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Welcome to the 'No-Guilt' blog!
People come to here because they want to build financial confidence and take meaningful action. We provide the context for those things that affect your financial health. Our goal is to help you live in the 'No-Guilt Zone'.

William Pitney is a Certified Financial Planner™ and financial coach.  He is the founder of FocusYOU, a client-centered alternative to traditional financial sales and advisory services.  FocusYOU works primarily with high tech engineering managers, scientists, technical professionals and their families.  William has been featured in the New York Times, the Journal of Financial Planning, Black Enterprise and many other prominent publications.

Rebar to Cement Your Financial Foundation

You're working your tail off to build a solid financial foundation for family.  You now have some home equity, personal savings, investment and retirement accounts.  You may even own an investment property.

You’re doing everything in your power to create a secure and comfortable lifestyle for yourself and family.

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17X – Not a Fitness Program, but It's Still PE

I’m a huge fan of P90X fitness programs, but 17X is not about fitness.  It’s about the U.S. stock market.

The stock market is a forward-looking barometer and reflects the future expectations of the economy.

One of the oldest and commonly used metrics to value individual stocks and the stock market is the price-to-earnings ratio (P/E ratio).  The P/E ratio is defined and calculated as market price per share divided by annual earnings per share.

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Houdini and Your Bond Yield – The Magic of Illusion

Many years ago, one of my clients inherited a large sum of callable out of state muni bonds (munis) in an account at a large, brand-name brokerage firm.  As a resident of California, this client received none of the income tax benefits for the munis and wanted to know what to do.

After analyzing the clients situation, I determined that a diversified bond portfolio designed specifically for conservative investors and those funding near-term liabilities would be more appropriate.  The portfolio has the following three characteristics:

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Diversification Is More Than Just Stocks And Bonds

Diversification is a fundamental concept of investing that was introduced to us through the groundbreaking, Nobel Prize-winning research of Harry Markowitz in the 1950s.

Most investors think of diversification from the traditional perspective, which means investing in different types of stocks and bonds in an effort to increase portfolio returns while mitigating risk.

Now, thanks to 60 years of empirically-validated financial science, we can expand our concept of diversification and consider it within the context of "factor investing.” Factors are simply sources of expected returns that are well documented in markets around the world and across different periods.

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Investor Sentiment – A Poor Measure of Irrational Exuberance

Former Fed Chief Alan Greenspan coined the phrase “Irrational Exuberance” in 1996, during the dot-com craze of the 1990s.  Many interpreted the phrase as his warning that the market was getting overvalued or overheated.

Since the dot-com bubble imploded in 2000, we’ve heard the phrase whenever someone perceives any kind of speculative frenzy in the stocks, housing, commodities or some other asset class or area of the economy.  For many, irrational exuberance means we’re in bubble territory.

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