Financial Advisor News

Piedmont, CA

Financial Advisor News

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Piedmont, CA

by: ALISON VAN DYKE

FIRST AND MAIN FINANCIAL

(510) 601-1935

Oakland, CA | East Bay; Financial Planning and Investing for the Long Term

Hi, I’m Erik Wolfers. I’m the managing member of First & Main Financial. We’ve been helping clients achieve positive financial outcomes since 2001.

Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about the long-term. When we’re investing for a client, we are investing for their entire life; it could be decades. We just recently got a client in his early twenties and so he has decades to invest—and positive movement for clients when they’re young or throughout their lives with respect to their investment portfolios, can make an enormous difference in their well-being and also in the outcome that they achieve.

One has to have a long-term perspective, the perspective of the individual, the holistic perspective, because we do go through periods of adverse market conditions or bad economic cycles. Right now, we’re just clear of the most rapid drop ever in the history of the stock market with a recovery that’s unbelievable to some people—but the stock market has recovered very well. Parts of the stock market are still depressed, but I’ve been through several adverse market cycles and when we have clients who start with us two or three years before a bad market cycle, then at the end of two or three years their returns are not great. They might be positive—we have clients who’ve been with us for about three years that have gotten pretty decent returns, but they’re not like long-term average returns and that’s because there’s a dip in the middle.

It’s natural to think that something’s wrong or that you should make changes to a portfolio, but again we’re investing for decades for most people, and so some number of years from now this dip for this adverse market environment will be a hazy memory, although what’s happened during this time may not be so hazy because it’s so unusual.

Working with us, we know who you are, what you’re about, what your time frames are, and that’s why and how we’re always going to invest your money: to try to get the best outcome for you. We would like to keep people from making changes that may permanently impair their wealth, which is what often happens when markets get wacky like they did back in March and April this year. So, be sure to have an investment horizon and attach your mind to investing horizons that are appropriate for your entire life.

If you are looking for some financial guidance; whether for a one time financial plan or continuing advice on your investments, we invite you to meet with a First & Main Financial planner for a free consultation. We would be more than happy to sit down with you, assess your situation and review our services to help navigate your financial future.

Oakland, CA | College Planning: The Coddling of the American Mind Book Review

Hi my name is Erik Wolfers. I’m the managing Member First Main Financial. We’ve been helping our clients with personal finances since 2001.

Today I’m going to do another book review or consideration of a book called, The Coddling of the American Mind. It’s somewhat of a provocative title, but it is a very fitting title.

This book covers many of the issues and explains many of the issues and phenomenon that are dictating some of the open discourse or movements that are happening in our country today. The book does have some opinion in it, but the opinion is grounded in science or fact; but a lot of it’s just an explanation or a story of many things that have happened in our country over the last couple of decades.

The reason I’m bringing this up in financial terms is because we help many of our clients consider funding education for their children—higher education—and private school being pretty significantly more expensive than public universities; and there are trends highlighted in this book about some schools forgoing the mission of discovering truth and teaching critical thinking, and going more towards teaching ideology or teaching someone what to think as opposed to how to think.

So, if you are considering a university with your child—especially private university, a concept has emerged which many people (schools) have adopted, and some schools are not worth paying for because they’ve they’ve abandoned their original mission of discovering truth and spreading truth and teaching people really how to think and become great members of their society and hopefully create positive change—so I encourage you to read it and think about these issues as they pertain to paying for higher education for your kids.

If you are looking for some financial guidance; whether for a one time financial plan or continuing advice on your investments, we invite you to meet with a First & Main Financial planner for a free consultation. We would be more than happy to sit down with you, assess your situation and review our services to help navigate your financial future.

Oakland, CA | Financial Planning; Understanding the Mind: Thinking Fast and Slow

Hi, my name is Erik Wolfers. I’m the managing member of First & Main Financial. We’ve been helping clients with personal finances since 2001. Today I’m going to talk a little bit about the investing mind or the investing mindset.

If you haven’t heard of or read a book called Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman—it’s a very dense but fantastic book. Daniel Kahneman is a behavioral economist who won the Nobel Prize, and he and his research partner discovered many things about how people react or behave depending on certain circumstances.

I think it’s easy to argue that if you don’t have good control of your mind or understand how your mind works, then it’s tough to be a good investor. The mind can come up with a lot of things depending on circumstances or emotions or past experiences that may feel good or feel scary, and then if you go against what feels scary than you feel good or better, and this may be against your best interest as an investor.

As a professional investor we focus on knowing the things that can be known. There are a lot of facts and proofs and science that goes into personal finance and investing—sticking with those things while constantly monitoring markets and economics and making a determination about how it all plays out, and whether there’s a sense in doing something different or not doing something different over time, so that our clients get the best results that were capable of.

There’s actually a lot of ancient wisdom that goes into the concept of controlling your mind or understanding your mind, so there are a lot of benefits, not only in long-term investment success, but also just in having a good and balanced life.

If you are looking for some financial guidance; whether for a one time financial plan or continuing advice on your investments, we invite you to meet with a First & Main Financial planner for a free consultation. We would be more than happy to sit down with you, assess your situation and review our services to help navigate your financial future.

Oakland, CA | East Bay; Financial Planning Lessons: The Millionaire Next Door

Hi, I’m Eric Wolfers. I’m the managing member of First & Main Financial. We’ve been helping clients with wealth management and financial planning since 2001. We also help clients with 1031 exchanges into Delaware Statutory Trusts and Donor Advised Funds as well as providing 401K plans—the best 401K plans I’ve ever seen.

Today I want to do a book review of sorts, about a book: The Millionaire Next Door.

I read this book years ago and it has some incredibly simple messages that ring true. The interesting part about the book is that someone studied millionaires in an effort to try to share that information with the financial services industry so they can better serve or win the business of millionaires.

And the surprise that came out of that book was that most millionaires, the majority of millionaires, were just average people that saved money. People had save money for a decent number of years of their lives, multiple decades, saved and invested wisely. So, some of the most simple messages that ring true for anyone are: save money, save money all the time.

If you’re a student you might not be able to save money, but if you are making money and you save money and you invest the money, it will turn into more money over time.

Many people in our society have a hard time creating wealth, but choices can be made that allow you to accumulate wealth.

Some of the other key points about the average millionaire, back when the book was written, was that they just don’t spend extravagantly. They live within their means—which goes back to point one: always save money.

And there are very high-quality, low-cost investment solutions available. People don’t necessarily need to work with someone like us; although people often do like to count on us and our expertise. But, there are great solutions out there, you just have to know what you’re looking for.

The financial services industry generally isn’t doing you any favors with the number of products and information that they’re pushing, mostly just to get your attention and get your assets, so they can be paid on your your investments.

I recommend The Millionaire Next Door, it’s got some amazing simple messages to follow throughout life; and anyone can be a millionaire, if they save for long enough and save enough and invest well and invest wisely.

If you are looking for some financial guidance; whether for a one time financial plan or continuing advice on your investments, we invite you to meet with a First & Main Financial planner for a free consultation. We would be more than happy to sit down with you, assess your situation and review our services to help navigate your financial future.

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BIO: At First & Main Financial, Alison Van Dyke helps clients with their financial lives. She has worked in Corporate Finance for Bank of America and Chase Manhattan Bank. Alison is pursuing the CFP® certification; she received her MBA at Georgetown and her B.A. in Political Science from UCLA.

235 Wildwood Avenue,
Piedmont, CA 94610, USA

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Piedmont, CA 94610, USA

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BIO: At First & Main Financial, Alison Van Dyke helps clients with their financial lives. She has worked in Corporate Finance for Bank of America and Chase Manhattan Bank. Alison is pursuing the CFP® certification; she received her MBA at Georgetown and her B.A. in Political Science from UCLA.