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.

Alternative Reality

Diversification has been called the only free lunch in investing. This idea is based on research showing that diversification, through a combination of assets like stocks and bonds, could reduce volatility without reducing expected return or increase expected return without … Continue reading

E+R=O, a Formula for Success*

Combining an enduring investment philosophy with a simple formula that helps maintain investment discipline can increase the odds of having a positive financial experience. “The important thing about an investment philosophy is that you have one you can stick with.” … Continue reading

Tuning Out Media Noise and Staying Focused

For investors, the relentless streaming of media news about markets, business and economics can be overwhelming. Investors are continually bombarded with headlines, charts and financial data over the internet and the press. Topics about U.S. stocks today are popular. All … Continue reading

What You Need to Know About the New Tax Law

With the tax season behind us, we look ahead to new opportunities and challenges presented by the most comprehensive change in Federal tax laws since 1986. Changes are far-reaching, subject to interpretation and revisions, and will impact nearly every person, … Continue reading

Sailing with the Tides

Embarking on a financial plan is like sailing around the world. The voyage won’t always go to plan, and there’ll be rough seas. But the odds of reaching your destination increase greatly if you are prepared, flexible, patient, and well-advised. … Continue reading

Knowing the Limits of Financial Models

Checking the weather? Guess what — you’re using a model. While models can be useful for gaining insights for making good decisions, they are inherently incomplete simplifications of reality. As disappointed investors increasingly move away from traditional active management investing … Continue reading

Our Perspective on Recent Market Volatility

After almost two years of relative calm, in recent days a violent unforeseen increase in stock market volatility around the world has caused anxiety for many investors. From February 1–5, the US market (as measured by the Russell 3000 Index) … Continue reading

As Goes January, So Goes the Year?

As investors ring in the new year, some may see the occasional headline about the “January Indicator” or “January Barometer.” This theory suggests that the price movement of the S&P 500 during the month of January may signal whether that … Continue reading

What Should We Make of Bitcoin Mania?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are receiving intense media coverage, prompting some investors to wonder whether these new types of electronic money deserve a place in their portfolios. Only days ago, the price of bitcoin plunged sharply, declining over 25 percent … Continue reading

Having an Informed Strategy for Crisis Events

The 10-year anniversary in October of the S&P 500 historical high point before the so-called “Global Financial Crisis” is approaching. Over the following year and a half, US stock markets declined by more than 50 percent. Today US equity markets … Continue reading