May 7, 2015

Our team recently returned from the 2015 Raymond James Conference for Professional Development in Las Vegas. I will say it was a little funny for a bunch of conservative financial planners to be in a city where you can gamble 24 hours a day. This week away is always a great time. We get a lot of valuable information from experts in the economic and the investment worlds. It’s also a time where we get to reconnect with advisors and friends around the country who run their own independent firms. We are always looking for ways to improve the service we provide our clients and the atmosphere we provide for our team.

We were lucky to have the opportunity to hear from Doc Hendley, a former bartender who created the non-profit “Water to Wine.” He is an amazing example of someone who cares desperately for others, and is not looking for recognition. Doc just wants to make an impact on our world, and he does so through bringing clean drinking water to impoverished areas. At Mainspring we have a strong commitment to our community and his talk reminded us that we can always do more.

Another impactful speaker was Raymond James’ Chief Investment Strategist, Jeffrey Saut. While he’s the first to say he doesn’t have a crystal ball, he is confident in his outlook. Jeffrey continues to believe we are in what’s called a “secular bull market.” This is a relatively long period of time where the market continues to move higher, albeit with a few bumps along the way. He discussed oil prices, monetary policy changes in Europe, our Fed’s view on interest rates, and the political situation in our country. He summed up the reason for his positive sentiment through four, what he calls, “forces.” First is the amazing amounts of creativity in our country, specifically around technological and medical advancements. Second is the massive energy reserves we have and the impact that could have over the next decade or so. Next is the gigantic amount of capital (cash) still sitting on balances sheets (bank accounts). Lastly he highlighted the unrivaled manufacturing depth in our country. Overall, Jeffrey was very optimistic but did discuss some areas of caution. We’ll be sure to update you on our findings at our next review.

Lastly, we learned more about a number of technological advances that Raymond James has recently made. To name a few: e-signature capabilities, outside account aggregation (i.e. being able to see your 401ks at work through your online access here), a secure cloud “vault” to keep documents such as wills, trusts and tax returns, and improved and integrated financial planning tools. We’ll be incorporating many of them in the very near future so stay tuned!

Although we don’t “roll the dice” with our clients’ money, it was fun to be in the city where one dollar in a machine can turn into millions within a second. Since none of us saw that happen we’ll just keep working hard, the old fashioned way. All kidding aside, the great majority of our most successful clients didn’t hit it big at one particular moment. They conservatively lived within their means, paid themselves first, kept their emotions out of investing (as best they could), and surrounded themselves with a trusted network of friends, family, and advisors. They made well thought out financial decisions over and over again. They were willing to take risks, but they were calculated ones. Ironically, they are the ones that can afford to “put it all on black,” but of course never will. They’ll keep doing what they’ve always done and we’ll do the same.

Let us know if you or anyone you know would like to discuss.

Jeremy Taylor, CFP®, ChFC®President, Mainspring Wealth AdvisorsCertified Financial Planner™

Any opinions are those of the author or of Jeff Saut and are not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.