Finding the Needles in the Haystack

on December 03, 2018 |By Steve Musick | Other
One of the benefits of doing in-house research is that you can occasionally spot trends as they're forming. As an investment firm, being ‘early’ in spotting trends means that it could be possible to invest in areas of future demand, which brings the possibility of generating better returns. Since the turn of the century, our Investment Committee has met every Thursday.  Our Investment Committee is a seasoned, knowledgeable team dedicated to managing our clients’ capital. It requires strong discipline to rigorously look at large sets of data with the intent of detecting meaningful trends. In the ever-increasing wave of more and more information, it is a massive task to sift through the ‘noise’ to obtain important and actionable information. Very often, we keep this information to ourselves as a strategic advantage (we have never published or sold any of our research, nor will we). In the case I outline below, our research is becoming validated in others' published research. Like Sherlock Holmes, we think we have discovered something meaningful.  
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The Value of Portfolio Management in Interesting Times

on November 27, 2018 |By Jarrod Musick | Other
One of the values of having a financial advisor is receiving customized investment management. As a firm, we’ve embraced a philosophy of patience and not letting market changes interrupt the planning strategies we’ve built around the long-term goals of our clients.  It also means that it is incumbent on us to be a learning organization that diligently evaluates changes in market conditions. Below are a few key items that we’ve been monitoring and how they’ve contributed to the market volatility we’ve seen so far this year.  
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How to Choose a Charity

on November 05, 2018 |By Amy Bertle | Other
Everyone wants to maximize their donations, but we've all heard horror stories of fraudulent charities. How do we know which charities are legitimate and which will help maximize your donation dollars? Some organizations tackle the due diligence, so you don’t have to. Some of the major watchdogs over charities are The Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, and GiveWell.  
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How Credit Scores Work

on October 18, 2018 |By Amy Bertle | Other
We have all heard about a credit score. But what is it, how does it work, and how can you improve your credit score? A credit score is a way for a lender to determine how likely a person is to pay back loans. It is used as a way to compare potential borrowers and to evaluate how much a bank can trust a borrower with their money. A high credit score tells the lender a person has a history of using credit wisely and pays back what he/she has been loaned. A low credit score shows the lender the opposite.  
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Twitter, Nike, and the World of Predictive Analytics

on September 20, 2018 |By Tim Doyle | Other
Mention the companies Twitter or Nike these days, and you’re bound to generate some passionate dialogue.  Many of today’s controversies may have you longing for a time when ad campaigns were nothing more than a heated argument over “Tastes great/Less filling” or a little old lady wondering, “Where’s the beef?”  As disciplined asset managers, we are predisposed to remove all emotion from our corporate research and investment decisions. As such, our first question about Nike’s controversial new Just Do It campaign was, “What does the data tell us?”
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