Articles in "2016 January":

Three Ways Investors Can Be Their Own Worst Enemy

  John Diehl     Thu Jan 28 16:00:00 EST 2016 

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Recently, my firm published a whitepaper called “Don’t Get Whacked by Behavioral Pitfalls” that used quotes from popular television show “The Sopranos” to relay investing lessons. The paper brings up a number of good points about how certain investing behaviors can be harmful to a portfolio’s health, and its unique approach could offer financial advisors a creative way to talk to clients about avoiding self-defeating investing decisions.

The main takeaway from this paper is that we are all susceptible to being heavy-handed when it comes to making changes to our investments, and there are data points that support the dangers of giving in to the temptation to move money around in volatile times.

From my perspective, there are three primary behaviors, as outlined by this paper, that could be detrimental to an investor—financial advisors would be wise to take a page out of Tony Soprano’s book and nip these behaviors in the bud before things get out of hand.

How the Lottery Helped Me with My Finances

  Michael Lynch     Fri Jan 22 13:00:00 EST 2016 

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Last week’s Powerball jackpot reached over $1 billion, causing many people who wouldn’t normally buy tickets to fork over some cash for the sake of making sure they at least had a horse in the race. People seemed to buy tickets “just in case,” because, as many of the people I spoke to about it said, “you just never know.”

I’ll admit that I bought into the frenzy—I didn’t buy a ticket myself, but I did have fun thinking about what I would do with the winnings. The fantasy was short-lived, however, as my thoughts quickly segued into mulling over the pitfalls of spending money on frivolous things and the financial complexities that come along with suddenly acquiring a large sum of money. But before I could finish working through the tax implications in my head, the winners had been announced and the Powerball buzz was dying down again.

While the dreams of “what if I won $500 million” may be behind us for the time being, financial advisors can still capitalize on the Powerball headlines by using it as a conversation starter with their clients.

New Year's Resolutions for Financial Advisors

  John Diehl     Mon Jan 04 14:00:00 EST 2016 

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At Hartford Funds, we recently conducted a survey that looked at what life experiences investors had gone through in 2015, as well as to gauge their expectations for their finances in this new year. There were several takeaways that I found to be particularly informative, and I believe that their implications might be useful to financial advisors as we kick off 2016. Pay attention, financial advisors, and think about adding one (or all) of these to your list of New Year’s resolutions, so that you can serve your clients even better.