This isn’t the type of letter we like to write you. Our brief note today will not center around anything of stock market or economic interest. Mr. Market dupes people with his manic, unpredictable, and volatile ways but one thing that we can guard ourselves from is the ever growing threat of phishing.
What exactly is “phishing”?
Phishing is when fraudsters send fake emails and texts appearing to be from a trustworthy source, hoping that you will click on a link or download an attachment. Their goal is to trick you into inputting and capturing your sensitive information. You may already be up to snuff on the following tips but they are worth repeating since fraudsters are becoming more and more sophisticated:
Behind the curtain of this investment blog and our series of letters to a fictional market character (Mr. Market)…there are actual human beings. We’re certainly not hiding behind a fluffy topic, but on days like today we want to share how life can parallel with things like the stock market; it can also really put things in perspective as we look back at where we were at certain points in life. Additionally, it sometimes helps people know that unlike many other articles and financial advisors you’ll find on the internet, My Portfolio Guide doesn’t cut and paste regurgitated garbage or use a ghost writer to relay our message.
Today is March 13th…Friday the 13th! Today it’s also me, Matthew Pixa, who is writing to you and letting you know that it’s the day my daughter Isabel turns 18. Perhaps we’ll do more of these personal articles but it won’t hurt our feelings if you don’t want to read about my baby girl’s birthday when the stock market is down -25%. You be the judge, but please read on and see where I’m going with this. Continue reading →
To say that the stock market offers a changing landscape is an understatement. It’s up, it’s down, it’s sideways but regardless there is always something new and now…there is something free; stock trading!
Charles Schwab has truly been a pioneer as being a disruptor and innovator in the financial services world. Once mainly known as a discount brokerage firm for the do-it-yourself and self-directed investor, they created a deep menu of service offerings catering to high net-worth investors but always tried to stick to their roots to still make investing accessible to all. Just last month they shook up the industry once more with a huge announcement… Continue reading →
Apologies in advance for our clickbait headline. We usually aim to talk financial shop in our letters to you…but today is not about the stock market. Today, July 4th, is about independence, freedom, and the greatest nation on earth….the United States of America.
Lately the news headlines have been on an absolute overload of division and finger pointing. Truth be told..we’re absolutely tired and fed up with it. Watching and reading almost all sources of media simply takes its toll on you whether you realize it or not. As it relates to finance it has forced the untrained and emotional investor to make poor decisions. To every person who said I’m 100% out or in the stock market because of [insert political name/party]…you’re part of the problem. Holding this mindset is not using your brain as one may initially think but rather allowing another side of emotion and bias to drive your decision making process. Continue reading →
Tonight is Game 6 of the World Series but it’s also Halloween. What are your plans? Will you be glued to the television or handing out candy to little ghosts and goblins? Since Mr. Market is a one trick pony and mainly wants to talk about the stock market, we’re sharing an article that was written five years ago on Halloween night. Enjoy! Continue reading →
Last week I had lunch with an old colleague of mine. It’s always good to catch up with others in the same profession but sometimes it also truly helps you understand why so many consumers are confused. Here’s a brief background and then a summary of an actual conversation between two financial advisors:
Both financial advisors began their careers working for major wirehouse firms (think Morgan Stanley, Prudential, UBS, Smith Barney, etc…). They each then worked at Charles Schwab as part of the Retail Branch Network and Schwab Private Client (SPC) group. Thereafter, Advisor #1 (who we will call Fee-Based Advisor) left Schwab to join one of the advisors that is in their Schwab Advisor Network program. This is a network that has made certain firms wildly successful as Charles Schwab branch representatives get compensated to vector investors and Schwab account holders to meet with advisors who pay to be in their program. Advisor #2 (who we will call Fee-Only Advisor) is not part of any network and is not affiliated with any brokerage firm, mutual fund company, or insurance company. “Fee-Only Advisor” is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).
Fee-Based Advisor: So…how are things out there?
Fee-Only Advisor: Good…I keep plugging away but sometimes it’s frustrating to see how undereducated the general public is about this industry. Continue reading →
The investment industry is notorious for not being transparent with investors. The industry tends to be a shade of grey as opposed to being black and white. There are often hidden agendas or conflicts of interest that the average investor is never aware of or informed about. Think back to some of the situations that have negatively impacted investors in just the last few years: Bernie Madoff, Insider Trading, the Mortgage Industry debacle and the meltdown of Enron! Conflict of interest is essentially why the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is now in existence.
Conflict of Interest – Occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation. (from Wikipedia).
Today we will take a look at an investment firm that has had incredible growth over the last several years: Windhaven Investments.
In 2010 Charles Schwab & Company (SCHW) purchased a small investment advisory firm in Boston named Winward Investments. The firm’s strategies had posted impressive results for several years and didn’t use the industry standard ‘buy and hold’ type of approach. They used primarily ETF’s (Exchange Traded Funds) and claim to invest in over 40 different sectors, participating in positive markets and protecting in downturns. Schwab paid a hefty price for the firm, paying $150 million in cash and stock (source: WSJ). Continue reading →