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Green Valley Wealth Advisors is now Avant-Garde Advisors

Green Valley Wealth Advisors LLC has formally joined with Avant-Garde Advisors, LLC to create a national firm operating under the Avant-Garde name.

We are proud to continue serving families and businesses in the greater San Francisco Bay Area with an expanded team of experienced wealth managers and investment professionals.

As an independent firm, we have always been, and will continue to be, committed to serving our clients' best interests above all else. We more ...

Unusual Uncertainty? Absolutely, We're in the Summer Doldrums

Back in the late 90's Alan Greenspan (then the Chairman of the Federal Reserve), ever the master of obfuscation and cryptic speech, was the creator of the phrase irrational exuberance. Those two words, unusually clear in interpretation from Mr. Greenspan, entered the lexicon of the investment world and remain with us today. The phrase was originally meant to describe the Dot.Com Bubble before it became the more ...

Halloween Indicator Turns Green | Greece: Return of the Living Dead

We got more tricks than treats on the Halloween trading day and continuing into All Saints' Day, but for all of October we got lots of treats -- US stocks were up 11-12% as measured by the major US stock indices, after the S&P 500 made a 13 month low on the 1st trading day of the month. October turned out to be the biggest monthly advance since 1991 for the S&P and 2002 for the Dow, and we also snapped a 5 more ...

Aftermath of a Financial Earthquake

No, I'm not talking about the reverberations from the Japanese earthquake/tsunami but that of the global stock markets. What we were experiencing yesterday (August 18th) -- another 4.5% down day -- are the aftershocks of the S&P 500 plunging 6.7% percent on Aug. 8, before surging 4.7%, dropping 4.4% and jumping 4.6% in the next three days. And looking further back, they are aftershocks of the 2007-2008 economic and more ...

Heat Wave of Summer Politics

It's a hot, hot summer. Or at least others tell me so. Having lived in San Francisco for the last 15 years I've accepted that 68o is a hot day here. It seems the rest of the country is scorching. In some cases, record-breaking heat waves.

The heat that's enveloping the country appears to be hot stagnant air coming out of Washington DC. It's stymieing all of America. Every time more ...

7 Lessons from the 4th of July

We are now officially in the summer season with the rain finally behind us so we can get on with our outdoor vacation plans (which may include skiing in July for some). With Independence Day weekend just a few days away, I thought I'd take a moment to remember the events that led up to our nation's birth 235 years ago.

There are lessons to be learned from Independence Day, great lessons (and stories more ...

June Gloom...err, Gloomier

"In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine," said legendary investor Benjamin Graham.

These words by the father of "value" investing succinctly define the way the financial markets operate. The "voting machine" involves high frequency trading, trading on the news, capital flows reflecting investor risk appetite, among other things, all rolled up into more ...

Fall-Out Implications for Investors

I would like to quickly share my thoughts on the events in Japan this past week.

First, let me say that my heart goes out to everyone that has been affected by the horrible disaster.

My role as an advisor is to opine on the financial aspects of the disaster, the events occurring here at home (be it the US, or California), the Mid-East, or the emerging markets. more ...

What do the Mid-East and Mid-West have in common?

Answer: Political protests!

While each participant has different political agendas, the commonality I see is contagion, or the spread of unrest.

In the Mid-West, particularly Wisconsin, a battle rages over public sector finances. Elected officials are pushing to eliminate or weaken collective bargaining by government employees' unions with the more ...

Bear Flag Revolt by Muni Investors

Investors are, or soon will be, opening their year-end statements. If you had a good portion of your portfolio allocated to stocks you most likely had a very good year. If you had a taxable account with a good amount of municipal bond holdings you saw the value of those securities fall over the months of November and December. You may have still done OK but losses are always a bit disconcerting. A chart of the iShares National more ...

Friends of Green Valley newsletter - January 2011

What does 2011 hold? Fortune, pit-falls, and municipal bonds. My take on things in the New Year. Click here to be taken to the newsletter. 

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WikiLeak: Bipartisan Support for Santa

Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus. He may not be as chubby as in years past and the white beard is from stress, but like clockwork, he won't miss his appointed rounds. Santa will again reward good boys and girls.

And let's not forget investors. Santa is rewarding them too, with favorable domestic and global stock market gains for the year. We have all the right conditions for a Santa Rally (technically the week more ...

A Time for Reflection, Seasons Greetings!

On behalf of Green Valley Wealth, I'd like to extend my warmest holiday wishes to you.

As the year draws to a close, I, like many others, reflect on the things that I am truly grateful for. I'm thankful for my family and friends, and for the clients that have supported me in my endeavors to build a smarter wealth advisory practice with solid investment underpinnings. And, I appreciate you, the reader, who finds the time to read my (sometimes lengthy) writings. It means a more ...

Hop on the Bandwagon - World Series and World Stocks

Wow, two back-to-back months of superb action, ones that are typically known for their torture. It rarely happens but I'm outright ecstatic. It's economic stimulus that we can all agree upon, at least in Northern California. Of course, I'm talking about the Giants making it to the World Series!

Likewise the stock market hasn't hung up its cleats for the year either. The mantra being Fear the beard, but don't more ...

Cunard & Bernanke launch QE II

My apologizes to Her Majesty, but Bernanke will usurp the size of her newly christened ship. Ours will come in with at least $1 + trillion in overrun costs. Beat that, Queenie!

The Fed has instituted a stealth theft of wealth by inflating their way out of the mess we're in. And they won't just stop more ...

Friends of Green Valley Wealth newsletter - Oct. 27, 2010

Hop on the bandwagon - Giants in the World Series & world stocks. My late October update on finance & economics. http://p0.vresp.com/3PEUgu

more ...

September to Remember, Will October Rock?

Wow! What a month; the 2nd best September for the S&P ever, and the best in 72 years. September brought investors a long awaited rally in the markets and bucked the trend in what is generally the weakest month of the year for stocks. The market rallied right from the start, brushing aside any poor economic readings and boosting hopes that our economy may finally be headed to stability. If there is one thing more ...

Friends of Green Valley Wealth newsletter - Oct. 6, 2010

Will October rock? September did. Also, 10 IRA to-do tasks & investment theme:emerging market bonds. Read on >>

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Eagle Portfolio

Green Valley's opportunistic U.S. stock portfolio.1


Overseen by Eric Linser, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, the Eagle Portfolio's disciplined investment strategy focuses on companies, over $1 billion in market capitalization, more ...

Inflection in the Market, Heading Up or Down?

The market is at an inflection point; it's very close to making up its collective mind about the direction of the broader economy. It has reached this stage after a robust contest between two competing visions since spring -- one calling for continued recovery; the other seeing another downturn. Read On >> (PDF)

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Mid-Month Update

September ain't all that bad

Who would have guessed it? By mid-September, we're on a bit of a bull market rally, especially on some really mediocre economic news. Investors have looked past the bad news to keep the markets pressing higher. It's been just good enough to keep us from falling below 10,000 on the Dow, and for us to push above the 200 day moving averages (key support and resistance levels) for both the more ...

Muddling Through (Outlook for September, August in Review)

September marks the beginning of fall and with it, college football and the local apple and grape harvests -- things I look forward to. And, here in the Bay Area summer is just beginning as the rest of the country transitions to fall's cooler weather.

Really the only thing I don't look forward to is that September has been a particularly difficult month, historically, for the stock market. And more ...

Roth IRA Conversion

Is It Right For Me?

Who doesn't need a source of tax-free income in retirement? It makes sense to consider at least a partial conversion of 401(k) plan, traditional or roll-over IRA assets, and minimally to learn more.

Here are 5 reasons why:

  • # 1 -- Tax Diversification. When you have a variety of accounts from which to draw retirement income (taxable, tax deferred and tax free), you have much more flexibility in more ...

    Thematic Investing: Metals & Mining

    One of Green Valley’s broad-based investment themes is focused upon the growing global appetite for natural resources, be it energy, agriculture, or the metals and mining sectors.

    Growing nations are starving for raw materials. Their newly-minted middle classes are ready to spend, they’re buying cars and they’re moving to the cities. New buildings demand copper for wiring and pipes; new cars call for more ...

    Assessing the Investment Landscape

    Climbing high hills for views to successful investing

    If you're a "stock picker" (more precisely, selecting investments), you're likely interested in the financial, economic, social, political, and technological trends creating opportunities, and presenting risks, across the world -- I'm one. While I'm not enamored with the term "stock picker," behind every portfolio there's a stock picker somewhere in the portfolio construction process, more ...

    Thoughts on Things in August

    Last Friday, August 6th, we received July's jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which solidified investor fear and drove many from the market on Friday. However, despite mixed economic reports and recovery concerns, the markets managed to build on their recent gains in July. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.8% for the week, the S&P 500 added 1.8% and the Nasdaq gained 1.5%.

    more ...

    4 Seasons Portfolio

    Green Valley's globally diversified balanced portfolio.1

    Created and managed by Eric Linser, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, the portfolio draws upon Eric's global insights and 20 years of experience in making investment strategy and asset allocation decisions affecting individual investors. Seeing a need for far more nimble more ...

    Owl Portfolio

    Green Valley's globally diversified complete stock portfolio.1

    Created and managed by Eric Linser, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, the portfolio draws upon Eric's 20 years of experience in making investment strategy and asset allocation decisions affecting individual investors.

    Strategy & more ...

    Dog Days of Summer

    As we enter the 2nd half of the year, optimism that greeted the year has evaporated and investors around the world are questioning the strength of the economic recovery. European sovereign debt troubles that have surfaced have now clouded views on the sustainability of global economic growth.

    So what's going on? It's not just one thing, it's an accumulation of them. Fears of a second recession (double dip) are more ...

    Remembering Our Roots

    Never-Ending Work on Perfecting Our Union

    As we prepare to take in the festivities of Independence Day weekend -- be it fireworks displays, picnicking, heading to the beach, or just lounging about enjoying warm summer days -- I believe it is an appropriate time to reflect upon the founding of our country.

    The US Constitution is the foundational text of our great country and its amazing, more ...

    June Gloom

    The Leak Continues, Job Numbers Disappoint

    Along the California coast, Memorial Day doesn't mark the beginning of hot weather but a long bout of foggy days ahead. In my home of San Francisco, it marks the beginning of Mark Twain's winter (as in, "The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.") Similarly, the fog has been so dense that visibility to the market's future direction has been more ...

    Wiping the Chalkboard Clean

    Forget everything you've heard or have learned in the last few weeks and just imagine that naive version of you from just the middle of last month still existed. Then, what if we told you that oil had gone from $80 to $68, interest rates had dropped by 0.60% (or 60 basis points) on 10-year Treasuries, that we had the best monthly employment report in over three years, that corporate earnings were growing like more ...

    Outlook for May, April in Review

    Sell in May and Go Away (until St. Leger's Day)

    Or as I remember it some years ago, Sell in May and Go Away; Come November, Here to Stay. No matter how it's phrased, the adage seems to be ringing true this year. Could a simple calendar event be just that easy? (FYI - St. Leger's Day is a horse race held in England in mid-September)

    It's based on the notion that the more ...

    Saving for College

    Our Services

    Let's face it, these are difficult times; fear and uncertainty appear to rule the day. Too many people are investing without a plan. They are blindly chasing returns, or have sold everything, taken their losses, and are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the bottom. Unfortunately, the stock market does not offer a road map to the future; the only clear view of the market is through the rear view mirror. The market downturn of 2008-09 and the more ...

    How Grandparents Can Help Grandchildren with College

    There are many ways in which grandparents can help their grandchildren pay for a college education. These include affiliation and legacy scholarships, tuition assistance programs, educational awards for volunteering and community service, college savings plans, Roth IRAs, and direct gifts to institutions.

    Scholarships for Grandchildren

    Most often scholarship awards are based on a parent's affiliations, but there are some awards more ...

    Outlook for April, March in Review

    (an article on the US stock market and technology shares)

    Will April showers bring May flowers? Or, for investors, will first quarter earnings reports be enough to justify the market's positive strides made in March, and in the first quarter? We will soon find out, beginning in earnest this week.

    Spring is upon us and April is typically a month of market bloomers that lays the groundwork for the spring more ...

    529 Plans Aren't Just for Kids

    529 college savings plans aren't just for kids or grandkids, pre-retirees and baby boomers can take advantage of 529 plans too. Today, retirement can mean taking on a whole new career or a commitment to a hobby which, in turn, means heading back to school to prepare. Why not advantageously finance your own upcoming academic endeavors? Use the same tax-free dollars in a 529 college savings plan that you would use for college-bound children.

    Here are examples of the more ...

    Estate Planning with 529 Plans

    Smart Gifting Strategies

    Most individuals use 529 plans to help meet a family member's college savings goals. But 529 plans are more than a tax-savvy college savings vehicle and you should look to take advantage of their more creative applications -- for their potential of tax free growth outside the account owner's estate, for reducing or eliminating estate tax, as well as flexibility and control for designating beneficiaries, are but a few of their more ...

    529 Plans - Q & A

    What is a 529 College Savings Plan?
    Named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, this state-sponsored college savings program allows individuals to accumulate tax-advantaged funds for financing college expenses for a beneficiary.

    Section 529 plans, also known as Qualified Tuition Programs (QTP), are among the best ways of saving for your children's college education. There are two types of section 529 plans, prepaid tuition more ...

    What to Do If Your 529 Plan Gets Failing Grades

    Don't panic; there are options available. You could make a switch to a better asset allocation mix, move the funds to another 529 plan altogether, or change beneficiaries.

    In looking back on the events of 2008 to early 2009, it's highly likely that your account lost a lot of its value. If your child is in diapers you have the benefit of time healing all wounds, but if he or she is college-bound soon, a sinking or a poorly allocated 529 could pose serious problems. Here are more ...

    529 Plans -- Qualified Expenses

    What are Qualified Education Expenses?

    Funds that come out of 529 plans are tax free if they are spent on qualified education expenses. The IRS defines these as “tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution.”

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (stimulus bill) added a few items to more ...

    529 Plans -- Advantages and Disadvantages

    The advantages clearly outweigh any disadvantages

    While college is expensive, parents have a small arsenal of tax-advantaged vehicles -- such as Coverdell accounts, the Uniform Gift to Minors Act/Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UGMA/UTMA) and 529 plans -- to lessen the bite. Increasingly, parents are opting for 529s as the way to save for college. It's easy to see why -- there are no income caps, the plans have high yearly deposit limits and earnings are tax-exempt.

    The more ...

    What's a 529 Plan?

    A 529 Plan is a way to save money for post-secondary or higher education that can used at schools across the country, and outside the US. The name “529” refers to section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code (Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § more ...

    March 6, 2010: Open Letter

    1 year anniversary of the market bottom, & the sustainability of the market's rally is addressed

    Happy Anniversary! If this is the Year of the Golden Tiger (not Woods!) then last year was the Year of the Bull. We should pop open the Champagne because we are a year past the market more ...

    Outlook for March, February in Review

    (an article on the US stock market and technology shares)

    February Marks Markets' Best Month Since November

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 2.6% for February, the Nasdaq added 4.2% for the month and the S&P 500 gained 2.9%. The S&P 500 gain for February put a dent in its 3.7% January decline. Eight of the ten sectors were up for the month, with Consumer Discretionary leading the group more ...

    Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds

    Okay, this past week we've had another disaster, not the earthquake in Chile, that's a natural disaster, not man-made. Okay, so Greece isn't a new disaster, they just got their debt downgraded by Standard & Poor's. Does that come as a surprise to anyone? Maybe it happened a little quicker than most folks expected, but given the history of credit ratings, at least they didn't wait until after they defaulted to cut it. Any more ...

    Imperfect Pictures of Improvement

    Consumer Confidence swooned in February from January. The drop from 56.5 to 46 was far sharper than economists were expecting. The drop was largely due to changing attitudes about the jobs market and the pace of economic improvement according to the Conference Board. Not to editorialize (but we will), the people they interviewed to reach this conclusion must more ...

    Feb. 11, 2010: Open Letter

    PIGS, U3 and the MANcession

    Bulls make money, bears make money, but pigs get slaughtered. -- Wall Street adage

    Punxsutawney Phil was scared of his own shadow and so were investors as we tacked on an additional six weeks of winter. Over the past four weeks, the markets have become unhinged. As I mentioned in my more ...

    Outlook for February, January in Review

    (an article on the US stock market and technology shares)

    It was not the kind of start to the New Year for which investors were hoping. In January, a winter chill settled over the markets and we had our first major sell-off since the "reflective" rebound in stocks in March 2009. The major indexes and many asset classes ended the month lower.

    Despite the Federal Reserve's confidence in the recovery, more ...

    Observation of Deficits on Democracy: The Tytler Cycle

    The President's budget proposal was unveiled yesterday (Monday, February 1st) and its largess has many reeling. The rating agency Moody's chimed in by stating that the US government's "Aaa" bond rating will come under pressure in the future unless measures are taken to reduce budget deficits projected for the next decade.

    President Obama projected the US budget deficit will rise to a record $1.6 trillion in more ...

    Whitewater Versus the Ocean Liner: Coping With Turbulent Times

    As times change, professionals need to adapt. This is relatively easy for some, but very difficult for others. So the challenge for all is to determine the most appropriate strategies for dealing with turbulent times. One framework for consideration is to think in terms of the "whitewater" approach versus "ocean liner" approach, as these can provide good analogies for work environments today. Arguably, the whitewater approach is more in more ...

    Jan. 26, 2010: Open Letter

    (Reprint of Jan. 26, 2010 E-Newsletter)

    Dear Investor:

    This past week's market action was like riding a see-saw. We go way up...then way down. However, unlike an actual see-saw, it wasn't much fun for investors. There was concern about China reigning in their bank lending so that their property markets don't overheat (and that's a bad thing?) Note: don't more ...

    Ingredients for Your Investment Pie, Slice by Slice

    Thematic Investing for 2010 and Beyond

    If the crippling financial events of 2008 and 2009 proved one thing, it's that investors need to rethink the entire philosophy of "portfolio management."

    Today, some of the best-performing managers around the world manage their portfolios more ...

    Predictions for 2010

    It is the time of year when market pundits offer predictions for how the coming year will pan out. Such forecasts should always be taken with large grain of salt, given the dynamic nature of markets and the inherent unpredictability of the future. Moreover, successful investing requires flexibility, humility and openness to a range of possible outcomes. This mindset is particularly important in the present environment, given more ...

    January (2010) Outlook, December in Review

    (an article on the US stock market and technology shares)

    Welcome to the New Year (two thousand ten, or twenty-ten?). As we quickly look back on last month and last year and look ahead to January, we believe the main focus of the market for the month will be 4th quarter earnings reports (starting this week) and corporate guidance given for the year ahead. Quite often the market softens in the weeks preceding the more ...

    Thematic Investing: Personalized Medicine and Aging Baby Boomers

    This theme is based largely on demographics, which cannot be altered by monetary or fiscal stimulus spending. The aging boomer theme relates to the increasing demand for healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and any product or service that can assist an aging population (in the US and around the world).

    Healthcare needs aren't tied to the economic cycle, so demand for medical care and medical equipment tends to be steady. As for medical equipment, an aging population and more ...

    The New Normal

    There has been a lot of mention of the phrase "the New Normal" so I thought I'd define it, and discuss the ramifications and opportunities that such a philosophy represents.

    We have just witnessed, and hopefully survived, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and the ensuing more ...

    Outlook for December, November in Review

    November was another good month for the markets (since the bottom in March), continuing a series of positive months, save one -- October -- which was a slightly down month. Despite the recent drop Thanksgiving week, the stock market ended the month of November with big gains. Major stock indexes were up more than 5%, the best monthly performance since July. The S&P 500 increased 5.7% and the Nasdaq more ...

    Nov. 25, 2009: Open Letter

    Tax Tips for Year-End, Rebalancing, Black Friday

    "When Black Friday comes I'll collect everything I'm owed and before my friends find out, I'll be on the road." - Black Friday by Steely Dan

    Funny how the day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday, yet Steely Dan was singing about the '87 crash. Well for retailers, it's make or break time. It's an important time for more ...

    US Dollar Carry Trade

    Dollar Down, Everything Else Up Environment

    First, let's define the term "carry trade." Carry Trade is the practice of borrowing in the currency of a country where interest rates are low and lending the proceeds in the currency of a country where interest rates are higher, in hopes of profiting from the difference. Success depends on exchange rates remaining more ...

    Offshoring: Increasing International Exposure

    Higher Asset Allocation Weighting in Portfolios

    In a similar vein to Silicon Valley companies outsourcing information technology (IT) operations to India, so too should investors consider making such a move by shifting their asset allocation to a higher international weighting in both stocks and bonds, a move we have continually called for in client portfolios. A reminder of why we are doing this more ...

    Year-End Tax Tips for 2009

    Don't get caught up in end-of-year festivities without first taking advantage of these tax tips.

    Before the holidays heat up, it's a good time for you to make some moves that will save you money on taxes next April. Take a small amount of your time to go over the following:

    Plan Retirement Contributions. Though you have until April 15 or your extension deadline next year to make IRA contributions for 2009, right now is a good time to find out if more ...

    Checklist for Year-End Reviews

    Issues and Opportunities to Address by December 31st

    One good thing about the calendar is that it forces both closures and new beginnings. Or, for those matters not dependent on the calendar, it provides an opportunity to discuss and review with you important financial planning issues, at least once a year

    We always look to discuss, first and foremost, what is on your mind -- what are your most pressing issues?  Look over the checklist of items more ...

    Negative/Zero Yields for Short-Term Treasuries

    Investors Pay the Government to Hold Their Debt?

    For the first time in seven decades,Treasury bills are paying no interest while stocks continue to appreciate -- a divergence in US financial markets that might be perilous if Fed Chairman Ben more ...

    Year-End Strategies: Rebalancing Your Portfolio

    With Recovery in Sight, Time to Rebalance

    As an advisor, rebalancing is the financial equivalent of eating your vegetables. At its most basic, rebalancing forces people to set an investment strategy and realign their portfolios to match it. For older investors, that might mean shifting to bonds and cash. For younger investors with more time to recover from stock drops, it might mean moving from large-cap to small-cap stocks, or domestic stocks to international stocks.

    more ...

    Thematic Investing: Infrastructure

    There is no denying that infrastructure is a big deal these days: Developed countries desperately need to restore aging systems, and emerging markets need to actually build theirs. As with alternative energy, government stimulus funds can only add to the attraction of this sector. Infrastructure investing can offer an appealing opportunity to pursue long-term, stable, inflation-protected cash flows along with potential diversification of a traditional portfolio.

    An more ...

    Outlook for November, October in Review

    Overall Market Sentiment

    The month of October, and in particular the last week of the month, was the pause in the seven month rally in the S&P 500 that most investors have been expecting for some time. The increased level of investor skepticism after the best run in stocks since the 1930's is understandable given that a widely-expected improvement in 3rd quarter earnings did not propel stocks forward more ...

    Earnings Growth When Sales Lag

    More than one way to grow earnings

    "It's operating leverage, stupid!" There are more ways to grow earnings than growing revenues.

    We are getting quite tired of hearing again and again that it isn't sound growth if it isn't based on revenue growth. Well, we all like to see revenues growing, but sometimes that isn't an option and growing the bottom line can happen even when the top line isn't growing as fast more ...

    What's a Dollar Worth?

    Understanding the dollar's place in the World

    The dollar, or any currency, has several major functions in an economy. The one we are most familiar with is that of a "medium of exchange." That means we go to the bar with a ten in our pocket and exchange that for a beer and a sandwich. We have exchanged money for goods. The second is what we call a "store of value." You can take that ten and put it in your pocket more ...

    Thematic Investing: Blue Gold

    When it comes to absolutely critical commodities, there's no question that clean water is at the top of the list. You need it. I need it. Every single person in the world needs it. It's without doubt the most precious commodity on the face of the planet. No matter what country you live in, or whether you're rich or poor, there is nothing more important to basic human survival. Whoever, controls water literally controls life on Earth. Therefore, investing in clean water -- a whopping more ...

    Thematic Investing: Feeding the World

    There are many good reasons to consider investing in "agribusiness" and commodities positioned to benefit from rising global food consumption. Agricultural demand is (typically) fairly immune to the impact of broad economic cycles. In recent years there has been a proliferation of commodity-related investment vehicles that can create specifically focused plays on agricultural commodities in conjunction with agriculture-related companies.

    First, there is continued global more ...

    Last Plane Out - Offshore Asset Protection

    First, let's define a "last plane out" account -- an offshore stash that would allow its owner to catch the last plane out of an imploding country and still be able to live well in exile.

    Americans have joined Europeans worried about everything from rising taxes to hyperinflation to capital controls. Such similar experiences come from our ancestors who fled 19th and 20th century chaos and came to America in search of opportunity more ...

    September in Review, Outlook for October

    The improving Street sentiment, including seven straight monthly advances in the S&P 500, is still being driven by the improving economy. The read-through from the economic data released in September and the results from some bellwether stocks that reported during the month (FedEx, Oracle) was that "the worst is behind us" and that overall demand is beginning to lift. The weight of the recovery evidence is increasingly more ...

    Thematic Investing: New Technology

    While more of a "sector" than a "theme," nonetheless I believe you need to have exposure to the "enabling technologies" that are driving innovation and growth across a range of attractive industries.

    While recovery in the tech sector is no sure thing, as confidence continues to climb, consumers in the US and overseas are beginning to once again purchase gadgets and big ticket items alike, giving a boost to a sector that was decimated as households cut out many discretionary more ...

    Thematic Investing: Inevitable Inflation, but First, Deflation then Stagflation

    We feel that one of the most fundamental decisions we face in building investment portfolios is correctly deciding whether we are facing an inflationary or deflationary environment in our future. Most investments behave quite differently depending on whether we are in a deflationary or inflationary environment. Get it wrong and your investment choices could rise up to bite you.

    The Fed will fight deflation and knows how to do that (print money). They also know what to do more ...

    Umbrella Insurance: Invaluable Personal Coverage

    As the old adage goes, "You do not have to be a billionaire to be sued like one." The fact is; a single lawsuit, even if you win, can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and sometimes in excess of a million dollars. In today's society, more people file lawsuits for more money than ever before. The personal liability coverage available through a homeowners or automobile policy is simply not enough to protect you. An umbrella more ...

    3rd Quarter in Review

    "Seize opportunity by the beard, for it is bald behind."- Bulgarian Proverb

    3rd Quarter Results -- S&P 500, +15% for the quarter, +3.6% for September, +17% year-to-date; Dow Jones Industrial Average, +15% for the quarter, +2.3% for September, +11% year-to-date; Nasdaq Composite, +15.7% for the quarter, +5.6% for the month, +33% year-to-date.

    What an extraordinary year it more ...

    Thematic Investing: Frontier Markets, Emerging Asia

    Frontier Markets

    Frontier markets are the subset of emerging markets deemed to be relatively small and illiquid, even by emerging markets standards. In the past, most frontier markets were relatively inaccessible to foreign investors. However, several frontier markets have become more investable, with lower restrictions on foreign ownership and increased liquidity in local stock markets. There are economic and investment rationales for considering allocations to frontier more ...

    Thematic Investing: A Primer

    We at Green Valley strive to identify global themes that we believe are most likely to be important long-term drivers of the global business environment. Then we use intensive fundamental research and a wide array of quantitative tools to invest in companies that stand to benefit as these themes unfold. We believe this approach we help us to steer clear of trouble and stay focused on what's working, and making money.

    Thematic investing involves identifying certain social, economic, more ...

    Thematic Investing: Commodities Supercycle

    A decade-long rise in commodities prices — the so-called supercycle — is about to resume, market bulls say, driven by rising industrial demand, a weaker dollar and production constraints. If recent performance is any indication, the upturn may have already begun. While still in the midst of a deep recession, we've got oil near US $70 per barrel, up from around $32 late last year, and copper at $2.70 per pound, double its low at the end of last year. We see no sign that the more ...

    Thematic Investing: Going Global, Emerging Markets

    The world is full of opportunities, yet Americans’ “home bias” in investing may limit both diversification and opportunity for their investment portfolios. While many Americans intuitively realize the advantages of international investing, even now institutional investors have limited non-US assets. Currently, the average US institution has 75% of stock portfolios in domestic equities, and 25% in international/global stocks (according to Greenwich Associates). This is quite more ...

    4th Quarter Economic and Market Outlook

    recovery, interest rates, inflation, Muni bonds, global perspective & more

    Here is our monthly perspective on events and trends affecting the economy, the financial markets, and investment management. First, let's take a look at an interesting chart and commentary from Morgan Stanley's chief European market strategist, Mr. Teun Draaisma, as to how much further the stock market could rally. We'll take a more ...

    Slow Growth Continuing - the New Norm (demographics)

    Let's talk math, statistics to be more precise. The differential (some folks think of it as the second differential and if that is how it makes sense to you, go right ahead) is the change in the rate of change. If you were cruising down the highway at 70 and all of a sudden you pull off the road into a gas station, your differential speed is very negative (you were going 70, now it feels like 20). When you tear out of more ...

    August in Review, Outlook for September

    The doldrums of summertime were all but that as Wall Street extended its gains from its early March lows. Stock markets, domestically and internationally, continued their winning ways. For the month of August, the S&P 500 rallied 3.4%, Nasdaq rallied 1.5%, the MSCI World Index was up 3.9% (in US dollar terms), while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index lost 0.5% (in US dollar terms). Year to date (through the end of August), the more ...

    Treasury Inflation-Protected Bonds (TIPs) - Worth Buying Now?

    TIPS are much in the news these days and also in the hearts of many investors. Is this the right approach? That depends. If you are looking at TIPS as a long-term hedge against inflation, then TIPS make a lot of sense, nearly all the time. As a tactical move, in anticipation of nearby inflation, we’re not so sure.

    Let’s take a step back and look at TIPS before we go forward. TIPS, or Treasury Inflation-Protected more ...

    Remember Terri Schiavo? Have an Advance Healthcare Directive

    Take the case that many of us will remember -- that of Terri Schiavo. Terri's husband, Michael, fought a long and costly battle to have his wife, Terri -- diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state for several years -- disconnected from her life-sustaining feeding tube.

    Michael in 1998 petitioned the Florida Courts to remove Terri's feeding tube, with ensuing involvement by politicians and advocacy groups of all sorts, including the Florida more ...

    Protecting Your Hard-Earned Assets

    An individual can spend his or her entire career accumulating assets, and then lose them in one nasty lawsuit. Take action now to help shield yourself and your assets from creditors, as well as from excessive taxation.

    All wealthy clients should be concerned about protecting assets from creditors. After all, one big lawsuit is all it takes to rob a client and his/her family of a lifetime's worth of assets. And since there is no way of knowing when such an event may occur, more ...

    Looking Back at the 1981-82 Recession

    It was 27 years ago last week that the market hit its bottom in the 1981-1982 bear market. That market had seen stock prices fall to rock bottom valuations and yet, no one wanted to own stocks that summer. To think, Philip Morris at 6 times earnings and yielding 8%. The environment then was horrendous. Interest rates on long-term Treasury bonds were still at 12%, down from 15% in late 1981. The prime rate had fallen to 17% more ...

    Dog Days of August

    Last Friday (August 14th), investors received news that the University of Michigan/Reuters Consumer Sentiment Index fell to 63.2 from 66.0 in July. The expectation was for a gain to 69.0. Surprise! This number likely caused our drop that day. Stocks turned in a very summer performance last week, shifting on an almost daily basis based on news. The recent upward trend is still in force, but it is starting to lose momentum. One more ...

    Real Estate Performance - 1st Half of 2009

    US real estate has been the worst performing asset class so far this year. Despite signs the worst may be behind us, US real estate has yet to mount a serious recovery, adding to already steep losses in the first half of the year. Even as home prices are finally beginning to stabilize in many key markets, most real estate investment trusts or REITs have continued their downward trends. The reason? While residential real more ...

    How Did Various Asset Classes Perform through July?

    Here, I show you various charts of multiple asset classes. Take my thoughts to heed and actively implement broader diversification into your portfolios.

    Key:

    Dow Jones Ind = Dow Jones Industrial Average (US large stock index)

    S&P 500 = S&P 500 (US large stock index)

    NASDAQ = NASDAQ (US mid-large stock index, no financials)

    Russell 2000 = Russell 2000 more ...

    Debunking the 60/40 Asset Allocation Approach

    I remember an advertisement in the 1980's with GM trying to rekindle the Oldsmobile brand but proclaiming that "It's not your father's Oldsmobile." It obviously didn't work, and in 2004 the last Olds rolled off the assembly line. In a similar vein, the tried-and-true static asset allocation that has been preached for ages of having your investments allocated 60% to stocks (equities) and 40% to bonds (fixed income) has gone the way of Oldsmobile or for that matter, GM.

    Well, I think more ...

    Warren Buffet's Advice

    Did you follow Warren Buffett's advice last year to buy American stocks? In that now famous October 17, 2008 Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, Buffet shared his simple rule for buying stocks: "Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful." Certainly at that time fear had gripped the markets and investors were fleeing equities into cash.

    Well if you did buy at that time, then you are one of the few, the proud, and the bold value more ...

    Tortoise and the Hare - Returns of Stocks vs. Bonds

    It is the story of the tortoise and the hare - one of Aesop's fables - about how a hare was one day ridiculed by a slow-moving tortoise. In response, the tortoise challenged his swift mocker to a race. The hare, confident of winning and having left the tortoise far behind, took a nap. When he awoke, he found that his competitor, crawling slowly and steadily, had already won the race.

    There are similar stories more ...

    Rule of 72 - Rule of Thumb

    Albert Einstein called compound interest the 8th Wonder of the World, but a high rate of interest can work for you or against you. When you invest, it works for you. When you borrow, it works against you.

    The Rule of 72 is a simplified way to determine how long an investment will take to double, given a fixed annual rate of interest. By dividing 72 by the annual rate of return, investors can get a rough estimate of how many years it will take for the more ...

    Thoughts on July's Unemployment Report

    The employment report was delivered right on time on the first Friday of the month. Most economists were expecting a better report this month than last or the one before that. While earlier this year the job-loss number had been trending from -550,000 toward -750,000, the last two months had shown drops and were below -443,000 last month. The best guesses for Friday’s number were around -275,000 until the ADP Employment Report more ...

    Does the Market Rally Have Legs to It?

    That is a good question, and in a similar vein it is like asking if Santa is for real. Well...kind of. Christmas is a time of gift giving, and the market rebound has offered us some gifts as well. It now appears that we have moved away from the Armageddon scenario of last year, and are rebuilding, be it ever so slowly. With the markets on the right trajectory as of recent, it seems safe to come out of our bunkers again. The rocky more ...

    California's IOUs = We Owe More

    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers have negotiated a compromise to close the state's $26 billion + budget deficit, but don’t hold your breath that it will get done easily – it will actually take years to truly close the gap. From the looks of it, it’s mostly accounting gimmicks, deferring expense recognition, delayed implementation of programs, and taking money from cities and counties that truly need more ...

    How Do Retirees Earn the Income They Need?

    If you listen close enough, you might hear the stampede of retirees running down to Wal-Mart for the newly opened "greeter" position. I hope it doesn't come to that, but it is tough to make ends meet, especially when expenses are up and income is down.

    Those just retiring or looking to retire definitely know there is risk in their investment portfolios. They face risk from outliving their savings and from inflation which more ...

    What Should I Keep in Mind in All Financial Climates?

    Recently, we were reminded of just how unpredictable the market can be. And while we can't really control the market, we can remember some basic fundamental truths1 that will help us weather any storm.

    Twelve fundamental truths of investing

    1. Over the long term, stocks have had greater total returns than bonds.

    2. Over the long term, bonds have had greater total returns than money market funds.

    3. On average, stocks are much riskier than more ...

    Welcome Fidelity Investments

    We are pleased to announce the latest custodian to be working with Green Valley Wealth Advisors, Fidelity Investments.

    Take a video tour of Fidelity's trading capabilities and services

    As an independent investment advisor, we do not hold assets for our clients. We exercise only a limited power of attorney to direct a client's trades within the client's account as per terms agreed upon with each more ...

    Global Warming....Economically, Not Ecologically

    With the markets on the right trajectory as of recent, it seems safe to come out of our bunkers again. The rocky start to the year has revealed an almost unprecedented opportunity for investors -- a chance for a fresh start to 2009. After an abysmal start in January and February, March, April and May have rewarded investors with a nice sustained 3-month rally which has brought us back to being flat to up for the year. Just as the more ...

    Moving Forward Together

    Currently, Americans are experiencing a market occurrence so improbable and unpredictable that economists believe it to be a once in a lifetime type of event. The result, of course, is many portfolios are in disarray. So how do you recover your losses while at the same time managing risk in your portfolio? Although economists are calling this a “Black more ...

    The Case for Investing Internationally

    Many countries are growing faster than the US, and when global markets do rebound, they'll show individual strengths you'd be wise to have bet on. Just when more investors were warming to the benefits of global investing, global stocks tanked. When the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell ~ 40% last year, the damage outside the US was worse—and in emerging markets, it was devastating – with international markets down 50-60%, on average.

    The severity of the downturn more ...

    Peter Bernstein (Remembrance of a mentor, 1919-2009)

    "The stock market has a split personality; it gives -- and it is unforgiving. Investors can't possibly know in advance which character they are going to encounter, so the best of them prepare for both." - sage advice by Peter Bernstein

    Peter L. Bernstein, the financial historian, economist, educator, and best-selling author, understood this reality better than most. "I begin every day with the mantra, 'I don't know,'" he once told an interviewer.

    Of course, only more ...

    Disclaimer: All articles are for informational purposes only and do not constitute offers/solicitations to sell or purchase any security or investment product or service; this information is provided solely for your personal use and is not intended to be investment advice; all investments are subject to risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested; diversification does not protect against a loss in a declining market or ensure a profit; stocks of companies in emerging markets are generally more risky than stocks of companies in developed countries; foreign investing involves additional risks including currency fluctuations and political uncertainty; prices of mid- and small-cap stocks often fluctuate more than those of large-company stocks; investments in bonds are subject to interest rate, credit, and inflation risk; past performance is no guarantee of future results; nothing constitutes tax or legal advice; investment products described herein are not bank deposits; are not insured by the FDIC or any other governmental entity; are neither obligations of, nor guaranteed by Green Valley Wealth Advisors, LLC. We are not responsible for the accuracy or content on third party websites; any and all links are offered only for use at your own discretion; and our privacy policies do not apply to linked websites.