Dollars & Sense Blog

A Convergent Wealth Advisors Blog

May 20, 2015
When it comes to investing, it's not what you make but what you keep (post fees/taxes) that counts. And while fees can get heavy, taxes are by far the private investors' greatest expense. For those who do not pay strict attention to tax-efficiency when constructing portfolios or making investment... read more
May 7, 2015
Life is unpredictable—at least that much we can predict! The best laid plans can turn on a dime due to many factors including weather, health, timing or just plain old luck (good or bad). Anyone trying to make a connecting flight through Chicago in the winter can certainly relate to the fickle... read more
April 17, 2015
A few major themes have been driving equity markets as of late—energy prices, currencies, and monetary policy. It should come as little surprise that these themes are intertwined, perhaps more closely than many realize. Daily gyrations in oil prices continue to impact stocks, even though WTI Crude... read more
March 26, 2015
Should a U.S. investor hedge their foreign currency exposure? To properly answer this question, we need to make a couple determinations. Hedging the currency should either result in a positive impact on returns, or reduced volatility of the portfolio thereby increasing the overall risk-adjusted... read more
March 23, 2015
I was recently asked to participate on a panel—Working With Business Executive Clients—at the Invest In Women Conference . This panel will discuss financial and estate planning needs of high net worth women executives. In thinking about this topic, I decided to revisit a chapter I wrote for a book... read more
March 10, 2015
A Bull Can Run, But For How Long? The equity bull market is celebrating its sixth birthday since the S&P 500's March 9th, 2009 closing low of 676 (the intraday bottom was a more inexplicable level of 666). Since that credit-crisis trough, the index has more than tripled in price. The tech-heavy... read more
February 10, 2015
Markets have gotten a bit choppy as of late, with big swings in oil prices and interest rates causing investor angst. Worries about European deflation, Greek disruptions, the Federal Reserve's shifting stance, and the potentially negative impact of a strong U.S. dollar on multinational company... read more
January 12, 2015
2014 is in the books, marking the sixth year of the economic recovery and stock market rally off the credit crisis lows. U.S. stocks continued to enjoy the benefits of Federal Reserve accommodation, positive economic growth, low interest rates, muted inflation, and healthy corporate balance sheets... read more
December 10, 2014
Christmas has come early for U.S. consumers this year, arriving in the form of lower oil prices. Such a decline tends to be advantageous for the economy, especially if driven by supply issues rather than demand factors (such as a global recession), as currently appears to be the case.   Since June... read more
November 13, 2014
October has historically been an unsettling time for investors. Not only did the stock market crash of 1929 occur during the month, but the loss in October 2008 during the height of the credit crisis was the worst since . . . you guessed it, October 1987's crash. This year's witching month also had... read more
November 4, 2014
As we noted earlier this year, the Emerging Markets are a disparate group of countries facing a variety of challenges. Coming into 2014, some of the main concerns were the Emerging Markets’ ability to deal with inflation, to work through currency and debt challenges, and to expand growth of middle... read more
November 3, 2014
  “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” ­ - Yogi Berra   While investors seem to flip flop from bullish to bearish trying to anticipate whether the future is brighter or grimmer, the truth is, it's hard to say. We not only need to weigh whether the economy is improving, but we also need... read more