Financial Model Blog

Know who holds the crown - Mobile App or Website

Know who takes the crown - the app or website

A battle to the finish



We all carry a smart phone by now - or at least most of us. There are a growing number of retired clients of ours who are new to the smart phone space. For years they fought it and went with a pre-paid, but now they're indulging in the luxuries of having access to a multitude of things at their fingertips.


So, what's the big difference between a website or a fancy new app? They typically offer the same stuff and it can be hard to see the advantages on the surface. Many times the mobile apps don't actually give you as much access or range of functionality. At first, the app sounds like a clunky, water downed version of a fully immersive website with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from that fancy Cadillac. There's more to the debate than meets the eye and those of us who have embraced apps as a way to stay connected and efficient, understand their purpose.


For starters, mobile apps offer much better personalization. This can be done based on interests, location, behavior and even more. The apps allow users to establish preferences when you set things up. A website is static and NOT typically customized for each individual client or consumer.


Then there's notifications and how they're being sent to its users. In the past email was a great way to communicate with users of a site, but some have overused or abused it and its lost some of its effectiveness. Notifications from a mobile app can be tweaked by users to allow for push, in-app or even emails. This gives the user control over how and what they want to get notices for.


Using a mobile web browsers to access a companies website can be a bit challenging even with the largest smart phones. It's a funny thing how trends change over time. In the past phones were on mission to build the smallest phones that could easily fit inside a pocket or jacket. They folded in half, were mainly used for calls then graduated to texting and web browsing. The apps of today provide its users one main thing - access with convenience.



Why blog about an app versus a website and who cares? Although most of our younger clientele have downloaded our app and use it often; many don't even know one exists. It's a fast and easy way to access your accounts with various ways to securely log into your account. Additional features are being added all the time, but the app exists today. We have it available and ready for download now!


Remote deposit, statements, tax forms, biometric log in, performance, announcements and letters are on their way. If you want to know more about our app and begin using it - reach out to your Monarch advisor or schedule a meeting with me to become a new client and explore all the benefits we have to offer.


In terms of a champ - it's not a winner take all but more of a preference. Each has its place in keeping tabs on your investments, performance, statements, communication or anything else financial. More robust options exist on a website, but you always have your phone on you with the ability to quickly take a look at things on the fly. We think both are essential to maintain efficiency and remain active in pursuing your financial goals.

Want to learn more? Follow our latest market commentary, firm updates, or anything financial via our blog or Podcast.





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Danger Ahead

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

Danger ahead or does the party continue?  Despite political unrest, chaos in the streets, high unemployment, looming inflation, and concerns about a return to normalcy, the market has been kind to us.  That does assume that we have been invested the entire time and not made a knee-jerk reaction to the unprecedented events that unraveled in the past year.  Does that mean that all of us have done just that? No - of course not!  Recently, we have been meeting with potential clients who have allowed their nerves to get the better of them.  After losing around 30% in March/April, they sold investments and remained anxiously waiting in a cash position.  Looking back now does nothing good for those in the camp that the sky was falling.  With that said, how does that create a learning narrative and impact decisions moving forward?  A logical question you may be thinking about even if you were invested the entire time. 

Danger ahead?  Well, maybe - but what does that actually mean, and how does it impact your overall investment philosophy?  The reality is, nobody truly knows when the market will "correct" or go into bear market territory.  We are NOT "Perma-Bulls" by any means, but that doesn't mean that we would ever recommend going 100% to cash.  In our 25+ years of combined experience, we have yet to see that strategy pan out.  The market is fickle.  It has no feelings, doesn't know how to tell time, and doesn't care about year-to-date performance.  It can be your best friend and your worst enemy; many times over a short period of time.  At some point valuations will matter.  That's right, earnings, cash flow, balance sheet, and future sales potential will come into focus.  

Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

Attempts to be a hero and avoid market crashes can be a costly novice mistake.  Possibly the worst investment at this current point in time is cash.  So, does this mean that you should do nothing, remain invested the entire time, and become an innocent bystander as your account gets slaughtered?  In short, no!  Not at all.  Keep in mind the stock market has two ends of any trade.  There is always someone making money whether the market is going up or down.  Finding areas of the market that appear to be undervalued or provide potential upside is our job.  It's literally what we are paid to do each and every day.  

Is there anything you can do to protect your income or principal?  Of course, there is, but that comes with a number of follow-up questions and trade-offs with respect to capping your overall return or tying up your capital for a given period of time.  We have ways to hedge against loss, speculate in certain sectors, or even provide defined downside protection.  Yes, it's true - there are things you can do to help protect against loss.  That in itself is a lengthy discussion and can be done in many ways that are specific to each individual.  The point is that you can and should be taking action if it's imperative to meet your needs, goals, and comfort.  In many cases, active management and diversification will tackle those challenges and mitigate your willingness to make a foolish decision.   

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett  GETTY IMAGES

What are the "experts" saying about the market right now?  We cannot ignore the insights from the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet, and his often candid commentary on the market.  In the latest article citing Mr. Buffet, (FOUND HERE) his market indicator reveals that prices are expensive and a correction may be around the corner.  Like most of us, logic, rationality, and common sense don't always line up with market returns.  The market knows no time.  As the Oracle has mentioned in other articles, "...They are dancing in a room in which the clocks have no hands" (FOUND HERE).  

The quote is from 2000 and has relevance over 21 years later.  The question shouldn't be "if" the market is going to crash, but "when"?  It will happen and you will see your account value drop.  Market cycles are a natural thing that reigns in pricing that has run up a little too far ahead of itself.  If you've been investing in the past two decades you would have experienced full market cycles that bring down account values and create opportunities.  Stocks become a moving target that requires discipline, strategy, and nerves of steel.  We watch the markets tick by tick, hour by hour and it's something we don't recommend for the average investor.  The number of emotions that can run through your head during the course of a day can be astounding.  

Photo by Heidi Fin on Unsplash

Investing is a journey.  This is NOT a sprint and shouldn't be treated as such.  It's something we hope to be a part of and provide you guidance, knowledge, support, and disciplined strategies as we navigate through inefficiencies of the market.  We remain diligent and active in our approach to money management and believe this will aid you in the pursuit of your goals.  Although we are not market timers, don't employ leverage, or take on high-risk "bets", we do what we can to protect on the downside and seize opportunities when they present themselves.  If you are new to our firm or investing, the one thing we can guarantee is that the market will go up and down.  It's not a one-way street and that has to be embraced.  Long-time clients of ours know and understand this.  We communicate our strategies and rationale in the most difficult of times; the times when most money managers do not want to meet or discuss things.  

If you have money to put to work, a looming market correction should not impair your goals.  It might mean the type of investments selected are different when things of yesteryear are no longer relevant and change is around the corner.  We have a number of headwinds that will work to combat market appreciation and there will always be hints of a catalyst to move the market higher.  Remain focused on your goals and we will help work towards achieving those outcomes. Consider our firm as a true partner in your overall journey we call life. 


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Want to learn more? Follow our latest market commentary, firm updates, or anything financial via our blog or Podcast.




Listen on your favorite platform:



Sell Your Stocks and Head for the Hills?

Photo by Joe Caione on Unsplash

"Sell in May and Go Away" was an old adage used to advise clients to sell their portfolios during this time.  There has been some historical evidence that in cases has proven beneficial, but that evidence has been conflicting; especially in the past decade.  If you had followed that advice and sold your portfolio boy would that have been a major mistake!  You see in eight of the past ten years the market has been positive and not by a marginal amount either.  The historical stats told a compelling story from the '50s until around 2013.  Is it by chance, is there evidence or is something else happening here?  People have claimed that most Hedge-Fund managers take off from May - October to enjoy some downtime from stress and take those typically warmer months to travel and lay low.  The one thing to note is access to trading platforms and how the markets have evolved.  We can all pretty much trade and react within minutes if not, seconds, of getting news about market movers.  That was all changed with smartphones and the apps that have leveled the playing field.          

With that logic, what might we expect for this period and what's happening right now?  We have discussed the rotation out of tech and into value for months now on our PennyWise Financial Podcast.  We continue to see this theme play out and it does not appear that the shift will end anytime soon.  European markets appear to be weak and the virus is still a major headwind for those economies.  We view the European markets and International to be behind the U.S. markets by about 6 months or more.  

Print baby, Print!  That has been happening for a while now and the government seems to be ramping up the distribution of funds with programs to help.  Everyone agrees on the need for programs to exist, but how and why they hand over greenbacks is something left for discussion.  Inflation should be one of the primary risks for investors right now.  It is also the primary risk to bondholders.  That's right, the people who wanted safety and didn't want to invest in the stock market could have some challenging times ahead.  

Some other factors to include in your portfolio allocation is the looming tax legislation proposals for a corporate tax hike, capital gains tax, and estate taxes.  Value stocks are trading at a lower multiple than the high-flying large tech companies which makes them much cheaper and more attractive.  Where are managers getting the cash to buy these value names?  In your portfolio!  They are looking to peel back some of the gains in the tech sector, lock in profits and look for the next big score.  

At the end of the day, we consider all these types of considerations to be valid, except the adage to rip all your money out of your investments to sit in cash.  Stocks and the stock market don't pay attention to calendars, year-to-date returns, or any other correlation we try to formulate to use as the rationale.  Earnings, market conditions, sentiment, employment, interest rates, GDP, legislation, and other factors are real metrics to use when analyzing your investments.  We don't follow the "Sell in May and Go Away" strategy as we view this as baseless and a matter of coincidence.  We're not believers and we don't think you should be either.

Disclaimer: The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. Some of this material was developed and produced by Basch Solutions to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. Basch Solutions is not affiliated with the named representative, broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA & SIPC. Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, a Registered Investment Advisor.

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