Today’s commentary is a bit different from the usual areas. It’s intended primarily for those of you who have kids or grandkids that expect to continue their education past high school. However, if that is not your particular situation. we’d be thrilled to have you read along anyway. Maybe a point or two that we will make could still be useful to a friend of yours who does have kids or grandkids. So, here we go.

Many of you have kids and grandkids who have gone to college with the idea that if they get an education in the field they love, and go to work doing the thing they love, the money will follow. Well, that’s a good thought but can you take it to the bank? A good comment on the subject comes from our friend Ross Levin. I agree with Ross and maybe you will too. Here’s Ross:

One of the greatest lies foisted upon society is ‘do what you love and the money will follow.’  Cause and effect with unrelated concepts does not necessarily work. While it is possible to love what you do and also get paid for it, that certainly isn’t always the case. More important, the underlying message is that the money has to follow in order to validate what you are doing. I know some very happy missionaries with no money and some miserable business owners with tons. So instead of that trite and inaccurate aphorism, let’s frame it differently. 

One of my screen savers is a picture of concepts around the Japanese word ‘ikigai’ or ‘reason for being.’ Think of it like this: Draw four circles that overlap one another. Label one ‘What you love,’ another ‘What you’re good at,’ the third ‘What you can be paid for,’ and the last ‘What the world needs.’ My objective is to increase the overlap among those four concepts. 

Perhaps this idea can serve as the beginning of a discussion with your kids or grandkids regarding the value of an education that the world will not compensate, and whether it’s a good use of the education dollars. We often speak with parents and grandparents who have paid huge sums of money to provide their kids or grandkids with an education that cannot begin to reimburse the parents for the expenditure or payback the school loans. Perhaps a discussion regarding the jobs picture as it relates to the expense of the education could save some disappointment and heartache when dreams collide with the real world.  Perhaps the time for this discussion is sooner, rather than later…

Thank you to Ross Levin

Market Minute 5/4/2018 – VIX Drops Further – a Good Sign for Markets!

You will recall that we’ve been talking about the VIX – a measure of volatility in the large-cap US markets. At last check, I saw a reading of about 15.5 – well below the levels we’ve seen recently (a reminder: lower is better). What that is telling us is — the cost of options has decreased. That’s significant because it is an indication that the environment has become one in which it is more likely that investors will shed some of their fears and head back to the markets.   

In other positive news today – Headlines indicate that Warren Buffet (often considered one of the best investors alive today) recently purchased 75 million shares of Apple. And that news has spiked Apple’s price today. As Apple is a large percentage of the holds in the major large-cap indexes, markets are responding in accord, and at mid-morning markets seem very positive. 

Add to that – unemployment news is good, new jobs numbers look strong, factory orders are up, PMI numbers are up, and indexes bounce up (again) from their 200-day moving average. 

What’s not to like? Next week will be another week of course (with likely its own crisis du jour), but today things look good. Perhaps the current economic strength will help complete the bottoming process and (we expect) lead the markets to new highs this year. Guess we’ll see.   


Ronald P. Denk, CFP®
Investment Advisor
Denk Strategic Wealth Partners
10000 N. 31st Avenue, Suite C-262
Phoenix, AZ 85051
Phone (602) 252-8700
Fax (602) 252-8701
Toll-Free (877) The-Denk

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