This week marks our firms 20th anniversary. In 1999 my naïve business plan for a “fee-only” and “fiduciary” investment management firm fit on a cocktail napkin. It was me, a phone and a computer. Thankfully, much has changed since inception and hopefully I’ve learned a bit in the process that may be helpful to others.
Every semester, we host a speaker for my Texas Lutheran students. The goal is to find experts who speak from the world of “reality,” and they are always incredibly gifted and engaging. Academic theory is necessary from a foundational perspective, but engaging with people who have been “in the trenches” is a useful learning opportunity for my students.
Between December 3rd and the 24th the stock market fell more than 15%. The headlines were bold:
“US stocks log worst year since 2008.”
“Worst December stock performance since 1931.”
“Worst Christmas Eve performance ever!”
“Corporate Profit Crunch Looms.”
One person I know liquidated their entire portfolio December 23rd exclaiming they analyzed the “charts” and everything was going down. They added that a recession was guaranteed to happen in 2020. The media chimed in with unending dramatization on the end of times as we know it.
Ten years ago this month, Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme unraveled in front of the world. Like a bad nightmare, the swindler made $65 billion evaporate from people’s lives. With the benefit of hindsight, we can identify some legitimate questions investors should have asked of Madoff that are just as relevant today. There will always be another con-artist. You cannot prevent someone determined to commit crimes—but you can hold them at arm’s length.
Topics: Accounting & Finance
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With the Tax Cuts and Job Act (TCJA) signed into law late last year, many people have questions about what strategies they should employ. With the end of the year rapidly approaching, now is the time to make plans. Here are a dozen strategies that can optimize end-of-year planning:
I’d like to introduce you to two "financial advisors" named Louie and Hannah.
Louie is our Border Collie that never stops herding his siblings, and Hannah is our adorable (yet neurotic) Great Dane. They are quite cute.
Are you confused as to how they are qualified to give financial advice? You should be.
For most people, hiring a non-qualified person to handle your precious savings is just as silly as trusting your assets to your dog.
As the thermometer hits triple digits, it is hard to believe there is anything hotter than the Texas weather. This may be true, with one exception: the Texas economy.
Although the entire nation has benefitted from low unemployment, much of the economic growth and job creation has originated in the Lone Star State.
When I tell people we are headed to Omaha for the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, some vaguely nod their heads. Others ask why we go when we can watch Warren Buffett and partner Charlie Munger online.
I first started going to Omaha fifteen years ago. As each year passes, the experience becomes more impactful.
The desire to chase a hot manager is so hard to resist—even for professionals. The news media loves to tout a manager after a huge home-run performance. They discuss their success as if they are clairvoyant savants with supernatural abilities.
Consider three examples:
Editor’s note: Dave Sather, in addition to serving on the Business Bank of Texas board of directors and running a financial planning group, leads an internship program at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas. The program, Bulldog Investment Company, teaches TLU students about sound investment principles. This year, the participating students competed in the Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium (TIPS) and won top honors.
In the article below, Dave shares some of the investing principles that helped his students win the competition, which are valuable for the average investor to keep in mind as well.