Inflation – How High & How Long? | Financial Perspectives

While the war in Ukraine is in day 25, leaders around the world are looking to not only stem that two-nation conflict, but also to tame the higher-than-expected global inflation which threatens to slow or derail the post-pandemic economic recovery that had been underway.

The War in Ukraine | Financial Perspectives

There’s likely no more important news in the world right now than what is happening in Ukraine as Russia invades their smaller neighbor. Economic impacts are being felt across the globe and there is certainly a humanitarian crisis developing in Europe. Let’s take a look at the impact the Ukraine/Russia crisis has on the US and global economy.

A Look Under the Hood of a Bond Fund | Financial Perspectives

A lot of investors may be wondering how rising interest rates might be impacting their investments, so today, we're going to talk about bond funds -- how they operate, some of the details, and see how they're responding to this environment.

Keep Your Eyes on the Horizon and Wings Level

We often get asked by clients about different ideas they heard from a friend, a new exclusive deal they got invited into, or, most frequently, a specific company or stock that a friend gave them the scoop on. The reality is that a lot of the “great ideas and deals” never amount to any real return, and many end up going to zero. 

Is the Stock Market a Glass Half Full?

The month of January was marked by negative returns for global stock markets. But, as the well-worn phrase, “Is your glass half full or half empty?” implies, our view of, or the way we feel about the state of markets as investors, may be more related to our personal dispositions than what the numbers indicate.

Meta Does Not Equal Value | Financial Perspectives

The headlines last week included “Faceplant”, and “Metaflop” following Meta’s disappointing earnings and new users numbers. As interesting as the metaverse may be, it turns out investors still want real world results when it comes to their investments.

Chart of the Month – Feb 2022

Market declines are never enjoyable in the moment. But these kinds of intra-year pull backs are normal when looking at market history. 

Happy New Year? | Financial Perspectives

Market returns for the first three weeks of 2022 have not been full of happy reports. US stocks, especially some of the biggest names and winners of 2020 and 2021 have fallen into what is called “correction” territory. Is inflation and the concern with rising interest rates the whole story?

Still Searching for the One?

You do not need to pick the next big winner in order to have a successful investment experience. As a matter of fact, behaving as if this were possible is an almost certain way to have a terrible investment experience. What are the hallmarks of a more successful approach?

December 13, 2021 Financial Perspectives

Are you wondering what happened to that big tax and spending bill that was working its way through Congress, you know the one that was supposed to raise taxes on most Americans with incomes over $400,000 and invest heavily in various domestic programs? You’re not alone. This week Kent Kramer discusses what is in and what is out of the latest rendition of the Build Back Better Bill.

Inflation Aware Investing

You know the old saying, “What goes up must come down.” Currently everything seems to be going up at the same time.

November 22, 2021 Financial Perspectives

In this week's Edition of Financial Perspectives, Kent Kramer chats with Mary Ellen Stanek, Co-Chief Investment Officer at Baird Asset Management. Baird specializes in risk-controlled fixed income management.

Do I Have Portfolio Exposure to China?

In recent weeks, China has been a part of US financial headlines for a number of reasons. At Foster Group, we believe in globally diversified model portfolios. We invest our equity portfolios across domestic markets, international markets, and emerging markets. Our models have equity exposure to over 51 countries.

November 8, 2021 Financial Perspectives

You know the old saying, “What goes up must come down.” How is it that currently everything seems to be going up at the same time? Signs of inflation like oil prices, labor prices, trade deficits. And yet markets are going up with stocks at all-time highs. Bond prices are rising this week when often, bond prices move inversely to stock prices. Government spending is certainly going up, consumer spending is going up and tax rates seem to be poised to rise as well. What do all these upwards mean for investors?

Barbell Portfolios Can Be Hard To Hold On To

Barbells work great at the gym because they put weight on a bar in such a way that it’s balanced, leaving room in the middle for someone to use it to workout. We often see portfolios that are designed like a barbell at the gym: lots of risk in one account and lots of cash or very short-term securities in another. In aggregate, it might produce some balance, but the reality is that it can create some real challenges.

October 25, 2021 Financial Perspectives

Kent Kramer recaps his top take-away moments from our event last week with Morgan Housel. Morgan used stories to illustrate lessons to help us understand behavioral finance and psychology and how that affects the way we invest.

The Influence of Trust

A good relationship with our clients comes down to a handful of things. One of those things is whether a client trusts that we know more than they do about the type of investing we do at Foster Group.

October 11, 2021 Financial Perspectives

Friction can slow can down any machine. What was humming along only minutes or weeks ago, can labor under the strain of too little oil, a little sand in the gears, you name it. The US economy and markets have been seeing an increase in perceived frictions over the past month. Can we get back to smoother operations?