Dalton — What’s your number? I know you’ve thought about it—the size of the investment portfolio you’ll need to feel comfortable retiring. According to a recent Charles Schwab survey of 1,000 401(k) plan participants nationwide, the number is $1.7 million.
Dalton — We financial advisors are supposed to be smarter than individual investors when it comes to placing cash in, and taking cash out of, investments. Envestnet tracked where 96,000 financial advisors moved into and out of for the first four months of 2019, after the crash of December 2018.
Dalton — The stock market has been on fire for the first half of the year. Can we keep that fire stoked? I am constructive on the market’s prospects for the rest of the year. Of course, for me, the worrywart that I am, that doesn’t mean I necessarily expect double-digit gains in the major stock indices before we hit 2020. We may; we very well may. But for me, I’m all about risk management. It’s about keeping that fire burning, but at the same time not letting it get out of control.
Dalton — As I write this column, the federal funds futures markets point to a 30 percent chance that the Fed will cut rates June 19 and an 86 percent chance that they’ll be lower July 31. I’d guarantee you that the Fed won’t be cutting this week, but since there are no guarantees in this business, I’d say the odds of a cut this week are about the same that little green men from Mars built the pyramids.
Dalton — Last week the main regulatory body for brokers took another shot at regulating wayward financial advisors and whiffed. I won’t drag you through the details of the new SEC disclosure and compliance requirements (the final document is 524 pages), but it doesn’t do enough to protect investors.
Dalton — I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days in tropical and exotic Cleveland, Ohio. A small group of other Certified Exit Planning Advisors and myself met to discuss our work with businesses—growing them, turning them around, managing operational and team inefficiencies, and more. I started doing this sort of work, first for my own company, more than a decade ago. Since then I’ve been helping our business-owning clients with these tasks and also using this information for identifying sound investments. Most folks who would be interested in my continuing education in the world of business growth acceleration would be CEOs, COOs and owners. But it’s not just a business conversation, it’s an investment conversation.
Dalton — The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended last week down 0.7 percent. That was the fifth week of consecutive losses for the popular stock market index, its longest losing streak since 2011. Although the market was only down about 4 percent at the time, apparently that was enough to freak out a lot of people.
Dalton — First off, there are no spoilers ahead for the season finale of Game of Thrones. I wrote this before it was aired. There are minor spoilers for the first season, but you should be fine.
On Saturday evening (May 18),,I had the distinct pleasure of hosting a fundraiser at the Model Farm (a former Crane family mansion re-imagined to become the Berkshire Money Management office space) for the Berkshire Humane Society. At any given time, there are usually two or three dogs roaming around the company. They hang out with us in our offices and go on hikes with us on our property out back. We’re animal lovers here. I’ve personally fostered more than 100 dogs and cats on their transition to forever homes.
Dalton — The last week or so of stock market stumbling notwithstanding, we are now going on four and a half months of rallying. The median S&P 500 correction in the first six months of the recovery has been 8 percent. (For perspective, the S&P 500 averages 3.4 corrections of at least 5 percent and 1.1 corrections of at least 10 percent in a year.) Further moves downward is a high-probability event, from a historical standpoint. On closing basis, as of May 11, there had been 89 trading days since the last 3 percent correction (that stretch was broken Monday, May 13, as the corrected 4.2 percent from its most recent high).
Dalton — Berkshire Hathaway, the multinational conglomerate headed by famed investor Warren Buffett, held its annual shareholder meeting this past weekend. It’s like Woodstock for investors of the Omaha, Nebraska-based company, drawing roughly 40,000 people to an arena—Buffett-stock, if you will. There were multiple hours of conversation, too much to detail for a short article, so I did you the favor of boiling much of it down to my version of CliffsNotes. Anything following in quotation marks is from the meeting or was said during a Monday morning follow-up interview with Becky Quick of CNBC.