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

    The new “Fiduciary Rule” requires that financial advisors put client interests first… except when it doesn’t.

    The DoL recently announced finalization of the “Fiduciary Rule.” Given the final language of the law and the relatively minor changes from the proposed version in 2015, the public should be concerned. As background, and unbeknownst to most consumers, the financial industry is divided into two groups: 1) A very large group of firms, both […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    Here We Go Again – Risk is Your Friend

    There’s a good reason several musicians have songs titled “Here we go again” …life is full of challenges that cycle through.

    ★ Featured blog post

    Market volatility: Breathe deeply and don’t do a thing

    Given the recent increase in market volatility, we thought you might find the article below to be helpful.

    ★ Featured blog post

    Quarterly Thoughts – Reality of Red Numbers

    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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    Simple vs. Simplistic

    Most people want to help keep their investment planning and lives simple, but they don’t want their strategic planning or investment portfolios to be simplistic. This is a critical distinction understood by the savvy consumer. To us, “simple” means “easy and helpful” for our clients. Simplicity occurs for our clients as a result of our […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    Buyer re-beware – Proposed “fiduciary rule” to protect investor has big gaps

    In a perfect world, all consumers of financial guidance and products would receive non-conflicted advice, because biased “advice” causes serious economic damage. A White House Council of Economic Advisers analysis estimates that conflicts of interest shrinks affected investor accounts by about 1% per year, totaling about $17 billion annually. Cumulatively, a 1% haircut hurts many […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    Doctrine of the Mean

    Another year behind us and ahead of us. As 2014 started, many expected that inflation and interest rates would rise back towards more normal levels. Instead, rates stayed low, helping extended the US stock market rally. International stock markets have been slower to find their footing after the global financial crisis and are now adopting […]

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    You choose: Fiduciary vs. suitability standards of care

    There are two very different standards of care, when it comes to financial professionals: “Fiduciary” (registered investment advisors, regulated by the SEC) and “suitability” (brokers, “self-regulated”). Below is a combination of re-organized Washington Post excerpts that summarize it well: Fiduciaries have a much stricter duty and legal obligation than do those who operate under suitability […]

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    401k fiduciary survey: Growing focus on participant outcomes

    According to a study released 11/2014*: • Fiduciaries increasingly recognize the complex challenges employees face in saving for retirement, and seek expertise that improves retirement readiness results, beyond traditional 401k basics. • The study indicates for the first time in its history that plan sponsors are most focused on driving better retirement outcomes for plan participants. • […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    So You Think You’re a Risk-Taker?

    Nothing is more important for investors than learning how much they can stand to lose. But nothing is harder to learn—before it’s too late. http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/10/24/so-you-think-youre-a-risk-taker/

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