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.

  • ★ Featured blog post

    Perspective on current market volatility: An investor test, not a market test

    After years of abnormally and historic low market volatility that lulled many investors into believing (again!) that markets only go up, market fluctuations are now are providing a healthy reminder that market corrections are a normal part of investing. As long-term investor Warren Buffet once wisely said, “The stock market is a device to transfer wealth from the impatient to the patient.” Do you want to be in the panic group or the profit group? Investors need to make a rational and intentional choice, rather than letting emotions dictate outcomes.

    ★ Featured blog post

    Q417 Quarterly Context video

    What happened before markets started cooling in February? The bitcoin bubble… looks just like other bubbles. A new periodic table of returns design. Projected 10-year returns and risk. A visual of 229 years of returns, in return buckets. 401k fiduciary survey summary. That and more in the Q417 Quarterly Context video.

    ★ Featured blog post

    Q4-2017/Year End Market Review

    Another record low in volatility, more record highs in global stock markets, mixed records in global temperatures, a record number of natural disasters in the U.S., and many records associated with President Trump. Volatility (VIX Index) fell more than 20% in 2017, reaching an all-time low in November. Stock markets hit a number of record highs, adding trillions of dollars to global market capitalization. U.S. consumer confidence remained near a 17-year high and unemployment at a 17-year low. At the same time, geopolitical concerns, domestic political drama and other noteworthy news items littered the headlines but had little effect on investors’ complacency.

    ★ Featured blog post

    Article library & special past blogposts

    News articles to help you and others make better financial decisions. Topics include investor behavior, smart financial choices, investor pitfalls to avoid, inter-generational wealth issues, fiduciary process, and other topics.

    ★ Featured blog post

    Action steps to reduce the risk of identify theft

    The Equifax data breach increases the risk of identity theft for 145 million Americans. Consider and take these action steps to help protect yourself.

    ★ Featured blog post

    Q3-2017 Quarterly Context Webinar

    Are market cycles getting longer? Do markets normally cool after similar stock price levels? How bad can bonds get? See this Quarterly Context video for more.

    ★ Featured blog post

    Live long and prosper

    You may be able to spend more in the early years of retirement than you thought. Retirement spending strategies have always been an important part of smart planning; incorporating new research about longevity and spending patterns of retirees leads to even wiser decisions.

    ★ Featured blog post

    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.

    ★ Featured blog post

    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.

    ★ Featured blog post

    Reality of Red Numbers – updated

    What’s your guess as to how many months the stock market declines or rises each year? And in bad vs. good markets?

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