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RFM Financial Solutions, LLC

Archive for August, 2011

A few months ago we conducted a client survey on our financial services.    We had a great response!  It allowed us to gather information about how we were doing and how we can improve our services.

There is a little bit of trepidation when you ask a client “How are we doing?”   We were very pleased and honored when over 90% of those who responded said they were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with our services and their relationship with their advisor.   The majority of them were in the “very satisfied” category.

While this is a great compliment, we do not want to become complacent.     Areas which were indicated that we could do a better job or offer our clients additional services, as well as the ways of addressing these concerns, are the following:

  • Visiting Our Website.    We recently made major changes to our website to make it a more useful tool for information.    You should have received an announcement about this recently.
  • Using Schwab Services.    I recently mentioned how I am using their check deposit feature on my cell phone.   We will keep you informed about additional services you may find convenient and useful.
  • Additional Contact With Clients.   We currently set up two formal meetings per year with our quarterly clients to discuss in detail their portfolio and their plans.    Our plan is to add additional contact throughout the year to discuss any changes in their plans and the status of their account.    These additional contacts will most likely be in the form of a conference call that is set up in advance.     It is important to note that we do not have a limit on how often our clients visit or contact us.    We have an open door policy with all our clients.

Another exciting result of the survey was that 100% of those who responded said they would refer a client to us!   Referrals are the key to growth in financial and professional services.   In fact, 80% of new business generated in our industry comes from referrals by clients and business partners.    We are accepting new clients and looking to further increase our business.

Granted, not everyone talks about money with their friends.   However, there may be certain life events that warrant the need for a referral or change.   Some examples of life changing events where we have helped a number of clients are:

  • Job change or separation
  • Divorce
  • Retirement
  • Loss of a family member
  • Bad investment experiences

If you, or someone you know, are experiencing any of these life changing events, give us a call so we can assist you through these changes.

Again thank you to those of you who participated in our survey.   We greatly value your input and look forward to using that information to better our service to you.

Mark Riepe, CFA
Senior Vice Prsident, Schwab Center for Financial Research
President, Charles Schwab Investment Advisory


All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.

Examples provided are for illustrative (or “informational”) purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.

Diversification does not eliminate the risk of investment losses.

Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

International investments involve additional risks, which include differences in financial accounting standards, currency fluctuations, political instability, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. Investing in emerging markets may accentuate these risks.


Respect the price action but never defer to it.
Our eyes are valuable tools when trading but if we deferred to the flickering ticks, stocks would be “better” up and “worse” down and that’s a losing proposition.

Discipline trumps conviction.
No matter how strongly you feel on a given position, you must defer to the principles of discipline when trading. Always attempt to define your risk and never believe that you’re smarter than the market.

Opportunities are made up easier than losses.
It’s not necessary to play every day; it’s only necessary to have a high winning percentage on the trades you choose to make. Sometimes the ability not to trade is as important as trading ability.

Emotion is the enemy when trading.
Emotional decisions have a way of coming back to haunt you. If you’re personally attached to a position, your decision making process will be flawed. Take a deep breath before risking your hard earned coin.

Zig when others Zag.
Sell hope, buy despair and take the other side of emotional disconnects (in the context of controlled risk). If you can’t find the sheep in the herd, chances are that you’re it.

Adapt your style to the market.
Different investment approaches are warranted at different junctures and applying the right methodology is half the battle. Identify your time horizon and employ a risk profile that allows the market to work for you.

Maximize your reward relative to your risk.
If you’re patient and pick your spots, edges will emerge that provide an advantageous risk/reward profile. Proactive patience is a virtue.

Perception is reality in the marketplace.
Identifying the prevalent psychology is a necessary process when trading. It’s not “what is,” it’s what’s perceived to be that dictates supply and demand.

When unsure, trade “in between.”
Your risk profile should always be an extension of your thought process. If you’re unsure, trade smaller until your identify your comfort zone.

Don’t let your bad trades turn into investments.
Rationalization has no place in trading. If you put a position on for a catalyst and it passes, take the risk off—win, lose or draw.

By: Todd Harrison

As we have seen during the debt ceiling debate, the stock market experienced losses and volatility. Conversely, bond prices have steadily risen during this time. Late Friday, Standard & Poors downgraded the credit rating of the United States. This will most likely add additional pressure on the equity markets in the short term. The impact on the long term is unknown at this time. However, this downgrading may actually be a benefit because it will force the politicians to take this situation more seriously and be more vigilant about our debt. We need them to face this problem head on with conviction.

Investing in equities takes patience and, in some cases, a strong will. While these times are trying, removing your investments in a down market can result in losses and also can accelerate the downward direction of the market. On the plus side, a down market can provide opportunities for gains. It can be challenging to resist the temptation to sell low and buy high.

We do not want our clients to worry about their money. We have tried to assist our clients in knowing their risk tolerance and have structured individual portfolios to match that.

At this point, we are not advising clients to sell their equities. We expect additional short term volatility, but feel that stocks play an important long term role in a mixed and risk managed portfolio.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Thanks you.

US investors are beginning to rethink the composition of their portfolios and become more risk averse. If people become more conservative, that could possibly create a deflationary environment, which is a positive for bonds, not for equities. Corporate earnings have been strong throughout this this crisis. If you would like to learn more, click here to go to an article from International Financing Review.