Despite a poor 2018 for most financial markets, we don’t see any compelling reason to change our overall strategy. Currently, the decline in the market feels very raw and dramatic. But, in time we think that 2018 will be viewed as a poor but hardly a disastrous year. 2018 Annual Markets Review (pdf)
A lot of the work we do as investment advisors impacts clients’ taxes; especially the type of clients we deal with (People with substantial portfolios near or in retirement). Here are some things such investors can do to manage their investment related taxes more effectively. Things You Control – Tax Moves
Q3 was strong – our 5 assets classes had positive returns and US Equities (SP500) hit an all-time high late Sept. But, that was a week ago… Early Oct saw declines in all 5 asset classes, except Cash, and sharp market declines on 10/10/2018 prompts the question: Is this “IT”? Embracing Uncertainty – Q3 2018 Market Review (pdf)
In August, the current bull market in U.S. stocks became the longest one in history – So is it overvalued and ripe for a correction?
I attended the Wharton Jacob-Levy Center for Quantitative Research Annual Conference in September and was treated to a Jeremey Siegel – Robert Shiller panel discussion on the health of financial markets.
Here is what they had to say …. The Longest Bull Market – Should you care? (Pdf)
Political and Economic issues, many viewed as negative, dominated the business news, but seem to have had little impact on the securities markets. Political Drama, Dissed! (pdf)
Volatility increased noticeably in Q1. Volatility (often confused with risk) is an inherent part of financial markets. In fact, the uncharacteristically low volatility in the equity markets in 2017 was, to us, unsettling. Equity markets are back to somewhat more normal levels of volatility – that is familiar, though not necessarily pleasant. Greetings, Volatility – Market Letter Q1 2018
The performance of investment portfolios is unpredictable; but your progress towards financial independence need not be. There are several things you control about your financial future even when markets are uncertain. IRA Contributions are one example. IRA Contributions.
2017 – A year that started with cautious forecasts for US equity market performance ended with a healthy double digit returns on broad indices. Is this a Cinderella’s ball? Market Letter 2017 Q4 – Cinderella’s Ball (pdf)
Much of the work we do as investment advisors impacts clients’ taxes; especially the type of clients we deal with (People with substantial portfolios near or in retirement). Here are some things such investors can do to manage their investment related taxes more effectively. Things You Control Tax Moves
The strong investment performance in Q3, 2017 continues to raise one Question: “Is it time for a correction? Q3 2017 market letter- Are we there yet?
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sold its stake in GE by June 2017 according to recent regulatory filings. So, why is the famous buy-and-hold investor selling? Sometimes Sound-bites can Bite!
Q2 Market Review: Sanguine but not Complacent. Q2, 2017 was another strong quarter for investments, especially equities. But, despite this gratifying performance we are very mindful that we are in the second longest bull market for stocks and a correction may be more imminent – if only for psychological reasons. Q2 2017 Letter (pdf link)
Financial Literacy – It’s important: At a talk at the NY Penn Club on behalf of their Family Wealth Society, I was pleasantly surprised to get many questions from younger Alumni. Here is a sampling of what’s on their mind: Financial Literacy (click for pdf)
Q1 Market Review: Informed inactivity is also a strategy. Equity markets have been strong recently, raising concerns if only for psychological reasons, that a correction is imminent. Yet playing hunches is not usually a winning strategy. Thus we remain vigilant but guided by fundamentals. Q1 2017 Market Letter (pdf link)
There are several things you control about your financial future even when markets are uncertain. IRA Contributions are one example. Make IRA Contributions (pdf link)
Year End Letter: Sweet (20)16, Sweaty 17? 2016 Annual Market Review – All 5 asset classes were up for 2016, the long bull market continued and realistic people should expect a correction – but no one knows when, by how much, and for how long. 2016 YE Letter (pdf link)
Tax planning via your investment portfolio is another example of an important financial activity that is in your control. Year-end Tax-Moves to be aware of. (Pdf Link).
In Q3, 2016, the non-US equity markets were the stars of the investment landscape and Reality continued to frustrate the financial (and political) forecasters. Read why we believe this is business usual.. Q3 2016 Letter
Q2 Market Review: In the world of equities, the second quarter of the year was anything but dull. April saw the large-cap S&P 500 and Dow make marginal gains, with the small-cap Russell 2000 and the Global Dow leading the way for the month. Q2 2016 Letter
Q1 Market Review: Hey! You just lived through a Correction. We saw a Correction in the S&P500 Index – a popular proxy for US equity markets. A correction is when the SP500 falls more than 10%. In Q1 it fell a little over 10%, and then recovered. So before reading on… How did you feel in Q1? Did you even feel the Correction? Q1 2016 Letter
Financial markets can be uncertain (e.g. Q1 2016) but two certainties still remain – your retirement and taxes. Luckily, you can benefit from both if you act now. Make IRA Contributions
Phased investment tax reporting: Complexity, not ineptness. Investors seem to be getting their investment tax forms (1099) later than they did in the past. What gives? Read Here.
Year End Letter: “Meh” is how the New York Times described 2015 as far as investments go. Three asset classes: Cash, US fixed income and the broad US stock market all had total returns of less than 1%. Commodities were down about 33%. The best of this sorry lot were US REITs with a 2.5% return. “Meh” indeed. 2015 YE Letter
What is your investment advisor doing in “tax-land”? Tax planning via your investments is another example of an important financial activity that is in your control. Tax-Moves: How your Investment Advisor can help you (and your CPA) with your taxes.
Q3 Market Review – Fear: Heed it; don’t Feed it! The correction that happened in Q3 was expected (though few knew exactly when), but that did not make it feel any better. When markets correct and the Media goes into high gear, we all feel fear; even most professional investors. But good professionals train themselves to heed fear, even accept it, but never succumb to it. Q3 2015 Letter
Individuals’ true wealth depends on how well they nurture four assets: Their Skills, Relationships, Money, and Time. We focus on leveraging these assets differently at the various stages of life and getting the mix right at each stage may be the richer way to live it. True Wealth
We are advocates of streamlining investment portfolios: it is an important investment activity that investors have control over. Streamlined portfolios help your investment program because they offer a clearer view of your investments, are less cluttered and hence easier to manage and, in our view, help to control costs. Sleeker Portfolios .
Q2 2015 Market Review – Political Drama, Quiet Markets. Q2 seemed to be more about political and world events and less about investment markets. Yet even in such lackluster markets we believe there are approaches investors can use to work towards their financial well-being. Q2 2015 Letter .
Research by Wharton and Chicago professors outlines why it’s hard for traditional active managers to beat the Indexers. Evidence points to Index investing as the way to invest, if only because it’s cheaper. But, this debate is not yet over. Scale And Skill .
Q1 2015 Market Review -Steady returns, little fanfare. Q1 was quiet but productive, from an investment perspective. Four of the five asset classes were positive for the quarter. Commodities did poorly and International stocks and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) did the best. Q1 2015 Letter .
Investors face an array of activities that can determine their future. These range from activities they control (how much they save) to things they simply do not (the future returns on their investments). Effective people spend their efforts on things they control. Things you control – IRA contributions
Asset location (not Asset ALLOCATION) is a recent theme in investment management. Why it is important. Asset Location
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” is the sentiment that comes to mind when trying to summarize economic and financial markets of 2014. But, for longer-term oriented investors with a sensible financial plan we anticipate a reasonable year ahead. 2014 YE Letter
Q3 2014 Investment letter. After hitting an all-time high in early Q3, after The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) crossed the 17,000 level for the first time in history, this index ended Q3 at about 17040. Read more: Q3 2014 Letter Letter
Smoothing The Transition To Retirement – Dushyant Pandit Interviewed by Wall Street Journal’s Wealth management in WSJ.com, October 1, 2014.
National Financial Advisor Week – Dushyant Pandit spoke at the NFAW conference on Investing and Planning in Times Square, New York. This conference was focused on increasing financial literacy. His talk was titled: Talking Money With Honey – NFAW 17 Sept 2015.
Q2 2014 Investment letter. Our current investment strategy (asset allocation) continues to favor equities, remain cautious towards bonds, and maintain a neutral-level exposure to real estate and commodities. Q2 2014 Letter
Q1 2014 Investment letter. We recognize the new high levels in the U.S. Equity markets and fully expect that we might see a correction. But, even at these levels, we do not consider U.S. Equity markets to be overpriced. Q1 2014 Letter
2013 Year in Review. We hope the markets will provide enough return for investors to make meaningful progress towards their financial goals, without taking undue risk. Investors expecting immediate income from their portfolios to fund current income needs will continue to be stressed for yield. But for longer-term oriented investors with a sensible financial plan we anticipate a reasonable year ahead. 2013 YE Letter
Nov 2013 investment letter. A checklist of some tax topics for year-end investment planning that may be relevant to affluent Individuals and families. 2013 Nov Letter
Q3 2013 Investment letter. In the upcoming quarter we will review our clients’ portfolios for capital gains and losses. This allows us to make tax aware changes to portfolios and to re-balance them if necessary. Q3 2013 Letter
Aug 2013 investment letter. I am a big advocate of privacy. But when it comes to our financial matters there is a downside to it that can cost a lot. 2013 Aug Letter
Q2 2013 Investment letter. Despite the recent strong stock market performance we plan to hold a high percentage of equities in portfolios, as we believe that equity markets are still fairly valued. We also continue to advocate a high level of non U.S. diversification because the U.S. represents less than half of global investing opportunities. We think it is sensible to tap into the entire pool of opportunities, not just those based at home. Q2 2013 Letter
Apr 2013 investment letter. Looking ahead, I allow myself some reassurance that “Things will be alright”. But I am reminded of a quote: “Things will be alright”, does not mean, that “Things will stay the same”. 2013 Apr Letter
Q1 2013 Investment letter. Our current outlook for stocks is cautious, especially given the sharp run-up in their prices, and we have taken some profits. We still find emerging-markets stocks attractive over our five-year time horizon and are tilted towards foreign emerging markets and developed markets stocks, despite their recent underperformance. We also believe that the bond market offers a paltry return potential over our five-year investment horizon, given our expectation for rising rates, and we are underweight bonds. Q1 2013 Letter
2012 Year in Review. Given continued risks and modest return expectations for most asset classes, our portfolios are positioned conservatively but not excessively cautiously. We also hold some opportunistic assets that may perform well and continue to look for more opportunities. But, this strategy requires patience; fortunately, 2012 was an example of it working. 2012 YE Letter
Very occasionally a thinker comes along with an insight that forces you to re-evaluate how you look at the world and try to make sense of it. Some years ago, it was Dr. Kahneman who challenged (my) status quo. More recently, it has been Nassim Nicholas Taleb. His book, Antifragile, is a provocative, if dense read; but well worth the effort. A recent article summarizes the key points. Read a Review of Antifragility (Click on the title to read a pdf).
Many view retirement as an event where their life changes overnight and grants them unlimited time to do as they please and to work on their bucket list. Here is a perspective that retirement is a continuation of your life and there is more to it than a bucket list; and it all starts even before you retire. Read Four Pre Conditions for Retirement (Click on the title to read a pdf).
The case for the stock market – the academics’ perspective. In or Out? (Click on the title to read a pdf)
An interesting article on retiring abroad – will it be a financial necessity or the fulfillment of an adventurous dream for you? Retiring abroad (Click on the title to read a pdf)
Here are some books I have read, am currently reading and others I hope to read, based on reading list from Wharton. Summer reading (Click on the title to read a pdf)
Investors are incessantly trying to figure out what makes stock prices rise or fall. New research at Wharton sheds light on the impact of Investor Sentiment on Stock Prices. Investor Sentiment and Stock Prices – Explaining the Ups and Downs (Click on the title to read a pdf)
Do you need a quick reference to key financial numbers like current tax rates or current mileage reimbursement rates? Key Financial numbers (Click on the title for current years numbers)
Some thoughts on the Indian investment markets from a recent trip, but lessons may hold for many investment situations. While There Is Life (Energy) The Pendulum Will Swing. (Click on the title to read a pdf).
When dealing with a volatile market, sometimes the most difficult challenge is to manage your emotions. If you decide you need to re-examine your game plan, it should be done with as much care as you put into developing that plan in the first place. Thoughts about managing your emotions in volatile markets: Market Volatility and Your Emotions (Click on the title to read a pdf).
Though the Indian Stock Markets are down about 10% (as of May end 2011), the economic fundamentals are still intact. The CEO of HDFC, a well regarded Indian Bank, discusses the future of the Indian economy. Read his views in: A New India in the Offing in Three Months. (Click on the title to read a pdf).
Problems come in three flavors: Known (e.g. my car has a mechanical problem), Knowable (e.g. my car will likely have a mechanical problem if I don’t service it), Unknowable (no example here; its unknowable!). It is the same with Risk in investments. Author Nassim Taleb describes risk in these terms in the attached interview: Nassim Taleb on Living with Black Swans. (Click on the title to read a pdf).
During a recent trip to India I got an overview of the Indian economy from the perspective of the Harvard educated, India based, CEO of Proctor & Gamble, Mr. Gurcharan Das. To read his perspectives on: India The Wise Elephant (Click on the title to read a pdf).
Research and Media claim that index funds have consistently beaten a majority of “actively managed” funds. But if this is true, why do a majority of investors still choose active management? Wharton professors offer their perspective in a recent paper titled: On the Size of the Active Management Industry. (Click on the title to read a pdf).
How do Time and Wealth impact our sense of well-being and happiness? Wharton professors explore interesting new ideas about Time, Wealth and Happiness. While more money may make us happier, other considerations also play into the equation. Click here to read about Wealth and Happiness by clicking on the title.
Wharton real estate professor Susan M. Wachter talks about the housing market’s slow recovery, the prospect of another sharp dip in prices, the effect of foreclosures on the economy, and what it will take to get the market back on track. Click here to read about What’s Next for the Housing Market. (Click on the title to read a pdf).
Wharton Professors have written about Indian Management Practices in the Book “The India Way”. BRIC, in which India represents the “I”, is an important investment theme. And now India and the U.S. are continuing to strengthen their political ties as well. Here is a synopsis of President Obama’s visit to India in early November. Click here to read about Mr. Obama’s India Visit. (Click on the title to read a pdf).
Where Will Your Investments Grow? Six Wharton Professors, each a specialist in their field, weigh in on the markets’ prospects. Click here to read their views.
Is there a real difference between a registered investment advisor and a financial advisor? Yes, but you decide: Click here to visit the Focus on Fiduciaries web site.