Views from the Hill

Our monthly view on global financial markets and behavioral finance. Insightful commentary in a brief format to help professionals and clients make informed planning decisions.

The Paradox of Uncertainty for Planning

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one. — Voltaire “The market hates uncertainty” is a common enough saying, but does it make any sense? Actually, people hate uncertainty. Uncertainty has many different aspects: some that … Continue reading

The Season for Predicting or Planning?

At year-end, predictions about market gloom or doom for 2017 are coming from all directions, tempting even smart investors to play the old loser’s game of forecasting market prices. The closing of 2016 brings not only New Year’s Day but … Continue reading

Dimensional Fund Advisors: An Active-Passive Powerhouse

Dimensional Financial Advisors, an institutional investment advisor all but unknown to the general public, is “An Active-Passive Powerhouse” according to an October 20, 2016 Wall Street Journal article. This Wall Street Journal article offers an in-depth look at Dimensional, explaining … Continue reading

Presidential Elections and the Stock Market

Next month, Americans will head to the polls to elect the next President of the United States. While the outcome is unknown, one thing is for certain: there will be a steady stream of opinions from pundits and prognosticators about … Continue reading

Planning for Those Higher Education Expenses

With schools nationwide back in session again, many parents are thinking about how best to manage future or even current college costs. Now is a good time to sharpen your pencil for a few important lessons before heading back into … Continue reading

David Booth Brings Academic Research to Life

Dimensional Financial Advisors Founder and Co-CEO David Booth has received a “Manager Lifetime Achievement” award from Institutional Investor. The magazine described David as a leader who “shaped Dimensional into a manager that refined . . . academic theories and applied them so investors could … Continue reading

Index Reconstitution: Hidden Investing Costs

With the annual reconstitution of the Russell indices once again approaching, this is an opportunity to revisit the effect of index reconstitution events upon returns for an expanding universe of ‘low cost” index funds increasingly popular among investors. Here we … Continue reading

What is Fiduciary Advice?

Anyone searching for investment advice is undoubtedly confronted with many choices of service providers operating under titles such as certified financial planner, financial consultant, registered investment advisor, stockbroker, and insurance agent. These titles can be confusing because on the surface … Continue reading

Is Global Diversification Important?

Investors can improve portfolio strategy by consistent exposure to both US and non-US equities. Stock market volatility worldwide is dramatically increasing after several years of relative stability. Global growth worries, erratic central bank policies and an aging business cycle are … Continue reading

Special Social Security Election Deadline April 30, 2016

Social Security Deadline April 30th Special Notice Regarding Impact of Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 If you have a birthday before April 30, 1950 and the other spouse has a birthday before January 2, 1954, you may be able to … Continue reading