2018 Mid-Year Update!

Enjoy it while it lasts–

Sand, sun, and surf…or hikes, camping, and swimming. Maybe just enjoying the relaxing-long-afternoons over a slow barbeque as you lay in your comfy lounge chair. These are some visions and aspirations many of us want to enjoy over the next few warm months. Summer gives all of us a break in different ways and I hope that you are able to take enjoy it in your own way.

New Website–

Last month, we updated our website. While our original site was created for the purpose of hosting our frequent blogs, the new site offers an up-to-date feel with helpful links, content, and connections to various educational and client portals. Check it out and let us know what you think.

“The Market” or Investments—

After coming off of a great 2017 investment year where the broad-based MSCI All Countries World Index fund (ACWI) returned 24.35%, investors are starting to wonder what has happened over the first 6-months of 2018 where there’s been virtually no growth in the three classic asset classes of stocks, bonds, and real estate. It is in these times that investors begin to ask questions about their portfolios when they see one of two things: 1) a drop in value, and 2) no growth at all. I have summarized these index returns below:

Stocks– As of 6/28/18, the iShares MSCI ACWI Index Fund, or ACWI, is down 2.7% for the 2018 year. We use the MSCI ACWI Index Fund instead of the Dow, S&P 500, or NASDAQ, as it is more reflective or representative of what a truly diversified global portfolio index of stocks would return over the same period. The latter three are indexes to sectors domiciled in the U.S..

Bonds– Through 6/27/18, the S&P 500 Bond Index was down 2.9% for the year. This index seeks to measure the performance of U.S. corporate debt issued by constituents in the iconic S&P 500.

Real Estate Investment Trusts– Through 6/27/18, The Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index was down 0.75% for the year. The index is designed to track the performance of real estate investment trusts (REIT) and other companies that invest directly or indirectly in real estate through development, management, or ownership, including property agencies.

A properly diversified portfolio that will stand the test of time against wild market swings, corrections, sky-high bubbles, and social euphoria, does not “knock the cover off the ball” when the market is going up. A properly diversified portfolio is going to have some assets that drag down and hold back the entire portfolio’s growth potential during good times, but it is these same assets that can help to minimize significant losses through large sell-offs during a broad market correction, or worse, a recession.

Each client investment portfolio has a purpose or goal, and the composition of the investments within each portfolio should be appropriate and in-line with it. While one account may be registered as a retirement account that will need to grow and last for the next 50-years, another account (same or different client) may be taxable and is targeted to be used in the next 10-years for a business endeavor. For these two accounts, the investments and expected returns would be different, as would the risk associated with each.

If you’ve been watching your investment values and are concerned about it at this time, I’d like you to call our office to schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns. We will review your holdings, objectives, risk tolerance, and timeline and compare alternatives to see if a change would be beneficial for you.

Client Portal—

For many clients using our secure account aggregation and financial planning portal, the response has been fantastic. Arktos Wealth Management opened up this service to select clients this past January. This client portal allows us to gain an accurate and up-to-date picture of the entire financial well-being of these clients.

Values of debts, equity in the home, credit cards, bank accounts, cars, business interests, and, of course, all investment accounts held through and outside our firm (like with a company 401(k) plan), can be viewed in real-time and remotely between clients and myself. This enables us to identify and address pertinent financially related issues as they arise, and with more frequency than our normally scheduled review meetings. In short, having more information in front of us at all times has significantly broadened the depth, timeliness, and ability to provide comprehensive financial planning.

Insurance Services—

Finally, I would like conclude this update with a friendly reminder that we do offer an extensive range of insurance services for life, long-term care, disability, and group health insurance. These four areas of insurance are the foundation of a financial plan. Insurance is the ultimate transfer-of-risk tool, and the de facto ‘stop-loss’ hero in times of need.

We occasionally hear from a client that they just purchased a life or disability insurance policy from some insurance rep in another city. And that lets us know we aren’t doing a good enough job to let you know this is a service we provide. We have access to nearly all the big named carriers at the same cost. Additionally, we’ll ensure that your policy(ies) are integrated to work with your overall financial plan, not just some stand-alone decision that could leave gaps and exposure to unnecessary risks.

If you didn’t already know, insurance premiums are the same no matter where or who you purchase it through. So why not get a quote from and use us to help you fill this essential need? We’ll give you all your options and promise to never push you into something that is not appropriate for your specific need. Remember, nobody likes paying for insurance. But I’ve never heard anyone complain about receiving the benefit in times of need!

Catching up soon—

Hopefully we’ll meet up (client review), cross-paths, or connect for a lunch in the next few months. We are here as a resource to help you accomplish your goals. We love what we do, and cherish the relationships we have with our clients. We know you have a choice, and we want to make it an easy one. Have a great summer!