O Value, Where Art Thou?

A recent article by Dougal Williams, CFA highlights the ongoing battle between value and growth in the investment world, giving food for thought in why your portfolio should always be well-diversified. It’s been 15 years since the Coen Brothers’ Oscar-nominated film O Brother, Where Art Thou? was released. Loosely based on Homer’s The Odyssey, the satirical tale follows three escaped convicts as they run from the law in search of buried treasure. For nearly the same length of time, value stocks – those bargain-priced shares which often pay higher dividends – have underperformed growth stocks. As a result, investors who favor value stocks must certainly feel like they are on an unrewarding investment odyssey of their own. How can this be? Aren’t value stocks supposed to deliver higher returns than growth stocks? To read the entire article, click here.

Do you have a 5/10/20 year Retirement Plan?

New Survey of Financial Advisors Identifies Top Advice for Retirement Planning 5, 10 and 20 Years Out. Advisors from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) Say Tax Planning and Emergency Savings Critical; Longevity Most Pressing Issue For Consumers and Policymakers Chicago, IL – To adequately prepare for retirement, Americans need to minimize taxes, save for emergencies and be prepared to live longer than their parents, according to NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisors who ranked a comprehensive list of tried and true advice for people who are five, 10 and 20 years away from retirement. According to the Federal Reserve’s 2014 survey on the Economic Well-Being of American Households, 39 percent of Americans indicated that they have given little or no thought to financial planning for retirement. Furthermore, 31 percent of non-retirement respondents have no retirement savings or pensions whatsoever. To see highlights of the recommendations made by NAPFA Registered Advisors, click here.

When Millennials Move Back Home

Cheryl J. Sherrard, CFP was quoted in a September 21st article in the Wall Street Journal, focused on what parents should know, and do, about the financial challenges of boomerang children. More millennials are spending early adulthood in the same place where they spent their formative years: in their parents’ homes. It’s crucial that both parties understand the financial implications of this homecoming. For parents, a child’s return often means a greater financial burden, just as the parents may be struggling to meet their own savings and retirement goals. It also can make it more difficult for the millennials to acquire the financial skills they’ll need later in life. According to a recent study by PEW Research Center, the percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds living with their parents is higher today than it has been in decades. Currently, 26% are back in the nest, up from 22% in 2007. The rise has occurred among both high-school and college graduates, and has continued since the recession’s end, despite the fact that millennials are earning more and have a lower unemployment rate than Read on! →

Advisers Stick by Commodity ETFs Despite Dramatic Declines

Treven L. Ayers, MA, CFS, CFP® quoted in The Wall Street Journal. The rise of exchange-traded funds and notes makes it easy for everyone to own commodities, and many financial advisers recommend small stakes as permanent elements of a diversified portfolio. But the average broad-basket commodities ETF has lost an average of 7.9% a year in the past five years through July, according toMorningstar Inc. … Still, some financial advisers say a small allocation to commodity exchange-traded products remains important for a long-term portfolio. Viewing the performance of a commodity ETF or ETN over a specific period of time in isolation would be a mistake, these advisers say, overlooking their diversification and inflation-hedging benefits. “Historically, commodities have demonstrated attractive returns with long-term performance and volatility similar to equities,” says Treven Ayers, chief investment officer at Clearview Wealth Management. In addition, commodity investments may offer low correlation to other asset classes, counter-cyclicality and improvements in risk-adjusted returns, says Mr. Ayers, whose Charlotte, N.C., firm manages $70 million. Commodities have been dragged down over the past 18 months, he says, but that won’t Read on! →