Letter to Our Clients - December 2018

December 12, 2018

Dear Clients and Friends,

We have had a busy 2018 here at Advanced Wealth Management, and most recently we returned from a fantastic conference in Austin, Texas.  Many people say that Austin and Portland share numerous similarities, including the push by locals to keep their city “weird.”  We were able to see a few similarities, and it even rained while we were there so we felt right at home!  During the trip we were able to visit with some wonderful friends who were attending the conference with us, and spent some time with friends and family living in Austin.  Bob and Traci arrived a day early to participate in a morning of “Giving Back,” in which they worked to clean up and rejuvenate a local nonprofit that provides services for children with special needs.  And, of course, we were all able to enjoy some live music and delicious food!

The conference was the large annual national conference put on by Commonwealth Financial Network.  As you may remember, Commonwealth is the firm that we partner with to provide our clients with state-of-the-art technology, excellent investment research and capabilities, and overall effectiveness.  Commonwealth is consistently ranked as one of the best employers in their communities (they are based outside of Boston with another major presence in San Diego), as one of the best rated firms by advisors they partner with, and as an innovator in technology offerings for both advisors and clients.  From what we saw in Austin, they are continuing to improve and find new ways to help us help you!

The sessions this year were excellent.  We heard from former President George W. Bush, who had very interesting perspective on the current political climate and how it differs from his time in politics.  We learned about Not Impossible Labs from the founder, Mick Ebeling.  If you are not familiar with Not Impossible Labs, check out their website here www.notimpossible.com to see how this group of “mad scientists” are collaborating and using technology to solve humanitarian problems. 

Commonwealth leadership also spoke, as well as experts in various aspects of financial planning.  We heard from mutual fund managers, investment “gurus,”, and even the CEO of one of the oldest and most respected Socially Responsible Investment companies.  As always, it is interesting to hear what the “experts” think about the investment landscape and what the future might look like, and to compare their thinking to ours.

Some of the presenters said they expect interest rates to continue to rise for the foreseeable future, meaning that bonds in general will struggle going forward.  However, others predicted that interest rates in general have already peaked and will head lower from here, so now is a good time to be invested in bonds.  Some presenters said they see signs of a recession and a market downturn in 18 months or so, others suggested that the current expansion and bull market has many good years ahead before a change.  Some experts explained why investing overseas is more compelling than investing in the US at the moment.  Others looked at the same information and felt strongly that while it is important to be invested globally, that the US will be the best market to have exposure to in the coming decades.

At first glance the opposing messages might seem frustrating or unhelpful, but hearing why the experts come to their conclusions can help us form our own opinions, even if they are different from the consensus.  The reality is that no one knows what the future holds for financial markets, which is why we firmly believe in helping you craft an all-weather strategy that will allow you to build for the future while enjoying the present! 

We hope that you and your families are well and enjoying the holiday season.  As 2018 comes to a close, we will be reflecting on the wonderful relationships we enjoyed in the last year, and will be looking forward to making 2019 even better!  As always, thank you for the opportunity to work with you, and please contact us with any thoughts or questions.  We will look forward to talking with you again soon!

Happy Holidays!

Ted, Bob, and Team