Follow a Forecaster or Flip a Coin?

This blog was originally published in December, 2014
 
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 below 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, based upon accuracy, 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

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.”
Continue reading

Building Stronger Relationships via Your Digital Ecosystem

Two big revolutions have occurred in marketing in recent years:
 

  1. Marketing has moved from being an art to becoming a science, with an ever-increasing ability to pinpoint the effectiveness (or failure) of marketing campaigns and initiatives.
  2.  

  3. There has been a broad move away from product to experience as the key differentiator. As McKinsey Quarterly noted in 2011, “Customers no longer separate marketing from the product — it is the product….In the era of engagement, marketing is the company.”

At Loring Ward’s National Education Conference at the end of September, we will look at what these two revolutions mean for financial advisors and how they establish and nurture client relationships across the digital spectrum, from websites to social media to CRM systems. Some digital ecosystem best practices to keep in mind: Continue reading

Are You Ready to Become an Exceptional Retirement Advisor?

“Are you fully prepared to support your clients’ needs all the way through retirement?”
 
This was the challenge that educator and retirement authority Barry LaValley threw out to almost 200 financial advisors at the recent Advisor Group ConnectED Conference in Washington, D.C.
 
LaValley, who was presenting in partnership with Loring Ward, noted that traditionally, investment and financial planning focused on positioning the client for the future.
 
But with approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day, the future is here NOW. Continue reading

The Effect of Diversification

Source: Morningstar Direct 2016.   Past performance does not guarantee future results. Indexes are unmanaged baskets of securities in which investors cannot directly invest; they do not reflect the payment of advisory fees or other expenses associated with specific investments or the management of an actual portfolio.   Stock investing involves risks, including increased volatility (up and down movement in the value of your assets) and loss of principal.   Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise, issuer's creditworthiness declines, and are subject to availability and changes in price.

Source: Morningstar Direct 2016.
 
Past performance does not guarantee future results. Indexes are unmanaged baskets of securities in which investors cannot directly invest; they do not reflect the payment of advisory fees or other expenses associated with specific investments or the management of an actual portfolio.
 
Stock investing involves risks, including increased volatility (up and down movement in the value of your assets) and loss of principal.
 
Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise, issuer’s creditworthiness declines, and are subject to availability and changes in price.

This blog is from the May issue of Portfolio Perspectives.
 
“Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”
 
You’ve probably heard this old saying used on more than one occasion to emphasize the need for a diversified portfolio. Continue reading

The Best Time to Invest

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 8.47.47 AMWhat are your clients worried about today? U.S. Presidential elections? The price of gas? Global markets? The Mid East? The Far East? The Fed? Volatility clusters?
 
As a confident, knowledgeable Advisor, you know that there is always something for investors to worry about. Fortunately, you are able to step back, take a longer-term perspective and ignore the noise. Right? Right? Continue reading

What Can We Learn from A Supermodel about International Investing?

Blog_PP_MarchThis blog is from the April issue of Portfolio Perspectives.
 
What happens when supermodels are unhappy with the dollar? They demand payment in euros, or at least that was the case in August, 2007, when Gisele Bündchen reportedly demanded Procter & Gamble pay her in euros for promoting Pantene hair products.1 Unfortunately, she capitulated near the bottom, as many investors do when they try to time the market.
 
The U.S. dollar reached its low against the euro and the yuan in early 2008. Since then, it has staged an impressive rally, although it’s taken a bit of a breather recently. There is reason to believe the dollar will remain strong, at least over the next year or two, as interest rates are likely to increase in the U.S. and remain low in places like Japan and Europe for the foreseeable future. But then again, exchange rates often take unpredictable paths. Just ask Gisele. Continue reading