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 3 critical agreements business owners must spell out 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 […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    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 […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    Q418 Quarterly Context Video

    What’s driving stock market weakness? How the average investor does the wrong thing at the wrong time. Consumer confidence still high but waning. Who is borrowing more and who less? How many market corrections have there been in the last 10 years? How often do -5%, -10%, -15% and -20% market drops occur? Market recoveries […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    Q4-2018 Market Review

    Investors’ appetite for risk, while elevated for much of 2018, evaporated as the year drew to a close and wiped out positive returns for the year across broad asset classes (T-bills being a notable exception). Concerns over tighter monetary policy and the global withdrawal of stimulus measures, unresolved trade disputes, falling oil prices, slower global […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    This quarter marks ten years since the start of the global financial crisis

    While the consequences of that extreme period of financial turmoil are still being felt, the market recovery in the past decade provides a profound illustration of the value of staying the course through enormously difficult times. The ability to remain invested in your long-term strategy was severely tested a decade ago. For those who withstood […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    Q318 Quarterly Context Video

    Lessons learned from the Global Financial Crisis… a 10-year anniversary view. The economic expansion continues, but with concerns. Are there patterns between the current market and the dot-com bubble? It can be comforting to see the average return and length of up markets vs. down markets. What is “consumption smoothing” and how it helps retirement […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    Q3-2018 Market Review

    Oh, What a Difference a Decade Makes Happy 10-year anniversary to the Global Financial Crisis! Just a decade ago, some of the world’s largest and most revered financial institutions, along with the modern financial system itself, were left staring into the abyss. Several events, beginning with the fire sale of Bear Stearns and failure of […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    Few economic indicators affect daily lives and markets as directly as interest rates

    The Federal Open Market Committee lowers the target rate when economic stimulus is needed, and raises it to limit inflation and avoid overheating as the economy expands.  In the decade after the Great Recession, rate concerns faded. The Fed’s target rate hit 0% in late 2008 and was 0% for 7 years.  Low rates became the […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    Q218 Quarterly Context Video

    Parallels in financial behavior to new research (e.g. poor soccer goalie decisions, premature sports coach firings, the “IKEA effect”), how misperceptions about aging causes saving and spending pitfalls (and what 401k fiduciaries can do about it), wages are increasing but not much vs. inflation, interest rates are rising and implying shifting risks, foundation/endowment spending statistics […]

    ★ Featured blog post

    Q2-2018 Market Review

    Summer months are typically a quiet time for the markets. Recent events, however, may disrupt this tradition. Threats of escalating trade wars have cast a pall over equities, and numerous geopolitical uncertainties continue to push investors toward a more cautious stance. A desynchronization in global growth as well as a divergence in central banks’ monetary policies […]

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