Market insights and analysis

How dynamic, risk-managed investment solutions are performing in the current market environment

3rd Quarter | 2021

Market insights and analysis


Updates on how dynamic, risk-managed investment solutions are performing in the current market environment.

Bring on the future

A few years ago, two things made me think about what Flexible Plan does from a different perspective.

Some may be surprised to find out that finance wasn’t my first chosen career path. I grew up wanting to be a marine biologist. I was so committed that I took six years’ worth of math classes and six years’ worth of science classes while in high school to prepare for college.

Like many advisers and investors who have been following the news lately, you may be wondering how the state of inflation and interest rates will affect your investments.

Concerned about what the market will do next?

If you’re like many people I’ve talked to lately, you may be concerned about what the market has in store when the current bull market comes to an end. Will we see a bear market decline in the 30%–40% range? Or, will it be a debilitating decline in the 50%–60% range like we have experienced twice in the past 20 years? No one knows.

Don’t let your heart rule your investments

This week, I want to talk about a well-documented pattern of investor behavior that does not serve their best interests: letting emotions rule investment decisions. We originally posted a version of this article last year just before the COVID crash.

Is your portfolio ready for takeoff?

Before the pandemic, we used to invite financial advisers to visit our home office. These visits let us get to know advisers better and allowed advisers to meet the people who make good things happen behind the scenes when they engage us as a third-party money manager for their investor clients.

Why it pays to have a flexible portfolio

When I get the opportunity to share my thoughts in this column, I generally pull from my recent conversations with financial advisers and their clients.

No one thing leads to success

Watching the NFL playoff games this past weekend, I noticed the winning teams’ quarterbacks got much of the credit and much of the press. But there are 53 players on each team’s roster and many more behind them contributing to each team’s success.

Expectations that can lead to bad investing

This week I was listening to an expert on investor psychology who stated, “Investors feel comfortable investing when markets are behaving as they expect.” That made me think about the piece I recently wrote about the emotions of fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) and their often negative influence on investors’ decisions.

Conquering FUD in investing

Recently I was listening to an interview with a marketing expert who was explaining how marketing campaigns are crafted to change the way people think, shop, and vote. The discussion really got my attention when the guest said that such campaigns are designed to escalate fear, uncertainty, and doubt among the audience. He referred to this approach as a “FUD campaign.”

Today I’d like to discuss the concept of strategic diversification (investing in multiple investment strategies to diversify among asset classes, methodologies, and time frames) in the context of the current market environment.

Taking personal bias out of the investing equation

I have spoken with many financial advisers lately, and, of course, one of the topics at the top of their minds was the recent presidential debate. Some of the advisers I spoke to are committed Democrats and some are committed Republicans. One would never have known that we all watched and heard the same event based on what we each thought we saw, heard, and understood—all of which was reflected through the lens of our personal bias.

Early this morning it dawned on me that I have not looked at the global stock market in some time. As investors, we understandably tend to focus on domestic markets—even though there is a world of opportunity available to us. Those opportunities, including those outside of stocks, are why Flexible Plan builds strategically diversified portfolios.

Some of you may be surprised at how the Dow is performing compared to the other major stock market indexes—not only this year, but also over the past one year and three years.

Why is the stock market so disconnected from what is happening in the economy? And why does it seem like all stocks—no matter what their quality—are going up?Just like you, we grapple with these complex market questions every day in our quest to bring investors better risk-managed investment solutions. These two are the ones I’ve been asked most frequently recently—which makes sense. It does seem like the market is acting illogically … but is it? Let’s take a closer look to see what’s behind it all.

For more than four decades, I have been a professional in the investment business. Some may be surprised to find out, however, that finance wasn’t my first chosen career path.

For most of us, “stress” is considered a bad word (and maybe an ever-present word these days). When we stress about work or relationships, we usually feel miserable.


Two weeks ago, I wrote about behavioral finance and how investors are often their own biggest barriers to investing success. The market action since February 19 has presented us with the perfect stage to see these common investing behaviors play out.