Buffet’s Investing Advice From His 2017 Shareholder Letter

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! The days are getting longer and the darkness is receding. Warmer weather is just around the corner!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Buffett’s Investing Advice From His 2017 Shareholder Letter” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week.

Every year Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholder letter contains insights on investing from Warren Buffet that many eagerly await reading. You may be surprised at some of Mr. Buffet’s thoughts this year outlined below.

Have a wonderful week!

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Buffett’s Investing Advice From His 2017 Shareholder Letter

By Janet Levaux, Editor in Chief, Research Magazine

According to Chairman Warren Buffet, the market value of Berkshire Hathaway’s shares has roared ahead at a compound annual growth rate of 20.8% since 1965 — more than double the S&P 500’s 9.7%. In 2016, Berkshire shares soared 23.4%, beating the S&P’s 12.0% improvement. A year earlier, the shares dropped 12.5%, while the S&P gained 1.4%.

While the information on returns is always welcome by investors and market watchers, it is the Oracle of Omaha’s musings on a variety of topics that are eagerly anticipated. Read on for the top eight nuggets of wisdom gleaned from this year’s 28-page letter to investors: [Read more…]

Three Sentences That Explain Investing

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I hope you had a great weekend. How are your NCAA tournament picks doing?

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Three Sentences That Explain Investing” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Marshall Jaffe. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share the most relevant information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you read the three sentences.

The three sentences outlined below lay a foundation for a sound understanding of investing.

Have a wonderful week!

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Three Sentences That Explain Investing

By Marshall Jaffe , Managing Partner , Jaffe Asset Management

During the course of its long descent, a snowflake passes through a multitude of different weather conditions. The variability of temperature, atmospheric pressure and humidity produces an infinite variety of possible designs. The future of each snowflake is a structure that has never existed before and will never occur again — at no point in its development can we know exactly what it will look like when it finally lands. This is pure uncertainty — a completely unknowable future. [Read more…]

Should Your 401k Plan Offer ESG Investment Options?

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PSI Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

At the very least, your Investment Committee should have a discussion about the topic. Here’s why. [Read more…]

Why Are Stocks Moving In Sync With Oil Prices?

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I hope you had a great weekend. Happy leap year day!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Why Are Stocks Moving In Sync With Oil Prices?” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share the most relevant information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than a minute.

Wondering why U.S. stocks and oil prices have been moving in the same direction? Many experts believe that selling of U.S. equities held by sovereign wealth funds (e.g.; Saudi Arabia and Russia) when oil prices fall is responsible for depressed U.S. equity markets. The experts ThinkAdvisor interviewed have additional thoughts, outlined below.

Have a wonderful week!

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Why Are Stocks Moving In Sync With Oil Prices?

By Bernice Napach, Senior Writer, ThinkAdvisor

Lower oil prices are supposed to be good for the economy and stock market because they provide consumers and businesses with more money to spend. But since early November, oil prices and stocks have been moving in lockstep, and there’s no telling yet when that might end. [Read more…]

Five Market Predictions From Big Investors For 2016

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MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you had a great weekend. Did you enjoy the Superbowl?

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Five Market Predictions From Big Investors For 2016” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share the most relevant information with you each week. If you are short on time, try and review the five headings.

What do the best minds in the business think will happen in 2016? Take a look below at what the experts think the markets have in store for us in 2016.

Have a wonderful week!

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Five Market Predictions From Big Investors For 2016

By Emily Zulz, Staff Reporter, ThinkAdvisor

Institutional investors are concerned about generating returns and navigating a low-yield environment as they make plans for 2016, according to a report released by Natixis Global Asset Management. In response, these investors plan to increase allocations to equities and alternative investments, while decreasing exposure to fixed income.

Natixis surveyed 660 institutional investors around the globe to find out their year-ahead market outlook and asset allocation plans. The online survey, included a range of public and private pension managers, insurers, sovereign wealth funds, foundations, endowments and central bankers.

From that survey, Natixis found alpha is becoming harder to obtain for these institutional investors as markets become more efficient.

“Successful implementation of portfolio strategy in 2016 will require walking a tightrope between risk, return and yield,” the report says. “If they are to meet their primary objective of achieving their return targets while staying within their risk budgets, institutions will likely seek added help from outside specialists in their execution of investment plans.”

Based off of Natixis’ survey results, here are five of institutional investors’ predictions for 2016. [Read more…]

Top Six Investment Ideas

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MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you had a great weekend. We are almost through the coldest part of the winter. Hang in there!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Top Six Investment Ideas” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share the most relevant information with you each week. If you are short on time, try and review the six headings.

Wondering where to invest in 2016? Take a look below at what the experts from ThinkAdvisor believe will be hot this year.

Have a wonderful week!

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Top Six Investment Ideas

By Bernice Napach, Senior Writer, ThinkAdvisor

If there’s one overriding outlook for the financial markets in 2016 it’s this: No big gains are expected. The weakness in oil markets is expected to continue though prices could hit bottom at some point, and the dollar is expected to remain strong though not quite as strong as it’s been relative to other major currencies.

Most important, the change in U.S. monetary policy, following the Federal Reserve’s first rate hike in almost 10 years, will color market performance not only in the U.S. but globally.

Given this backdrop, investors and advisors need to choose carefully for 2016, then monitor investments closely.

Here are the six best investment themes and picks for 2016 that ThinkAdvisor has culled from myriad outlooks by market strategists as well as interviews with strategists and analysts. [Read more…]

What You Should Know About Recent Market Volatility

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MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15I hope you had a great weekend. I am sure you were just as surprised as I was when you didn’t win the Powerball jackpot. Maybe next time!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “What You Should Know About Recent Market Volatility” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

What’s going on with the U.S. stock markets? Check out the ideas that the experts from Schwab have below.

Have a wonderful week!

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What You Should Know About Recent Market Volatility

From Schwab Center for Financial Research

Key points

  • Markets have been unusually volatile so far in 2016, with low oil prices, slowing growth in China and concerns about the Federal Reserve all contributing to uncertainty.
  • We do not expect the recent U.S. stock market correction to turn into a bear market.
  • Investors should review their portfolios to make sure they still reflect their target asset allocations and goals. They should resist the urge to buy and sell based on recent market movements, as it could hobble their performance over time.

[Read more…]

Why TDFs Are The Best Professionally Managed 401k Investment Option

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By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

There has been quite a bit written recently, most negative, about target date funds (TDFs).  It is hard for me to understand why since TDFs provide 401k plan participants with: [Read more…]

Will Bond Funds Make Sense When Interest Rates Rise?

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I hope you had a great weekend. The leaves are changing here in Milwaukee!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Will Bond Funds Make Sense When Interest Rates Rise? (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share the most relevant information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you review the “Key points” below.

We all know it is coming. The Fed is going to start raising interest rates soon. Is any fixed income portfolio safe? Check out the thoughts below from the experts at Schwab.

Have a wonderful week!

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Will Bond Funds Make Sense When Interest Rates Rise?

By Rob Williams, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • Although the value of most bonds and bond funds fall when interest rates increase, not all bond funds react the same.
  • A look at how various bond fund categories performed in prior rate cycles can help your fixed income strategy.
  • Short-term bond funds have performed better than intermediate-term, long-term, or multisector funds during the past three rate-tightening cycles.

As the Federal Reserve prepares to raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade, many bond investors are concerned about how their portfolios may be affected. Although the value of most bonds and bond funds fall when interest rates increase (all else being equal), not all bond funds react the same. Short-term bond funds have tended to perform the best in this type of environment.

Although past performance is no guarantee of future results, during the past three rate-tightening cycles, short-term bond funds have delivered positive cumulative returns. That’s partly due to rising income, which helps bond and bond fund investors over time. Consider this when shaping your fixed income strategy. [Read more…]

Panic Is Not A Strategy — Nor Is Greed

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I hope you had a great weekend. It is almost time to start getting ready for winter!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, Panic Is Not A Strategy — Nor Is Greed (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share the most relevant information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you review the “Key points” below.

Everyone is getting banged around by volatile markets. What can you do? The experts at Schwab have some good suggestions below.

Have a wonderful week!

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Panic Is Not A Strategy — Nor Is Greed

By Liz Ann Sonders, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • It’s time for another reminder about the perils of panic.
  • Asset allocation, diversification and rebalancing are as close to a “free lunch” as you can get as an investor.
  • In a world where time horizons have shrunk precipitously, think longer term.

If markets are good at one thing, it’s reminding investors that they don’t go up uninterrupted forever. The U.S. stock market went over 1,000 trading days between its 2011 correction and the one we’re in the midst of presently. Normally, corrections — defined as declines of at least 10% — occur about once a year. [Read more…]