The First Quarter – 2011

I have more or less given our readers a rest since January.  When I began these newsletters several years ago, I resolved to avoid offering them unless I felt I had something meaningful to say.  In 2008 and 2009, they were sometimes more often than monthly.  Readers seemed to appreciate my words during a very confusing time.  In 2010, with the economy improving, I wrote less and shared more from published articles I read. 

As 2011 began, “More than Money Resource” expressed our philosophy on building and enjoying wealth as opposed to just managing a portfolio.  Until very recently, I have not seen a great deal that warranted adding another email to your day.  Near the beginning of February, I considered describing a list of the mutual funds we used in the mid-1990 versus those we use now.  I aborted that writing when I realized I could cover the subject with a short paragraph:  

It is remarkable that these two lists are so similar.  We have dropped a few choices.  Remembering the reasons is educational for Resource Advisory Services.  Several have been added, which is testimony to Bryan Hankla’s capacity for studying the corporate personalities of mutual funds and their managers.  Although I enjoyed that work for years, I am glad someone with his excitement is doing the “grunt work.”  The collaboration we share is much more rewarding.

Near the beginning of March, I considered “The Second Anniversary of The Bear Market’s Bottom.”  I think most people are weary of thinking about those six months of incredible stress.  While I understand it is important to know there will be future market crisis, as well as other very disturbing events, anyone who reads “my stuff” knows my philosophy.  I will encourage sticking it out through the next shocking bear market.  We tell our clients this is what they can expect from us.  The most troubling feelings from the past three years are those times we could not help more people stay invested to experience the last two years of recovery. 

All-in-all, the first calendar quarter of 2011 has been pretty uneventful with respect to the kinds of things I might write for “More than Money Resource.”  The S&P 500 Index return was 5.92% for three months.  For twelve months, from April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011, it was 15.65%.  In history, these are rather humdrum results.  As always, there are storm clouds all around.  When there are not issues that cast doubt on the economic future, and the most discussed fear is missing opportunities everyone else seems to be enjoying, those are precisely the times we should be very concerned.  So, the lack of a significant writing project for three months is probably a good thing.  The January issue of our newsletter, Smart Advice for 2011, may have been about as good as we could have shared.  Let’s hope the rest of 2011 is as relaxed as it has been so far.

Contact J. David Lewis directly with or share your thoughts on this topic below. He founded Resource Advisory Services in 1985.  National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) was formed only a few years before. Lewis became a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor in 1986.  He is a passionate advocate for fiduciary, fee-only financial planning and has been associated with financial services since childhood in a banking family.  52450

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