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

    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 […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    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 […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    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/

    ★ Featured blog post

    Some Context On Market Corrections

    Will a Stock Market Correction Derail your Goal?  With markets hovering around all-time highs in recent months and the global financial crisis still a lingering memory, it is understandable that the recent increase in volatility might test the average investor’s nerves.

    ★ Featured blog post

    2014 Q3 Quarterly Context Webinar

    View our quarterly video on markets, the economy and investor behavior patterns… Information without information overload, as context for making better long-term investment decisions, and becoming an increasingly sophisticated investor. 2014-Q3 Quarterly Context Webinar

    ★ 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?  Our yearly update of “The Reality of Red Numbers” shows you, and illustrates that market volatility is often a reasonable price to pay as part of a diversified portfolio, to help capture long-term positive […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    2014 Q2 Quarterly Context Webinar

    View our quarterly video on markets, the economy and investor behavior patterns… Information without information overload, as context for making better long-term investment decisions, and becoming an increasingly sophisticated investor. 2014-Q2 Quarterly Context Webinar

    ★ Featured blog post

    “Let it Roll”

    “Goin’ up, goin’ down, goin’ up-down-down-up… any way you want, let it roll” (blues lyrics). Volatility has been low in the past few years.  As measured by the VIX volatility index, market fluctuations are at the lowest level since before the global financial crisis.  That doesn’t mean high volatility is immediately around the corner, but […]

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