Welcome to the Herd Mentality

In 1976 I went to work as a stockbroker. Five other brokers and I shared a bullpen, the perfect Petri dish for the Herd Mentality. Every two desks shared a stock quote machine. We were in constant earshot of each other and “dialed for dollars,” almost in unison. When one of us hit a dry

Dying With a Will Could be the Least of Your Problems

Advanced estate planning can’t include every “what-if” scenario. In my wife’s family things didn’t exactly play out like they’d planned. Her parents each wrote their own obituary years before their deaths…or so we thought. It turns out that Anne’s mother authored both obituaries. Her mother’s read that her husband “preceded her in death” and his

Fiduciary School Bus Drivers

Seven years after the Obama Administration proposed a fiduciary rule to protect investors’ retirement accounts from conflicted advice, the DoL Fiduciary Rule finally went into effect June 9, 2017. What does that mean for investors? Imagine a world where no school system owns their own buses. All busing has been privatized and the DoL Fiduciary

Financial Industry Lost in Translation

Petanque Pétanque is a Bocce-like game that is fun-loving, raucous and peasant-inspired with large doses of heckling the opposing team. This winner-take-all game includes bragging rights and the losing team furnishes Veuve Clicquot champagne. Below I will show you our discovery of this game and how it often relates to financial literacy. Petanque Discovery Through

Market Commentary Q4 – 2016

“Look at me, look at me, I am the Captain Now!” On Election Eve, pollsters predicted Donald Trump’s probabilities of winning at around 12%. By Election night, the world experienced a low probability, high impact event. As Mr. Trump neared 270 Electoral College votes, investors flew to safety: bond prices soared, the dollar sank, and

Our New Name

Nothing has changed except our logo... ...and the letterhead, business cards, and of course the new website. After nearly 30 years as Jonathan Smith & Co. Investment Counsel we have changed our name to Smith Partners Wealth Management. When I founded Jonathan Smith & Co., it was just that: me, breaking free from the commission-driven

Market Commentary Q2 – 2016

Lost in the Woods On June 24th, more than 30 million citizens of the United Kingdom turned out to vote on the issue off their sovereign state’s future relationship with the European Union. With a surprising 52% majority, the “Leaves” won and the “Brexit” wheels were set in motion. According to The Economist, in the

Market Commentary Q1 – 2016

You’re Hired, Here’s Your Phonebook. Not the Actual DOL Rulebook…But Close Just sit here and mumble your first name, maybe they won’t know the difference.” It was the summer of 1976 and I had recently graduated from Guilford College and somehow landed a job as a stockbroker. This was an odd thing, since I knew