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Case Study: The Gift That Keeps on Taking
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 »
Bad Things Happen at High Valuations
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 »
Emotions Can Wreak Havoc on Your Financial Success
Keeping a long-term perspective and minding our own economy sounds nice, but how do we do it in practice? Read more »
Trump’s Impossible Task
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 »
2016 Tax Time Checklist
Read This Before You File! We've compiled a list and description of the documents you or your CPA will need to prepare your taxes. Read more »
Every Little Thing is Going to be Alright
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 »
IFG’s Elite Advisor of the Year: Brian Lockett
How living under the stairs after college drove him to the ultimate success. Read more »
Holiday Recipe: Mary’s Candy Cane Crisps
This year's festive recipe was provided to us by a wonderful client. Read more »
A Tempest in a Teapot
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 »
Well Meaning Misinformation
Missing the best 20 market days over the last 20 years turns a $100,000 portfolio value into $104,000, missing the worst 20 days, $1,274,000 Read more »
Defense Wins Championships
Our Performance Targeting System (PTS) aims to minimize the amount of risk you are taking to hit the target rate of return. Read more »
Nothing to See Here
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 »
fi·du·ci·ar·y
There is a lot of talk in the financial press today about the term “fiduciary”. Over the years, our team has come to learn that a relatively small segment of the population really understands this term and what it means to an investor. Read more »
Valuation Matters
One of the greatest issues leading up to the 2008 housing market crash was that consumers were purchasing homes at increasingly ridiculous levels of valuation. This greedy debt driven buying binge occurred because financing was cheap, it was perceived home prices “could only go up,” and “everyone else” was doing it. Read more »
My Pension: Should I Hold or Roll?
Boeing recently froze their pensions as of December 31, 2015 and as a part of the freeze, they gave their employees the option to take a lump sum payout in place of their pension when they retire. As much as we’d love recommending you take the lump sum and roll it over to an IRA that we would manage, the truth is, it may not be in the best interest of the client. Read more »
The Risk of Safety
The last century has seen a dramatic rise in the creation and effectiveness of safety devices, which has resulted in a dramatic decrease in the loss of life attributable to events like car accidents. However, if improperly used these same devices can actually pose their own significant dangers. Read more »
Riding the Waves
Since July of last year we have seen four gigantic market swings, two of in which the market rallied more than +13% and two in which it dropped over -13% with a maximum time duration of 33 trading days (about 6.5 weeks). That is some incredible volatility that has resulted in significant general investor anxiety, which reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” Read more »
Do Great Things
In high school, there is a lot of pressure put on kids to figure out what they want to “DO” in their lives. There are career aptitude tests, military recruiters, job fairs, job shadowing programs, college prep courses and a million other things. When I was in high school, it seems that I was pre-destined to be an Air Traffic Controller; all my aptitude tests had betrothed me to the job and indicated that I needed to apply to a college that had an Aviation program… it was as though my career path was already picked out and waiting for me, a 16 year old kid, after taking some test. It’s what I was destined to “do”. Read more »
Paid for Patience
The New Year is less than a month old and already we have seen plenty of market action. The year began with the worst first-week loss in market history and markets are on track for the worst January sell off since the depths of the last major market downturn in 2009. Needless to say your CWM team, and we suspect many of our clients, are feeling thankful for the conservative investment changes we made to client portfolios in the fall of last year. Read more »
Buy Low(ish) and Sell High(ish)
The secret to successful investing, according to famous investor Warren Buffett, is to “buy low and sell high,” which is often significantly more difficult for the average investor than that simple statement implies. This advice also flies in the face of the “buy and hold” mantra preached at most everyday run-of-the-mill financial advisory firms. Read more »
Holiday Recipe: Pirogis
This year’s holiday recipe comes from CWM’s newest team member, Katia Prikhodko. We asked her to share a favorite holiday recipe with us, and she chose a delicious Pirogi recipe which she translated from her Ukrainian family recipe trove. Read more »
2015 IRA Contribution Reminder
A few reminders regarding your 2015 IRA contributions. Read more »
Estate Planning and Naming Beneficiaries
I decided this month’s newsletter ought to cover a lot of the areas that are often missed – somewhat of a year-end checklist if you will. As many of you have experienced in meetings with me, I am a stickler for the details and we all have a tendency to overlook the little things that can really bite us (or our loved ones) if left unchecked. In this newsletter I’m going to cover two areas that are most often overlooked; estate planning and beneficiaries. Read more »
Draw!
The term “Draw!” will for many people invoke the image of some climactic Hollywood western gun fighting scene with two opponents staring one another down in the glaring desert sun, hands poised above their gun hilts, waiting for someone to make the first move. The current market environment seems to echo the emotion of that scene, leaving investors wondering whether the optimists or pessimists will come out on top. Read more »
Betting on the Tortoise
As investment managers, our end goal is to acquire the highest rate of return possible with the least amount of risk. In most environments, betting on the hare is generally the best idea - the poor slow tortoise can never hope to really keep up, but at times it is essential to transition to the slow and steady tortoise strategies in order to avoid the damage that overconfidence almost always inevitably brings to investors. Recent sharp stock market volatility and other negative economic developments seem to suggest that now may be a good time to invest in “slow and steady” assets. Read more »

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