Friday, June 29, 2012

I Blew All My Cash – What Am I Going To Do?

Pathways Advisory Group, Inc.

When in doubt, just ask “Chuck”…
Sometimes it’s a $50 burger.  Other times it’s a mask.  And occasionally it’s a few too many sneakers.  Regardless, “Chuck” can help…
We thought you might enjoy these clever new ads by Charles Schwab.  Have a great weekend!!

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Two Cities Marathon & Half!! Come Join Our Office in this Event!!

Pathways Advisory Group, Inc.

“Obstacles are what you see when you lose sight of your goal.”- Unknown.

Last week, we set a goal as an office to participate in this year’s Two Cities Marathon & Half on November 4, 2012.  Every member of our team will complete either the full or half marathon, a feat that many of us never imagined possible.  However, with hard work and commitment we are ready to face our challenge.   Each day that we train for this challenge is one more stepping stone towards our goal.  We want to invite anyone interested to come and participate with our office.  Most of us will run or walk the Fresno section of the half marathon.  If you wish to join us, please let us know that you have signed up!  Most training schedules are from 12-18 weeks long (check out the web for a good training schedule).  This is an endurance event.  Be sure to train for it!  If you have any questions, please contact Bruce (

We look forward to sharing our journey with you! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why Financial Planning is Exciting

Pathways Advisory Group, Inc.
Michelle Carter, CFP®

This weekend, I am going on a little trip with some girl friends.  I am the chauffeur.  While we were making plans, they mentioned they may take a nap in the car on the way to our destination, and they felt guilty for leaving me "alone" to drive.  I told them not to worry, I have a lecture on Financial Planning I can listen to while they snooze.  They joked, "If you put that on, I really will go to sleep" to which I replied in jest, "What? You don't find Financial Planning exciting???"

I am used to this commonly held opinion.  My husband works as a Crime Scene Investigator.  When we mingle at gatherings and parties, the focus is primarily on him.  Everyone wants to hear the latest or greatest case of who-done-it.  How can a Financial Planner compete with that?  Unless I have some hot stock tip (NOPE) or market timing strategy (NEVER), what else is there to say?

But guess what?  Financial Planning is exciting.  And I'll tell you why...

I have met with clients who worked hard, sacrificed and saved for retirement.  I watch them retire.  I get to be there as they come into their meetings and tell me about all the neat trips they are taking, the time with family they are enjoying and the life goals they are fulfilling.  I get to see the joy in their faces, and sometimes pictures of their travels too.  That is exciting.

I have met with clients who have recently lost a loved one.  I see them come in overwhelmed by the estate distribution process.  I get to be their advocate, a resource, and alleviate some of the burden they carry.  I see the relief on their faces.  That is exciting.

I have met with young people, new to the world of investing.  I get to be a teacher, and their motivation and enthusiasm for the life that awaits them is contagious.  That is exciting.

There are many more examples I could share.

I think when people hear Financial Planning, they think about numbers.  Budgets, charts and graphs, percentages and bell curves.  Investments, interest rates, rates of return and projections. 

I think about people.  I think about clients who have impacted my life.  I think about how to use the financial knowledge and experience I have gained (and am continuing to gain) to better my clients both financially and otherwise.  It is a great responsibility.

And it is also exciting.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Have the Rules Changed?

Pathways Advisory Group, Inc.

It has been a rough time period for investors.  Global uncertainly remains high and wounds from the recent bear market are fresh.  But, have the rules really changed?  No – we have been reminded what the rules have always been.  Investing is difficult.  Diversification is not a panacea.  Economics is an inexact science.  Market timing is hard if not impossible.  Sitting on the sidelines is costly.  Short-term high-grade bonds offset market volatility.  Finding the “right” balance between loss aversion (the amount you can afford to lose without deviating from the investment plan) and rate of return remains paramount.  And investor behavior affects investment results.  A recent New York Times article Why Panic? A Couples Nest Egg Better Left Alone  highlights a real life example that many investors can relate to.  If all else fails, remember this chart from Carl Richards, CFP®

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Similar Topic:  We originally touched on the (not so) “lost decade” in a December 2010 post Was it really a “lost decade” in the stockmarket?