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Financial Planning

Financial Advice on an Index Card

 May 25 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
In 2013, a professor at the University of Chicago made the claim that "the correct basic financial advice for most people would fit on an index card."  He proceeded to make that index card and it quickly became popular because of its simplicity and accuracy.  Today's post is simply to direct you to that index card (here).

Millennial Saving Habits

 May 24 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
A recent article from PlanSponsor notes that despite only 8% of people believing that Millennials are doing a good job at saving, Millennials are actually saving 36% more of their annual salary than previous generations.  The perception does not quite match the reality.  The article goes on to say that Millennials are not necessarily saving for retirement however, they are saving for "financial fr...

Luck is Important

 May 23 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
Today's post is being outsourced to Of Dollars and Data simply because I do not have much to add to the post.  The above linked post shows the performance of a few portfolios over 20 and 40 year time horizons to demonstrate that when you begin investing makes a huge difference.  In the investment industry, we have a tendency to talk about historical averages, but this post makes it very clear that...

Expect a Market Crash

 May 22 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
The stock market is going to crash.  You will watch your investment portfolio fall by 50% or more.  What will you do?  The best answer: nothing.I guess I should clarify that this is not a prediction that a crash is imminent, but rather a realization that you will likely experience another crash in your lifetime.A recent article in the Financial Times titled "How to plan for a future stock market c...

Friday Financial Quotes: Buffett and Munger

 May 19 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
In lieu of financial terms this week, I thought we would try a few famous financial quotes.  Quotes today will come from the best investors of all time: Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.Warren Buffett - "Rule #1: Never lose money.  Rule #2: Never forget rule #1.We have spoken a few times about the importance of compound interest (here, here, here, here, here, etc.), and that ...

Earnings Season

 May 18 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
Earnings season, or the time when publicly traded companies announce their quarterly earnings results, is a closely watched period in the stock market. Many different types of market participants become more engaged during this period as the financial results of companies and their forward expectations are ultimately what drives the direction of markets over the long-term. Simply put, stocks follo...

Death of the Trump Trade?

 May 17 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
The S&P 500 is on track to close down around 1.5% today and now the finance world has decided that the Trump trade is dead and bad news reigns supreme.  For those that do not know, the "Trump Trade" basically describes the out-performance of cyclical securities after the election.  That is, the market was betting on improved economic growth, potentially as a result of policies like the proposed ta...

More Indexes than Stocks

 May 17 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
In last week's post on active vs. passive investing (here), we mentioned that passive investing still involves choosing which indexes to invest in (asset allocation).  According to a Bloomberg article from that same day, there are now more available market indexes than there are U.S. stocks.  So "passive investing" certainly still requires decision making with a wide variety of options.With the gr...

Top Country Equity Markets

 May 16 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
The top performing country equity markets are often a bit surprising.  Some of the most troubled economies have excellently performing equity markets because investors only care about improvement.  There is a right price for any asset.The below chart shows some of the best performing country equity markets in the Americas and EMEA regions (sorted by US Dollar performance YTD).In the Americas, Arge...

North Korea Tests Missile - Markets Do Not Care

 May 15 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
In a recent post, we mentioned that markets have been oddly impervious to the many international incidents in recent months.  Monday offered another prime example of this.  North Korea tested another missile on Sunday, and it was widely viewed as their most successful test yet (CNN).  The missile landed harmlessly in the Sea of Japan, but the test proved that North Korea could now reach a key U.S....
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