Investment Planning Insights

How Many Clients Does Your Advisor Work With?

How Barron's Top 1,200 financial advisors effectively serve 521 clients? We have clients from these firms coming to our firm every month looking for a better solution.

Four Points to Keep in Mind in a Down Stock Market

After more or less a flat year in 2015, the broad U.S. stock market is down, as of mid-March in 2016. But that's no reason to throw up your hands in despair. Instead, this is a time to remember that disciplined investing is what matters most. It's easy to stay invested when the market's going great guns. What takes discipline is staying the course when things get rough—instead of making rash moves that may actually cut into your long-term investment returns.

How Long Does It Take To Say For Certain Your Investment Manager’s Performance Isn’t Just Luck?

I find it interesting that consultants and advisors in our industry tend to talk about a manager's skill after a period of outperformance.  After several years of outperformance, consultants conclude that this manager is not merely lucky but skillful.

The Dirty Little Secret About Index Funds

If you read this blog regularly, you know that we advocate a passive, low-cost, diversified investment portfolio.  Most people equate that to index funds.  For the majority of investors, index funds are a great alternative to their actively managed counterparts.

Stock Market Predictions Are Worthless

I am not sure what our fascination with predictions is all about.  Whether it is political elections, sports, or the financial markets, everyone seems to be willing to stop and listen to someone willing to make a prediction.  Rarely do we ever go back to evaluate how those predictions pan out?

You Are Not A Contrarian

It seems like every investor (amateur or professional) bills themselves as a contrarian.  They will tell you that they tend to buy unloved or unwanted companies when they are trading for a great bargain.  The simple fact is that this is very hard.  The Motley Fool has a great article on this very topic.

They’re Back: Revisiting Interest Rates

It has been a couple of months since we’ve addressed interest rates, and today we find that the 10-year Treasury bond (often considered the benchmark of bond yields) has hit 3% again.  With the recent economic data surprising to the upside, there is a possibility for rates to rise.

The Stock Market Does Not Equal The Economy

The economic data coming out these last few weeks have been spectacular.  Whether it be employment, manufacturing, or consumer spending, the economy really seems to be on a roll.  Before you buy some stocks as an early Christmas present, it is important to remember that the economy is not the stock market.

The Predictive Power (Or Lack Thereof) Of Stock Market Indicators

There is really no indicator that we know of that can predict stock market performance.  If there ever were, it would very quickly be arbitraged away since markets tend to be fairly efficient.  Merrill Lynch uses a metric they call the “Sell Side Indicator” to determine future stock performance.