Quarterly Thoughts – Q3 2008

Markets continue to be difficult. However, panic can damage long-term profit. As Burton G. Malkiel, professor of economics at Princeton University wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal, “Just because stock markets have panicked, investors should not. A century of investing experience, as well as insights from the field of behavioral finance, suggests that investors who bailout of equities during times like these are almost always making the wrong decision.”…

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Quarterly Thoughts – Q2 2008

The Bear market has officially arrived, as measured by S&P 500 dropping 20% from its peak. There have been 31 bear markets since 1900, averaging one every 3 or 4 years. According to Standard and Poor’s Equity Research, we have experienced nine bear markets since 1956. They have varied in magnitude from the decline of 20% in 1990 to the drop of 48% in 1973-1974 to the plunge of 49%…

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Quarterly Thoughts – Q1 2008

The credit/liquidity crunch and housing market decline continues… daily volatility is higher than average. The Reality of Red Numbers is a helpful reminder of how negative markets are more common and frequent than many people tend or like to remember. During uncertain times like these, it is more important than ever to stick with your long term investment strategy rather than react emotionally to the day-to-day market fluctuations. Resorting to…

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Quarterly Thoughts – Q4 2007

Market volatility is the norm, not the exception. Clear patterns seem to appear… and then disappear. The “Periodic Table of Investment Returns” illustrates this well, and a strategic approach to investing ensures that investors benefit from the best returning asset classes, while avoiding over-exposure to the worst performing asset classes. The key message is that a diversified portfolio approach will combine many or all of these and other asset classes (as…

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Year-end 2007

This is the time of the year that we honor and express our gratitude for our clients and friends. We do so by making donations to worthwhile causes that have directly and indirectly touched our lives or those of our clients. This year we have contributed to: • American Cancer Society • American Heart Association • Kaiser Permanente Hospice Program • Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research • National…

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Quarterly Thoughts – Q3 2007

A process for best-thinking. WealthStep’s purpose is to positively impact lives and the goal achievement of our Clients, with a special focus on people who can’t access or don’t yet want a full-service advisor. To keep our clients’ lives simpler, we conduct a broad set of investment research and monitoring “under the hood” on your behalf. Just to name a few elements of our process, we oversee your accounts, monitor…

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Quarterly Thoughts – Q2 2007

Unfortunately, the vast majority of investors around the world are “served” by firms that don’t put their clients’ interests first… and 74% of investors are not even aware of the conflicts affecting them, nor the negative impact on their goals. WealthStep is proud to always place our Clients’ interests first. In 1991, WealthStep’s parent company became one of the first firms in the US to be a fee-only advisor. A…

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Quarterly Thoughts – Q1 2007

Recent volatility has made some investors nervous. However, the recent Dalbar study update is a reminder of the long-term opportunity cost of emotional investing: The S&P 500 Index’s average annualized return over the last 20 years was 11.9%, while the average equity mutual fund investor’s return was just 3.9%. This equates to a loss of 8% per year over 20 years, due to emotional investing, and illustrates the value of…

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