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Doubling Down

A few nights ago, I finally got a chance to watch Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, a movie that perfectly depicts the rise and fall of what was once known as a great company. In the movie, one scene is particularly ominous: The head of HR at Enron is asked if employees should put all of their 401(k) money in Enron stock, to which she enthusiastically replied "Absolutely!"
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Note from Our CIO: Is the Market Too High?

It seems like almost every day someone asks me if the stock market is too high and therefore due for correction. Doesn't an all-time high for the S&P 500 mean it is more likely to go down than up from here, especially given that it has been at this level twice before, and both times, those highs were followed by two of the worst market declines since the Great Depression?
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Be Wary of The News Machine

Rarely does a week go by without a comment from a client regarding something he or she heard from an expert in the news. With a staggering variety of news sources, we are inundated with so much information that it is practically impossible to process it all. Almost unconsciously, then, we tend to listen to the news and commentary (which aren’t mutually exclusive) that are consistent with the conclusions we are inclined to draw ourselves. So the question becomes, "What, if any, are the beliefs or biases that dictate what gets through to us? How are we selecting our news?"
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Oh, Behave!

On a recent vacation to New Zealand, my Kiwi friend Martin told me about his father, Frank, an elderly man who, over his lifetime, owned 26 pieces of real estate. I figured Frank would be sitting pretty now, either living off 1) the income and principal of a huge investment portfolio that holds the sales proceeds of all that real estate or 2) a semi-stable income stream from the real estate he didn't sell. Unfortunately, neither is true. Frank barely gets by, relying entirely on a modest pension income. If he has any extraordinary expense, Martin will be forced to supplement Frank's income. So how did this happen?
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A Gym-Goer’s Confession

As an avid runner and exercise aficionado, I regularly count on my workouts to keep me balanced and energized. There is something so therapeutic about tying up my shoes, flipping on my iPod and sweating it out. But for one month a year, my gym is the last place I want to be. Every January, hordes of well-intentioned New Year’s "resolutioners" pack into the gym at all hours of the night, stealing equipment from the regulars, only to stop going entirely by the end of the month.
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Life and Death

For the past 12 years, a group of eight male friends and I have been getting together weekly. During this period, one of us died at the age of 52 and another began battling cancer. The experiences of these two friends inspired us to start discussing the topic we had always avoided. Recently, we spent a day discussing and answering the following questions:
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No Pain, No Gain

We all know that it requires some pain (I prefer to call it "discomfort") to achieve a desired goal, whether it's training for a marathon, preparing for difficult exams, or mastering a musical instrument or dance sequence. In anything challenging, there comes a time when your mind tells you to bail out—quit—to end the discomfort.
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