Paragon Wealth Management’s President, Dave Young, discussed his opinions on buy and hold versus active money management on Paragon TV today with Paragon TV’s host, Randall Paul.
“It has often been said that the wisest investor buys a good stock and holds it,” asked Paul. “Dave, how do you feel about that very broad generalization at Paragon?”
Young said buy and hold is a very simplistic way to invest. He continued to say that he has never trusted the markets enough to put his money in a buy and hold strategy. He calls it buy and hold, hope and pray.vv
“The most difficult part is deciding when to sell,” said Young. “That is the cop out with buy and hold because you buy it, hold it and hope it bgall works out.”
Young said in his mind there are two groups of investors. One group claims that active money management is the only way to invest. The other group believes buy and hold is the best.
“We’ve outperformed the buy and hold strategy over the years at Paragon Wealth Management by being active money managers,” said Young. “There were only four years where our growth portfolio underperformed the S&P 500 out of 13. During those 13 years, our average return in our growth portfolio was 13.34 percent net of fees.”
Young said the reason he is not sold on buy and hold is because he is not willing to just blindly suffer the huge draw downs that an investor can with a buy and hold investment strategy. He prefers active management because it gives him a sense that he has more control in his portfolio to possibly mitigate the downside risk.
Watch the video above to learn more.
Paragon Wealth Management is a provider of managed portfolios for individuals and institutions. Any information presented is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All opinions and estimates constitute the judgement as of the dates indicated and are subject to change without notice. Do not rely upon this information to predict future investment performance or market conditions. This information is not a substitute for consultation with a competent financial, legal, or tax advisor and should only be used in conjunction with his/her advice.
Paragon Wealth Management was
notified today that they will be included in the National Association of
Board Certified Advisory Practices (NABCAP) Premier Advisors list in
the November issue of Utah Business Magazine.
“We feel privileged to be included on this list,” said Nathan White,
Paragon’s Chief Investment Officer. “It is an honor to be recognized
among these firms.”
NABCAP is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that selects an
exclusive group of advisory firms each year who represent the best in
quality wealth management. They are the first organization to create a
discerning process to help the top quality advisory practices in order
to better serve the investing community.
“One thing that sets us apart from other investment firms is our
unique investment strategy,” said Elizabeth Michalek, Paragon’s Director
of Client Services. “Our wealth managers use quantitative models, which
allow them to act in our clients’ best interest. It removes emotion and
Management is a provider of managed portfolios for individuals and
institutions. Although the information included in this report has been
obtained from other sources Paragon believes this to be reliable, we do
not guarantee its accuracy. All opinions and estimates included in this
report constitute the judgment as of the dates indicated and are subject
to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes
only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the
purchase or sale of any security. Past performance is not a guarantee
of future results.
How much risk can you handle when you invest in the stock market?
Find out by taking a short 10-question survey. Your results can be emailed to you or you can speak to one of Paragon’s wealth managers about your personal situation.
We added this survey to our website to help investors find out their investment risk tolerance to help them invest in the stock market wisely.
It is important for investors to invest according to their risk tolerance to help them stay in the market for the long-term and be able to handle the amount of stress they experience when their account declines.
If you invest too aggressively for your risk tolerance, then at some level of decline you may reach a breaking point.
If your risk tolerance is set too low, you won’t generate the returns you should. If it is set too high, should market conditions become difficult, you will likely close your account and miss out on superior long-term returns.
Risk tolerance needs to be set at the right level for each individual investor. Couples should each take the survey individually, and then combine the results to identify what both individuals will be comfortable with.
Determining your risk tolerance can be difficult. Click this link- risk tolerance survey to complete a short questionnaire that will help you identify yours.
Paragon Wealth Management is a provider of managed portfolios for individuals and institutions. Although the information included in this report has been obtained from sources Paragon believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy. All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute the judgment as of the dates indicated and are subject to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
In order to increase sales, she decides to allow her loyal customers – most of whom are unemployed alcoholics – to drink now, but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on ledger (thereby granting customers loans).
Word gets around about Heidi’s drink now pay later marketing strategy and as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi’s bar and soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit…
By providing her customers’ freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Her sales volume increases massively.
She becomes the most profitable bar in the USA…
A greedy young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes these customer debts as “valuable future assets” and increases Heidi’s borrowing limit. He sees no reason for undue concern since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.
At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then bonded together into large packages and gradually upgraded to Triple-A (AAA) “very low risk” packages by greedy bond raters, and then traded on security markets worldwide.
Naive investors don’t really understand the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics.
Nevertheless, their prices continuously climb, and the securities become the top-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.
Eventually, though, Heidi realizes she is not taking in enough cash to make even the minimum monthly loan payments to the bank, so she demands payment from some of her alcoholic patrons. Being unemployed, they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Therefore, Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations and claims bankruptcy.
DRINKBONDs and ALKIBONDs drop in price by 90%. PUKEBONDs perform better, stabilizing in price after dropping by 80%.
The decreased bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans.
Retirees, who have worked hard all their lives and invested in these bonds, realize that their savings are all gone. Their money was used to buy drinks for Heidi’s customers for all these years. And now these same retirees can no longer get a loan from the bank to buy a car or take a vacation, because the bank is insolvent and no longer writing any loans.
The suppliers of Heidi’s bar, having granted her generous payment extensions, are faced with writing off her debt and losing over 80% on her bonds. Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy and fires all his staff. Her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 50 additional workers.
The bank and brokerage houses are saved from bankruptcy by the Government, following dramatic round-the-clock negotiations by leaders from both political parties. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by taxes levied on employed middle-class non-drinkers and by reducing benefits to the retirees.
So now you understand why I’m sitting on my porch, staring at my tiny social security check and my empty brokerage statement, and wishing I had been an unemployed drunk all my life…
Last week I was look through various stock market charts when my 14-year-old son walked into the room. He asked me what I was looking at.
I thought I would have a teaching moment and began to explain how markets move up and down in cycles. After silently looking at the charts he responded,“If that was my money, I would hang myself!” and walked out of the room.
While I thought his response was a little harsh, I do understand that most investors are very discouraged after such a difficult year.
So how bad has this market been? Consider the following:
—Warren Buffet, considered an icon of wise investing, lost almost half the market value of his accounts between the middle of September and the middle of November.
—Bill Miller, one of the only managers to beat the S&P 500 for the past 15 consecutive calendar years through 2006, is down almost 60 percent year to date through December 3rd.
—Dan Fuss of Loomis Sayles is a renowned bond manager. Bonds are traditionally very conservative and are used to stabilize portfolios. His highly regarded bond fund is down an incredible 28 percent through December 5th. He said this is a “once in a 50-year” buying opportunity.
—Icon Funds, a value-based mutual fund manager, put out a report stating that stocks are 60 percent undervalued.
—High Yield bonds actual default rates are currently at 3.1 percent. However these bonds are currently priced as if the default rate was 17 percent.
Not to understate the obvious, but investment markets are difficult. They do whatever is necessary to cause the most grief to the largest number of people.
The market continuously trains investors to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
When markets are strong and moving up everyone wants in and is aggressively buying. That is often the wrong time to be putting money into the market.
Conversely, when markets are bad and going down, everyone is selling and no one wants in. That is usually a good time to invest.
Occasionally, you get market conditions that are horrible (like now) and investors are acting irrationally in extreme panic. At this point in the cycle, investors begin to sell at any price. This is the stage when investors begin effectively “giving away” their investment in order to get out of them.
Historically, this has been a phenomenal time to invest and buy new positions. Moving up from extreme lows is when fortunes have been made after previous bear markets.
I believe investors are positioning themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time once again. As evidence, simply look at the record amount of money that has been moving out of stocks and into cash, money markets, bank Cd’s, and fixed annuities. At a time when 30-year treasury bonds are paying a record low 3 percent yield, in a quest for safety, investors are running as fast as they can to lock in those low yields… at just the wrong time.
Looking forward over the next three to five years investors have a choice:
–Invest in money market funds; bank Cd’s, fixed annuities or treasury bonds. These will guarantee returns in the 2 to 4 percent range. Your money is locked up at historically low interest rates for 3 to 7 years with significant surrender charges if you change your mind.
–Invest in a well diversified, strategic portfolio made up of beaten down bonds, stocks and real estate. Our portfolios are currently positioned to capitalize on areas of the market that historically recover the fastest (visit our website www.paragonwealth.com to see examples of recommended portfolios).
This panic has pushed stocks down to the same levels they were 11 years ago. We won’t know until after the bear market has ended that it is over, but we do know that returns after previous bear markets have been exceptional.
Looking backwards or following a “rear view mirror investing” strategy, usually causes an investor to invest in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Our portfolios are currently reallocated based on opportunities going forward. When the market finally turns positive we will continue to adjust our portfolios based on which areas are showing the most strength.
When clients and prospective clients see our performance numbers, they usually want to know how we were able to generate such returns.
I’ll use a hunting analogy to best describe what we do.
After a hunting trip to the Book Cliffs in Northeastern Utah, a friend asked me how I was able to consistently find and harvest trophy animals. Among North American animals, trophy quality mule deer are among the most difficult trophies to harvest. To fully appreciate the magnitude of a trophy mule deer, some hunting trivia will help.
The majority of deer (85%) taken on the Utah deer hunt are yearlings and are called two points because of their small rack. The trophy quality deer are much more elusive, and are rarely harvested by hunters.
To become a trophy, a mature buck has to dodge hunters, mountain lions, bears, coyotes, automobiles, illegal poachers, decreasing winter range and hard winters. Fe deer make it past these obstacles. The few that do survive and possibly live up to nine years old are rare animals. These animals are extremely cagey and clever; they are true trophies.
Occasionally hunters stumble across trophy animals and use a hunting technique know as “pure luck”. To consistently harvest such amazing animals, the hunter must be willing to do that which other hunters aren’t. He must work harder and smarter than the norm.
For example, a successful hunter is in the mountains before daylight preparing while other hunters are still in their sleeping bags. He uses topographical maps to determine where the roads and trails are– this way he know where the pressure from other hunters will originate. He knows if he hikes a mile beyond the pressure, he will possibly find trophy animals.
The hunter who consistently harvests trophies uses top quality binoculars and a spotting scope which enables him to visually scan and slice an entire mountain.
He does research by talking to game biologists, ranchers and sheepherders. He knows where all the creeks, springs, and ponds are located and he hunts in areas that have the genetics to produces quality animals.
On my recent hunt, two hunters approached me as I was looking for deer. At the time, I was observing a trophy deer in my spotting scope. I put the scope aside not informing them that I was watching a trophy buck.
We had a casual conversation in which these hunters described how they had covered several hundred miles and saw nothing except a few small deer. They continued complaining about how the unit had deteriorated, the hunting was dismal and how the good ol’ days had come and gone (the conventional wisdom in this area is that there are no decent deer). While we were having this conversation, these hunters probably drove another 100 miles carrying with them the same beliefs of all hunters who only bring home small deer each year. I never told the hunters about the trophy deer and over the course of the week, I was able to locate three other trophy quality deer.
So, exactly how does hunting trophies relate to our portfolio performance?
In essence, the successful trophy hunter and the successful portfolio manager have to sidestep conventional wisdom, and work harder and smarter than everyone else including the game he is pursuing.
Consistently generating higher returns than the market requires a similar discipline and skill set as the at of the trophy hunter. A successful money manager must not believe the mindset of the masses. By the time the masses believe an idea, (i.e. the economy is failing or the economy is rebounding, etc.), it is too late to make money from that knowledge. Information found in trade publications and the general media usually touts partial truths, but just enough to lead an investor to believe and get himself in trouble. Generally, this investor finds himself following a path of guaranteed mediocrity and under performance.
Similar to the hunter who must hike beyond the pressure from other hunters, a successful manager must follow trading models and systems that direct him where the masses are headed and arrive before they do. He must go above and beyond the norm. To be successful, he must have an edge.
The models and systems we’ve developed for our Managed Income and Top Flight Portfolio are our edge. The bear market from 2000 to 2003 enabled us to refine these models to their most advanced level since Paragon’s inception. After years of research and testing, the efficacy of our models is evident in recent performance.
At Paragon, we’re always looking for ways to improve your investment experience.
An effective portfolio is one that you’ll feel comfortable sticking with through market ups and downs. That means your portfolio needs to be efficient and tailored toward your personal financial goals and investment style.
Until now we’ve provided this service with our two main model portfolios, Top Flight and Managed Income.
These tactical portfolios are actively managed, meaning that we move them in and out of the market, sectors, and various assets classes according to our models and where we see emerging opportunities. These tactical portfolios are actively managed, meaning that we move them in and out of the market, sectors, and various assets classes according to our models and where we see emerging opportunities. Our “flagship” portfolios continue to be our main focus.
Active management isn’t for everyone.
However, we realize that active management isn’t for everyone. You may be one of many investors who prefer a more passive investment approach, and for good reason. Passive index investing has received a lot of good press in the last few years. Investors are realizing that many active managers do nothing more than attempt to mimic a certain index anyway, so when their fees are taken into consideration they never even match their benchmark index’s performance. What a waste.
Passive index investors need to be aware that some similar challenges exist with passive investing as with active investing.
First, you must create a good initial plan and second, you must stick with it by rebalancing on a regular basis. My experience is that most independent investors and many advisors fail at the second half of the investing process. They create a nice looking initial portfolio and then forget all about it. The result is dismal investment performance because one of the most significant advantages an investor possesses is squandered-time. You can correct many things with your investments but you can never recoup lost time.
I recently heard the indefatigable Jim Cramer recommend that investors spend at least one hour per week researching each stock that they own!
How many people do you think actually do that?
One of the hobbies I enjoy is yardwork and landscaping. Yes, I know that many of you might question the sanity of anyone who actually enjoys working in the yard, but for me there’s nothing nicer than a brand new beautiful yard done right.
Everyone’s approach to their yard is different, just like everyone’s approach to investing is different. Whether you do the initial work yourself or hire a professional landscaper depends on your gardening expertise, your willingness and ability to work, and the time you have available.
Even if you choose to go with a landscaper for the initial design, you know that keeping your yard beautiful requires regular maintenance. If you never cut the lawn, weed, or trim the bushes and trees you end up with a disaster that looks nothing like the original design.
The same thing goes for the creation of an investment portfolio. It may look great at the beginning and feel very satisfying, but if you don’t take the time necessary to keep it aligned with your original intent it will soon get overgrown in some areas and shriveled in others. Getting it back on track requires more effort than the regular upkeep would have.
Passive investing doesn’t mean do-nothing investing!
If you’re ready to dig in to the passive investment landscape, you’ll be happy to learn that we’ve created four new Paragon Strategic Portfolios for you to consider. These portfolios truly ease the maintenance effort on your part because we’ve made sure that they are low cost, simple and tax efficient. The new strategic portfolios differ from our main portfolios in that they include combinations of fewer macro-based exchange traded funds (ETFs), and in some cases contain an ultra-short term bond fund.
The Paragon Strategic Portfolios track the following five asset classes and corresponding indexes:
Large U.S. stocks represented by the S&P 500 Index
Small U.S. stocks represented by the Russell 2000 Index
International stocks represented by the Morgan Stanley EAFE Index
Intermediate Government Bonds represented by the Lehman Brothers Intermediate Government Bond Index
90-day U.S. Treasury Bills.
Each asset class is ranked. The portfolios are then created by assigning different weights to the rankings based upon volatility.
The portfolios are rebalanced only once per year, which avoids any short-term capital gains. To further keep your costs low, the Paragon Strategic Portfolios include only ETFs with very low expense ratios ranging from 0.10% to 0.35%. The Paragon management fee is no higher than 0.95% a year (refer to Paragon’s Advisory Agreement for full details).
The following is a breakdown of the new Strategic Portfolios (All figures are back tested results before management fees and represent the return of an index. Click here to see the enclosure for full disclosure of the risk and return data.):
Aggressive Growth – Seeks to maximize capital appreciation by allocating a higher percentage of the portfolio to the highest ranked asset classes. Since 1982, this profile has generated and annualized return of 15.30% and volatility of 13.68%, compared to 12.63% and 13.90% respectively from its comparison benchmark.
Growth – Primarily emphasizes long-term capital appreciation. Since 1982, it has an annualized average return of 14.21% and volatility of 11.93%.
Balanced – Seeks long-term capital appreciation and an allocation for current income. Since 1982, it has generated an annualized average return of 12.13% and volatility of 8.98%, compared with 11.46% and 9.81% respectively from its comparison benchmark.
Conservative – Focuses on current income bust also seek to provide capital appreciation to maintain the relative to inflation. Since 1982, it has an annualized average return of 9.96% and volatility of 6.12%.
Adapted from articles: Financial Life Planning: What do you want to be? By Diliberto and Anthony and 20 Tough Questions for an Easier Future by Liz Pulliam Weston
A new school of thought among investment advisors and financial planners is “financial life planning.” Financial life planning takes an in-depth look at the bigger picture– not only considering a client’s investment goals, but a client’s investment goals in conjunction with their life dreams, values and happiness. Instead of isolating only the monetary side of things, the life planning approach is more holistic and considers a client’s most deeply-held values.
The objective is to assist clients in visualizing their goals, then home in on what’s really most important in their lives. With the core values identified, an investment plan can be built to help make the dream an eventual reality, while helping the client incorporate those ideals into day-to-day living.
While writing the book, “The New Retirementality” by Mitch Anthony, Anthony would gather groups of professionals and half-kidding ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He was always amazed at how many of these individuals, many in their fifties, dreamed of doing other things–of being something other than what they currently were.
An accountant talked about being a consultant. A consultant talked about being an investment advisor. A marketing executive talked about being a creative director, and a creative director talked about being a speaker and trainer. A speaker and trainer talked about going into television. A television personality talked about going into sales. A sales professional talked about being an executive coach.
When these people, who said they weren’t fully engaged, were asked why they didn’t just do what they dreamed of doing, without fail, they cited money issues as the reason. How many people have mortgaged who they are in favor of what they could get, and later wished they had made a more informed decision? Some estimate that it may be as much as 70 percent of our society. If it is indeed a money issue holding an individual back from his or her ultimate dream, then it may be permission from a financial professional that helps them move forward.
George Kinder, in the goals-setting portion of his “Seven Stages of Money Maturity” distinguishes between having, doing and being. What do you want to have? What do you want to do? What do you want to be? Americans have put who they want to be on hold for what they can have. The fact that so many people wish they were doing something else cannot be good for individuals, the family, the workplace or society as a whole. Change can be brought through a meaningful dialog around client goals.
For example, someone who thought he wanted an early retirement may find instead that the most important thing to him is spending time with his young children. He may decide to throttle back on his career and retire later so that he doesn’t miss out on his kid’s formative years.
Or a physician who focused on working harder and creating a more aggressive portfolio in order to retire earlier, when what he really wanted was to get out of medicine because he felt the stress was killing him. The doctor’s fear of stress was creating much more stress. Ultimately, he decided to work half-time and reallocate his portfolio to be slightly more conservative, which reduced stress in his life.
The real work comes in trying to figure out how to change your life to reflect your values. Here are some questions to help accomplish this task:
* What’s standing in between me and what I want?
* What’s my plan for overcoming each of these obstacles?
* What do I have, in terms of personal strengths and outside resources, that will help me deal with these obstacles?
* What skills and knowledge do I need to add to accomplish this change?
* Are there other people I can call on for help in overcoming these obstacles?
* How can I make these changes happen sooner?
* Do I need my family’s support for making this change?
* If so, how can I rally that support?
* How can I evaluate and monitor my progress toward my goals?
One of our goals at Paragon is to implement financial life planning with our clientele. Not only discovering your goals in regards to retirement, funding college educations, estate planning and family protection, etc., but also discovering what your desires are. Instead of the obvious “I want to retire in five years”, “I want to double my money in 10 years”, etc., the goal discovery process will include questions about a client’s core values and what is most important in your lives. This begins a dialog between us and our client that results in a process that will help merge your money with your life.
On a recent trip, I recognized the value of leaving a legacy. My trip reminded me of the sacrifice, hard work, vision and commitment made by others that have benefited me immensely. The gift of my ancestors has enriched my life and provided amenities for which I am grateful.
As I reflected on the greatness of leaving a legacy, it brought to mind the importance of leaving a financial legacy and the benefit of creating a nest egg for progeny and future generations.
It is prudent to not only prepare for retirement, but to keep in mind the beneficiaries of residual retirement and other savings and the enriched lifestyle it affords to them. I have one client in particular who communicated how important it is to him that his spouse and his children and their children are financially taken care of upon his death. His top priority for investing prudently and wisely is for the benefit of his family. In choosing Paragon as his financial advisor, it was important to him that his priorities were equally important to us.
The value of leaving a financial legacy is priceless for both you and your family. First, your financial preparation allows you to be self-sufficient during retirement. Your preparation contributes to your peace of mind knowing your family will have increased financial ease. And in some cases, a monetary gift now to family members translates into tax benefits to you now. Most importantly, the simple act of giving is empowering and fulfilling for you.
Your progeny, of course, also benefits from you gift and preparation in countless ways. First, your monetary gift continues its growth possibly for years after death. Your gift enriches the lives and lifestyle of its beneficiaries– college education paid for, down payment for your newly married son or daughter, unforeseen financial strains eased etc. etc. Your preparation also sets a precedent and begins the pattern and habit of financial intelligence and education for years to come. Your gift opens doors and opportunities to financial success that otherwise may not have been available. Most importantly, your forethought, sacrifice and commitment will be remembered, appreciated and emulated by the next generation.
I am a big proponent of retirement planning, and planning now. One way to give to our families is by naming spouses and/or children as beneficiaries of IRA’s, 401(k)s, etc. Not only designating beneficiaries, but apprising family members that they are the recipients of such a gift. And then follow up with education on prudent investing when the funds transfer to their possession. Several different retirement options allow significant contributions, tax deductions, and ample time for growth and compounding. Of course, it is always important to consider risk, inflation, tax bracket, and investment time horizon, etc. when considering how to invest retirement monies.
Another option to ensure future generations benefit from your financial success is to establish trust. Trusts specify to whom assets are to be allocated and of course, are legally binding. Trusts also aid in estate planning and reconciling this aspect of financial planning. Most importantly, as my client did, make it a priority to leave a financial legacy.
My trip was enlightening as it reminded me that it isn’t all about me or us, but about what we give to others and the principle this instills in ourselves and in our families. Leaving a financial legacy to our families and future generations is empowering to both the giver and the recipient, and it is a gift that can grow for years to come.