Posts by MFA

December 2012: Isn’t it time we talked?

Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 in MFA Insights

This is the time of year when families have occasions to gather together and enjoy each other’s company. The holidays can provide a good opportunity for parents and their adult children to start a conversation about finances. Many people are uncomfortable talking about money, and avoid discussing the topic. While taking about finances might not be the perfect holiday meal table talk, it is an important topic, and open conversations can bring peace of mind to parents and their children. A recent Intra-Family Generations Finance Study by Fidelity Investments®  highlights the fact that...

Read More

November 2012: Top 10 Money Excuses

Posted by on Nov 8, 2012 in MFA Insights

Everyone talks of changing the world.  Few talk of changing themselves.  ~Leo Tolstoi Fortunately the U.S. Presidential election only happens once every four years.  Rather than focus on this once every four years event, we thought we’d draw attention to some costly attitudes that are in effect every day.  Jim Parker, an Australian based vice president with Dimensional Funds Advisors makes the observation of investor behavior in Australia that we recognize as universal.  He writes: Human beings have an astounding facility for self-deception when it comes to our own money. We tend to...

Read More

Market Summary- Q3 2012

Posted by on Oct 15, 2012 in MFA Quarterly Commentaries

Markets are said to “climb a wall of worry”, which is just what they did in the past three months as investors continued to buy stocks despite the coming “Fiscal Cliff” and lessons of history that labeled September as the cruelest month for equities. In our conversations with clients over the past few months, it seems we hear a lot of sentences begin with a phrase something like “in this economy”. The context is that a piece of good news or a positive result is somehow unexpected or doesn’t really fit with the current meme of a global financial crisis. Quite unexpectedly, it...

Read More

October 2012: Does Financial Advice pay for itself?

Posted by on Oct 15, 2012 in MFA Insights

1.8% per year. That is the annual added benefit delivered by financial advisors to their clients according to Chicago based Morningstar, Inc. in a recently released study*. You may recognize the name Morningstar, a firm that is best known for its analysis of mutual funds, stocks and ETFs. In this role they have built longstanding relationships with financial advisors and have developed a deep understanding of our business. Meet Gamma – no, this is not a new character in an X-men movie. This is a new measurement Morningstar has created to describe “the additional expected retirement income...

Read More

September 2012: Do Track Records Lie?

Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in MFA Insights

Every decade or so, it seems there is a new investment theme that is promoted as the greatest, “must have” idea in one’s portfolio. Research will have “shown” that had you invested this way over some prior period, your results would have vastly outpaced a simple patient buy and hold strategy that captures the returns of the capital markets. It’s all about one of two opposing emotions, Fear and Greed, and the new offer will either bestow superior returns or “would have” avoided whatever nasty downturn recently occurred. We have been around long enough to see some trends appear...

Read More