The term “Successful Outcomes” has become a poplar theme in today’s Financial Industry lexicon. Whether it’s specific to retirement planning or other financial planning goals, there seems to be an increasing awareness on determining and pursuing the key ingredients that produce successful outcomes. While it is a somewhat vague term, it does broaden our perspective on the measurement criteria we use to determine success.  

M.R. Kopmeyer is a well-known author and sometimes called “America’s Success Counselor.” He has worked with many companies and advised them on proven success methods. He was once asked to identify the most important characteristic that determines success of all the success principles he had discovered and studied.

He responded without hesitation: “The most important success principle of all was stated by Thomas Huxley many years ago. He said, ‘Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.’”  He went on to say, “There are 999 other success principles that I have found in my reading and experience, but without self-discipline, none of them work.”

This is a great reminder of the critical role discipline plays in many areas of our lives, and we believe is especially applicable in financial planning, investing, and overall sound financial stewardship.  

While 2017 is off to solid start with financial markets up modestly in the first quarter building off a strong 2016, there is no shortage of noise and uncertainty in the market place. We know there will be challenges to overcome in the future and out discipline will be tested, so let’s take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to our strategic long-term goals and a vision for successful outcomes.

Market Report – the Return of Diversification

US Markets – the S&P 500 was up 5% for Q1 as large caps continued to report good earnings and tailwinds from at least the perception of regulatory relief.  Small caps pulled back slightly after a stellar Q4 as questions about the timing of potential tax cuts emerge.

International – great start for both emerging markets and International Developed markets which were up 12.6% and 7% respectively, with the Dimensional Fund editions of all those indexes outperforming significantly.  For the past 2 years emerging markets have lagged creating attractive valuations that we believe still hold great potential for 5-10 year appreciation, even after the recent run.

Tax Tips…

As we wrap up tax season for 2016, here are a couple of key dates for tax filings and transactions:

Tax Deadline w/o Extension – April 18th

Tax Deadline w/Extension – October 16th (last day for SEP contributions if you filed extensions)

All deposits sent to our office would need to be sent in a minimum of 10 business days to ensure timely processing.  Any deposits sent directly to the custodian (SSG or TDAmeritrade) would need to be postmarked by those dates with the corresponding account number noted on the memo line.

We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with you to pursue discipline, responsible stewardship, and ultimately achieving successful outcomes.

Mitch & Destin