Broker Check

March Newsletter 2019


3 Reasons March Madness is Just Like Investing

3 Reasons March Madness is Just Like Investing

For the last three years our office has participated in attempting to pick the winners for March Madness. For those of you like myself who don’t watch many of the regular season games or sports in general, . . March Mad-ness is the big college basketball finals competition.

The process reminds me so much of investing because filling out a bracket balances expertise, risk, reward and future expectations. Winning a pool also requires some luck along the way.

With that in mind, here are three lessons from March Madness that apply to the world of investing.

1. It’s not about being perfect, but positioning yourself to get the most right. The odds of filling out the perfect bracket are 1 in 9,223,372,036,852,775,808. Let’s just round that to 1 in 9 quintillion. The odds of consistently selecting market beating investments over a long period of time are equally daunting.

The key to successful investing is about focusing on the things you can control. From an investment perspective, that means building a portfolio that is positioned to capture return premiums (such as size, value, and profitability) that improve risk-adjusted returns. Other areas of focus that are within your control include asset allocation, keeping investment costs low, minimizing taxes, optimal asset location, etc.

2. Past performance guarantees nothing about the future. It is easy to let a team’s recent success influence your bracket picks, but last year’s tournament was last year’s tournament. Similarly, investors should never assume that their best pick (asset class, sector, country, or stock) from last year will have a repeat performance. Even 5-star investments from last year have underperformed in today’s market. In fact, it is quite common to see funds that have outperformed in a given period proceed to underperform in the subsequent period.

3. The drama goes up the more you watch. The more you watch the NCAA tournament, the more emotional you become about the outcomes. Watching the drama of March Madness is a great form of entertainment, but watching the market closely almost never helps an investor, as you have more than a $10.00 bet on the line.

Myopic loss aversion tells us that the more you watch the markets, the more susceptible you become to making poor investment decisions. The best investors stay as detached as possible from daily stock fluctuations.

In our office pool, I have managed to place 1st or 2nd in the last three years and given my past performance, I’m feeling lucky this year. My first year picks were reverse alphabet, fortunately Villanova did well. This year I’m considering picking names out of a hat. Fortunately, we are more structured about managing our portfolios.

The above material was prepared by Integrated Wealth Management


Who Moved the Romano Cheese? 

Who Moved the Romano Cheese? 

The Romano’s were rapidly approaching a major shift in their lives as they neared retirement. Their oldest daughter and 2 beautiful grandchildren now lived in Arizona and they were considering moving away from the Bay Area. With too many variables to consider, they sat down with our team. In the first meeting, they met with our Service Coordinator to discuss their needs and lay out a process to answering the Ramano’s questions. They wondered if they could retire sooner than they planned, still allowing them to live the life they wanted. They had questions about if they should sell their home here and how best to move the equity to a new home in Arizona. At the end of that meeting, our team began to prepare the variety of scenarios that would suit our client’s plan best. At the second appointment, a consolidated team of professionals was assembled at the same table and in collaboration with the Romano’s to assist in managing the process. A representative from the real estate team discussed the timing and marketing of their south bay home, and introduced the Ramano’s to an in-network real estate professional in Arizona to begin researching neighborhoods and home features. A representative from the Mortgage Team discussed the types of loans available and what was needed for qualification. A member of the tax team also was there to help the Romano’s structure the transaction and timing to minimize taxes and set their expectations for tax consequences of the home sale. Within 30 days, Mr. Ramano had retired from his job and rolled over his 401k, put their house on the market and identified the perfect next home in Arizona just a mile from their grandchildren. They were introduced to a member of the IWMG Insurance Team and all of the necessary home-owners’ policies were put in place for the new home. Today, the Ramano’s investments, insurance, mortgage, and now their bookkeeping and taxes are being managed through a single source at Integrated Wealth Management. If they had decided to keep their south bay property and use it to create income, the property management and bookkeeping services could have been provided through IWMG as well. The Ramano’s are currently living in Arizona and have four grandchildren. The fourth was born to their youngest child living in Washington, who they visit often. We enjoyed helping the Ramano Family.

How can our team help you?


Welcome Crystal Cervantes

Welcome Crystal Cervantes

It is with pleasure and great excitement that we introduce our newest team member in our office, Crystal Cervantes. Her pas-sion for people and shining back-ground in the service industry is just part of what makes her perfect in the role of Client Services for Integrated Wealth Management. She is quickly becoming an asset to both Nicole and Lori within the Operations team.

When not in the office, Crystal enjoys spending time with her family of 5 including: husband-Victor, daughter- Parker, Son-Brayden, and new puppy- Bear), She also enjoys reading books, watching movies, date nights with Victor, and quality time with her friends. Their favorite vacation spots include Arizona during baseball spring training, Kauai and annual trips to see her Moth-er in Washington State.

Feel free to take a minute when on the phone or in our office to welcome Crystal.


Beating the Tax Audit Odds

The odds of not getting audited are more in your favor than they were a few years ago, and they are getting better and better every year.

Taxpayers with incomes of more than $1 million have a 1-in-25 chance of getting audited these days. That’s better odds than 2011, when their chances were 1 in 8.

The further down the income ladder, the less likely it is that the IRS will come snooping. For example, if you earn $200,000 or more, your chances of getting audited are 1 in 80. Those odds are better than 2011, when the odds were 1 in 25.

Individuals, all totaled, had less than a 1-in-160 chance of being audited. That’s way down from 1 in 90 for 2011. Accountants said the audits are down, but you get the sense the IRS is still watching.

“There may not be as many actual IRS audits, but notices seem to be more prevalent addressing specific issues, such as proof of mortgage interest deduction or charitable contributions,” Fleetwood said. He said his individual clients and business clients are seeing more communications from state revenue agencies as they look for money wherever they can get it. While it may be less likely that you are audited, you should be prepared. Be accurate; document your deductions and record your income.

This article was written by Thomas Heath at the Washington Post.


Recipe by: Rodger Weeks

Recipe by: Rodger Weeks

When not working, Roger Weeks, husband of Lori Schaefer, is an amazing chef. In celebration of March Madness, he graced us with his all time favorite wing recipe. Even better… there is no need to break out the deep fryer!

Oven Fried Buffalo Wings

Oven Fried Buffalo Wings

2 lbs. chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats 2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. kosher salt
4 tbl. Unsalted butter
4 tbl. Frank’s RedHot Sauce
Blue Cheese dressing, for serving

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum
foil or parchment paper and set an oven-
safe wire rack inside. Carefully pat dry
chicken wings. In a large bowl or Ziploc bag, combine wings with bak-ing powder and salt, tossing to apply an even coat. Place wings on rack, leaving space between each piece. Repeat with remaining batches of wings.
Place baking sheet with wings in refrigerator and allow to rest, uncovered, overnight or at least 8 hours.
Cook on prepared baking sheet at 450F for 20 minutes. Flip wings and continue to cook until crisp and golden brown, 15-30 minutes longer, flipping a few more times towards the end.
Combine butter and hot sauce in small saucepan over medium heat, whisking until combined. Transfer wings to a large bowl, add sauce, and toss to thoroughly coat. Serve immediately.

Do you have a recipe you’d like to share in an upcoming newsletter? We’d love to hear from you. Send your recipes to


Come Out and See Us!

Be sure to catch IWM at one of the upcoming Willow Glen 2019 Community Events. Like last year we plan to be a part of the BBQ in the Glen Event in September and the Bubbly Walk in December. We hope to see you there! For more information, check out the NEW Willow Glen Business Association Website at: 

Willow Glen Business Association

Willow Glen Community Events

• Saturday, April 13th 2PM– 5PM | Spring Wine Walk

• Saturday, April 13th 2PM– 5PM | Spring Wine Walk

• Thursday, July 18 | Summer Ladies Night Out

• Sunday, September 8 | Cruise for a Cause Car Show

• Saturday, September 28 | BBQ in the Glen

• Saturday, December 7th | Holiday Bubbly Walk