I don’t get to write as much as I’d like to this time of year because the kids are freshly returned from summer camp and I’m in hardcore dad mode. I have a family member prepping for a surgery in the coming weeks (everything will be fine) and a big trip out to the west coast coming up. On top of everything else, volatility has returned to the stock market, so inbound potential client inquiries are picking up and it’s starting to feel like the sleepy summer we were enjoying is going to be ending a little early this year. No problem, we’re ready!
Ritholtz Wealth New England
First of all, it took us a long time but I’m glad we waited – Ritholtz Wealth New England is now officially up and running. This year we brought on two client-facing advisors in the New England area to help us service the large group of clients and potential clients in the region. When you look at the traffic to our sites and media properties, New England is a very big deal for us in terms of our readership and listenership. But we would never just have any old person in that slot – we want the best possible advisors we can find. That’s why it took so long. The people reaching out to us are more than just prospects, they are our fans – in many cases going back years and years – and you never take your fans for granted. I’m glad to let you know we found two wonderful people for this role and they’re going to do great work here. Kevin Young, CFP (based in Fairfield County, Connecticut) and Ben Coulthard, CFP (based in Boston, Massachusetts) are bringing a wide range of expertise to their roles as advisors and financial planners.
Kevin’s career began on a fixed income trading desk before he transitioned to the advice side while Ben spent his formative years at the asset management giant State Street Global Advisors, working with financial advisors all over the country while developing a passion for helping people with their portfolios. They both reached out after becoming fans of our content, message and philosophy, as has been the case with almost all of our advisors. This is how we ensure the firm’s culture continues on into the future. We’re not rolling up a Balkanized collection of acquired practices by writing checks and hoping we can persuade them to adopt our beliefs. We only hire believers to begin with. You can begin a conversation about your financial future with Kevin or Ben right here.
Watching the Yankees pull ahead of the Sox for the top wild card spot this past week, and saying nothing to either or them, required all the restraint I could muster.
Last night I got a threat on my public-facing Facebook page. The reason? I went on TV and wasn’t sufficiently bullish on Robinhood before they reported their earnings. Then they reported a $500 million quarterly loss (LMAO) for the quarter and the stock dropped and apparently this is my fault. I reported it to Facebook and I assume the process looks like some sort of digital Rube Goldberg machine that results in either an automated email that goes nowhere or a room full of employees (contractors?) pretending to monitor or moderate the seven hundred million similar complaints that come into their inboxes each week. The ball rolls down the slope, which knocks down the domino, which spins the wheel, which pulls the lever, which drops the pulley, etc. Nothing happens. Why am I still on Facebook in the Year of Our Lord two thousand and twenty one?
I don’t know why I am sharing this other than to say “Be careful what you wish for” to all of the industry people I know who are working night and day to increase their social media presence and build their followers. You sure you really want that? Because you might not be built for what comes along with it. I might not be built for this either. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m trying to make my stuff so good that it doesn’t require a lot of promotion. Lizzo put out a video for her new song and they called her fat and the “N” word and made her cry on TV. This is how some people are. Social media is their only outlet. They will attack the people they know are the most vulnerable because the reaction is the point. It temporarily makes them feel better about their own situation to see a famous and successful star like Lizzo brought to tears. So think twice about whether or not you really want more people taking notice of you.
And if you’re out there saying nasty things on other people’s timelines, you’re telling on yourself. Might as well just wear a big sandwich board that says “Things are NOT going well!” You’ll never see a winner spend their time in someone else’s mentions being a troll. They’re too busy winning.
Falling Prices are Good, Actually
The vast majority of the financial media is accustomed to talking primarily to Boomers. You can’t blame them, this has been the target audience for 30 years for magazines, television and newspapers. That’s why they mostly treat prices falling as a bad thing or something to worry about. I look at the other way ’round. The housing market is cooling off rapidly – because it costs too much to buy one and it costs too much to build more of them. So prices have to come in a bit to bring buyers back out. Falling prices are good for the tens of millions of first time homebuyers coming into the market over the 2020’s decade. Rising prices are not helpful for people who are staying put and are only really a benefit to those Boomers that are selling their last house ever and now downsizing or moving into a rental / retirement community. We should be rooting for prices to fall, not rise.
Same goes for stocks. Most of you reading this post fall into the same category that I do: FORCED BUYER. You will be plowing $20,000 a year into a 401(k), SEP, Roth, Traditional IRA or whatever. Those dollars cannot be invested for the long term into cash or bonds, you will fall behind the rate of inflation. Which is how you become a forced buyer of stocks. And so if that’s your situation, for the next few decades, why the hell would you be rooting for all time highs? You’re a buyer, it makes no sense. We’ve had almost 50 days this year of record S&P 500 closes. How is that good? How does that benefit you? Unless you are actively drawing down your holdings and living off the proceeds in retirement, it’s not good at all. Nothing would be better than flat or even lower prices as you continue to buy stocks every two weeks with a piece of your paycheck.
The media is talking to your parents. I am talking to you.
If you’re under 50 and working, you are the beneficiary of dips, corrections, panics and crashes. Even if you already have a lot invested. Because you are forced to buy more.
I see the financial advisor conference calendar is starting to pick back up. Cool. I am only speaking at two this year. Both unpaid appearances, to support my friends and have some fun. I’ll be moderating a panel or sitting on a panel at the SALT Conference in New York City next month, not sure which yet. I was really glad to see my friend Anthony Scaramucci bring this event, which is typically held in Vegas, to Manhattan, where we need all the help we can get. If you’re going, make sure to say hello!
I’ll also be in Nashville this November for the Dynasty Financial Partners Investments Forum. I am interviewing ARK Invest’s Cathy Wood live on stage and I have so many questions I want to ask her about the portfolio holdings, investing in the future, building an asset management business, her top fintech ideas, etc. It’s going to be great, I was thrilled when my friend Shirl Penney asked me to do it.
Lastly, this week’s The Compound and Friends is going to be incredible based on the topics and the friend we have coming by to record it. One of my favorite ancillary benefits of doing this show is that it forces us to get smarter and better at our jobs. A lot of research and thought goes into the takes. Especially if we want to keep up with our castmates. Subscribe here for Apple or here for Spotify and you’ll have it first thing tomorrow morning.
Okay, that’ll probably be it from me for awhile. I hope you’re having an amazing summer and enjoying yourself. Don’t spend too much time staring at the tape. Whatever will be will be.