Insights & Observations Blog

Insights & Observations

Context and perspective to improve behavioral  finance patterns and  make smarter financial decisions. A focus above the fray, on what matters most for effective financial outcomes and goal achievement.

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    Q219 Quarterly Context Video

    Where are we in the business cycle? The stock market continues upward, but the bond market shows nervousness. Are stocks fairly valued or leaning over-valued? What positive returns are required when different levels of negative returns occur? Is that a quilt or the shapes of the stock market by size and number? 401k plan design […]

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    What it means to be a fiduciary advisor

    You may have read about the controversy over the fiduciary standard in the investment advisory industry. The SEC recently passed legislation that brought this charged issue back into the spotlight.  We want to share a short overview of what has transpired to help make sense of what you see in the media. As a Registered […]

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    How to enjoy vacation when you own a business

    When you own a business, taking a “real” vacation may seem impossible. While you appreciate the notion that time away keeps your mind fresh, helps your creativity, and prevents burnout, you may not always embrace it. Even when you do take time off, the temptation to check your phone or review your email magnifies as […]

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    4 ways business owners can plan for college savings & financial aid

    If you have children approaching their college years and you own a business, you have more opportunities than others to manage your assets and income to save and pay for college.  One of the most favorable treatments for business owners is your ability to increase the amount of financial aid for which your child may […]

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    Creating the future super savers of America: inspire the next generation to save for retirement

    Contribution by Margaret Hiller, CFP®, CPC Last month was Financial Literacy Month which prompted a flurry of articles on the retirement crisis in the U.S. One noted that the “average” retirement savings amount, paltry though it is, is often an overstated figure because it is the average (or mean) rather than the median and is therefore […]

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    Do you suffer from investment FOMO? The periodic table of investment returns can help.

    As a business owner you probably do not have the time, inclination or energy to research and anticipate what the right mix of investments is for your personal portfolio. Yet, with daily hype from the media or the unsolicited advice of friends who invested in a winning stock, you may still experience FOMO with your […]

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    Q119 Quarterly Context Video

    What stage is the US and other countries in the business cycle? Very different results for managed portfolios vs. do-it-yourself investors. The happiness equation is helpful: Happiness ≥ Perception – Expectations. An “inverted” yield curve often precedes a recession… how about this time? 10-year birthday of the post-Global Financial Crisis “bull” stock market. Hot Q1 […]

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    The happiness equation

    It is sometimes said that “money can’t buy happiness.” While this is true in a literal sense, and there is some debate about the subject in a figurative sense, one thing we know with certainty is that there is a link between emotions and money.  Emotions can have a significant impact on investment success, and […]

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    The 3 critical agreements business owners need to protect their personal finances

    When you own a business, you appreciate just how much your personal financial life is tied to your business.  What you may not realize is how much your personal financial wellbeing is intertwined with your partners or other owners in your business.  If you own a mature, successful business, and you’re seriously looking at your […]

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    When boring is good

    When the stock markets have long periods of positive returns, as they have had for most of the past decade, it can be easy to forget how a bear market feels to an investor.  The last quarter of 2018 provided a vivid reminder. Large market swings and precipitous drops can unnerve even the most experienced […]

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