Trust but Verify

If you are seeing this – congratulations!  We made it through November 8th and can return to some semblance of normalcy in our news cycles, television ads and Twitter feeds.  Barring a truly horrifying outcome of an electoral college tie, we have a new President.  While I don’t know who that person is as I write this, I can say with some amount of certainty that a good number of you feel pleased, a bunch of you feel appalled and a small number are indifferent. That’s to be expected.  People are built to have… [read more]
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The Short Run & The Long Run

(from Seth Godin’s blog dated 5/182016. Click here for the original post.  Seth is the author of 18 books that have been bestsellers around the world. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books LinchpinTribesThe Dip and Purple Cow.  Follow him on Twitter @thisissethsblog.)    It’s about scale. Pick a long enough one (or a short enough one) and you can see the edges.
In the short run, there’s
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What’s Old is New Again

In 2002, after years of observing the hit-and-miss track records of mutual fund managers who supposedly ‘picked only the best stocks,’ studying Morningstar fund evaluations and Value Line Investment Survey reports, TAAG began investing our clients’ portfolios using the Dimensional Funds. At the time, mutual funds labeled ‘passive’ were not mainstream investments by any stretch of the imagination.  Only 6 years ago I gave a presentation to the Cincinnati Estate Planning Council entitled, Everything They’ve Told You About Investing is Wrong.  In it, we outlined the investment industry practices of trying to predict the… [read more]
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Vigilance is a Virtue

As I sat down to write this blog, I received an e-mail from Ms. Shirley Fosgate, an invalid widow in a foster home for the elderly in the Philippines.  It seems her deceased husband left nearly six million euros in an Irish bank account that she cannot access.  What’s more, she’s singled me out to contact an European attorney on her behalf who will help me shepherd the money to the charities she wants to serve.  Of course, I’ll be paid a tidy 10% for my efforts.  All I have to do is e-mail some… [read more]
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Blind Spots

I hope by the time this blog goes out that the havoc caused by Hurricane Matthew will have begun to subside.  As I’m writing this, there are still hundreds of thousands without power and many looking for rescue from flood water as high as 5 feet. As some cities begin to clean up, others are still facing further damage from flooding rivers. Given the magnitude of this storm, it’s actually astounding the damage and lives lost weren’t greater.  I think a lot of the credit for that goes to the meteorologists who mapped the storm’s… [read more]
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Presidential Elections & the Stock Market

Next month, Americans will head to the polls to elect the next president of the United States. While the outcome is unknown, one thing is for certain: There will be a steady stream of opinions from pundits and prognosticators about how the election will impact the stock market. As we explain below, investors would be well‑served to avoid the temptation to make significant changes to a long‑term investment plan based upon these sorts of predictions. SHORT-TERM TRADING AND PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS Trying to outguess the market is often a losing game. Current market prices offer… [read more]
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In Case of Emergency

I spent last weekend at the Greenbrier Resort, the location of my annual CEO Roundtable retreat this year.  A historic landmark nestled in the Allegheny Mountain foothills near White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, it offers horseback riding, skeet shooting and other activities.  But the most unusual offering is a tour of the Super Walmart-size bunker that was built underneath it during the Cold War, to house Congress in the event of a nuclear attack. Code named Project Greek Island, it was completed in 1961 under the guise of adding a convention exhibition hall and… [read more]
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Ice Cream Causes Drowning

(or, The Importance of Critical Thinking) There is no doubt that the age of big data is upon us.  While most agree we’re in the very early stages of realizing its potential, we are now able to capture and crunch vast amounts of information in order to learn all kinds of things about ourselves and our world. While listening to a recent episode of the TED Radio Hour podcast on the “Big Data Revolution,” I was reminded of the power of big data and the impact this will continue to have on the… [read more]
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We are Not Homo Economicus

I want to introduce you to a species of human you’ve probably never heard of before: Homo economicus. If there was a perfect investor, Homo economicus would be it. He knows everything there is to know about every company, country and market. He is motivated by self-interest and isn’t swayed by the needs of others. Best of all he always acts rationally. Choices are simple for Homo economicus. When faced with how best to achieve a goal, he would calculate the optimal path and follow it without deviation, hesitation or regret. The complete absence of… [read more]
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4 Ways To Prevent Boomerang Kids From Delaying Retirement

(from Kira Brecht‘s TDAmeritrade’s Ticker Tape blog posted August 15, 2016.  Find original post here.  Kira is a veteran, Chicago-based journalist specializing in personal finance, investor education, commodity markets and technical analysis.  Follow Kira @KiraBrecht.) Has your empty nest filled back up? You aren’t alone. A recent Pew study showed that for the first time in 130 years, young adults ages 18 to 34 were more likely to live in their parents’ home than with a spouse or partner in their own household. Blame it on the still-sluggish economy, stagnant wage growth,… [read more]
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