Quarterly Letters

Quarterly Letters

2020

2nd Quarter 2020

We are hopeful that the coming months and years look bright. The economy should heal over time. Interest rates and inflation are low. Meanwhile, we explore the question: Is now a good time to refinance my home mortgage?

1st Quarter 2020

Restaurants are shuttered, hotels vacant, air travel sunk, and gyms and theaters dark. The data are clear–we’re currently in recession.

2019

4th Quarter 2019

John Bird shares significant Albion news, Jason Ware assesses the state of the economy, and Liz Bernhard reviews changes to expect from the SECURE Act.

3rd Quarter 2019

We review international interest rates and their associated risks, balanced with the alternative of dividend stock income from favorable companies in this quarterly assessment.

2nd Quarter 2019

President John Bird shares lessons on market forecasting and in place of the “bull or bear” duality he reviews what we can learn from the animal archetypes introduced by Philip Tetlock.

1st Quarter 2019

Contains lessons learned about investor behavior from the Theranos scandal, a review from our CIO of the state of the market, a tax strategy that uses charitable gifting, and an introduction to the newest member of Albion Financial Group.

We Serve People, Not Products

2018

4th Quarter 2018

Contains some thinking on Artificial Intelligence, a review of the market narrative ending 2018, and the KonMari Method held up to personal finances.

3rd Quarter 2018

John Bird observes in “Prerequisite: The Attention Span of a Gnat” how the headlines of today quickly fade from the front page as we move onto the new and the next before truly understanding the facts.

2nd Quarter 2018

We break down the history of tariffs in the U.S. as well as share our economic and market outlook which, despite the scary headlines, is still relatively rosy. We also question paying off debt versus building savings.

1st Quarter 2018

April is Financial Literacy Month and in the spirit of education, this edition of our quarterly letter will focus on different aspects of financial literacy.

2017

4th Quarter 2017

We explore how we work with our clients to turn risk assessment into meaningful portfolio construction. We also provide our outlook on the market and economy including impacts, real or presumed, of the 2017 Tax Cuts.

3rd Quarter 2017

We address the Equifax breach while highlighting steps you can take to make it a little harder for the bad guys to get their hands on your data. We also review the economy and despite the voices shouting from the rooftops.

2nd Quarter 2017

We share our thoughts on the importance of disruptive change as a facilitator of long-term economic growth.

1st Quarter 2017

“All over the world, we’re seeing access to food, clean water, education and healthcare improve; as a result, global innovation is rising as well.”

~ Peter Diamonds

2016

4th Quarter 2016

With 2016 in the rearview mirror, we examine the increasing rate of change in our globally connected world and its social, economic and political impacts.

3rd Quarter 2016

“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

~ Lewis Carroll

2nd Quarter 2016

BREXIT – Why do we care?

1st Quarter 2016

“The most difficult thing is to recognize that sometimes we too are blinded by our own incentives. Because we don’t see how our conflicts of interest work on us.”

~ Dan Ariely

2015

4th Quarter 2015

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

3rd Quarter 2015

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

2nd Quarter 2015

“Remember that credit is money.”

~ Benjamin Franklin

1st Quarter 2015

“The nation should have a tax system that looks like someone designed it on purpose.”

~ William Simon

2014

4th Quarter 2014

“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

~ Voltaire

3rd Quarter 2014

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”

~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

2nd Quarter 2014

“To the extent that people reach old age mentally sharp, physically fit, and financially secure, the problems of individual and societal aging fall away.”

~ Laura L. Carstensen, Stanford Center on Longevity

1st Quarter 2014

“History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes.”

~Mark Twain