As unapologetic capitalists, we love Wall Street—mostly. Unfortunately, it’s not always pretty. Let’s quickly review the positives and negatives.
The Good, the Ugly and the Bad
First, the good. Over time, Wall Street has delivered easy and frictionless access to the top publicly traded companies in the world. Why is this important? Because equities are the only asset class that monetizes human ingenuity.
Today, courtesy of Wall Street, any individual in a free country can own an asset class with a long-term compounded return of about 10%. The best way to do this is by purchasing shares in a highly diversified, low cost, tax efficient equity index mutual fund—which itself owns shares in the leading businesses of the world. Amazing.
Next, there is the ugly—the Wall Street charlatans, criminals and capers that the financial media love to spotlight. The less said about them, the better.
Our concern with Wall Street is the bad—specifically, bad financial advice provided to individual investors. You know what it looks like: long, incomprehensible reports; complex portfolios with so many asset classes and individual securities that clients don’t even know what they own or why; and wishy-washy, generic recommendations offered in language sanitized by big-firm compliance departments.
Sophisticated Financial Advice, Delivered With Simplicity
Keating Wealth Management is totally different. We provide sophisticated financial advice, delivered with simplicity, to successful people navigating the financial implications of life transitions.
Unlike many financial advisers, who focus on irrelevancies and discredited conventional thinking, we forcefully advocate an investment philosophy that focuses solely on the few variables that actually govern successful long-term financial outcomes.
Instead of complexity and confusion, we provide precise, evidence-based, actionable answers—bringing you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are on track to achieve your financial goals.
Introducing Our “101 Series”
Given all the upheaval in the industry over the past few years, and as an antidote to the rampant complexity and confusion, we are publishing a series of four-page briefings, each of which answers a common financial planning question clearly and succinctly. Each one is highly visual and conveys the numerical message in one or two key charts. Readers will know the critical takeaway and requisite action by the end of the first page. Here, we highlight three of these 101 Series pamphlets.
College Funding 101
College Funding 101 answers the following question: Based on my child’s (or grandchild’s) age, how much do I need to save each year to pay for either private or public college? We provide a simple table that answers this question precisely, and we also explain how those college savings should be invested over time. Our clients receive an accompanying customized College Calculator for each child/grandchild.
Retirement Plan Fund Selection 101
Many clients seek our recommendations in making fund selections from their employer-sponsored retirement plan menus. Whether it’s a 401(k), a 403(b), a 457 or some other type of plan, the menu typically offers dozens of fund choices, each with its own array of disclosures and fees. The idea of reviewing all these individual funds in detail to find the “right” investment mix can be overwhelming. Many people become paralyzed and accept the typical default choice of a “target date” fund—which can be a very costly mistake. Fortunately, retirement plan fund selection doesn’t need to be complicated. This guide outlines the simple, three-step process we use.
Estate Planning 101
Estate planning can be enormously complex, and the subject itself is unpleasant. That’s why many people simply avoid the matter completely and end up doing nothing. This is a terrible financial planning mistake that only makes things worse when a surviving spouse or child is most emotionally vulnerable. But taking the step to consult an estate attorney can be paralyzing in and of itself. This guide is designed to provide a high-level outline to help simplify the matter.
Ask, and You Shall Receive
Some of our clients reason that since they’ve delegated their financial planning to us, they have no need to spend their valuable time and energy reading this type of resource. That’s mostly true, and it’s precisely why we don’t want to overload anyone with information they don’t want to read or receive.
However, we want you to know these resources are available, and they are yours for the asking. Just click the image in each description to download the briefing. Please note, because of the significant effort involved in researching, writing, designing and producing the 101 Series, you won’t find these proprietary materials on our website or anywhere else in the public domain.
That said, we strongly encourage you to share these materials with your tax adviser, estate planning attorney, family members, friends and business associates. We hope you will find these guides useful as you navigate important aspects of your financial life.