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CEO Report: Commitment to Excellence

November 6th, 2013

By Jeff Petersen CFP®

There are many important components to our successful wealth management strategy, but one of the key components took center stage last month. On October 14, 2013, Eugene F. Fama was one of three awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics along with Lars Peter Hansen and Robert J. Shiller “for their empirical analysis of asset prices”.


While I have participated in one Robert Shiller lecture, I have not had the pleasure of listening to a Lars Hansen lecture. I have had the opportunity on numerous occasions to talk with University of Chicago Professor Fama as well as listen to him lecture several times due to our strong relationship with Dimensional Fund Advisors where he sits on the Board of Directors... Continue reading →

Quarterly Report: Third QTR 2013

As the third quarter of 2013 ends, the first government shut down in 17 years begins due to the  inability of Congress and the White House to agree on a budget. Regardless of political ideologies, philosophies, and stances, the United States government has been the greatest contributor to economic volatility and uncertainty. The third quarter was also marked with uncertainty regarding the Federal Reserve ending its Quantitative Easing (QE) program that involves the purchase of $45 billion in Treasury bonds and $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities per month. The Federal Open Market Committee has decided to... Continue reading →

Hindsight is 20/20

September 18th, 2013

By Matthew Petersen

Most everyone likes the idea of “winning big”, whether it be romanticizing about buying Microsoft in the 80s, Google in the 2000s, or winning the outrageous Powerball jackpot. That romance has a tendency to convince us that there is some way to create or duplicate those past successes experienced by others. The very same idea can be analogized with the acquisition of above average sports skills. If you’re a fantastic golfer today, what if you started earlier in life and spent more time playing golf and less time focused on school – how would your life be different? There is nothing wrong with romanticizing over these “what if” scenarios, but there is danger in developing a belief in their possible reality. The irrational exuberance of confidence in one’s ability to duplicate past investment success by either themselves or others is all too common throughout the investment world. Those individuals that seek out professionals to produce above market returns through conventional stock picking are only less disappointed than those whom invest for themselves... Continue reading →

Fixed Income Investments in a Low Yield Environment

September 3rd, 2013

By Josh Chittenden, CFP®

On August 8th, 2013, I searched “CD Yields” on Bankrate.com. On this day, the average 3 month CD yielded 0.15%, while the average 5 yr. CD yielded 1.5%. According to Bankrate.com, in 2007 the average 5 year CD yield was above 3.5%! This is a significant decline between the Great Recession of 2007 to now. This drastically lowered yield has large implications for investors. So, how did we get here and what should an investor do in this... Continue reading →

Five Days in June

July 31st, 2013

By Matthew Petersen

The day before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke on behalf of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the S&P 500 declined by nearly 1.5%. Its descent beyond the chairman’s June 19th press conference continued until June 24th, at which point the S&P 500 reached a near 5% decline.


Since then, the index has recovered and moved steadily upward, and has surpassed its previous all-time high. What we saw on those five days of decline surrounding Ben Bernanke’s speech was a “swoon,” a market hysteria driven by selective hearing by the... Continue reading →


July 16th, 2013

It has been a rollercoaster of a spring for the market and the economy, but, as a whole, what we are seeing occur throughout the financial marketplace is positive. On June 19th, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) made statements regarding the tapering of their bond buying program. They cited positive economic indicators as the reason for the tapering, which may occur as early as this year... Continue reading →


July 15th, 2013

By Scott Sarber, CFP®

Summer lightning storms, fireworks, and out of control backyard barbeques are all things that could potentially lead to a quick disaster.  With three recent fires in our area (Clodfelter, Finley, and Badger Mountain) we had some clients with close calls.  Since we had some clients with fire literally in their backyard, we thought it would be a good idea to address an asset protection topic – homeowners insurance and personal liability insurance... Continue reading →

The CEO Report – Fiduciary Centered Advice

June 26th, 2013

By Jeff Petersen, CFP®

Seldom is a word so important yet so misunderstood. Fiduciary is one of those words. Imagine walking into a doctor’s office and being advised that surgery is your best option to address an ailment that has become advanced in severity. Later, when reviewing the pre-operation documentation you learn that the doctor is required to put the interest of the hospital that employs her ahead of your interests. Now, questions are running through your mind – is the operation really the best solution to my ailment or is the financial interest of the hospital in this challenging health care market driving the doctor’s recommendation? Well, fortunately, physicians are legally required to first act in the best interest of their patients. Unfortunately, though, this often fails to be true in the financial advisory world... Continue reading →

Gold and Cash: No Match For Asset Allocation

June 12th, 2013

By Matthew Petersen

Stocks are an equity stake of ownership in a specific company. It’s elementary, but with the constant media buzz, we so very often lose sight of the fundamental fact that the companies in which we invest produce products, hire employees, and contribute to the overall economic vitality. However, not all investments produce or employ. Gold does neither of these things. Gold produces no return, no dividend, it’s only worth what a purchaser today is willing to pay with the hopes someone will buy it at a higher price in the future... Continue reading →

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