May 19, 2023

The Dangers of Narrative.

On Wednesday, one headline reads, “…shares sink following weak revenue forecasts due to….” On Thursday, the same news source writes about the same company, saying, “…company shares jump 8% on report of company X collaborating...” The same news source. The same week. A discussion about the same company. But two totally different messages. Narrative. Most people take in their information with layers of interpretation. You can make numbers say just about anything you want, and the markets and our news cycle move so fast, 24 hours with little respite. According to most headlines, we’re either in a new gold rush […]
May 12, 2023

Nurture vs. Nature.

I never spent a lot of time with my father. He wasn’t around – or particularly interested. When he was nearby, he often closed himself off. Headphones on, he listened to music instead of acknowledging my sister and me. So, with my kids, I try to be there for them. I try my best to be at all of their games and performances. I tour schools with my wife. To be honest with you, it’s not my favorite thing in the world (to put it lightly), but we want to make sure they’re going to the best schools and have the […]
May 5, 2023

The phone never rings this late.

The phone never rings this late. It can’t be good. “Hello?” the father answers. A familiar voice on the other end of the phone: the mom of one of their son’s friends. “There has been an accident,” she says, trying to collect her breath. “Your son was in it. You need to come right away.” Upon hearing the news, the mother screams. They quickly dress and rush downstairs and into the car. Every possible outcome races through their minds. They try to remain positive, but time stands still. Once at the scene, Mom and Dad see their son being attended to by […]
May 1, 2023

April 2023 Market & Economic Recap

Stock Market For the month of April, the stock market’s three major indices performed as follows: Dow Jones Industrial Average 2.48% S&P 500 1.46% Nasdaq Composite 0.1% For the month, the Dow saw its largest monthly gain since January, while the S&P logged its second positive month in a row. Friday, the last trading day of the month, saw solid gains thanks to a series of strong earnings reports, with the Dow rising 0.8%, the S&P the same, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumping 0.7%. To date, just over 53% of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings. Of those, 79% […]
April 28, 2023

Burn the leads.

Extreme results. Extreme desire. Extreme decisions. The year is 1999. My Managing Partner (GA) at the time, Bob. Walks into the office one morning and smells smoke. There’s a fire in the office, he thinks. Bob rushes in, past the rows of cubicles on the second floor of our office in downtown LA, tracking the smell – and now, a whisp of smoke in the air. It leads him to my cubicle, where he stops abruptly with a quizzical look. Sitting calmly at my desk, I’ve removed the plastic bag from the inside of my trash can. I’d then taken […]
April 21, 2023


An advisor I know was recently brought into a situation that I’ve never had any real experience with. Within a family of clients, the daughter, now in her 60’s, is a schoolteacher. She makes about $60k per year. She’s also the sole trustee and beneficiary of a billion-dollar trust that she doesn’t want anything to do with. Her mother passed away recently, leaving this trust and all of its proceeds to her. To make things even more challenging, the daughter’s husband is terminally ill with cancer – so they definitely need the resources. In fact, the entire family has used the […]
April 14, 2023

It’s been too long.

“I’m not so sure about this market,” Tom said. “What do you think? And how should I be feeling?” “The market is the market,” I replied. “My crystal ball broke yesterday!” My longtime client, sitting across from me, laughed. “That being said, things will continue as they are,” I went on. “Rest assured that we are here with you and doing everything possible to make sure you are protected.” He nodded, visibly relieved. “But what you have to ask yourself is when do you need this money?” I continued. “No one likes seeing losses or a decline in portfolio value. But, then again, […]
April 7, 2023

Mr. Baseball is back!

My family relocated to a new state a while back, but my son has really struggled with the move. Before we packed up and made the journey, if you’d asked me which one of my kids I thought would have the most difficult transition, it would not have been him. My daughter has done well; really thrived. She is very much like me. We go into every situation with both eyes open. No matter what it is, we embrace the experience and make the best of it. That can be both good and bad, but I my son’s process of adjusting […]
April 3, 2023

March 2023 Market & Economic Recap

Stock Market For the month of March, the stock market’s three major indices performed as follows: Dow Jones 1.9% S&P 500 3.5% Nasdaq 6.7% Stocks rallied on the last day of March to end a volatile month on a high note. The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a 1.3% gain on the last Friday of the month, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq posting daily gains of 1.4% and 1.7%, respectively. For the first three months of 2023, the Nasdaq Composite increased by 16.8%, its best quarterly gain since 2020. Q1 2023, the Dow posted a 0.5% gain and the […]
March 31, 2023

Limit your challenges, or challenge your limits?

In 1973, Charles R. Schwab decided to disrupt an industry and challenge its limits. Until then, his chief focus was putting out a subscription-based investment newsletter, Investment Indicator. But in 1973, Schwab and his partners formed Charles Schwab & Co., focusing on providing investments to the common person. Only two years later, that served to be prescient as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission essentially deregulated financial services with the Securities Acts Amendments of 1975. Before that act, securities could only be bought through a salesman, who often drove up the price and pushed riskier investments to earn more. But […]
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