Happy 529 Day!

529 #2Dear Mr. Market:

Today is the last day in May and although you’re still positive for the month you look like you’re limping home. School is wrapping up for the year so perhaps you have a bad case of “senioritis” or “summer fever”.  Are you getting tired Mr. Market? It sure looks like it. Speaking of being a student, today also is May 29th, and it marks the sixth annual national 529 Day. With that being said, let’s review why a student needs you (the market and a good platform) to ultimately get to their “finish line”.

Whether you are a parent or grandparent it’s likely been a long time since you’ve been in college. Even if you stay close to the numbers of what it costs to send a child to college, you’re likely to be blown away when it actually comes time to write that first tuition check. For the 2014-2015 academic year the College Board surveys reported that in-state college budgets averaged $23,410/year and private college averaged $46,272. Before we go into how you’re going to help pay for these types of college costs let us share with you the two reasons you should NOT use a 529 College Savings Plan. Continue reading

We’ve Hit The Century Mark! The 100th Letter to Mr. Market

100 #1Dear Mr. Market:

How time flies! Our first letter to you was on March 20, 2013.   This marks our 100th article. Over the last two years we have covered a variety of topics and events that our clients and readers have been confronted with. Over 15,000 individuals have visited the website and our top rated articles have been viewed over 12,500 times!

As we look through the library of topics we have assembled, there are several articles that stand out for various reasons. It’s challenging to pick favorites so we’ve decided to share the most popular “letters” we’ve written: Click here to read more…


MPG Core Tactical 60/40: April 2015 Performance Update

MW-BB798_sm6040_20130422180557_MDDear Mr. Market:

Every month we write to you and chat about the markets and how people are behaving based on your results. Sometimes it’s good to refresh (click here) our memory of why we do this and what the MPG Core Tactical 60/40 portfolio is intended to do. First and foremost, our aim with this series of monthly articles is not to “beat the market”, race against any benchmark, or pretend we have a crystal ball. In the most ironic way possible, those that follow this series of articles will eventually understand that the primary focus of this exercise is to show you how picking stocks and trying to “time markets” is usually a hit or miss expedition. At the end of the day (or in this case, whenever we decide to stop writing these “letters”), you will likely see that holding a properly disciplined and balanced portfolio of instruments tracking specific indexes beats out most “potpourri” type portfolios. Continue reading

Warren Buffett’s Baby

Buffett2Dear Mr. Market:

This past weekend, the investment world descended on Omaha, Nebraska; best known perhaps as the hometown of one of the most successful investors in the world. Warren Buffett, also known as the “Oracle of Omaha”, will be hosting investors at the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting. The schedule is filled with presentations, shopping & dining experiences, and social interactions that will be the highlight for many individual investors.

The investment community has been fascinated with Warren Buffett for his colorful comments and impressive track record. He has proven to be a in a class all by himself looking for good companies at an attractive price and has never been scared to be a contrarian. Flipping through the pages of the 2014 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report, we can’t help but notice that many of the principles Buffett applies to prospective investments are now making his own company look very attractive.

The class ‘B’ shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) currently trade at $141.21 per share while the ‘A’ shares trade for an impressive $213,400 per share! Through the first four months of the year BRK.B is down -5.93% while the S&P 500 is up 1.3%. Buffett has been quoted as saying, “price is what you pay, value is what you get.” Last year (2014) the S&P 500 delivered an impressive 13% and BRK.B doubled that, rewarding investors with a 26% return for the year. Continue reading