True Vine Investments
True Vine Investments is an independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and the investment advisory business of Joshua S. Hall, ChFC. He is located in Williamsport, amongst the mountains of northern Pennsylvania.
Prior to starting True Vine Investments in 2010, Joshua worked for JPMorgan Asset Management for 10 years. He spent the last several years as Vice President and On-boarding Manager for the Global Liquidity business. He earned his Bachelor's of Science Degree in Finance from Susquehanna University in 1999 and his Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation in 2005.
Joshua writes The True Vine Letter, a blog focused on providing financial education and unique investing insight. He is the author of The Truth On Investing: From the Darkness of the Crowd to the Light, a book that provides a framework for people to invest the resources that God has given them—with Him—and precisely the way He has purposed.
Joshua values close relationships with his clients and understands that trustworthiness is the most important characteristic they are looking for in an investment manager. He is very happily married to his wife Michele and they have 3 children. He enjoys the outdoors and being far away from the crowd on Wall Street.
BS, Finance, Susquehanna University
Assets Under Management:
The information provided by Joshua Hall on Investopedia is general in nature and for educational purposes only. It is not to be used or considered as an offer or a solicitation to sell or an offer or solicitation to buy or subscribe for securities, investment products or other financial instruments, nor to constitute any advice or recommendation with respect to such securities, investment products or other financial instruments. It does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation, and the particular needs of any specific person who may read it. You should independently evaluate specific investments and consult a professional before making any investment decisions.
Management fees should be judged by what they produce for the investor. 2% a year is not too high if the investment advisor (1) produces a superior net rate of return over time, compared to other cookie cutter options, (2) provides a high level of customized service, and (3) is a trustworthy individual/firm that knows you and your situation. It is a common mistake by investors to simply compare fees between investment advisors as if they are all the same. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here is a simple example that demonstrates the value of superior net returns. A $10,000 initial investment invested for 30 years that earns an average annual return of 8% will grow to $100,600. At 10%, it will grow to $174,500 and at 12%, it will grow to $299,600. If an investor hirers a manager that can generate superior long-term returns, then they could theoretically have a retirement fund that is 3x (or more) larger.
Quality advisors can also help clients save thousands of dollars over time by providing them with good advice on tax deferred savings vehicles, etc.
If a firm is charging 2% to be invested in plain vanilla fund options and you never hear from your advisor, then the fee is too high.
The fact that you are now paying more for what might be the same type of investments and possibly no change in the level of service is telling. In general, when customers work with larger firms, the level of customization and ability to earn exceptional investment performance drops off fast. I say this as someone who used to work for a large investment firm and now owns my own independent investment advisory business.
Joshua Hall, ChFC
The popular U.S. stock indices have recently hit new highs because market participants are anticipating that the Trump administration's policy stance and the Republican control of Congress will lead to lower taxes and reduced regulation which would generally be positive for U.S. companies. It is too early to gauge if the new administration is really spurring economic growth or if we simply have a strong uptick in business and consumer confidence in anticipation of economic growth.
In general, the stock market is forward looking. It will price in anticipated actions ahead of time and that is what we are seeing now. Certain plans could be implemented, yet the market could conceivably fall if it views them to be not quite what was expected.
Keep in mind that certain sectors may also be driving the overall market to new higher levels, while other sectors languish. For example, interest rates are rising which generally benefits the Financials sector because banks are able to earn higher margins on their loans. Year-to-date, the Financials sector is up almost 7%. This is an example of one underlying factor that may not necessarily be attributable to President Trump that is influencing the broader indices.
A common mistake investors make when looking at larger capitalization U.S. indices, like the DJIA and S&P 500, is to ignore the impact of global capital flows. So far in 2017, the U.S. small cap indices, such as the Russell 2000, are barely positive while these large cap indices have clearly outperformed. To some extent, this could be the result of foreign investors seeking perceived safety in blue chip U.S. stocks, especially given the recent out-performance of the U.S. dollar. Owning U.S. stocks when the U.S. dollar is rising is a double win for foreign investors. With much political uncertainty in Europe right now, deep pocketed institutional investors could be increasing their allocation to these highly liquid, large cap U.S. shares.
Joshua Hall, ChFC
First, other than its effect on your earnings history with Social Security, the age you actually retire has no impact on your monthly benefit. What matters is when you decide to begin collecting your benefit. I assume you understand this, but just wanted to make sure this is clear.
If you have not done so already, go to the My Social Security website at socialsecurity.gov and create an account. From here you can view your earnings history, estimated benefit, and most recent statement.
The website and/or your recent statement will show you your estimated monthly benefit as of your Full Retirement Age (FRA), which is most likely age 67 for you. Since you plan on delaying your benefit until age 70, Social Security will increase your monthly benefit by 8% each year. You should thus expect your monthly benefit to be 24% higher than what is projected for you at FRA.
It is important to understand that this benefit is in today's dollars. Under current law, Social Security will continue to adjust your benefit higher as the cost of living increases over time.
For more information on the basics of Social Security, which covers this and other topics in more detail, check out my recent True Vine Letter.
I hope you found this helpful.
Joshua Hall, ChFC
A large portion of the professional investment community views gold as "real" money because it cannot be printed (and manipulated) like paper money that has no inherent tangible value. Gold is commonly viewed as money amongst the general population of many Asian countries and countries with more recent experiences of monetary failure (e.g., Argentina). Here is my detailed take on the subject. Accordingly, gold tends to rise in price when the current monetary standard is perceived to be weakening or when investors are losing money by holding cash or conservative bonds on an inflation-adjusted basis (negative real interest rates). Many investors view gold as an insurance against very bad monetary outcomes (widespread debt defaults, deflationary spirals, severe inflation, etc.) and hold a portion of their portfolio in it (e.g., 5% to 10%). Some believe (or hope) that we may someday have a gold standard again because of all the ultimate faults of our paper money system. Keep in mind that every single paper currency that has ever been issued ultimately failed.
Don't get down on yourself for the past. We all make mistakes, and ultimately, what matters most is that we learned from them.
Great job putting together an emergency fund! That is a significant accomplishment.
A good way to start budgeting is to list your monthly income at the top of a spreadsheet or piece of paper. Then create categories for all your standard monthly expenses, such as mortgage, food, car payment, electric bill, etc. and write down what they will be or estimate variable expenses. Keep all your payment receipts throughout the month and then use these to record all your actual expenses for each category. Over time, you will be able to clearly determine how much you need for your basic lifestyle and then gauge how much extra cash flow you will have for investing and other financial goals.
All my adult life I have done this with a spreadsheet, but I am sure there are plenty of applications available now you might be interest in trying. I always like creating my own spreadsheet because I can customize it to fit my exact needs.
I hope you find this helpful.
Joshua Hall, ChFC