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portfolio Archives - Sharkey, Howes & Javer

Dow 20,000 and the History of the Dow’s Milestones

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The Dow is within “striking distance” of reaching 20,000, a milestone that many investors may feel as though they have been waiting forever for (source). As we are potentially days away from the arrival of the Dow 20,000, and while this is merely just a number – a big, round number – we consider the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the time it took to reach some of its past milestones.

Historically, the index has struggled reaching major milestones. The Dow first reached 100 in 1906, but after many fluctuations, it wasn’t until the mid-1920s before it convincingly traded higher than that level, and it permanently broke above it in 1942 (source).

This was the case for the Dow 1,000 as well. It initially hit the 1,000 mark intraday in 1966 but did not close above that mark until November 1972. It wasn’t until 1982, 16 years after initially reaching 1,000, that the Dow finally traded above that mark for good (source). It took roughly 15 years from first closing above 1,000 in 1972 for the Dow to progress another 1,000 points to the 2,000 milestone, yet only four years to go from 2,000 to 3,000 points.

The Dow first hit 10,000 in 1999, but the average fell below that level for 11 years, until 2010 when it took residence above that milestone. Now, seven short years later, the Dow is about to hit 20,000.

The chart below shows the important Dow milestones and additional key dates that defined what the Dow is today:

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Getting the Most Bang for Your Remodeling Buck

By | SH&J Blog, Tips | No Comments

Sometimes, your home is one of the largest investments in your ‘portfolio’. Whether you are looking to stay in your home for a while or are considering selling soon, it’s important to pay attention to which remodeling projects will help you add the most resale value to your home.

According to the Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report as compiled by www.costvsvalue.com for the Denver area, these are the midrange projects shown to be the best bets when remodeling.

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How to Responsibly Handle Your Tax Refund

By | SH&J Blog, Tips | No Comments

It’s tax season and for almost 80% of Americans, (source) a refund check may be in the mail. It’s easy to view a tax refund as free or easy money, but remember you worked hard to earn that money. Using your tax refund responsibly now can assist in reaching your financial goals in the future.

Here are 8 suggestions for using your tax refund responsibly:

Top Off Your Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is an important part of any smart budget. If your emergency fund has been depleted recently, think about using your tax refund to top it off. Depending on the circumstances, we typically recommend having an emergency fund that covers three to six months of basic living expenses.

Build Your Investment Portfolio

Consider using your tax refund to add to your investment portfolio. Talk to your Certified Financial Planner® about how to allocate your tax refund dollars amongst your investments.

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The Value of Objective Financial Planning

By | Planners, SH&J Blog, Tips | No Comments

Outside of a portfolio’s rate of return, it’s often easy to overlook the value that objective, client-focused financial planning brings. Although many financial professionals offer “free” services, do you stop and ask yourself “Hmmm, I wonder how he/she is paid if it’s not by me?” (source).

As objective financial planners, we fully support the “you get what you pay for” belief. Below is a list of just a few of the values we believe objective planning offers. Please feel free to let us know your thoughts on any of the following.

1. An independent financial planner helps protect you from financial salespeople.

According to Bob Veres, “…the Wall Street firms that pretend to offer financial planning guidance are seldom (if ever) looking out for the best interests of their customers.” Unfortunately, as a consumer in our industry, it’s not always easy to recognize when there’s an underlying motive or incentive behind the financial advice you receive.

Brokers might have business cards with the title of “Financial Advisor,” but in reality are often simply salespeople who are paid by their company to sell you as many products as possible. Unless they are a fiduciary, they are expected to do what is in the company’s best interest, not what is in your best interest. They are rewarded when they meet sales targets, and bonuses are often based on the clients they sign (source).

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2015 Q1 Quarterly Commentary

By | Investing, Quarterly Commentary, SH&J Blog, Videos | No Comments

“March Madness isn’t just for basketball anymore”

We experienced lots of thrilling and unnerving action both up and down the court in the markets. At year-end 2014, the S&P 500 was the All-star and International positions were the under achievers. The opposite proved true in the first quarter of 2015. The chart below captures the S&P 500’s volatility during various periods as it rotated between winning and losing for an overall quarterly return that was just under 1%. Lots of action – not much traction!

Uncertainty around the interest rate policy of the Federal Reserve has contributed much to the volatility. Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s last statement announced, unhelpfully, that the Fed is “data dependent” and the pace of interest rate increases could “speed up, slow down, pause, or reverse.” The main driver of the stock market is always corporate earnings, rather than political or media pronouncements. The strengthening U.S. dollar hurt U.S. companies’ foreign earnings, which were down 5.3% in the 4th quarter 2014. A strong dollar makes U.S. purchases abroad cheaper and foreign purchases of U.S. products more expensive. Most of the companies in the S&P 500 receive at least 50% of their earnings from abroad.

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Tell me about your investment process

By | Investing, Karlton Childress, SH&J Blog, Videos | No Comments

Karlton does an excellent job of summarizing our investment process in the video above. The investment process with us is more than a onetime event, it is an ongoing process.

The process looks like this:

  • Define Goals and Objectives
  • Set Portfolio Expectations
  • Determine Asset Allocations
  • Monitor Investments
  • Review Regularly

We never consider our investment process to be ‘finished.’ Your circumstances change over the years and we will make sure we keep the process going to keep your portfolio on track. We’d love to set up a complimentary consultation for you to come in and learn more about our investment process and SH&J philosophy. Give us a call today at 303.639.5100.  

5 Personal Finance Tips for Everyone

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Sharkey, Howes & Javer 5 Personal Finance Tips for Everyone

Personal finance is important whether you are just starting out or have been in the game a while. Here at SH&J, we know how you manage your personal finances directly impacts the success of your complete financial plan. We’ve pulled together five tips anyone can use to help manage their own finances.

  1. Start Early
    There’s no time like the present to start working on your personal finances. The sooner you start saving and investing your money, the better off you will likely be in the long run. Seek advice from a Certified Financial Planner™, read books and blogs on finances to gain knowledge, and find tools to help you stay on track. We also recommend talking to your kids about money from an early age to help set them on the right financial path.
  1. Know Where Your Money Goes
    Have you ever come to the end of a month and wondered where your monthly paycheck really went? If so, you’re not the only one. Staying on top of your personal finances means paying attention to where your money goes. Find a system that works for you. Some prefer online tools for tracking expenses, while others need to carry a notebook and write everything down. Whatever the system, make sure you pay attention to how your money is being spent.
  1. Learn Self Control
    At any age or stage of life, it can be difficult to say no to the vacation, night out on the town or those new shoes. But, the practice of self-control can lead to much greater monetary achievements. When you really want to purchase an item or experience, give it a couple of days before pulling the trigger. Consider whether what you want is really what you need, and how your decision will impact your long term goals. By learning to delay unnecessary purchases, you may free up more money to save and invest elsewhere.
  1. Simplify Your Life
    It’s easy to get caught in the race to keep up with the Joneses – a bigger house, the newest car model, the latest fashion. Rather than trying to keep up, simplify. Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest men, still resides in the home he bought in Omaha, Nebraska in 1957 for $31,500 (source). When it comes to finances, focusing on the big picture, while keeping your life as simple as possible, often leads to greater success.
  1. Take Control
    Instead of being a passive bystander, take the reins of your personal finances. Build a team you can trust, from your banker to your financial planner to a trusted friend or family member, people who will hold you accountable. Stay in touch with your team, and pay close attention to the information they send you such as quarterly reports. Take an active interest in not only where your money goes, but also how it grows.

Personal finances can be tricky at times, but with the right tools and a commitment to seeing your goals come to fruition, you can find financial success. Take our tips and implement them into your personal finance strategy. If you need help creating a more in-depth financial plan, we’d love to talk. Reach out today.

How do you manage investments?

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Great relationships are formed by taking time to get to know each other. That’s exactly how we start our investment management process with you.

We want to:

  • Learn about who you are
  • Discover your goals
  • Understand your risk tolerance

As Stephen says, “We know our clients are unique and canned plans just don’t fit.” So once we have gotten to know each other, we begin building a customized portfolio.

Our managed portfolios typically include:

  • Mutual Funds
  • ETFs
  • Individual Stocks and Bonds

After we have built your portfolio, we continue to monitor your investments. We meet regularly to take a hard look at market trends and the global economy. We manage portfolios as a team in order to make the best possible decisions with our client’s investments.

As the years go by and circumstances change, we will continue to meet with you to update your goals and make changes to your portfolio. Our goal is to not only have you as a client, but also as a friend.

If you’d like to learn more about our investment management process or our other services, please give us a call at 303.639.5100.