Three Essential New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year when we should be thankful for our health, our friends/family and our business opportunities. Something I do every year at this time is to assess how things are going in those three areas of my life and what I’ve done — under my control — to make them the best I can.
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Ho Ho Horrible Holiday Investing Myths

Instead of sitting back with a glass of egg nog and overdosing on Rankin/Bass holiday specials, some investors spend year-end trying to decorate their portfolios with dubious investment ideas. Here are four holiday follies that are even nuttier and harder to digest than fruitcake.


Santa Claus Rally
Yes Virginia, there may be a Santa Claus, but don’t count on a Santa Claus Rally — a small upward blip in stock prices that sometimes occurs between Christmas and New Year’s. Explanations for the rally, which was “discovered” in 1972, include bears and other pessimists giving in to the holiday spirit, year-end tax planning, even investors spending Christmas bonuses. Continue reading

Follow a Forecaster or Flip a Coin?

Do you have a favorite forecaster? If so, when is the last time you checked his or her track record? You probably should because research exists that shows professional forecasters are about as accurate, on average, as a coin flip.

The chart above is the result of an ongoing analysis of equity market experts and their forecasts—the so-called stock market gurus. Analysts collected data from market forecasters since 1998. They tracked and graded the forecasts made by dozens of popular gurus over the years. And the results aren’t good! The “experts” accurately predicted market directions only 48% of the time — about as accurate as a coin flip. Continue reading

Strategy or Golf Cart Ads: What’s Your Marketing Plan?

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” 
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Actual Advisor Conversation…
Advisor: “The golf carts at our local club have video screens you can run ads on. I was thinking of giving it a try.”
Me: “Okay…. What are you trying to achieve? What’s your goal?” Continue reading

Don’t Sit on the Fence – Make a Decision!

Fence_BLOGOne of the more common bits of advice we give advisors is that they should have an investment philosophy they are sure they can stick with for the long term. I remember about a year after the market lows of March 2009, I was making a presentation to about 80 advisors and I asked them to raise their hand if they had the same investment philosophy today that they had five years ago. About five hands went up.
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