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06Oct
What the Future May Hold for U.S. Large Caps
Economy

Of course, no one knows for sure, but I thought you might be interested in the latest opinions I have received recently.

Tailey Leger, equity strategist for the Oppenheimer Funds states that she expects the large cap rally to continue for at least two more years.

Here is the thinking that supports this position:

  1. A weakening U.S. dollar and strengthening international economies are key reasons.  The foreign exposure of U.S. large cap companies results in 30% of the S&P 500 revenues coming from outside the U.S.
  2. If the president comes through with tax cuts for businesses, it may create more opportunity for growth.
  3. The Federal Reserve is committed to normalizing monetary policy and flattening the yield curve.  Historically large caps have outperformed small caps by an average of 1.8% in flattening yield curve regimes.

Please contact me to discuss your personal objectives and portfolio strategy.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

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03Oct
Is There a Hidden Agenda with Robo-Advisors?
Investing
The market for working with robo-advisers is growing rapidly.

As with anything that increases in popularity, there is new research available about these seemingly “neutral” programs.

Before I share it, let’s define a robo-“advisor”.

Roboadvisors are a class of financial adviser that provide financial advice or portfolio management online with minimal human intervention.  They provide digital financial advice based on mathematical rules or algorithms. (Wikipedia)

In other words, this is nothing more than computer- based programs into which certain data is fed about the investor.  Then, the computer applies algorithms to the data and spits out an allocated investment program.

Here in lies the potential problem.

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22Sep
Investing Tips from Warren Buffett
Investing

Warren Buffett is arguably one of the best investors of all times.  Here are three investing tips from the “Oracle of Omaha”.

  1. “Never lose money.”

    While even the legendary Buffett has suffered stock market losses, one key to his success is that the losses are small and infrequent compared with his larger long-lasting positions.(Please do not take this direct quote literally.  There are no guarantees in investing and there is always the potential to lose money.)

  2. “Be an investor, not a speculator.”

    Speculators tend to bet on price without paying much attention to earnings or dividends.  Speculators tend to be short term technical traders.  On the other hand, investors tend to take the long view and expect to be paid continuously for owning an asset.  This could be in the form of interest or dividends.

  3. “Diversify, diversify, diversify.”

    This advice includes owning both U.S. and International positions, stocks and bonds, multiple sectors, and non-correlated asset classes.

While we understand that each client’s investment strategy and risk tolerances are unique, I hope that these general investing tips are both of interest and value to you.

I also look forward to sharing a conversation with you, to discuss these concepts further and explore how they could apply to your investment goals and objectives.

(Credit for some of this information goes to Steve Jurich, IQ Wealth Management September 2017.)


Barbara A. Culver

CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

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16Aug
How Resonate Provides Value
Economy
Richness of LifeIn case you have not read the first blog in this short series, I invite you to do so.

Since completing it, I have given thought to which of the many client stories I wanted to share with you.

The first story is that of a recent widow who was referred to us.  When I met with Alice, (not her real name, of course), I found her to be very clear and communicative in spite of the recent and sudden passing of her husband.

The stories she told me about her experiences in the financial services world both angered and saddened me.  Assumptions were made that, of course, she would not be able to “handle her own affairs nor make thoughtful decisions” primarily because she was a woman.  On several occasions, male advisors from different companies assured her that “they knew what was best” and even provided “solutions” without bothering to understand the client and her life.

In contrast, I discovered, that when given the opportunity, this woman was quite amazing in how quickly she was adjusting to new life and found her thought process to be remarkably clear.

This included her clarity of thought that the “solutions” provided probably benefited the advisor more than they would benefit her.  Upon discussion and review of the various recommendations, I supported her thinking.

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04Aug
Client Fees & Value
Economy
It seems that everywhere we turn today, the media is emphasizing advisory and product fees.

Common questions are:

“Are you paying too much?”

“Do you know what you are paying for?”

I consider this type question to be one-dimensional and shortsighted.  For example, if one wants to “stay on the numbers’ side”, then where is the question:

 “Are you receiving value for your fees?”

The interesting thing that happens when we insert the word “value” is that we add the possibility for an intangible answer in addition to the one-dimensional tangible answer.

Here are two recent examples of how we have added both tangible and intangible value for our clients:

Example One:

Clients recently came in for their conversation with us, which includes portfolio review. They brought a folder with them and asked: “Will you please look over these estimates for us to pre-pay our funerals?”

This led to a conference call with the clients and the director of the funeral home.  At the end of the conversation in which I asked many questions, the clients said, “Thank you so much.  We understand this now, and are very pleased with the decisions we have made.  Mostly, we feel wonderful that we have taken this burden off of our family.”

Tangible Results: the clients ended up saving $1100 from the original quote.

Resonate Time: 90 minutes

Resonate Fee for this work: $0 

 

Intangible Value Received by the Client: Relief; peace of mind.

Intangible Value Received by Resonate: Knowing we did the “right thing” for aging clients.

 

Another Example…

A client called recently and said: “I’m not sure if these new legal documents prepared by an attorney match our objectives discussed with you.”

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09May
Why Might I Want to Invest in Emerging Markets – 2 of 2
Economy

(Nothing I write is to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell.  This blog is intended for informational use only.  I give full credit to Krishna Momani, Chief Investment Officer of the Oppenheimer Funds, for the information in this blog).

If you missed Part One of this blog, may I encourage you to read it before Part Two?

As you will see in the following chart, growth rates in many of the largest emerging market economies have stabilized and are now trending higher, commodity prices have bottomed, and currencies have steadied, bringing inflationary pressures under control.

Next, as you will see in the following chart, China is successfully transitioning from a manufacturing economy to a service-oriented economy.

The cyclical emerging market economic backdrop combined with still-relatively cheap valuations suggest that emerging market equities are poised to outperform the developed world over the next market cycle.

If you have questions or interest in learning more, I’d love to share a conversation with you!

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

Source of charts: OppenheimerFunds, “The Case for Emerging Markets”, Krishna Memani, CIO
Disclosure:  These views represent the opinions of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. and are not intended as advice or to predict or depict the performance of any investment.  These views are as of the close of business on March 31, 2017, and are subject to change based on subsequent developments.  Equities are subject to market risk and volatility; they may gain or lose value.  Fixed-income investing entails credit and interest rate risks. Bonds are exposed to credit and interest rate risk.  When interest rates rise, bond prices generally fall, and a fund’s share prices can fall.  Investments in securities of growth companies may be especially volatile. Foreign investments may be volatile and involve additional expenses and special risks, including currency fluctuations, foreign taxes and geopolitical risks.  Emerging and developing markets may be especially volatile. Eurozone investments may be subject to volatility and liquidity issues.  The mention of specific countries, regions, or sectors does not constitute a recommendation by any particular fund or by OppenheimerFunds, Inc.
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01May
Why Might I Want to Invest in Emerging Markets – 1 of 2
Economy

While there is certainly not a “one-size fits all” answer to this question, I wanted to include some interesting information on emerging markets.

This is a two-part blog.  My goal in writing it is to blend some history of emerging markets with current trends, which I hope you find interesting.

(Please note that nothing in this blog is intended as a recommendation to buy or sell anything.  It is meant to be purely informational.)

Krishna Momani, the Chief Investment Officer of the Oppenheimer Funds, writes:

“In the first 13 years of this century, emerging market equities outperformed U.S. equities by over 7% per year.  That’s almost 200% of cumulative outperformance.”

“The following three years were not as kind to emerging market investors.  Emerging market assets suffered from a series of macro headwinds including weaker global growth, sharp declines in emerging market exports, a collapse in commodity prices, falling currencies, rising inflation, and capital flight as U.S. monetary policy conditions normalized.”

Emerging Markets Had Been Underperforming Since 2013

Prior to 2017, emerging market equities experienced a prolonged period of underperformance relative to developed market equities.  A confluence of factors weighed on emerging market performance including weaker global demand for exports, a slowdown in Chinese growth, the end of the multi-year commodity and credit-driven boom, and tighter U.S. monetary policy.

In particular, the onset of monetary normalization in the United States, beginning in earnest with the tapering of U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) asset purchases in 2013 and continuing with the first Fed interest rate hike in December 2015, resulted in a massive flight of capital out of the emerging markets and into U.S. dollar-denominated assets.

The tide now appears to be turning.  The cyclical case for emerging market equities is supported by the following:

  1. Economic growth is improving (in some instances, such as in Russia and Brazil, off of
    recession lows) and exceeding expectations.
  1. Inflation has fallen rapidly. Real interest rates are now positive in emerging markets,
    suggesting that this time modest U.S. interest rate hikes will not result in significant capital
    In addition, policymakers are better positioned to support economic growth.
  1. Emerging market equities are trading at attractive valuations compared to developed
    market equities.
  1. The U.S. dollar is unlikely to be a headwind for U.S.-domiciled international investors.
    Many of the emerging market currencies are already trading at steep discounts.
  1. The likelihood that a series of Fed rate hikes will derail the nascent emerging markets economic recovery is small.

While “they may be down,” Momani encourages us to not count emerging markets as “out”.  I’ll discuss the reasons for this in Part Two.

If you would like to talk about anything in this blog, I’d love to share a conversation with you.

 

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

 

 

Source of charts: OppenheimerFunds, “The Case for Emerging Markets”, Krishna Memani, CIO

Disclosure:  These views represent the opinions of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. and are not intended as investment advice or to predict or depict the performance of any investment.  These views are as of the close of business on March 31, 2017, and are subject to change based on subsequent developments.

Equities are subject to market risk and volatility; they may gain or lose value.  Fixed-income investing entails credit and interest rate risks.  Bonds are exposed to credit and interest rate risk.  When interest rates rise, bond prices generally fall, and a fund’s share prices can fall.  Investments in securities of growth companies may be especially volatile.  Foreign investments may be volatile and involve additional expenses and special risks, including currency fluctuations, foreign taxes and geopolitical risks.  Emerging and developing markets may be especially volatile.  Eurozone investments may be subject to volatility and liquidity issues.  The mention of specific countries, regions, or sectors does not constitute a recommendation by any particular fund or by OppenheimerFunds, Inc.

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21Apr
What Is Reflation and How Does It Impact Me?
Economy
Reflation is a fiscal or monetary policy which is designed to expand a country’s output and curb the effects of deflation.  We are currently experiencing reflation policies in the United States which include a move to reduce taxes in an attempt to stimulate the economy.

(The balance of this blog is meant to be informational only.  Nothing is to be taken as a recommendation to buy or sell any particular investment positions.)

As the following chart indicates, the 10-year government bond yields are beginning to recover from a period of decline, which has lasted from 1983 until recently.

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14Apr
What Makes Women Breadwinners Different?
Investing
Part Three of a Three-Part series

If you have not read the first blog in this three-part series, “An Overdue Apology to Women”, dated April 7, you might find it helpful because it is applicable to this blog as well.

The first piece focused on how women clients are often discounted in the relationship with the financial advisor.  It resulted in my apologizing on behalf of the industry to anyone who has experienced this type of discriminatory treatment.

The second part in this series centered on how single women are often victims of “product-pushers” as opposed to professional advisors who are also fiduciaries.  See previous blog titled: “Are You Ready for Disturbing Survey Results about Single Women and Financial Advisors?”

This third part in the Women’s Series shares some important information on women breadwinners.

Who qualifies as a woman breadwinner?  Anyone who earns at least one-half of the household income and is also involved in the financial decisions.

Often, these professional women hold positions in middle management through executive positions.

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11Apr
Are You Ready for Disturbing Survey Results About Single Women and Financial Advisors?
Investing
Part Two of a Three-Part Series

If you have not read my previous blog, “An Overdue Apology to Women”, you might find it helpful because it is applicable to this blog as well.

The first piece focused on how women clients are often discounted in the relationship with the financial advisor.  It resulted in my apologizing on behalf of the industry to anyone who has experienced this type of discriminatory treatment.

While this blog continues on the same theme, the focus is now on the single woman as opposed to a member of a couple.

This includes the population of women who simply choose to remain single as well as those who may be divorced.

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