Quarterly Client Letter – 2023 Q3
Created: October 1, 2023
Description: Reflections on a mixed-bag quarter and how to remain focused on long-term outcomes and personal financial goals instead of reacting to the latest undependable forecasts.
Is the Debt Ceiling Bringing You Down?
Created: May 10, 2023
Description: A client reach-out to reinforce the importance of sticking with a personalized, globally diversified portfolio, regardless of how the debt ceiling crisis plays out.
What Is the Media?
Created: April 27, 2023
Description: While we often take aim at "the media," not all news is harmful. By understanding the different types of media coverage, and their roles in our decision-making processes, investors can better differentiate quality news from harmful distraction.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2023 Q1
Created: April 2, 2023
Description: This quarterly letter reflects on the impact of inflation, interest rate, and banking news in the quarter past, and how, if you’d missed the events in real time, you may not even have known they’d happened. Invest instead according to your investment strategy and individual goals.
What’s in the SECURE 2.0 Act?
Created: January 3, 2023
Description: A five-page overview of key provisions in the newly enacted SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022, including updates that impact: (1) savers/investors, (2) employers/plan sponsors, (3) current spending (such as emergency expenses), (4) Roth accounts, (5) RMD requirements, and (6) charitable giving.
Back to the Investment Basics: Part 1 — Remembering Summers Past   Free Sample (Click on title to download)
Created: August 29, 2022
Description: Part 1 of a multipart series reminds investors to consider current market events in proper historical context, while depending on investment basics to move past today's challenges and future unknowns. In upcoming parts, we'll cover five investment basics: saving, market returns, market pricing, investor resolve, and personal financial goals.
Market-Timing Traps and Temptations
Created: August 3, 2022
Description: This commentary points to the surprisingly strong July 2022 returns (after awful returns during the first half of the year) to remind investors why market-timing remains ill-advised. As always, markets don't set prices based on whether news is good or bad, but whether it's better or worse than expected.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2022 Q1   Free Sample (Click on title to download)
Created: April 4, 2022
Description: This quarterly client letter explores the essentials of investment planning amidst current market volatility, aggravated by inflation, interest rates, and economic concerns. It optionally points to the recently completed three-part report on the same.
Interest Rates, Inflation & Investing, Part 3
Created: April 1, 2022
Categories: Alternative Investments, Article, Breaking News, Economics, Evidence-Based Investing, Fixed Income, General Audience, Interest, Inflation & Investing, Politics, Report, Retirement Planning
Description: Part 3 in a 3-part series covering current concerns about interest rates (part 1), inflation (part 2), and what these influences mean to investors (in this part 3).
Interest Rates, Inflation & Investing, Part 2
Created: March 24, 2022
Description: Part 2 in a 3-part series covering current concerns about interest rates (part 1), inflation (in this part 2) and what these influences mean to investors (part 3).
Interest Rates, Inflation & Investing, Part 1
Created: March 16, 2022
Description: Part 1 in a 3-part series covering current concerns about interest rates (in this part 1), inflation (part 2) and what these influences mean to investors (part 3).
Fighter Planes and Market Turmoil
Created: January 26, 2022
Description: Use this client reach-out to quell nervous reactions to current market volatility and encourage clients to stick with their existing investment plans.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2021 Q2
Created: July 1, 2021
Description: This 491-word Q2 2021 quarterly client letter compares recent speculative ventures like FINRA-fined Robinhood’s IPO filing, with the 50th anniversary of index investing.
Inflation Part 2: What We Can Do About It
Created: June 24, 2021
Description: Part 2 of a 2-part series on inflation. Part 1 defined inflation, put current events in greater context, and described the difference between "good" and "bad" inflation. This Part 2 explores why forecasts for inflation remain as fuzzy as ever, and how investors can best prepare for whatever may happen next.
Inflation Part 1: What We Know
Created: June 15, 2021
Description: Part 1 of a 2-part series on inflation. Part 1 defines inflation, puts current events in greater context, and describes the difference between "good" and "bad" inflation. Part 2 explores why forecasts for inflation remain as fuzzy as ever, and how investors can best prepare for whatever may happen next.
Understanding The 2021 Recovery Rebate Stimulus Payments
Created: March 12, 2021
Description: An 864-word overview summarizing how the newly passed American Recovery Act of 2021 Recovery Rebate Stimulus Payments work: Who will receive them, how much they can expect to receive (if anything), and the three ways they may qualify for full or partial payments based on their 2019, 2020, and/or 2021 AGI.
GameStop Client Reach-Out
Created: February 1, 2021
Description: Share this 855-word piece with clients and prospects to offer a synopsis (to date) of the unfolding marketing volatility generated by GameStop and similar short-sold stocks, and to remind them of the essential differences between long-term investing versus short-term trading.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2020 Q4
Created: January 4, 2021
Description: This 487-word Q4 2020 quarterly client letter reviews the wild ride 2020 delivered and why it’s important to stay the course through both bear and bull markets. It lists the ways you’ll be helping them do that, in the context of current financial and political news.
Presidential Election Reflection (UPDATED)
Created: November 9, 2020
Description: UPDATED FROM OCT. 2020: This 426-word client reach-out offers three simple reminders on why it's as important as ever to disconnect your long-term investment activities from late-breaking political news. Updated on Nov. 9 for distribution post- instead of pre-election.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2020 Q3
Created: October 1, 2020
Description: This 558-word Q3 2020 quarterly client letter reminds clients of why it’s important to ignore distractions that might have detracted from their ability to participate in the market’s recent strong overall returns. Illustrations include chasing FAANG stocks, trying to predict presidential elections, and more.
How To Be Positively Skeptical | Part 4: Check the Facts Before You Act
Created: May 17, 2020
Description: Use this third, 898-word installment of a 4-part series to help clients and prospects strengthen their ability to differentiate solid evidence from bogus claims, especially during the coronavirus crisis. Parts 1-3 described why it's important to be positively skeptical, how our emotions interfere with our reasoning, and what should guide our due diligence. Part 4 describes some of the practical steps involved and wraps with a call to action.
How To Be Positively Skeptical | Part 3: How Do You Do Your Due Diligence?
Created: May 17, 2020
Description: Use this third, 673-word installment of a 4-part series to help clients and prospects strengthen their ability to differentiate solid evidence from bogus claims, especially during the coronavirus crisis. Parts 1 and 2 described why it's important to be positively skeptical, and how our emotions interfere with our reasoning. Part 3 provides five “do’s” and “don’ts” to guide our due diligence, and Part 4 will offer some of the practical steps involved.
How To Be Positively Skeptical | Part 2: Understanding Your Emotions
Created: April 29, 2020
Description: Use this second, 844-word installment of a 4-part series to help clients and prospects strengthen their ability to differentiate solid evidence from bogus claims, especially during the coronavirus crisis. Part 1 described why the ability to be "positively skeptical" is important. This part 2 covers how to recognize when emotions are interfering with reason (and what to do about it). Parts 3 & 4 will help readers hone in on their fact-checking skills.
A CARES Act Overview (Updated 4/3/20)
Created: April 1, 2020
Description: Share this 1,450-word CARES Act Overview with clients or (slightly modified) with prospects to provide an approachable but relatively substantive summary of critical content within the Act. The overview is organized by audience, such as items applicable to employees, to employers, to businesses, to students, etc. It includes a list of resources referenced, for additional insights. (UPDATED 4/3/20 to reflect SBA clarifications.)
A Coronavirus Round-Up Report
Created: March 27, 2020
Description: Use this 812-word overview as an additional reach-out to your clients during the coronavirus crisis (or edit for general purposes). It reviews what you, they and the markets can do at this time, and reminds them of the many ways you're supporting them at this time.
Taking a New View on Coronavirus
Created: March 13, 2020
Description: Share this 727-word piece as another timely outreach to your clients (or for general audiences with some edits), to help them remain resolute during current COVID-19-fueled crises. The piece acknowledges the current risks being realized, while pointing out that these same risks are likely to generate important insights for seeding future expected social resilience and market growth.
Three Thoughts During Scary Markets   Free Sample (Click on title to download)
Created: March 9, 2020
Description: As market headlines go from bad to worse, share this 685-word confidence-building reach-out with your clients (or, with modest edits, with a wider audience). Includes a review of the relationship between risk and expected reward, the significance of being prepared in advance for these kinds of downturns, and a reminder that you remain available to provide objective advice.
10 Things To Do Right Now While Markets Are Tanking (UPDATED)
Created: February 28, 2020
Description: UPDATED FROM MARCH 2018: Use this 1,238-word handout with clients or prospects, to remind them during the current coronavirus-generated crisis of 10 judicious actions to take during scary markets, along with 10 insightful quotes from respected subject matter experts.
You, Your Investments, and the Coronavirus (UPDATED)
Created: February 24, 2020
Description: UPDATED 2/24: Use this 677-word client reach-out to remind your clients why they should avoid reacting to breaking news about novel coronavirus, at least as far as their investment portfolio is concerned. With minor modifications, the piece can also be used for general/prospecting purposes.
Quarterly Client Letter — 2019 Q3
Created: October 2, 2019
Description: Use this 442-word quarterly client letter to remind clients to stay the course amidst breaking global news. It explores how reflexes in your brain can play tricks on your financial resolve.
A Timely Reminder on the Perils of Market Timing
Created: August 25, 2019
Description: A 735-word client reach-out about the prospect that a trade war with China could lead to a recession. The piece covers four reasons why trying to engage in market-timing in reaction to the unfolding news remains as ill-advised as ever.
Quarterly Client Letter — 2019 Q1
Created: April 1, 2019
Description: This 520-word quarterly client letter reflects on the differences between breaking news and timeless investment tenets, noting in particular the contrast between Q1 performance and recent volatile returns just prior.
An Homage to John “Jack” Bogle
Created: January 17, 2019
Description: Use this 340-word note to reach out to clients to celebrate Jack Bogle's life and remind them that you're here to help them pursue their own best pursuits in similar fashion.
Quarterly Client Letter — 2018 Q4
Created: January 2, 2019
Description: This 515-word quarterly client letter offers two talking points on how to consider current market conditions in the context of long-term market performance. "Average" returns aren't the norm, and recency bias is a risk.
2018 Year-End Market Volatility Client Reach-Out
Created: December 6, 2018
Description: Use this 2018 year-end client reach-out to help clients ride out current market volatility. The document contains two versions: (1) a 580-word extended reach-out that includes references to Hans Rosling's new book "Factfulness," and (2) an abbreviated, 330-word reach-out that omits the reference to Rosling's book.
Global Diversification: The Antacid for Market Turbulence
Created: October 10, 2018
Description: A timely 600-word client reach-out to reflect on the October 10, 2018 U.S. stock market tumble. Emphasizing the continued importance of remaining globally diversified according to one's goals and risk tolerances, the message also reminds them of your role as their fiduciary advisor. Ideal for a client email, the piece can also be modified for more general purposes.
Quarterly Client Letter — 2018 Q1
Created: April 2, 2018
Description: This 500-word quarterly client letter reflects on the recent uptick in market volatility, encouraging clients to be in touch with you if they need a "pep talk," a shift in their investment plans, or both.
10 Things To Do Right Now While Markets Are (Not Really) Tanking
Created: March 21, 2018
Description: Use this 1,250-word handout with clients or prospects, to serve as a "safety drill" during calm markets, to help them prepare for staying the course during market downturns. The piece offers 10 judicious actions to take during bear markets, along with 10 insightful quotes from respected subject matter experts. You also can encourage readers to revisit the piece (or use it with a brief intro) the next time markets actually are tanking.
The Current Market Decline in Context
Created: February 5, 2018
Description: This 430-word message is optimized for reaching out to your clients about the current market decline. It encourages them to stay the course according to their personal plans (unless their own goals have changed). It also reflects on how market drops are normal, and how popular headlines are often designed to grab attention rather than inform readers. The message can be modified to share with prospective clients or for other purposes.
Year-End Reflections on the New U.S. Tax Law
Created: December 21, 2017
Description: Use this 550-word client message to reach out to clients about the U.S. tax law changes, to remind them you're available to assist and to suggest potentially advantageous actions they could take before year-end -- such as increasing charitable contributions or shifting taxable income into 2018.
Equifax Breach Commentary
Created: September 18, 2017
Description: Use this 785-word client communication to comment on the recently announced Equifax security breach, offer guidance, and remind them of the timeless "Avoiding Financial Scams and Identity Theft Slams" materials you can share with them (also available in the Content-Sharing Library, under Technology). You may also wish to modify this piece to share with additional audiences.
Hurricane Harvey Texan Client Reach-Out
Created: August 28, 2017
Description: A 284-word client reach-out for advisors based in Texas, to be in touch with clients about the effects of Hurricane Harvey. (A version for advisors NOT based in Texas also is available as a separate download.)
Hurricane Harvey General Client Reach-Out
Created: August 28, 2017
Description: A 238-word client reach-out for advisors NOT based in Texas, to be in touch with clients about the effects of Hurricane Harvey. (A Texan advisor version also is available as a separate download.)
Client Reach-Out on Microsoft Ransomware Alert
Created: May 15, 2017
Description: Use this 245-word email to reach out to clients and alert them to the current global Microsoft ransomware outbreak. The alert encourages them to install any outstanding Microsoft patches on their devices if they've not yet done so. It also references the new materials on financial fraud and identity theft just added to the Content-Sharing Library. These offer you additional ways to add value to your clients' financial well-being.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2017 Q1
Created: April 4, 2017
Description: This 525-word, first-quarter client letter summarizes some of the noteworthy market and economic events in Q1 2017 and puts them into the usual "stay the course" context.
Post-Election Reflections: The Morning After
Created: November 9, 2016
Description: This 470-word client letter is a slightly updated and modified version of the client letter posted yesterday (Nov. 8), now that the U.S. presidential election results are known. Either version can be used to contact clients about the unexpected outcome, encourage them to remain on course with their investment strategy and be in touch with you if they have questions.
Created: November 8, 2016
Description: This 440-word client letter can be used on Nov. 8 as U.S. presidential election results are announced, or within the next few days following the election. Use it to remind clients you are available to help them stay the course with their carefully constructed investment strategy ... or to assist them in making updates if warranted.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2016 Q3
Created: October 4, 2016
Description: This 480-word, third quarter client letter reflects on a relatively quiet summer, celebrates some recent market milestones and reminds clients that, despite continued domestic and global uncertainties, the best approach is the long-term, evidence-based strategy.
Presidents, Politics and Your Portfolio: Thinking Beyond Stage One
Created: August 27, 2016
Description: This 750-word article can be shared with clients or prospects who may wonder if there is something they should "do" with their investments as the November 8 U.S. presidential election date nears. It encourages them to stay true to their long-term investment strategies by thinking beyond the immediate news.
Parenting Your Wealth in Uncertain Markets
Created: August 12, 2016
Description: This 1,000-word article compares good parenting skills to good wealth management, describing why patience is an investor's greatest virtue. Share with clients and prospects during this summer's unruly political climate or, with minor modifications, it can serve as a timeless piece to address any form of heightened uncertainty.
Intro for “Reflections on Real Estate Investing” Report
Created: July 19, 2016
Description: For advisers who are receiving timely queries about the current (July 2016) sell-off of U.K. Open Ended Property funds, this 200-word cover letter can be used to share the separate "Reflections on Real Estate Investing" report. The report can be used along with this intro, or it can serve as a general, stand-alone piece on real estate investing.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2016 Q2
Created: July 4, 2016
Description: This 360-word, second quarter client letter reminds clients that the markets' responses in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum illustrate the inherent uncertainty involved in maintaining a disciplined, globally diversified portfolio designed to manage risks and capture expected market returns.
Brexit Vote and Market Outcomes
Created: June 24, 2016
Description: This 680-word piece can be used to reach out to your clients to remind them that you are there for them and to encourage them to stay the course during the days ahead. With minor modifications, it could be used for a general e-blast, video script or similar content for wider audiences.
You, the Capital Markets and Your Brexit Fears (Anglicised)
Created: June 15, 2016
Description: For advisors to reach out to clients who are contemplating abandoning their investment plan in the face of Brexit-generated market volatility, this 500-piece letter reiterates the timeless, evidence-based reasons it's important to avoid reacting to breaking news. Assuming the letter is most appropriate for UK audiences, it is edited for Anglicised references and spellings.
Our Mixed Up, Messed Up Relationship with Investment Risk
Created: May 11, 2016
Description: As we swing into another summer of global events (such as the Cdn. Fort McMurray wildfire, UK Brexit and US elections), this article presents ways that investors tend to overestimate, underestimate, misunderstand and mistreat investment risks (both return-generating market risks as well as avoidable concentrated ones). Use this 1,000-word piece to explain investment risks to prospects and clients alike. Break each section into a series for video scripts or other uses.
DOL Fiduciary Ruling Client Reach-Out
Created: April 10, 2016
Description: A 525-word client reach-out on the DOL's new fiduciary rule, reflecting on its strengths and weaknesses, inviting them to contact you with any questions, and reinforcing the true fiduciary care you've been providing all along.
Created: February 11, 2016
Description: This 675-word piece reminds your clients and informs prospective clients that the best-interest advice you have to offer goes well beyond what is often thought of as "advice" (i.e., stock tips and little more). It reinforces why a good financial adviser remains relevant even as low-cost funds, automated investing and simplified financial planning is on the rise, and especially during the turbulent market times we are currently experiencing. As such, this piece can be used as a timely response to current market volatility or as a timeless article for all market climes.
Cover Intro for Dimensional 2015 Year in Review
Created: January 21, 2016
Description: This 540-word summary provides an introduction you can use to share Dimensional's 2015 Advisor Byline Market & Economic Review. The introduction is a little longer than in most years, given the current market climate. It's primarily for being in touch with your clients, although it can be modified to serve as a prospecting piece as well.
Additional China-Oil Response
Created: January 17, 2016
Description: As the market continues to remain in a state of flux, you may want to send another reach-out to your clients (or an initial one if you've not yet been in touch), reminding them that the best course through volatile markets is an evidence-based course. This 380-word message will help you do that.
Client New Year Greeting-China/Oil Response
Created: January 7, 2016
Description: Happy New Year! Here is a short, 350-word message you can use to reach out to your clients in light of the market volatility we're experiencing in the opening days of 2016.
Reflections on Paris
Created: November 17, 2015
Description: A short (330-word) message to clients offering them thoughtful reflections on your advisor relationship with them in the wake of the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris. For example: "We aim to do all that we can – even if it may never be everything – to nurture what is good and true in our lives." This also can be used as a Thanksgiving or holiday reach-out, or as video script.
Advice That Adds Up During Down Markets
Created: October 14, 2015
Description: Here is a 700-word piece you can use to remain in touch with clients who may still be nervous after receiving their third-quarter report during the current down market. It encourages them to stay the course with their carefully planned portfolio, already designed to endure market risks. It reminds them why this is your advice, and how an objective third-party can help them overcome their instinctive reactions to down markets. Use as follow up to your clients' third quarter reports or to reach out to clients or prospects in general. It could also serve as good narrative for a video.
October Q3 2015 Client Letter (Google Hits vs. Long-Term Investing)
Created: October 3, 2015
Description: This 470-word article looks at how popular Google results, similar to other forms of headline news, may distract investors from their long-term strategy. It provides salient recent quotes on the importance of remaining disciplined during market uncertainty.
Client Reach-Out About Bad Market News
Created: August 22, 2015
Description: You can use this brief, 450-word piece to reach out to clients and prospects in an e-mail or mail distribution, or it could serve as language for a short video. Created for the August 2015 market decline, but applicable with minor edits to any "bad news" market conditions. The piece reminds clients that it is your role as their advisor to put bad market news in context, that this is exactly what realized market risk looks like, and that they should stick to their existing Investment Policy Statement to reap the market's long-term expected rewards.
Created: June 29, 2015
Description: Here is a brief, 375-word piece you can use to reach out to clients and prospects in an e-mail or mail distribution, advising them to the stay the course as the Greek debt crisis unfolds. It advises them on how to consider the event in the context of evidence-based investing and serves as a call to action to be in touch with you for additional assistance.
January Q4 2014 Client Letter (Recency & Tracking-Error)
Created: January 4, 2015
Description: This 390-word client letter can be used as a cover letter to accompany your quarterly client reports or as a stand-alone communication. It advises clients to avoid recency and tracking-error regret as they consider 2014 annual returns (when a concentrated large-cap U.S. position outperformed the typical globally diversified strategy).
Timeless Investment Advice for Timely Market Troubles
Created: October 15, 2014
Description: This 500-word e-mail can be used to reach out to clients or prospects about today's (October 15, 2014) market drop or repurposed as a follow-up (with minor edits to adjust to whatever happens next in the market). It empathizes with the pain that market drops can cause and reinforces classic themes such as the importance of taking a long-term, evidence-based approach to harnessing market volatility.
Market Mania and Investor Resolve … Again
Created: July 31, 2014
Description: This 500-word timely client letter can be used to contact clients who may be concerned about the July 31 2014 steep market decline (or modifiable to be used in the days ahead, depending on continued news). Borrowing on language from past periods of market risk, it reinforces the importance of avoiding herd mentality and instead staying the course during times when market risk appears.
UPDATED: Market Mania and Investor Resolve
Created: October 11, 2013
Description: We've updated this piece from an earlier version, created during the last period of steep market decline in June. This updated 800-word version provides calming, historic context and reminders of essential investment tenets for clients who may be second-guessing the current risk levels in their portfolio in light of the government shutdown and related events.
The S&P 500 Wheel of Fortune
Created: May 17, 2013
Description: Purchase this 400-word document to use as timely, appropriate commentary on the S&P 500 Index’s recent (May 2013) all-time market highs. Remind investors that (a) an evidence-based portfolio already is positioned to capture market surges commensurate with the investor's goals and risk tolerances and (b) chasing past returns is counterproductive. The best advice is, as always, to enjoy the returns gained, but stay the course according to personal goals and risk tolerances.
Responding to Active Management News & Analysis
Created: April 11, 2013
Description: This 650-word piece can be used to respond to miscellaneous active calls to action related to popular market trends, gloomy forecasts or other current or ongoing events. It thanks the individual for sharing the news, and provides them with two guidelines for properly assessing it: (1) Consider the credibility of the source. (2) Even if the source is credible, consider the worth of the news in relation to your recommended, long-term, passively minded investment strategy.