Some Observations on 2018 (before leaving it behind for good….)

While this will focus primarily on reviewing 2018, I do believe it’s worth reviewing my overall philosophy as it relates to investment advice.  Hopefully this isn’t going to be “news” to many of you, especially if you’ve known me for even a few years.

A true story…. (about long term care)

Sometime in 2004 at a family gathering and in the middle of normal conversation, a relative, John, asked me a “business” question.  This was unusual because we’d never really talked business before, but sure enough he asked me “what I’d do with” a certain amount of investable assets he had and then asked if I’d help to oversee them… because he said (his exact words) “I’m failing.”  He wasn’t referring to his success with the investment, but rather his own mental and physical capacity.

What's Next For the Markets...?

When we’ve had the sort of markets we’ve had of late…the sort that seems to go up effortlessly without resistance and feels like it will never stop going up much less go down… it can be very difficult to come to terms with the reality that eventually… it will.  Just as it eventually rains after many days of sunshine, financial markets, behaving normally, will eventually have a period of “rain”, no matter how “sunny” things have been.  My purpose is not to take a happy time and make it sad, but rather to prepare you somewhat for what will inevitably occur…so that your currently

The Not-So-Negative Market Effect of Brexit

In the market decline that occurred over the two days after the British vote favoring an exit from the European Union, it was claimed by various sources that 401(k) participants had lost over $100 Billion dollars. Quite a claim and a big “number” sure to get peoples’ attention.

Accept These Three Truths About Retirement

1. “There are only two possible outcomes”...Money that outlives the people, or people that outlive the money. It doesn’t matter if you get better returns, or pay lower fees, or use the latest and greatest “here’s how to beat the market” strategy… if you spend too much of what you have or don’t have enough to support the lifestyle you desire to begin with, you’ll be one of the latter. Accept this and you’ll at least understand the challenge, which is half the battle. This makes the next “truth” all-important.

What Can I Say? (That I have not said already...)

What can I say that I have said not said before? Today, February 12, 2016, as I write the market as represented by the S & P 500 currently sits around 1859, about 7 points below the previous recent correction low from August 25th… About 13%...give or take…down from the high point of the index around May 21st of 2015.

I’m a Small Business… I Don’t Need a Retirement Plan….

According to the Government Accountability Office, half of employees in the private sector are not saving anything for retirement and most because they don’t have access to a plan through their employer.

As a business owner, why should you care? Why should you consider offering a retirement plan… or make the one you have better? 

Why We Diversify

It is generally accepted that when it comes to investing – diversification works. The real question is “will you like it?”

We've Been Here Before

Would you believe it? The stock market is very volatile…again. All sorts of metaphors are being thrown about…”yoyo, whipsaw, rollercoaster etc.” … we’ve heard them all before, and of course, we’ve been here before.

I think it’s important to remember during these times that volatility is normal, as would be a market correction or a bear market should all this “activity” turn out to have been the beginning of either…and we won’t know that until we’re well into it.

How do I know this is normal? The historical evidence is overwhelming. Going back to 1946, there have been:

Redefining “Wealth”

wealth, noun, [welth] “A great quantity or store of money, valuable possessions, property, other riches.”