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.

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    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

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    “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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    A Case for Diversification Amid Uncertainty

    Are there clear patterns of investment market returns over time?  How does a “balanced” portfolio compare to individual asset classes over time?  Our chart entitled “The Periodic Table of Investment Returns – A Case for Diversification Amid Uncertainty” is a colorful illustration that addresses these questions. Click here to view 2013 AGSF Periodic Table . The […]

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    Disciplined Investing

    Will a disciplined investment process improve your health?  We often talk about the Five Requirements for Financial Success – Resources, Knowledge, Time, Desire and Discipline.  Recent research implies that disciplined investing can go beyond your finances… it can also be good for your health.

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    For those seeking a user manual for life (and financial decisions), this Venn diagram about where to focus sums it up elegantly.

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    What is normal?

    In investing, “normal” is an elusive idea.  Long-term average returns are relevant for planning, but rarely does a stock market calendar year return fall within a range of 2 percentage points around the average.  If “normal” does exist in the stock and bond markets, it can be loosely defined as a predictably unpredictable sequence of […]

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    2012 Periodic Table

    Market volatility is the norm, not the exception:  On occasion, we provide an updated version of the enclosed Periodic Table.  Given the recent market experience, the table is particularly timely, as it provides a broader perspective.  This chart is a powerful visual demonstration of the unpredictability of investment returns across major asset classes, and indirectly […]

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    2012 Market Recap

    It is the perennial hope of many to start a new year by celebrating the joys and accomplishments of the past year, and to leave behind the less pleasant memories, as we move forward towards an even better tomorrow.  The start of 2013 fits that bill in many ways, but begins with both breaking and […]

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    Making Positive Changes

    The Sandy Hook tragedy makes our hearts ache.  But, our hearts will not break, having seen the overwhelming response to the victims’ families and the possibility of the positive changes which may result from the experience.  The Advisory Group’s mission is to make positive changes in our clients’ lives and in society.  We list our […]

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    What does “safe” mean?  When driving car or playing baseball, the answer is generally clear.  When investing, the answer is less obvious.  To get where you want to go financially, it is critical to properly frame the problem, by asking the right questions: safe “from what?” and “when?”  Inflation risk? Interest rate risk?  Goal risk?

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