Business watchdog applauds Path Financial for best practices

Better Business Bureau A+ ratingSarasota-based financial investment firm Path Financial has earned two top honors for how it conducts itself as a business and for how it communicates with clients. Path received the highest possible rating from the business watchdog group, the Better Business Bureau (BBB): an A+, and, for the second year in a row, has been recognized by leading inbound marketing solutions provider Constant Contact for achieving marketing results that ranked Path among the top 10 percent of Constant Contact’s global customer base.

Path’s timely economic analysis and meaningful investment insights, presented in a free, monthly newsletter, have created a very high level of engagement with clients and subscribers earning the firm an “All Star” position among its 600,000 business and nonprofit users worldwide. The All Star status essentially indicates how relevant the information in a newsletter is by tracking the number of people who open the newsletter to read it, as well as the number of people who “click through” specific areas of content to access deeper analysis and other communications platforms such as websites and social media.

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A silly story that investors should ignore

Path Financial President and Chief Investment Officer Raul Elizalde

Path Financial President and Chief Investment Officer Raul Elizalde

Have you heard the one about how bad it is to miss the top-performing market days?

It goes like this: If you miss just a handful of the market’s best days, your portfolio returns will be significantly reduced. For proof, the story comes with a chart that compares being invested in US stocks every single day versus missing a few of those top days.

One version of that chart shows that $100 invested in the S&P 500 since inception (from January 3, 1950 through February 20, 2015) would have grown to $12,667. Missing the top 5 days, however, brings the end value to just $8,203, or 35% less. Missing the top 25 days gets a miserable $2,966, or 77% less than just leaving the portfolio alone. The conclusion seems inevitable: it is a bad idea to cash out of the market for any period of time, lest you miss those crucial days.

As it turns out, this argument is seriously flawed. But because it has been parroted over and over, it has gained undeserved credibility. What’s wrong with it?

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Revocable living trusts: Problems and pitfalls explained in free education roundtables in Venice

Path Financial President and Chief Investment Officer Raul Elizalde

Path Financial President and Chief Investment Officer Raul Elizalde

Raul Elizalde, president and chief investment officer of Sarasota-based Path Financial, and Dennis Makarewicz, founder of First Security Capital Management of Venice, will lead a series of three free educational roundtables, open to the public, explaining the key concepts of legal and financial protection of family assets, with a focus on revocable living trusts. Guest speaker will be Venice estate planning attorney Mary Olsson. The free roundtables are offered Tues., Feb. 17, at 2 p.m.; Wed., Feb 18, at 10 a.m.; and Thurs., Feb. 19, at 2 p.m. Each event will be held at First Security Capital Management’s Education Center in Venice, located at 1491 E. Venice Ave. To register, call 941-483-3732.

Discussion topics will include how to develop a disciplined investment plan within trust vehicles; how to prepare for the next market crash; how to apply Benjamin Graham’s margin of safety rule to a portfolio; and how professional investment advisors use “stop-loss” measures to protect capital.

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