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Random Year End Thoughts

As we enter the end of the year, I figured I would share some random thoughts. Some are financial-related, but not all. Let’s get to it.


  • It’s that time of year everyone has completed their business planning for next year. I am no different. The one to share that I do every year is to read Atomic Habits. It is a great book and helps refocus me on my activities. I can’t control the outcome, but I can control my behaviors.


  • As I write this, the SP500 is up roughly 25% for the year. Not too shabby at all.


  • REITs are up about 29% through the end of November. This is one of my favorite “quiet” asset classes.


  • With inflation continuing to stay high, the markets are expecting three interest rate hikes next year. Stay tuned with that!


  • These growth numbers remind me of what I wrote about a few weeks back. A 60/40 portfolio is up 80% since the start of 2017. If you are paying your advisor an Asset Under Management (AUM) fee, which I feel is archaic, then odds are your fees have gone up 80% too. So, the fee you are paying your advisor has doubled. Has their service level doubled?


  • One of my goals for next year is to hike Half Dome in Yosemite. Hopefully I get drawn in the lottery come spring. Fingers crossed! Here’s a link to the hike itself.


  • I continue to have more and more conversations with people about alternative retirements. You know, not just hanging it up fully one day. Maybe it is because of how I am set up that I am attracting these clients, but I think it is a change in the world of retirement. Dare I use that awful phrase of “paradigm shift.”


  • Within my practice, the shift continues to focus on Value-Adds for clients. Let’s be honest. My value is not picking out the best ETF. It is helping clients with things like not tipping Uncle Sam, making sure beneficiary information is correct, doing our best to protect from identity theft, optimizing employee benefits, and more. Hopefully your advisor is bringing you more value than just investments.


  • My goal for new clients in 2022 is six (6). This is a hard stop. Last year was a very good year for my growth. Seems people like flat fees.


  • Eventually, I will only be accepting new clients if they are referred from existing clients. I have no idea how soon that will be in place, but it could happen in as soon as a couple of years. I already have a wait list for 2022.


  • According to Spotify, my top song of 2021 is Lydia from Highly Suspect. This is what happens when my hard rocking younger son listens to my account. Personally, I prefer My Name is Human from them.


  • I have started having some “alternative” fixed income strategies with clients. This is a way to invest in an asset with growth similar to fixed income but gives clients the ability to enjoy the investment. This is one of those cool things a non-AUM advisor can do.


  • I’m hoping to attend lots more concerts next year. I told my wife this seems like the safest place from Covid. Everyone has to either be fully vaccinated or show a recent negative test. Regardless, I love live shows.


  • I’ll be ending the year doing what is most important to me – spending time with my family. Both boys will be home and my wife gets some time away from campus.


I think this is a good place to stop. This will be my final “article” for the year. I will send out the emails with links to interesting articles though.


Thanks so much for sticking with me and putting up with everything I send out. Hopefully you found some value in them. Have a safe and happy holiday season!