CFM Blog

Trace Welch Receives CFA Charter

Sargent Bickham Lagudis congratulates Trace Welch on his achievement of becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder. Trace successfully completed all three rigorous CFA exams and the required four years of investment work experience to join four other CFA charterholders at SBL.READ MORE

Swallowing the Cat Backwards

I was recently in Costa Rica on vacation for the first time. Our group loves to try the native cuisine and in addition to many servings of gallo pinto (rice and beans for breakfast with salsa), we also tried the local cane spirit – guaro.  Finding that it went down suspiciously like aftershave, we sought help from our rainforest tour guide on how to concoct a suitable guaro cocktail. After a 12 hour day of driving, horseback riding, zip-lining, mud bathing and more driving, he joined us for a lesson on Costa Rican cocktail mixology. How bad is guaro straight? The locals refer to the experience as tragar un gato a la inversa, or roughly translated, “swallowing the cat backwards.”

Sell in May and Go Away?

This is an old Wall Street saying that refers to both the desire to go on vacation in the summer, and to the seemingly common occurrence of a correction during the summer months. There is some truth to this. The S&P 500 has averaged a return of 1.2% in the May-to-October interval since 1945, compared with 6.9% from October through April.READ MORE

Shiller says…

I recently attended the Institutional Investor RIA East Conference. At the event, RIAs discuss and debate topics relevant to firms just like Sargent Bickham Lagudis. It is valuable networking, and the speakers are generally quite germane to the work we do here. These conferences are held about every six months on each coast, and I have been named to the advisory board for RIA West in October.

Top 10 Financial Steps For New College Graduates

May in a college town. It’s that time of year when seniors’ thoughts go from studying and finals to graduation and what life will look like as college graduates. Perhaps you have a great job lined up already or you are prolonging your time in academia with a stint in grad school. Maybe you’re still job hunting and polishing your resume, or going on a celebratory adventure. Whatever life post-college entails for you (or your kids for the parents reading this), here are ten proven steps to take once you enter the real world.READ MORE

Financial stress index

First Quarter 2013 Investment Review

Dear Clients and Friends,

The first quarter was very strong for equity markets. The S&P 500 was up 10.6% with smaller companies up even more. International equities lagged, gaining only 5% for the developed markets and emerging markets falling 1.6%. Bonds were down slightly and gold lost almost 5%, so itcould be described as a “risk on” quarter.