Most financial advisory firms preach the virtues of investing with a “buy and hold” mentality, which is very similar to the emerging investment trend of “low cost indexing” being popularized across the internet. The general idea of both of these investment philosophies is simply to diversify your investments across a variety of different asset classes and then to hold-on regardless of what occurs in the market place; with the latter also placing strong emphasis on cost control. The biggest benefit of these strategies is that an investor will always participate in all market growth, but they will unfortunately also get all of any loss that occurs as well. Because of this full participation both upwards and downwards, these strategies have produced one heck of a roller coaster ride for investors over the last 20 years. Read more »
Recent Federal Reserve rate hikes and balance sheet tapering has resulted in substantially tighter borrowing conditions. This will likely make it harder on those surviving on cheap debt and creates opportunity for those able to benefit from now higher interest rates. Read more »
Many clients and friends are aware that in mid-February, our beloved Linda McCormack lost her battle with terminal cancer. Linda was really family to many of us in the office - a best friend, a surrogate auntie, and just a general ambassador of goodwill to everyone she came across. Many people cared about her and have conveyed a wish to say goodbye and honor her in some way. We have discovered what we believe to be a perfect way to honor Linda... Read more »
The good steward does not pin his success to hope and randomness. Instead the good steward intentionally develops a process that is focused on how best to provide a positive outcome for the owner. Read more »
When it comes to long-term financial success, our own greed is often one of the biggest threats. Proper investment management requires prudent risk taking, but also prudent risk mitigation, which occasionally requires us to check our greedy temptations. Read more »
Over the years, one thing I’ve noticed about our most grounded and successful clients is that many of them, while having aspirations for tomorrow, have tremendous gratitude for today. There’s been a lot of buzz around terms like happiness, fulfillment, etc. and I (I’m sure like many of our readers) have often reflected upon how I can strike a better balance between work, family, community, and other sometimes conflicting priorities. How do we get it all done, and hit our goals, while maintaining at least some semblance of happiness and sanity? Read more »
Even the mighty investment universe must heed the law of reversion to mean. Outliers cannot carry on forever and the greater the abnormality, the more likely the reversion will be fast and violent. Read more »
Natural disasters can strike at any moment, and they generally leave a trail of destruction in their path. Rest assured, we have a plan to make sure that we are able to care for our clients and continue servicing them. Read more »
Many people are once again becoming worried about bond related assets due to the talking heads in the mainstream media discussing how we are entering a rising rate environment, which is expected to be terrible for bond investments that are thought to suffer during such times. Before we all panic and sell out of our bond holdings, let’s consider the historical perspective. Read more »
An estate plan should take a panoramic view of your situations, your goals regarding your own health and well-being, the duties of care-taking of dependents, the likelihood that you are going to be passing assets on to your children, grandchildren, churches or charities, and a host of other questions that arise. Working with an attorney and a financial advisor to develop an estate plan, will help you put together the legal documents and framework to help ensure your estate is passed on to your heirs in the most efficient and beneficial way possible. Read more »
As you’ve probably heard us say time and time again, the only constant in all of this is “change”. Ever-changing laws and regulations require regular review of financial and legal documents to implement necessary updates. Read more »
There is no lack of geopolitical drama right now with war in Syria, tensions with Russia, potential war in North Korea, French elections that may usher in the end of the EU, and of course continued political turmoil here in the United States. Because I am an optimist, none of those situations worry me too greatly since I have staunch faith in human ingenuity and the basic will to survive. What does concern me, from an asset management perspective, is that there appears to be a rising chance that some calamitous geopolitical event may occur, in addition to the fact that corporate earnings topped out in 2014, the Federal Reserve has started raising rates, and US based stock markets are trading near all-time highs. Read more »
Throughout Trump’s campaign, time and time again, he talked about how manufacturing jobs had been shipped overseas. The need to fix this problem became a foundation of his campaign for president of the United States. Let’s examine the reasoning behind why these manufacturing jobs have left. Read more »
This time of year is often a bit stressful for asset managers as it is a popular time for everyone to put out their market forecasts for the coming year. This usually includes what they think will happen or won’t happen; and by the end of the year they are almost inevitably at least half wrong. Here at CWM we try not to make market forecasts (though it does happen), but we do look at the probabilities of outcomes to determine the likelihood of negative future events. Read more »
Emotional storms are rocking the country post-election and strong feelings are being expressed across the political spectrum. We at CWM have no interest in trying to argue for one political side or the other, but we do need to consider how election outcomes might affect future portfolio performance. While history never repeats itself, it frequently rhymes, thus potentially giving us some context and understanding for our future. Read more »
We live in a strange economic world. We see headlines of new market highs, all while central banks around the world continue to use aggressive economic support policies normally reserved for times of crisis. Read more »
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