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Tempe Office

222 S. Mill Avenue

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Tempe, AZ 85281

Three Things: August 25, 2019

August 25, 2019
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This is a pretty special version of my Three Things email series; I get to introduce you to my son. Enjoy!


Thing #1: Clayton Jonathan Harding


Mollie (my wife) and I welcomed our first child to the world on Monday August 19th at 6:40 am. Clayton Jonathan Harding is happy, healthy, and wealthy at 8lbs 4oz and 21 inches long. Everyone is doing great and the joy of being a father is indescribable. 


Here’s a picture of the two of us at our first pediatrician appointment on Wednesday. 



Over the coming days, months, years, etc. I look forward to putting to practice the same investing and financial planning principles I’ve been preaching to clients for years: 


  • Funding education accounts (529) for college, grad school, OR pre-college private school or tutoring. 
  • Starting a minor Roth IRA as soon as he has earned income (does anyone need a baby model for any work?)
  • Establishing a family trust and re-working our beneficiary structures. 
  • Bumping up term life insurance coverage. 
  • Maxing out our HSA accounts.


As my dad often says,  “Prepare the child for the path, don’t prepare the path for the child”, our family plan will aim to do just that. 



Thing #2: Two Tweets (because I couldn’t pick just one)


Tweet #1 (via @Oddstats)


“From an IMF Research Study, Mar 2018:


Study of 153 recessions across 63 countries from '92-'14 showed that economists only correctly predicted a coming recession by April of the YEAR PRIOR in *5* of 153 events (3.3%).


12 months later, it was still only 84/153 (54.9%).” 


Key Takeaway: It’s nearly impossible to profit from any prediction of a recession occurring. The ‘experts’ are rarely right and the few that do accurately predict the future tend to get REALLY loud about their successes (or books/movies like “The Big Short” are made and their success becomes infamous to millions around the world). Remember that any successful prediction is likely being made by someone who’s been wrong most of the time —but who’s just been very quiet about those failed predictions. 


Link to tweet:


Tweet #2: (via @Behaviorgap)


“The best financial plans are written in pencil, not carved in stone.” 


Key Takeaway: Adaptivity is crucial to long term financial success. Sometimes we need to erase our initial draft and pencil in new developments. 


We craft wealth plans around factors we can control, like diversification, tax optimization, cost management, asset allocation, and behavior, but we clearly don’t know when the unexpected good and bad things may happen in our lives; and to what magnitude they may affect our financial plans. Perhaps the biggest advantage an investor can have is flexibility: when you’re comfortable with change and you don’t box yourself into a rigid financial environment, all of a sudden it doesn’t matter as much if there’s a trade war/recession/bull market/bear market/etc. 


Thing #3: Website Face Lift 


Our last website had the basics (“About Us”, “Blog”, “Client Login”, etc.) but that’s about it.... We wanted to improve. 


The updated site has a Resource Center ( with educational offerings around Estate Planning, Insurance, Investments, Lifestyle, Money, Retirement, and Tax. 

Additionally, I’ve built in a glossary to define several financial terms, added dozens of calculators, and an updated Tax Resources page.


We'll keep building it out and sharing new content with you as it arises. 


...That’s all for this week. If anything you read, watch, or listen to stands out to you over the coming days, please forward it along.