More than a Money Manager.

Morningstar Ratings™: Fact or Fiction

Posted by Manish Khatta on October 11, 2018

Investing is complicated.

That’s the prevailing sentiment I hear from investors, whether they are new to the stock market or they’re coming to our firm after a few decades of retirement planning on their own or with another advisor.

But does investing have to be complicated? I would argue that with the right processes and framework in place, it can be much simpler than you think.

Unfortunately, the majority of approaches that have tried to simplify mutual funds (one of the most popular investment choices) for the average investor have been...lacking.

Morningstar is one of the companies that has tried to simplify the mutual fund selection process for the masses. Over the last thirty years, Morningstar has leapfrogged the competition in popularity and simplicity with its star rating system.

If you’ve ever done mutual fund research on your own or have any kind of experience in DIY investing, it’s likely that the Morningstar star rating is one of the methods you’ve used to identify how well a fund fits your portfolio.

Unfortunately, Morningstar has made the system so elementary that it is of no real use to long-term investors.

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Topics: Investment Management

Why Most Retirement Plan Participants Are Invested Wrong—and What To Do About It

Posted by Manish Khatta on October 2, 2018

Investors are always seeking ways to make retirement planning and investing easier.

Due to that desire, product providers are always more than happy to create new products that will provide simple investment choices that are thought to be safer, or that have the capability to post better returns than the last set of products.

It’s not just mutual fund companies creating a fund based on the newest data-driven methodology. Financial services and financial technology companies are also always in the mix to convince investors that what they’re offering is truly special.

Remember the E-Trade baby? Though lighthearted and fanciful, the insinuation behind using a (talking) baby in their commercials is that E-Trade makes trading so simple, a child could succeed at using their software to build their investment portfolio.

More recently, Betterment’s new marketing campaign appeals to the idea that investors should always be working to, in their words, “outsmart average” and use new technology to put themselves at the forefront of investing strategies.

When it comes to corporate retirement plans, most participants will see Target Date Funds as the product referenced as making investing for retirement easier.

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Topics: Investment Management

Your biggest asset is also most at-risk

Posted by Jeff Goodnow on March 14, 2018

After many years of working, saving and investing for the future, many households eventually arrive at a point where they have accumulated significant assets, both in terms of number and value. I am talking not just about real assets such as houses, property, vehicles, collectibles and more, but also financial assets including holdings in investment and retirement accounts like 401(k)s and 403(b)s.

For many people, especially those who are further along in their careers and nearing retirement, their financial holdings may represent their largest asset. For a good number of them, these assets are bigger than the equity value they have built up in their primary residence.

These assets are also the most at-risk from a loss in value. While individuals can insure property and belongings against loss (for example, home insurance protecting against loss from a fire), there really is no insurance available for financial holdings. At least not in the traditional sense.

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Topics: Investment Management

5 Steps Investors Should Take in an Aging Bull Market

Posted by Manish Khatta on February 20, 2018

The average bull market lasts just over five years. The current bull market has persisted for almost nine. As stocks continue to rise and major U.S. indices repeatedly hit record highs, it can be easy for financial advisors and clients to become complacent.

However, the recent spike in market volatility has provided an opportunity for investors to experience drawdowns for the first time in over a year. Rather than giving into market inertia, investors should use this aging bull market and rise in volatility as an opportunity to reevaluate goals, allocations, and risk preferences.

An object in motion tends to stay in motion; that is, until acted upon by an outside force. There are five simple steps investors can take before a correction or bear market catches you off guard and erases a good portion of the gains earned over the last nine years.

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Topics: Investment Management

Ultimately we like to say that we are "More than a Money Manager. This is a small business run by people not robots. We talk, we plan, we execute together, as partners working to achieve the same goal."

Here are some topics you'll read about in our blog:

  • Our risk management techniques that make investing a smoother ride.
  • An inside view of our industry including the ugly nobody wants to talk about.
  • Our company culture and the people behind the process and much more...

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