Personally Invested In Your Future™

Why Diversification is Not Always the Answer

The need to diversify is so foundational to financial advice that it can seem absurd to even question it. But sometimes clients question us in ways that have made us rethink the conventional wisdom regarding diversification in finance. Here’s what happened to me. Challenging the Cliché Advice It was sometime in mid-2009 when a colleague and I were meeting with a prospective client

Apr 16
Is It A Good Time to Invest in Energy Stocks?

Energy stocks have been some of the weakest performers of the U.S. stock market over the past five years.  It’s easy to understand why these stocks have done so poorly in recent history, given significant volatility in the underlying oil market.  Following a precipitous drop in the price of oil, which reached a bottom at below $30 per barrel of crude oil in

Apr 11
Preparing for a Recession

For the past ten years, we’ve had a strong bull market in equities; in fact this is one of the longest bull markets in history. That doesn’t mean that it’s been all upside for the past decade. For instance, the S&P 500 Index declined by more than 10% in late January / early February of last year. But the overall trend in the

Apr 09
The Leap of Faith

Growth is an important theme at Brown and Company.  We place a tremendous emphasis on hiring great people, utilizing the latest technology to improve efficiency and re-investing back into the client experience.  It is through growth that we are able to deliver our best work to our clients. As part of our growth trajectory, we welcome the opportunity to work with new families

Apr 04
What Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs Both Said 20 Years Ago

It is not uncommon to see old video footage of Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos on social media. We’re all interested in what these influential leaders of two of the most iconic companies in the world have had to say. What is unusual is to see both of them say nearly the exact same thing in two separate interviews around the same time

Apr 02
Multiple Income Streams in Retirement: Putting Together All of the Puzzle Pieces

A common fact pattern for our clients is that they will have multiple income streams when they stop working.  Social Security benefits, private pensions, annuity payments, income from real estate holdings, income from private equity and mineral royalty checks: these sources of income will often play a vital role in creating a successful long-term plan for financial independence. A common fact pattern in

Mar 28
5 Key Questions for Business Owners

Sir Edmund Hillary is widely known as the first man to have climbed Mount Everest. Hillary and his companion Tenzing Norgay reached the peak in 1953. There is some controversy, however, that another man named George Mallory was actually the first to reach the summit. Mallory’s climb occurred nearly 30 years earlier, but was never confirmed because he did not survive the descent. When

Mar 26
Falling Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve announced its expectation not to raise short-term interest rates any more in 2019, reflecting a more subdued forecast for economic growth in the remainder of the year.  Previously, the Fed had indicated that it expected to hike short term rates by a quarter percentage point twice more in 2019.  The current Fed Funds target rate will remain at 2.25-2.5%.  [1]

Mar 21
Barron’s 2019 Conference Recap

Martin Walsh attended the Barron’s Team Summit in Las Vegas in early February.  The conference is an invitation-only event, aimed at recognizing the achievements of the top financial advisors in the United States.  Mark R. Brown has been a perennially leader in Colorado atop the Barron’s Top 1,200 Advisors list. An annual event which Brown and Company has attended for the past several

Mar 20
Challenges and Benefits of Simplicity

In a world of increasing complexity and unprecedented technological advancement, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. As a result, simplification can be a real gift. Ask anyone who has recently tried to research and enroll in health care benefits, and they will gladly accept an expert’s offer to simplify all of it. When done well, simplification has many benefits, ranging from the emotional

Mar 19
When to file for Social Security benefits?

The question of when to file for Social Security benefits is a frequent topic of conversation with our clients.  Even with ultra-high net worth clients, the value of the income stream from Social Security is large enough to warrant a careful discussion.  Indeed, the capitalized value of an inflation-adjusted income stream that pays several thousand dollars per month for the rest of someone’s

Mar 14
Upfront Hindsight: Anticipating Problems Before They Occur

One of the most common descriptions of financial planners and advisors is that we are problem solvers. But while it is certainly true that advisors need to be able to solve problems for clients, we would argue that the value of problem solving is not what it used to be. The greater value an advisor can provide is to correctly anticipate problems before

Mar 12
Why Do-It-Yourselfers Become Delegators

Historically, financial advisors have tended to think of two broad categories of investors: do-it-yourselfers and delegators. Delegators tend to seek out advice and are willing to pay for it. Whereas, DIY types are less inclined to see the value of wealth advice and, therefore, are less willing to hire someone to help them. That’s the theory, anyway, but we’ve found that this type

Mar 05
Financial Planning for Widows: Do You Have a Plan If Your Wife Survives You?

We see a very common fact pattern among retired couples, a potential pitfall that can lead to unintended consequences if not planned for appropriately.  Often, a husband has been the primary breadwinner for a family and has been the dominant decision maker on most financial decisions of consequence.  These financial decisions include hiring a wealth advisor and making investment decisions on behalf of

Feb 27
Should You Hire a Wealth Advisor?

As technology has improved and it has become increasingly easier to open accounts and invest money in a diversified portfolio, people are often asking whether financial advice is worth paying for.  Or, more specifically, what is the value of financial advice? The answer ultimately depends on what type of advisor you are considering hiring and what level of advice they can give.  Still,

Feb 26
Are We Headed For Another Recession?

There has been much doom and gloom predicted for the stock market looking ahead to 2019, at least in some corners of the investment world.  Much of the volatility in the market that we witnessed at the end of 2018, and the ensuing pessimism from investors, is predicated on a potential economic recession for the U.S. and global economies.  And there is no

Jan 18
Falling Interest Rates

Intermediate and long-term interest rates have fallen significantly in the past few months. For those who have yet to lock in long-term mortgage financing on their home, the recent decline in yields represents a new opportunity to lower their monthly mortgage payment. As financial advisors, we are continually looking for ways to improve the financial outlook of our clients. While we focus much

Jan 16
Putting an Extremely Volatile Market in Perspective

On Monday, the S&P 500 Index came about as close as possible to the technical definition of a bear market without officially registering one (defined as a 20% or larger decline based on closing prices). Enduring these sharp declines can be unnerving for any investor, making it difficult to avoid the urge to react and sell at market lows. To hopefully provide some

Dec 31