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Unlocking the Benefits of a 529 College Savings Plan
When I first started in the industry (2002), I was a real advocate of section 529 college savings plans (S529) because they provide tax free money for college. But then . . . KABOOM! The Great Recession hit which exposed their soft underbelly... Read more »
Guess This Team Member
A fun series designed to help you get to know our team members better! We think our team members are some of the nicest, most competent folks on the planet; people who truly care about the goals and well-being of our clients, and we hope you agree! Read more »
Blood in the Streets
One of the most famous investing quotes is, “buy when there is blood in the streets,” by financier Baron Rothschild. Legend says the phrase was coined after Rothschild made a fortune in the English stock market by buying during a selling panic caused by the widely-held (and false) belief that the British army had lost to Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo. The English market soared once the truth of the British victory eventually became known. The point is now, just as back then, the communal investor psyche is sensitive to panic, and panic creates poor emotional decision making which can create significant opportunities for savvy investors. Read more »
Outperform by Underperforming
The average financial advisory firm preaches the virtues of investing with a “buy and hold” mentality, where the biggest benefit is that the investor is always going to get all of every market gain. Unfortunately, they will also always get all of the loss as well. One of the main CWM investing maxims is that downside protection is vastly more important than getting every bit of upside growth potential. Read more »
Financial Literacy Basics: Simple vs Compound Interest, and Amortization
I know for some of us, you’d rather watch paint dry than learn about this, but these are some of the most basic financial areas that just about every person is currently dealing with, or is going to deal with, at some point in their life. Read more »
We’ve Officially Moved!
We’re excited to announce that the CWM office has officially moved into our new space! Learn more about the move, and a few of your FAQ's answered. Read more »
Our Response Dictates Our Future
The Greek philosopher Epictetus once said, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” This statement should be labeled as rule #1 in any investor’s handbook as future investment outcomes are greatly impacted by how a person reacts to events in the present. This is especially true in times of great market volatility where, for many, the impulse is to sell everything and run for the hills. Rarely is this the appropriate move, and even when it is... Read more »
WSU Foundation Board of Trustees
Learn how Brian plans to make a splash during his time on the Board of Trustees for the WSU Foundation Read more »
2014 Tax Time Checklist
Read this before you file your taxes! We've compiled this list and descriptions of the documents you or your CPA will need to prepare your 2014 taxes with respect to your CWM managed accounts. Read more »
The Big Fat CWM 2015 Market Forecast
Normally we try to keep our monthly newsletters to shorter, readable, pieces. But not so with our GARGANTUAN beginning of the year market forecast. To keep the information from being overwhelming, and make it easier to find items of particular interest, I have grouped and titled the subtopics, starting with the extremely short executive summary. 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 »
2014 IRA Contribution Reminder
A few reminders regarding your 2014 IRA contributions. Read more »
Holiday Recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole
This year’s holiday recipe comes from CWM’s Marc and Melissa Knauss. Marc joined the CWM team in December 2012, and Melissa has just recently come aboard helping us out part time. We asked them to share a favorite holiday recipe with us, and they submitted this delicious Potato Casserole! We think you will love it. Read more »
Is a College Education Worth the Debt?
In the last few decades a college education has become an increasingly large part of the American dream. Unfortunately that portion of the dream has seen significant and sustained rising costs that have resulted in the large majority of students requiring some sort of loan financing to obtain it. Read more »
Guess This Team Member 9
A fun series designed to help you get to know our team members better! We think our team members are some of the nicest, most competent folks on the planet; people who truly care about the goals and well-being of our clients, and we hope you agree! Read more »
Cyber Security; Protecting Yourself and Your Personal Information in the Digital Age
Breaches and hackings are becoming the new norm in today’s digital age. It’s no longer a question of if it will ever happen – it’s a question of when and how bad will it be. It’s important to be prepared when a breach affects you, protect yourself as much as possible, and know what to do when your information does become compromised. Read more »
Kick out Your Kids to Boost Home Prices
The articles over the last few months have mainly been looking at the greater stock market, so this month we will narrow the focus to an area near and dear to most people: residential real estate. While prices have stagnated or declined in many parts of the country in recent months, most of the underlying data promotes the idea that price gains will resume in the not too distant future. Read more »
September 2014 Market Update
Last month’s CWM article was all about my expectations for increased market volatility, but this opinion should not be construed as an expectation for an economic recession or a bearish stock market. Compared to the most recent stock market peaks, most metrics still look very favorable and it is doubtful that another major recessionary period is near. Read more »
Getting Your Financial House in Order
I recently had a discussion with a client in which we shared horror stories about family members who had passed before getting their financial house in order. In my own family, we’ve seen first-hand what can come from failure to communicate and document final wishes in writing, and even when those documents have been drafted, what can happen when they housed them in a mystery location unknown to the executor or remaining family members. Read more »
Guess This Team Member 8
Welcome to a fun series, designed to help you get to know our team members better! We think our team members are some of the nicest, most competent folks on the planet; people who truly care about the goals and well-being of our clients, and we hope you agree! Read more »
A Yawn Inspiring Marketplace and the Likely Coming Wake Up Call
Watching the market these days is just about as exciting as watching grass grow, paint dry, or whatever euphemism you can insert here to designate extreme boredom. While we vastly prefer this to the “exciting” days of 2008-09 (who can forget those), this lack of excitement does bring on the age old expression of, “It’s quiet… Too quiet…” During periods of low volatility, like we have experienced over the last few years, it is easy to forget that normal market places usually have significant value swings each and every year. Read more »
A Changing of the Guard
July is here and along with the change in season comes change at Comprehensive Wealth Management (CWM). I am pleased to say that Gary Arford, my father and founder of the firm, had his last official work-day at CWM on June 27th and has had an opportunity to step away for a hard-earned retirement. Read more »
Guess This Team Member 7
Welcome to a fun series, designed to help you get to know our team members better. We invite you to "Guess this Team Member"! Read more »
Something Inflationary This Way Comes
The stock markets by and large have had a good second quarter, tacking on +4% or more in many cases. As the market continues to rise, the prudent investor will continually monitor changing data points in order to determine how to position assets for the future. One data point your CWM team is keeping an eye on with particular interest is the unemployment level as it is likely this information will provide some ability to forecast future wage pressures and inflation. Knowledge of these areas, and the ability to make accurate economic forecasts, can allow for better positioning of portfolio assets and the potential to benefit from the future market environment. Read more »
Why Doing Nothing Is Sometimes the Best Strategy
For the most part, the major U.S. stock markets continue to be slightly positive to unchanged for the year. Sideways markets are sometimes the most difficult to invest in because there is an immense temptation to start making unnecessary changes in the pursuit of greater growth opportunities. In order to determine if a potential change is warranted, the facts must be considered and disciplined strategies must be adhered to. Sometimes this means the best decision is to do nothing beyond following standard rebalancing and reinvesting strategies. Read more »

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