Elf on the Engine Block – an Allegorical Explanation of Market Movements

Elf on the Engine Block – an Allegorical Explanation of Market Movements

We often use this analogy to explain market movements. The stock market is like a massive truck engine block suspended in the air by thousands of piano wires, swaying gently in the breeze.

There’s an elf standing on the block with cutters snipping wires, sometime on this side, sometimes on that side.

As the support shifts, the engine block may twist or swing. Imbalances may build up and reach a catastrophic tipping point. The block jerks suddenly, wires break en masse, the engine rolls violently, tossing the elf off on his ass.

Eventually the oscillations settle down, a new equilibrium is achieved, the elf climbs back on and starts snipping wires again.

An observer standing at the side knows that the longer the elf snips, the more likely a violent adjustment. But the observer never know exactly which severed wire will exceed the tipping point.

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Stocks slip 6 percent in 6 days - should we sell?

Stocks slip 6 percent in 6 days - should we sell?

This year, we brought on board quite a number of new families, but we've only invested 1/3 to 1/2 of their cash.  Why?  Because this sharp sell-off, 6% in the major stock market averages over the past 6 days, is exactly what we anticipate when stocks have had a good, long run and valuations are stretched to the high side.

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What You Need to Know About FAFSA (The Free Application for Federal Student Aid form)

What You Need to Know About FAFSA (The Free Application for Federal Student Aid form)

If you have a college bound high school senior in the house, here are some useful tips you should know about filling out the FAFSA form. The application for the 2019-2020 school year is now available as of October 1st. You can also use this estimating tool to get a sense of options without filling out the complete form.

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Q&A With David Edwards: What are the best investment vehicles for a young, new investor looking for simple, long-term investments?

Q&A With David Edwards: What are the best investment vehicles for a young, new investor looking for simple, long-term investments?

I am 27 years old, single, have no kids, and my student loans are being repaid due to my military service. My only expenses are rent and a small number of bills. I have spent the last year saving and reading financial literature and I want to start investing now. What is the most simple and effective way to do so? Ideally I would like something I put a set amount into each month and it grows over time.

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Q&A with David Edwards: I recently inherited a portfolio from my father, but I'm inclined to do nothing as dad would have wanted it that way

Q&A with David Edwards: I recently inherited a portfolio from my father, but I'm inclined to do nothing as dad would have wanted it that way

A common emotion among inheritors is reluctance to change the investment strategy of an inherited portfolio.  “If those stocks were good enough for Dad, they’re good enough for me!”  In fact, the moment of inheritance is a perfect moment to start over.

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How did you come up with your business name?

How did you come up with your business name?

25 years ago I was in the process of forming a wealth advisory business.  The usual naming convention would dictate “David Edwards & Associates” – boring!  Then I considered “Quantitative Investment Strategies, Inc.” boring, and a little scary.  After that, I thought about “Bull & Bear,” “Tigers,” “Eagles” etc., but there were many other financial firms using those names already.

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Q&A with David Edwards: Should I pay off my mortgage loan or invest with the money I am receiving from an inheritance?

Q&A with David Edwards: Should I pay off my mortgage loan or invest with the money I am receiving from an inheritance?

Question: My spouse and I will be inheriting about $750,000 to $800,000. The payoff balance of our mortgage is estimated at about $180,000 at 3.5 percent APR for 30 years. Would it be worthwhile to allocate some of the money we are inheriting to pay off the mortgage loan? We still have 27 years left to pay. Alternatively, should I invest the money and continue paying my mortgage?

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Q&A with David Edwards: Should I sell my mutual funds when I sense a bear market approaching?

Q&A with David Edwards: Should I sell my mutual funds when I sense a bear market approaching?

Question: I have about $93,000 invested in non-retirement mutual funds. I have been considering trying to time the market by selling these funds when I sense a bear market approaching (incurring a $1,700 capital loss) and then buying the same funds at a cheaper price once the bear market has arrived. I have no debt and an emergency fund. Is this a good strategy, or too risky?

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Q&A with David Edwards: How do I know if a stock is overvalued?

Q&A with David Edwards: How do I know if a stock is overvalued?

Question: To find the price-earnings ratio of a stock, I divide the current stock price with the last four quarters of earnings. If the current list price is higher than the number I get when I calculate the P/E ratio, what does that mean? Is the stock overvalued?

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Q&A with David Edwards: Does the Patriot Act require that personal investment accounts need to be disclosed before inheriting brokerage accounts?

Q&A with David Edwards: Does the Patriot Act require that personal investment accounts need to be disclosed before inheriting brokerage accounts?

Question: My mom recently passed away. She left myself and my siblings equal distributions from her brokerage accounts. Her financial advisor wants each of us to provide a detailed accounting of our current, personal investment accounts. He cites the need to comply with the Patriot Act. Does the Patriot Act require this?

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Five Finance Concepts A Savvy Investor Needs To Know

Five Finance Concepts A Savvy Investor Needs To Know

Not every investor is as savvy as they could be. Financial education is not taught in high school. In fact, it’s only taught to college students who proactively seek out to learn about this topic. A lack of knowledge can hurt your portfolio so read on for 5 key finance concepts you must know as a savvy investor.

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