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Market Minutes for the week of November 28th

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of November 28th: “Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.”  ̶̶̶  John Allen Paulos The results of the election caught the entire financial world off sides and leaning the wrong way. The repositioning and reallocating financial assets to hopefully benefit from a “new world of growth” has pushed the U.S. stock market indexes to record highs nearly every day since the election. On the other side of the “Trump Trade,” the fear over higher inflation from the “new world of growth” has caused the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to rise by nearly 0.53% to 2.44% thus producing nearly $1.7 trillion of paper losses for government, corporate and municipal bonds. In other words, in a post-election balanced portfolio, U.S. stocks have given, international stocks have done nothing and bonds have brutally taken away.
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Market Minutes for the week of November 14th

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of November 14th: “What’s clear to the broad consensus of investors is almost always wrong. First, most people don’t understand the process through which something comes to have outstanding money-making potential. And second, the very coalescing of popular opinion behind an investment tends to eliminate its profit potential.” – Howard Marks What does the aftermath of the election earthquake look like? Blaine Rollins of 361 Capital: “In a surprise to every investor, we have been presented with an entirely new set of tea leaves to look at. A more predictable, low economic growth set of data has been replaced with a less certain, aggressive set of numbers. Whether you believe that the new scenario will work out doesn’t matter to the markets. A Hillary/Gridlock government was so heavily bet that the markets will now have to adjust to the RRR that just won Washington D.C.
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Blueprints: Starting To Design – this list is for you

by Cascade

Last month, I hosted a workshop focused on the second and third steps of my Blueprints process of financial planning for families with a special needs member. “Starting to Design” is the second Building Block and provides the basis for an exhilarating workshop as participants write out their dreams and goals. The design process starts with writing out hopes, dreams and goals on a sheet of paper called a DreamList. This DreamList contains anything and everything you want out of life – without any limitations. For those of you who have not been able to attend this workshop, take out a blank piece of paper and start writing down what you want to have, feel and do. For some, these goals look like things – a new car, a fast boat, a new wedding and engagement ring set, a home, a gym set or a large screen TV. Many people
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Market Minutes for the week of November 7th

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of November 7th: “Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.” – Steven Wright Marcus Nadler was a great thinker at the Federal Reserve during the Great Depression, one of our country’s gloomier “stress tests”.  At a time with so much despair and with many Americans giving up on democracy and market capitalism, Nadler presented four arguments: First he said, “You are right if you bet that the U.S. economy will continue to expand. Second, “You are wrong if you bet that it is going to stand still or collapse.” Third, “You are wrong if you bet that one element of our society is going to ruin or wreck the country.” Fourth, “You are right if you bet that leaders in business, labor and government are sane, reasonably well informed and decent people who can be counted on to find common
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Market Minutes for the week of October 31st

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of October 31st: “Politicians fascinate because they constitute such a paradox; they are an elite that accomplishes mediocrity for the public good.” – George Will Another week brings another seemingly bizarre twist and turn to this election season. Just as the market had become comfortable with a Hillary Clinton victory, FBI Director James Comey announced 12 days before the election that he will open a new inquiry into a new batch of e-mails that involve Hillary and her long-time aide Huma Abedin. This new dose of uncertainty will no doubt keep the market on edge until the outcome is known next Tuesday evening. Here is the consensus political thinking at work in the market as we head for the finish line: If Clinton wins in a landslide, the market will likely see that as a power switch in the Senate to Democrat from Republican. That
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Market Minutes for the week of October 24th

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of October 24th: “The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” – Terry Pratchett In the spirit of the season, here is “How Politics Works” from Sir Mark J. Grant: “I told my son, ‘You will marry the girl I choose.’ He said ‘no.’  I told him, ‘She is Bill Gates daughter.’ He said ‘yes.’  I called Bill Gates and said, ‘I want your daughter to marry my son.’ Bill Gates said ‘no.’ I told Bill Gates, ‘My son is the CEO of World Bank.’  Bill Gates said ‘OK.’ I called the president of World Bank and asked him to make my son the CEO. He said, ‘no.’ I told him, ‘My son is Bill Gates’ son-in-law.’ He said ‘OK.”  ̶  This is exactly how politics works.” David Kostin,
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Wealth Notes: Planning To Give Wisely

by Cascade

Recently, I was at an event for a local nonprofit organization where the fund development team talked about legacy giving. The Executive Director told a story of a local woman and the impact she had on 26 charitable organizations in the Pikes Peak Region. The woman worked as a civil servant and apparently never had a highly paid position during her career. At her death, this woman left more than $14,000,000 to a trust to fund those 26 organizations in a way that provides income every year. Many of our clients make charitable donations each year. We have clients that give to their colleges and universities, to faith-based organizations and to community service groups. Some give based on a life experience – cancer, heart attack or asthma. Others give based on an inspiring event or a natural disaster. Each person gives in their own way to groups that capture their
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Market Minutes for the week of October 17th

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of October 17th: “Who is wise? One who learns from every man… Who is strong? One who overpowers his inclinations… Who is rich? One who is satisfied with his lot… Who is honorable? One who honors his fellows.”  — Benjamin Zoma, from Ethics of the Fathers I don’t think that there is an American out there today that is not fed up with the presidential candidates and the ridiculousness of this presidential election. Dismay that these candidates are the best our country has to offer, is weighing heavily on the collective American psyche and probably impacting consumer behavior and confidence. From Jim Cramer’s Politics Weigh on Everything: “Every day we try to figure out what the heck is ailing this market. I went so far this weekend as to look up the fabled July 15, 1979, “crisis of confidence” speech… to see what Jimmy Carter
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Market Minutes for the week of October 10th

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of October 10th: “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” – George Bernard Shaw Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said recently that he was “concerned that the changes in the world savings and investment patterns that may have driven down the natural [interest] rate, could ‘prove to be quite persistent … [and the world economy] could be stuck in a new longer-run equilibrium characterized by sluggish growth’ … Central bankers may face a future where the short-term interest rates set by policymakers never get far above zero, and the unconventional tools used during the financial crisis become a ‘recurrent’ fact of life”. Fischer concluded by saying: “Ultralow interest rates may reflect more than just cyclical forces” … and, “yet another indication that the economy’s growth potential may have diminished considerably”. What would
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Market Minutes for the week of October 3rd

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of October 3rd: “Let me tell you, doing nothing is not as easy as it looks. You have to be careful. The idea of doing anything – which could easily lead to doing something – would cut into your nothing. And that would force me to have to drop everything.” – Jerry Seinfeld Why are we seeing increased volatility in the markets all of a sudden? I think there are a couple of things in play at the moment. First is the uncertainty over the upcoming election and some angst over a possible Trump victory. This silly season of politics just seems to get weirder and weirder. Secondly and more importantly, the banks both at home and in Europe, are causing trouble. Wells Fargo’s greedy actions have renewed calls to break up the big banks and will no doubt bring further regulations to an industry
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