2020 Annual Letter to Clients

Every January, I send a printed letter to all of my clients detailing events of the previous year and some thoughts about moving forward. I also use the letter as an opportunity to emphasize the fundamentals of financial planning in the battle against the noise of the financial media.

As of the date of this post, May 1, 2020, we are in the midst of a global pandemic and government stay-at-home orders.  The fundamentals espoused in this letter are as important as ever.  And I’m sharing this letter with you below:

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Bear Market Investing: You’re Doing It Wrong!



Hey, everyone!  It’s certainly been an interesting few weeks in financial markets.  As I record this video in March 2020, U.S. stocks are in a bear market, the first “official” bear market since 2009, though there were plenty of interruptions along the way.  The proximate cause of this bear market is the coronavirus and associated economic disruption.

But this video applies to bear markets regardless of the cause… and I imagine that I’ll share it again in the future.Read More »

The Lost Cause of New Year’s Resolutions



Hey, Derek Merkler, The Military Financial Advisor here to wish you a happy new year! Well… not only that but happy new decade!!!

With the new year come new year’s resolutions! Unfortunately, as you may know from the news or your own experience, most people do not succeed with their resolutions.  Look at gym attendance in January versus the rest of the year! And, since I’m recording this video at the end of January, most people have already abandoned their resolutions.Read More »

Phase-One Trade Deal Reached

Weekly Commentary — December 16th, 2019

The Week on Wall Street

The U.S. and China announced a limited trade agreement last week. That news lifted U.S. and foreign stocks, leading to weekly gains.

Advancing 0.91% on the week, the Nasdaq Composite outperformed the S&P 500 (up 0.73%) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (up 0.43%). The MSCI EAFE index, measuring the performance of developed markets overseas, improved 0.42%.[i],[ii] Read More »

Stocks Ride Out Choppy Week

Weekly Commentary — December 6th, 2019

The Week on Wall Street

Key Wall Street benchmarks were up and down last week – or rather down and then up. A Tuesday retreat was offset by a Friday rally spurred by the Department of Labor’s November jobs report.

While the S&P 500 managed to rise 0.16% for the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.13%, and the Nasdaq Composite ceded 0.10%. MSCI’s EAFE benchmark for international stocks retreated 0.25%.[1],[2]  Read More »