January 2019: Market Reversal

January 2019: Market Reversal

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not
replace you as the driver.” -Ayn Rand

From a horrendous 4th quarter in 2018, to a complete 180 in merely the first month of 2019 it’s still important to keep your sights on the big picture.

It’s easy to be optimistic when the market is going up.  It’s harder when the market is going down and all those reporters on TV are giving you all the reasons to be negative.  That’s why we have to look at the underlying valuations, the underlying data, the money flow, the money velocity, the corporate earnings to look at what’s the real truth here.  What’s the true story?

Watch my video and/or read the transcript.  It’s a quick one, under 5 minutes and I continue to illustrate why it’s critical to keep your emotions in check.

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Transcript

Mike Brady with Generosity Wealth Management, a comprehensive, full-service financial services firm headquartered right here in Boulder, Colorado.  Recording this on Wednesday, January 30.  It was right here a month ago that I recorded my year end video and at that time I was talking about what a horrendous December and fourth quarter of 2018 we had.  I talked about how 2017 had very little volatility and was strongly up for the unmanaged stock market indexes.  In contrast it was followed by 2018 which had all kinds of volatility and was negative with, well the fourth quarter in December really going downward very sharply with huge volatility.

Generosity Wealth January 2019 Market Reversal 1 year DJIA

1 Year DJIA

So far in 2019 the month of January has shown another reversal.  What great examples that every year is different.  I’m going to show you a graph that shows the last 12 months and what you’ll see is so far this year we’ve made back much of what we lost in December and the fourth quarter of last year.

Generosity Wealth January 2019 Market Reversal 5 year DJIA

5 Year DJIA

It is important to have a diversified portfolio.  It is important to keep the big picture, the long view in mind.  Here is a five year graph and you can start to see how one year is not the entire picture.  It’s just one piece of the puzzle.  And if you only look at the one piece of the puzzle it doesn’t really make sense. Like a mosaic you have to step back and have some perspective for how the pieces, how the years add up toward reaching your 5, 10, 20 year goals.

If you’re older in life you might say wait a second, I don’t have a long view.  No, even if you’re retired you don’t want to outlive your money.  So whether you’re in the accumulation phase or whether the withdrawal phase of your life with your portfolio having 5, 10 and 20 year points of view is very important.

I believe that there continue to be reasons to be optimistic.  It’s easy to be optimistic when the market is going up.  It’s harder when the market is going down and all those reporters on TV are giving you all the reasons to be negative.  That’s why we have to look at the underlying valuations, the underlying data, the money flow, the money velocity, the corporate earnings to look at what’s the real truth here.  What’s the true story?

Let’s say that I am wrong.  Let’s say that we continue in the unmanaged stock market indexes to have downward and maybe more volatility as well.  That’s the reason why we have diversified portfolios which doesn’t guarantee against losses in declining markets.  That’s why we have though a long term view.

So what I would say is let’s get out of our own way.  Let’s keep our emotions in check.  The mind has a tendency to have a bias toward making patterns where there might not be a bias.  We lay on the grass on a nice summer day, look up at the clouds and we’re finding hey, there’s a dog, there’s a building, there’s this famous person right there in the clouds and we are certain that’s what it looks like when, in fact, our mind is creating patterns where there is no pattern.  Let’s not do the same thing in other areas of our lives including our portfolios and in the markets.

Mike Brady, Generosity Wealth Management, 303-747-6455.  Call me at any time.  I’m here to talk about how this is relevant to what you’re doing in your specific financial goals.  Here at any time.  Thank you. Bye bye.

2018 1st Half Year Report

2018 1st Half Year Report

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated” – Confucius

The first half of the year is over, and the year has been up and down on an almost weekly basis.

There are reasons to be positive, and pessimistic.

In this month’s video, I outline why you should be optimistic, and reasons why you can be concerned. In most areas of life there are pros and cons, but the question is which one wins out on balance.

In this case, and I outline this in my video, the positives outweigh the negatives.

But that being said, the fundamentals of reaching your goals remain the same–diversify, have a long term vision, and keep your emotions in check.

 

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Transcript of the video:

Hi there. Mike Brady with Generosity Wealth Management; a comprehensive full-service financial services firm at headquartered right here in Boulder Colorado, although I’m recording this video from our cabin in Wyoming. Hopefully you had a wonderful 4th of July, maybe you took the whole week off. I came up here for the whole week it’s kind of an annual tradition and it allows need to get some business projects done, but even more importantly to get away from the hustle and bustle of the daily life, get my emotions in check, which is of course one of my big recommendations for my clients and for investor.

I’m going to cut right to the chase of today’s video because it’s going to be a mid year report, but the fundamentals of investing and being successful in my opinion have stayed the same, which is to stay diversified, be long-term and keep your emotions in check. That’s one of the fundamentals and I just think that that’s absolutely important.

Today I do want to talk about what’s happened so far and talk about the reasons for being optimistic or pessimistic for the rest of this year. Nobody knows the future. I certainly don’t so this is my analysis so this is one of the reasons why those three that I brought to you, be diversified, long-term, keep your emotions in check are so very important because when someone says they know absolutely what’s going to happen, the impact of this policy or that policy they know exactly what’s going to happen they’re lying to themselves, they’re lying to you and so I don’t think that anyone is well served by that particular approach. So here so far this year the market was up pretty dramatically in January, continuation of low volatility and good market in 2017 coming into 2018; February and March very difficult. And then the second quarter recovered as some of that, but really was really more in general in the unmanaged stock market indexes and bond indexes basically a flat year so far. Plus or minus a couple percent in my mind is flat.

I’m going to throw a chart up on the screen where you’re going to see is we’re in a consolidation period. The markets go up, down and sideways and so far this year it’s a sideways. It’s always irritating to have; everybody wants the up with no volatility and that’s just not the world that we live in. What we’re seeing right now is a time where patients makes a lot of sense. Those are the people who are rewarded long-term and so remember that as you look at your particular investments and your particular approach.

Now, I’m going to put a number of charts up on the screen and I’m going to talk about some of the reasons to be optimistic, some of the reasons that things could look very good. So let’s go through them. The first one is strong U.S. economy and that’s shown a really above average pace with tax cuts, higher government spending, ultra low unemployment rate, the biggest increase in business investments in years, we’ve had an earnings per share that’s very high and the Fed is normalizing monetary policy, and the last is equity valuations are not as pricey as they were just a couple of years ago. And so this is a good reason to be optimistic and in my opinion, I’m not going to lie to you, the pros outweigh the cons. Here are some of the cons: The price of the oil is back up high in the last year or two; it’s around $75 for a barrel. However, I will also put it into context that it is where it was three years ago and lower where it was four years ago and I don’t remember the stock market being horrible during that time frame. Always up and down that’s just part of the deal, but it is not a travesty. Excessive fiscal stimulus in a full economy could lead to an overheat. Got it. And then the third is the tariffs, which I want to talk about here today.

Tariffs over the last number of administrations they have talked about how the barrier to entry, some of the costs of doing business with other countries is greater than it is here. It’s easier for people to import it into the United States than it is for us to export to other countries. That’s what the tariff discussion is all about. So the discussion is out there, has been out there for a long time, the question is what do you do with it? So one of the reasons why, and I’ll jump to the conclusion on this too, while it’s an irritation it’s a wrench into all of the pros that I just brought up it’s not necessarily a deal killer and the U.S. could actually win on it. Some people say they know absolutely this is horrible for the U.S. or they say it’s absolutely horrible for other countries. The bet that President Trump is making is that others will blink before the U.S. will or before he will. And so one of the reasons why that might be the case is the reliance that other countries that we have had these discussions with and imposed some tariffs on are much more vulnerable than we are. Their stock markets are not doing as well as ours are and their economies are not doing as well as ours. We are the strongest out of all those that we have imposed these tariffs on. Our exports are 12 percent of our economy, whereas in China it’s 20 percent, in Canada it’s 1/3 and in Germany it’s 50 percent. They’re much more reliant on exports to us and to other countries as we are exporting to others. So we only do 12 percent of our economy is based on exports from the United States because we have such a big country, we have such a vibrant interstate commerce from city to city state to state that we are less vulnerable than many other countries.

And so that’s why when I weigh something negative like the tariff discussion and wars against all of the positive it’s the net still going towards the positives than it is on the negative. If you’re only focused on the negative, sorry you’re going to be very disappointed and of course you’re quite dark about that. I on the other hand want to balance both of them and that’s why I’ve come out net on the positive. So I’m optimistic for the rest of this year. I’m not making any changes wholesale in client portfolios, in my discussions with clients, et cetera. Sticking with those particular fundamentals it’s served us well the first half of the year, I think it’s going to serve us well the second half as well. Be diversified long-term, be cool, cool as a cucumber.

Mike Brady; Generosity Wealth Management; 303-747-6455. Give me a call at anytime. Thanks. Bye bye.

 

 

Investing And Life Are More Like Poker Than Chess

Investing And Life Are More Like Poker Than Chess

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” – Jim Rohn

Investing and life are more like poker than chess. I recently listened to an interview with Annie Duke. Ms. Duke’s book, Thinking in Bets along with the interview really resonate with me because her thinking is quite similar to mine.

In this quick video, I detail the parallels of investing and poker and why it is critical to keep a “poker face,” keeping your emotional composure during bad….and even good investment periods!

About Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts

Thinking In Bets Book Cover

Annie Duke, a former World Series of Poker champion turned business consultant, draws on examples from business, sports, politics, and (of course) poker to share tools anyone can use to embrace uncertainty and make better decisions.

I like this book for many reasons, the greatest one being the statement, “Even the best decision doesn’t yield the best outcome every time.” In poker, like in investing, you can make the best decisions but there are still unknown elements at play.

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Transcript of the video:

Hi there. Mike Brady with Generosity Wealth Management, a comprehensive, full service financial firm headquartered right here in Boulder, Colorado. 

Today I want to talk about how investing and life is more like poker than it is chess. I got a lot of these ideas I’m going to share with you today from an interview and a book that I read by Annie Duke. I’m going to put a link in the newsletter and in the transcript of this. (http://a.co/aw2KM5f) Annie Duke, Thinking in Bets.

And when I heard her interview on this podcast it was like she was speaking right to me because that’s the way I think. And so of course I thought she was brilliant. If you watch my videos going back seven, eight, nine years you’ll hear that I talk in well let’s increase our probability of success. And I think the odds are because that’s really the way life and investing is. Let’s think about chess for a second. Chess there’s these pieces on the board and all of them are visible. You see it and so does your opponent. With all that visibility it’s a completely logical game. The person who is the more experienced, the person who is the better player should always win. And if that person doesn’t win then they can go back piece by piece or play by play and say oh, this is where I made a mistake.

That’s not the case with poker. Let’s talk about poker for a bit. You don’t get to see all the cards so there’s a hidden element there. It’s all a bunch of odds. You might have an 85 percent probability, 90 percent. But there’s still 10 percent that you could be wrong. And it doesn’t mean that you were wrong because the outcome went against you. But there were things that you didn’t know. There were unforeseen things and there is luck. I’m not going to ask you to raise your hand but if I was to say who has run a red light, most of us would raise our hand. Even if it’s only once in our life or if it’s once a day. Just because you run a red light doesn’t mean you automatically get hit although it dramatically increases your odds of getting hit. Just like if you’re following the rules and you go through a green light it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get hit, T-boned by somebody else. So there are factors outside of our control that we have to understand.

When we’re looking at a poker game, a typical poker hand a professional might take two minutes. Therefore, you might have 30 hands in an hour. And a professional poker player is going to know the odds. They have to work really hard to know the odds, play the game, to be cool. Maybe there’s a string of bad luck that you have but you stick to your particular core knowing that you’re a really good player. You know the odds better than the people that you’re playing against and you just can’t get too emotional one way or the other. If you’ve ever seen a poker game nobody’s jumping up and down when they win or at two, three or four hands they’re getting super depressed. Maybe amateurs are but definitely not the professionals.

So investing is very similar. We can do the best that we can with all the different variables that are known to us we can come up with a strategy. We can say wow, I think the market is going to do this, I think the market is going to do that. And we could be wrong because there are going to be things that are unforeseen that are going to be in the future. Nobody knows the future. So that by definition is going to be a variable that we’re not able to account for fully. Therefore, what do we do? What we do is we, of course, look at a diversified portfolio. We say well how can I not stick my neck out so much that if that 10 percent or that 20 percent or whatever the number is that I’m wrong, I’m really stuck that I’ve lost so much. How much are you willing to risk? So a diversified portfolio is very, very important. Staying in it for the long term. If you find your strategy that works with your risk level, your tolerance, that allows you to stay emotionally cool it’s got to be a long term. If you were a poker player it might be many hours. If you are an investor it should be many years. And so you’ve got to keep that in mind as well.

Life is full of unknown variables so we try to increase our knowledge. We try to increase it so we can make the best decisions. We try to learn from those decisions as well. It is not a chess game. It’s not a guarantee. So if you’re looking for a guarantee then investing in life, you know, you’ve come to the wrong place so you’re never going to get that and you’re going to be continually disappointed.

Mike Brady, Generosity Wealth Management, 303-747-6455. You have a great day. Thanks. Bye bye.

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When Do You Want To Be Happy?

When Do You Want To Be Happy?

“A penny saved is a penny earned”
– Benjamin Franklin

When looking at your portfolio and investments it is up to you to decide when you’d like to be happy- in the short-term or the long-term. In this video we’ll take a look at a chart highlighting time, diversification and the volatility of returns. Spoiler alert: there is no right answer.  But if you connect with me directly, I can help you identify what situation you’re most comfortable with and that would provide you with the best returns. Simply email me at mike@generositywealth.com to start the conversation.

Here is my video discussing long-term versus short-term investment and their happiness potential:

2017 Review and 2018 Thoughts

2017 Review and 2018 Thoughts

Happy Families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way
– Leo Tolstoy in Anna Karenina

 

There is plenty to be happy about this year, as almost across the board the unmanaged stock and bond market indexes were up.  International markets as well.

I get asked all the time “when is the market going to crash?” and “how bad will it be?”.  They’re the wrong question.


And I use an analogy of a marriage and disagreements to make my point.

Below is my end of the year video, where I outline my thoughts on 2017, and also what current conditions might mean for 2018.


I highly recommend you watch it, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.  I’m here to help and serve.