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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 »
2015 Tax Time Checklist
Read This Before You File! We recommend that you provide a copy of this article to your CPA so that he or she can better assist you. 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 »
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 »
2014 IRA Contribution Reminder
A few reminders regarding your 2014 IRA contributions. Read more »

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