We’ve started our Podcast “Critical Thinking Required” to replace the blog for your better experience. 

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Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding

In the past few months, we have been asked about real estate crowdfunding multiple times. People seem to be interested in this type of investment and understandably so. Crowdfunding, specifically for real estate, is a relatively easy way to get exposure to that asset...

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Taking A Dive into Qualified Small Business Stock

Taking A Dive into Qualified Small Business Stock

An overarching goal of business owners is minimizing the amount of taxes they have to pay; after all, it’s their hard-earned money! The government will inevitably get a cut, but if the business is a qualified small business, they can greatly reduce how much their...

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The Short and Skinny on Jumbo Loans

The Short and Skinny on Jumbo Loans

Since early 2000s, real estate prices have been on the rise. For example, in San Francisco, the median home price for a two-bedroom home has increased over 228%. To put this in perspective, in the year 2000 one could have bought a two-bedroom home for $420,000; that...

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Car Education

Car Education

Most people aren’t ‘car people,’ meaning that they don’t have much interest in what they’re driving. For these folks, the goal is to get from A to B in an efficient and safe manner. According to AAA, the average American spends around 51 minutes driving each day,...

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The Federal Reserve and Its Tool Box

The Federal Reserve and Its Tool Box

Since the 2008 global financial crisis, central banks have assisted and stabilized their respective countries through loose monetary policy. Fast-forward to today and central banks are still sitting in the limelight with investors and others reading and anticipating...

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LBW Commentary Q2 2019

LBW Commentary Q2 2019

,How LBW Seens It 2019 has been widely successful for most asset prices. For example, year-to-date[1] the S&P 500 TR is up 18.39%[2], the Russell 3000® 18.70%[3], and the MSCI ACWI ex USA GR 13.99%[4]. Furthermore, on June 28th, 2019, the S&P 500 closed at...

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Theory of Relativity

Theory of Relativity

If one were to participate in an LBW company meeting, they would most likely hear a conversation surrounding Charlie Munger’s concept of mental models. Munger believes one should study and understand the fundamentals of multiple core subjects, such as math or physics....

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Pop the Cork

Pop the Cork

When clients, prospects, or passersby come to us and inquire about planning, we like to describe the basics of planning with the following analogy: “Imagine you are at a wedding and the bride and groom have a tower of champagne glasses. To fill them up, they grab a...

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LBW Commentary Q1 2019

LBW Commentary Q1 2019

How LBW Sees It Last quarter we addressed our concern about the potential for more volatility entering into 2019. We witnessed volatility - it just happened to be positive, not negative. For example, in Q1 of 2019, the S&P 500 TR was up 13.65%[1], the Russell 3000®...

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The Tragedy Within Us

The Tragedy Within Us

I (Tim) began writing this post with a different subject in mind (we will write about it in another post to come). As I began to write, my fingers just moved on their own and I wrote something completely different. Stories always begin with interesting subjects and I...

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The Dividend Conversation

The Dividend Conversation

When we speak about how we invest, we often get questions about dividend-paying companies and if we invest in them in our clients’ portfolios. We can understand the affinity to such companies. Dividend-payors can be perceived as higher-quality because of their income...

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LBW Commentary Q4 2018

LBW Commentary Q4 2018

How LBW Sees It 2018 may be a year to remember. Each quarter we wrote about some new topic; be it the Federal Reserve (“the Fed”) and its policy agenda or the Trump administration and their attempt to renegotiate global trade pacts. Headlines driven by the uncertainty...

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Recession Recon

Recession Recon

The markets must’ve been on the naughty list this year as the “Santa Claus Rally”[1] experienced the inverse of its historical past. For example, in December 2018, the S&P 500 TR (“S&P”) declined -9.03%[2] and the Dow Jones Industrial Average TR (“Dow”) was down...

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Bubble Bath

Bubble Bath

All bubbles, regardless the type, have one thing in common – at some point, they pop. And when they do, avoiding their path of destruction is wise. Bubbles within the financial markets have been documented as far back as the 1630’s when the Dutch experienced “tulip...

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529 Plans: The Party Starts Here

529 Plans: The Party Starts Here

Planning for college has become a hot topic in recent years – rightfully so. Over a 35-year period[1], inflation for educational expenses has averaged 4.9%[2]. Whereas, housing and “food and beverage” have averaged 2.8% and 2.7% respectively[3]. Even healthcare costs...

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LBW Commentary Q3 2018

LBW Commentary Q3 2018

How LBW Sees It This piece of our quarterly commentary has been easy to write for 2018. The amount of economic and political events that have transpired has provided several topics to discuss and has allowed us to write a nice 2018 economic story. Q1 we discussed the...

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Do You Feel Lucky? Do Ya? A Financial Planning Story

Do You Feel Lucky? Do Ya? A Financial Planning Story

Luck is often used when discussing success. An NFL team winning the Super Bowl is a mixture of talent and being lucky enough not to have their star players hurt for the big game. Even great investor Warren Buffett ascribes luck as a dominant player to his success -...

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LBW Commentary Q2 2018

LBW Commentary Q2 2018

How LBW Sees It Last quarter we made an analogy about how my (Tim) favorite roller coaster growing up closely related to the markets’ Q1 volatility. Q2[1] wasn’t as bumpy regarding price fluctuation - the S&P 500 TR ended up 3.43%[2], the Dow Jones Industrial...

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Options for your Options

Options for your Options

The wave of startups and entrepreneurship is upon us. We have witnessed these companies change work culture, disrupt industries, and make billionaires out of 20-some-year old’s. However, what is less publicized is the rise of stock compensation and its different...

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The Iceberg Effect

The Iceberg Effect

​Over the past few months there has been several infographics detailing out what has been coined the “Iceberg Effect”. Typically, you see a two-dimensional picture of an iceberg with the word success written across its cap and words such as hard work, late hours,...

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Social Investing…Truly Possible?

Social Investing…Truly Possible?

​​There are books full of different ways to categorize, screen, and evaluate a good investment, but instead of theories they are called strategies. For example, LBW would be considered a “value” investor because we implement a “value” investing strategy[1]. There are...

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LBW Commentary Q1 2018

LBW Commentary Q1 2018

How LBW Sees It At the end of the first quarter (“Q1”) of every year, it begins to feel like spring (well sometimes not in WI), bringing great memories. One of my (Tim’s) favorites: the anticipation of knowing that the Salt Lake City Firefighters’ annual Lagoon day...

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Making the Bet – Part 2: The Hand

Making the Bet – Part 2: The Hand

In our blog, “Making the Bet - Part 1: The Game”, we made the point that concentration is often viewed in a vacuum and instead needs to be viewed holistically. Doing so can uncover concentration and previously-unknown risks. However, concentration from a finite level...

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Making the Bet – Part 1: The Game

Making the Bet – Part 1: The Game

​The word concentration is frequently used in the financial world. Phrases like “you need to be more diversified to avoid concentration” or “you are over-concentrated in equities” are often thrown around by financial professionals, and for good reason, as...

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Clearing the Fog

Clearing the Fog

​Introduction This month’s blog is going to be slightly different than usual; rather than having Tim, Nathaniel or Dan discuss a financial topic, I’ll be writing about my perspective of the financial services industry. But before we get into that, a brief introduction...

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Earning Income Without a Job: A Beginner’s Guide to IRAs

Earning Income Without a Job: A Beginner’s Guide to IRAs

At some point in life you’ve probably thought, “I wish I could get paid without having to go to work.” Luckily for you, that’s exactly what an IRA is for: saving enough money now so that you can pay yourself not to work (commonly known as retirement). To understand...

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LBW Commentary Q4 2017

LBW Commentary Q4 2017

How LBW Sees It When defining the 2017 market, one could use phrases such as “good”, “better than expected”, or even “great”; just look at Chart 1[1] Across the globe, markets climbed higher. Both the S&P 500 (“S&P”) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (“Dow”) hit...

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OPPORTUNITY COST…THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH

OPPORTUNITY COST…THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH

The first day of my (Tim) Introductory Microeconomics class our teacher provided us with a few key tenants surrounding microeconomics; 1) assumptions must and will be made (I still don’t agree with this principle and feel it can distort the real world – maybe it will...

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Rise of the Healthcare

Rise of the Healthcare

When a family or individual approaches us to begin assessing their ability to retire and live on a fixed income, we explain that financial planning comes down to a simple equation: income (I) – expenses (e) = free cash flow (FCF). Where things become subjective and...

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LBW Commentary Q3 2017

LBW Commentary Q3 2017

HOW LBW SEES IT At LBW we typically take a contrarian view as it pertains to our industry – it’s built into our culture. However, performance chasing[1], and the potential harm it can cause, is a subject where sticking with the crowd seems best. Instead of going into...

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Cryptic Currency

Cryptic Currency

Humans have been bartering since the beginning of time. For example, between 9000 – 6000 B.C. humans used cattle as a form of currency to trade for other objects[1] and by 1200 B.C. Cowry Shells[2] were used as a form of currency. Fast forward to today, fancy...

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The Curious Case of a 401(k) Loan

The Curious Case of a 401(k) Loan

​401(k) accounts are meant for retirement, making it difficult to withdraw money. For example, the IRS states the following[1]: Generally, distributions of elective deferrals cannot be made until one of the following occurs: You die, become disabled, or otherwise have...

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And the PLOT thickens…

And the PLOT thickens…

​Judging by the title and image above, you may have an idea as to what this blog is going to reference – that’s right – Mary Jane, Ganja, Grass, Reefer, Pot, Marijuana…Cannabis. Arguably, cannabis has been one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. over the...

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LBW Commentary Q2 2017

LBW Commentary Q2 2017

How LBW Sees It ​Macroeconomic factors come in a variety of forms (such as monetary policy, inflation, certain sector performance, etc.) and every so often these factors release their “Kraken”0F[1] potential. And like the “Kraken” you usually don’t realize the monster...

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Fees – They Don’t Have to be Frustrating

Fees – They Don’t Have to be Frustrating

Recently we came across an article, by the wonderful author Andrea Fuller of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), titled “What’s My Investing Fee? A Frustrating Quest”. After reading it, we were compelled to write a response to Ms. Fuller. Our intention – to provide proof...

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Inconvenient Convenience

Inconvenient Convenience

​As LBW looks inward at our industry, we find a wide push to provide people with convenience; similar to what one would find today in other industries such as retail, healthcare, and even education. At what point does the prioritization of convenience cause harm to...

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LBW Commentary Q1 2017

LBW Commentary Q1 2017

How LBW See’s It The start of 2017 came with a bang – President Donald Trump was sworn in, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots won their fifth super bowl in the past 16 years, and the Federal Reserve Bank (“Fed”) raised the federal funds rate for the third time...

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IRA Crossroads

IRA Crossroads

​Over the last few months we have been asked, and have heard rumblings, of utilizing Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to invest in assets such as private businesses and/or real estate. At first glance, this seems like an attractive deal – invest in a private...

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LBW Commentary Q4 2016

LBW Commentary Q4 2016

How LBW See’s It When speaking with prospects, clients, or anyone who will listen, about LBW’s investment framework we may begin the conversation talking about one of the forefathers of value investing, Benjamin Graham. Graham wrote a book titled “The Intelligent...

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Put your Home to Work

Put your Home to Work

Cash and debt management can be an ally or detriment to a person’s financial well-being. In today’s information age, personal finance tools are plentiful. However, many are unknown, misunderstood, or aren’t applicable to one’s lifestyle. A constant theme we address...

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Wall Street Guidance Estimates – Do They Matter?

Wall Street Guidance Estimates – Do They Matter?

Full Disclosure: I (Nathaniel) am not a Wall Street analyst. What do you think of when you hear "Wall Street estimates"? Most people vaguely think of sitting at home on their couch, channel surfing on their TV and coming across the CNBC channel. They may hear about a...

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Volatility: It can be Fun… Election Decision 2016

Volatility: It can be Fun… Election Decision 2016

As many of you know, at LBW, we try to blog once a month. However, we felt “Election Decision 2016” warranted a continuation of our Q3 2016 Commentary where we wrote about the weeks leading up to yesterday - November 8, 2016. To quote our Q3 2016 Commentary “We will...

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Phantom of the Income

Phantom of the Income

​A common story we hear from potential clients is that they have had an unpleasant financial experience recently or at some point in the past. One rampant story involves said client speaking with someone who they thought was a full-service financial advisor and was...

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LBW Commentary Q3 2016

LBW Commentary Q3 2016

How LBW See’s It The third quarter of 2016 has come and gone faster than the Wisconsin summer (and that’s saying something). However, the beginning of the fourth quarter seems only to be heating up as we approach the election of a new U.S. president. Why write about...

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DOL Fiduciary Rule: The Band-Aid Approach

DOL Fiduciary Rule: The Band-Aid Approach

On April 6, 2016 the Department of Labor (DOL) finalized a ruling addressing conflicts of interest they felt were evident in financial advisers’ retirement advice. This rule is more commonly known as the “DOL Fiduciary Rule”. We recognize the rule was finalized a few...

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Prince: An Unexpected Legacy Twist

Prince: An Unexpected Legacy Twist

LBW would like to thank Laura Skilton Verhoff at Stafford Rosenbaum, LLP for collaborating with us on this piece. Her insight was invaluable. On April 21st, 2016 the music world was stunned—Prince Rodgers Nelson (Prince) passed away at his home in Chanhassen,...

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LBW Commentary Q2 2016

LBW Commentary Q2 2016

How LBW See’s It​ Every quarter it seems we start our commentary with a new “OMG” (yes, LBW used “OMG” as an acronym for “OH MY GOSH”) event and Q2 of 2016 did not disappoint. Headlines were flooded with the BREXIT (a hype word for the United Kingdom exiting the...

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BREXIT: The Markets’ Reaction – Irrationality at its Best

BREXIT: The Markets’ Reaction – Irrationality at its Best

As most of you already know, as of yesterday the United Kingdom (“UK”) voted on whether to stay in the European Union or to exit (hence the media hype word BREXIT). Many pundits believed that due to the “status quo bias”[1] that Britons would vote to remain in the...

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LBW Commentary Q1 2016

LBW Commentary Q1 2016

How LBW See’s It​ The first quarter of 2016 did not disappoint. The S&P 500 hit a quarter low on February 11, 2016 equating to an approximate decline of -10%[1], falling to what pundits call a correction. How did the S&P 500 finish the quarter? Up approximately 1%[2]....

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Long Live the Roth

Long Live the Roth

As we all know the investment industry is filled with jargon and multiple types of accounts such as a Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, Rollover IRA, Inherited IRA, SIMPLE IRA, SEP IRA, and many more. As stated in the name of the blog post, we will focus on one type, the...

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LBW Movie Review: THE BIG SHORT

LBW Movie Review: THE BIG SHORT

Let it be known, we had to look up how to review a movie. Remember, we are not professional spellers (if you recall the last LBW INSI”G”HTS) nor professional movie critics, although we try our best! Summary: “In 2008, Wall Street guru Michael Burry realizes that a...

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LBW Commentary Q4 2015

LBW Commentary Q4 2015

How LBW See’s It 2015 was full of notable events: American Pharaoh captured the Triple Crown, the new Star Wars movie was released, and the Federal Reserve (“Fed”) increased the federal funds rate for the first time in nine years. The Fed had been indicating an...

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Whose side are you on anyways?

Whose side are you on anyways?

Working in the financial services industry requires significant trust. Unfortunately, too often that trust is, at least initially, one-sided where the client places their trust in the advisor. In the wake of the 2008-09 financial crisis’ recovery, and recent...

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Rethinking Savings

Rethinking Savings

Saving money is a difficult task. Even though I am a Registered Investment Advisor, I still fall into the temptations of spending a few bucks on fishing lures. In order to curb such temptations, I view savings in a different light. Savings should be looked at as a...

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Volatility…What to Do?

Volatility…What to Do?

The new year is upon us and what a start it has been for the markets. The market has declined significantly in the first week of 2016 with the Dow -6.21%, S&P 500 -5.98%, and the NASDAQ -7.26%[1]. 2015 was full of uncertainties and 2016 is no different. China, the...

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What is Value Investing?

What is Value Investing?

While Benjamin Graham established the more modern version of value investing, value investing has been around for quite awhile. Value investing is simply buying something at a price that is less than what it’s worth. This can occur regardless of whether market prices...

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Budgeting…the Dieting of Money Management

Budgeting…the Dieting of Money Management

Budgeting and dieting are similar in many ways. As you drive home you make the decision: stop at the closest fast food restaurant or go home to cook steamed vegetables and chicken. One is quick and easy and tastes great; the other takes time, and depending on your...

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