60/40 is NOT a Strategy!

Posted by Tommy Mayes on 10/24/19 10:05 AM

692 words – Reading Time about 3 minutes

Last week Bank of America boldly announced, in a research note no less, “The End of 60/40.” I am shocked they find this newsworthy, much less a topic that requires a dedicated research note. Must be a slow week… Proudly, the Blueprint team has been researching and writing about this topic since 2016, and sincerely believe we originated the phrase The 60/40 Problem back then. Anyone that has visited our website has seen this banner link to a white paper written in April 2016. If you want to get the team really fired up, just ask about the topic. Today though, I thought I would share the more practical Cliffs Notes version to refresh the uninitiated.

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Topics: Systematic Investing

What is the Value of Financial Advice?

Posted by Jon Robinson on 10/17/19 1:08 PM

“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Lord Henry Wotton, A Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde


While Wilde’s masterpiece was published in 1890, there’s much about it that feels prescient today. This quote in particular calls into question the futility of yearning for the possession of material things. Sticking with the theme of 19th-century paragons, it was in 1899 that economist Thorstein Veblen coined the term “conspicuous consumption” in his most famous work, The Theory of the Leisure Class. Veblen’s concept can be illustrated by the desire to drive a luxury car rather than an economy car. Though both serve the exact same function, the former calls to attention the apparent affluence of the driver. Both Wilde and Veblen would likely agree that the price of this good exceeds its actual value.

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Topics: Advisor Practice Management, Behavioral Finance

Free Equity Trades: Winners & Losers

Posted by Brandon Langley on 10/4/19 1:12 PM

The Impact on Advisors (Does Free = Free?)

A frequent topic in our writing is the changing landscape for advisors and investors in terms of the cost of doing business and the impact of technology. With so much rapid change taking place in the industry, there has not been a shortage of material. In fact, it was only a few years ago that things like trading commissions were a major consideration when developing investment strategies. What are now mainstream approaches, like passive investing, robo-advising, and low to no commissions, were once either obscure or did not exist. We are now simultaneously experiencing peak passive and a new low in the race to the bottom on fees.

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Topics: Transparency, Systematic Investing

Investor Behavior Matters: One Trillion Votes and Counting

Posted by Brandon Langley on 9/26/19 1:19 PM

Earlier this month, Jason Zweig wrote an insightful article about Target Date Funds (TDF), which in the last year surpassed the one trillion-dollar mark in assets under management. In the piece, he provided some background on these instruments and how they have been perceived in the market. He concluded by describing the current equity exposure across some of the prominent TDF providers.

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Topics: Behavioral Finance

Baked in the Cake

Posted by Brandon Langley on 9/10/19 1:01 PM

Vanilla is a fascinating ingredient. It is one of the most popular flavors worldwide and is incredibly common for use in baked goods. The process of creating vanilla flavoring is time-consuming and labor-intensive intensive, which is why in its purest form it is also one of the most expensive spices in the world.

Vanilla’s widespread use and high value alone are not what makes it interesting. Take vanilla and add it to a cake mix and it enhances the flavor, turning an ordinary result into something great. But if you first bake the cake and then drizzle even the highest quality vanilla over it, you have effectively ruined the cake.

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Topics: Behavioral Finance, Systematic Investing

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