• Adams Financial Concepts,  Current Events,  Return on Investment,  The Investment Industry

    What Is Factor Investing?

    The latest fad in investing is “Factor Investing”, according to the August edition of Financial Adviser Magazine. Like a bad fad diet, these investment methods come around every few years (factor investing dates back to the 1970s[1]) and claim to have found a method for stock picking that will win every time. Factor investing relies on five genuine factors which are, according to academics, Value, Quality, Momentum, Size, and Volatility. When it comes to understanding investment methodologies, I find it helpful to imagine them along a line: I am an active investor. Does this top-down investment methodology work? I don’t think so; as an active investor with a bottoms-up approach,…

  • Adams Financial Concepts,  Return on Investment

    Indices

    Have you heard the story of the Baltimore Stockbroker? It goes… one day, you receive a letter in the mail from a stockbroker, personally addressed to you, predicting that next month a certain stock will go down. You keep an eye on that stock, and it does indeed go down. You receive another personal letter from the stockbroker, predicting that another stock will go up next month. Curious now, you watch that stock over the next month and lo and behold, it does indeed go up! And month after month for ten months, this same stockbroker sends you letters accurately predicting the ups and downs of stocks. At the end,…

  • Current Events,  Mile High View,  Trade War

    We Are at War

    The late Chuck Knox, the first coach to get the Seattle Seahawks into the NFL playoffs, had a saying: “You have to play the hand you are dealt”. In football, that is to say, you have a limited number of players, some of which might be injured, the weather may be working against you, the rival team may be more skilled, but regardless you must do your best with your team. This eletter is neither political commentary nor meant to be political in any way, but as investors, we must address the trade war between America and China. Understand too this is not an easy exercise or simple analysis; I…

  • Uncategorized

    Why Do Financial Plans Fail?

    You have likely heard of Financial Planning, and you may even be using it yourself to prepare for retirement. Although it has become a very popular way to create portfolios, I have come to believe that traditional Financial Planning has four specific flaws that may be fatal. Since realizing how risky Financial Planning was, I have begun creating portfolios which have a higher return and create a margin of safety (or a substantial windfall of extra savings above and beyond what is nominally necessary for comfortable retirement) to mitigate what I believe are significant risks as the market changes with new technology and industries. Our view is that traditional Financial…

  • Current Events,  Mile High View,  Trade War

    Predictions 2019: The Truth About China

    Recently, China has been causing no end of concern for the American investor. The Trade War that sprung up between the United States and China has caused fluctuations in the market as the talks have gone well or poorly, and, as of this writing, nothing has been resolved. Investors are wary of what could come next. I believe there is a historical model that we can use to understand China’s end goals and the means they may use to get there. At the same time, we have a window into China’s longer-term approach by looking at what China has done in steel production and the impact it has had on…

  • Adams Financial Concepts,  Current Events,  Mile High View

    How Will This Bull Market End?

    How will it end? Will it end in another Great Recession? Will it end with a bout of high inflation? Or will it just continue on and never end? The Great Depression of the 1930s, like the First Great Depression of the 1830s and the long-lasting Depression of the 1870s to early 1900s, was credit-related. During those economically stressful times, bank runs became panics. When a bank was in trouble, individual depositors, fearing the loss of their money, would rush to the banks to demand their money back. When the panic affected only one bank, that institution could sometimes borrow cash from other banks or sell their loans to raise…

  • Current Events,  Mile High View

    Beware!! The Unicorns Are Coming!

    That’s right, the Unicorns are coming. As an article in The Economist[1]pointed out, we use a lot of animal names: bull, bear, dog, hawk, dove, lion, and – in the last few years – unicorn. Unicorns are private companies that are valued at $1 billion or more. Lyft recently came public valued at a $16 billion market cap. Uber has filed and more will follow: Airbnb, We Work, Pinterest, Slack, and a host of Chinese unicorns. I live in Seattle and remember when Microsoft came public. It was a small startup and already profitable, but nothing close to the size of a unicorn. Starbucks had just begun to expand outside…

  • Adams Financial Concepts

    There’s More to Life than Money

    Music Matters! We often underestimate the importance of exposing high school students to the fine arts – particularly music. Which is why, when school districts are forced to stretch their budget, it is art and music classes which are cut first. When my children were growing up, we lived in a privileged neighborhood. If there was a shortage of funding at school, the parents would gather and write checks to cover the shortfall. But most communities across the US cannot do the same. In the Wellpinit School district, not only can parents not afford to cover any shortfall, but fully 100% of students are on subsidized or free lunches. It…

  • 401ks,  Adams Financial Concepts,  Current Events,  Return on Investment

    A Shocking New Trend

    Last fall, CNN opened an article with the story of Jeff Regan, who received a phone call informing him that his 94-year-old aunt was being evicted from her home in an assisted living facility. The next day, he received legal notice of the eviction.[1] If the number one fear of most people is outliving their money, this is validation. Studies are showing evictions top the list of assisted living grievances. If you google “assisted living evictions” you will find lists of “How to Evict a Resident” and “How to Write the Letter of Eviction – including templates” and “How to Take the Legal Steps to Evict Residents”. It is becoming…

  • Current Events,  Mile High View

    Recession Indicator Flashing Red – Is it time to head to the exits?

    “Dow falls 460 as US Recession Indicator Flashing Red” reads a CNN Headline from last Friday. Is it time to head for the exits? Are we tumbling into a recession? The “bond vigilantes” are out in force waving the caution flags. But could there be another explanation? What is the red flag? The yield on 3-month treasuries is now higher than the yield on the 10 year treasury bond, a condition known as “inverted yield curve”. The yield curve is a graph of interest rates on the vertical axis and the length of time on the horizontal. In the past and inverted yield curve has correctly predicted 9 of the…