Two must-have client communication elements you might be missing

Two must-have client communication elements you might be missing

Similar numbers, different meaning

Client reporting is tricky. Reporting tools, client portals, your own presentation formats – they all present information in different ways and spur different reactions from clients. Some good, some not so much.

How information is presented (how it’s organized, what is highlighted, what is absent) has a huge impact on how clients interpret and feel about the information you provide.…

Measuring your Personal Investment Returns with Blueleaf

For a long time I’ve been frustrated that no matter where I hold my savings and retirement accounts, I can’t find out what kind of returns I’m getting.

NO MORE. Introducing Blueleaf Performance.


Seems strange, right? Most people want to know the market returns of their investments — for example, I might like to know how my particular investment choices compare to an index like the S&P 500 — but most financial institutions aren’t very helpful here.…

Do You Know What's In Your Mutual Funds?

Do you invest in stocks? Most people would say no; they say, “we only invest in mutual funds.” And for most people that answer is wrong. Or at the very least, dangerously misguided.

That’s because the mutual funds and ETFs that we invest in usually have most, or  sometimes all, of their assets in stocks. It means that, while you personally may not be actively picking stocks, someone or some computer is.…

When Your Money Talks, Is It Speaking Your Language?

One of the reasons we founded Blueleaf is that it’s simply too much work to really understand your money and manage it properly. We’re not talking about your day to day spending, though that’s not easy. We’re talking about the long-term, about how small things today make a big difference down the road and about how seemingly big things today may not be so important as the media hype machine may lead you to believe.…

Federal Work Study as an Ever Decreasing Percentage of Tuition

It’s rarer than ever to hear someone say “I worked my way through college.” With  tuition rates rising at nearly double the rate of general inflation, a student working under the Federal Work Study Program cannot realistically make a substantial dent in the tuition bill, let alone have money left over to pay the sum of room and board, books, a laptop, and minimal spending cash.…

Financial Aid and Student Investments

I’ve been learning so much about different financial products and investment strategies from blogs, articles, student groups, older investors, and, most recently, some willing mentors in the BetterInvesting community.  While it’s been great, I have realized that I probably shouldn’t go forward in investing more than a tiny training portfolio of my own money at this time, no matter how many brilliant ideas I have and how many new things I want to get familiar with.…

Keeping It All Straight

I’m not only my parents’ only child, but also the only niece and granddaughter in my mother’s family.  As such, my first experience with family estate planning came early on, as my grandparents began making annual transfers of their assets to the next generation.  With each year’s gift, my grandfather provided specific guidelines on which equities to purchase, which my mother as my custodian followed explicitly, even keeping the same brokerage. …

Own No Evil

The ongoing BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico highlights another argument for understanding what’s in your mutual funds. I don’t hold, or flaunt, many strong political views, but environmental causes are dear to my heart, and as the oil spill has continued to grow I’ve been reminded that if you don’t know what you own, then you don’t know what your companies are doing with your dollars. 

Advice For The 16-Year-Old Investor

If you want to get started investing, you need to start reading now. So much of investment is jargon. Articles on investment management are complex at first glance, but after a while get repetitive in the vocabulary, trends, metrics, and watershed legislation they cite. Understand some and you’ll understand most.

After you develop some background by reading articles, it may be best to discuss it with others.…