Recommended Reading About the “Brainiacs” at Dimensional

screen-shot-2016-06-21-at-3-38-20-pmI enjoyed reading the recent article and Blog written by Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal pertaining to Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA). As a fan of Jason’s and his message I am a bit biased; however, I felt he captured the ethos of DFA with the quote from Ken French, “We don’t try to do magic. We’re doing engineering.”
As a long-time personal client of DFA, and as a firm where nearly $13 Billion dollars of our clients’ long-term investments are managed by DFA, we feel fortunate to have such a thoughtful approach to asset class construction. I believe their no-apologies approach to asset class construction has allowed us to increase our chance of building better portfolios for long-term investors.
I’d encourage you to read the following articles (subscription is required):
Making Billions With One Belief: The Markets Can’t Be Beat
Straight Talk from the Brainiacs at DFA

How to Lose Money

This blog is from the October issue of Portfolio Perspectives.
Loring Ward recently honored Dr. Harry Markowitz with our Heritage Award for his contributions to financial science that have impacted millions of investors as well as his many years of service on our Investment Committee. In recognition, we would like to share some insights from Dr. Markowitz adapted from his afterword to our book on wealth management: “The Wealth Solution.”

If you want to become an acknowledged Saint, it is best if you start by giving away all your money. If this prospect sounds too daunting, the following are four efficient suggestions for reducing your wealth. The first two may only lose most of it but the final two will make it all disappear. Continue reading

Do All-Time Highs Mean Overvalued Markets?

Stock Market Performance in the Periods Following All-Time Record Highs
This is the second in a two-part blog of our Quarterly Investment Committee Briefing.
On August 15, several of the major U.S. stock market indices reached all-time high levels. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Russell 3000 all closed at record highs, welcome news for the average stock investor who has patiently invested for the long-term.
But many ask, “Does the fact that a stock market index breaks through to an all-time high suggest that the market is at a precarious level?” It can be tempting to compare a stock market at its all-time high to standing on top of a tall mountain — it’s a lofty height with nowhere to go but down. But is this an accurate analogy? Continue reading

Q3 Investment Committee Briefing

blog_investment_committeeThis is the first in a two-part blog of our Quarterly Investment Committee Briefing.
So far this year, one of the big stories in global markets was the surprise Brexit vote in the third week of June. Conventional wisdom was that this event was a harbinger of future economic weakness and lower markets. Markets fell a bit on the news; however, as so often happens with conventional wisdom, it was quickly cast aside. By the start of Q3, the S&P 500 had almost recovered to its 2016 high levels. In the weeks that followed, the S&P 500 and several other major stock indexes crept higher… until August 15 when they broke through to an all-time record high level. Continue reading

There is Always a Reason to Sell…Unless You Want to Achieve Your Goals

blog_360_williamThis article is featured in the fall edition of our 360 Insights Quarterly Client Newsletter.
The problem with good advice is that it tends to be boring, especially when it comes to your portfolio.
This is a good thing.
For investors, excitement can be your worst enemy. Excitement generates headlines; it causes people to be greedy or fearful; it drives volatility and speculation — all resulting in too many people compromising their financial futures. Continue reading

Invest for the Long Term

Driving on an empty road towards the setting sunThis article is featured in the fall edition of our 360 Insights Quarterly Client Newsletter.
This is the last article of a four-part series to help you understand our investment approach — and why it matters to you.

Long-term perspective, discipline and patience are the most important ingredients of portfolio success. But emotional, short-term behaviors like panic selling at lows and elated buying at highs can have detrimental long-term consequences, including dramatic portfolio underperformance.
Consider the daily returns of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) from 1991 to 2015. A $1,000 investment over that period would grow, assuming dividend reinvestment, to $12,016. But if you were out of the market on the 10 best days, your $1,000 investment would have grown to just $6,141. This illustrates the value of staying in the markets for the long run rather than jumping in and out of the market.
Continue reading

Presidents and Your Portfolio

This article is featured in the fall edition of our 360 Insights Quarterly Client Newsletter.
As we approach Election Day on November 8, there will be endless debate, prognostication and media hype. But even before a single vote has been cast, the potential results are already being priced into stocks around the world.
While elections do have real consequences and can certainly impact individual companies, in aggregate they tend to be less important than many of the other factors that drive stock prices.
How much influence will the next President have on the price of Apple’s phones and computers, Nike’s apparel, Disney’s entertainment or Starbucks coffee?
What matters more: who becomes president or whether a company’s product is any good?
Continue reading