Planning for Stormy Seas

Embarking on a financial plan is like sailing around the world. The voyage won’t always go to plan, and there’ll be rough seas. But the odds of reaching your destination increase greatly if you are prepared, flexible, patient, and well-advised.

The Best Advice

The human brain is wired to create poor financial decision making. Generally, when it comes to money, we feel secure when we should feel insure, and we feel nervous when the risk of loss is actually quite low. 

Cryptic Currency

Have you caught cryptocurrency fever, or are you at least wondering what the fuss and excitement are all about? Odds are, you hadn’t even heard the term until recently. Now, it seems as if everybody and their cousin are wondering if they should be buying Bitcoin or Ethereum. 

9 Real Investor Questions

Focusing on what you can control can lead to a better investment experience. Whether you’ve been investing for decades or are just getting started, at some point on your investment journey you’ll likely ask yourself some of these questions.

The Reality of Average

The US stock market has delivered an average annual return of around 10% since 1926. But short-term results may vary, and in any given period stock returns can be positive, negative, or flat. 

Catchphrase Investing

The financial media is drawn to catchphrases, acronyms, and buzzwords that can be sold as the new thing. FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Neflix, and Google) is the latest of these. But does this constitute an investment strategy?

What DO We Know?

The correct withdrawal rate of your retirement assets will only be apparent in the rearview mirror. That’s a scary proposition. But, what do we know for sure about retirement planning?

Cryptomelt

Prior to last year, few paid any attention to Bitcoin and the myriad of other cryptocurrencies that have flooded the market. Nothing like a several hundred percent rise in price to get people's attention. What led to both the rise and recent fall of Bitcoin and its ilk? While the "currencies" may new, but the reasons may be as old as humanity.

Cryptoworth?

Here's a question I'll bet you never imagined asking until recently: What are these cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum worth? And does what the market claims their are currently "worth," actually have any basis in reality? If you're confused, you're not alone.

As Goes January...

...so goes the year.

This theory suggests that the price movement of the S&P 500 during the month of January may signal whether that index will rise or fall during the remainder of the year. In other words, if the return of the S&P 500 in January is negative, this would supposedly foreshadow a fall for the stock market for the remainder of the year, and vice versa if returns in January are positive.

So What Happened Last Year?

At the beginning of 2017, a common view among money managers and analysts was that the financial markets would not repeat their strong returns from 2016. Many cited the uncertain global economy, political turmoil in the US, implementation of Brexit, conflicts in the Middle East, North Korea’s weapons buildup, and other factors. The global equity markets defied their predictions, with major equity indices in the US, developed ex-US, and emerging markets posting strong returns for the year.

ABCs of Bad Investor Behavior - part one

By now, you’ve probably heard the news: Your own behavioral biases are often the greatest threat to your financial well-being. As investors, we leap before we look. We stay when we should go. We cringe at the very risks that are expected to generate our greatest rewards. All the while, we rush into nearly every move, only to fret and regret them long after the deed is done. 

Not Getting What You Pay For

People rely on a lot of different information about costs to help inform these decisions. When you buy a car, for example, the sticker price tells you approximately how much you can expect to pay for the car itself. But the sticker price is only one part of the overall cost of owning a car. Other things like sales tax, the cost of insurance, expected routine maintenance costs, and the potential cost of unexpected repairs are also important to understand.

Don't Fear The Market

It's been just over 10 years since, in early October 2007, the S&P 500 Index hit what was its highest point before losing more than half its value. There are important lessons that investors might be well-served to remember to better prepare for the next crisis and its aftermath.

Stop Monkeying With Your Money

In the world of investment management there is an oft-discussed idea that blindfolded monkeys throwing darts at pages of stock listings can select portfolios that will do just as well, if not better, than both the market and the average portfolio constructed by professional money managers. If this is true, why might it be the case?

Five Fundamental Fiscal Tasks

One of the most significant questions we get from our clients is “how can I help my children and grandchildren with money?”  The reality is you shouldn’t give them money, or lecture them about spending too much. The better choice is guide them to independent advice from an expert, as sadly, they are more likely to believe the third party.

Corrections Happen

If you enjoy fine literature, we recommend all of Warren Buffett’s annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letters. His 2016 letter was no exception, including this powerful insight about market downturns: “During such scary periods, you should never forget two things: First, widespread fear is your friend as an investor, because it serves up bargain purchases. Second, personal fear is your enemy.”