments. Its purpose is to make sure that your investments are accounted for accurately, supplying you with relevant data such as cost of investments and profits or losses. Furthermore, custodians provide additional services, such as asset management, portfolio analysis, and investment advice.

A clearing broker is another type of custodian that provides additional services to its clients. This type of custodian facilitates transactions on behalf of its clients, keeping track of investments and ensuring that they are traded correctly. A depository, which is a different type of custodian, is a safe place for storing securities until they are sold or exchanged for a different investment. In addition, many custodians also offer other financial services such as banking, lending, and escrow services.

Asset Protection Guarantees

Many custodians provide asset protection guarantees to ensure their investors’ assets are safe from any fraudulent activity. These guarantees ensure that investors are reimbursed for any cash or securities that were taken without authorization or due to any fraudulent activity. Furthermore, these guarantees provide peace of mind, knowing that the custodian is taking extra steps to ensure the safety and security of investor’s assets.


Overall, it is important for investors to be aware of the various safeguards and oversight available for their investments and savings accounts. FDIC insurance and SIPC provide valuable protection to ensure that investors can rest assured that their money is safe and secure, while custodians provide additional guarantees to protect against fraudulent activity. By understanding the various forms of protection available, investors can make informed decisions about their investments and have peace of mind knowing that their money is safe.

Have a great weekend!

Source: Ballentine Capital Advisors

Golf Tip of the Week

Are You Using The Wrong Putter? What This PhD’s Interesting Experiment Reveals

All golfers have a relationship with the putters in their bag. Hopefully it’s a good one; a strong, emotional bond built on made putts and good times.

But put emotion aside for a moment, and there’s a different kind of relationship between golfer and putter. One based on physics. That was the one Dr. Sasho Mackenzie recently took a close look at, with some rather interesting results.

For some context, Mackenzie is one of the brightest minds in golf today: A biomechanics professor at St. Francis Xavier University, he consults teachers and pros, and is the co-inventor of The Stack training aid, which Matt Fitzpatrick credited with helping him gain almost 20 yards of distance route to his victory at last year’s U.S. Open.

But recently, Mackenzie’s been turning his attention to the flatstick. In a fascinating two-part video series (which you can watch here, the proceeds of which go towards the Golf Science), Mackenzie uses some advanced 3D modeling to explain the effects two different putter styles had on a group of golfers.

Here’s what he wants you to know about it.

The experiment

In his experiment, Mackenzie took 33 right-handed golfers with an average handicap of 10.3. He then had them hit 12-foot putts with two different putters: A Ping Anser 4, which features a slant neck for more toe-hang, and a more face-balanced long-neck Ping Anser 5.

When he analyzed how the putter was moving, Mackenzie saw something most golfers are aware of by now: That both putters move on a slight arc during the stroke. From in, to square, then back to in on the follow through. The Anser with more toe hang moves on a slightly more severe arc, the Anser 5 on a shallower arc.

But when Mackenzie analyzed what the golfer was doing, he found something rather different.

With the comparatively more face-balanced Anser 5, represented with the red line in the graph below, Mackenzie found that golfers were applying less “torque” force to the putter. In laymen’s terms, their hands were staying more quiet during the stroke and twisting the putter less.

By contrast, using the Anser 4 with more toe-hang, the putter that naturally moves more on an arc, golfers responded by forcibly twisting the club more during their strokes. Their hands are more active as they’re working hard responding to the putter’s different balance to square the face.

To use a non-golf analogy for a moment, think about someone test driving two-different kinds of cars: A hefty pick-up truck and a zippy sports car. Obviously we know the cars themselves are different, but put the same person in both cars, and they turn into a different kind of driver depending on what car they’re behind the wheel of.

“I find this very interesting,” Mackenzie says. “I probably feel like I’m trying to make the same stroke … but it seems that the act of using a different putter evokes a different types of forces from the golfer.”

Why you should care

Anyway, if I haven’t lost you yet, or you just skipped over the nerdy stuff, here’s a few reasons why you should care:

  1. It underlines the important point that the relationship with your putter works both ways. You respond, and change, your own actions based on how the putter you’re using is designed, whether you realize it or not.
  2. If you want a stroke with less arc and wrist action, it may be that a face-balanced putter is good for you. On the flip side, if you feel comfortable using more hands and wrists in your stroke, you may be better off using a putter with more toe hang.
  3. If you tend to pull putts and miss them to the left, a putter with more toe hang may be best for you, because your hands are going to need to work harder in order to close the putter face. Conversely, if you miss putts to the right by pushing them, a model that’s more face-balanced may help you square the face.
  4. Remember that these are all general rules. Ultimately, different putter designs are good for different golfers, depending on what you’re going for. This is true for amateurs and pros alike. It’s why you should probably talk to your coach, or better yet go for a putter fitting, to see what best suits you.

Tip adapted from golfdigest.comi

Recipe of the Week

Fresh Whiskey Sours

4 Servings


  • 3/4 cup bourbon, such as Knob Creek
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 limes)
  • 2/3 cup sugar syrup (see note)
  • 4 skewers Marinated Cherries (recipe follows)
  • 1 Lime cut up to garnish

Marinated Cherries

  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 4 ounces bourbon, such as Knob Creek


  • Combine the bourbon, lemon juice, lime juice, and syrup in a pitcher. Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice and fill halfway full with the cocktail mixture. Shake for 30 seconds and pour into a martini glass. Repeat as needed. Serve each drink ice cold with a skewer of cherries and limes.

Marinated Cherries

  • In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 cup dried cherries with 4 ounces of bourbon and microwave on high for 60 seconds. Set aside to cool. Thread 3 or 4 marinated cherries onto small skewers.
  • In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 cup dried cherries with 4 ounces of bourbon and microwave on high for 60 seconds. Set aside to cool. Thread 3 or 4 marinated cherries onto small skewers.

Cook’s Note

  • To make sugar syrup, combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Chill thoroughly before using.

Recipe adapted from foodnetwork.comii

Health Tip of the Week

Are You Fit For Your Age?

Exercise can’t erase the years, but it can certainly help stave off the effects of aging. In fact, being physically fit is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health.

“Physical fitness helps reduce the risk of chronic disease and lower blood pressure and can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression among some individuals,” says Scott Cheatham, PhD, DPT, professor of kinesiology at California State University Dominguez Hills.

While fitness won’t change how many candles are on your birthday cake, it could make you functionally years younger. “If you’re fit, you can endeavor to have the health of somebody 10 to 15 years younger,” says Michele Olson, PhD, senior clinical professor of sport science at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL.

But what exactly does “fit” mean? Turns out, it’s a broad term with several meanings — and it doesn’t require looking like an Olympian.

In general, “it means being able to have the muscle strength, endurance, power, joint mobility, and overall flexibility to perform tasks or physical activities without undue fatigue or extreme effort,” Cheatham says.

So how do you get there? And what benchmarks can you use to determine if you’re fit? Experts answer these questions below.

What It Takes to Get Fit

It’s more doable than you may think.

The U.S. government’s latest Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans spells it all out.

“These guidelines provide a general exercise template for most individuals, and everyone should strive to meet or exceed their recommendations,” Cheatham says.

According to the guidelines, adults should do:

  • At least 150 minutes to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (like brisk walking or raking your yard) or 75 minutes to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (such as running or taking a hard fitness class) every week.
  • Muscle-strengthening activities for all major muscle groups two or more days a week.
  • Sit less and move more throughout the day.

Doing this will lower your risk of many health problems — and push back against what the years will do if you take no action.

“With normal aging, your muscle mass and bone density decrease, and if you’re not putting a load on the heart and lungs beyond the activities of daily living, your cardiorespiratory fitness will suffer,” says Walt Thompson, PhD, past president of the American College of Sports Medicine.

You actually lose about 3% to 5% of muscle per decade after turning 30, Cheatham says. Flexibility and mobility also decline with age. And although you reach peak bone mass between the ages of 17 and 30 years, you begin to lose it rapidly after the age of 50.

That’s why being older doesn’t give you a pass on the physical activity guidelines. In fact, the guidelines recommend that people age 65 and older do balance training, too.

“Don’t get hung up on these so-called benchmarks, as they should be based on your individual needs, goals, and physical activities.” – Scott Cheatham, PhD, DPT

Still, you might have medical conditions or physical limitations that prevent you from reaching these weekly exercise milestones, Cheatham says. If that’s the case, you should follow the guidelines’ recommendations to be as physically active as your abilities and conditions allow and know that you may need to modify activities as you age.

For instance, running may have been your go-to activity in your 20s and 30s. But if you’re feeling more aches and pains now that you’re older, you may want to switch to a more low-impact activity like brisk walking or cycling.

Also, it’s wise to gradually add cardio, strength training, and balance activities gradually if you don’t already do them. If you have a health condition that might affect what’s OK for you to do, ask your doctor first. You don’t need a gym or fancy workout clothes. Just move and make it as fun as possible, so you’ll stick with it.

Don’t Obsess Over Fitness Age Benchmarks

Following the official guidelines is one way to ensure that you’re staying fit, and even stave off the aches and pains that often come from daily living, Olson says.

You can take fitness tests given by a qualified personal trainer. You might also find at-home options, such as the sit up test, pushup test, sit-and-reach test, and the 1.5-mile run. There are online articles saying what the age-related norms are for these exercises for men and women. However, norms compare how other men and women do at these tasks — they’re not a standard you have to meet.

There’s also something called your fitness age, which is a marker of your cardiorespiratory fitness. Although Cheatham says it may not necessarily be a valid measure of your overall fitness level, this online fitness age self-test, which comes from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, can be fun to take. It simply involves answering a series of questions.

Yet all of these come with a warning. “Don’t get hung up on these so-called benchmarks, as they should be based on your individual needs, goals, and physical activities,” Cheatham says.

In the end, remember that any movement is better than no movement, and moving more should be your ultimate goal.

“You’re not going to decide one day just to be physically fit, especially because you still have all of the reasons you used in the past not to be active,” Thompson says. “Instead, think about the activities you like to do and aspire to do them every day.”

Tip adapted from webmd.comiii 

Copyright (C) 2021.  Ballentine Capital Advisors.  All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:  

Ballentine Capital Advisors
15 Halton Green Way
Greenville, SC 29607

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences  


Ballentine Capital Advisors is a registered investment advisor. The advisory services of Ballentine Capital Advisors are not made available in any jurisdiction in which Ballentine Capital Advisors is not registered or is otherwise exempt from registration.

Please review Ballentine Capital Advisors Disclosure Brochure for a complete explanation of fees. Investing involves risks. Investments are not guaranteed and may lose value.

This material is prepared by Ballentine Capital Advisors for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for personalized investment advice or as a recommendation or solicitation or any particular security, strategy, or investment product.

No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve future profits or losses similar to those shown. You should not assume that investment decisions we make in the future will be profitable or equal the investment performance of the past. Past performance does not indicate future results.

Advisory services through Ballentine Capital Advisors, Inc.


Share This Article


Newsletter Signup

* indicates required

Newsletter Archive