Blog

Ideas are powerful. They can meaningfully change our lives. In our blog, we share ideas with you, which think can have a positive impact on your overall money and life choices.

 

Friday, July 3, 2020

 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

DFA founder, David Booth, has spent his entire career in the financial markets, working through many different economic crises over the years. In this video, Booth reflects on his past experiences, relating them to today's COVID-19...

 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

In case you hadn't seen it I wanted to share an with you, published by CNBS last weekend. It is an interesting way to see what's been going on in our economy lately. It measures trends in ways that we can all relate to.

 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A lot of people are concerned and uneasy given the market volatility of the last few months. A client reached out to me today with a question. How does Dimensional Fund Advisor's (DFA) mutual fund performance compare to the market? DFA...

 

Friday, June 19, 2020

We are updating our portfolios for access to new technology, lower costs and to modernize the investment experience...just the latest way we are improving how we do things for our clients.

 

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Monday, June 15, 2020

Did you or someone you know receive a refund from a college, university or other institution of higher learning? A few months ago, as the coronavirus outbreak started shutting down schools, dorms, and cafeterias, some students who had...

 

Friday, June 12, 2020

Be on the lookout for this new identity theft scam...it is now possible that thieves may be filing for state unemployment benefits on your behalf. If that happens, you may notice an unexpected deposit into your bank account. Scammers...

 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

CTB Financial recently published a new brochure on the topic of How an Advisor Can Help You Achieve Financial Wellness. Given our Mission Statement: is to help bring people to full confidence in their financial well-being We think the...

 

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

DFA performs a study each year, surveying the landscape of mutual funds in the US. From their study comes an annual report that documents the power of market prices by assessing US-based mutual fund performance relative to benchmarks...

 

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

We are all familiar with the mathematical concept of an average. You know. Add up all of the terms in a series and divide by the number of terms. What is the average time to travel 15 miles? If you drive, it takes 15 minutes. If you...

 

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

David Booth, Dimensional’s founder, shares three simple strategies that investors can use to create a plan for tomorrow. If you do listen to this, don't be lulled while listening to the deceptively simple ideas which Booth...

 

Friday, May 29, 2020

A great interview came out yesterday with Ken French, as he was being interviewed by a financial planning firm in Canada. If you don't know who Ken French is, he has been a leading researcher in the world of finance, distinguished...

 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

For now we have adjusted to our circumstances. But many fear that when this crisis passes, our lives may changed, if not permanently, then at least for some time. I don't know about you, but I find this notion troubling and discouraging.

 

Friday, May 22, 2020

We are excited to share with you a new resource from CTB Financial Services. We hope that this tool will enrich the lives of the younger folks in your families. At a time when parents are struggling to balance work and childcare, when...

 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Everyone wants to know when we’ll be able to get to the other side of COVID-19. Dimensional Founder David Booth shares what he’s seeing and why it gives him hope.

 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

We express our values and beliefs through the ballot box. Whether the issue pertains to the environment and sustainability, or faith-based interests and social values, we can look for ways to make a difference through the political...

 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Sudden market downturns can be unsettling. But historically, US equity returns following sharp downturns have, on average, been positive. A broad market index tracking data since 1926 in the US shows that stocks have tended to deliver...

 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

From the "Dimensional Voices" video series and the Dimensional blog, "Building Satellites and Designing Portfolios" - Jed Fogdall details his transition from satellite engineering to portfolio management - and how both roles require...

 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

When our parents retired, living to 75 amounted to a nice long life, and Social Security was often supplemented by a pension. The Social Security Administration (SSA) estimates that today’s average 65-year-old woman will live to...

 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

401k options after a job loss If you or someone you know is in this situation due to COVID-19, you’ll likely have several questions about job hunting, unemployment insurance, and health care. You may also be wondering,...

 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

There’s so much uncertainty. Doing-it-yourself has become even more difficult of late. Work with us and add one incredible advantage: Having a plan. A competent, ethical “personal CFO” who knows you personally, can...

 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

As he retires from a 20-year career with Dimensional, researcher Jim Davis refects on the lessons he learned as he transitioned from academia to the real-world business of investing. In the mid-1990s, Jim Davis was a professor of...

 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

With activity in many industries sharply curtailed in an effort to reduce the chances of spreading the coronavirus, some economists say a recession is inevitable, if one hasn’t already begun.1 From a markets perspective, we have...

 

Friday, April 17, 2020

INTERESTING STATISTIC: March of 2020 was one of the most volatile months in the market in a long time. It took less than a month for the S&P 500 to shed 37% of its value. In 12 of those days that month, the S&P 500 swung by more than...

 

Friday, April 17, 2020

There's no proven way to time the market. The cost of trying can be high.

 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Nobel laureate explains why long-term investors should know the reasons they’re investing, understand risk, and not focus on short-term ups and downs. Gene Fama on Risk, Rewards, and Reacting to Markets

 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

In every crisis, there is a silver lining. When I see those who are selflessly serving us and those we care about, it reminds me of the enormous capacity for goodwill which exists in our communities. First responders, healthcare...

 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up nearly every aspect of American life. To say it’s been a difficult time would be an understatement. However, difficult times may open doors to new possibilities. Businesses are changing their...

 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Many of you are talking to your friends. Many of them may not have advisors. Or they may have advisors who are not reaching out to them, who do not have a clear plan for how to respond in a crisis. We would love to be the ones you...

 

Friday, April 10, 2020

“The checks from the Treasury and the IRS probably start going out...I think this week, perhaps early next,” Larry Kudlow, Director of the U.S. Economic Council, said to CNBC.1 The CARES Act has far-reaching implications...

 

Friday, April 10, 2020

Around the world, people are experiencing highly uncertain times. Dimensional Founder and Executive Chairman David Booth shares his perspective on what’s happening now and why he believes our core beliefs and values can help us...

 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

A famous American football coach once said, “You don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.”1 The implication is that, in times of great stress, the most reliable recipe for success is...

 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Renowned labor economist Edward P. Lazear, an independent director on the boards of Dimensional's US Mutual funds, discusses what policymakers are monitoring with COVID-19, how monetary authorities are responding, and what the global...

 

Monday, April 6, 2020

As you know, Novel-Coranovirus (COVID-19) is just the latest in a number of epidemics over the years. The first known severe illness caused by a coronavirus emerged with the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in...

 

Monday, April 6, 2020

US Equity Returns Following Past Downturns Sudden market downturns can be unsettling. Sticking with your plan helps put you in the best position to capture a recovery. A broad market index tracking data since 1926 in the US shows that...

 

Monday, April 6, 2020

I’m sure you’ve heard about the $2.2 trillion law Congress passed designed to address the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. "This legislation provides small business job retention loans to provide eight weeks of...

 

Monday, April 6, 2020

It’s a bit crazy in the mortgage world right now, with day-by-day changes to application rules and processing times, as well as interest rates and new guidelines. There are two recent major events that have impacted the mortgage...

 

Monday, April 6, 2020

Government stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders and social distancing all over the country continues to have a dramatic impact on companies and their ability to retain their staff. We’ve seen two weeks in a row of...

 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

As demand for information about the pandemic remains high, criminals are seeking to take advantage, turning common internet searches and other everyday computer activity into information theft. Please be aware of the latest activities...

 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Recently, several markets, including in the US and Brazil, have hit circuit breakers, where trading is paused for a period after a specified percentage decline in the market. In all cases, trading resumed as planned. Circuit breakers...

 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

At Dimensional, we have used a systematic approach to pursue higher expected returns in fixed income since 1983. Just like in equities, we use information in current market prices to identify differences in expected bond returns. There...

 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Investors often see dividends as a way to generate income. But dividend strategies are not the only way to produce cash, and investors should be aware of the potential tradeoffs that accompany a focus on dividends. For stockholders who...

 

Friday, February 7, 2020

The 2010s: A Decade in Review (DFA blog repost) Imagine it is early January 2010 and you are reading a review of the financial markets. Investors have been on a roller coaster over the past three years, living through the stress of the...

 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Do I have to outsmart the market to be a successful investor? Financial markets have rewarded long-term investors. People expect a positive return on the capital they invest, and historically, the equity and bond markets have provided...

 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

If I choose a fund because of strong past performance, does that mean it will do well in the future? Some investors select mutual funds based on past returns. However, research shows that most funds in the top quartile (25%) of...

 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Given the recent launch of Aramco's IPO, I thought this article from last summer might be timely... Initial public offerings (IPOs) often attract initial public interest—especially when familiar brands become broadly available to...

 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The year 2019 served up many examples of the unpredictability of markets. Interest rates that US policy makers expected to rise fell instead. American consumers’ confidence weakened as the year began,1 and news headlines...

 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

2. What are my chances of picking an investment fund that survives and outperforms? Flip a coin and your odds of getting heads or tails are 50/50. Historically, the odds of selecting an investment fund that was still around 20 years...

 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

For nearly 40 years, research at Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) has focused on advancing the understanding of what drives differences in expected returns among securities. Recent research into the behavior of stocks with high...

 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

The stocks commonly referred to by the FAANG moniker— Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google (now trading as Alphabet)—have posted impressive gains through the years, with all now worth many times their...

 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

A few weeks ago, an article came out in the national media, sharing some thoughts from Charles Schwab, a person we don't hear from too often. While his eponymous company, one our company works closely with, actively advertises...

 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Key Questions for the Long-Term Investor July 2019 Whether you’ve been investing for decades or are just getting started, at some point on your investment journey you’ll likely ask yourself some of the questions below....

 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Value Judgments: Viewing the Premium’sPerformance Through History’s Lens October 2019 Repost from DFA There’s a misconception in the markets: value stockshave lost their vigor. Value stocks have underperformed growth...

 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

A Tale of Two Decades: Lessons for Long-Term Investors Comparing market returns across the 2000s and 2010s reinforces the benefits of diversification and pursuing known drivers of higher expected returns. The first decade of the 21st...

 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Our mortgage expert (who has helped many of our clients over the years) recently noted that applications for home mortgage refinancing have been increasing steeply. Mortgage rates have moved lower in the last few months and refinancing...

 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The stock market woke up this week from the doldrums of summer with a recent bout of volatility. Trade tensions between the USA and China, which by now have become something of a staple of the news, were marked last week by the USA...

 

Monday, July 1, 2019

Timing Isn’t Everything July 2019 Over the course of a summer, it’s not unusual for the stock market to be a topic of conversation at barbecues or other social gatherings. A neighbor or relative might ask about which...

 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Over the last several years, index funds have received increased attention from investors and the financial media. Some have even made claims that the increased usage of index funds may be distorting market prices. For many, this...

 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

...just wanted to share this post with you. It's a concise summary of where the US economy is right now. (Credit and kudos to the Bowtie Economist, Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, PhD.) Here's a quick reproduction of Dr. Eisenberg's blog post...

 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

The US stock market has delivered an average annual return of around 10% since 1926. But short-term results may vary, and in any given period stock returns can be positive, negative, or flat. When setting expectations, it’s...

 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A new academic study reveals how pervasively misleading commonly used naming conventions of many value funds really are. In a working paper titled “Characteristics of Mutual Fund Portfolios: Where Are the Value Funds?” a...

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A quick online search for “Dow rallies 500 points” yields a cascade of news stories with similar titles, as does a similar search for “Dow drops 500 points.” These types of headlines may make little sense to...

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Investment fads are nothing new. When selecting strategies for their portfolios, investors are often tempted to seek out the latest and greatest investment opportunities. Over the years, these approaches have sought to capitalize on...

 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Looking back on 2018....Stock markets were down for the year ending 2018 in 46 out of 47 countries (using the MSCI All Country World Index.) No countries posted positive returns among developed markets, and only Qatar managed a...

 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Truth is, no one knows. Today's market is driven by recycled news headlines: trade tensions, interest rates, government shutdown. Nothing new to see here, folks. Financial cycles don’t die of old age, good or bad. Something...

 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

“Sellers were out in force on the market today after negative news on the economy.” It’s a common line in TV finance reports. But have you ever wondered who is buying if so many people are selling? The notion that...

 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

With stock indices continuing to set new highs, does this mean negative returns for stocks are on the horizon? When addressing this question, it is helpful to keep the following in mind: - Every day, stocks have a positive expected...

 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Cybercrime and fraud are serious threats. While my firm plays an important role in helping protect your assets, you can also take action to protect yourself and help secure your information. This checklist summarizes common cyber fraud...

 

Friday, August 3, 2018

A client of our recently shared this on a popular social media site, which is how I saw it. Some of us may object to the use of the word "success." But I think if you read the article, you may find the author defines it in a way that...

 

Friday, July 27, 2018

Do you remember just seven months ago… riding high on strengthening corporate earnings? …good feelings about the market, followed by the biggest tax cut since the 1980’s? …general exuberance about the economy...

 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Dimensional has created a new video, Tuning Out the Noise. I think it's effective at reminding us of the importance of remaining disciplined during volatile markets to help you achieve a positive investment outcome. Tuning Out the...

 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Dimensional has just posted a story written by Dave Goetsch, executive producer of The Big Bang Theory. In Now and Then Dave reflects on how his transformed view of investing has helped him navigate this year’s market uncertainty...

 

Monday, February 12, 2018

After a period of relative calm in the markets, in recent days the increase in volatility in the stock market has resulted in renewed anxiety for many investors. From February 1–5, the US market (as measured by the Russell 3000...

 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I don’t want to repeat all of the analysis that is now on-line about the new tax bill. You can read that on your own. But here are a few observations I think are worth adding to the melee: Most provisions won’t become...

 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How the invention of paper changed the world By Tim Harford BBC World Service, 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy The Gutenberg printing press - invented in the 1440s by Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith from Mainz in Germany - is...

 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Happy Anniversary! Ten years ago this month, stocks began their year-and-a-half slide to a stopping point more than half less than their previous high point. Time to celebrate? I don’t know. Ask me tomorrow. Until then, how about...

 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

This was alarming news, to be sure. The baseline thing all of us should be doing (in my view) regardless of any big hacks like this is checking your free credit reports. There are three major reporting agencies. Each one is required to...

 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How the world's first accountants counted on cuneiform By Tim Harford BBC World Service, 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy The Egyptians used to believe that literacy was divine, a gift from baboon-faced Thoth, the god of...

 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Earlier this month, I wrote a blog (called "have your cake") about how retirement offers people a distinct advantage, when it comes to tax planning. Specifically, I said, "...after we retire, a whole Pandora's Box of tax strategies...

 

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Custody Rule Most of you have absolutely no interest in the rules we have to follow here at CTB Financial. I get that. But when they affect you, I think it's a good idea to say something about it. Some of our clients recently...

 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Sometimes in life, we are playing a game and we don't even know it. We eventually find out, though, when we lose. If we learn the rules though, we can discover strategies for winning the game. When it comes to winning the Game of Tax,...

 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

This is the time of year that I get a lot of calls from clients asking about a tax form they just got in the mail from Charles Schwab. That is because custodians (like Charles Schwab) are required by the IRS to file the Form 5498 (on...

 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Caution: This post is pure frivolity, so you shouldn't expect anything deep or meaningful from what follows. My wife was recently shopping at a restaurant supply store and on the way out was handed a promotional calendar. Now why would...

 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Checking the weather? Looking at a map of the world to plan your next vacation? Guess what—you’re using a model. While models can be useful for making decisions, they are simplifications. Using weather data, a meteorologist...

 

Friday, March 3, 2017

My friend, Todd, had a rich Uncle Henry. Todd wanted to be in Uncle Henry's will. He kidded about it all the time, even with his Uncle Henry. Eventually, it became a running joke, part of the family lore. When Uncle Henry finally...

 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Here is a fascinating statistic...from Elliot Eisenberg's blog: "Yesterday, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up for the 12th straight time. This was the Dow’s best performance since a streak that ended 1/14/87, and came...

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

This is a link to an LA Times personal financial column entry, titled, "How to tell if you've got the right financial advisor." It is a brief, but useful introduction. Brief can sometimes be dangerous. But this is actually pretty good,...

 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Every year brings its share of surprises. But how many of us could have imagined that 2016 would see the Chicago Cubs win the World Series, Bob Dylan receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, Donald Trump elected president, and the Dow...