Cary’s Mid-Year Report & Outlook
My mission is to help successful families live lives of abundance, possibility, and adventure.
The first half of 2019 has been fantastic for CS&C, my family, and the clients we serve. I was fortunate to begin the year with an overdue trip to Machu Picchu with my father. In May, Sharon and I spent time in Italy and France, and I recently returned from a trip to Scotland to play golf with good friends. While this may sound excessive, if you know my mission, it aligns perfectly with my beliefs. I crave adventure and experiences, and the time I take to travel allows me to recharge my batteries for working directly with client families, attending conferences, training new advisors, and serving on charitable and service boards.
In February, I attended the Forum 400 in San Antonio Texas. An invite-only organization, the Forum 400 serves as a resource for financial advisors, life insurance professionals, and tax planners. In March, I visited California to attend the First Financial Resources Spring Meeting in Laguna Beach. At this event, we dissected the new tax code, and spent time sharing strategies and learning from some of the top strategists in the country. From California, I flew straight to Salt Lake City to attend the Barron’s Independent Summit — another invite-only event where the top minds in the independent advisor community share their ideas and discuss the future of our industry. Although my decades of experience are certainly helpful (next year will mark my 30th year in practice), the financial world changes so quickly that I believe I have an obligation to clients and staff to keep my expertise up-to-the-minute.
In Florida, we have added a number of new staff members: Andrew Trammell joined us as my financial planning assistant (para-planner), Josh Weller has joined us as associate financial advisor, and Olivier Etrillard came on board as an insurance specialist primarily working with French-Americans. In our Connecticut office, Jack Schanne moved from Florida to join new advisor Frank Francese. Our Florida advisors also continued their education with Dan Roth being awarded the Chartered Financial Consultant designation and Rob Taylor becoming a Chartered Life Underwriter. The rest of our core team is intact with Liz managing my time and Patrick making sure the office runs smoothly.
Our New Website
As a result of our growth, we felt the need to upgrade our online presence. Our new website, www.CaryStamp.com has been live for a few weeks. I will be adding videos and content on a regular basis. Please check it out and provide your feedback on any topics you would like us to address.
As the first half of 2019 comes to a close, there are a number of important issues to consider. The US economy has been in a long-term uptrend, interest rates have remained very low despite some minor increases by the Federal Reserve, and the U.S. stock market has continued a strong uptrend, although with some evidence of volatility. The greatest challenge that investors have is managing their own behavior. When things are good, we want to be part of the action; when they turn sour, we feel the need to move out of the way to avoid pain.
Behavioral studies of investors have assessed the amount of pleasure a person has from gaining money versus the amount of pain they feel in losing it. The outcome was that we feel twice the pain. In other words, if we make $100, we feel a little pleasure but if we lose $100, the intensity of the pain is twice as strong as the pleasure from the gain.
We cannot avoid losses when markets decline, but we can institute strategies to reduce risk and protect some of the healthy gains in our portfolios over the past few years. Periodically, we will rebalance portfolios back to their original allocations. This forces us to sell the positions that have gone up in value and buy the positions that have not. If you understand the rotations of the markets, then it makes perfect sense. Last year’s winners are often this year’s losers. For our retired clients, it’s especially important that we move to a slightly more defensive position.
If the second half of 2019 is anything like the first, it will be a wonderful year for our clients, our team, and my learning and traveling. We welcome your feedback regarding any way that we can serve you and become better stewards for clients and their families. We appreciate the trust you have placed in us and look forward to continuing to help you “live lives of abundance, possibility, and adventure.”