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.

  • Q3-2017 Market Review

    Last quarter, we wrote about the Goldilocks environment (“Not too hot, not too cold, but just right”) and investor complacency keeping volatility at multi-decade lows and propelling stock markets to new highs. The third quarter followed suit in spite of escalating tensions with North Korea, several severe natural disasters and uncertainty around the prospects for tax reform and other domestic agenda items.

    Q2-2017 Quarterly Context Webinar

    Should investors react to strong markets? What does rising credit debt imply? Do advisors add value? See Quarterly Context webinar for more.

    But why a bun?

    Years ago, a fast food chain ran a catchy ad campaign featuring a focus group of meat and cheese lovers.  In the commercial, the presenter describes the companies new burger, and one of the test subjects responds “I like the meat and cheese part, but why a bun?” As investors, if we consider domestic stocks to be… [Read More]

    Q2-2017 Market Review

    Macroeconomic Environment What will thwart the “Goldilocks” environment? “Not too hot, not too cold, but just right.” This Goldilocks sentiment, fueled by years of central bank accommodation and tepid economic growth has kept volatility at multi-decade lows, interest rates range-bound, and propelled domestic stock markets to new highs. Even persistent political drama and geopolitical headwinds… [Read More]

    Q1-2017 Quarterly Context Webinar

    What led to the positive returns in Q1? Should you expect an increase in market volatility? How much value does regular rebalancing add? View the Q1 Quarterly Context webinar recording for more insight.

    Are you on the right financial path?

    After an 8-year bull market and new political uncertainty, should you be more concerned about volatility risk?

    Q1-2017 Market Review

    The “risk-on” theme persisted through the first quarter as improving economic data trumped elevated geopolitical uncertainty, both in the U.S. and abroad. Economies in the U.S. and Europe continued to gain traction and the U.S. entered its 93rd month of expansion. At the same time, important and potentially divisive elections in Europe, an impeachment in South Korea, heightened tensions with North Korea, innuendo around Russia, civil war in Syria, the Brexit trigger, and an unconventional and inexperienced administration in the U.S. did not rile investors.

    Q4-2016 Quarterly Context Webinar

    What’s riskier… gambling or investing? Do political parties or the Fed have a bigger impact on markets? View the webinar recording for more insight.

    Periodic table of unpredictable returns

    Are there clear patterns of investment market returns over time? How does a “balanced” global portfolio compare to individual asset classes over the last 20 years?

    Markets do fine over time… but many investors don’t

    As the year turns, investors are bombarded with predictions about what 2017 may hold. Soothsayers will suggest strategies to avoid the next crisis or how not to miss the next great opportunity.

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