Recently, as we sat watching the aftermath of the latest hurricane and the devastation of Puerto Rico, my nine-year-old looked on sadly at all the families searching for loved ones in the rubble and asked, “Dad, what can you do if you know a hurricane is coming?”  An innocent, yet logical question, and one for which, much to his chagrin, I didn’t have a ready answer (I have spent many years selling him on the belief that I knew everything…!)  According to weather experts, the number one thing is to have a plan.  Are you going to evacuate, or do you have the supplies and the plan in place to ride out the storm?  Devastation in Puerto Rico was so bad in part because the island had not seen a direct hit in 85 years.  The infrastructure had not been updated to withstand the storms, and few had firsthand experience to prepare for the storm.

Preparation is an integral part of Stewardship.  Pope John Paul once said “The earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship”.  Financial Planning is a cornerstone of “ensuring the harvest”.  All of our financial plans are built with the knowledge that there will be some storms in our financial world, whether it is economic, geopolitical, or other factors.  Therefore, we believe it is prudent to have a plan with principles or guidelines in place for when those days come and the storms blow in.

Avoiding Complacency from the Recent Lower Volatility 

Recent market volatility has been low. In fact, as of October 1, the year 2017 has been the least volatile since 1972 for the S&P 500.  E|Financial Alliance portfolios have done well vs. benchmarks, with US Small Cap and Emerging market overweighted portfolios outperforming.  Although we are confident over the long term, there will be periods that this is not the case and certain assets are out of favor. In the midst of these times, it can seem like an eternity, but we can prepare.  One way is by avoiding the pitfalls of overly focusing on quarterly reporting with short-sighted and marginally helpful data.  As discussed, research strongly supports that investors focused on 10+ year horizons and financial plan progress enjoy better results.

As we talk with other financial professionals, it is clearly a blessing to have clients that are focused on Stewardship and Preparation vs. chasing supposed “secure” financial products or short-term focused portfolios. More good things lie ahead over the long-term, and we are excited to partner together.

Equifax Data Breach and What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

One recommendation is to pull an annual credit report from (do not use – it’s actually NOT free).  Change your passwords and monitor your credit score often through Experian, Transunion, and Innovis. You can also place a credit freeze on your account.

Welcome Emily Maugans, Client Service Advisor

It is truly with great joy that we announce Emily Maugans has joined our team to serve as Client Service Advisor.  Emily has a wealth of Financial Services experience, most recently at Transamerica with their 401K recordkeeping business. Please join us in welcoming Emily to our community!

Mitch & Destin