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The Cordant Blog

Balancing Earning a Salary with Managing Your Wealth

by Dave Unzicker on April 26, 2016

Retired_Coffee_Shop.jpegWhen you reach the end of your Intel career and make the shift into retirement, will you know what you can expect this next stage of your life to be like?  For many it’ll be a mystery.  But for those who plan and intentionally prepare for it (and I don’t just mean saving money) much of the mystery is removed.  And retirement then becomes a gift to eagerly anticipate!

Life is continually bombarding us with demands for one of our most precious, and limited resources--our time.  For a lot of people the demands of their work or business get filled first as the needs to generate a paycheck and build a career are important to them.  Any remaining time gets allocated to other competing priorities like family, community, and one’s self.  Generally it is this last one that ends up being most short-changed in the process. 

I know this is how I operated during my years at Intel.

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A Career Inflection Point: Navigating the Pending Intel Job Cuts

by Isaac Presley, CFA on April 19, 2016

According to Mike Rogoway at the Oregonian, Intel is gearing up for a round of job cuts that could be announced as early as this week. And, if his sources are correct, this reduction could be more substantial than those done last year. [Update: Intel has announced a reduction of 12,000 jobs worldwide, 11% of the global workforce.] The cuts may signal a shift of focus for Intel and will undoubtedly impact many on an individual level.

And if that’s you, Cordant has some resources, listed below, that may help you if you’re impacted by this round of cuts—a personal strategic inflection point so to speak.

More than an average round of cuts, the current shake up in executive ranks may signal that Intel views itself as being at what the late Andy Grove termed a “strategic inflection point.” According to Jim McGregor, the founder of tech-industry strategist TIRIAS Research, “after seeing the upheaval in senior staff, it would not surprise me if structural changes are finally afoot.” He sees Intel heading for a “profound shift” as evidenced by its slowing of the pace for Moore’s Law and a consolidation of certain operations. As quoted by the Oregonian, McGregor says, “the company is finally realizing things have changed for the long term and they've shifted the focus of the company."

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Investing Lessons From Intel's Copy Exactly Philosophy

by Isaac Presley, CFA on March 29, 2016

Last week, in the New York Times Gary Belsky wrote an article titled Why We Think We’re Better Investors Than We Are." In it, he lists several common cognitive biases which lead people to make poor investment decisions. 

However, I suspect (due to the first bias Belsky lists—overconfidence) a lot of individuals who read this article are going to think, “Sure, this stuff is true for most people—but, not me. I’m different.” Belsky puts it like this:

“Ask a random player in a law firm’s basketball league whether he or she could compete with LeBron James, and the most common response will be laughter. Yet many of those lawyers would willingly compete with the billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett.”

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Upcoming Retirement Workshop: Navigating the Intel Retirement Plan

by Isaac Presley, CFA on March 17, 2016

Making a decision when faced with numerous different options can be daunting. But when it comes to your investment accounts and your financial well-being in retirement, making the right decision is quite important.

In a 2000 study, researchers from Stanford and Columbia Universities assessed people's ability to choose in the face of many options.  In the experiment, customers shopping at an upscalesupermarket encountered a tasting booth displaying either six or twenty-four different flavors of jam. They found only 3% of those given the extensive samples (twenty-four different flavor options) purchased jam. However, those presented with only six options were ten times more likely to make a purchase. 

Having a more manageable set of choices lead more people to take action.

And least you think this only applies to something trivial like flavors of jam, it carries over to investing as well.

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Is it Time to Abandon Emerging Market Stocks?

by Isaac Presley, CFA on March 08, 2016

Emerging market stocks have struggled quite a bit recently. Down 15% last year and significantly underperforming U.S. stocks since mid-year 2012, some investors are wondering: Is it time to abandon Emerging market stocks? 

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How to increase investment options in your Intel Retirement accounts

by Isaac Presley, CFA on February 29, 2016

Integrate, v. \ˈin-tə-ˌgrāt\ To form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole

A frequent complaint we hear from Intel employees surrounds the investment restrictions in their retirement accounts. While the investment options in the accounts are increasing, you are still limited to a preset menu in each account. Those wishing to expand their allocation beyond this list of funds cannot do so within their retirement accounts.

A process we call Investment Integration can solve this issue in addition to minimizing your taxes and expenses.

One of the most common things we see when doing a portfolio review is the lack of a cohesive strategy uniting different investment accounts. Typically, each account is treated individually and perhaps considered a separate bucket with a unique goal—in other words, the different investment accounts are not integrated.

Investment Integration is a process by which all accounts are viewed as part of one combined portfolio, and then each account is simply used for it's highest and best use.

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How to Set Financial Goals [Free Intel Financial Goal Worksheet]

by Isaac Presley, CFA on February 25, 2016

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” ~ Napolean Hill

Anytime is the right time to set financial goals. The beginning of the year may be a popular time to set them—with nearly half of all Americans reporting that they “usually make” a New Year’s resolution—but, January isn’t the only time of the year to do it. It’s never too late to get your financial house in order. (Side note: this article was supposed to go up at the beginning of the year, something that obviously didn’t happen, but the key, of course, is doing it at some point.)  So the best time to set your financial goals is NOW, whenever this may be!

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The Myth of Wall Street and Ben Graham on The Power of a Simple and Consistent Approach

by Isaac Presley, CFA on February 18, 2016

Everyone enjoys a good story. Whether reading a book, watching a movie, or talking with friends, stories are a great way to share, learn, and connect.

 But when it comes to investing, the stories we believe—the stories told in the financial media and by Wall Street—often lead us astray.

 The entire purpose of a good story is to trigger an emotional response, but emotionally responding when it comes to money is counterproductive.

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Intel Settlement Check: A Reminder About the Importance of Alignment

by Scott Malbasa, J.D., CFP® on February 02, 2016

If you’re a current or former Intel employee, you may have received a settlement check that resulted from a class action lawsuit. Some of our clients contacted us about the legitimacy of the check.

You may remember reading about the lawsuit filed in 2011 which alleged four Silicon Valley companies (Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe Systems) agreed to not poach each others' top engineers, and that such an agreement violated federal anti-trust laws by serving to fix and suppress employee compensation. There is a lot of related news online, but here Reuters has a good update on the case here. And if you're really interested (or bored) a full copy of the complaint can be found here as well. 

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How to Pick the Best funds in the Intel 401k

by Isaac Presley, CFA on January 07, 2016

Because we help our clients manage their Intel 401k, retirement contribution and SEPLUS accounts, we frequently get asked, ‘what are the best funds in the Intel retirement plan?’ Just give me the list: should be pretty simple.

Well it’s not quite that straightforward and here’s why. Picking the best investment options is a little bit like picking the “best” flavor of ice cream—pretty hard to do right? There are many good flavors of ice cream and the “right” one for you may vary depending on your individual palate, your current mood, and where you’re buying the ice cream: are they famous from something? Do they have a specialty? Is something in season? You get the idea. 

Picking the ‘best’ investment fund is similar. The best fund for you is going to depend on your individual goals and objectives and matching that with what’s available in the Intel retirement plan.

Navigating the Intel Investment Options

Now you may be thinking this sounds difficult, but like any key decision, it’s made easier with a proper process. Here is our 4-step framework to navigating the Intel retirement plan.

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