Kreighton’s Summer Reading

Kreighton’s Summer Reading:

I read a bit more than usual this summer as my children were given a steep reading goal to earn themselves the phones they so badly wanted, so I upped my game. And I counted audio books!

Amusing Ourselves to Death, by Neil Postman – This is the most influential book of my summer. The Atlantic magazine recently revisited the book’s argument in an article titled “Are We Having Too Much Fun?”  Written by media observer Postman in 1985, its observations and warnings on how media and modern society are increasingly trading serious thought and discourse for amusements and distraction strike an astonishingly prescient tone. For example, did you know that the Lincoln-Douglas debates were three to four hours long, and held very large audiences in rapt attention the entire time? This has set me on a journey to explore what media, technology and endless (useless?) news flow has done to my conversations, my attention span and my precious time!

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Value and Momentum – Underpinning of Our Investment Process

Value and Momentum – Underpinning of Our Investment Process

It’s difficult to start an investment firm.  The hardest thing is to name it.  The second hardest is to initiate an investment process that will stand the test of time.

We were lucky enough to have waited to start KilterHowling until we had years of experience under our belts that informed how our investment process would take shape.

Experiencing market cycles like the tech bubble and the financial crisis are not experiences we want to repeat at KH.  We know risk management needs to be part of every client’s portfolio.

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Will’s Summer Reading Review

Will’s Summer Reading:

Damn Right! Behind the Scenes with Charlie Munger a biography by Janet Lowe

Kreighton first read this book early in the summer and then kindly passed it one to me.  He does that often!

Charlie Munger is Warren Buffett’s longtime partner at Berkshire Hathaway.

There are many books written about Warren, but not nearly so many written about Mr. Munger.  He is a silent voice of wisdom behind the duo and their story through the lens of Charlie’s life is every bit as interesting.

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Value and Momentum – Underpinning of Our Investment Process

Value and Momentum – Underpinning of Our Investment Process

It’s difficult to start an investment firm.  The hardest thing is to name it.  The second hardest is to initiate an investment process that will stand the test of time.

We were lucky enough to have waited to start KilterHowling until we had years of experience under our belts that informed how our investment process would take shape.

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Financial Planning – What Have We Done for You Lately

Financial Planning – What Have We Done for You Lately

Financial planning is straightforward for many clients.  But there is also a project oriented side to the process, examples of which we decided to share to make sure there isn’t something we could be doing for you! We enjoy the challenge and variety of working through new problems. Below are some examples of various situations we have worked on recently:

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Cyber Security Implementation With External IT

Cybersecurity Implementation – External IT

Working for clients means more than just crafting efficient portfolios and drafting financial plans.  We are also always trying to protect sensitive information and partner with firms we trust and know.

To that end, we just completed a firm wide implementation of the workspace wealth_ solution from External IT (https://www.externalit.com).  This solution, which is implemented by some of the largest financial firms and investment advisors in the country, is a platform which adds a level of sophistication, security and scalability that we feel is critical.

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Review of Markets, Valuations, Process

Review of Markets, Valuations, Process:

As we write this, markets continue to march higher, reaching all-time highs and are on pace to notch another year of double digit returns. The yields on investment grade bonds continue to bump along near their all-time lows (low yields equate to high prices). Relative yields on non-investment grade bonds, such as high yield, mortgage backed securities and emerging market bonds, are also at or near their all-time lows, or what we call “tights” as they are measured relative to Treasury bonds.

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Post Election Note & Thoughts

As we write this, the markets are busy digesting the prospect of a Trump presidency. So are we, and it seems that the initial read is that things will be fine in the near term. We will have to take the information as it comes in the longer term. Markets closed up, and certain industries, financials, industrials, healthcare and energy all rallied. Conversely, technology, consumer staples and utilities were beaten up a bit. Also, emerging markets as a group sold off on fears of a less globalized economy. Bonds were weaker and the ‘fear trades’ of gold and long US treasury bonds also were weaker.

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Brexit

What a wild  ride on Thursday. It was an unexpected outcome for most political pundits and investment experts. Not until the afternoon that day did tallied results begin to swing in the favor of leave. No many could envision the nerve it would take to actually leave the EU. Global markets reacted dramatically to the additional uncertainty.

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Western Resource Advocates

I’ve had the privilege to be asked to join the board of Western Resource Advocates (WRA).  Last week I attended my first board meeting with WRA in Santa Fe and really got the inside look.

WRA was founded in 1989 and is dedicated to protecting the West’s land, air, and water.  They use law, science, and economics to craft innovative solutions to the most pressing conservation issues in the Four Corner states as well MT, WY and NV.  WRA works to make change from within the system.  They are advocates first and foremost but want progressive change as fast as the rest of us.

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Just Back From Another RIA Conference

I am just back from another conference of Registered Investment Advisors (RIA), sponsored by Institutional Investor magazine. These conferences occur two to three times a year, and I have attended for a few years now. In exchange for moderating a panel or speaking on a topic, I get valuable time networking with larger peer firms from around the nation. This has been tremendously helpful for us to stay current of pertinent topics, but also to share and absorb the collective wisdom of our peers.

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Introducing KH Global Value

Since the launch of KilterHowling we have focused primarily on our Global Growth and Capital Preservation portfolios. These have both exceeded our expectations in terms of return and risk, after all fees. Returns have been consistent across our client accounts, which we like. And in terms of risk-adjusted return, we have done as well or better than we expect. Disciplined, fee-efficient, focused on risk, and transparent is how we like it.

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More of the Same: MetLife Settles with FINRA on Annuity Sales

from the WSJ daily briefing –

Anne Tergesen
May 4, 2016 5:30 am ET

MetLife agreed to pay $25 million for allegedly misleading customers about swapping existing variable annuities for new contracts between 2009 and 2014. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fined the insurer’s MetLife Securities Inc. unit for allegedly making the replacement annuities seem better for the customers than they actually were, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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It does matter how your advisor gets paid.

Recently the Department of Labor released new rules regarding how financial advisors should treat clients. This “Fiduciary Rule” is an attempt to require more advisors, namely brokers, to act in their clients’ best interests, like fiduciaries. Will is going to write more in detail on this topic, but I wanted to offer our opinion on at least one part of this recent discussion.

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