Letters from the President

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

  • Whence the Euro (12/07/11)
  • Eve of Destruction (10/27/11)
  • Crisis of the Moment (09/26/11)
  • Important Update from Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC (08/08/11)
  • That's What Bonds Are For (08/04/11)
  • Coming Down to the Wire
    Description: Quick synopsis of recent events from Roger Hewins, President of Hewins Financial Advisors.
  • Good News!
    Excerpt: The fact is, despite the two year rally in equities, valuations remain modest by historical standards as corporate profits are increasing. That provides a cushion and room for multiple expansions if the dire predictions don't pan out. The next year and a half will be an eventful time, with a presidential election at the end. None of this will be easy or very pleasant. But we are making major and very painful adjustments; we can see it starting to happen, and that really is good news. Maybe we won't become Greece after all!
  • Cold Enough For Ya?
    Excerpt: Well, that was exciting! The world seemingly in chaos and the U.S. rapidly going bankrupt, leaders nowhere to be found, except perhaps in the streets, and yet the S&P 500 ended up almost 6%. Other equities did well also, as did bonds. It just goes to show how difficult it is to tie what seems to be the current state of affairs to what will happen in the capital markets.
  • The 401(k) Generation is Beginning to Retire...
    Description: Brief commentary from Roger Hewins on the Wall Street Journal article, "Retiring Boomers Find 401(k) Plans Fall Short."
  • Not So Great Expectations
    Excerpt: Although headlines and changes in interest rates can cause fluctuations in value, states and strong issuers are unlikely to default. If you have professional management with extensive due diligence on the credits, not to mention broad diversification, you need not fear the worst. On the other hand, if you bought bonds yourself, you might want to give us a call.

2010

  • Year-End Update (Q4 2010)
    Excerpt: Well. That was quite a quarter! S&P 500 up over 10% in three months, and we had the best December in a very long time, up over 6.6%. Bonds, however, fared less well, losing a little bit last quarter as interest rates jumped. But you can look down the 2010 full year column, through all the indices of stocks and bonds, domestic and foreign, and see nothing but black. S&P 500 up 15.06% for the full year, BC Aggregate Bond Index up 6.54%. As Sinatra would say, "it was a very good year."
  • Muni Bond Managers - The Next Rock Stars of Wall Street?
    We have always felt that professional fixed income management is true value added. Professional managers have the skills, experience and capacity to do thorough and proper credit analysis and can prudently manage interest rate risks. Whether in mutual fund or separate account format, they can aggregate positions and can buy and sell issues much more efficiently and effectively than an individual trading through a retail broker.

    In today's world the case for professional bond management has never been stronger, as many of the 'crutches' that individuals and brokers relied on in years past have been marginalized or dismantled thanks to the financial crisis. In the municipal bond world in particular, the ability to rely solely on credit rating agencies and insurance, while never appropriate in our view, is now not even viable since the bond insurance business is essentially gone. The article below from Cumberland Advisors gives a few examples of how critical it is that municipal bond portfolios be overseen by experts who can look into the financial operations and governance of any specific issuer. Today many issuers are facing serious financial stress, and it is incumbent upon investment advisors to make sure that their clients’ portfolios are able to not only avoid the pitfalls but also take advantage of the many opportunities in the marketplace.

    As always, feel free to contact your consultant with any questions.

    "A Tale of Two Cities and a County in Muniland"

    Important Disclosure: Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC ("Hewins") is an SEC-registered Investment Advisor and a proud affiliate of Wipfli LLP. The content of this posting is informational in nature and is based solely on the author's opinion. The reader should not assume that this serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment, tax, accounting, and/or legal advice.

  • NY Times Article on The Investment Answer
    We thought you'd be interested in an article that has created quite a stir after it was featured in the Nov. 26 issue of The New York Times. The article centers on the remarkable story of Gordon Murray, a DFA consultant and co-author of The Investment Answer. Murray is a former Goldman Sachs bond salesman who, late in life, saw the light and gave up Wall Street's futile obsession with "beating the market" in favor of the more disciplined and academically sound approach advocated by DFA. The book has been a labor of love to pass on those basic principles.

    "A Dying Banker's Last Instructions"

    Important Disclosure: Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC ("Hewins") is an SEC-registered Investment Advisor and a proud affiliate of Wipfli LLP. The content of this posting is informational in nature and is based solely on the author's opinion. The reader should not assume that this serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment, tax, accounting, and/or legal advice.

  • The Aftermath (Q3 2010)
    Excerpt: Now that the big event (the mid-term election) has happened, will the market once again "buy on the rumor, sell on the news"? Depends on who you ask; as always, there is no dearth of opinions.
  • Taxes and the Immediate Future: What To Do Now? (September 2010)
    Excerpt: As we approach a very contentious election season, one in which the balance of power, and therefore economic policy, appear subject to substantial change and tremendous uncertainty, we wanted to address the issue of taxes very briefly.
  • A Critical Moment (Q2 2010)
    Excerpt: We would like to be a little more serious this time. Things are not going well in the country or the world, and this isn't going to be easy. Is it a "New Normal" as our friends at PIMCO say? Well, in some ways it is.
  • Europe Debt Woes (May 2010)
    Excerpt: Last week was a flashback experience of the September-October 2008 market swoon. What is going on? The domestic economy has been slowly healing from the 2008 financial crisis, and the US banking system has been able to work its way out of a deep hole following the purchases of mortgage backed securities by the Federal Reserve, the Treasury’s TARP program, bank stress tests and then massive injections of private capital.
  • Malaise vs. Morning in America (Q1 2010)
    Excerpt: I am reminded of a time, 30 years ago, when we faced a "crisis of confidence" and America had to ask itself if this was the end of life as we knew it. It really has been that long since we faced anything like this. In the late 70’s we had the misery index (inflation plus unemployment) over 20, its peak. OPEC seemed to control oil prices, and we were powerless to do anything about it.