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Three Things: August 11, 2019

August 11, 2019
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As a wealth advisor to individuals like you, a business owner, an expectant father (baby boy due any day now!) and a full-time resident of the planet, I’m constantly reading, listening, and watching anything that I feel can add value or enhance my perspective. Given the amount ongoing research I’m doing, I’ve decided to start sharing some of the items I read, listen to, or watch that stand out. Topics will vary and not all may be relevant to each and every client, but this is the first edition of a recurring message that I hope brings value in one form or another.  


For now, this email series will be called "Three Things".

 Thing #1: 

"Timing Isn’t Everything” article from my website

-Harding Investments & Planning and Dimensional Fund Advisors Key Takeaway:

The S&P 500 has been on an incredible 10 year run to hit new all-time highs this year. It can be tempting to feel like a pullback is imminent after all-time highs. But should this really impact investors’ outlook and allocation to stocks? 


Actually, the data supports not making adjustments unless your personal circumstances have changed (like your investment objective or risk capacity). In 1, 3, and 5 year periods following the new market highs, the S&P 500 index has had positive annualized returns. Simply put, if you maintain a long term focus, the market’s current level is less relevant than factors you can control (like tax optimization, diversification, costs, and discipline).  

 Where to find this article: 

In US dollars. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. New market highs are defined as months ending with the market above all previous levels for the sample period. Annualized compound returns are computed for the relevant time periods subsequent to new market highs and averaged across all new market high observations. There were 1,115 observation months in the sample. January 1990–present: S&P 500 Total Returns Index. S&P data © 2019 S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a division of S&P Global. All rights reserved. January 1926–December 1989; S&P 500 Total Return Index, Stocks, Bonds, Bills and Inflation Yearbook™, Ibbotson Associates, Chicago. For illustrative purposes only. Index is not available for direct investment; therefore, its performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. There is always a risk that an investor may lose money.  

**See important disclosures within the article. 


Thing #2: 

Entreleadership Podcast w/ Dan Heath: "Moments that Change Lives" 

 Key takeaways:  

With big challenges, sometimes it can be better to focus on “leveling up”. This means finding small wins within a larger goal in an effort to maintain momentum. For example, it’s nearly impossible to become completely fluent in another language. If someone’s only goal is to become fluent, then they may never be able to fully appreciate and celebrate their progressing skill set. In short, we should celebrate being able to introduce oneself in another language, or ask for directions, or hold a broken conversation. Eventually you may be fluent, but there are milestones on the way that are worthwhile.  

 This is particularly relevant for investing and wealth building. Celebrating wins along the way is what makes it fun: 

 - Saving your first $1,000

- Buying your first house

- Contributing to your children’s college fund (something I’m doing right now for the first time)

- Reaching certain milestone levels of net worth

- Retirement

- Giving 

 Another really interesting excerpt came from a story about the world’s youngest Female Billionaire, Sara Blakely, and how, when growing up, her father would ask at the dinner table “What did you fail at this week?” This effort address how crucial failure is to success, really resonates with me as someone who’s made mistakes and learned from them, but also as an expectant father (any day now). As Michael Jordan put it. "I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." 

 Where to find this podcast: 



Apple Podcasts:  


Thing #3: 

Article: “The Murky Origins of ‘The Bull Market” 

-Jason Zweig, WSJ 

Key Takeaway:

The definition of a bull/bear market isn’t well-defined, but we have largely settled on a gain or loss of 20% or more as the threshold. Last year the S&P 500 fell by 19.78%, and since it didn’t hit that coveted “20% mark”, the narrative that we’re still in a 10 year bull market rather than in an entirely new bull market, is upheld. In any case, these labels aren’t really too useful in measuring outcomes, but they do attract a lot of attention.  


Where to find this article: Unfortunately, the WSJ is subscription-only on a lot of articles. If you have a subscription, you can access it here:

—That’s all for this week. If you read, watched, or listened to anything recently that you thought was interesting, please share!