Yearly Archives: 2014

Ross Polking Thumbnail Photo

As another calendar year comes to a close, we have opportunity to reflect on what has been an interesting, trying, exciting and tumultuous twelve months.  The list is long and the emotions are high.  Elections, Ebola, World Cup, ISIS, Ukraine, Economy, Immigration, and on it goes…as it does every year. On a more personal level, most investors have probably experienced changes in their family, career, health, goals, and/or finances.  All things...

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Drama

Most of the world has morning routines.  Being a CPA, I suppose I may be a little more captive to mine.  So, when I got to work this morning, I did what I always do; started my computer, brought up my e-mail, grabbed a cup of coffee and pulled up Yahoo Finance. Not unlike most mornings, the top headline was negative, only this morning it was a bit alarming, “Total Global...

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College Savings Iowa: 2014 Tax Year Contribution Deadline Many Foster Group clients use Iowa’s 529 Plan, College Savings Iowa (CSI), to save for their children’s and grandchildren’s future college education expenses. CSI remains an excellent option for Iowa residents to utilize as it provides both immediate tax deductions for certain contributions and virtually tax-free accumulation for future qualified higher education expenses. In addition, Vanguard as the investment provider, creates high-quality, low-cost...

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Ross Polking Thumbnail Photo

Read.  This.  Now.  Well written, Mr. Ritholtz.  Knowing how this applies to your advisory relationship can be critical to your investment success and pursuit of life goals.  Don’t assume you have a fiduciary representing you.  The majority of the investment industry does not fall under this standard.  Be careful, and stay diversified. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/get-there/find-a-financial-adviser-who-will-put-your-interests-first/2014/10/23/21f3a898-596f-11e4-bd61-346aee66ba29_story.html   ...

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Seth Comfort

I ran across two interesting stats; well, two numbers, really, as reported in Bloomberg Businessweek: $25,000 & $13,000. $25,000…that represents the amount of money you would have on December 2013 had you invested $10,000 in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in December 1998 and stayed fully invested for that 15 year time period. $13,000…that represents the amount of money you would have on December 2013 had you invested $10,000 in the Dow...

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Ross Polking Thumbnail Photo

Author’s note and warning:  Heavy, heavy sports analogy follows.  I am an avid baseball fan and die-hard Kansas City Royals supporter.  Even if you don’t follow sports, you probably were aware that the Royals made it all the way to the World Series.  The epic seven-game series against the San Francisco Giants ended in a heart-breaking 3-2 defeat in the final, and deciding, game seven.  The Royals’ storyline was accentuated...

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Despite some international uncertainty the U.S. economy still appears well-positioned heading into 2015.  In an October 9th Wall Street Journal article, “Conditions Ripe for Stronger Growth, WSJ Survey Says”, the results of the Wall Street Journal’s monthly survey of 46 economists were summarized.   Some of the positives mentioned in the article were:

  • Economic expansion to continue at 3% in the fourth quarter
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Ross Polking Thumbnail Photo

Through September of this year, the S&P 500 had a total return of 8.34%.  From 1926 through 2013, this widely-regarded US large company index has boasted an average annual total return of just north of 10% according to Morningstar data.  CNBC recently highlighted that the S&P posted fourth quarter gains of 2.5%, on average, since 1946 in mid-term election years…which we find ourselves in today. ...

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Like most people, I did not enter adulthood with much Wall Street savvy.  I had very limited knowledge of stocks or bonds, let alone more complicated investment vehicles.  What I absorbed from my parents example was: work for what you need, spend less than you make, avoid debt, seek value in everything you buy, give regularly, but don’t lend to others with an expectation of seeing any return (it ruins...

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Buck Olsen, CFP®

A Good Read

A couple years ago, a friend and leader in our industry,Brent Brodeski, the CEO of Savant Capital Management, suggested I pick up a copy of Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why.  While I am not an avid reader (though the thought is very appealing!), this is a book I couldn’t put down and over the past 36 months, I have referred to it over and over again.  The...

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