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On this week's episode of Tape Talk we take a look at the quarter ahead and what might be in store for the market. Will inflation finally tick up? Will technology stocks take a back seat as other sectors catch up? How is sector rotation showing itself now? Find out this and more as we explore second quarter themes.

Stodgy Tech Stocks

Technology stocks have been widely in the news over the past few years. It's difficult to read about the markets without seeing mention of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google, or Microsoft. However, these few stocks do not encompass the entire tech universe. We'll take a look at some of the stodgier names that have been picking up lately. Is there potential here for investors to gain technology exposure at lower valuations? We'll ask that and more.

Volatility Is Back

Unless you've been living under a rock or in a coma you've likely realized that volatility was back in force during the first quarter of this year. The recent increase in daily market moves has highlighted the movement of money between sectors. Is this rotation a new normal or simply a passing fad?

Inflation Concerns

Inflation may finally show up to the party this year. We'll take a look at some of the key areas to participate in the inflation trade. Is gold right for investors' portfolios here? We consider both the technical set-up and the fundamentals in favor of investors' favorite inflation hedge to see if now may finally be the time to add the shimmering metal to their investment line-up.

Tangible Stuff

Speaking of inflation, what does inflation and a roaring economy mean for materials and inputs? We discuss our recent exposure to the steel sector and why that might make sense in this environment of increased focus on construction and infrastructure. 

Market Bounce


Market Bounces Back

After the major indices were put through the ringer last week to the tune of a 6% decline they experience a small bounce back this week to end the quarter nearly flat for the year. The trend over recent declines has been that any dip is an opportunity to buy rather than a sign of a change in short-term trend. We'll take a look at the psychology of the recent move and examine whether the market is singing the same old tune or if the music might change this time.

South Korea Trade Deal

It made so few headlines you might have completely missed it, the US and South Korea last weekend came to terms on a trade deal around steel. Steel, huh? That may sound familiar from some other recent headlines where the industrial metal was in focus. We'll break down this latest news and what it might mean for global investors.

Facebook Gets Unliked by Investors (and the Government)

We touched on Facebook's recent faux pas in last week's episode but the situation continues to evolve as the stock continues its decline. This week we found out the FTC is looking into the company's sharing of private information and Congress is calling on Mark Zuckerberg to testify. While some people might be concerned about user declines we'll look at the recent issues from another angle by examining what this means for the advertisers from which Facebook derives its revenue.

Stocks In Play

Yes, the market has been rocky. However, assuming you're in this investing discipline for the long run you might be wondering where the opportunity may be here. We take a look at a few of the areas we're currently allocating and explore why they might be potential trends from here.


Trump Tariffs, Round 2.

We're kicking off this week's show examining the latest round of tariffs enacted this week by Washington. Unlike the previous steel and aluminum tariffs announced week's ago, these new sanctions are specifically targetted towards the United States's largest trading partner, China. The key focus of the Trump administration's move is targeting the wide deficit in trade between our two countries. However, the market has not responded favorably to the news of these new penalties. We spend some time breaking down the new tariffs, what it means for the market, and where opportunity might exist.


Facebook Faux Pas

Don't call it a "data breach!" That's what the folks at Facebook are telling us on news of Cambridge Analytica's unauthorized access to data on 50-million Facebook users. The political consulting firm is under scrutiny after reports surfaced that it obtained information it should have otherwise not had access to and may have been able to use that to influence or interfere with political races during the election. However, Facebook may be facing greater public backlash for not making the issue public sooner and lacking in its public response to the data crises. We'll discuss what this might mean going forward for the company and tech stocks in general.

Where's the Opportunity?

As the market continues its pullback, global stocks get hit by tariff fears, and the beloved tech stocks wrestle with a tarnished public image, one has to ask where is the opportunity in today's market? We'll review a couple of the places we've been allocating into recently and some of the ones that we might add to soon.


Interview from November 2015. In memory of Dr. Pearse Lyons, the Irish entrepreneur whose vision for improving global agriculture built a multibillion-dollar international business.

In late 2015 I had the unique opportunity to sit down with Dr. Pearse Lyons and discuss all things business and life. To say that Dr. Lyons had a positive impact on the state of Kentucky would be a gross understatement and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to glean a bit of wisdom from this incredible entrepreneur. In memory of Dr. Lyons, I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed giving it. 


While most of us were sipping a cocktail preparing to watch the fastest two minutes in sports, Mike Maloney was holding a ticket, which in two minutes could be worth well over $200,000. The year was 2007 and Mike was gathered with close friends and relatives in a private room within Keeneland, 75 miles down the road from Churchill Downs. The bell rang, the gates swung open and Street Sense broke on the inside taking home the first leg of the famous Triple Crown at 9/2.

You’ll have to read the book to learn how that day played out for Mike, which is the opening chapter of his incredible page turner, Betting with an Edge, available through the DRF store HERE. While the book spends many chapters knee deep in the science and art behind handicapping, there are countless stories that had me on the edge of my seat and making this one of my truly ‘must reads’ for 2018.

Mike is a born and raised Kentucky boy with roots going back many generations. His first experience within the horse playing world came through his father, who Mike describes as being a ‘fantastic handicapper’ but to his detriment an ‘overly aggressive bettor.’

Having been a professional horse player for the last 18 years, Mike clearly has been able to strike a balance between the two tenants, which has resulted in not only a professional career but a private office within the confines of Red Mile in Lexington, complete with a semi-private bet taker.

Mike Maloney is regarded as one of the world’s elite horse players and has the stories to back this up.  Whether it was a busted day with his father, sitting in a pickup truck, stuck in a parking snafu outside of Churchill on Derby day or nailing his first big ticket as the single holder of a $75,000 pick 6 in the early 80’s, this podcast is a must listen and the book is a must read.


Where To From Here?


After a few weeks of increased volatility and pullbacks across stock indices, a subtle calm has returned to the market. Stocks trended higher through the week with little fanfare. Is it time for investors to breath a sigh of relief from the recent market correction?

Psychology and Your Portfolio

Many of the market's movements can be attributed to the psychology of market participants. After a ten percent pullback in the markets, accompanied by soaring volatility, the recent week has been marked by a sense of calm and a steady move higher in stocks. Much of this calm may simply be investors' sense of relief that the market has "stopped going down" and is why an investor who lost 10% from recent highs suddenly feels better while the market has recovered only half of that move. It's also the same psychology that makes the recent lows an import point to watch.

Inflation Perks Up

This week's CPI numbers highlighted inflation picking up steam. In fact, shortly after the numbers were released the market saw a pre-opening move lower to the tune of 1%. The question investors now must face is whether inflation is getting ahead of the Fed and their tightening cycle. If so, then some of the key inflation names may be an option for investors to find opportunity in this environment. We'll highlight a few of the areas we've been looking at recently to find potential opportunity in this stage of the economy.

Time For A Plan?

If you're concerned with the recent moves in the market or how inflation could affect your portfolio, it may be time to run your numbers. Completing our LIFE Plan process will give you some of the confidence you need to know your investments are aligned with your required rate of return.  Contact us to find out more.

What’s Your Plan?


As volatility in the markets remains high this week it may be time to consider what your plan is for the turbulence. While this may depend on your life stage it will also depend on your temperament.  On this week's episode, we'll provide a look behind the scenes of how we're managing through the recent market pullback and ask some pointed questions that might help you develop your own plan as well.

Danger On The Horizon?

It's been over a year since we've seen volatility like this in the markets. However, it doesn't matter how much time transpires between pullbacks, they can always be a bit nerve-wracking. Becuase of this, it's important to understand where you are in your investing journey and how that might affect the steps you might consider taking. For instance, are you in the accumulation stage of your investing journey with your goals still far off? If that's the case you might be best served by steadily contributing, even if the market continues its decline from here. Are you getting close to retirement or already there? If so, you might want to make sure you know what the plan is for your investments, what that means for your retirement journey through the regular ups, and downs on the market.

Changing With The Market

Since many of our listeners, and clients, are in the life stages of approaching retirement or already retired, managing risk is one of the key components of their plan. We'll take a behind the scenes look into what we're doing as investment advisors, in a market such as this, to attempt to protect portfolios from the potential for large swings in the stock market.

Index or Momentum Fund?

Are all those popular index funds really just a momentum fund in disguise? Have the indices become lopsided? We'll take a look at how an index fund works and why it might not be much different from the momentum strategies that many index adherents talk down. After all, many index funds follow market cap weighted indices which, by their nature, overweight higher moving stocks and underweight lagging stocks. While this momentum can be incredibly useful on the upward moves in the market it is also possible that same momentum could accelerate moves to the downside. 

What's Our Plan?

Volatility rarely vanishes quickly. If this is a change in mood for the markets, investors might want to settle in for increased volatility going forward. With that in mind we've begun prudently cutting positions in our client portfolios to free resources up to find new opportunities should the market continue lower. Now that you know our plan, what's yours? Maybe now is the time to give yourself some peace of mind and complete your LIFE Plan.

Pullback Action Plan


On this week's episode of Tape Talk, we talk all about pullbacks in the market. In every healthy market, investors see and live through healthy waves of rotation and correction before the next leg higher. With months of market gains behind us it begs the question of whether or not investors should be preparing themselves for volatility ahead.

Understand Your Risk

The first step in your pullback action plan should be understanding what you have at risk in your investments. Have you set aside enough cash to meet your immediate financial needs without stressing about small market moves? Do you (or your advisor) have pre-determined risk levels on your investment positions? Do you understand the risk associated with your selected allocation level? These are all important questions to be asking when the market is near highs, not in the midst of a correction.

Revisit Your Allocation

The stock market has experienced some significant gains over the past year. Have you and your advisor reviewed your account to ensure your allocation still meets your target? As your investments move it's normal for your allocation to drift. This is why you need to review and rebalance accordingly on an annual basis to ensure your actual allocation lines up with your desired allocation. Having an over-allocation in any asset can be great when it's moving higher but may be tough to stomach when it goes through a healthy correction.

Have A Plan

What's the plan for the investments you own? Are you in a long-term accumulation phase and dollar-cost averaging every month? Are you approaching retirement and need to curb the volatility in your portfolio? Have you run your financial plan to determine your required rate of return and understand what it will take to get there? Investing is not a guessing game, it may feel easy when the market marches constantly higher but, when pullbacks come, your plan can act as the foundation for the decision that need to be made.


On this week's Tape Talk we're talking all about diversification. While it can be an important component of any well-managed portfolio it is also often misunderstood. We'll break through some of that misunderstanding by reviewing five common misconceptions we've seen when it comes to the discussion of diversification of your investment accounts.

But first, Headlines.

We take a look back at the previous week and the government shutdown that wasn't. Over the week Washington scrambled to put together a deal and passed it Monday afternoon. This made for a brief and utterly non-event shutdown of the government which was far from the fireworks some expected. What happened and what does it mean for the markets here?

Five Diversification Myths

It Means Owning Lots (and lots) of Stocks

Diversification means more than just owning lots of different stocks or funds. In fact, equity diversification begins peaking out around 20-30 individual stocks. Instead, diversification should be more appropriately understood as owning different asset classes with different risk/reward ratios as well as varying correlations to each other.

It's Static

Just because you diversified your portfolio once doesn’t mean you’re good to go. Investors need to reexamine their portfolio at least annually to ensure their allocation lines up with their desired risk level, allocation target, and required rate of return. This is because assets drift, diverge, and converge over time.

I'll Get The S&P 500 Returns

While the S&P is the most talked about benchmark it’s far from a guarantee or suggestion that everyone can or should get the same returns as the index. In fact, unless you are investing solely in an S&P 500 index fund your return will likely vary from the S&P 500, sometimes by multiple percentage points. Since assets produce different returns, and you may hold many different assets, your return will be closer to a weighted average of your asset selection.

I'll Just Buy Lots of Funds/ETFs

Just because you own a handful of different funds doesn’t always been you own different asset classes or investments. In fact, many funds in the same category have almost identical holdings. This means an investor might own 10 different funds but be no better diversified than if she simply held one of those funds. True diversification means knowing what you own, what each fund owns, and how each of those assets moves with the others.

It Removes Investing Risk

Risk is better understood as the potential to not reach your goal. In investing there are two types of risk; systematic risk and unsystematic risk. The later is found in individual investments (companies, bonds, small businesses, property, etc) and can be diversified away. The former is the nature of the market and can’t be diversified. In other words, if you own investment assets when the market goes through a major correction, recession, or crash, there’s always a chance those assets will fall, even alongside supposedly non-correlated assets.

Time For A Plan?

Are you unsure if your portfolio is diversified and allocated the way it should be? Are you investing without any idea what your required rate of return is or what your goals are? It may be time to get a plan. Learn more about our LIFE Plan process to discover how to align your investments with your goals and no longer simply guess when it comes to your money. Download our planning questionnaire HERE or contact us to get started on your personalized plan.

Shutdown Standoff


On this week's show, we examine the news surrounding the government shut down and what it means for investors as well as their portfolios.

As both sides of the aisle in Congress continue to stare each other down investors may wonder what they should be doing here. We'll take a look at what we're doing as a firm and give you a peek under the hood of investment management. 

Taking Gains

What does it mean to take some gains in the market here? Find out why we're rotating out of some profitable investments and raising a little cash in our equity allocation. 

Two Concerns

When looking at the market here there are two things that stand-out. First, the complacency taking over investors as the market continues its march higher. The second, is the lack of a reasonable and healthy correction in over a year. Combine these two concerns and you have the potential for investors to be shocked the next time a healthy rotation or correction bubbles up. 

Flexibility Is Key

In investing as in sports flexibility and being nimble are key. There are times when your strategy needs to adjust and respond to the realities as they present themselves. Unless you're a completely passive investor, who is willing to accept the natural cycles inherent in investing in the markets, there will be times when it's appropriate to raise some cash with a goal of investing it in new opportunities as they present themselves. Being flexible is key, few investments are standouts forever and a willingness to be nimble may just help you see a potential new investment with much greater clarity. 

What to do here?

So what should individual investors be doing here as the market complacently marches higher while Washington displays a lack of willingness to cross things off their task list? Here are three key things you may consider adding to your "to do" list:

  1. Get your financial life in order. Pay-off the debt you've been thinking about getting rid off. Stop putting off completing your financial plan. Understand your required rate of return and what that means to you and your investments.
  2. Check your allocation. Stocks have had a great run lately. But, that might mean your portfolio is much more exposed to stocks than you mean to be. Unless you're in a plan that rebalances automatically, it may be time to review your portfolio and make sure your allocation matches your goals and temperament.
  3. Think about reducing market exposure if prudent. If you're following a strategic approach it may be time to review your cash levels and think about raising more for future opportunities.  


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