Welcome to “The Summit,” the official First Ascent blog.
If you’re looking for ways to build your practice, investment insights, or advice on how to communicate more effectively with clients and potential clients, then you’ve come to the right place.
Why Investing Based on Past Performance is a Terrible Idea
June 7, 2022 | By Scott MacKillop
Both the SEC and FINRA require performance-based advertising and sales literature to include the statement: “past performance does not guarantee future results.” Is that good advice? Mutual Funds Research by S&P Dow Jones on the persistence of mutual fund performance shows why this warning makes sense. Of the domestic equity mutual funds that performed in … Read More
In Volatile Markets, Patience Is Your Friend
May 24, 2022 | By Scott MacKillop
The financial markets have been volatile since the beginning of the year. After three great years, the stock market has been down significantly in 2022. Interest rates have risen causing bond prices to fall too. That’s a double whammy we haven’t seen too often recently. In the face of this bad news, what, if anything, … Read More
Why is Active Management So Difficult?
April 30, 2022 | By Scott MacKillop
You have to feel sorry for active managers. According to the year-end 2021 SPIVA Scorecard research from S&P Dow Jones, here is the percentage of actively managed US equity funds that underperformed the S&P 1500 Index over various time periods ending December 31, 2021. It paints a grim picture. 72% for the three-year period … Read More
What if You Let Your Clients Build Your Business?
March 31, 2022 | By Scott MacKillop
You think you know what clients want, but do you really? We all shake our heads vigorously in agreement when someone says that to have a more successful business, you need to design an excellent “client experience.” We might not know exactly what that means, but with a little digging we learn that client experience … Read More
February 28, 2022 | By Scott MacKillop
Later this quarter (Q1 2022), First Ascent will be introducing a direct indexing offering to the advisors we work with. We call our new offering Customized Index Portfolios. Customized Index Portfolios hold individual stocks and can be designed to reflect the investment goals, values, and preferences of clients with $250,000 or more to invest. In … Read More
The Glitter of Gold—Should Gold Be a Part of Your Portfolio?
January 8, 2022 | By Scott MacKillop
Gold is beautiful to look at and has a rich history, but does it belong in your investment portfolio? The information below will help you answer that question. A Quick History Gold has been valued throughout most of recorded history. It was used to display wealth, power, and status over 5,000 years ago in Egypt … Read More
December 8, 2021 | By Scott MacKillop
What is Inflation? Inflation is a measure of how much prices for goods and services are rising in an economy. Inflation can be caused by a number of factors. Demand-pull inflation occurs when there is more demand for goods or services than the current supply can meet. This allows companies to raise prices in the … Read More
Fees and Expenses: Do They Really Matter?
April 8, 2021 | By Scott MacKillop
Fees Eat Up Return Fees and expenses are two of the most important factors to consider when investing. You can’t control the direction of the financial markets, but you can control what you pay to invest. Every mutual fund or exchange traded fund (ETF) in your portfolio has what’s called an “internal expense ratio.” This … Read More