Investment Strategy: INDICES Up vs. Down Markets

Posted by Carl Sera on Jan 27, 2016 2:58:29 PM

In addition to Target Dated Funds, many investors buy passive index funds for their 401k, 403b and IRA retirement plans.  They do this systematically out of every paycheck.  They have recently seen the three major indices fall by over 10 percent, leaving many to wonder what they should do during this market correction. 

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Topics: Articles, Stock market

Is Stock Market Volatility Here to Stay?

Posted by Carl Sera on Jan 15, 2016 3:07:41 PM
Is stock market volatility here to stay?  The answer is yes - absolutely yes.  You see, volatility is just a fancy term for uncertainty, and uncertainty will always be with us.  If the question were rephrased to say is high volatility here to stay then the answer is no - absolutely no.

Why is this? Stock market volatility, as measured by the VIX, is a mean reverting measure, which means that what goes up must come down, and what goes down must come up.  So with recent volatility levels in the mid-20’s, and the historical average volatility around 18, you can expect a drop.  When it will drop is anyone’s guess. 

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Topics: Articles, Stock market

What Is Tax Efficiency?

Posted by Carlos Sera on Jan 8, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Have you ever heard the phrase tax efficiency or tax efficient portfolio?  Whenever I hear it my muscles tighten up, I get a little nervous, I lean forward to hear better and prepare to be wowed.  Not long after, whatever the opposite of wowed is, I am.  Once I realize that nothing has changed on this topic since the advent of governments taxing people on their investments, I scold myself for allowing this topic to capture so much of my attention.  Nevertheless, I have never written a piece on this topic and thought I would share my thoughts.  I urge you to prepare for some wow.

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Topics: Articles, Taxes

The Financial Advice I Wish I'd Known Then

Posted by Carlos Sera on Jan 6, 2016 8:30:00 AM

One of my favorite musicians is Bob Seger. I saw him perform live while in college and he left a lasting impression. The first time I heard the song “Against the Wind” I was living in Seger’s hometown of Detroit, and the song only elevated his status. I think it is brilliant; containing one of the most poetic and philosophical lines of any song: “Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”  As soon as I heard it, I knew it would be part of my permanent collection of things to ponder.  While he wrote it as mid-thirties musician reflecting on his teenage years, it is applicable at any age looking backwards.     

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Topics: finance, Behavioral Tales

Why Diversification is Temporarily Broken: A What to Do Today Tale

Posted by Carlos Sera on Dec 23, 2015 9:32:00 AM

This tale is a major departure from my other tales.  The last time I actually made a market call was in October of 2008.  It was a bullish market call since it was clear to me that stocks were cheap, quality Blue Chip stocks were paying high and sustainable dividends, and the future of the stock market would be one of reduced volatility. 

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Topics: FINANCIAL TALE, Stock market, Volatile Tales

Why Shouldn’t I Use a Financial Checklist?

Posted by Carlos Sera on Dec 23, 2015 8:30:00 AM

"So Carlos, what do you think about when you step up to the tee on a par 5?"  

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Topics: Investing, financial checklist

The Importance Of Technical Analysis: "Why I Became A Chartered Market Technician"

Posted by Carl Sera on Dec 16, 2015 2:36:38 PM
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Topics: Articles, Stock market

3 Barriers to Successful Investment Returns

Posted by Carlos Sera on Dec 9, 2015 4:25:11 PM

What Is Holding Back Your Investments?

As the old saying goes, "When you lose 100 percent of your money on an investment, no matter how much you put in, it's all gone." 

Watch our short video below to learn about:

  • The top the barriers to success in your investment returns 
  • Which one of those barriers is the worst offender 
  • What investment management goals you should have and why
  • Why it's so important to understand market unpredictability
  • And much more... 
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Topics: Stock market, volatility

A Financial Tales Philosophy Blog: "What Do CNBC and ESPN Have in Common?"

Posted by Carlos Sera on Nov 12, 2015 3:30:00 PM

A long, long time ago in what seems like a galaxy far, far away, I was a graduate student doing my best to master finance and economics.  There was this one great professor with a mission - it was to teach us to think.  Our twicee-a-week assignment was to read what others had written about finance, economics or business and to find a flaw or fatal assumption.  Each class, we had to come prepared to expose the faulty writing, incorrect assumption or some other clear violation of what, at that time, was the “only one and true way” to view money, finance and economics.  Our source material was the universe of publications and one of our favorites was the Wall Street Journal, the business section of most any newspaper, as well as countless business magazines.

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Topics: Articles

Money, Math and Markets: How Money Really Grows

Posted by Carlos Sera on Nov 6, 2015 3:00:00 PM

How Do You Think Money Grows?

When it comes to money and math, there is a big difference between how people think money grows over time and how money actually grows over time. What is this difference called? Compound interest.

Watch our short video below to learn about:

  • What compound interest is
  • How money grows in the stock market
  • Actual return vs. average return
  • Reducing market volatility
  • Diversification and rebalancing 
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Topics: Stock market, volatility


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