Ingredients Matter: In Baking & Investing

Baked goods on display

Vanilla is a fascinating ingredient. It is one of the most popular flavors worldwide and is incredibly common in baked goods. The process of creating vanilla flavoring is time-consuming and labor-intensive, which is why in its purest form it is also one of the most expensive spices in the world. Vanilla’s widespread use and high…

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A Tax Dilemma: How Capital Gains Can Hold Financial Advisors Hostage

Question mark at end of hallway

While a series of profitable years is wonderful, we all know the ride comes to an end at some point. When that happens, financial advisors seeking to manage or reduce clients’ risk level can be held hostage to the gains that have built up in taxable accounts. As advisors add new clients/accounts and plan for…

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The Best Strategies For Inflationary Times

Chalk drawing on a chalkboard

As parents (myself included) apprehensively sent their kids back into the classroom for another pandemic-influenced school year, it put me in the mood to chip away at my own reading list, a collection of research papers that had accumulated in the “to read” folder on my desktop. Now, before you condemn me to the nerd-set,…

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How Do Financial Advisors Invest During Irrational Exuberance?

Shark swimming below surfers

I love the beach, but I am not a huge fan of the ocean. Maybe I’m alone here, but after watching “Jaws,” National Geographic programming, Shark Week on Discovery, and “Sharknado” 1-6, I just cannot shake that uneasy feeling when I’m venturing into the surf. Even when I’ve had the privilege of swimming or snorkeling…

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What ‘Tommy Boy’ Teaches Us About Guarantees

Man giving a wink and a thumbs up

What are your re-watchable movies? For me, it’s several cult classics from the mid-90s. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen them, if I happen to catch them when flipping through the channels, I’m going to stop. Unfortunately, I usually end up only watching briefly until my wife rolls her eyes and asks, “Again…really?”…

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Anyone Want to Acknowledge The Bear In the Bond Market?

Foreboding scene of man with umbrella walking in rain storm

In a time when seemingly all assets are “melting up,” allow me to invoke one of my favorite Saturday Night Live characters, Debbie Downer, and provide a less-than-rosy dose of reality: U.S. government bonds, which have a “market cap” that’s equivalent to 2x the U.S. stock market, have all entered a bear market. If you…

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Protecting the Financial Advisor’s Blind Side

Quarterback at line of scrimmage

The 2021 NFL Draft, which begins tomorrow, is expected to highlight more than ever that quarterback is arguably the most important position in all sports. If we stick to football and assume QB is indeed the most important role, what is second? Many cases can be made, but if money talks, then shouldn’t the answer…

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Flows Before Pros

Cell phone and computer being used to monitor GameStop stock

This is not another article about Reddit, robos, and Robinhood. Well actually, it a little bit is. But hear me out: We’ll be light on the pontification (you don’t need a 4,000th article on GameStop) but heavy on the conundrum financial advisors face and the trump card held by providers of financial advice. Adaptation or…

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Bubbles: Are We In One and Does It Even Matter?

Wine glass exploding

Perhaps the most striking characteristic of economic bubbles – which is also what fuels their very existence – is our blindness to them. Historically, few have correctly called a bubble in advance. And yet, in modern times, people have been asking if we’re in the bubble since 2010. What gives? An Implausible Gap Between Price…

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2021 Market Predictions are Trash

Crumpled up paper in and near a trash can

A colleague recently shared with me a story about a January tradition of the Kiwanis Club of Cape Fear in Fayetteville, NC, which holds a contest to see who can best predict where the Dow Jones Industrial Average will end the year. She described how some members have a thoughtful internal debate while others jot…

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