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June 02, 2014As a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designee, I spend a lot of time working with clients to carefully chart out the financial side of their retirement. During our meetings I will often mention the need to do the other type of retirement planning also – the personal side – the side that involves deciding how they will spend each and every day when they no longer have to punch the ol’ time clock. I ask them to carefully envision that side of retirement and make plans accordingly. Rather than me try to address that concept, I asked my good friend and wise life coach, Kelly Walsh to pass along some guidance. How to Create Your Retirement Life Preparedness KitBy Kelly Walsh, President of 1 Smart Life, LLCWe spend our lives planning for retirement often with a focus on money. We carefully imagine stepping into the world of receiving paychecks from our investments rather than an employer and wonder how that will feel. But what else can we be preparing? We can Google i...
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It's Not So Bad

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May 22, 2014On May 13th, 2014 the S&P 500 grazed the 1,900 mark for the first time ever. In the past two years we have seen this index cross new thresholds repeatedly, reaching 1,600, 1,700 and 1,800 in the last year alone. With each new high investors are asking the question, “How long can this continue?” Many are bracing themselves for the inevitable pullbacks that are inherent in capital markets, pullbacks which unnerve us but are often healthy after experiencing extended periods of market growth. I am a planner by nature. I often try to assume the worst case scenario that could occur in a particular situation and make plans for what I would do should that scenario arise. Not to mention driving me crazy, this planning has added about five pounds to my purse, since who knows when you might need an extra pair of shoes, pepper spray, a sewing kit, band aids, or batteries? Investors are the same way. They try to predict the future by anticipating all possible financial or economic...
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May 01, 2014Seems like everywhere an investor turns today we hear or read about the age-old market advice to “sell in May and go away!” Is this truly valuable investing wisdom and can it make a difference in helping you achieve your personal financial goals? One article provides this statistical information: “Over the last 40 years, the S&P 500 Index has averaged a gain of 7.56% from November through April and has been positive 80% of the time. From May through October, the average return is just 1.74%, with 67% of them positive.” (Rocky White, Schaeffer’s Investment Research)Another long time market forecaster, Mark Hulbert, pointed out that the first half of that time frame – the May through July period – has actually been very smooth sailing on average over the past 40 years compared with the latter part of the period. (Barron’s, 4/28/2014) This new data would suggest that maybe the old mantra should be updated to “sell in August”! Before you take this new advice to th...
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To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone BeforeApril 23, 2014You don’t have to be a “Trekkie” to recognize this phrase. It was used in the opening lines of each episode of Star Trek starting in 1966.Space: The final frontierThese are the voyages of the Starship, EnterpriseIts 5 year missionTo explore strange new worldsTo seek out new life and new civilizationsTo boldly go where no man has gone beforeTo a younger generation, William Shatner is likely just as famous for playing a wacky lawyer during weeknight prime time, or hawking cheap flights and hotel rooms for Priceline, as he was for wearing Captain Kirk’s form-fitting sweaters and making the big decisions from the flight deck of the USS Enterprise. But even tweens watching old reruns of the show can become addicted to all the fun stuff that happened to Kirk and his crew while they zipped around the Final Frontier. Boldly going where no man (or alluring alien female, for that matter) has gone before was a big hit,...
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Outcome or Process?

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April 02, 2014Are you an outcome oriented investor or a process driven investor? The two are obviously very different. Many investors focus on their investment return every day, every month or every quarter. We log into our investment account, sometimes daily, to determine if we see more green than red! If it’s red day after day, the sell order button is pushed and we look for some other pot of gold that is reporting in the green. Our timing couldn’t be more perfect…..maybe.But what if we focused on the process? A longer time horizon? What if we stuck to a methodical and disciplined approach and allowed sufficient time for the process to work? What would that outcome be over 3, 5, or 10 years? What would be your long term “draft choices”?Please enjoy this recent article from the Washington Post, for Barry Ritholz's thoughts. 
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What Is Your One Word?

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January 10, 2014To plan a journey, first you must know where you are going. Likewise, when planning your financial future, you must know what you want to achieve in your long-term vision. Only then can you chart your path.Unfortunately, financial advisors do not have a crystal ball. Neither do investors. Sure, they may get lucky and predict something from time to time, but it has been proven that this cannot be sustained over the long term. If financial advisors and investors alike do not have a crystal ball, what is the next best thing that they can have to achieve long-term success? Vision – without it people perish. When it comes to vision in investments, we are talking about a philosophy, a strategy, and a way to invest on purpose. This vision is not based on the latest news, the media hype, the next big thing, the expert’s predictions, etc. It is based on the science of investing. It is based on facts. For us at DHGWA, it is a clear investment philosophy based on scientific evid...
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SURVIVORI'm a survivorI'm not gon give upI'm not gon stopI'm gon work harderI'm a survivorI'm gonna make itI will surviveKeep on survivin'Back before Beyoncé used a single name, before she married Jay Z and named her daughter “Blue Ivy”, and before she became a close friend to the Obamas, she was simply a talented teenage singer. Back when her mom made her costumes and her dad was her manager, Beyoncé Knowles and two other girls performed on an album entitled “Survivor”. You probably remember the hit single on that album by the same name. (The song’s beautifully poetic refrain is printed above.) But you probably didn’t know that this 2001 album contained three other #1 hits, earned three Grammy nominations and was certified quadruple platinum. All this took place before she ever became a solo artist. Then she really became famous. She has done a great job of remaining relevant and sober in a remarkably compet...
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December 05, 2013In the old definition of investment advice, a financial advisor would try to forecast investments. In the new definition of investment advice, a financial advisor helps clients capture capital market rates of return by determining a client’s risk tolerance. Based on this information, a financial advisor can help structure the client’s portfolio in a way that effectively achieves the appropriate risk exposures.There are 5 key parts or “fingers” to this process of the new definition of “investment advice” (Source – Dimensional Fund Advisors :DiversificationEducationDisciplineCost EfficientHolistic ApproachThis old adage “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” has been around for many years. Clients should invest across a wide range of asset classes that make the most sense for their individual goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. Never stop learning – education is a requirement. This goes for both advisors and clients. Clients should have a clear understan...
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Fama Awarded Nobel Prize

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November 14, 2013Dear Friends,We are pleased to announce that Eugene F. Fama has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. Professor Fama's groundbreaking work on asset pricing and markets inspired the founding of Dimensional Fund Advisors and his ongoing contributions have guided the investment approach of DHGWA.The image here will route you to a video of Professor Fama discussing the evolution of finance. Please enjoy.
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The Eggheads Did It AgainOctober 17, 2013Richard Nixon called Adlai Stephenson an “egghead” during the 1952 presidential campaign. It was not meant as a compliment. Intellectuals, college professors and even the broader category of teachers just don’t get much respect in our society. I’m sure you have heard, and maybe even voiced, some disparaging remarks about these really smart people. “They live in their ivory towers, and could never make it in the dog-eat-dog world that the rest of us must survive in.” “They are pretentious, lack common sense, and are out of touch with the real world.” Finally, there is the ever popular witticism: “Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach.”Regardless of your opinion of academics, we here at Dixon Hughes Goodman Wealth Advisors love them. Well, maybe not all of them, but the ones who have found ways to add value to our investment process hold a particularly special place in our hea...
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