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The Cordant Blog

Quarterly Investment Review: Q3 2015

by Isaac Presley, CFA on October 27, 2015

We are more often frightened than hurt: and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.  ~Seneca

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. ~Mark Twain


The third quarter was not a good quarter for world stock markets—It’s nice to have it in the rearview mirror. Emerging market stocks fell nearly 18% in the quarter, International developed stocks fell 10% and U.S. large cap stocks were down 6%. No portion of the equity market escaped the decline.

However, as should be expected, diversification provided cushion to the equity market drop. Managed futures, bonds and REITs all produced positive returns in the quarter and hedge funds fell less than stocks.

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The Right Tools For The Job

by Isaac Presley, CFA on September 08, 2015

I competed in my first triathlon recently. The race was a challenge, but also a lot of fun. And while I completed the race (and beat my friend who talked me into signing up!), there is a lot of room for improvement if I decide to compete again—especially on the bike.

You see, I went on a grand total of one training ride and was in the saddle of a mid-1970’s Motobecane Nomad Sprint—not exactly the latest and greatest in biking technology.

Finishing the race wasn’t the problem. But, better preparation and having the right tools for the job (e.g., a better bike and cycling gear) would have made for a better result.

Whether you’re a triathlete or investor, you can benefit from the same concepts: Preparing, instead of winging it, and having the right tools for the job will translate into a much better outcome.

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Why one of the best investors of all time needs a financial advisor

by Isaac Presley, CFA on March 10, 2015

Bill Gross (a.k.a. the “Bond King”) is one of the most successful investors of his generation. He co-founded PIMCO (a bond investment company) in 1971 with $12 million in assets to manage… and prior to his departure in late-2014, the company had grown to more than 2,000 employees and over $1 trillion (yes, trillion with a “T”) in assets managed.

Why would an investor this accomplished and successful need a financial advisor?

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Is your broker set up to fail?

by Cordant on October 14, 2014

In a recent news story, a large advisory team at a major brokerage firm was fired for what is known as “selling away”. For those of you that aren’t familiar, "selling away" is a securities rule that prohibits employees of brokerage firms from soliciting customers to buy an investment that has not been approved or vetted by their firm.

Seems like good procedure – right? On the surface, this rule helps to ensure you are not sold an investment or product that has not received the proper level of due diligence. But if you look a bit deeper, the rule against “selling away” highlights a key downside to working with a larger brokerage firm: by law, the broker is bound to put his/her firm’s interest first.

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7 Tips for Protecting Your Financial Information

by Cordant on August 19, 2014

Online security has been a hot topic of conversation lately, and it’s easy to see why. It seems like every week we’re hearing a story about another breach, and many people are becoming wary about the accessibility of their financial information. It’s hard to forget mega retailer Target Corp.’s recent data hack, deemed one of the biggest cybercrimes of all time, and just last month China was accused of hacking into Canada’s National Research Council.

Pretty ominous stuff. Some find themselves asking: If so many big companies can be hacked, will my personal information be next? Is refraining from any online interactions the only way to keep it safe?

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4 Hidden Investment Expenses that May Be Undermining Your Returns

by Isaac Presley, CFA on July 29, 2014

"What does it cost?"

It’s no secret that effectively managing your wealth requires an intentional approach to selecting your investments. But what many don’t realize is the importance of identifying and considering the costs associated with certain investment vehicles.

Investment fees can be a big detractor from the net returns you end up realizing in your portfolio. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand your total investment costs and minimize unnecessary expenses—those that are not intentional and strategic.

Certain costs incurred when buying, selling, or holding an investment can go un-published – and these “hidden” costs can make it very challenging to understand the true expense of your wealth management.

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Why I Became a Cordant Ambassador...

by Dave Unzicker on July 23, 2014

"Do I really Want to do this?"

When William first approached me about becoming a Cordant Ambassador and helping to grow Cordant’s client list, I had to consider whether, after seven years of enjoying retirement, I really wanted to go back to work. After all I was quite content with my lifestyle and the activities that I chose to fill my time: golf, tutoring students in math and science, travel, family, Scouts, etc. I certainly did not need to work.

So it really came down to the question, “Do I really want to do this?”

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Why I Left Wall Street...

by William Anfuso on July 01, 2014

We’ve shared a bit about the story of our business - but my personal journey is not as widely known. The fact is – before founding Cordant in 2010, I spent almost 10 years at a major Wall Street firm, as a Wealth Advisor and (later) Senior Vice President.

Many considered my time there successful - I built a strong wealth management team (many of whom are still with me today), established deep relationships with clients, had a clean compliance record, participated on the financial planning counsel, and consistently ranked as one of the firm’s top advisors.

Like most top-tier advisors running a team on Wall Street, I made good money. Which is why many (my wife included) thought I was a little crazy when I chose to walk away from a financially lucrative career in order to deliver much more to clients and ultimately, to help change how the industry manages wealth.

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How to Select & Manage your Assets in Retirement

by Isaac Presley, CFA on July 01, 2014

Preserving your quality of life in retirement is no simple task. It requires not only a holistic approach to your overall wealth management, but also a deliberate focus on building an optimized portfolio. Being intentional with your investment decisions can add tremendous value to your portfolio in retirement.

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