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Overcoming the Odds: Frederick Douglass

No matter who you are or where you come from, you have goals in life. Things you want to do. The type of person you want to become. It’s a common link between all men and women who have ever lived or ever will live. Inside each of us is a restless soul who wants to do more than they have, or be more than they are. But no matter who you are or where you come from, there will come a time when you encounter obstacles to your goals. There will be times when the odds are stacked against you....

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Can Stocks Keep Going Higher?

There has been much discussion in the news recently about new nominal highs in stock indices like the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. When markets hit new highs, is that an indication that it’s time for investors to cash out? History tells us that a market index being at an all-time high generally does not provide actionable information for investors. For evidence, we can look at the S&P 500 Index for the better part of the last century.

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Our 2016 Year in Review

Every January, it’s customary to take a look back at the year that was. What were the highlights? What were the “lowlights”? What got us to where we are today? What were the events we’ll always remember? Most importantly, what did we learn? To answer that, let’s briefly recap some of the most notable events of 2016. Some have to do with politics and some with the markets. I’ll even throw a little “sports talk” in. Then see if you can spot a common theme.

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Merry Christmas

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. —Étienne de Grellet du Mabillier (1773–1855) With 2016 coming to a close, I feel it important for us to remember our blessings, to remember the goodness we have in our lives, and to offer that goodness to bless others. This year, many have experienced great loss and...

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Prediction Season

The close of each calendar year brings with it the holidays as well as a chance to look forward to the year ahead. In the coming weeks, investors are likely to be bombarded with predictions about what the future, and specifically the next year, may hold for their portfolios. These outlooks are typically accompanied by recommended investment strategies and actions that are aimed at trying to avoid the next crisis or missing out on the next “great” opportunity.

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Happy Thanksgiving: Spirit of the Season

The days are getting shorter, and colder too. Leaves are changing, fall is here, and Thanksgiving is fast approaching. As you know, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family, friends, and other loved ones. A time to acknowledge what (and who!) we have, and express how thankful we are for all of it. A time to spread love, gratitude, and good spirits, as well as make memories and tell each other how much we care. And don’t forget—it’s also a time for delicious food and fun!

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Post Election Update: What should you be doing now?

First off, this letter has nothing to do with politics, even if it might seem that way at first. It has everything to do with investing.

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Forgetting to Plan for Unexpected Expenses

A few years ago, I met with a young man who we’ll call Sam. He asked me a very simple question: “Why can’t I ever seem to get ahead financially?” I asked Sam to tell me a bit more about himself. He continued: “I’m a college graduate. I have a good job. I pay my bills on time and don’t use credit cards. I don’t spend money on frivolous things. So why can’t I ever get ahead?” Fortunately, after a deep dive into the state of his finances, I was able to help him find the answer: he made too many of...

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Irrational Accounting

This is a blog in a series I titled “Mental Money Mistakes.” What are mental money mistakes? They’re subtle errors in judgement—basic oversights and miscalculations. As a rule, they tend to be subtle and easy to miss. I’m not talking about big mistakes like taking on a bunch of debt, spending more than you can afford, or being too risky with your investments. No, these are the kinds of mistakes just about anyone can make, even if you’re intelligent and hard-working.

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Let's Talk About Records

Let’s talk about records. It’s a word with many different meanings. It can be a verb (“Will someone please record this meeting?”), a noun (“Let the record show that I enjoy listening to records”), or even an adjective (“It’s been a record year for the Golden State Warriors basketball team.”) As an investor, it’s a word you should treat with caution.

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