"The word impossible is in the dictionary of fools. If you have the courage,
you can do anything."

- Inder Sidhu


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Second Level Thinking: What Lies Ahead?

by Catherine Trinder Miller, June 3, 2021

We believe we are entering a new economic paradigm in which the interaction between growth, inflation, and interest rates will likely shift driving new asset class leadership. There is no playbook for the current environment. Yet if we pay attention to economic cycles and the factors that drive them, we are better positioned to make sound decisions and come out ahead. Read more »

Taxes on Sale

by Teri N. Belson, March 25, 2021

If you’re a high income earner, you already know it can be wise to maximize savings in tax-deferred accounts such as an employer’s 401(k), which can lower taxable income today. What you may not yet realize, especially if you are currently in the top tax bracket, is that there may be tremendous value in paying some tax today to build tax-free savings, which may reduce your taxes in the future. Read more »

Profits Over Politics: Focus on the Cycle

by Catherine Trinder Miller, October 23, 2020

Secular forces currently underway are likely to change our behavior, and our economy, sustainably. We are witnessing an economic era of productivity at scale, the likes of which history has never seen before, accelerated by the Covid-virus present and future reality. History has shown over many decades that profits matter much more to the capital markets than politics. While near term volatility may remain high, we are still early in this new cycle when some of the best equity returns may have yet to be realized. Read more »

An Important CARES Act Update for 2020 RMDs [VIDEO]

by Teri N. Benson, CDFA, June 26, 2020

The CARES Act, passed in March this year, eliminated Required Minimum Distributions for IRAs, 401(k)'s, 403(b)'s, governmental 457 plans - essentially all defined contribution plans - as well as for the beneficiaries of inherited retirement accounts. But what if you'd already ,taken some or all your distribution and don't need it to live on and you don't want to pay tax on it this year? Read more »

Turning Points

by Catherine Trinder Miller, April 8, 2020

The path to economic recovery most heavily influences whether equity market lows have been reached; medical developments and social activity guidelines hold the key. We explore a path to new normal as outlined by former FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb in his "optimistic, realistic" scenario. Each day we move closer to the end of activity restrictions, we are nearer the economic recovery on the other side. Read more »

Respecting the Unknown While Using History & Evidence as a Guide

by Catherine Trinder Miller, March 17, 2020

As negative headlines compound, and short-term economic prospects deteriorate, we are appropriately respectful of the things we don't know. The most sobering unknown is the footprint of COVID-19 in our communities and country. Thankfully, bottlenecks to testing are subsiding and those affected will be identified and treated in coming weeks. Restricting activity in the short-term has the greatest potential to limit longer term economic declines. Read more »

Coronavirus: A Framework for Market Shocks

by Catherine Trinder Miller, March 12, 2020

Financial markets teem with Animal Spirits, a term coined by economist John Maynard Keynes to describe irrational behavior in times of economic stress and uncertainty. It is during these times that pre-defined plans and frameworks are most valuable. Using history of prior market shocks as a guide, financial markets typically move through four phases. Read more »

Coronavirus: Important But Not Knowable [Yet]

by Catherine Trinder Miller, February 28, 2020

Over dinner with famed investor Howard Marks, Warren Buffett shared the following invaluable piece of advice. "For a piece of information to be worth pursuing, it should be important, and knowable." While important, the investment implications of Coronavirus are not knowable yet. Risk management is essential. Read more »

Want to Exit Your Business? Don't do it without first considering these 4 things.

by Teri N. Benson, CDFA, November 11, 2019

The best exit is one that happens at the right time for the business owner and the business. If you are considering an exit, we recommend keeping these 4 things top of mind as you begin your planning. Read more »

Taxes: Mitigating the Inconvenient & Unpleasant

by Teri N. Benson, CDFA, October 28, 2019

Relative to history, taxes are 'on sale'. Even for those in higher tax brackets, there may be tremendous value in paying some tax today to build tax-free savings, which may reduce your taxes in the future. Read more »

Mind the Gap. Your Gap.

by Teri N. Benson, CDFA, October 8, 2019

Even if a retirement spent on golf courses or European river cruises doesn't appeal to you, surely there are things you enjoy doing and loved ones you look forward to spending time with. Attributed to the wise and oft-quoted Warren Buffett, "Having money makes you rich. Having time makes you wealthy." Here's perspective on how you can design your life to do more of what brings you joy, perhaps even sooner than you may think. Read more »

Climbing the Wall of Worry

by Catherine Trinder Miller, June 10, 2019

At the heart of the bull and bear debate since late last year has been a trend of slowing economic growth, fueling recessionary concerns and financial market volatility. Yet, the market has climbed this wall of worry year-to-date, ascending to new heights. In assessing investment opportunities and risks from here, we must employ second-level thinking, considering not only what might happen, but the probability that it will happen. Read more »

More Than Just Gamesmanship

by Catherine Trinder Miller, May 7, 2019

We are mindful of risks inherent in potential disruptions to a US/China trade deal. Fortunately, the U.S. is bargaining from a position of relative power given the improvement we have seen in our domestic economy year to date. While global financial markets are complex, at the core we can attribute much of the equity market recovery this year to key factors that drive asset pricing. Read more »

Beware the Madness of the Mobs

by Catherine Trinder Miller, December 21, 2018

MIT professor Andrew Lo's book, Adaptive Markets, opens with a description of the perfectly rational economic being - homo economicus. The two extremes of this being are the perfectly rational group labeled the "wisdom of the crowds" and the emotionally irrational group labeled the "madness of the mobs". The market has not yet determined if the current drawdown is wisdom or madness. Beware the madness of the mobs. Read more »

Animal Spirits

by Catherine Trinder Miller, October 26, 2018

For those less familiar with 'animal spirits,' it is a term coined by British economist John Maynard Keynes in 1936 to explain financial and buying decisions in conditions of uncertainty. Animal spirits describes the human emotion that influences these decisions. As we are often reminded, emotion and investing are rarely a successful combination. Read more »

Volatility Uncovers Opportunity

by Catherine Trinder Miller, October 10, 2018

While sharp movements in financial markets can be unsettling, history demonstrates that equity markets don’t move up in a straight line. Price corrections are healthy as periodic pullbacks reset valuation to more reasonable levels. This can be viewed as opportunity for long-term investors. Read more »

The Most Important Thing

by Catherine Trinder Miller, August 10, 2018

"Investor Know Thyself. How much pain can you take on the downside?" Reflecting on this question in good times can be particularly powerful in building an investment strategy that allows you to take advantage of opportunities in bad times. Read more »

As Volatility Returns, Are You Prepared?

by Catherine Trinder Miller, February 9, 2018

As equity market volatility increases, investor sentiment can also shift as emotions overcome logic in decision making. Therefore, it is essential to review the investment case for stocks, and specifically the economic fundamentals supporting asset prices. The economic regime supporting higher equity prices over the past year has been one of modest economic growth, low inflation and low interest rates. What has changed? Read more »

Pando Perspectives on Market Pullback

by Catherine Trinder Miller, February 3, 2018

The decline in the S&P 500, which accelerated in the afternoon Friday, was driven in large part by concerns at the pace of potential Federal Reserve interest rate increases. The nonfarm payroll jobs report released yesterday morning telegraphed strong job growth of 200,000 and acceleration in wage growth with average hourly earnings up 2.9% in the past year, the largest 12-month increase since 2008-09.1 Read more »

Equifax Breach, Protect Your Identity

by Teri N. Benson, September 18, 2017

As additional details emerge about the Equifax data breach, what we know today is its magnitude is massive and, as a result, we suggest protecting yourself as though your information has been exposed. We summarize what you need to know about the Equifax cyberattack and share precautionary steps you can take now to help protect your identity. Read more »

Hurricane Economics

by Catherine Trinder Miller, September 6, 2017

History has shown that hurricanes rarely shift the fundamental path of the US economy. Brian Wesbury, Chief US Economist at First Trust, describes "hurricane economics" in this insightful note. Read more »

You Must Be In To Win

by Catherine Trinder Miller, August 15, 2017

Engaging in psychological warfare trying to time your exit and reentry into financial markets is never a winning strategy. As so aptly stated by Tadas Viskanta, 'Market timing is a gateway to cash addiction.' The cost of this addiction, and inaction, can be enormous. Read more »

Sell In May and Go Away?

by Catherine Trinder Miller, May 11, 2017

"Sell In May and Go Away." Should you? Our friends from J.P. Morgan Asset Management take an evidence-based approach to answering this question. Read more »

France and the Euro1

by Catherine Trinder Miller, March 24, 2017

As I read many notes this morning assessing the implications of the first round French election results yesterday showing the ascent of political-upstart and Centrist, Emmanuel Macron, I found the comments of First Trust’s Chief Economist, Brian Wesbury, particularly noteworthy. Read more »