Friday, December 30, 2016


I’ve always liked $2 bills; I use one for a bookmark.  TJ is on the front and the classic vision of the signing of the Declaration of Independence is on the reverse. 
I was looking at it last night and wondered what those rich, white guys might think about the rich, white guy that is the President-elect.  For that matter, I’d like to know their thoughts about the woman Presidential candidate who lost to him and the sitting President, a black man. 

Barack Obama could not have voted until 1870 and Hillary wouldn’t have been eligible to vote until 1920, almost 150 years after the D of I was signed.

I suspect that very few of you who receive this email voted for Donald Trump.  So far, ten days after the election, I have yet to talk to anyone who said they voted for him.  We live in tribes these days. 

I was in Denver on the night of the election at the annual conference on Environmental, Sustainable and Impact investing.  Attendees were gratefully distracted during the day and excited as the polls closed, but then the mood quickly changed.  Disbelief, sadness, fear and grief reigned as the state maps changed from blue to red.  We cried, we hugged, we speculated, we drank.

The next day we knew that instead of having our first woman President, we would have a shockingly uninformed and undiplomatic billionaire as our country’s leader.  We wondered how America might change having a President and Congress (and soon the Supreme Court) whose values differ from ours.  Most disturbing was the knowledge that almost half of American voters chose a candidate who made so many offensive statements and used fear and hatred of other Americans to rally his supporters.

A wonderful column by Ailene Voisin in The Sacramento Bee offered a quote that mirrored my feelings.  Greg Popovich, the outspoken basketball coach of the San Antonio Spurs said, “You thought you lived in a country with certain values held in esteem, then you find out those very values aren’t very important to half the country.”

I was also at the same conference in 2001 when 9/11 happened.  Back then the speakers and attendees also provided support for one another and vowed to move forward.  If I could not be with my family, there was no more wonderful community to be with in times of supreme stress. 

As the grief subsides we must deal with the reality of how we cope and what we can do next.  This New York Times op-ed article by Nicholas Kristoff is worth a read:

Lots of people have been asking me what I think will happen with the stock market.  My answer, as usual, is that I don’t know.  I suspect that President Donald Trump (get used to that phrase) will do lots of things that won’t make sense, but the stock market often acts independently of political policy and economic actions. 

The next national election is two years away, but we can still vote with our dollars and our time.  How we invest, contribute and spend has an impact.  These actions support the values that are already under attack well before Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.

This commentary is for educational purposes only and are not intended to contain recommendations or solicit sales on any specific investment. Opinions expressed in my commentaries and my website do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization mentioned.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Protected Investors Acquired by Cambridge Investment Research

 Over the years you’ve seen the name Protected Investors on forms and various communications from me.  PIA has been my Broker-Dealer (BD) since 2002.  That is about to change as PIA has agreed to be acquired by Cambridge Investment Research, a much larger BD.  Next time we meet I can tell you the long version, but the sad, short story is that small BDs can’t compete with the larger firms.  Information about Cambridge is below and you can check out their website: 

This move to Cambridge should have minimal effect on you. You remain the owner of record on your account.  Your account numbers will remain the same and you will continue to receive statements directly from Schwab, First Affirmative Financial and/ or your mutual fund companies.   There is no cost or tax consequences to you associated with this transfer, and your investments will not change.  I will remain your investment advisor and will continue to service your account unless you choose not to sign the Cambridge paperwork that you will receive within the next few months.

For over 80 years, Protected Investors of America (PIA) has served its clients with excellence and integrity. PIA has been in the same office building on Montgomery Street in San Francisco since 1937.  That office will soon close and PIA will be exiting the general retail brokerage business on July 29th.  PIA plans to continue to use the PIA name, as we enter into a new relationship with Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. (Cambridge). 

Cambridge is a registered broker-dealer in all 50 states with clearing services offered through National Financial Services (NFS) and Pershing LLC, both members FINRA/ SIPC. Cambridge has more than 2,500 rep-advisors, supported by approximately 590 home office staff.  By comparison, PIA has 50-60 advisors and about 10 staff.

Investment Advisor magazine recently honored Cambridge as 2015 Broker-Dealer of the Year in Division IV – the division representing independent broker-dealers with over 1,000 producing advisors. Cambridge has earned this honor six of the last eight years, and was previously honored in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2008, and 2007 as Broker-Dealer of the Year in Division IV and in 2003 for Division III.

Cambridge’s full range of products and services, and their receptivity to my ideas and concerns about how to satisfy my clients and support my practice, have convinced me that I have found what I am looking for: a truly independent broker-dealer. PIA has selected Cambridge and elected to move as a group in order to provide the smoothest transition for our clients. I sincerely hope that you will join me at my new firm and allow me to be your Cambridge rep-advisor.

 Vickie or I will be calling you within the next few months to check in.  We can set up a time to meet in my office or talk by phone to review your accounts, complete the new Cambridge forms and answer your questions.  I look forward to servicing your current and future investment needs.  Finally, if you have immediate questions or concerns, please contact me by phone at 916-444-2233 or by email at