Your Q4 2017 Report is Here

The quarterly and annual market review is here! Click here. It’s 30 pages and examines the global markets from every angle. The first half is quarterly and second half is the annual. There is also a write-up on bitcoin halfway through. Our 2-page O’Reilly Wealth Advisors performance summary can be found here Here’s a quick 2017 market and O’Reilly Wealth Advisors portfolios update. Markets and our portfolios performed well in 2017. The “winner” for 2017 was markets outside the USA meaning non-US developed countries and emerging market countries. Over the last 20 years markets outside the USA have performed lower compared to the USA large and small stocks – and many shied away from this asset class. We have remained disciplined and our portfolios are exposed to the 27% return. (5% in Q4!)  Of the 27% return, 37% was attributable to emerging markets and 24% was international developed countries. Other investors lost out by avoiding this market segment due to past history. Next best was US large companies as represented by S&P 500, up about 22% (6.6% in Q4!). US small companies (Russell 2000) also had a great year at about 15% (3.3% in Q4.) O’Reilly Wealth Advisors’ most conservative portfolios (40% stock, 60% bonds) were up about 2.2% and 9% for the quarter and year respectively. Excellent results for conservative portfolios which enjoy less volatility at the expense of larger returns. Our most aggressive portfolios (meaning 100% stock, 0% bonds) enjoyed great returns of about 6% and 20% for the quarter and year respectively. The other models fell in between. Even the 100% stock portfolios enjoyed lower volatility than the indexes due to...

Is Bitcoin a bubble?

According to author John Waggoner in his article at Investment News, click here, it is indeed a bubble. He article begins: Some investors have raised the question: “Is bitcoin a bubble?” This is somewhat like asking whether Taylor Swift makes records, or Kim Jong Un likes rockets. But let’s look over the evidence. Before you go to the article – a few observations. Obviously many people have done well with Bitcoin if they bought in at the right time and then sold. If they are still holding Bitcoin, then all bets are off – it’s only a “win” when completed (sold)! Also keep this in mind. What matters is a string of wins, so that your wins compound. Wealth comes from compounding over many years, not one win over 4 months. You make no money in-between small wins and you sometimes lose money. Many of you attempts at winning end up losing – when you’re chasing fads. If you’re holding Bitcoin – get out now and invest cleverly in an index or evidence based investing fund....

ERISA Attorney Ary Rosenbaum: Whole New World for 401(k) Plan Sponsors!

Original article posted here at JD Supra by Ary: https://goo.gl/gTqa2V PDF of article found here. Article beginning: I’ve been an ERISA attorney for over 19 years and 401(k) plans have dramatically changed because of law changes, technological change, and changes in the marketplace. The problem is that most plan sponsors are stuck back in time when the courts and the government made it impossible for them to be sued or penalized. Business practices that were legal back then have been either eliminated or curbed because the courts and the Department of Labor (DOL) have frowned on them. What was good then isn’t what’s good now. Retirement plan sponsors need to understand the increased potential liability as plan fiduciaries and the best way to understand the changes that have taken place in the 401(k) plan business over the last 20 years. This article will let 401(k) plan sponsors understand how and why they need to be more vigilant in their role as a 401(k) plan...

Hope for Your 401k Account Producing Higher *Relative* Returns

Most 401(k) account holders are not aware that they could be achieving higher relative returns. This is especially true in a positive stock market environment.  There’s the famous saying, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”  The problem is your boat may not be not rising as fast as it could and also falling faster than it should when markets shift to a “falling tide”. In other words, your return, relative to benchmarks, or compared to a prudently designed portfolio, might actually be quite low! We suggest thinking in terms of two steps. By the way – both steps are equally important and neither step is done very well. Step 1 is under your control. Step 2 requires you to step outside of your comfort zone. Remember, though, it is YOUR money. Step 1: Grab the highest returns within the limitations of your 401(k) plan. Back to the “Rising Tide” idea. In investing you want to get full participation in the global market – in all the “rising tides” that are occurring. You also want to “fall less” when the rising tide turns to a falling tide. Diversification and low fees are the keys to both desires. Your victories that lead to winning the investment battle are small and numerous. An extra 0.5% gain here, and only dropping 0.5% when others dropped 0.8%. Day in, day out, those little victories put you in the winners circle. Be sure to get help from a registered investment advisor (RIA), if your plan has one. You want to get the deepest stock exposure possible around the world. Highest diversification, lowest fund fees. Sometimes “do it for...

401(k) Social Media Posts November 2017

Dear Readers, Enjoy all of our social media postings in one place for those of you not following us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Useful to all especially 401(k) plan sponsors. Not a plan sponsor? Share with your favorite 401(k) account holder or plan sponsor. 11/6/2017 (retweet) Evaluating a fund? Never mind its star rating; go straight to the total expense ratio, says @John_Stepek ow.ly/qIUS30gnhh8 11/7/2017 #401k #fiduciary #EvidenceBased investing small 401(k) plan high fees NOT necessary & get higher quality too ow.ly/u1gs30gn2dZ 11/8/2017 Plan Sponsors: excellent recorded webinar #401k “#fiduciary& fees” by ERISA attorney at partner’s site #SHRM credit http://ow.ly/SYJk50f2aZX 11/14/2017 #Cybersecurity & #401(k) Plans: team up with advisor/providers, create & document procedures, demonstrate prudent #fiduciaryprocess. no surprise there. ow.ly/ebHb30gvRy8 11/15/2017 #SHRM #HR #401(k) Research: employers have green light to push the envelope on default savings rates…. https://goo.gl/mCESYX 11/16/2017: #SHRM #HR #401(k) #plansponsor one tax proposal streamlines some DB and DC rules http://ow.ly/LbBp30gvSJU 11/20/2017:#millenials doing OK, two-thirds saving for 401k #retirement #SHRM #HR ow.ly/C6Sv30gGoHm fb.me/BFlJVaIU 11/28/2017 #SHRM #HR #Fiduciary Most Common #401kFund Lineup Mistakes ow.ly/R5oK30gyPJJ 11/29/2017 #401k account holders want more #investingfee info #hiddenfees #Fiduciary #SHRM #HR#PlanSponsor #retirement ow.ly/yFSh30gG0fw 11/30/2017 #401k #planponsors must address & educate for #retirement #RMD req min distributions. ow.ly/qz3130gG2qY 12/5/2017 Senate passes tax reform bill that impacts #HRbenefits. But which ones? A #SHRM article explores the just-passed bill’s impact on benefits. #401k #retirementplan #403b#Fiduciary ow.ly/OHDf30h0TiM Other dates: A new paradigm for small 401(k). It’s NOT a foregone conclusion that small 401(k) plans must be overburdened with fees – in fact – they can even have competitive fees and improved in quality at the same time.https://goo.gl/fqC9Dr Is Voya your 401(k) record-keeper? – see article on law suit https://goo.gl/EJxcr8 or any insurance/brokerage company? – see us and we’ll show you exactly what you are paying for each 401(k) plan element. We’ll give you our opinion on the fund lineup. The story of attorney of Jerry Schlichter fighting 401k abuse by insurance...