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Resources / Education

Best and Worst

The primary message this month; Some things go well, and some go poorly.   Sure, big deal, that’s life you say.  However, and VERY IMPORTANT, before you can intelligently judge if something is going well or poorly you have to take the emotion out of a subject and deal with the truth.  You must have an objective benchmark.  These days we’re finding that the truth is being conveniently interpreted in too many corners of the world, and that makes subjective…

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No Free Lunch

  You know the old adage; “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”?  Well, it is true in the world of economics as much as in any other context, and commonly the quote is attributed to the great economist Milton Friedman.  We’re going to talk a little bit about that quip this month so you have some perspective and appreciation for how it plays out in your investments. The alluring ‘lunch’ in regards to investments can be…

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Always Tradeoffs

  Inflation is a beast we want to mostly keep in his cage.  Some of us remember the remarkable days of the 1980’s when inflation was dropping the purchasing value of our savings in the bank by 10-12% per year.  That was ‘too hot’. More recently, though happening in Japan for the last 15 years, is the other side of the coin called deflation.  In this scenario, your money buys more a year from now than it does now. …

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Pass Over

  It ‘tis the season…no, not that one, the other one.  Therefore, let’s talk about a little history but do so from the financial side vs. the religious one. We’ve said over and over to you that markets go up and down. That motion is volatility.  It is NOT risk, as conventionally defined.  If a particular investment that an investor was holding goes to zero and all your money was in it, that’s a true definition of risk.  Of…

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Winning the War

  As the old adage goes, too many people focus on trying to win the battle.  What is far more important is winning the war. The above is a lesson that comes out of many military books and well-worn paths of wisdom.  It applies equally to the work of investments.  We want to talk about it here as it relates to annual investment returns. The outcome is as important as any military engagement and, in this case, the side…

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Obligation

In this age of confusion about what is happening in the world, and the uncertainty of it, we thought it might be helpful to address one item that is certain; our legal obligation with you. The topic we’re addressing is one of trust, a very sensitive and important subject.  Trust happens in many areas of one’s life, but we would argue being able to trust someone with your financial matters is one of the more significant.  Beyond the survey we…

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Cycles and Sickles

  In addition to wishing you a Happy New Year, we want to talk here about doing smart things on your account. Everyone wants their portfolio to go up.  That part of our job description is simply enumerating fair expectations on your behalf.  Because we are Registered Investment Advisor under the Investment Act of 1940, our fiduciary duty to you is to act solely in your best interest to determine the best way to deliver on that expectation.  That’s our deal,…

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Emotions and Markets

‘Tis the season and, as you know, emotions run high at this time of year.   Unless we control them, these emotions can hurt us on either side.  Excessive happiness leads to potentially overbuying (and January financial hangovers).  For certain others the euphoria of the Holidays leads to their sense of being ‘left out of it’ and depression is prevalent.  The stock market also has emotions but, unfortunately, it is not limited to any certain calendars.  It would be helpful…

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Interest(ing) Times

  In these days of lower or at least sub-optimal, economic growth around the world, there is a concerted attempt to ‘juice the demand’ by keeping interest rates low.  You know this of course, given the great deal of press the topic has been given (Quantitative Easing #3 tampering off here in the USA, Japan’s grand economic stimulus of the same means recently announced).  Notwithstanding how prescient those moves sound, this correspondence will cover some lesser known intended by-product…

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The Value of a Company

  The value of all the publicly traded companies in this country is called, in industry terms, our ‘total market capitalization’.  Currently, that number is $23,634,700,000,000 ($23 trillion).  I think you would agree that’s a pretty sizable figure, so we’re going to talk about it here to elucidate a point. First, how you derive that number is quite easy.  You take (a) all the shares that owners of any one company possess, and (b) you multiply those individual shares…

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