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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Weekly Update 4 11 15

This week's theme is life lessons.

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."  Albert Einstein

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are." John Wooden

"Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking." Anonymous

"A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success." Anonymous

"You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions." Naguib, Mahfouz

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." Albert Einstein



The greatness of our country is you can work hard and become successful, by moving yourself into a place where you provide services to other people.
This week we get to go through the process of making sure we are all squared up with our personal obligation to our fellow citizens in the area of taxation and most of us pay a lot for that privileged.







Paying our obligations is a privileged we can be thankful for, but being wise about how you became successful is also important.

Tax Wise Investing
The deadline is looming. I think this is my number one most painful part of the year. Just thinking about how much of my earnings and investment growth is going to pay taxes, I don't want to think about.
Services are important, don't lose sight of that. Our government officials and service personnel provide valuable support to all of us.

 At times people complain about having capital gains and dividend income, on which they need to pay taxes.   I jokingly tell people that, we could lessen their return and they could pay less tax.

Getting less on your investments is not the solution. Never selling an investment that has become overvalued is not the answer either.
Many people hold on to investments that no longer are going to produce the needed effect on their investment portfolio, simply to avoid realizing the gain. They dislike paying taxes to the point that they don't look objectively at the investment.

To be wise about taxes and investing at the start use tax deferred investment accounts. Money you are investing for long term goals should first be directed to workplace retirement accounts, Individual 
Retirement Accounts, and Roth IRA Accounts. Most of these accounts you cannot withdraw without penalty before age 59 ½. There are a few exceptions, make sure you consult your adviser. Max out these types of accounts first.

If you have a long term goal to pay for college expenses a 529 college savings plan could help you defer taxes on investment gains and may be tax free if paying for qualified expenses. If you use the Iowa Savings 529 plan you may also receive a state tax deduction.

When investing outside of these tax advantaged accounts there are three strategies to keep in mind. If investing in bonds, or higher dividend and income producing assets.
  • First, use tax exempt bonds outside of tax deferred accounts.
  • Second, put most of your higher income producing assets in your retirement plans. 
  • Third use tax efficient investment products like Exchange Traded Funds. Capital gains may be deferred until you sell and unlike annuities your gains will be taxed at capital gains tax rates rather than ordinary income rates.
A combination of these strategies is best.




 The S and P 500 index trended up this week. +1.70%
The Dow Jones World Index trended up this week. +1.86%
The 10 year Treasury Yield index trended up this week.
+2.47%
The US Dollar index trended up this week. +1.97%
The CRB Commodities index trended up this week. +.48%
The Gold Index trended up this week.  +.47%
Inflation Linked Bonds trended up this week. +1.20%
US Aggregate Bond Index trended down this week. -.20%
The International Aggregate Bond Index trended down this week.  - 1.79%

The NCREIF Index is aggregated and reported quarterly and is a total return broad representation including rents and appraisal of non-traded Commercial Real Estate.

2014 1st qtr + 2.74%

2014 2nd qtr + 2.91%

2014 3rd qtr + 2.63%

2014 4th qtr +3.04%



It pays to stay diversified and not chase prior winners!


Many investors take the wrong approach looking primarily at recent return.

Overall risk measures and managing downside risk play an increasing role in end results.

Investors instead should be focused on managing Dynamic Beta exposure, evaluation of Active Share, Sharpe ratios, Sortino ratios and Alpha.


The above is for informational purposes only and not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell. Past performance is no guarantee of future return. Decisions on making any investment should be made only subsequent to a thorough professional analysis of the overall individual financial picture and the goal for the investments. This writing is not to be construed as an offer of personal advice or an offer to follow any recommendation. Any investments should only be entered into after a thorough analysis from your personal Adviser and related to your current financial picture and goals.


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

The above is for informational purposes only and not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell. Past performance is no guarantee of future return. All decisions about investments should be made within parameters of risk, time frame, financial position and overall asset allocation.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

First Quarter 2015 Update

This week's theme is persistence.

"Don't ever give up.
Don't ever give in.
Don't ever stop trying.
Don't ever sell out.
And if you find yourself succumbing to one of the above for a brief moment,
pick yourself up, brush yourself off, whisper a prayer, and start where you left off.
But never, ever, ever give up."  Richelle E. Goodrich,

"First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won't. Habit is persistence in practice."  Octavia E. Butler

"There is no such thing as helplessness. It's just another word for giving up."  Jefferson Smith

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." 

"To persist with a goal, you must treasure the dream more than the costs of sacrifice to attain it."  Richelle E. Goodrich



What is it that derails an investment strategy? It is always the extremes.


Efficient strategies to get from one point to another only work if the strategy is consistently followed.

Here is where investors make their biggest mistakes.

When the stock market declines over a long period of time Investors believe this will continue. This is when investors abandon stocks at a period when it may be prudent to rebalance allocations to increase stock exposure.

On the flip side when stocks run up significantly with little volatility it is believed this will always continue. Investors now increase their acceptable risk level, when they should be scraping profits and rebalancing their investment portfolios.
Let us show you that maintaining a well balanced and diverse investment strategy is the way to beat any one market.

It appears the US stock market may be overvalued and that a correction to lower levels may be in order.

This shouldn't mean get out of investments, it should mean be confident and persist in your well planned out and diversified investment strategy.
We are confident in the strategies we implement for our clients.
No one knows the future or the short term direction of the market.
One thing is certain volatility has increased in US stocks the last several months. I believe that this trend toward volatility will increase.









http://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/PE-Ratios-and-Market-Valuation.php?referrer=feed43.com 







The S and P 500 index is positive for the first quarter. +.39%
The Dow Jones World index is positive for the first quarter. +2.80%
The 10 year Treasury Yield index is negative for the first quarter. -12.26%
The US Dollar index is positive for the first quarter. +7.78%
The CRB Commodities index is positive for the first quarter.
-6.03%
The Gold index is positive for the first quarter.  +1.63%
Inflation Linked Bonds is negative for the first quarter. -4.1%
US Aggregate Bond index is positive for the first quarter. +1.66%
The International Aggregate Bond index is negative for the first quarter.  -8.73%

The NCREIF Index is aggregated and reported quarterly and is a total return broad representation including rents and appraisal of non-traded Commercial Real Estate.

2014 1st qtr + 2.74%

2014 2nd qtr + 2.91%

2014 3rd qtr + 2.63%

2014 4th qtr +3.04%



It pays to stay diversified and not chase prior winners!


Many investors take the wrong approach looking primarily at recent return.

Overall risk measures and managing downside risk play an increasing role in end results.

Investors instead should be focused on managing Dynamic Beta exposure, evaluation of Active Share, Sharpe ratios, Sortino ratios and Alpha.


The above is for informational purposes only and not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell. Past performance is no guarantee of future return. Decisions on making any investment should be made only subsequent to a thorough professional analysis of the overall individual financial picture and the goal for the investments. This writing is not to be construed as an offer of personal advice or an offer to follow any recommendation. Any investments should only be entered into after a thorough analysis from your personal Adviser and related to your current financial picture and goals.


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


The above is for informational purposes only and not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell. Past performance is no guarantee of future return. All decisions about investments should be made within parameters of risk, time frame, financial position and overall asset allocation.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Weekly Update 3 28 15

This week's theme is the value of experience.

"The only source of knowledge is experience." Albert Einstein

"All experience is an arch to build upon." Henry Brook Adams

"He knows the water best who waded through it." Danish Proverb

"If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it." Chinese Proverb

"Avoid the precepts of those thinkers whose reasoning is not confirmed by experience." Leonardo Da Vinci



This past week, much of the week, I was in waiting rooms and walking through Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
My Father went through a number of tests and exams.

Mayo Clinic is an amazing testament to organization, collaboration, expertise, collegiality and caring.

"The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered, and in order that the sick may have the benefit of advancing knowledge, union of forces is necessary."
William J. Mayo MD 1910

"The key note of progress is system and organization, in other words team work." Charles H. Mayo MD 1916

 

 

Vanguard researchers have determined an ongoing relationship with an experienced Financial Advisor adds three percent to your annual long term investment performance.

Expertise, experience and putting the needs of others firsts, this what defines Marrs Wealth Management.





Marrs Wealth Management, LLC has one of the most experienced and knowledgeable teams you could find anywhere.

Meet our team.

Craig Marrs is a Certified Financial Planner, Certified Investment Management Analyst, and Accredited Investment Fiduciary. Craig has over 30 years of advisory experience.
  
Roger Willroth is a Chartered Financial Consultant, Certified Advisor in Philanthropy, Accredited Wealth Management Advisor and Accredited Investment Fiduciary. Roger has 17 years of advisory experience.

Nathan Brammer has an MBA in Finance with over 21 years of advisory experience.

Andra Reason is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Specialist In Estate Planning. Andra has over 16 years' experience in tax, accounting and estate planning

Jim Kain will be joining us after receiving his MBA degree in Finance from the University of Iowa. Jim also has a degree in Accounting from Iowa State University and eight plus years as a corporate accountant.

Our service team has combined over 30 years' experience.

Judy Albritton is our Director of Client Service, Kent Frankenfeld is our Director of Operations and Stacie Hostetler is our Executive Assistant to Advisers.

Dylan Parle is also here full time and is in his Junior Year as a Finance Major at Iowa State University.

The most noteworthy thing about our team is they all care about you our clients and about providing exceptional value and service, through their work on your behalf.

You would not find anywhere, a more experienced, knowledgeable and caring team to trust for exceptional advice.


"The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered, and in order that the sick may have the benefit of advancing knowledge, union of forces is necessary."
William J. Mayo MD 1910

"The key note of progress is system and organization, in other words team work." Charles H. Mayo MD 1916




 
We are independent and fee only.
We are only paid by our clients.
We take no fees, or commissions from third parties.
We are not paid from any products.
We pledge to look only to the best interest of our clients.
We act as fiduciaries in all client engagements.




The S and P 500 index trended down this week. -2.23%
The Dow Jones World Index trended down this week. -1.66%
The 10 year Treasury Yield index trended up this week.
+.93%
The US Dollar index trended down this week. -.66%
The CRB Commodities index trended up this week. +.49%
The Gold Index trended up this week.  +1.4%
Inflation Linked Bonds trended up this week. +.19%
US Aggregate Bond Index trended down this week. -.02%
The International Aggregate Bond Index trended up this week.  +.74%

The NCREIF Index is aggregated and reported quarterly and is a total return broad representation including rents and appraisal of non-traded Commercial Real Estate.

2014 1st qtr + 2.74%

2014 2nd qtr + 2.91%

2014 3rd qtr + 2.63%

2014 4th qtr +3.04%



It pays to stay diversified and not chase prior winners!


Many investors take the wrong approach looking primarily at recent return.

Overall risk measures and managing downside risk play an increasing role in end results.

Investors instead should be focused on managing Dynamic Beta exposure, evaluation of Active Share, Sharpe ratios, Sortino ratios and Alpha.


The above is for informational purposes only and not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell. Past performance is no guarantee of future return. Decisions on making any investment should be made only subsequent to a thorough professional analysis of the overall individual financial picture and the goal for the investments. This writing is not to be construed as an offer of personal advice or an offer to follow any recommendation. Any investments should only be entered into after a thorough analysis from your personal Adviser and related to your current financial picture and goals.


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

 
The above is for informational purposes only and not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell. Past performance is no guarantee of future return. All decisions about investments should be made within parameters of risk, time frame, financial position and overall asset allocation.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekly Update 3 21 2015

This week's theme is uncertainty.

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity."  Gilda Radner

"I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance." Beryl Markham


"Il n'est pas certain que tout soit incertain.
(Translation: It is not certain that everything is uncertain.)"  Blaise Pascal

"But nothing is solid and permanent. Our lives are raised on the shakiest foundations. You don't need to read history books to know that. You only have to know the history of your own life."
 Ron Rash

"Uncertainty is one of government recipes."  Toba Beta

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."  Albert Einstein


"When the future is fogged and ahead lays opportunity but risk, it is better to tread a careful path through the uncertainty than to wait for the mist to clear, if it ever does."  Anonymous

 This week was a much anticipated Federal Reserve Board meeting. As expected they removed the word patient from their statement.
The overall sentiment from other parts of the statement indicate they will not raise rates in June but they left room to do so if they thought things looked more healthy in the economy by then.
The consensus is they believe the recent slowdown is weather related and not indicative of the overall health of the economy.
The stock market had no uncertainty everyone, it seems, believe that monetary policy will be dovish for quite a long time.

However, they are all very uncertain and in uncertainty it is best to be widely diversified and nimble in your investment strategy. In all likelihood we will not see a rate hike before fourth quarter, if at all this year.
In my opinion, volatility in markets will continue to increase.


This Bloomberg article summed up the key points of the thinking of Federal Reserve Policy Makers.



1. Policy makers expect to raise their benchmark interest rate more slowly than they had previously thought 
2. The committee mentioned exports for the first time since March 2009
3. Officials cut their projections for economic growth sizably, across multiple years
 4. The Fed now expects lower inflation 










http://seekingalpha.com/article/3012536-celebrations-over-qe-that-doesnt-work-so-bring-more-qe?ifp=0





http://seekingalpha.com/article/3012536-celebrations-over-qe-that-doesnt-work-so-bring-more-qe?ifp=0




http://seekingalpha.com/article/3011916-pushing-on-a-string-the-feds-spectacular-failure-to-stimulate-housing?ifp=0 



The health of the economy certainly seems to be slowing over the last several months. Whether this indicates a recession on the horizon or not, no one knows. The fact is recessions are usually recognized after they happen.
The only way to deal with this uncertainty in investing is to prepare for the unexpected!


The S and P 500 index trended up this week. +2.66%
The Dow Jones World Index trended up this week. +3.26%
The 10 year Treasury Yield index trended down this week.
-8.62%
The US Dollar index trended down this week. -1.28 %
The CRB Commodities index trended up this week. +1.62%
The Gold Index trended up this week.  +2.26%
Inflation Linked Bonds trended up this week. +2.74%
US Aggregate Bond Index trended up this week. +1.01%
The International Aggregate Bond Index trended up this week.  +2.5%

The NCREIF Index is aggregated and reported quarterly and is a total return broad representation including rents and appraisal of non-traded Commercial Real Estate.

2014 1st qtr + 2.74%

2014 2nd qtr + 2.91%

2014 3rd qtr + 2.63%

2014 4th qtr +3.04%



It pays to stay diversified and not chase prior winners!


Many investors take the wrong approach looking primarily at recent return.

Overall risk measures and managing downside risk play an increasing role in end results.

Investors instead should be focused on managing Dynamic Beta exposure, evaluation of Active Share, Sharpe ratios, Sortino ratios and Alpha.


The above is for informational purposes only and not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell. Past performance is no guarantee of future return. Decisions on making any investment should be made only subsequent to a thorough professional analysis of the overall individual financial picture and the goal for the investments. This writing is not to be construed as an offer of personal advice or an offer to follow any recommendation. Any investments should only be entered into after a thorough analysis from your personal Adviser and related to your current financial picture and goals.


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

 



The above is for informational purposes only and not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell. Past performance is no guarantee of future return. All decisions about investments should be made within parameters of risk, time frame, financial position and overall asset allocation.







Monday, March 16, 2015

Weekly Update 3 14 15

This week's theme is overcoming.


"You must see challenges as virtues of opportunities for personal development. You will then have the strength to overcome the challenge." Lailah Gifty Akita

"We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world." Helen Keller

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou


"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow.'"
Mary Anne Radmacher

"What if I told you that 10 years from now, your life would be exactly the same? I doubt you'd be happy. So, why are you so afraid of change?" Karen Salmansohn


"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you ... never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." Harriet Beecher Stowe


"I was taught the way of progress is neither swift nor easy."
Marie Curie

"Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood." Helen Keller


The world is certainly an adverse environment for ease and comfort. If you are a conservative investor or saver; bonds offer very little yield and interest on savings accounts even less.
Those planning on a 4% or 5% withdrawal rate from savings during retirement have been rapidly spending down their nest egg.

A different model of being cautious and investing during retirement is going to be needed for those boomers retiring within the last fifteen years and beyond.



I was accused of quoting only men last week. This week I am posting the entire blog from Danielle Park, who I follow and read on the website, "SEEKING ALPHA".

Fed in Deflation Penalty Box by Danielle Park , CFA



"Price deflation is the natural outcome of mammoth excess capacity and shrinking demand from aging, indebted consumers. Lower asset values are a key part of the cure needed to fix global imbalances and restore rational investment math and consumption ability once more for the middle class."
"But for bankers...this is a nightmare of their own foolish, greedy design. Rate-cutting powers now gone, and future consumption already spent as demand the past few years, the next global recession is advancing to force a much needed cleansing of reckless policies and players. Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of folks..."



Some would have us believe that the slowdown in GDP Growth, Prices and Sales is from the bad winter and falling gasoline prices. However there is evidence that more is going on than a temporary soft patch.




To win in the next phase of financial markets, you will need to be diversified to a greater extent and more nimble in your approach.
I really don't believe buying and holding a market index will be a very desirable strategy for the years to come!
Many studies have provided evidence that recent winners will not continue to be leaders going forward. 



The S and P 500 index trended down this week. -.86%
The Dow Jones World Index trended down this week. -1.41%
The 10 year Treasury Yield index trended down this week.
-5.71%
The US Dollar index trended up this week. +1.78 %
The CRB Commodities index trended down this week. -4.29%
The Gold Index trended down this week.  -1.35%
Inflation Linked Bonds trended up this week. +.47%
US Aggregate Bond Index trended up this week. +.26%
The International Aggregate Bond Index trended down this week. -2.82%

The NCREIF Index is aggregated and reported quarterly and is a total return broad representation including rents and appraisal of non-traded Commercial Real Estate.

2014 1st qtr + 2.74%

2014 2nd qtr + 2.91%

2014 3rd qtr + 2.63%

2014 4th qtr +3.04%



This week's theme is overcoming.


"You must see challenges as virtues of opportunities for personal development. You will then have the strength to overcome the challenge." Lailah Gifty Akita

"We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world." Helen Keller

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou


"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow.'"
Mary Anne Radmacher

"What if I told you that 10 years from now, your life would be exactly the same? I doubt you'd be happy. So, why are you so afraid of change?" Karen Salmansohn


"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you ... never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." Harriet Beecher Stowe


"I was taught the way of progress is neither swift nor easy."
Marie Curie

"Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood." Helen Keller


The world is certainly an adverse environment for ease and comfort. If you are a conservative investor or saver; bonds offer very little yield and interest on savings accounts even less.
Those planning on a 4% or 5% withdrawal rate from savings during retirement have been rapidly spending down their nest egg.

A different model of being cautious and investing during retirement is going to be needed for those boomers retiring within the last fifteen years and beyond.



I was accused of only listening too or more specifically quoting only men last week. This week I am posting the entire blog from Danielle Park, who I follow and read on the website, "SEEKING ALPHA".

Fed in Deflation Penalty Box by Danielle Park , CFA



"Price deflation is the natural outcome of mammoth excess capacity and shrinking demand from aging, indebted consumers. Lower asset values are a key part of the cure needed to fix global imbalances and restore rational investment math and consumption ability once more for the middle class."
"But for bankers...this is a nightmare of their own foolish, greedy design. Rate-cutting powers now gone, and future consumption already spent as demand the past few years, the next global recession is advancing to force a much needed cleansing of reckless policies and players. Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of folks..."

 



Some would have us believe that the slowdown in GDP Growth, Prices and Sales is from the bad winter and falling gasoline prices. However there is evidence that more is going on than a temporary soft patch.





 


To win in the next phase of financial markets, you will need to be diversified to a greater extent and more nimble in your approach.
I really don't believe buying and holding a market index will be a very desirable strategy for the years to come!
Many studies have provided evidence that recent winners will not continue to be leaders going forward. 



The S and P 500 index trended down this week. -.86%
The Dow Jones World Index trended down this week. -1.41%
The 10 year Treasury Yield index trended down this week.
-5.71%
The US Dollar index trended up this week. +1.78 %
The CRB Commodities index trended down this week. -4.29%
The Gold Index trended down this week.  -1.35%
Inflation Linked Bonds trended up this week. +.47%
US Aggregate Bond Index trended up this week. +.26%
The International Aggregate Bond Index trended down this week. -2.82%

The NCREIF Index is aggregated and reported quarterly and is a total return broad representation including rents and appraisal of non-traded Commercial Real Estate.

2014 1st qtr + 2.74%

2014 2nd qtr + 2.91%

2014 3rd qtr + 2.63%

2014 4th qtr +3.04%



 

It pays to stay diversified and not chase prior winners!


Many investors take the wrong approach looking primarily at recent return.

Overall risk measures and managing downside risk play an increasing role in end results.

Investors instead should be focused on managing Dynamic Beta exposure, evaluation of Active Share, Sharpe ratios, Sortino ratios and Alpha.


The above is for informational purposes only and not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell. Past performance is no guarantee of future return. Decisions on making any investment should be made only subsequent to a thorough professional analysis of the overall individual financial picture and the goal for the investments. This writing is not to be construed as an offer of personal advice or an offer to follow any recommendation. Any investments should only be entered into after a thorough analysis from your personal Adviser and related to your current financial picture and goals.


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

The above is for informational purposes only and not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell. Past performance is no guarantee of future return. All decisions about investments should be made within parameters of risk, time frame, financial position and overall asset allocation.