Confusing Volatility and Risk

I believe it is imperative for investors to understand the difference between volatility and risk. Though often used synonymously, these are two very distinct ideas. We think success can be increased by clearly understanding the distinction between these financial principles. Let’s start by taking a look at risk.

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Steve Booren

Steve Booren

Steve started his investment career in 1978 with the NYSE investment firm EF Hutton, working in the environment of a large investment company. Desiring to provide clients with unbiased investment advice, he founded Prosperion Financial Advisors. Learn more about Steve here.

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The Lifeblood of Advancements & Progress

When I evaluate companies for investment there’s always one character trait I look for, disruptive innovation. These troublemaker companies aren’t content with the status quo and dare to be different. They seem to spring up in well-established business models like the lone tree in the desert all the while wondering why they’re the only ones crazy enough to try it a new way.

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Steve Booren

Steve Booren

Steve started his investment career in 1978 with the NYSE investment firm EF Hutton, working in the environment of a large investment company. Desiring to provide clients with unbiased investment advice, he founded Prosperion Financial Advisors. Learn more about Steve here.

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When Will the Market “Correct”?

March 9th, 2015 marks the sixth anniversary of the end of the last market correction. That day the Standard & Poor’s 500 ended at 676.53 versus today’s closing level of 2,100. But the significance of the sixth anniversary is not one of value, but of time and the frequency of bear markets.

Historically there have been 14 bear markets in the 70 years since WWII. Do the math and this works out to be one every five or so years. Looking at the calendar, it seems we are overdue for our scheduled correction. But unlike the dentist, the market doesn’t schedule an appointment with investors a year in advance. As a result we’re not sure when our checkup is due, but I believe we can be certain of two things:

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Steve Booren

Steve Booren

Steve started his investment career in 1978 with the NYSE investment firm EF Hutton, working in the environment of a large investment company. Desiring to provide clients with unbiased investment advice, he founded Prosperion Financial Advisors. Learn more about Steve here.

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Time to Back Up the Truck?

Ever heard the phrase “Back up the truck”? It’s a slang term among professional investors referring to the purchase of a large position in a stock or other financial asset. Typically this is a way of saying an investor is extremely bullish on a particular investment, using imagery that conveys the truck backing up to the warehouse to be loaded with goods.

Looking back on my career there are times when I would have liked to back up the truck. While hindsight is 20-20 and not a very good investment strategy, I believe we have two scenarios right now worthy of this designation, the first being the comparative rates of dividends and treasury bonds, and the second being recent developments in the energy sector.

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Steve Booren

Steve Booren

Steve started his investment career in 1978 with the NYSE investment firm EF Hutton, working in the environment of a large investment company. Desiring to provide clients with unbiased investment advice, he founded Prosperion Financial Advisors. Learn more about Steve here.

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Outlook 2015: In Transit

Since the wind-down of the Great Recession in early 2009, the latest economic expansion has certainly delivered the goods and rewarded investors’ mailboxes with six consecutive calendar years of positive gains for stocks. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” has kept a lid on the continuation of one of history’s greatest bull market advances for stocks, and LPL FinancialResearch believes this trend of rising equity prices may continue in 2015.

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The “Towel Over the Treadmill” Approach

In the book Thinking, Fast and Slow  author Daniel Kahneman famously describes how people are generally loss averse when it comes to money decisions:

“Losses loom larger than gains.  The ‘loss aversion ratio’ has been measured in several experiments and is usually in the range of 1.5 to 2.5: 1.”

In other words, people are 1.5 to 2.5 times more fearful of a loss than reflecting the emotion of greed for a gain.

Loss aversion can have a profound effect on how you view your portfolio, especially when it comes to stocks. Most investors claim to be unnerved by uncertainty, but really we all hate to lose money. It’s one of the reasons that crash predictions and negative thinking always seems to sound more intelligent, make more sense or have more authority.

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Steve Booren

Steve Booren

Steve started his investment career in 1978 with the NYSE investment firm EF Hutton, working in the environment of a large investment company. Desiring to provide clients with unbiased investment advice, he founded Prosperion Financial Advisors. Learn more about Steve here.

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Financial Forecasting (and Other Popular Myths)

Do you ever get the feeling that it’s more popular to be a pessimist than an optimist?

Have you ever noticed how bearish financial forecasters seem smarter than those who are bullish? I first heard this point from Ron Baron at the Baron’s Investor Conference this year. Since then I’ve been paying special attention to it, both in the media and in life. Baron is right, it’s a recurring pattern – one that has me concerned.

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Steve Booren

Steve Booren

Steve started his investment career in 1978 with the NYSE investment firm EF Hutton, working in the environment of a large investment company. Desiring to provide clients with unbiased investment advice, he founded Prosperion Financial Advisors. Learn more about Steve here.

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How to Invest for the Goal of Growing Income

Why do you invest?

It’s a simple question, but one so few people consider. Investors often fail to understand their reason for making investments, for saving money, or for what they invest in. They fail to ask themselves the fundamental question for making an investment – to discover their “why.”

I believe the biggest why of investing is income. Either income for today, or income for tomorrow. My reasoning is simple: income is what we spend, and spending is how we use money as a resource. All roads lead back to income. So how can we position a portfolio for maximum income either for use today or in the future?

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Steve Booren

Steve Booren

Steve started his investment career in 1978 with the NYSE investment firm EF Hutton, working in the environment of a large investment company. Desiring to provide clients with unbiased investment advice, he founded Prosperion Financial Advisors. Learn more about Steve here.

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Lessons from Omaha

Rumors speak of a man in Omaha with god-like investing prowess. His legend is constantly examined by professional, professors, and even the media pundits. His 70+ years of investing and straightforward strategy is often cited as the gold standard for experts and amateurs alike.

So last month during a visit to mythical Nebraska, I decided to pay a visit to one of investings’ greats, and perhaps have a cup of coffee and compare approaches. But upon pulling up to his very pedestrian home (which was distinctly lacking in moats and drawbridges) I was too chicken to get out of the car, much less knock on the door!

My “visit” to Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, did get me thinking about his contribution to modern investing strategy. As complicated as that might sound, Buffett’s greatest skill may be his simplistic approach to portfolio design and investing overall. These insights are consistently shared with those opting to invest in his company Berkshire Hathaway, via the annual shareholder’s meeting (or Woodstock for Capitalists as it is affectionately called).  In light of last week’s meeting, let’s take a look back at three of Buffett’s best investing principles.

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John Booren

John started his investment career in 2012 after graduating from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in Financial Planning. His desire is to provide care and guidance for individuals and families through all aspects of their financial life. Learn more about John here.

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Back to Basics – 5 Investing Principles

If January taught us anything, it was that 2013 was truly an exceptional year for the equity market averages. Falling uncertainty, solid corporate earnings, and a rebounding economy all contributed to rising stock prices and exceptional performances for many portfolios. But as we’ve seen so far this year, 2014 could be more difficult. With that in mind, I think it’s a good time to return to basic investing principles, five of which I’ve outlined below.

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Steve Booren

Steve Booren

Steve started his investment career in 1978 with the NYSE investment firm EF Hutton, working in the environment of a large investment company. Desiring to provide clients with unbiased investment advice, he founded Prosperion Financial Advisors. Learn more about Steve here.

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