Diversification Can Feel Disappointing

Friday, July 12th, 2019 By: Peter Vander Ploeg, CFP®

Undoubtedly one of the most popular ways to invest is an S&P 500 index fund or ETF. It’s cheap, easy, and every year in recent memory, the S&P 500 has been one of the best places to invest. 2019 is no exception, up almost 20% through the second quarter the S&P 500 is in position […] More ›

Navigating A Financial Path

Friday, June 21st, 2019 By: Peter Vander Ploeg, CFP®

Have you ever tried to drive somewhere without knowing exactly where you needed to go?  You start driving in vaguely the right direction, only to look up the specific directions as you get closer.  What if there was a better way?  What if you could know the exact route from the onset?  What if that […] More ›

There is No Such Thing as Average

Monday, June 10th, 2019 By: By: Kevin Shuller, CFA®

What type of returns do you expect from stocks in 2019? Most investors will say something between 5-10%. The most bullish will say 15%. Why shouldn’t they? S&P 500 returns about 9% a year. If we give ourselves 50% wiggle room, that gets us to 5-15%. Why not play it safe and expect the average? […] More ›

Digital Hygiene

Friday, May 10th, 2019 By: Peter Vander Ploeg, CFP®

Take a shower.  Wash your hands.  Brush your teeth.  Forgive me if these statements are an unpleasant reminder of your mother, but she was right.  Not doing these daily activities could have a catastrophic impact on your health and social acceptance.  Thanks, Mom!  Yet many of us have failed at our digital hygiene, and the […] More ›

Rebalancing: The Key That Unlocks Diversification’s Treasure

Friday, April 26th, 2019 By: Kevin Shuller, CFA®

We love diversification around here. Big fans. Stocks. Bonds. We love them all. They all have places in our portfolios. We love diversification for many reasons. It dampens volatility, which should make your portfolio compound over time. A diverse portfolio can also give a boost to your psyche. The more diversity you have, the more […] More ›

Everything In Its Right Place

Friday, April 12th, 2019 By: Peter Vander Ploeg, CFP®

STOP!!!!  Before you stack up all the papers strewn over your kitchen table from doing your taxes, let me try to help.  Have you ever thought there has to be a better way?  I consider myself a fairly organized person, yet I still misplace papers, store records incorrectly, and lose track of things.  Everyone’s financial […] More ›

Using ETFs To Save On Your Taxes

Friday, March 22nd, 2019 By: Kevin Shuller, CFA®

Tax season approaches. Mutual Fund investors are making unpleasant realizations. Most lost money in 2018, yet they must pay taxes.   Why did this happen?  Mutual funds are companies. When you invest in a mutual fund, you are buying shares in a company whose sole way of making money is investing in other securities.   All companies pay taxes when they make money. Mutual funds are no different. When they […] More ›

Taxes – One of Two Things Certain In Life

Friday, March 8th, 2019 By: Peter Vander Ploeg, CFP®

Taxes. It’s one of the two things that are certain in life, according to Benjamin Franklin. He would know. As a founding father, he signed the United States Constitution that established taxing power in the very first Article! Benjamin Franklin died as an old man, but the tax system has lived on now for over […] More ›

The Secret About Buybacks

Friday, February 22nd, 2019 By: Kevin Shuller, CFA®

Poor share buybacks. They are everyone’s punching bag right now. From politicians to the New York Times Opinion page, everyone is taking their turn whacking the pinata. We never see headlines calling for the increased regulation of dividends. Everyone loves dividends. Dividends put cash in your pocket. Many of us are old enough to remember […] More ›