“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet” were words most famously spoken by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. The wisdom in this adage can be applied to so many aspects of life, including investing. The current low interest rate environment has many investors reaching for yield by moving into longer-term, lower-quality bonds. But the fruits of that decision might not be as sweet as expected. Those who exercise patience, however, can reap the rewards that short-term, high-quality bonds have to offer. (more…)
When it comes to college, you’re more than what you pay
Are you sacrificing your financial security for your child’s higher education?
Here in California, we joking refer to Harvard as “the Stanford of the east.” That gentle jab reflects the rivalry between two schools renowned for their stunning campuses, prominent faculty, prestige and sky-high costs. Four years of tuition at either school will set a family back more than $200,000.
That’s a staggering amount of money, but we assume that it’s “worth it” because of the advantage a degree from a top-notch school confers on our kids, who need all the help they can get in a job market that’s been in the doldrums for years. (more…)
Break out the flags and the fireworks! It’s time to celebrate our country’s creation and our independence from British rule.
July 4 is a great time to think not just about barbecues but freedom. Why were a group of revolutionaries—the founders of our country—so determined to create an autonomous country? Ask any school kid: They wanted to be free. (more…)
It never feels great to see the stock market drop, especially by a lot, and then watch as your portfolio’s value falls with it. Fear, frustration, anger, anxiety, helplessness – each is a totally understandable and even appropriate response. But all circumstances, no matter what part of life they touch, come with context. And nothing about the context surrounding current market events happens to change what you can and cannot control. At an elemental level, for instance, we have no say in when the market inevitably will fall, and when the market inevitably will rise. Bear cycles will come, and bear cycles will go. That’s precisely why your long-term plan – the one tailored to your situation and created around your values – anticipates and prepares for such unavoidable occurrences. Even those as severe as the – in some respects – unprecedented events we’re living through now. And that’s why you so often hear from us to stay the course, because doing so gives you the best odds of realizing the benefits your plan is constructed to deliver. (more…)
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (more…)
By Tim Maurer, CFP®
I have a proposition for you: I’d like to give you one of two gift certificates to your favorite restaurant. But first, please picture that inviting atmosphere, the thoughtful waitstaff, the right musical backdrop, and the perfect meal in front of you and your ideal dinner companion. Now, choose between a $100 gift certificate you would receive today or a $200 gift certificate you would receive 10 years from now. (more…)
When compared against your overall investment horizon, a single presidential term is relatively brief. A single election cycle barely registers as a blip on the radar. The emotions that come with these events, however, can be expansive, consuming, visceral. Amid everything else that’s going on, we hope to put the campaign season between now and November into some financial perspective, because as the data shows, whoever is in the White House does not preordain doom or boom for stock returns. Stock market performance, when grouped by presidential party, historically has favored a Democrat in office, but it doesn’t tell the whole story (remember, correlation is not causation). In fact, stocks were up the majority of the time, regardless of who was in office. Even so, our political beliefs can color how we see the world around us – whichever party is in power – and so influence our investment decisions, often with less-than-ideal financial results. (more…)
By Jonathan Scheid, CFA, AIF®
The COVID-19 coronavirus sent stock markets and interest rates dramatically lower in the first quarter. As reports of the disease spreading outside of China grew, so did concern – panic at times – about what this meant for people’s health and broader, everyday lives. Governments and businesses stepped up preventative measures, but investors were concerned that the disruption would lead to an economic recession. (more…)
For many years, the prevailing theory was that individuals have a genetically determined happiness set point.
In other words, scientists believed that each person could temporarily experience more happiness (depending on circumstances, relationships, and life events), but would then slide back to his or her “pre-programmed” set point. In fact, less than two decades ago, one researcher was quoted as saying, “It may be that trying to be happier is as futile as trying to be taller.” (more…)
By Jarrett Simpson
When the subject of Social Security comes up during retirement planning conversations, both younger and older investors often greet it with a healthy dose of cynicism. Such discussions tend to include comments like, “Oh yeah, sure. If there’s even anything left for me” or “Isn’t Social Security going bankrupt?” Sometimes I hear a more draconian stance, like, “I just plan on it not being around when I’m retired.” This last viewpoint actually is quite common. According to a study by AARP, 65% of adults are not confident about Social Security’s future. (more…)