Google+ Followers

Monday, November 23, 2015

Weekly Update 11 21 2015

This week the focus is on Legacy
"Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you." Shannon L. Alder
"No legacy is so rich as honesty." William Shakespeare
"I had an inheritance from my father,
It was the moon and the sun.
And though I roam all over the world,
The spending of it's never done."
 Ernest Hemingway
"Inside of all of us there is the need and the desire to be heard, to have our innermost thoughts, feelings and desires expressed for others to hear, to see and to understand. We all want to matter to someone, to leave a mark. Writers just take those thoughts, feelings and desires and express them in such a way that the reader not only reads them but feels them as well."
Vicktor Alexander
"We don't inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."  David Brower
"We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations." David Brower
The focus on earning money, living the lifestyle that we want and saving for future personal needs is the focus of money and investing throughout our lives.
At some point, hopefully, you are asked by your financial advisor about planning for beyond your own needs.
Have you talked to your investment person, children or attorney about; beneficiaries, probate of your accounts, court costs, how your wishes are carried out for children or grandchildren.
Do you know how difficult it may be for your executor, spouse or children to gather up all your bank, insurance, home and investment information and transfer those assets according to your personal wishes?
Will your planning enable your heirs to remember you fondly or will it be a battle that exasperates?

If it has been more than three years since you have reviewed your benificiaries, will or discussed your overall planning you should have those items reviewed. 

Did you know rules around social security are changing? 

Many of you know and have begun to use the added services of Andra Reason CPA®, CSEP® our Director of Estate and Tax Panning and Trust Services.
She can work with you, in conjunction with your attorney and accountant to put in at ease regarding what legacy and memory your heirs and representatives might experience.

Related to this there is an event we are planning for next spring.
Tuesday April 26th 2016 we will be having Dick Edwards an author of the book "MOM, DAD Can We Talk?" and former Director of Elder Care at Mayo Clinic.

You can learn more about Dick on his website.

This will not be a sales pitch and no products will be offered. This will be an informative meeting on personal planning for the benefit of each of us as we plan for our life and legacy.

Please mark your calendars and save the date to come and hear more about how to talk to parents and others about important planning issues.
"All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare." 

Please forward this on to anyone who you think may be interested.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Weekly Update 11 14 2015

What Is The Next Hot Investment For 2016?

Wouldn't you like to find that sure thing? You could invest your money and tell your friends how you just made a huge return. It would be like winning the lottery or walking into a good hand of cards in Las Vegas.
Here is the problem, many of us have misconceptions concerning making investments. Investing is not like gambling! Looking at past winners and chasing after investments that have made high returns in the last year or two is a usually a path to disappointment.
A study by Craig Israelsen who developed the portfolio construction method called 7Twelve®, a portfolio diversified across seven asset class categories, shows the advantage of taking a diversified and disciplined approach to investment allocation.

What has done best in the past sometimes is the worst place to begin investing. Investors who want to follow a path towards steady returns and lowering their risk need to follow the path of constant vigilance and analysis. There is a need to be ready to prudently rebalance, reallocate and take gains from winners to put to work in other places of opportunity. 
Smart investors identify investments, managers, sectors, asset classes and other areas that are good investment sources, currently these investments are out of favor, and their prices are low in relationship to determined value. 
The story of capital markets is that everything follows cycles. Often these cycles are accentuated to cause periods of excess risk or great opportunity.
What about those who are retired and taking money, shouldn't you just go to cash and bonds? 
No, according to Israelsens' study investing in a typical conservative investment mix or even the typical 60/40 portfolio that is considered moderate, lost out to the diversified investment portfolio. 

Staying broadly diversified and rebalancing the risk are the keys to success in retirement. Staying ahead of inflation and avoiding taking large losses on investment bets are the two essentials to success in managing a retirement portfolio. 
The next hot investment is a company, sector or asset class that only a few are investing in right now, they are investing at a low point in the cycle. The losers may well be those investments where all the money is flowing into currently. 

Sir John Templeton is quoted as saying: "Invest at the point of maximum pessimism" and "If you want to have better performance than the crowd, you must do things differently from the crowd". 

"while enthusiasm may be necessary for great accomplishments elsewhere, on Wall Street it almost invariably leads to disaster." Benjamin Graham

Monday, November 9, 2015

Weekly Update 11 7 15

This weeks' focus is on distinguishing.
"You don't get drown by falling into a river. You get drown by remaining there. Falling accidentally and rising immediately was what distinguished Thomas Edison and Abraham Lincoln from the rest."  Israelmore Ayivor
"It's not love at first sight, it's having the sight, to distinguish true love, from just mere beauty."  Anthony Liccione
"Sometimes an act of common sense is indistinguishable from an act of genius."  Amit Kalantri
Many people are confused about receiving investment advice.
What distinguishes one financial adviser from another?
As fiduciaries we take our ongoing responsibility to investors very seriously.
  • We carefully select superior investments based on strict criteria that evaluates contribution on a long term risk adjusted basis.
  • We monitor those investments at all times to see if the expected behavior and outcome is continuing to be achieved.
  • Our investment committee meets regularly to evaluate investments that we will evaluate for entrance or exit from investment portfolios.
  • Our major role is through a deepening relationship as we consult and advise on the financial wellbeing of the families and individuals we serve.
We invest with the intent to manage and budget for risk management. Taking risk where opportunities are clear and draw-down is minimal.
Our client's money is treated as our own. We are "fee only" so our clients are the only ones who pay us.
  • We take no third party payments.
  • We have no revenue sharing arrangements.
  • We do not receive any commission for product.
  • We do not receive any so called "soft dollar" income.

There are six broad investment management categories that contribute to overall investment return. Make sure your investment adviser addresses all aspects that can have an effect on your portfolio and reaching long term goals.
1.      Strategic Asset Allocation
2.      Portfolio Construction
3.       Manager Selection/Monitoring
4.      Tactical Allocation Decisions
5.      Time to Need Cash-Liquidity
6.      Investor Behavior-Adviser Relationship
Below is a list of questions to ask of your investment adviser.

A:  Here are some of the questions you should always ask when hiring any financial professional:
  • What experience do you have, especially with people in my circumstances?
  • Where did you go to school? What is your recent employment history?
  • What licenses do you hold? Are you registered with the SEC, a state, or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA )?
  • What products and services do you offer?
  • Can you only recommend a limited number of products or services to me? If so, why?
  • How are you paid for your services? What is your usual hourly rate, flat fee, or commission?
  • Have you ever been disciplined by any government regulator for unethical or improper conduct or been sued by a client who was not happy with the work you did?
  • For registered investment advisers, will you send me a copy of both parts of your Form ADV?
We have extensive experience, education, and training.
Craig Marrs has 30 years of experience as an investment adviser. He holds advanced designations as a Certified Financial Planner, Certified Investment Management Analyst and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary.
Roger Willroth has 18 years of experience as an investment adviser. He holds advanced designations as a Chartered Financial Consultant, Accredited Wealth Management Adviser, Chartered Adviser in Philanthropy and Accredited Investment Adviser.
Nate Brammer has 23 years of experience as an investment adviser. Nate holds an MBA in Finance and Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation.
Andra reason has 15 years of experience as a tax and estate planning specialist. Andra is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Specialist in Estate Planning.
Jim Kain has 9 years of corporate accounting experience and hold a MBA in Finance.
We have no products to sell, we are fee only. We can find investment offerings from the entire universe of products and manage those investment assets through independent custodians such as Td Ameritrade, Charles Schwab and TIAA CREF.
You have a choice, we are a distinctly different option from many others. We offer many ways to distinguish ourselves to our clients.
"The underlying principles of sound investment should not alter from decade to decade, but the application of these principles must be adapted to significant changes in the financial mechanisms and climate." Benjamin Graham

Please forward this on to anyone who you think may be interested. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Weekly Update 10 31 2015

This weeks' focus is on fear.
"I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens."  Woody Allen
"Do one thing every day that scares you."  Eleanor Roosevelt
"Don't be afraid of your fears. They're not there to scare you. They're there to let you know that something is worth it."
 C. JoyBell .
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear."
 Ambrose Redmoon
"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."         Salvador DalĂ­
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."  Plato
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less."
 Marie Curie
Every year we take time out to make fun of things that might otherwise seem scary.
As a teenager we went to haunted house events in order to be scared out of our wits. I hated those events. Fear is not fun in my opinion. To submit yourself to the adrenaline rush of something hideous or dangerous coming up to you in a darkened and unfamiliar surrounding is not my idea of fun.
Making something scary less mysterious and making those things more approachable is the great part of Halloween.
Little children dressed up as dinosaurs or other scary critters is a lot of fun. 

Fear in investment management can be devastating. You don't want to make decisions during market fluctuations based on a sense that the sky is falling.
Market downturns are inevitable and investing cannot with any surety succeed with a short term viewpoint. Downturns are especially helpful in positioning your portfolio to investments that have gone on sale. Get invested at more advantageous prices.
Here is where most individual investors fail, they act on either overconfidence or fear and uncertainty.
If you are not certain about your investment allocation and how the diversification within your investment portfolio will perform over time it is time for a consultation with a professional adviser. 
We at Marrs Wealth Management can help you take the scare out of investing. We can help you understand the performance and risk characteristics of an investment portfolio. We can design a portfolio that keeps you in your comfort zone and provides a most optimal way to get you to your accumulation or income goal.
 "With every new wave of optimism or pessimism, we are ready to abandon history and time-tested principles, but we cling tenaciously and unquestioningly to our prejudices."
Benjamin Graham

"while enthusiasm may be necessary for great accomplishments elsewhere, on Wall Street it almost invariably leads to disaster."  Benjamin Graham

"The true investor scarcely ever is forced to sell his shares, and at all other times he is free to disregard the current price quotation. He need pay attention to it and act upon it only to the extent that it suits his book, and no more.* Thus the investor who permits himself to be stampeded or unduly worried by unjustified market declines in his holdings is perversely transforming his basic advantage into a basic disadvantage. That man would be better off if his stocks had no market quotation at all, for he would then be spared the mental anguish caused him by other persons' mistakes of judgment." Benjamin Graham

Please forward this on to anyone who you think may be interested. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekly Update 10 24 2015

In this week's focus, Andra Reason our Chief Financial officer, a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, explains many of the benefits of working with the team of financial professionals at Marrs Wealth Management.
There is much more to having a wealth management professional manage your investment portfolio than simply choosing and monitoring your investments. If that is all you receive, you are passing by a lot of benefits available to you, from Marrs Wealth Management.

As a team of financial professionals we offer a complete array of financial services and benefits.

Marrs Wealth Management offers a place where you can be certain of your entire financial planning needs being addressed and attended to, from start to finish.

We can be the professional team that addresses your needs from your investment planning to your, retirement income planning and on to estate settlement issues. We work with your attorney, accountant and other needed professional advisers, in order to make sure your planning needs become a reality.

With an expanded team in 2015, we are able to provide an extensive list of services.  Our clients are able to hold steady during emotionally-charged markets with the calm guidance from our advisor team.  Here are some of the services we provide:
  • Financial planning and thoughtful debt reduction
  • Investment selection and rebalancing
  • Investment risk tolerance - Riskalyze is a program that helps clients realize their comfort level in investment allocation.  The advisers then match investment portfolios held by the client and more closely match the client's investment mix with their comfort level
  • Tax and estate planning as well as help finding professionals with specialties needed to turn your goals into reality
  • Estate administration assistance through notification of investment companies and working with attorneys
  • Trust services by way of a shared relationship with West Bank and our clients serving as corporate trustees
  • Beneficiary designation selection and review
  • Investment consolidation
  • Social security benefit education and timing of collection of benefits
  • Charitable gift planning through Donor-Advised Funds, Community Foundations, Endow Iowa
Our website says, "An educated investor is our best client."  Please call or email us to set an appointment and learn how any or all of our services would benefit you and your family.
Craig and Roger continue to help clients with long-term planning through asset allocation. Investment analysis and selection and appropriate rebalancing of investment portfolios. They counsel clients and help them make informed decisions about continued investing, retirement planning, and debt reduction. 

Nathan Brammer joined Marrs Wealth Management and brought more knowledge about selecting retirement plans for business owners and concentrated stock holdings, including investment analysis.

James Kain joined us as well and adds a younger perspective to investing.  Jim manages our Marrs Intelligent Investment Portfolios, which is a new way for people who know the value of a professional advisor, but have not yet built their investments to the level of our clients under the full suite of services. This service involves a direct investment, online, to a choice between twelve managed investment portfolios. He brings added perspective to financial planning having spent several years in corporate accounting.

Andra Reason has knowledge of taxes, estates, and trusts.  She assists the investment advisors in reviewing estate planning documents, determining the need for trusts and corporate trustees, and the tax consequences of financial decisions. Andra is also our Chief Financial Officer. She has extensive experience having been in Public Accounting and Estate Planning.

Judy Albritton, Kent Frankenfeld, and Stacie Hostetler have over 50 years of combined experience in money management services. They are eager to help with any issues you might have, in gaining information or transacting business, in a timely and efficient manner.

We have built a team that is informed and ready to help all of our clients as well as their family and friends.  Please let us know how we can help in any of these areas.  

Please forward this on to anyone who you think may be interested. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Weekly Update 10 17 15

This week's focus is on variability and deviation.
"My bottom line is that monetary policy should react to rising prices for houses or other assets only insofar as they affect the central bank's goal variables - output, employment, and inflation." Janet Yellen

"Investment bubbles and high animal spirits do not materialize out of thin air. They need extremely favorable economic fundamentals together with free and easy, cheap credit, and they need it for at least two or three years. Importantly, they also need serial pleasant surprises in such critical variables as global GNP growth." Jeremy Grantham
"Without deviation progress is not possible." Frank Zappa
"The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold." Aristotle
"Situational variables can exert powerful influences over human behavior, more so that we recognize or acknowledge."
"Investing is about making probabilistic decisions with limited information about an unknowable future. The variables are well known, as are the possible outcomes." Barry Ritholtz
Did any of that make sense to you? Most people don't understand the ups and downs of investing.
We love when values go up but sometimes irrationally panic when values decline.

Unfortunately all investments are variable, they deviate from the long term return expectation.
None go straight up, there are short term down turns.
As Investment Advisors we spend a lot of time looking at variables and deviation of return within individual investment products and overall in investment portfolios.
Experienced investors know there is more to investing than buying a stock or and index. In fact there are thousands of stocks and hundreds of index related products available where one can invest their money.
One of the most important ways a person can control all the variables in investing is to first look at their goals, wants and needs. After determining what you want and how much it takes, a person needs to decide what amount of deviation from their ideal are they comfortable with accepting?

We call this your risk tolerance. More accurately it is the amount of variance or deviation from your target in the short term you can be handled to reach your long term goal?
If you want income for the rest of your life five, ten or twenty years plus, you cannot expect to get a return below your need for income year after year and expect your money to last.
Some risk must be taken to make your money last.
If you need a four, five, six or seven percent return on your investment some variance or deviation will occur within your investments.
The starting point is taking an honest evaluation of what type of deviation from your ideal goal in the short term you are comfortable to risk in order to reach your longer term goal.
If you would like to find your comfort level go to our web page:

Click you mouse on the button that reads; "Free Portfolio Risk Analysis".
If you have questions please call for a personal consultation, we would love to talk with you.

"The underlying principles of sound investment should not alter from decade to decade, but the application of these principles must be adapted to significant changes in the financial mechanisms and climate." Benjamin Graham
"The most realistic distinction between the investor and the speculator is found in their attitude toward stock-market movements. The speculator's primary interest lies in anticipating and profiting from market fluctuations. The investor's primary interest lies in acquiring and holding suitable securities at suitable prices. Market movements are important to him in a practical sense, because they alternately create low price levels at which he would be wise to buy and high price levels at which he certainly should refrain from buying and probably would be wise to sell."  Benjamin Graham

Please forward this on to anyone who you think may be interested.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Weekly Update 10 10 15

This week's focus is on having choices.
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."  Robert Frost
"Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives - choice, not chance, determines your destiny."  Aristotle
"Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."
 William Jennings Bryan
"There are no safe choices. Only other choices."  Libba Bray
"When you make a choice, you change the future." 
"Leaders live by choice, not by accident."  Mark Gorman
Marrs Wealth Management is always looking for innovative ways to serve others in providing excellent service, advice and investment management.
Many people want a full, service relationship with advice, planning and the ability to walk in the door and take care of a personal need at any time.
Others are not in the same town or close by our office, but want to have a full service relationship though the phone and internet. This still works great and we can stay close in touch from a distance.
There are some though who have less money, or don't want to have a face to face relationship, whether by internet or in our office.
Many want the option to make a simple transaction on the internet. They don't want to take the time or effort to look deeply into investing. They just want the basics and access to a professional advisor to manage their investments.
If this is you we have built that investment option for you.
You might have a retirement plan or IRA that you would like to have professionally managed, but you don't want to sit in an office and be sold by a financial salesperson.
Marrs Wealth Management can help you, or someone you know, get started for as small an amount as $5,000.
We can establish an account on line for you and, through an online process of gathering appropriate information manage an investment portfolio that fits your personal situation.
To get details on how to start an account or rollover a current retirement account;
Contact email Jim Kain; 

Access a Riskalyze risk assessment on our website;  .
At Marrs Wealth Management as a fee only independent Registered Investment Advisor, we can work through many independent custodians, including TIAA CREF, Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade.
We give you choice and flexibility in accessing professional managed investment portfolios.
"It's time for everyone to acknowledge that the term "long-term investor" is redundant. A long-term investor is the only kind of investor there is. Someone who can't hold on to stocks for more than a few months at a time is doomed to end up not as a victor but as a victim." Benjamin Graham

Please forward this on to anyone who you think may be interested.