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Financial Resources & Insights

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Market Commentary: What is Money?

A major catalyst for difficulty in keeping our spirits elevated during periods of stock market calamity is a mistaken perception that stocks and bonds are money. Expecting securities representing claims on future income to act as stores of value in a system characterized by fluctuating interest rates is a recipe for disaster.

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Market Volatility | Importance of Discipline

Since we have not experienced a bear market in over 11 years, it is important to remember that falling equity prices are a normal part of investing. It does not matter what panic we find ourselves mired in, it will feel like the worst, it will feel like it’s different this time, and it will feel like the world as we know it will never be the same.

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Market Volatility | Cutting Through the Noise

When red flashes on the screen and security prices start to drop, it may feel like the situation requires urgency, and that any action is better than no action. But our perspective is that every decision we make must be based on facts and experience, and further, must help you get closer to reaching your goals than the actions we have already taken.

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Market Volatility | Commentary from W. Allen Wallace, CFA

Imagine the terrifying scene: patrons fleeing in horror, the building blazing, the door hanging by a single hinge, and a trail of abandoned socks littering the parking lot. What is the catalyst of this pandemonium? Socks are on sale. It has always struck me as contradictory that when the price of socks is down significantly, people buy socks, but when the prices of stocks are down, people panic.

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Our Sixth Principle | Careful Use of Diversification

Diversification, in the sense that we are interested, is defined by the NASDAQ Online Glossary as “Investing in different asset classes and in securities of many issuers in an attempt to reduce overall investment risk and to avoid damaging a portfolio's performance by the poor performance of a single security, industry, or country”. Sounds reasonable, but surely, we are not expected to believe that an indiscriminate amorphous blob of diversification is the right amount.

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Our Fifth Principle | Think Long Term

When it comes to important financial decisions, it always feels like we should do something, but as Charlie Munger said: “The big money is not in the buying and selling … but in the waiting.” By designing repeatable processes, controlling our emotions, and putting the wind of time to the back of our sails, we maximize our potential to reach and surpass our goals.

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Our Fourth Principle | Maintaining Adequate Liquidity

It is imperative that we maintain adequate liquidity to provide for our needs during good times and bad. There is a certain amount of freedom granted by having set aside ready cash so that during times of emergency we are not left to count on the kindness of friends or strangers.

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Our Third Principle | Defining Risk

Spring is slowly approaching. As the harshness of winter recedes, volatility in both the markets and weather are picking up. While I can hardly speak to fluctuations in the weather, the fluctuation in the market is almost certainly a function of rising interest rates, though the madness of crowds is difficult to quantify.

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