Monday, June 25, 2012

Andy Explains Bond Yields

 You've read that bond yields are rising in some European countries. What does that mean? And how does it affect you? Juliet helps Andy explain the answer. Find more videos on our YouTube channel:

1 - It seems as though we can't shake a European influence on the financial headlines. This week was no exception, as Spanish bond yields have global investors quaking in their loafers. For this week's video, I recruited Juliet to assist me in explaining how bond yields can change suddenly, and what it means to us as investors.  

2 - My good buddy Cooper Flack sent me a link to an excellent article ("So long, suckers - I'm leaving Wall Street") by David Weidener, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch. He describes 15 conclusions from his years covering the financial center of the world. Some of those conclusions agree with what I have said for years ("simple is better;" "you can't time the market"); others I have somewhat of a beef with ("mutual funds are a waste of time"). But it is thought-provoking and enjoyable. You may want to click here to read it.

3 - Reminder to clients: our Investment Roundtable event is rapidly approaching on July 10. We have confirmed that our investment researcher, Steven McNamara, CFA, will be here in person to take your questions. To reserve your spot, you can click here, email Michele at or call her at 859-7001, ext. 2.

Have an sun-drenched week!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Show & Tell: TDAI Elite Summit

Andy spent last week at the TD Ameritrade Institutional Elite Summit in Laguna, CA. This week's video is a report of the event's highlights. Keep watching: the artist near the end is fascinating -- and he had a powerful message for the attendees. Find more videos on our YouTube channel:

1 - I spent last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at the TD Ameritrade Institutional Elite Summit in Laguna, California. This was my first time at this particular event (it is by invitation only), and it was one of the best I have ever experienced. If you can spare 4 1/2 minutes, take a look at the video report above.   

2 - In case you're wondering who pays for these conferences, here's the answer: Whenever I take a business trip, Millard & Company pays my travel and lodging expenses. We are a client of TD Ameritrade Institutional; and just as we host occasional events for our own clients, TDA hosts events for its clients. We don't charge admission to our client events, nor does TDA charge admission to theirs. Other conferences (such as those put on by the Financial Planning Association and other groups) do charge a registration fee. In all cases, however, those who attend must cover their own travel and lodging costs, which can be substantial.  

3 - Reminder to clients: Please register for our Investment Roundtable client event on July 10. We have confirmed that our investment researcher, Steven McNamara, CFA, will be here in person to take your questions. To reserve your spot, you can click here, email Michele at or call her at 859-7001, ext. 2. 

Have an educational week!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Old Paradigms vs. New Realities

 In this excerpt from our May 15 New Realities: Investing event, we explore some traditional investing assumptions -- old paradigms -- and contrast them with the new realities of the 21st Century. These new realities require us to recognize that old ways of thinking may no longer apply. Find more educational videos on our YouTube channel:
1 - Here's an object lesson in why you shouldn't pay too much attention to the daily movements of the stock market: On Friday, June 1, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 275 points, reflecting (and also causing) fear and trembling throughout the investing world. It plunged a further 292 points the following Monday, indicating that the collective universe of investment wisdom was expecting dark times ahead. But the very next morning marked the start of a four-day rally where the same index rose by 453 points. That rally is expected to continue today. The reason for the upswell is news from Europe that....  

2 - ...But you don't really care about the latest news from Europe, do you? You probably shouldn't. Today's uplifting news swiftly gives way to tomorrow's despair, and then to more exuberance. It's like the shifting winds. What really matters is the tradewind: the general long-term direction. But unlike meteorological tradewinds, we won't know which way this one is blowing until we reach the far shore. We can take some assurance from the fact that the long-term direction has always been positive; try not to let the current storms distract you from that fact. 

3 - Clients: By now you should have received an email invitation to our Investment Roundtable client event with Steve McNamara on July 10. To reserve your spot, you can email Michele at or call her at 859-7001, ext. 2.

4 - In case you were nowhere near Polk County, NC this past weekend, the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival came and went on Friday and Saturday. As has been the case for the last 12 years, I expended many hours and calories managing the traffic and parking for the event. Preliminary indications are that we had the largest attendance in a long time. It seems that several factors contributed: an improving economy and lower gas prices, of course, but perfect weather, free admission until 2:00pm on Friday, and blanket coverage/promotion by WSPA-TV in Spartanburg brought in people from all over the area. The huge crowd led to a few, shall we say, challenges -- but overall it was a wonderful weekend for our community.

Have an awesome  week!