Tag Archives: money management

Fact Sheet

Posted April 6, 2015 by paragon. tags:Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Registered Investment Advisor.
  • Money management has been our primary focus since we began in 1986.
  • Our approach is disciplined yet flexible and evolving.
  • We don’t rely on market forecasts.
  • We use quantitative models to determine which areas of the market are working, where investors are putting money and which areas have the most potential. These models also tell us which areas to avoid.
  • We do not believe in a “buy and hold” approach.
  • We focus on what each market sector is doing now, not what it has done over the past three to five years.
  • We manage-actively, adjust, move, and change our clients’ portfolios, depending on market conditions.
  • Paragon’s principals and employees invest their personal funds in Paragon’s portfolios.
  • We have Fiduciary Responsibility, which means that legally our clients’ needs always come first.
  • We don’t sell financial products or receive commissions.
  • Clients are free to withdraw their money at any time, there are no surrender charges.

Happy 25th Anniversary!

Posted December 16, 2011 by admin. tags:Tags: , , ,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Provo, Utah (Dec. 16, 2011) – Paragon Wealth Management, originally called The Center for Financial Excellence, celebrated 25 years of business this month.

Dave Young, president and founder of Paragon Wealth Management, started The Center for Financial Excellence in 1986 to give investors an opportunity to do more with their money.

“I originally started Paragon to manage money,” said Young. “I sold over a dozen businesses I owned, and wanted to invest the proceeds, but wasn’t able to find an investment advisor who met my needs. I spent the next year researching different investment methods and then started The Center for Financial Excellence.”

The company was registered with the SEC in 1993, and the name was changed to Paragon Capital Management. It was changed to Paragon Wealth Management several years later.

“This is a difficult industry to be in,” said Young. “We are happy to be a successful business this long.”

Paragon’s team celebrated their anniversary this month at their office in Provo, Utah with a cake, balloons and happy employees. Visit Paragon’s YouTube Channel to watch a video of the celebration.

Paragon is known for its growth portfolio called Top Flight. It has generated a total return of 378.74 percent versus 64.76 percent for the S&P 500 from its inception on January 1, 1998 through October 31, 2011. Its compound annual return is 12.06 percent versus 3.7 percent for the S&P 500. (Visit paragonwealth.com to see complete track record and full disclosures).

About Paragon Wealth Management
Paragon Wealth Management is a registered investment advisor (RIA) in Utah that actively manages all types of traditional and retirement accounts such as IRA and 401(K) rollovers, and pensions and trusts. Paragon has received numerous awards such as the Best of State award in Investment Advisory Services in 2011, and the NABCAP Premier Advisor award in 2010. Paragon has also been recognized on several lists such as WealthManagerWeb’s Top Wealth Manager’s list in the U.S. in 2010 and others. Call 800-748-4451 or visit paragonwealth.com for more information.

Paragon cannot guarantee the accuracy of information from other sources. Opinions are as of the dates indicated only. This report is not a solicitation for any security. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. 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.

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Money Management and Baseball

Posted March 10, 2011 by admin. tags:Tags: , , , ,
Money and Baseball


photo by laffy4k

Written by Dave Young, President of Paragon Wealth Management

Imagine yourself as a baseball player.

First, your team gets a base hit, next you get a double. Then, another base hit. This is followed by a triple, and then you strike out. Then, you strike out twice in a row! Just about the time you are ready to abandon your team, they hit two home runs.

The moral of the story is you never know how the game is going to turn out unless you stay for the whole game. 

Asset management is similar to baseball because they both take patience and a sound long-term strategy to be successful.

At Paragon Wealth Management we have asset management services for our clients who have $200K to $1M to invest, and wealth management services for investors who have over $1M to invest. When investors see the returns our growth portfolio, Top Flight, has generated over the past 13 years, they get excited about them. Then, when the market goes through a downturn, and Top Flight goes through a mild downturn, they start questioning their investment strategies.

Paragon’s Top Flight Portfolio has generated a total return of 421.46 percent versus 72.19 percent for the S&P 500 from January 1998 through February 2011. (see www.paragonwealth.com for full track record and disclosures.)

It is important to understand the ups and downs that investors went through in order to capture those returns investors have seen since Top Flight’s inception in 1998.

Its also important to understand that investors who did not keep a long-term perspective and bailed out of their portfolios along the way, never saw those returns.

It is only those investors who had the discipline to keep a long-term perspective who got the long-term returns.

For example, in four of the past 13 years, which is about 31 percent of the time, Top Flight underperformed the S&P 500. In two of those years, Top Flight declined and investors lost money.

The investors who focused on the short-term during those times, bailed out of their portfolios. They were shaken out of their long-term investment strategy and ultimately hurt themselves by selling out of their portfolio.

In an ideal world Top Flight would always outperform and would travel a straight line of positive returns year after year. 

Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Reality is more like two steps forward and then one step back over and over…

With Top Flight we never know in advance when we are going to under perform the market or when we are going to “hit a home run.” Although there are no guarantees, we do believe that if we keep stepping up to the plate and executing our investment strategy that we are going to outperform more than we underperform. Over time we believe that disciplined execution of our investment strategy will deliver outsize results.

However, that means we have to keep stepping up to the plate, and we have to consistently follow our investment strategy.

That is how Top Flight has generated returns almost six times more than the broad market as measured by the S&P 500 over the past 13 years.

If investors want those long-term returns, then they must “stay for the whole game”. 

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.

 

Continued Recovery or Double Dip Recession? Part II

Posted August 17, 2010 by admin. tags:Tags: , , , ,
Newspaper Paper Headline


 Photo By Shutterstock

 

 

Article taken from Paragon Wealth Management 2nd Quarter Newsletter

 

Written By: Nathan White, Chief Investment Officer

 

Media & Current Affairs

In the short-term emotions rule and volatility reigns as investors are pushed around by headline news. A study of bear markets by Ed Clissold of NDR showed that bear markets that occur on rallies after recessions tend to be relatively short and not associated with a new recession- a sort of “echo bear”.

Worries of the European debt crisis and its ramifications are coinciding with the slowdown in economic data compounding the market nervousness. Many are worried that the austerity policies being promoted by the European Countries will stifle the economic recovery even though those actions would reduce their large deficits, which are what the markets were worried about in the first place. The U.S. administration is arguing the opposite of the Europeans with the belief that it is too soon to withdraw stimulus and reduce deficits. 

I find it strange that people are fleeing Euro zone currency and debt due to fear over deficits into U.S. government debt, even though the U.S. is preaching more deficit spending? Somehow I don’t think that will end well. We are therefore avoiding long-term U.S. treasuries, as they could be a time bomb waiting to happen. It might not happen soon, but the low return (below three percent for 10-year Treasuries at the time I am writing this) is not worth the risk in our opinion. 

Above all, the market hates uncertainty and with the bear market still very fresh in investor minds we are in a condition where people are very fast to sell and ask questions later. A report in the Wall Street Journal on June 14 by E.S. Browning (Rapid Declines Rattle Even Optimists) showed that the 12.4 percent drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average from the peak on April 26 to June 7 occurred in only 42 days. The article indicated that the only other time that the Dow has fallen that fast in the past 80 years was at the start of the Korean War. 

 

Conclusion

As I write this article, the S&P 500 is down about 14.5 percent from its peak. That’s only 5.5 percent away from the negative 20 percent that most consider as the condition for a bear market. It seems the market is pricing in a double-dip recession whether it actually unfolds or not! We have been slowly raising cash over the past month or so and as the market continues to show uncertainty. If our indicators weaken, we will raise more, but for now we still want to have exposure to the market as it could strengthen as fear subsides and investors realize that the market has already priced in any bad news. After all, we are still in recovery mode. Although it is weak, a recovery is still a recovery. 

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.

 

Letter to Obama– How to Create Jobs

Posted December 9, 2009 by admin. tags:Tags: , , ,
Obama


photo by mrsrichardson823

A couple days ago I heard President Obama say that he wanted input on how to create more jobs. Here is my input.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I do my best to look at things from a neutral perspective. I really don’t care who is in charge as long as they do not complicate my wealth management practice too much.

The Obama administration has made that difficult.

Dear Obama,

In my past 23 years of money management, politicians haven’t had much effect on our investment strategies. As a general rule, the less they do, the better the free market functions and that is usually positive for the stock market.

On the other hand, the more they do, the worse the free market functions, and that is usually negative for the market. The offset this time is that the stock markets were so extraordinarily undervalued that they really had nowhere to go but up.

Now that unemployment has skyrocketed, our politicians have decided that jobs are important.

Unfortunately, they did not decide that before they allocated $787 billion towards their “stimulus” program that we bought for them earlier this year.

Last week they held a job summit, also know as a “PR stunt”, to show how much they care about jobs. Then on Tuesday, five days later, they announced their plans to “save and create” more jobs. It’s amazing to me that you can go from the information gathering summit stage to the implementation stage in five days. Aside from that anomaly, let me explain.

Businesses create jobs. Politicians do not.

On a national level, some studies claim that it cost the government, which is code for the taxpayers (since the government does not actually have any money), $242,000 for each job they created with their stimulus bill. In Utah County, they claim it cost $147,000 for each job created by bill. Contrast that with business that spends nothing to create a job. In business a job is created when it adds value to and helps a company make more money. Any way you cut it, it is silly for government to spend billions of our money artificially creating temporary jobs.

So what can government do to help create jobs?

It is simple. First, create an environment where business can prosper. Second, let businesses keep more of the money they earn so they can use it to expand and hire additional employees.

The pot of money that businesses have to work with is limited in size. So when government takes the business owner’s money for extended unemployment coverage, which originally started at 16 weeks, and is now up to 99 weeks. Then you asses them with workman’s comp, social security and then another 40% cut of their income for state and federal taxes. It does not leave a lot to work with.

But, that is not enough. Then you propose punitive taxes on “the rich” ie. business owners (since they do not pay their fair share) followed by additional significant taxes on business for health care and cap and trade.

Since they do not have unlimited resources (like the government thinks they do) businesses cut back on hiring. Because they are afraid they are going to be taxed into oblivion and there is no real benefit for them to take risks (since they do not get to keep the money they earn) they stop expanding.

It really is simple. Get government out of the way of the free market. Reduce the ineffective and burdensome regulatory bureaucracy. Provide an infrastructure that allow businesses to prosper. Let businesses keep what they earn.

This is basic economics and a lot more effective than spending $242,000 to create a $45,000 temporary job. This is the way to see employment expand and create millions of jobs. Just like it did throughout the 80’s and 90’s.

Sincerely,

David Young
President of Paragon Wealth Management

What do you think? Feel free to leave comments.

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.

The Year 2007 in Review

Posted January 17, 2008 by admin. tags:Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Happy New Year

Written by:  Dave Young, President

Once again, we are at the beginning of a new year. Each year seems to pass by quicker than the previous. In 2007, the markets started strong with a lot of optimism. The optimism disappeared when the market dropped in March, because the Dow lost about 700 points and found itself just above Dow 12,000.

Just as everyone was beginning to question their optimism, the market rallied off of the March lows, and by April reached Dow 13,000 for the first time. By mid-January the Dow was knocking on Dow 14,000. Everyone was euphoric, and according to our sentiment models, most investors thought the market would continue its upward climb.

As usual, once everyone is in agreement about where the market is going, it goes in the opposite direction. The sub prime debt problems became a serious issue in July and August, and the market sold off once again. This time the Dow fell again, but hit higher lows than the March sell off. The Dow sunk to 12,7000.

This is when things became interesting. The media was in full swing with their pitch that the market is “always” horrible in September and October. Clients called us and wanted to be taken out of the market because of the recent sell off and all of the doom and gloom in the press.

Not surprisingly, the market performed the way it usually does in order to make the majority of investors wrong. In what are traditionally the worst two months of the year, September and October, the market instead rallied. During the historically worst months to invest, the market put together its strongest rally of the year peaking back at just under Dow 14,200.

The credit fears and worries about the strength of the economy pushing the market down came back again, and the Dow finished the year at 13,264.

The broadly watched, large cap DJIA gained 8.7% for the year. The S&P 500, which is also more representative of the large cap U.S. market, gained 5.5%. The Russell 2000 which represents 2000 small cap stocks lost – 1.6%. Finally, the Value Line Geometric Index, which is the broadest based index and represents 1,626 stocks, declined -3.8%. Overall, depending on where you were invested, it was a marginal year for many investors.

Paragon Top Flight Portfolio

Our Top Flight Portfolio had an exceptional 2007 returning 16.98% versus 5.5% for its benchmark, the S&P 500 (See track record for full disclosures).

How did Top Flight generate such good returns in a year when the major market indexes were just slightly positive or and even negative?

There were three reasons why we were able to triple the return of the S&P 500 benchmark this year.

1- The change from mutual funds to Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) boosted our returns. Because mutual funds are generally broader based, in the past they made it more difficult to “dial in” exactly where our models are pointing, and there is no slippage. Also, the ETF’s allow us to follow our allocation models with exactness because unlike mutual funds, we don’t face early withdrawal fees or penalties.

2- Our Allocation Models signaled opportune times for us to reduce and increase exposure  during  2007. Twice, at opportune times, we reduced exposure from 100% invested to 56% invested. These allocation changes benefited our returns.

3- Our Focus Models pointed us towards the areas of the market that showed the most strength. We experienced additional gains by following our Focus Models recommendations and investing in natural resources, emerging markets, Brazil, Canada, Australia, and Europe. Our limited exposure to the U.S. market was positive for Top Flight.

Top Flight portfolio recently completed 10 years of performance from December 31, 1997 through December 31, 2007. During this period, Top Flight generated a total return, net of all fees, of 417% versus 77.4% for the S&P 500. Its compound annual return is 18.03% versus 5.95% for the S&P 500 (see track record for full disclosures).

In the investment industry, 10 years is significant. Almost anyone can get lucky and have an exceptional year. If you see three years of good performance, investment advisors will start to notice. A five-year track record is even better. To generate 10 years of exceptional performance is even more meaningful.

I have sat on several industry panels where other “experts” have argued that active management doesn’t work. I believe that Top Flight’s 10-year track record indicates otherwise.

Managed Income Portfolio

Managed Income returned 2.24% for the year (see track record for full disclosures). It performed well from a relative standpoint, but not so well from an absolute standpoint. So what does that mean… it sounds like investment mumbo jumbo?

From an absolute standpoint, 2.24% is nothing to get excited about. We could have put our money in a bank CD and done much better if we had known the return in advance. Unfortunately, no one announced last January how the year would unfold.

From a relative standpoint, Managed Income performed exceptionally well. The underlying asset classes that make up Managed Income were a minefield last year. Managed Income invests in real estate, convertibles, preferred stock, high yield bonds, treasury bonds, bank loan funds, dividend income funds, etc. It invests in all of the more conservative asset classes that generate income. Most of those asset classes struggled last year and anything associated with real estate ended the year down about 15 percent.

Relative to previously mentioned investment groups that Managed Income is forced to stay within; we will take 2.24% for last year and be pleased with it. The fact that Managed Income was able to even generate positive returns last year was noteworthy.

Also, keep in mind that Managed Income’s primary objective is to avoid losses. Its secondary objective is to generate the highest returns possible within the investment constraints of avoiding losses. In 2007 it met both of these objectives.

Longer term, since Managed Income’s inception on October 1, 2001, the portfolio has generated a total return of 76.33% doubling the 36.95% earned by its benchmark, the Lehman Bond Index. Its compound annual return is 9.63% versus 5.23% for the Lehman Bond Index.

Copyright 2008 Paragon Wealth Management

Finding the Right Balance Between Risk and Reward

Posted January 3, 2008 by admin. tags:Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Man Surfing

Written by:  Nathan White CFA, Portfolio Manager

Investing is all about the trade-off between risk and return. Higher risk means higher potential returns. Lower risk means lower potential returns. There’s simply no escaping this fundamental fact, although some inexperienced investors work overtime to ignore it.

In my estimation, ignoring the trade-off between risk and return inevitably leads to poor results. I also believe it’s the number one reason people become frustrated with investing and ultimately fail to meet their goals. When new investors evaluate investments, they tend to focus on the potential return and tune out the risk. In many cases, they may not understand where the risk is coming from or what it means. Or perhaps they believe that if they don’t acknowledge the risk, it won’t apply to them. Either way, it’s a big mistake.

Facing risk doesn’t have to be a terrifying ordeal. In fact, evaluating risks versus potential returns is part of the decisions we all make every day—what route to take to work, what house to buy, what profession to pursue, whom to marry, what to have for lunch, and so on. When it comes to investing, understanding where the risks come from is essential. Overly aggressive investing leaves you vulnerable to greater losses, while ultra-conservative investing is also a risky strategy because of the gains you inevitably miss out on.

How much risk you’re willing to take on should be based on several factors, including your personality and stage in life. Those who are risk averse or are in a capital preservation phase of life (such as retirement) often want to stick with conservative savings instruments like CDs, savings accounts, or money market accounts because the risk of losing money is incredibly low. These products serve a useful purpose. However, the trade-off for these products is the low returns they generate. You are not being paid much because you are not risking much.

Let’s assume that you are in retirement and that you always invest in CDs because you like the steady, low-risk returns. Let’s also assume that CDs have averaged about 5% per year. Inflation, the measure of how buying power decreases over time, will effectively reduce your return by 2-3%, leaving you with only 2-3% left to withdraw without reducing the principal. For the vast majority of people, that isn’t much to live on. The trade off for reduced investment risk is an increased likelihood that you will not meet your financial goals.

As I mentioned earlier, the goal of an investment portfolio is to achieve the best possible returns for a certain level of risk. Paragon’s Managed Income portfolio seeks to achieve a lower degree of volatility and risk than our Top Flight portfolio or other more aggressive offerings. To accomplish this, we create different combinations of securities with different historical levels of volatility and return.

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