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Ukraine and the Market: The reality is that no one wins with war. Whatever the goals with an invasion, its immediate effect would be in lives lost and ruin on both sides. Despite the toll and human misery accompanying war, economies tend to prosper, and stocks tend to rally. Financial markets recently sold off as investors worried about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. If the invasion occurs, some commodities could see price surges—Russia supplies roughly 1/3 of all-natural gas consumed in Europe and accounts for 10% of global oil production. As well they are significant producers of wheat, aluminum, and palladium. It could lead to a flight of the safety of the U.S. dollar and long-term Treasuries, offsetting the inflationary impact of higher energy prices on overall inflation and interest rates. J.P. Morgan Global strategist David Kelly says, “History does teach us that wars are easier to get into than out of, and they usually have unpredictable consequences. For this reason, while the world waits to see how Russia acts and the West reacts, investors would be well advised to maintain a defensive and well-diversified stance.” Our defensive efforts on your behalf have stood up nicely in the face of the YTD downside we’ve all witnessed.

Harvard’s Approach to Business Training: The Wall Street Journal reported this week about a hot course at Harvard’s Business School that promises to teach future leaders an elusive skill—managing happiness. As business schools train corporate leaders, skills like emotional awareness and improving well-being are taking their place alongside deal-making and financial modeling. Courses on happiness, relationships, and balance are among the most in-demand courses at top M.B.A. programs. Their popularity reflects the desire for more balanced lives. We would agree that adding this balance is essential to productive work, but perhaps even more so, we encourage a daily commitment to the things that matter most as the fulcrum of all that do at home and work. Balance doesn’t happen without this navigation point.

Planning for College: We encourage all families of 8th-12th graders to consider their plan for choosing a college seriously. Advisor and partner Josh Manifold recommends Ron Lieber’s book, The Price You Pay for College, as a wonderful resource on this topic. Ron is a voice of wisdom on this huge, expensive choice. Chapters are short & we’d encourage parents & students to read only the topics that apply to your situation. Chapter titles include:

  • FAFSA and Its Expected Family Contribution Will Probably Make You Furious
  • How (and Why) Merit Aid Became Mainstream
  • How and When Small School Size Matters
  • Places That Create Better Odds When Applying to Grad School
  • Gap Years: Great, Sometimes Pricey, Might Help You Get a Better Job Someday
  • How to Have the College Money Talk with Your Child
  • How to Appeal Your Financial Aid Award
  • All Your Student Loan Basics in One Tidy Place

This is a must-read (or Audible) resource!

We’re Hiring: As we continue to grow in our capacity to serve our many clients, we have several job openings in client service, financial planning, and business development. If you know someone who could fit our team, please have them email Carol Gangewer at [email protected] with their resume. We have been known to pay finders fees in some entertaining ways.