July 16, 2020

Holding Colleges Accountable

A report from First Trust Advisors, L.P.: It’s time to think about something other than COVID, statues, the election, and defunding the police. How about higher education? Specifically, student loans and grants. Just like the bipartisan efforts to making housing more affordable, these programs were well-intentioned. But, also like the housing market, they have led to serious problems. The US has about $1.5 trillion in student debt outstanding, more than subprime mortgage loans in 2007. We’re not worried these loans will cause a collapse in the economy, but they are a major burden that must be dealt with at some […]
July 9, 2020

The Economy and The Virus

A report from First Trust Advisors, L.P.: Not since the 1960s and 70s has the United States experienced social upheaval like it is experiencing today. We have protests (both peaceful and otherwise), and a massively divided political landscape. On top of that, we have a virus that is spreading across the country, creating fear and an acceptance of economic shutdowns. Originally, the scientists said we needed 15 days to slow the spread. These same scientists have consistently lengthened the time they believe keeping the economy relatively closed is a good idea. Yet, eventually, as the number of new cases of […]
July 2, 2020

Not Locking Down

A report from First Trust Advisors, L.P.: A resurgence of new Coronavirus cases around the country has created uncertainty for investors. Stock markets fell last week, not because of the virus, but because investors fear another round of economy-killing, government-mandated lockdowns. We don’t expect that to happen, but when the government is involved, risks are definitely higher. After the peak in early April, the seven-day moving average for new cases bottomed on June 9 at 21,282. Since then, they’ve surged, hitting 39,662 per day in the seven days through yesterday. That’s an 86% increase in only 19 days. (Daily volatility […]
March 19, 2020

React… by not Reacting

We know when there is global panic, it can’t help but to spill over into our families. We know a lot of people are concerned. While we haven’t had a ton of panicked client calls, (we are proactively dialing out as fast as we can), and our clients tell us repeatedly, “you have trained us well”, we have had a few folks who are nervous about current events. And those few prompted this outreach. It’s natural to fear the unknown. We are all human. And when “they” yell long enough, and loud enough, that the sky is falling, we all […]
March 12, 2020

Investment Strategy vs. Managing Investments… Aesop on Finance – Part Five

When it comes to investing, almost everyone would agree that it is smart to have an investment strategy. Using a strategy, as opposed to “just winging it” or “going with your gut”, can help prevent you from making decisions based on emotions or snap judgments. That’s important, because emotional decisions can cause people to experience more volatility and take on more risk than they can afford. That is why I always ask prospective clients, “What’s your investment strategy?” Some people blink and admit they don’t have one. Others just shrug and say, “A little of this, a little of that.” […]
March 5, 2020

Don’t let greed burden you… Aesop on Finance – Part 4

Need vs. Greed Recently, I’ve been thinking about investing. “What’s so special about that?” you’re probably wondering. After all, I am a financial advisor, so it’s my job to think about investing. But lately, my thoughts have taken on a slight twist. “Why do we invest at all?” is the question I’ve been pondering. It’s a question all investors should be asking themselves. Generally speaking, there are two broad reasons why people invest their hard-earned money. The first reason: simply because they want more of it. Some people want as much money as possible and figure investing is the best […]