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 »

Monthly​ Economic Update: November 2019


Hello, folks! I’m Derek Merkler, the Military Financial Advisor with my monthly economic update video.

Stocks were up in October. Investors liked what they heard about interest rates, trade, and earnings. The S&P 500’s 2-percent gain was topped by the Nasdaq Composite, which rose 3.7 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average improved just half a percent. On October 30th, the S&P closed at a record high.[1],[2]Read More »

Tip of the Week: The Type of Client That I Serve


Hello! Once again, I’m Derek Merkler, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTMProfessional and in today’s video, I want to share with you the type of client that I serve.

When I first started my business, I figured that I would help anyone that signed the dotted line. That was a big mistake!

I learned that some people want their advisor to be a scapegoat.  Others want a stock picker.

Others want someone who can predict market tops and bottoms… or predict the specific date that a recession will start.  The smartest people in the world with access to all of the data in the world can’t get that right! Why would I think that I can do better?

I remember meeting with one person who said “I have this investment where I get a guaranteed 10% return every year.  What do you have that will do better?”  After asking more questions, I realized that this “guaranteed investment return,” which came from illiquid real estate investments in Texas, was an illusion.

Meetings like that, along with some early clients that wanted to fight against my recommendations, help clarify in my mind the specific type of veteran that I want as a client.

These aren’t people who are going to brag at a cocktail party that they bought bitcoin… or gold right before it started going up.  Or that they need to show up at that party with the most expensive car.  Or that they KNOW for sure that an inverted yield curve will bring about a recession.

Those types of games are a waste of time and a distraction from the truly important aspects of financial planning: establishing a sound financial foundation and then saving and investing consistently in an investment portfolio that fits the PLAN.

It’s amazing how people will spend so much time debating the best way to invest $50 per month but won’t put any effort toward investing $500 per month instead.  Or debate fund choices within their TSP or 401k but won’t contribute enough to receive the employer match.

So, what type of person are you?

If you want an investment guru or someone who will promise higher returns with no risk, then we won’t be working together.

But if you are a military veteran who wants help organizing and focusing your finances and to develop your financial plan around building long-term wealth so that you can live your best life, send me a message.

Thanks for watching!


Thanks for watching!

Please visit my website at:


Remember, the topics discussed in this video are for informational purposes only and that past results do not guarantee future performance. If you would like to discuss your financial situation, please email me at Derek.Merkler@Parsonex.com. 

Advisory services offered through Parsonex Advisory Services, Inc., 8310 S.Valley Hwy, Suite 110, Englewood, CO 80112. 303-662-8700.



Guest Post: 3 Steps to Help Veterans Manage Their Debts

Thanks to Valentina Wilson for contributing this article. You can learn more about her and her website at the end of this article.

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, there were about 20.4 million veterans in our country in 2016!

While serving our country, veterans faced unique challenges every single day, often leaving little or no time to concentrate on managing finances!Read More »