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Couple Retires By Mid-30s

Couple Retires By Mid-30s

What’s your definition of “early” retirement? Sixty? Fifty-two?

A California couple recently retired in their mid-30s with $1 million in the bank, according to a story in Forbes magazine. 

That remarkable accomplishment would be difficult for most of us to replicate. I know I couldn’t do it — not with four kids!

The couple, Travis and Amanda, had no kids, were well-paid tech professionals, and already had $350,000 saved when they undertook this project. But their story reinforces several important lessons about building wealth for retirement.

Set a goal. When Travis lost his information systems job in 2012, he quickly realized he really didn’t like working. He preferred the freedom of not working. So, he and Amanda set a goal of amassing enough money to retire as soon as possible. They pegged that number at $1 million. The couple planned to live on 3 percent to 4 percent of their portfolio’s value every year and expected a 7 percent annual growth rate.

Get organized. You can’t map a journey unless you know the starting point. Travis and Amanda put all their financial information into the free budgeting site Mint.com and did a deep dive analysis of their assets and spending. They also combined several 401(k)s from former employers.

Your job is your biggest asset. Travis went back to work purely to make the couple’s retirement dream come true. He switched jobs three times in three years to obtain salary increases. Travis told Forbes he kept his eyes on the prize, which made a great employee. Amanda, a chemical engineer, stayed in her job and racked up seniority increases. At their earnings peak, the couple was making a combined $200,000.

Prioritize saving. The couple saved as much as 65 percent of their income during the three years it took to amass $1 million. They lived in a rent-controlled $2,200-a-month Oakland, Calif., house (crazy cheap for the Bay Area) and aggressively cut costs by doing things like riding bikes instead of driving, and hanging the laundry outside to save on running the dryer. The two credit their frugal parents for teaching them how to live modestly.

Watch out for fees, penalties and taxes. High fees can be a great return-killer. You should review and question every fee you pay, even on funds inside your 401(k). Amanda and Travis put much of their retirement money in low-cost ETFs and index funds. These paid off nicely, as the couple rode a more than 60 percent increase in the S&P 500 from 2012 until 2015.

The couple planned ahead and was able to avoid the 10 percent IRA early withdrawal penalty by using a Roth IRA conversion ladder. In this forward-looking strategy, they transferred a certain amount of money each year from their traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Once five years had passed from the initial IRA to Roth conversion, they were able to tap the amount converted to their Roth in an annual laddered sequence and avoid the early withdraw penalty.

Simplify before retirement. As they approached their goal, Amanda and Travis sold much of the stuff in their two-story house.

Watch the outflow in retirement. While most conversations about retirement planning center in saving, you need to think carefully about your post-work spending if you want your nest egg to see you through 20 or more years.

Travis and Amanda are very disciplined about this. They stuck to their plan to spend no more than 4 percent of their portfolio’s current value per year. As a result, they sometimes had to cut back their monthly spending when the market dipped. They did so even while on their long-planned retirement adventure, a driving trip from San Francisco to Costa Rica. They made that journey in their frugal fashion, driving a used Toyota 4Runner that often doubled as their nighttime accommodations. When the couple arrived in Costa Rica, they leased a house for $1,000 a month — about $30 a night. They cooked most of their own meals and weren’t interested in expensive resorts or tourist activities.

Relocate and save. When Amanda and Travis returned to the U.S., they left the super-pricey Bay Area and bought a $270,000 house in Asheville, N.C. They chose the artsy mountain town because the cost of living is relatively low. They also believe it will be easy to rent the house during their coming summer travels.

Travis and Amanda insist they are done working. But they plan to have a family in the future. Their frugality is impressive, but the cost of kids is a game changer for any couple’s finances. So, we’ll see.

Again, this is an extreme example of achieving an early retirement. But if these two 30-somethings can accumulate about $650,000 in three years, surely you can achieve your savings goals in 20 or 30 years by adopting some of these same mindsets and tactics.

Hey, wait. We just learned a financial lesson from two millennials! Will wonders never cease?

Read the original AJC article here.


 

8 Secrets of Millionaires That Might Surprise You

“Dad, how do people become millionaires?” It’s a question I’ve gotten many times from my kids. I typically listen to financial talk radio while I’m driving, and “millionaire” or “billionaire” verbiage gets thrown around on a daily basis. Naturally, as kids grow up, they begin to learn about money, and their curiosity turns to the relatively abstract subject of what it takes to build wealth.

The late author of “The Millionaire Next Door,” Thomas Stanley of Atlanta, created an institution around the concept of what it takes to become wealthy. He crafted an image around millionaires that removes the private jets and bottles of Cristal Champagne. He found something that I see firsthand every day: There are multiple paths and seemingly endless formulas to build wealth. I’ve seen teachers, janitors, midlevel corporate managers, salespeople, doctors, lawyers, CEOs and small-business owners alike become millionaires, and all without an inheritance.

Their exact path to wealth may look dramatically different from case to case, but here are eight habits that many of them have in common.

1. They set goals.

Millionaires don’t simply expect to make more money; they plan and work toward their financial goals that they’ve outlined. Millionaires have a clear vision of what they want, and take the steps necessary to get there.

2. They’re steady savers and investors.

The majority of rich retirees began making the maximum contribution to their 401(k)s in their 20s or 30s. Remember, every dollar you put into your 401(k) is pre-tax which helps to reduce your overall tax burden and adds to your nest egg. Many companies also offer to match a percentage of your contributions which is essentially an optional bonus.

3. They save their raises.

Many millionaires see a raise as the ability to increase their overall wealth rather than just spend some extra money. While it’s tempting to spend that extra money on a vacation or a new car, I’ve seen that many of these millionaires instead save at least half of their pay raises. Those dollars end up in retirement or brokerage accounts, compounding for a larger return later.

4. They have job stability.

Interestingly enough, millionaires have often stayed with one employer for sometimes 30 or 40 years. Staying with the same company can offer big rewards, including a very nice ending salary, significant pension benefits and hefty 401(k) balances. While we constantly hear about the high rates of employee turnover these days, there are still a number of people who have this kind of job stability, like teachers and other government workers.

5. They’re not afraid to ask for advice.

Most millionaires don’t do their own taxes and aren’t do-it-yourself (DIY) investors. They know what their strengths are, and if their strengths don’t lie in investing, taxes and financial planning, they leave it up to dedicated experts.

6. They’re mortgage free.

A characteristic of the happiest retirees, according to the research for my book, “You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think,” is that they go into retirement without a mortgage or at least know they’ll pay it off within five years. On top of this, the average price of my happiest retirees’ homes was $355,000, proving you don’t need a McMansion to be happy.

7. They don’t indulge in fancy toys.

Millionaires don’t necessarily own BMWs, Mercedes, $3,000 watches, or $5,000 suits. Nearly 40 percent of the “rich” buy their cars used. In fact, many millionaires are conservative with their spending.

8. They have good credit.

The better your FICO score, the lower the interest rates you will pay on your mortgage and car loans. The “rich” do this by carrying low debt loads.

The secrets to becoming a millionaire are not as mysterious as many people think. Small tweaks, goal setting and long-term financial planning can move you closer to that seven-figure number.

Read the original AJC article here.


 

Money Matters with Wes Moss | March 20, 2016

Wes Moss covers important deadlines for major changes coming into law for social security and other updates on oil prices, minimum wage rates, and more.

March 20, 2016 Hour 1

March 20, 2016 Hour 2

Wes Moss, Chief Investment Strategist, at Capital Investment Advisors is the host of “Money Matters,” a weekly radio show offering financial advice to callers and listeners. The show’s producer, Ryan Ely, is a fellow investment advisor. Listen live on Sundays at 9am on or subscribe to our iTunes Money Matters podcast updated weekly.


 

How To Hold Steady When The Market Swings

I vividly remember a book series from my childhood called “value tales.” Each book chronicled someone famous and a trait that personified their success.

Now, years later, I’m reading those same books with my kids. We just read “The Value of Humor,” which profiles the life of Will Rogers. Rogers’ prime years were during the Great Depression, a time during which he lent his humorous take on society as a writer, radio personality and comedian, bringing light to an otherwise dark period in U.S. history.

After explaining the meaning of the Great Depression to my oldest son, he said, “I hope that doesn’t happen to us.”

With the Great Recession only seven years behind us, I think that eternal seeds of worry have been planted in the back of most investors’ minds. After a bumpy 2015, we have had a record-setting rough start to 2016; and those seeds of worry that were planted years ago are starting to sprout.

With oil near $30 a barrel threatening U.S. jobs in the energy patch, China slowing down, tensions rising across the Middle East, North Korea testing H-bombs, and American politics in the throes of a heated race for the White House, I’m often asked how I can stay calm through all of these unsettling times.

For me, the answer is that I know I own quality stocks and bonds that both produce income. It’s that simple. But what does quality really mean? Here are three things that help me identify quality:

1. A diversified income stream. Meaning that the company isn’t a “one trick pony” and ideally has multiple lines of business selling into many different industries.

2. They haven’t borrowed too much. A Wall Street analyst would refer to this as having relatively low and serviceable net debt. This simply means they have no problem paying their bills and haven’t overextended themselves with debt.

3. They consistently make a profit. There are several metrics that measure profitability, namely net income and free cash flow.

It doesn’t take a Great Recession for a company to fall off the tracks — think about Blockbuster. It was a one-trick pony (movie rentals) that had borrowed too much money. In late 2004, its total market value was around $1 billion, while its debt level was a whopping $1.3 billion. By 2010, the stock had essentially fallen to zero; and today nearly all 9,000 Blockbuster stores are gone.

If Blockbuster has an antithesis, it’s Procter and Gamble. P&G is deeply entrenched in the global economy and generates almost $84 billion in revenue from about 80 core brands including Bounty, Charmin, Crest, Dawn and Gillette. They generate 20 times the cash flow required to service their debts and also pay a nearly 3.4 percent annual dividend. These qualities don’t mean P&G’s stock price doesn’t fluctuate, but I do sleep better at night knowing these facts about their business.

P&G is just one example of a company that checks all three of my quality boxes. I’m not saying it’s a stock you have to own or even want to own, but using these basic criteria as a guide helps give me the resolve to feel comfortable about what I own regardless of how the stock market is doing.

I’m sure Will Rogers would have found some humor in what’s happened so far in 2016, but he’s also the same guy who said, “Everything is funny, as long as it is happening to somebody else.”

 

Read the original article in AJC.


 

Wes Moss Named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40

ATLANTA November 6, 2015 Wes Moss – radio host and best-selling author – has been named a recipient of this year’s Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 Under 40” award. 

Moss was awarded for his work in both business and dedication to the community, focusing on financial education for all Atlanta citizens.

“I am so honored to be included among the professionals on this list by the Atlanta Business Chronicle,” says Moss. “Atlanta is blessed with so many talented individuals in so many different industries, and I am pleased to be able to count myself among those working to make Atlanta a better place.” 

“This honor is very befitting of Wes,” says Mitch Reiner, COO of Capital Investment Advisors. “The outstanding work Wes does through the radio and the AJC is a tremendous resource for Atlanta. In addition, Wes’ dedication to community efforts like improving public schools and working with Clark’s Christmas Kids makes him truly deserving of this honor.”

Moss is a CFP® and the Chief Investment Strategist at Capital Investment Advisors (CIA).  CIA currently manages more than a billion dollars in client assets, with offices in Atlanta, Sarasota, and Tulsa. Wes is also a partner in Wela, a digital advisory service based in Atlanta that offers free financial management tools and the ability for clients to work online with a financial planner.

In 2014 and 2015, Barron’s Magazine named Moss as one of America’s top 1,200 Financial Advisors. Wes is also the editor and writer for About.com’s Financial Planning Blog and contributes regularly to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Wes has written several books including Starting from Scratch (Kaplan) and Make More, Worry Less (FT Press) and has served as a financial expert for both local and national media. His latest book, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think – The 5 Money Secrets of the Happiest Retirees (McGraw Hill 2014), has been a best seller in the retirement planning category since its release. 

To reach Mr. Moss or his team, please visit www.YourWealth.com or call 404-531-0018.


 

Robo Advisor vs. Digital Advisor

The robo-advisor: not since John Bogle came up with the idea for Vanguard in 1975 has a new development in the investment industry caused so much controversy and turmoil.

I can appreciate Wealthfront CEO’s position on his new robo competition from Charles Schwab. There are already dozens of media stories that detail the debate. I don’t want to argue about the minutia involved with each robo product offering. After all, every financial services company has a right to offer new products and evolve how they deliver investment services. However, here’s what the entire Robo Industry is missing: advice.

What neither Schwab’s nor Wealthfront’s new robo programs offer is real life advice in the form of a dedicated advisor. Ultimately, I believe both of these companies miss the true value that leveraging technology offers to the investment industry… providing better service to people who are relying on professionals to manage their life savings and offering individualized advice when faced with difficult financial decisions.

Pure robo-firms have lowered the cost to invest, the same way ETFs did back in the early 2000’s. That’s a good thing for investors. They haven’t, however, provided a better solution to deliver personalized advice to an extremely under-served area of the investor marketplace… the mass affluent, or those who have less than $1 million in investable assets.

The real future of investment advice for this group lies somewhere between what the Wealthfront and Vanguards of the world are offering, and what the full service brokerage houses are doing at places like Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

Study after study have shown very clearly and explicitly that for most investors the extraordinary push and pull of emotions tied to investment decisions is the real cost (or drag) on earning strong annual compounded returns over time. This is the reason that an option must exist in the middle of the robo and the traditional. That’s why my partners and I developed Wela.

Wela leverages technology to deliver a low-cost investment solution while also providing access to personalized investment advice. We’re a company with real people, using technology to make our jobs easier, and more importantly, to make our clients’ experience better, simpler, and comprehensive.

On the yourwela.com platform, there is no fee charged to our users who simply want to aggregate and monitor their investment accounts, cash accounts, real estate values, mortgage balances, etc. We do, however, charge a fee when one of our users raises their hand and says, “Wela, I need help with this account. Can you help me manage this piece of my financial equation?” Our average Wela client pays between 0.75% – 1%, and we use no proprietary ETFs or mutual funds. We use only what our Investment Committee and technology deem to be the best, low-cost investment solution depending on your specific situation.

Clearly I have a vested interest in spreading the word about Wela, what we deem as a Digital Advisor, not a robo investment solution. There are $20 trillion of investable assets in the US right now, and with such a large pie, there is plenty of room for all types of investment strategies. A portion of that pie will always use the lowest cost provider. In the investment industry, this means the majority of clients will end up talking to a call center when they have questions, and have their portfolios managed by R2D2. On the other end of the spectrum are the investors who will always need a full service financial advisor to consistently consult on all financial matters.

It is my belief that, over time, the biggest slice of the investor pie will likely employ a thoughtful combination of R2D2 and Harrison Ford, embracing technology while also maintaining a human element as they consume financial advice. We believe a company that is able to leverage technology to more efficiently serve a broader group of people with more personalized service is ultimately going to stand the test of time.

Read the original article here


 

How To Make The Forbes 400

On another fateful car ride to my son’s elementary school, we were listening to Bloomberg Radio, and they started discussing the Forbes list of The Richest Americans. My son asked me, “How did Bill Gates get so rich?”

I told him that Gates had started a company in his garage that grew and grew until it was so large that they decided to “take it public,” meaning that they allowed anyone to buy a “piece” of the company. When they did this, Gates still owned a large portion of the company, and everyone buying their small portions of the company caused his larger portion to increase in value. It increased so much, in fact, that he became the richest man in America (and remains at the top of the list with an estimated net worth of $80 billion).

“Oh, okay. Well who is the second richest person in America?”

“That’s Warren Buffet.”

“How did he get rich?”

Then we got to break down Buffett’s journey to wealth. I told my son how Buffett made his fortune by buying up large portions of companies like the one Bill Gates started.

“Who is the third richest person in America?” 

Finally, I just pulled up the Forbes list of the richest Americans on my iPhone, and I had my son read it to me.

I noticed while we looked over this list that many of the people in America who made this list had built their wealth by participating in the stock market. Most had either started companies, bought companies or were the children of people that had started a business that went public, like Wal-Mart or Campbell’s Soup.

When I told my son this, he asked, “Why don’t you put your company in the stock market?”

I smiled and said, “That’s called an IPO. You have to reach a certain size to be able to do that.”

Using Siri, I then pulled up the stock prices of some well-known Atlanta companies. I explained that these prices reflect the cost to buy one share of each business, Coke, Home Depot, Delta, etc.  I explained that they’re called public shares because anyone can buy them and own a piece of that business.

The point in buying into these companies, becoming an investor, is a way to participate in the company’s future growth. So if you can accumulate enough shares in the right companies or the market in general, and hold those shares for long enough, someday the value can be powerful enough to allow you to “retire early” or maybe even hit the Forbes 400 list.

“You know you don’t have to take a company public or own thousands of shares in a company to make money in the stock market, though,” I said. “You can start with a small amount of money, and that’s what my company Wela tries to people do every day.”

This conversation stuck with me for the rest of the day as I thought about how much of an impact the stock market has had in many people’s lives. I love the fact that the same system that made Bill Gates and Warren Buffett billions of dollars can also help anyone in the world grow their net worth.

With so many options now in the financial industry, it’s easier than ever for people to take advantage of this system. If you’re looking to get started, I would suggest looking at some of my past articles here, and even visiting my company’s website www.yourwela.com if you’re looking to get started investing.

God bless kids for asking important questions.

 

Read the original article here.  


 

What Warren Buffett Knows That You Don’t

The other morning I was listening to Bloomberg as I was taking my second grader, to school. On the radio they were discussing the Japanese journalist that was recently killed by ISIS. Then they moved into the Eric Garner case, talking about how he had died being apprehended by police.

My son then piped up from the backseat and asked me, “Dad, why do so many people die every day?”

I answered, “Lots of people die every day, but even more people are born.”

He then pointed out, “But dad, they never talk about that part on the news.”

This conversation got me thinking about one of my favorite Warren Buffett investment themes, the ever-growing Economic Pie.

I wrote about the Economic Pie in December, but I didn’t go into exactly why the Economic Pie continues to grow over time. One of the primary reasons the pie gets bigger is because of our expanding population.

Knowing that we have growing number of people on the planet and a growing Economic Pie is one thing, but my conversation with my son piqued my curiosity. Later that morning, I went into a bit of a research binge to nail down some of the most important overarching demographic themes that impact our planet and the economy that we live, work and invest in every day.

I learned that according to the Ecology Global Network there are about 131 million births per year on Earth. That’s approximately 360,000 babies born every day.

The same study shows that there are 55 million deaths each year, or approximately 151,000 per day.

My son was worried that with so many people dying that the Earth might run out of people… but clearly that’s not a problem.

Let’s put these numbers into context:

• About three football stadiums* full of people die every day

• About seven football stadiums full of people are born every day

*assuming a stadium holds 50,000 people

This explains why we’ve seen our global population balloon from the year 1900, when there were about 1.6 Billion people, to today’s approximately 7 billion people. By the year 2030 there are expected to be over 8 billion people on earth, according to the Ecology Global Network’s population estimates.

While all this information answers my second grader’s original question, it happens to be an integral component of why the “Economic Pie” in the world continues to grow. More people demanding more goods (i.e. houses, cars, food, technology, medicine, fuel, etc.) creates and ever increasing demand to supply those goods. That means companies will continue to meet that ever increasing demand, hence their earnings have the opportunity to grow over time. Hence, the “pie gets bigger”.

With that said, you might be asking yourself, “Does a growing population equal a growing economy?” There are clearly more variables to a growing economic pie than just population growth, such as innovation, the education system, increasing worker productivity, more intelligent use of data, and the list goes on. However, a tailwind to this growth is the growth of a population.

These stats are based on the years 2010 to 2014, and were pulled from WorldBank.org for the GDP growth and Trading Economics for the population growth.

• United States of America

o Average Annual GDP Growth Over 5 Years: + 2 ¼ %

o Average Annual Population Growth Over 5 Years: + ¾ %

• China

o Average Annual GDP Growth Over 5 Years: + 8 ½ %

o Average Annual Population Growth Over 5 Years: + 0.4%

• Italy**

o Average Annual GDP Growth Over 5 Years: – ½ %

o Average Annual Population Growth Over 5 Years: – 0.1%

• India

o Average Annual GDP Growth Over 5 Years: + 6 ½ %

o Average Annual Population Growth Over 5 Years: + 1 ¼ %

**Notice, the only country with negative GDP growth over the past 5 years has been Italy, which is also the country that has negative population growth over that same period of time. Coincidence?

With all of the detailed minutia that we are hit with every day, it’s always important to remember that it’s very often the simplest concepts that are critical to understand first. I think this straightforward concept of births vs. deaths is an interesting one to make sure you are aware of as an investor. Ultimately, our children have nothing to worry about when it comes to the world running out of people, and the economic pie will continue to grow.

 

Read the original article here.


 

10 Key Themes That Will Impact Your Investments in 2015

If we look into our economic history books ten or twenty years from now, how might 2014 be remembered?  Maybe as, “the year that oil prices crashed, despite a strong US economy,” or perhaps, “the year when nearly every economist on Wall Street predicted a rise in interest rates that never came.” It could even be (my personal favorite), “the 2014 bull market that nobody loved.”

Whichever way it’s written, the point is that it’s now history. What I’m more interested in is what we can expect from 2015.

The Investment Committee at my company, Capital Investment Advisors, worked together to hone in on what we believe will be the 10 most impactful themes for investors over the next 12 months:

1. The US Economy – The US will slow from the torrid pace that closed out 2014, but not completely fall apart.  Most likely it will be sufficient to keep corporate earnings and profits growing and the unemployment rate headed to below 5.5 percent. However, with Japan in recession and the European Union on the verge of recession, the US can’t completely “decouple” forever.  Look for a solid 2015, but not a runaway train.

2. Stocks over Bonds (again) – The bull market in stocks is now more than five years old, but bull markets don’t end without a major economic event, i.e. a US recession.  Remember that a recession is negative growth for two full quarters. With the 5% surge we ended on in 2014 combined with low energy prices for consumers and companies alike, it’s likely we’ll see stocks continue to rise. On the other side of this coin, as interest rates make a push higher in 2015, bonds (in general) will be presented with a headwind – making a “flat” year for bonds likely.  As rates move higher throughout the year, bonds may look attractive again in late 2015 (with higher interest rates).

3. Interest rates finally climb – This is something that we have been expecting for more than a year now.  With the Federal Reserve’s “taper” over, and Janet Yellen and co. already forecasting a rate rise in mid-2015, it is likely that we will see interest rates in more “normal” territory.  This means rising to the 3.5 percent range for 10 year Treasury bonds.

4. Less Smooth Sailing – Yes, we almost saw a full 10 percent correction during the fall of 2014, but we spent much of the year with relatively low volatility.  As the economy adjusts to higher interest rates in 2015, stock market volatility will likely pick up.

5. Ultra-Low Inflation – With the precipitous drop in US oil prices towards the end of 2014, lower energy input prices will filter through the entire economy.  Manufacturing costs will decline, what consumers pay for gas at the pump will stay low, transportation, shipping, construction, and petroleum based products will all moderate driving the consumer price index closer to a very low historical rate of 1 percent.

6. Sectors to watch – Lower oil prices and a solid US economy should bode well for the consumer discretionary, financial, healthcare, and technology sectors.  These sectors have historically performed well (relative to other sectors) in the year following a large decline in oil/energy prices.

7. Housing stays steady – The Millennial generation is expected to spend $1.6 trillion over the next five years on home purchases. This will continue to support housing prices as Millennials move out of their parent’s basements and start owning homes of their own.

8. Drama in the Middle East and Russia – Dramatically lower oil prices will continue to take a toll on oil reliant economies. Saudi Arabia will continue to produce oil regardless of how low prices go but can only fully fund its suite of rich social programs with oil at $87/barrel.  Likewise the Russian economy needs oil above $100/barrel for a balanced budget.  This means, most likely, both regions will see unrest as their citizens adjust to more economic strife and their government’s increasingly limited ability to “contribute” to keeping the peace.

9. European Recession – With aging demographics and restrictive labor laws continuing to plague many EU nations, a full blown recession overseas is not unlikely in the coming year.

10. Tech like it’s 1999 – Unlike the late 90s, startup tech companies are now actually expected to generate revenue and have the true potential for profit before garnering a sky high valuation. However, with the (still private) ride sharing service Uber boasting a $41 billion valuation, the price tag for other companies like Instacart are beginning to seem astronomical.  Instacart is a wonderful idea and service (which I’ve written about before), but it’s still relatively small footprint seems hardly supportive of a now $2 billion valuation. This tells us that startup-chasing VC firms are beginning to create an environment reminiscent of the late 1990s.  Look for the tech “startup bubble” to continue to inflate in 2015.

 

Bottom Line 

As always, I’ll continue to keep an eye on the markets for you as we go into 2015, and update you here on any trends we see that spring up. I hope you have a wonderful and profitable 2015!

 

Disclosure:  This information is provided to you as a resource for informational purposes only.  It is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors.  Past performance is not indicative of future results.  Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal.  This information is not intended to, and should not, form a primary basis for any investment decision that you may make. Always consult your own legal, tax or investment advisor before making any investment/tax/estate/financial planning considerations or decisions.

 

Read the original article here.


 

Is Now the Best time To Sell?

The market kicked off in 2013 with a major uptick and it wasn’t until late May that we really saw a big impact on the Dow. This has been a lingering concern of many investors who think that such a good thing can’t last too long. By mid-May, many investors were asking- Sell in May and go away? No way for investors this year (or at least so far).  Markets are already up 4.57% for May.  If the S&P continues on the pace it has been on all year, then investors are looking to gain over 35% for 2013. Investors haven’t seen those types of returns since 1997 when the S&P was up over 31%.

Nevertheless, investors are feeling this lack of comfort in the new face of a bull market. And the reaction is one of definite nervousness as they wait for the other shoe to drop. Much of this nervousness is a by-product of fear of the unknown. This can be somewhat remedied by looking at what we do know. A key factor is understanding that the market tendency, in historically similar times to this current market, has not experienced drastic turns in either direction but gradual levels of rise and fall.  An overview of these past markets can also teach us that the wise investor stays true to the long-term goal, despite the initial gut reaction to pull out.

The important action to take is to be strategic in managing portfolios through the rise and seeking the advice of those who have experienced these trends. It is easy to lose focus of facts when we are being constantly bombarded with non-factual sensational claims coming from varying sources and directions.

But by keeping ourselves calm and reacting with confidence in the market we can look the bull in the face long enough to see that it is no longer new, but becoming a growing familiarity.


 

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