Life Lessons: Embracing Vulnerability

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, and has spent much of her career studying the complex human experiences of “vulnerability” and “living wholeheartedly.”

Her 2010 TED Talk presentation, “The Power of Vulnerability,” catapulted her into the international spotlight with a powerful message that literally resonated with millions.  In fact, it is among the top ten TED Talks viewed worldwide.  In addition, she is the author of the New York Times best seller, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. (more…)

The Pandemic has Changed Perceptions of Wealth & Well-Being

Recent studies indicate that the pandemic has prompted many to reevaluate the meaning and purpose of wealth. For example, the annual “Modern Wealth Survey” revealed that lifestyle priorities have changed for a majority (68%) of Americans due to COVID-19. Among those who reported that their priorities had shifted, top choices included mental health (69%), relationships (57%), financial health (54%), and physical health (39%). (more…)

Are Concerns About Inflation Inflated?

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Recent Dimensional research suggests that simply staying invested helps outpace inflation over the long term for a wide range of asset classes.
  • The protection offered by inflation-indexed securities still appears to be the most effective for investors who are particularly sensitive to unexpected inflation.
  • Our analysis of data from 1927–2020 covers periods with double-digit US inflation as well as periods with deflation.US consumer prices were up by 5.4% for the year ending June 2021, the largest annual increase since August 2008.1 (more…)

US Debt Level – A concern for your portfolio?

If you’re like most of us, it’s hard to not keep an eye on how the U.S. economy is recovering from everything that’s happened since the start of 2020. However, it’s also easy to fixate on the gloomier economic indicators and try to interpret them as potential warning signs for the recovery and our portfolios. A popular one as of late is federal government debt, which reached a record $28 trillion in March. You might hear pundits and colleagues suggesting that this spells doom for the stock markets and your portfolio. Before making any rash decisions, let’s examine the relationship between federal debt and stock market performance. (more…)

Inflation and Your Portfolio

Stock market indexes continue to set new record highs, but investors are increasingly focused on another number: inflation. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 4.2% annual increase in inflation in April, we should take time to understand where that number comes from and what it means. Knowing this answer and the different ways inflation is calculated can help add some valuable perspective the next time you hear it discussed in the news media or among colleagues. (more…)

Climate Change and Asset Prices

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Financial markets process complex information every day. The impact of climate change is no exception.
  • Academic research provides compelling evidence that prices in a variety of asset markets incorporate information about climate risk.
  • These findings also suggest that firms have incentives to manage their climate risk exposure, as a higher exposure can result in a higher cost of capital

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The Best Time to Invest

Concerns about market downturns certainly come as no surprise. After all, steep corrections and crashes can be alarming for even the most steely and disciplined investors. So, when markets reach all-time highs, investors tend to be concerned about investing their hard-earned money in overvalued stocks. Questions about reducing or even eliminating equity allocations or keeping excess cash on the sidelines soon follow. While these lines of inquiry are completely natural—no one enjoys buying high and selling low—we believe that every day is a good day to invest no matter what the market has done recently. (more…)

Why Should You Diversify?

With US stocks outperforming non-US stocks in recent years, some investors have again turned their attention toward the role that global diversification plays in their portfolios. For the five-year period ending March 31, 2020, the S&P 500 Index had an annualized return of 6.73%, while the MSCI World ex USA Index lost 0.76% and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index declined by 0.37%. As US stocks have outperformed international and emerging markets stocks over the last several years, some investors might be reconsidering the benefits of investing outside the US. (more…)

Parenting as an Ally, Not an Adversary

Guest Post by Cynthia Klein, Certified Parent Educator, Coach, Speaker, Author

When I work with parents, I present an approach I call being your children’s ally. You  set limits and expectations in a manner that usually feels like you are on their side. They can still get upset when their needs are blocked. Yet ultimately, they feel your love and support.

I’m in the process of writing a book that will give you a big selection of new thoughts and phrases so you can start to be an ally rather than an adversary. Below is a skit which is a sample of what you will find in my book. The parenting approach still applies whether you have a teenager or a school-aged child. (more…)