Dr. Harry Markowitz Honored by Loring Ward

blog_harry_awardLoring Ward today awarded Dr. Harry Markowitz its Heritage Award at the firm’s National Education Conference in San Diego. Markowitz, best known for winning the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1990 for his work on portfolio selection, has served on Loring Ward’s Investment Committee since 2010.
According to Loring Ward’s CEO, Alex Potts, “Our firm has drawn on the research and powerful insights of many leading academics to build our Asset Class Investing portfolios, but no one has had a larger and more wide ranging impact than Dr. Markowitz. We are so privileged to be able to honor his lifetime of contributions to financial services, and to recognize his impact on millions of investors.”
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U.S. Presidential Elections and Financial Markets

This article is featured in the summer edition of our 360 Insights Quarterly Client Newsletter.
For those of us who have experienced more than one or two presidential election cycles, the 2016 campaign seems to be more heated and contentious than usual. The stakes are high for the economy and financial markets, as new political leaders will need to address a wide range of pressing issues.
While political decisions can and do have long-term impact on measures of U.S. economic performance, we need to remember what University of Chicago Professor and former chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors Austan Goolsbee said:
“I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.”1 Continue reading

Rolling the Dice on Return Premiums

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

This blog is from the January issue of Portfolio Perspectives.
Test your knowledge of probability: If I’m rolling two standard six-sided dice and you’re picking the outcome (the sum of the two dice, any number between 2 and 12), what number do you pick?
If you’ve taken statistics or played many dice games, your strategy is to pick 7 because 7 is the most likely outcome. There are actually six different ways to roll a 7: 1+6, 2+5, 3+4, 4+3, 5+2, 6+1. That’s more than any other number. Continue reading

Optimism Bias Can Ruin Your Financial Life and Portfolio

Blog_Ben_SteinEconomist, actor and author Ben Stein provides a blueprint for many of the mistakes investors make in his book, “How to Really Ruin Your Financial Life and Portfolio.” Rather than dissuading investors from making these mistakes, he “encourages” investors to trade frequently, believe that we can successfully pick stocks, put our money into hedge funds, etc. “In your heart, as you very well know, you are legions ahead of those average investors, and even legions ahead of the indexes,” he says.1 Mr. Stein’s “encouragement” not only playfully mocks the logic underlying many of these tactics, but also reveals insight into investor behavior that will help guide conversations between advisors and clients. Continue reading

Don’t Get Spooked by Headlines

Blog_HeadlinesThis blog is from the October issue of Portfolio Perspectives.
October is full of ghosts, goblins and trick-or-treaters, so what better topic to write about than fear? Fear, if not conquered, can be a deceiving and misguiding emotion. To show you what I mean, let me ask you a question: What do you fear more, nuclear reactors or taking a selfie? Continue reading

Buy Low Sell High – Easier Said Than Done

Blog_Sell_High“Buy low sell high” – it sounds so simple when you say it out loud. Yet in practice it’s one of the hardest things to do if you let your emotions get in the way.
We tend to view investing through a different lens than many other aspects of life. For example, if we were in Costco looking to buy a new TV, we wouldn’t get upset if a worker came up and knocked 20% off the price. In fact, we’d probably hurry to get to the register, knowing we were getting it at a better price than the day before. So why is that when it comes to investing we often run from falling prices, wanting to own stocks only when the market hits new highs? Continue reading

Why Nobody Wants to be Wrong

Why do so many investors make decisions based upon emotional reactions to short-term events? Because we’re human. Greek debt troubles, Chinese stock market declines…it’s normal to feel anxiety during economic downturns or market turmoil, but acting upon those anxieties can lead to poor investment decisions. The key is finding the balance between emotion and reason. Continue reading