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Optivest Updates

Hosted by Mark Van Mourick

Your estate is in order but is your family prepared? This webinar outlines the importance of legacy planning and passing along not just your financial estate but your values to a well-prepared next generation. Mark Van Mourick walks through outlining your family’s mission and values, giving your spouse and children money to “practice with,” how to hold a multi-generational family meeting and many more valuable insights for family wealth transfer and heir preparedness. For more information, reference Optivest’s Family Wealth Advisory Services.

Optivest Wealth Management



The drop in the stock market over the last week was fast and unrelenting. Based on this reality, we want to share with you our trading activity and thoughts on the direction of the financial markets.

As outlined in our Second Quarter 2015 Newsletter, our Third Quarter 2015 Newsletter and our August 2015 Newsletter, we have been highly concerned with the U.S. stock market’s high valuations. We sold about half of our direct U.S. stock market exposure in May and June after our long-term timing indicator flashed a “sell” signal; this was the first “sell” signal in 6 years and only the 3rd in 17 years.

1August Market Update:

Year-to-date financial markets are frustrating both money managers and investors alike with flat returns. The U.S. stock and bond markets are waffling; they are either up 1%-2% or down 1%-2% on a monthly basis without any discernable direction. Unfortunately, this flat performance is also accompanied by near all-time high valuations across most financial assets (except commodities and emerging markets).

In this environment we have chosen to take profits in our potentially vulnerable stock positions, seeking equity-like returns of 5%-12% in non-correlated investment strategies. This decision has resulted in improved performance for our Optivest portfolios and reduced risk exposure via these securities. Once the financial markets pick a direction – up or down – we will adjust accordingly. In the meantime, we remain cautious with our clients’ hard-earned money.

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While the Greek crisis has knocked stock indexes down recently, the U.S. economy and markets have been stuck on the 50-yard line since November 2014. The U.S. stock market has been at all-time high valuations and our timing indicators set off the preliminary sell signals which we outlined in our April 1, 2015 Important Market Update and further described in our April 21, 2015 Second Quarter 2015 Newsletter. Consequently, we sold stocks throughout the second quarter and now have one of the lowest U.S. equity exposures in years. Year-to-date, stocks are flat and bonds are down despite a slow increase in business growth on “Main Street,” as forecast in our January 9, 2015 First Quarter 2015 Newsletter.

CLICK TO READ MORE: Third Quarter 2015 Newsletter – Optivest



How to Keep Your Family Wealthy

We are in the midst of a historic transfer of family wealth: Right now, $1 trillion is being passed to heirs every single year In all, Baby Boomers are expected to bequeath $30 trillion to their heirs over the next 30 to 40 years. But if history is a guide, this story won’t end well. In 70% of cases, family wealth does not make it past the second generation, according to Sloan Management Review. The old saying, “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” is all too accurate.

A Simple Formula for Success

What’s your number? It seems that we all have a number in mind, whether realistic or not, that if we get there, our financial future would be secure and we could retire without worry. For many this “number” keeps growing and forever seems out of reach. For some this number is “a little bit more,” even though they have long passed their requirements for a comfortable retirement.

Post-Divorce Wives, Widows and Wealth Management

(As reported in Huffington Post on May 23, 2013)
By: Mark Van Mourick

According to the Wall Street Journal, over the next 20 years, approximately $25 trillion will be passed to women through divorce, death of spouse or inheritance. Currently, women make up just under half of the nation’s millionaires. If their earning potential continues to grow on track, they will account for up to two thirds of the nation’s wealth by 2030.

Over the years, I have assisted a number of women from ages 30 to 80 with unique problems and issues arising from the death or divorce of their wealthy husbands. Oftentimes, these women are not actively involved in either the day-to-day management of their household money or the management of their investments. While they may have considerable assets to meet their financial requirements, they’re starting from a handicapped point of view, both from an educational standpoint as well as an emotional one. This “mental freeze” often leads to either cash hoarding (as opposed to investing) or being manipulated by a commissioned salesman.

If you are a recent widow or divorcee reading this, I truly empathize with you. Besides managing your grief, you are trying to deal with monumental changes in your life and are facing a growing list of perpetually unfamiliar monetary choices. Let me offer a few quick suggestions: READ MORE BELOW