WrapManager's Wealth Management Blog
When life changes, we can help you thoughtfully respond.

What Falling Oil Prices Mean for Your Portfolio Strategy

Posted by Gabriel Burczyk | Founder & CEO

January 14, 2015

Oil prices have moved around quite a bit over the last decade, but the pace and magnitude of the recent decline has investors wondering if there’s trouble ahead for the markets.

Oil Prices Have Fluctuated Greatly in the Last Ten Years

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WrapManager Newsletter

ISIS, Ebola, Vladimir Putin! Time to Change Your Portfolio Strategy?

November 13, 2014
Over the last few months, a string of global events have tested the markets. Whether it’s the spread of Ebola, the presence of terrorist group ISIS in Iraq and Syria, or the latest in the geopolitical chess match between Russia and the West, it seems there is no shortage of events that could impact the markets and your portfolio. The natural question on many investors’ minds is: will these events affect the upward market trend and is it time to adjust my portfolio? [+] Read More

Learning About ETF Fees - Doug’s Quiz Corner

November 11, 2014
We are fortunate to have a brilliant CFA here at WrapManager, Doug Hutchinson. At our weekly staff meetings, he has been testing our abilities with financial quizzes. These are great tests of your investment knowledge. Good luck! Scenario: ETF A has an expense ratio of 0.05% ETF B has an expense ratio of 0.20% Assume ETF A and ETF B track the same index and both track that index perfectly. So if the index returns 5%, then ETF A will return 4.95% (including the expense ratio) and ETF B will return 4.80% (including the expense ratio). Assume the index returns 5% a year for each of the next 3 years. Manager A invests $10,000 in ETF A at the start of Year 1 Manager B invests $10,000 in ETF B at the start of Year 1 What is the difference in wealth accumulation (in dollar terms) between Manager A and Manager B after 1 year? After 3 years? [+] Read More

Your Checklist to Starting Retirement with Confidence

September 23, 2014
You’ve arrived at (or are fast approaching) retirement and you’ve worked hard to get here. Congratulations! We’ve prepared a list of items to consider and take care of to start your retirement with confidence. Think about this new stage in two ways: 1) Defining your goals and establishing all the great things you want to do; and, 2) Structuring your financial life so you can make it all happen Just a little bit of time and planning can help make your retirement even more enjoyable and smooth. Retirement Planning Strategy: 13 Steps for Success 1) Build an Investment Plan with Your Financial Advisor An investment plan is your ultimate guidebook for retirement – the roadmap you can reference to see where you are on your retirement journey and to help you navigate issues that arise along the way. A comprehensive investment plan should include the following features: [+] Read More

Protect Your Identity: Guarding Against Online Scams

September 17, 2014
“Phishing” attacks have been on a steady rise since 2005 and are used to steal sensitive information like Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and passwords. According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), over 70% of the phishing scams detected this year involved hackers pretending to be banks.1 Cybercrime is an unfortunate byproduct of the digital world, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and lower your chance of falling victim to online scams, which we’ll walk through for you below. [+] Read More

Two Money Manager Strategies for the Current Market Environment

May 16, 2014
The stock market overcame some volatility early in the year but continued to trend higher. As the market has reached new all-time highs, many investors are wondering if it’s too late to put additional cash to work. Others have indicated they’re still waiting for a possible stock market correction before making any decisions. One thing remains clear – despite what happens in the market and when, it’s likely you still need your portfolio growing and generating retirement income over time. There are two types of money manager strategies that could ease concerns about where the market’s headed while positioning your portfolio for a variety of outcomes. Tactical Money Manager Strategies are designed to temper the effects of a market decline while trying to capture growth, and Dividend Income Money Manager Strategies aim to generate income while reducing volatility. Let’s take a look at both. [+] Read More

Stress Testing Your Investment Portfolio

April 16, 2014
Many banking institutions now undergo annual stress tests to ensure they’re strong enough to survive another global financial crisis. Looking back, we now know that many banks appearing healthy and operational on the surface actually needed help. Had they conducted stress tests regularly, they may have just survived. As advisors, these bank stress tests and bank failures highlight a valuable lesson when it comes to investment plans—they too should be stress-tested to make sure they can endure future market volatility. Have you checked to see if your investment portfolio can survive another large market decline? Who performs annual stress tests on your portfolio to make sure you’re on the right track? * The Confidence Zone is the range of probabilities that you and your advisor select as your target range for the Probability of Success result in your Plan. Source: Money Guide Pro It’s important to know how your retirement goals and portfolio could be affected during the next market decline. Armed with this information, you can make adjustments so you’re better prepared. Go through these 4 steps to perform a stress test on your portfolio so you know you’re prepared. [+] Read More

Stomaching the Next Stock Market Decline: Here’s How

March 5, 2014
The market got off to a rocky start in 2014, with the S&P 500 declining by 4%.1 Between January 15 and February 3 alone, the S&P 500 fell 5.8%,2 and weakness was even greater in areas abroad like Japan3 and the Emerging Markets.4 Many investors were left wondering if the rough start was a sign of things to come. How did it make you feel? We think the recent volatility presents investors with an opportunity as well as a friendly reminder: it’s a good idea to regularly make sure your portfolio is allocated according to how comfortable you are with stock market declines and risk. [+] Read More

7 Stock Market Predictions for 2014 - Is Your Portfolio Positioned?

February 5, 2014
Two common questions investors ask themselves at the beginning of any year are: What is the stock market going to do this year? And, how should I position my portfolio as a result? To provide some insight as to what may be in store for the year, we’ve taken a look at what seven of the biggest financial institutions in the world are predicting for 2014. As you read through these, it’s important to keep in mind that your portfolio’s allocation should be based on more than just a forecast—you also need to consider your long-term goals, cash flow needs, risk tolerance, and other factors related to your investment plan. How Will the S&P 500 Perform in 2014? Morgan Stanley - S&P 500 +9%1 Morgan Stanley equity strategist Dr. Adam S. Parker thinks the S&P 500 is set to rise 9% in 2014. Morgan Stanley’s strategy recommendations are to favor small cap stocks versus large cap, and at a sector level they prefer health care to consumer staples, technology to consumer discretionary, and chemicals to industrials and energy. Within financials, they like capital-market-sensitive banks and asset managers over insurers and regional banks. [+] Read More

New Year’s Resolution: Polish Up Your Investment Plan in Four Steps

January 7, 2014
As we enter the New Year, many folks will set out to focus more attention on their health and wellbeing. Indeed, the month of January experiences almost 50% more gym membership sign ups than other months. According to the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association, “more than 12 percent of gym members join in January, compared to an average of 8.3 percent per month for the full year.”1 While improving your personal health is a wonderful goal, we are encouraging investors to put more time and energy into strengthening their financial health. Taking a fresh look at your investment plan—or creating one for the first time—is a great way to get started. Four Steps to Strengthen the Health of Your Investment Plan Taken together, the below four steps can help put you on a better path to knowing where you stand financially, relative to your long-term goals. Try you to review these four things in detail with your financial advisor. If you don’t have one, it could be a good opportunity for you to seek one out, using this process as a means to evaluate the type of job a financial advisor could do for you. [+] Read More