Patrick

About Patrick Eng

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So far Patrick Eng has created 37 blog entries.

The Lockdown Test

the lockdown testThis time of uncertainty and pandemic lockdown has been a test for many of us on many levels.  For me, working from home since March 13, the lockdown test and struggle has primarily been managing my time.

My daily routine typically includes a lot of time reading or consuming information. Lately, that has meant reading articles about COVID-19 and how the economy and markets are being impacted by this virus, as well as about what else is going on in the world.

In my initial weeks working at home, however, I found myself spending an inordinate amount of time reading. That realization made me pause. While staying informed is important, I do not need to spend four to five hours a day on this task. It’s not the only thing on my plate, at work or at home.

Prioritizing my tasks and putting time parameters on each has been a good personal exercise during this quarantine.

We all know how important it is to empty the dishwasher every day, right? If that doesn’t get done, it puts a jam on dishes and the kitchen becomes messy pretty quickly. That’s my job at home, and I make sure to do it before I fire up the computer for the day. It’s a lesson I learned early on and something my family appreciates.

The need to balance work duties and household chores forced me to clearly define my priorities and set aside appropriate time blocks for the most important tasks each day. Having all of these tasks now wrapped up together under one roof has been an interesting new test. It also has been an important reminder to occasionally review my process and fine-tune my productivity.

Our firm’s technology has given us a tremendous platform to serve clients, stay competitive and work remotely. This technology also enables us to be highly efficient, as long as we remember to use it appropriately.

How are you spending your time in quarantine? Are there things you can learn from this experience to improve your daily life and balance, both today and after life returns to normal?

By |2020-05-12T14:39:18-07:00May 12th, 2020|Advisors, Current Affairs|

Election Year Market Volatility

As we approach year-end, it is natural to consider what is on the horizon for 2020. One of the events taking place next year is the presidential election. Based on historical data, we know to expect some election year market volatility. This may lead you to ask, “How will the coming election impact my investments?”

Research assembled by Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) shows it’s hard to anticipate how markets will react based upon an election outcome. Nevertheless, patient long-term investors have benefited from staying the course regardless of which political party has governed the White House. (See chart below.)

“Investing during an election year can be tough on your nerves, but it’s mostly noise and the markets carry on,” says veteran Capital Group Portfolio Manager Greg Johnson. “Long‑term equity returns are determined by the value of individual companies over time. So, it’s better to stay invested than sit on the sidelines.”

Stay the Course

Uncertainty about relations with China, talk of potential recession, and the coming presidential election will make for an interesting 2020. Don’t let the inevitable corrections that take place in the market – over which we have no control – unnerve you. Being patient and staying invested through market ups and downs is key to meeting your long-term financial planning goals. Do your best to tune out the noise and focus on the things in life you can control.

Election Year Volatility

By |2019-12-09T15:11:10-07:00January 13th, 2020|Current Affairs, Investing|

Understand Why Before Deciding How

understand why before deciding howI recently sat down with a new client who needed help understanding her financial accounts. It takes two-way communication and objectivity to determine what investment strategy best serves a client’s needs. Essentially, you must understand why before deciding how. Unfortunately, this woman’s previous advisor did not take such actions.

Several years ago this person recommended (as a sales agent) she move her IRA and brokerage accounts into equity-indexed annuities. That locked up most of her investable assets for 10 years into an insurance product that levies a fee to access her money.

As we chatted, I learned she wanted to travel and take classes in her retirement. Annuities hindered her ability to do that right away. Once I took the time to understand her goals, we knew this product was not the best choice.

Situations like this are all too common and have created a stigma for annuities. Yet, some annuity products may be appropriate investments in certain circumstances. One example is a client who had not had a fixed paycheck during his career as a realtor. When he retired, we purchased an annuity for him to complement his Social Security benefits. The steady annuity income was a welcome change from the unpredictable income stream he’d had while working and gave him peace of mind in retirement.

These examples highlight the importance of knowing what you need and want before making any decisions about your portfolio. It’s critical to explore all the reasons why you are investing before deciding how to invest and what products will be most effective in meeting your goals.

To learn more about our financial planning process and investing strategies, click here.

By |2019-08-14T13:59:44-07:00July 29th, 2019|Insurance, Investing|

A Healthy Tortoise

U.S. economy like a healthy tortoise, with slow and steady growth.Earlier this year, JP Morgan Asset Management’s Chief Global Strategist David Kelley likened the current U.S. economic expansion to a healthy tortoise, “slow but steady.”

The United States has experienced slow and steady economic growth through corporate profits, job growth and wage increases. This month marks the 10th year of our current expansion; it ties the record for the nation’s longest expansion on record (120 months), which happened from March 1991 to March 2001.

There are a few complications on the horizon that could threaten the health of this tortoise, however. Jon Hilsenrath, Wall Street Journal chief economics correspondent, points to “tariff-driven trade wars with China, Mexico and others that damage business, household and investor confidence” as an area of concern. He also notes that a mistake by the Federal Reserve with interest rates could hinder the economy’s growth. The “country’s ballooning budget deficit” also compromises the government’s ability to enact meaningful fiscal policy (such as reduced spending or tax cuts) to aid the economy, according to Hilsenrath.

With all that said, there are plenty of examples around the world where economic expansions have lasted much longer than 10 years (see Economic Cycle Research Institute data in the chart at right).

A Healthy Tortoise

An American tortoise can live for 80 to 100 years. Who knows how long this healthy U.S. economic cycle can carry on?

By |2019-08-14T13:59:44-07:00June 17th, 2019|Current Affairs|

Financial Planning Goes Beyond Numbers

Financial Planning Goes Beyond NumbersDuring my 20-year career as an advisor, I have learned that so much of helping clients with financial planning goes beyond numbers.

Early on, I thought this business focused primarily on spreadsheets, trading, portfolio performance and understanding the global economy. Those things do play an important part in my day-to-day work, though they are not the only things to consider. Beyond that is my role of supporting, guiding and encouraging clients during trying times.

The Perspective team, for example, has helped our clients and their families through many difficult events – from divorce, substance abuse or death of a loved one, to recession, credit card debt or loss of a job. These difficult times teach us things we can’t always appreciate while we’re going through them. Yet, upon later reflection, we can grow to appreciate those lessons.

In my own life, my economic knowledge and self-composure were tested during the Great Recession of 2008. I was several years into a huge career and life change – transitioning from trading derivatives in New York City in 2000 to advising financial planning clients in Phoenix. The volatile global markets, my client’s portfolios and my family’s wellbeing weighed heavy on my mind. Those were dark days.

I am fortunate to have had Kristin, my supportive and encouraging wife, at my side. It was a tough trial for me to build a new business in an unfamiliar place. Kristin was my cheerleader. She believed in me, even when I did not. Her support and encouragement has helped guide me during my most difficult times.

Through Kristin’s example, as well as self-reflection, I’ve learned how to provide that same support and encouragement as an advisor.

Each of us at Perspective has a similar story. Collectively, we stand ready to provide support, guidance and encouragement through any trial. We draw upon each other’s experiences and strengths to go beyond numbers and look after the many needs of all our clients.

By |2019-08-14T13:59:46-07:00March 11th, 2019|Financial Planning|