Callahan Financial Planning Adopts CFA Institute Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct

CFA Institute Asset Manager Code

Callahan Financial Planning Company is proud to announce that the company has adopted the CFA Institute’s Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct.

Callahan Financial Planning joins approximately 1,400 firms worldwide that have adopted this professional conduct code.

The Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct outlines the ethical and professional responsibilities of companies that manage assets for clients. This code serves as a point of reference for investors, establishing clear policies on what investors can expect by working with a firm that has claimed compliance with the code. Read the rest of this entry »

Should I Adjust My Portfolio For Bad Governments?

History books are filled with examples of what can happen to investors under the direction of poor national governance. The real challenge is, once we are aware of poor governance, how do I respond as an investor?

Recent events have highlighted the potential for trouble in an investment portfolio. Commonly known as political risk, this may be any event triggered by a government’s executive, judicial or legislative decisions that has the potential to negatively affect the stock or bond holders of that country.

As international investing has become broader and more accessible to investors, these issues have become front-and-center questions for the average investor. A recent Economist article sought to quantify the impact of “bad governments” on that same nation’s investors, and cited some specific examples (Argentina, Iran, and Russia in this research) to study their impact relative to their global peers. Read the rest of this entry »

“Market Volatility” Really Means “I Don’t Know”

What does the financial news media mean when they say, “brace for more market volatility”?

Over several decades in the investment business, I have consumed many thousands of hours of financial news from the likes of CNBC and Fox Business News. Over that same time period I have heard the term “market volatility” used ad nauseam by news anchors and Wall Street analysts in reference to every kind of investing situation. I would guess you have, too.

Here are several recent examples from a CNBC print article on their website Brace for More Market Volatility in the Second Half of 2013. http://cnbc.com/id/100848558

“Investors, buckle your seat belts. Markets in the second half could be driven by more volatility, though most strategists expect equities to ultimately end the year higher than their current levels.” Read the rest of this entry »

Fiduciary – An Important Term to Know

Fiduciary noun. From the Latin fiducia, meaning “trust,” a person (or company) who has the power and obligation to act for another under circumstances which require total trust, good faith, and honesty. (Free Dictionary)

Fiduciary

As a registered investment adviser, we work as a fiduciary when we give advice and manage money.

We often try to approach our blog topics with a light touch and a sense of fun. We believe a little humor helps us communicate important financial issues more effectively. With this in mind, we think many people often feel that having to deal with financial matters is like having to visit the dentist – it may be necessary but not exactly something to look forward to. No disrespect meant to our dentist friends. They understand.

This article, however, is about something we take very seriously: Our fiduciary obligation to you, our client. Put simply, a fiduciary duty is the duty to put your interests ahead of our own in everything we do. It’s a legal standard we follow, but in our view, also a moral obligation we willingly accept.

Not all financial advisors are fiduciaries. As a matter of fact, the majority aren’t. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy 4th of July, Lessons From Our Forefathers

Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages. – General George Washington

Have you read David McCullough’s book 1776?  If you haven’t, you might not find a better addition to your summer reading list – particularly over this long holiday weekend.  First published in 2005, it’s an entertaining must read not only for its historical recounting of our nation’s first year, but for its lessons in courage and perseverance.

For today’s investors, the book is a reminder of the old saying, “that which is well achieved is usually well earned!” Read the rest of this entry »

How are my Investments Doing? Methods for Measuring Investment Performance

 

This is a common question we receive. Over the years, a frequent method I’ve observed investors use to answer this question is a simple rate of return, generally known as a holding period return. But there are two other methods available, and for various reasons I’ll show below, they are usually more appropriate to use.

Holding Period Return (HPR)

Also referred to as your cumulative return, this value does not take into account the impact of time (did it take 1 year or 9 to earn the return?), and does not adjust for the impact of what dollars were invested, and when. It is generally reported as a single return percentage.

Internal Rate of Return (IRR) Read the rest of this entry »

The Benefits of Budgeting

When it comes to personal finance there is one word that makes almost everyone cringe… Budgeting. Most people feel that maintaining a budget means that it will be the end of all of the “fun”. In reality, establishing and following a sound budget does just the opposite. It not only allows you to control your spending, but also is the foundation to achieve the financial goals you truly desire.

Here at Callahan Financial Planning we simply define a budget as providing for your needs within scarcity, which is the limited amount of money available to you. This means living within the amount of money you earn while taking care of your needs. The goal of having a budget isn’t to restrict your spending, but to cover all your necessities and focus any remaining money on what is most important to you. Budgeting forces you to take an in depth look at where your money is currently going and decide if that’s where it should go in order to accomplish your true goals. Read the rest of this entry »