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

    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?

    ★ Featured blog post

    Q3-2016 Market Review

    Investor angst over the unexpected vote on Brexit was short-lived with a “risk-on” theme returning to the markets in July and leading to stock market highs for the Dow, NASDAQ and S&P 500 in August. Highly unusual election antics and continued geopolitical concerns on a number of fronts did not dampen investors’ risk appetite or their quest for yield.

    ★ Featured blog post

    Noise attracts more attention than silence.

    Noise generally attracts more attention than silence. Being aware of certain things you don’t see or hear, however, is sometimes more important than the obvious.

    ★ Featured blog post

    Q2-2016 Market Review

    Brexit, Regrexit, Bremorse, Breturn? The 2nd quarter was reasonably uneventful and markets were relatively placid until June 23rd, when British voters narrowly approved the Brexit referendum. Investor complacency was replaced with shock, and markets reacted fiercely. Volatility spiked, global bond yields fell sharply.

    ★ 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

    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?

    ★ Featured blog post

    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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