Game point! – Nvest Nsights Q2 ’24 Newsletter

Click here for a Printer Friendly PDF which also includes benchmarking and data on investments widely utilized in our current tactical strategies.

Game Point! | Steve Henderly, CFA

Tennis great Roger Federer won nearly 80% of the 1,526 singles matches he played over his career.  Yet you might be surprised to learn that he won just 54% of the points in those matches!  Even top-ranked tennis players win barely half of the points they play… which also means they lose almost half of the points they play.  Interesting.  In Charles Ellis’ book, the “Loser’s Game”, stock market investing is likened to the game of tennis.  In that book, he explains that success is determined by avoiding big mistakes and keeping the ball in play rather than by attempting aggressive hits.  We can’t help but feel the analogy aptly applies to the deceptive allure of the S&P 500’s performance YTD – where performance is being driven by the spectacular gains of a few mega-sized tech companies.

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Declaration of Financial Independence

Declaration of Financial Independence | Jordan Ranly, MBA

Happy Independence Day – a day synonymous with our nation’s freedom from foreign rule. Might this be an opportune moment to declare your financial independence? Similar to how our nation’s founders envisioned a future of opportunity to better control our own destiny, LIVING LIFE financial planning empowers one to shape long-term dreams.

Begin by envisioning your future. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, or even 20 years? Perhaps it’s traveling the world, owning a second home, funding children’s (or grandchildren’s) education, retiring comfortably, or leaving a significant legacy for your loved ones or charitable causes. Our LIVING LIFE goals worksheet can help guide you and loved ones through this process. Visualizing these goals provides direction and motivation for your financial planning journey.

To effectively map your financial future, it’s crucial to set SMART goals:

  • Specific: Define each goal clearly. Instead of “saving for retirement,” partner with Nvest to specify how much to save and by when.
  • Measurable: Set criteria to track progress; an annual savings target and budget.
  • Achievable: Ensure goals are realistic based on your current financial situation and resources. Divide larger goals into smaller, manageable steps to maintain momentum.
  • Relevant: Align your goals with your values and priorities. Consider how achieving these goals might lead to overall well-being.
  • Time-bound: Establish deadlines for achieving each goal. This adds urgency and helps one stay focused on taking consistent and disciplined actions.

For example, if your goal is to retire comfortably at age 65, LIVING LIFE financial planning is here to help.   We can calculate how much to save each month to reach your retirement savings target based on current assets, income, living expenses, and desired lifestyle.

A comprehensive financial plan that integrates savings, investments, and risk management strategies is imperative. Is it appropriate to maximize pre-tax contributions to retirement accounts like IRAs, 401(k)s, or 403(b)s to benefit from potential tax savings and employer contributions? Are you building flexibility into your plan via regular contributions to a Roth and/or personal brokerage account?  Are any other investment ideas (ie: rental property, private equity, etc.) worth considering and how does that impact diversification across asset classes to manage risk and optimize long-term growth potential?  Nvest is happy to study these questions.

We encourage clients to meet periodically with Nvest to review financial plans and consider adjustments as circumstances change. Life events such as marriage, children, career change, or economic shifts may necessitate modifications to your goals or strategies. Periodic reassessment ensures your plan remains relevant and adaptable to evolving needs.

Don’t forget to celebrate milestones along the way! Whether it’s paying off a significant debt, achieving a savings goal, or reaching a milestone in your investment portfolio, acknowledging progress reinforces your commitment to financial independence.  Enjoy that special restaurant you’ve been wanting to try or make plans to visit one of your “bucket list” locations.  This can serve as a great reminder that wealth is simply a tool toward realizing dreams.

By taking deliberate steps to set and pursue financial goals, you’re not only securing your financial future but also embodying the essence of independence by achieving personal freedom and financial peace of mind. This July 4th, commit to declaring your financial independence; where your dreams are within reach, your retirement is secure, and your legacy is preserved for generations to come.

The Cushion of the Sea – June 2024 Commentary

A number of years ago, a submarine being tested was submerged for several hours.  Upon returning to the harbor, the captain was asked, “How did that terrible storm last night affect you?”  Surprised, the captain exclaimed, “Storm?  We didn’t even know there was one!”  The submarine was so far beneath the surface that it reached what sailors refer to as “the cushion of the sea” – a depth in the ocean where the waters below are never stirred despite commotion on the surface.  While not possible to duplicate with investments, we try to “slowdown” the oft-fast paced world of “do-anything, go-everywhere, get-it-done” that creates undue stress in life.  Can we deliver financial peace of mind allowing one to remain calm within “the cushion of the sea?”  The proven way is through a disciplined & repeatable process – “buckets of time” and LIVING LIFE financial planning.  We offer several ideas to highlight important themes for investors to consider approaching the mid-point of 2024 – providing comfort in “the cushion of the sea.”Continue reading

Goldilocks in Trouble? Or Just April Showers? – May 2024 Commentary

What child doesn’t know the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”? In the classic fairytale, Goldilocks explores the home of three Bears who are out for a walk. In the story, Goldilocks created some problems for the Bear family; breaking a chair, sampling and eating all of another bears’ breakfast. She is ultimately found asleep in one of the bear’s beds but manages to quickly escape out the window and avoid disciplinary consequences for her trespass. Much like enjoying porridge of a perfect temperature, investors experienced attractive advance in their investments during Q1 of 2024 due to an economic landscape that seemed “just right”: lower inflation and a resilient economy. It was believed these favorable dynamics would permit the Federal Reserve to not only stop raising interest rates but cut them multiple times in 2024, bringing relief to those with elevated debt before any painful “discipline” was experienced.Continue reading

The Next “Financial Eclipse”

The Next “Financial Eclipse” | Jordan Ranly, MBA

We hope your year is off to a nice start!  Our Nvest team is enjoying an exciting start to 2024, and we are feeling settled in the new office space at 9757 Fairway Drive.  Please schedule a time to visit!

Unexpected financial challenges can obscure from view well planned goals – a sort of “financial eclipse”.  Just as the moon veils the sun’s brilliance this month, we too will experience various “financial eclipse” events in our life.   An organized and holistic financial plan can illuminate the path forward even during challenging times.  LIVING LIFE  Financial Planning is here to help.Continue reading

The Bumps We Climb On – Nvest Nsights Q1 ’24 Newsletter

Highlights from our latest Nvest Nsights newsletter:

  • The Bumps We Climb On – If you knew stocks would experience two bear market drawdowns over the next four years, would you be willing to own them in your portfolio?
  • The Next “Financial Eclipse” – Just as the moon veils the sun’s brilliance, we will all experience various “financial eclipse” events in our life.
  • Mission (Not Yet) Accomplished – Inflation data disappointed to the high side two months in a row suggesting the Fed should not rush to cut interest rates, yet markets marched higher.  What lies ahead?

Click here for a Printer Friendly PDF which also includes benchmarking and data on investments widely utilized in our current tactical strategies.

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Breathing Underwater – March 2024 Commentary

How long can you hold your breath? Can you hold it longer under water, or does the anxiousness of being submerged lessen your ability? Taking this analogy into the economic world of interest rates…when interest rates are at levels above inflation, defined as “positive real interest rates,” it’s akin to holding your breath underwater. Building further on this idea, are Artificial Intelligence (AI) stocks like an oxygen tank providing the financial markets the ability to keep swimming? How long can this condition last; how long will the oxygen tank allow us to remain underwater?

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Always the Same Pitch, Regardless of the Count? – February 2024 Commentary

In 1970, baseball great Ted Williams was quoted saying “a good hitter can hit a pitch that is over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a questionable ball in a tough spot.”  And second, “Obviously you don’t just ‘guess’ curve or ‘guess’ fastball – you work with a frame of reference, you learn what you might expect in certain instances, and you go from there.”  Perhaps it’s the coaching of my two sons’ baseball teams, but isn’t it interesting the parallels between sports and investing?  Successful investors strive to identify “fat pitches” to hit instead of chasing bad ones.  If playing basketball, it’s taking the “lay up” instead of shooting for 3-points.  Why take increased risks by hitting pitches out of the strike zone, or shooting for 3-points?  Why not seek the “fat pitch” or “lay-up” areas of the market that appear ripe for accelerating performance?  After many years of repeated leadership, the most expensive areas of the market (mega-cap tech stocks) seem overdue for a break.  They are priced to perfection, and thereby risky.  Should you swing at the risky-to-hit pitch regardless of the count or game situation?

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The Pitfall of Financial Sprawl


Happy New Year from your team at Nvest!  As you turn the page to 2024, is this a good time to reflect on your financial big picture?  Is it appealing to make financial life simple?

Many clients in the Columbus area, as well as other urban areas, are well aware of urban sprawl.  It’s seems to be a growing concern and frustration.  Developing and sticking to a “grand plan” can be challenging for local politicians.  Despite good intentions, communities often deviate from the grand plan as differing views and priorities are brought forward.  These quickly distract from the big picture.Continue reading

2023 – The Year of the “M&Ms” – Nvest Nsights Q4 ’23 Newsletter

M&Ms candy was first introduced to the public in 1941, inspired after Forrest Mars Sr. relocated his Mars candy company to England and encountered British soldiers eating small chocolate beads encased in a hard sugar shell.  This shell prevented chocolate melting in the heat of summer (melt in your mouth, not your hand).  A couple other interesting facts: M&Ms were sold exclusively to the US military during WWII.  Between 1976 and 1987 there were no red colored M&Ms and the color blue was not added until 1995.  M&Ms were the first candy to travel into space (1981).  Who doesn’t like M&Ms?

Reflecting on investing in 2023, it might be appropriate to label it the year of the M&Ms.  That’s because two investing themes dominated investor behavior throughout the year: Money Market Funds and the Magnificent 7(1).

Click here for a Printer Friendly PDF which also includes benchmarking and data on investments widely utilized in our current tactical strategies.

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