Written by Max & John Osbon

4 Signs of Skin In The Game

March 21, 2018 - John Osbon

Nassim Taleb, the author and scholar best known for The Black Swan (2007), predicted an extraordinary market event would happen because too many players had no skin in the game. They suffered no personal consequences for bad advice, mistakes and greed. His new book, Skin in the Game, drills down on this idea and helps us consider whether your advisor is really on your side.

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Bigger Gifts and Lower Taxes in 2017

December 6, 2017 - Max Osbon

2017 has been another big year in a long-running bull market. Your portfolio is probably full of holdings with significant capital gains. To avoid paying the tax on those gains, you may be holding onto securities you’re ready to sell. What to do? Well, if you have any charitable giving goals, consider giving away your capital gains bill in the process.

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One Month to Tax Day – 4 Questions

March 14, 2018 - Max Osbon

Many of the missteps people make related to taxes are errors of omission — simple oversights that lead to higher tax bills than necessary, or even penalties and interest. As we head into the last thirty days of the tax season here are four reminder questions to ask yourself before April 15th.

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Why Do Allocations Change?

March 7, 2018 - John Osbon

Good question and one asked frequently by experts and clients alike.  When should asset allocations change in a portfolio?  The when, why and how of allocation changes should be as transparent as indexing itself, and it is.

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Warren Buffett’s 53rd Annual Letter

February 27, 2018 - John Osbon

Warren Buffett released his 53rd annual Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) shareholder letter last Saturday. The letter is widely read by investors for insight into how to invest better and how to avoid investment mistakes. After 52 letters can Warren say anything new? Yes, he can. Read on for our highlights.

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Six Ways To Handle Inflation

February 21, 2018 - Max Osbon

Inflation popped its head up in December for the first time in years. Is it a big deal or a big non-event? A little inflation at 2% is generally seen as a healthy metric for the US economy — far better than deflation — but what does it mean for your investments and spending? With inflation back on the radar, what can and should you do about it?

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A Micro-Bubble Is Popped

February 14, 2018 - John Osbon

It’s been 20 days since the Dow peaked at 26, 400.  After a wild ride, the index is back within a few percentage points of that level. While very little has changed in the diversified portfolio of long-term investors, some casualties of the market flip-flops have floated to the surface. One is LJMIX. Here’s the story of a fund that took a few bad days and turned them into bona fide disasters.  What can we learn from its mistakes?

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Three Ways to Protect a Windfall

February 7, 2018 - Max Osbon

The sudden arrival of a large sum of money can be exciting and disorienting at the same time. The big dollar amount may short-circuit some of your normal financial decision rules and patterns. With that in mind, we offer you three solid ways to protect a windfall and prevent future regrets about how you spend and invest it.

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The Road Ahead for the Almighty Dollar

January 31, 2018 - John Osbon

Big changes in dollar strength can have big economic effects at home and around the world. The strong dollar was called into question last week in Davos and emerged unchanged.  What will investors be looking for the dollar to do in 2018?  Here’s our checklist.

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How Yields Have Changed – 2018

January 24, 2018 - Max Osbon

It’s week four of the investing year. This week the government reopened. The president and eight cabinet members are in Davos. The news for stocks has been all positive so far this year, but what about bonds? What kind of cash flow can investors expect from fixed-income investments in 2018? 

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Set Your Anti-Goals for 2018

January 17, 2018 - Max Osbon

While your neighbors are trying to keep their resolutions for the new year, we suggest you take a slightly different path. Think about the financial behaviors you want AVOID in 2018. By resolving to NOT do a few things you can reduce your financial stress and improve your investment results. Here are some suggestions as the year begins.

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An Old School Melt-Up

January 10, 2018 - John Osbon

Jeremy Grantham is well known as a value investor and a permabear. He buys only cheap value investments. He has been famous for talking down US investments for years. However, on January 3rd of this year, he wrote “a very personal” view of a possible near-term melt-up. Jeremy is well worth listening, especially when he changes his mind.

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The Year Ahead: 10 Trends

January 3, 2018 - Max Osbon

To kick off the year we’ve decided to publish our crystal ball list for 2018. From blockbuster IPOs to Blockchain billionaires, here are ten of our favorite developments.

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New Tax Law: 529s and More

December 27, 2017 - John Osbon

I have been spending as much time as possible reading about the newly enacted tax bill, the first tax reform signed in 31 years. All sides agree that the bill lowers tax rates for corporations and individuals. After that, there is little consensus on the broad effect of tax reform, who it really helps or harms, and how long it will last. The devil is in the details. Here are a couple items of special interest to investors. 

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What is Sayre’s Law?

December 20, 2017 - Max Osbon

With family in town for the holidays, you may find that the discussion turns to markets and politics at some point. The discussion may even get heated as common ground seems harder to find these days. In these moments, it’s helpful to remember Sayre’s Law. Sayre’s Law dictates that: “In any dispute, the intensity of the feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake.” Here’s more:

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A Financial Conversation Framework

December 13, 2017 - Max Osbon

With more family time than the rest of the year, the holidays can be an opportune time to talk about money and investing. But where do you start? Before you get into any technical aspects of planning or investing, we recommend you start with goals, values, fears and plans for success for money and life. It’s easier than it sounds. Here is a three-part framework we find leads to great conversations:

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