Archive for Articles of Interest

“Let’s Talk About the Big Book”

Articles of Intereston May 30th, 2018No Comments

Summary By: Lauren Mireles, FPQPTM

Someone recently shared with us an article from The Washington Post called “Let’s Talk about the Big Book” that details all of life’s important documents that should be kept in one central location, like a three-ring binder or a virtual vault in the cloud, for easy access in the case of a death or an emergency. The article reminds us of a piece we have shared in the past – Assembling Your Financial First Aid Kit – and we feel that it adds another layer of detail that is valuable to consider. We’ve listed some of the highlights of the article below. We hope you find these suggestions helpful in preparing your “financial first aid kit” or your “big book”.

The following text is an excerpt from The Washington Post article, “Let’s talk about the Big Book: Everything your family needs to know when you die,” written by Thomas Heath.

The first section should include copies of “important documents.” These can include agreements with professional services such as a financial adviser, lawyers or accountants detailing the extent and cost of services rendered. [This] section might also include copies of passports; anything you keep in your wallet, such as AAA memberships, work IDs, credit cards and Metro fare cards; and your marriage license, birth certificates, and Social Security and Medicare cards.

In our house, we — well, my wife, really — organized a section called “Real Estate & Automobile.” This includes what you think it does: the contract with our cooperative building, where we own shares; our homeowners’ insurance; the title, registration and insurance policy to our car. My wife even included the backup for the E-ZPass because it would have to be canceled if we got rid of the car. Home warranties and the like would also go into this section.

The next three sections of most Big Books can detail any bank accounts; investments, including stocks and mutual funds; and, finally, a list of retirement accounts. If you own stock, mutual funds, savings accounts, money markets or have a retirement account or some other financial assets, you might want to list them [here]. You can call one “Taxable Investment Accounts” and the other “Retirement Accounts,” because some assets are inside employee benefit plans that might require different procedures to access. Don’t forget to include your custodial information — account numbers, etc. — for your pension plans, if you are fortunate enough to have one.

Next on your list should be insurance policies. We have a section titled “Long Term Care Insurance.” In addition to long-term care policies, you might want to list separate sections with headings for “Life Insurance” and “Long-Term Disability.” You might also want to list any and all of your health-care providers, physicians, medications, etc. You might also want to list family and friends, in case both spouses go at the same time and the lawyer or police need to notify others.

The rest of our Big Book is rounded out with credit cards and loans. Country club memberships, which can include stock holdings in the club, can also go in this section. So can gym memberships, etc. Other assets could include jewelry, china, art, furniture, baseball card collections, rugs, etc. and — most valuable of all — my to-die-for Washington Nationals tickets. If I could, I would take the Nats tickets along to the Pearly Gates.

To read all of the author’s suggestions for your “big book,” see the full article here on The Washington Post’s website.

What is Wealth: The Size of Your Life or the Size of Your Wallet?

Articles of Interest, Financial Planningon July 27th, 2017No Comments

Written By: Cole DeLucas

What is wealth? At Yeske Buie, we make our stance on this question very clear. For us, it’s about the size of your life, not the size of your wallet®. The difficulty of this, for some, is that while the size of your “wallet” is quantifiable, the size of your life is more ambiguous. One data-driven measure of the quality of life that is being referenced more often is the Social Progress Index. Here, we explore how this index is trying to redefine traditional measures for quality of life.

In 2016, UK Business Insider released an article describing the Social Progress Index (SPI). The goal of this index is to measure the capacity of a society to meet the basic human needs of its citizens and establish the building blocks that allow citizens to improve their lives and meet their full potential. The index aims to challenge the way society defines quality of life and illustrates how GDP may not be the only way, after all, to calculate the quality of life of a country’s citizens. The SPI is broken down into three categories: basic human needs, foundations of well-being, and opportunity. In these categories, the Index measures social progress strictly by looking at the outcomes of a country’s initiatives. For example, rather than calculating how much a country spends on healthcare, the Index focuses on the health and wellness actually achieved by that country. The Index has evaluated and ranked 128 countries based on these categories and the rankings can be explored using the map below:


Like Yeske Buie’s focus on the size of one’s life, the Social Progress Index shows how wealth is not the defining factor in measuring one’s quality of life. Rather, living in a place that can provide more to life than just money, such as social freedoms, accessible healthcare, education and personal safety can make you feel wealthier than the richest person alive. Using resources like the ones available through the SPI website, you can explore how you define a high-quality life. We also have resources on our website including our Live Big list and our post titled “Attitude of Gratitude” that share different perspectives on finding meaning in life.

For more information on the Social Progress Index, please visit the following links:

The Best of 2015

Articles of Interest, Economy and Investing, Financial Planningon December 31st, 2015No Comments

2015As we prepare this edition of the Digest, we’re hoping that you had a great end to 2015 and celebrate the start to 2016 with your close family and friends. The end of one year and the beginning of another is a great time to reflect. As we reviewed the Digest posts of the year just ended, we were intrigued by what resonated with people the most and decided to share with you the top five posts from 2015 in each category in order of popularity.

Top Five “Economy and Investing” Posts:

Graph One1) Weekend Chart Challenge

In the spirit of “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” we offer a pop quiz to see if you can recognize the Dow’s first 8 months in each of the past 6 years.

2) Year-to-Date Market Update

What a difference a day makes, or, at least, a calendar quarter. So far this year, international stocks are outpacing U.S. equities by three to one.

3) Fiduciary Focus: Putting Clients First

President Obama proposes new fiduciary rules, something we’ve been fighting for for decades.

4) A Review: WSJ “Five Bedrock Principles for Investors”

Given the natural fluctuation of the markets over the past year, we offer a review of Morgan Housel’s bedrock principles to maximize the long-term returns of portfolios.

5) An Investment Approach That’s Stable, Not Static

We present a timeline of the shifts we’ve made to our portfolios to position our Clients’ investments to best harness the market’s movements for growth.


Top Five “Financial Planning” Posts:

Game Day Plan1) The Yeske Buie Playbook

In anticipation of Super Bowl XLIX, we thought we’d share the key elements of Yeske Buie’s Creative Strategies and Grounded Wisdom® playbook.

2) Finding the Right Benchmark for a Globally Diversified Portfolio

Clients often ask us what benchmark they should be comparing against their portfolio’s performance. Learn more about which indices we use.

3) The ABCs of an HSA

Health Savings Accounts, often simply referred to as HSAs, provide great benefits to account holders and have just a short list of eligibility requirements.

4) Employee Stock Options: Simplified

In this piece, we will help make sense of the two most common forms of stock options offered: Incentive Stock Options and Non-Qualified Stock Options (NQSOs).

5) Budgeting – Blending, Not Balancing

We often feel anxious because we think of fixed and discretionary expenses in terms of static “wants” vs. “needs” instead of a dynamic process of prioritization.


Top Five “Millennial” Posts:

1) Healthy Technology Habits

We offer several healthy technology habits that we follow at Yeske Buie as well as those you can practice yourself to help keep your identity safe.

2) Yeske Buie’s Financial Literacy Program

Yeske Buie has put together a financial literacy program to help you feel that your children and grandchildren are set up for financial success.

3) Money Tips for the Newly Married

Dave gives his thoughts on having productive money conversations prior to a couple’s marriage to ensure they are on the same page before they say, I do.

4) Estate Planning for Digital Assets

Whether your “stuff” is in your desk or in the cloud, it is just as important to ensure there are appropriate instructions for what to do once you are gone.

5) A Careful Review of Your Credit Report

We offer tips and information on how to obtain, review, and correct your credit report so you have one less thing to worry about this holiday season.


Top Five “Firm News and Events” Posts:

Yeske Buie Formal Group1) Yeske Buie Wins 2015 Charles Schwab & Co. Inc Trailblazer IMPACT Award

Yeske Buie was selected as the winner of the 2015 Trailblazer IMPACT Award, part of Schwab’s IMPACT Awards® program created to recognize excellence in the business of independent financial advice.

2) Yeske Buie’s BIGGEST Company Retreat

Our Fall 2015 Retreat was our biggest retreat to date not only because of the size of our staff, but also because of our retreat work which resulted in the creation of the BIGs.

3) Yeske Buie Financial Planning Resident Program

Yeske Buie’s Financial Planning Resident Program aims to help contribute to the pipeline of new planners entering the financial planning profession.

4) Yeske Buie’s Internship Program: Good for the Company and for the Intern

We reveal why we are passionate about our internship program and and why we believe it provides a multitude of benefits to all involved.

5) Give Big: Yeske Buie Volunteer Events

Members of our team volunteer regularly with organizations including Habitat for Humanity and Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation as part of Yeske Buie’s Give Big initiative.


Top Five “YeBu in the Media” Posts:

Elissa Standing Shot1) Elissa Buie Named to 2015 InvestmentNews Women to Watch List

InvestmentNews has named Elissa Buie to its inaugural Women to Watch list which honors female advisors who elevate the financial advice industry.

2) Yusuf Abugideiri Named Co-Chair of the Recent Alumni Board of the Pamplin College of Business

The Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech has named Yusuf Abugideiri, CFP® as co-chair of its inaugural Recent Alumni Board effective June 22, 2015.

3) Elissa Shares Live Big® Philosophy with WRNW Women’s Radio Network

Elissa made an appearance on the Women’s Radio Network. The topic of Elissa’s show was one that is near and dear to Yeske Buie – what does it mean to Live Big®?

4) FPA and Journal of Financial Planning Announce Dr. Dave Yeske to Become New Practitioner Editor

Dr. Dave Yeske, CFP will become Practitioner Editor of the award-winning peer-reviewed Journal of Financial Planning effective June 1, 2015.

5) Yeske Buie Congratulatory Ad Appearing in San Francisco Chronicle

In honor of Yeske Buie’s recognition as 2015 Trailblazers, Schwab ran a congratulatory ad in the December 11th edition of the San Francisco Chronicle.


Top Three “Fun Stuff” Posts:

WWLBG - COMPRESSED1) Where in the World is the Live Big® Glass?

We share a gallery of photos of our Clients, Family, and Friends enjoying their Live Big® glass from all over the world.

2) Keeping the “Thanks” in Thanksgiving

Amid the trivial commotion that comes with the holidays, it can be easy to lose sight of the foundational purpose of Thanksgiving; gratitude.

3) Facetious Financial News

We share this satirical economic news video for a good laugh today and we encourage you to keep it as a distraction whenever “the numbers” feel scary.


Top Five Most Popular Posts Of All Time:

banco sabadell flash mob1) Perhaps the Most Beautiful Flash Mob Ever…

Our good friend Ed Jacobson, PhD, author of Appreciative Moments, sent us a video we thought you’d appreciate. Elissa called it “perhaps the most beautiful flash mob ever…

2) Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) and Yeske Buie

Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) was founded in 1981 to apply academic research on capital market behavior to the practice of managing investment portfolios.

3) What Does It Mean To Live Big® In These Trying Times?

What does Live Big® mean? It’s not about “living large” or overindulging.  Live Big is about the size of your life, not the size of your wallet

4) Your Identity: A Force to be Reckoned With

Yeske Buie is pleased to announce our new agreement with IdentityForce to provide identity protection services to our clients at a significant discount.

5) The Power Couple

GGU Magazine’s Spring 2013 issue cover story, “The Power Couple,” profiles Elissa and Dave and their team approach to teaching, financial planning, and living.


Expert Spotlight: Dr. Jim McCabe on Authentic Conversations

Articles of Intereston April 9th, 2015No Comments

Outdoor Mother Daughter ChatI had a meeting last week with a client for some ongoing eldercare planning for her parents. In the middle of our discussion, she mused aloud that she could not recall when the conversation had changed. “As long as I can remember, my conversations with my parents were about me! My latest career challenge, a travel adventure, or what was going on with my kids. Now the discussion is focused on what is going on for them and how to get through the latest challenge of Aging!”

For the most part, I have found that adult children are poorly prepared to have productive and satisfying conversations with their parents about what they need as they age. There are the many reasons for that: denial, busy schedules, and distance. At the same time, many people struggle with the challenges of communication with a parent as a result of not knowing how to have what I call an “authentic conversation”.

Even in the healthiest family systems, communication can be difficult because of generational differences, lack of consensus about priorities and eldercare liabilities.

General Differences

Jim Comer* describes his experience of trying to help his parents with long-term care decisions as “walking at the speed of a walker!” It is not a process that can be hurried. His experience supports one of my cardinal rules when I consult with professionals about selling to seniors: don’t make a long story short!

Unfortunately, many elderly are so consumed with anxiety about making a bad decision, that in order to avoid making a mistake, they avoid making any decision at all!

Advisors and families are faced with the delicate balance of providing as much information as possible so that the senior can make an informed decision and, at the same time, structuring the process in such a way that there are deadlines for taking action. My most successful strategy for getting to a decision point with elderly clients is to lay out the risks of NOT making a decision in a timely way.

The process is also complicated by the fact that the tools used to make the decisions can be foreign to most seniors and compete with many of their values. The transactions are done on line (so there is no person to interact with), the purchase must be paid for in advance of getting the service (how do I know I am getting what I paid for?), and credit cards are the standard mechanism for making the purchase (credit debt is a sin!).

The Process of Communication

There are several critical steps that need to be addressed to have any chance of gaining consensus about the need for a conversation and getting seniors to buy into the process. Even before the conversation takes shape, three critical questions need to be asked.

1. What are the concerns?

Can all of the parties agree on what the primary concerns are? Much like a risk assessment that you do with your clients around estate planning, can we get inside the heads of the stakeholders to determine what they are concerned about? Two of the top concerns of adult children in relation to an elderly parent are safety and competency. Unfortunately, for their parents, the hot points are typically independence and privacy. So the staring point is reconciling these disparate concerns into one conversation?

2. What is the purpose or goal of discussing these concerns?

While almost all families would say they are after “what is in mom’s best interest”, personal agendas can be troublesome. The competition among three sisters has derailed the planning for one of my senior clients. In another family, a son’s unwillingness to share any information with his siblings about the parents’ finances has created hard feelings. Individually, each of these people has promised me cooperation, but when the actual conversation begins and emotions take over, it is almost impossible for them to rise above their own issues. Time and again adult children need to be reminded that the effort is about what’s best for mom.

3. What is getting in the way of having the discussion?

A couple in their 80’s was in my office recently complaining that their children did not want to talk about health care issues and concerns. Another client in her 80’s resented that her daughter had attempted to talk about a plan. “I felt that my daughter was measuring me for the black dress and I told her so!” In a follow-up conversation with the daughter, I found her devastated at her mother’s response.

Barriers to authentic conversations often have nothing to do with the presenting problem or specific needs of the elder family member. Typically, families struggle with the process either because there is little history of open communication among people or there is a history of conflict that presents so much emotional baggage that a civilized discussion is virtually impossible.

Families with a history of conflict really struggle with productive conversations. These conflicts typically revolve around guilt and/or money. Either the guilty child is struggling to make up for past behaviors that put him in a bad light with relatives or conflicts around money rooted in concerns about fairness derail the process.


Emotional Liability

While authentic communication can be a healthy thing, facilitating the conversation can carry some liabilities. Much like the daughter who was chastised by her mother for “just trying to help”, the potential to be misunderstood is great. I have seen a number of cases where the child who is accused of “taking over” when he steps in to help and now is alienated from his parents.

Financial Liability

Getting involved in elder care giving can be very expensive. The cost of housing, health care, and other senior services can be overwhelming for family members especially if the parents are unwilling or unable to help with the cost of things. Adult children are often hesitant to suggest things for fear of creating a financial liability that they cannot meet.

Geographical Liability

Care giving at a distance can be the most challenging situation for an adult child who is trying to help an aging parent. The possibility of having the good conversation at a distance is limited because authentic communication requires both face to face visual and verbal exchanges to get through some of the tough emotional topics related to eldercare.

Familial Liability

Approximately one-fifth of the families I work with have underlying emotional issues that have resulted in such conflict that they easily lose sight of the goal of “doing what’s best for mom”. For some families, the costs of care giving for a son or daughter have not been appropriately appreciated. For others, past “sins” have placed their motives under suspicion. And while the vast majority of family members have good intentions for their parents, competition over who decides or who is in charge get in the way.

The Distribution of “Rights”

When families contract with me to help with these conversations, one of the first questions they ask is: should mom be included in the conversation”? My response is to go back to the initial questions to get a sense of where they are in the process. I want to have them tell me what they see as the concerns, goals and barriers around the conversations.

If the goal is to manage conflict or get consensus among adult children about how to proceed, I suggest that a meeting without mom might be useful because the initial meeting is clearly going to be about the interests of the children and not about what is best for mom. Once the children are able to agree on one or two issues, it is probably time to get the parent(s) involved.

Authentic conversations cannot take place unless the “rights” of all involved are addressed. Those include: getting everybody around the table to suspend the need to be “right”. There needs to be agreement that the purpose of the meeting is to come up with some possible options that might be “right” for mom.

I also believe that in cases, when a family member refuses to contribute to the discussion, he also relinquishes his “right” to be actively involved in the ongoing process of putting the plan in place.

Finally in order for any conversation to be truly “authentic”, It must involve the “person of interest”. Mom has a right, if she is interested, willing and capable, to be actively involved in decisions about how things will proceed, who will help with the process and what her role will be along the way.


For more information about managing the challenges of eldercare, contact:

Dr. Jim McCabe


33 Los Altos Square

Los Altos, CA 94022

The Best of 2014

Articles of Interest, Economy and Investing, Financial Planningon December 31st, 2014No Comments

As we prepare this edition of the Digest, we’re hoping that you had a great end to 2014 and celebrated the start to 2015 with your close family and friends.The end of one year and the beginning of another is a great time to reflect. As we reviewed the Digest posts of the year just ended, we were intrigued by what resonated with people the most and decided to share with you the top five posts from 2014 in each category in order of popularity.

Top Five “Economy and Investing” Posts:

chart1) January 29, 2014
Video: The Wisdom of Crowds
We conducted an experiment testing the “wisdom of crowds”, the proposition that, in many situations, the collective wisdom of a group will surpass that of even its smartest individual members.

2) October 15, 2014
Ignore the Headlines
Dave shares a few thoughts on the current state of the world as the ebb and flow of daily crises seem to have surged past some invisible threshold that leaves us feeling off balance and scrambling for a firm place to stand.

3) January 16, 2014
A Different Dimension
Nobelist Gene Fama and Dimensional Fund Advisors have drawn favorable attention lately with both a cover feature in Barron’s and an appreciation in Morningstar.

4) July 2, 2014
How to Pick Hot Stocks: Secrets of a Stock Picker
The dream of “beating the market” has persisted for as long as there have been markets to beat.

5) April 9, 2014
Flash Boys and Flashy Headlines
Dave’s take on Michael Lewis’s new book, “Flash Boys”, which focuses on high-frequency trading (HFT), the theory that smart technologists have figured out ways to legally “front run” other investors, driving up their cost of buying shares. 


Top Five “Financial Planning” Posts:

Umbrella1) April 24, 2014
Expert Spotlight: Jim McCabe on How to Age Well
Jim McCabe recently took some time to reflect on many of the families he has worked with over the years and the challenges they have faced together.

2) July 17, 2014
Ask Elissa and Dave Column
Share your curiosity with Elissa and Dave and receive an answer to the questions you’ve always wanted to ask.

3) July 17, 2014
Millennials, Don’t Let Mayhem Get the Best of You
If you’re a member of the millennial generation, or you know a millennial, we want to talk to you about why young people need liability insurance.

4) October 9, 2014
Spare Your Heirs the Drama: Lessons from Robin Williams’ Estate Plan
We feel there are some key lessons to be learned from Robin Williams’ estate plan – have estate documents to make your wishes known, determine your privacy preference, and be aware of the potential gaps.

5) December 4, 2014
Decision Architecture: Building Better Choices
Developing good policies can be thought of as a form of “decision architecture” in which we structure the policies in such a way as to leverage our natural human proclivities, like sticking with our default options.


Top Five “Firm News and Events” Posts:

Maegan+Yusuf_Wedding-294-Candid-WL1) June 5, 2014
Yusuf and Maegan’s Professional Wedding Photos
Yusuf and Maegan’s professional wedding photos are in! Take a look at the newlyweds…

2) February 13, 2014
Elissa and Dave Sailing in the BVI
Elissa and Dave enjoyed a sailing excursion in the British Virgin Islands. Here are a few pictures from their trip.

3) February 13, 2014
Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing
Elissa and Dave were part of the dynamic team of academics and experienced practitioners who contributed to the body of knowledge in “Investor Behavior.”

4) January 16, 2014
Yeske Buie Open House in Vienna
The Yeske Buie Open House in Vienna featured a professional tarot card reader, catering from Purple Onion Catering Co, and wines from three of Elissa and Dave’s favorite wineries in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County.

5) April 10, 2014
Give Big
While giving back to the community has always been a Yeske Buie value, this year we have implemented a campaign for the Yeske Buie Team to volunteer on a quarterly basis called Give Big to make a difference in our local communities.


Top Five “Fun Stuff” Posts:

Elissa and Dave1) January 29, 2014
Video: The Wisdom of Crowds
We conducted an experiment testing the “wisdom of crowds”, the proposition that, in many situations, the collective wisdom of a group will surpass that of even its smartest individual members.

2) July 31, 2014
The Live Big Chronicles – Live Big, Live Free
We were recently inspired by that idea to create The Live Big Chronicles, a new list that chronicles some of the things you can do to Live Big in the DC/Maryland/Virginia (DMV) and San Francisco areas without spending any money at all.

3) June 19, 2014
Take a Seat – Make a Friend?
Put two strangers in a ball pit and have them talk to each other. What can happen?

4) September 11, 2014
Elissa and Dave’s Live Big Euro Trip
This year, Elissa and Dave took a two week trip to London and Barcelona. Visits to London are special for Elissa and Dave as Elissa’s mother was British and she still has many relatives in the area.

5) August 14, 2014
Sheppard Kominars: Portal Poems
When we get the opportunity and permission, we like to highlight the projects our clients have worked on. Most recently we’ve explored Sheppard Kominars’ personal journey throughout the past couple decades of his life through a book called Portal Poems: Perspectives on Aging


Top Five “YeBu in the Media” Posts:

DY on CNBC 2 Cropped1) February 28, 2014
Dave in the Chicago Tribune
Dave was recently quoted in the Chicago Tribune, where writer Janet Kidd Stewart tells readers how ‘Getting personal with your financial expert can pay off.’  

2) January 29, 2014
Dave Quoted in CNBC
When it comes to assessing where to put money to work in 2014, Andrew Osterland of CNBC reports that advisors are largely in agreement: tilt towards stocks.

3) October 24, 2014
Elissa Buie Appears in Washingtonian Magazine
Elissa Buie appears on Washingtonian Magazine’s list of top money advisors for the fifth time. Elissa has appears on all four of Washingtonian’s previous lists of top financial planners.

4) November 20, 2014
Elissa Buie Appears in Financial Times Magazine
Financial Times, the venerable 126 year old London based newspaper, has named Elissa Buie to its inaugural FT Top 100 Women Financial Advisers list for 2014.

5) October 16, 2014
NYTimes: Market Turbulence Serves as Reminder to Tread Lightly
Tara Siegel Bernard ends her New York Times article with a reference to the Yeske Buie approach to weathering choppy markets.


Top Ten Most Popular Posts Of All Time:

banco sabadell flash mob1) December 19, 2012
Perhaps the most beautiful flash mob ever . . .
Our good friend Ed Jacobson, PhD, author of Appreciative Moments, sent us a video we thought you’d appreciate. Elissa called it “perhaps the most beautiful flash mob ever.

2) April 3, 2013
The Great Disinformation: Why David Stockman is Wrong
Ideology, not economics, is at the center of Stockman’s arguments. And his ideology is whole and consistent and dyspeptic and dystopian. Here’s why he’s wrong.

3) March 23, 2013
Stand By Me
A global rendition of the classic Ben E. King song Stand By Me from the documentary “Playing for Change: Peace Through Music.”

4) June 6, 2013
Managing Risk when Rebalancing into Bonds
Strong stock market gains have triggered rebalancing into bonds at a time when many consider the bond market expensive. Out of the frying pan and into the fire?

5) March 6, 2009
What does it mean to Live Big® in these trying times?
What does Live Big mean?  Some may interpret it as meaning “spend big”, “live large” or a recommendation to some other form of overindulgence.  But Live Big is not about the size of your wallet, it’s about the size of your life.  In these crazy economic times, it can sometimes be difficult to remember the areas in our life where we can Live Big without spending (much, if any) money.  But if we can find the place of gratitude for what we have, we can find joy in the most mundane of places, and, hopefully, at least get our minds off of how scary the world can feel at times.

6) October 5, 2012
Portfolio Strategy Update: Toward a Truly Global Portfolio
You’ve often heard us say that it makes sense to be “geographically-neutral,” that there is no systematic return associated with geographic allocation. One exception in recent years has been an extreme under-weighting of so-called Emerging Markets, which for some time represented less than a tenth of their true market weight in our portfolios.  We moved to shift that balance in January (The Case for Emerging Markets) and have now made a further shift toward emerging markets that has completed this transition to a “geographically-neutral” allocation.

7) June 20, 2010
Chaotic Systems, or why the market is a lot like the weather
Why should the radar map of a storm that swept Oklahoma in 1999, spawning 7 tornadoes and $1 billion in damage resemble’s Map of the Market?

8) January 29, 2014
Video: The Wisdom of Crowds
We conducted an experiment testing the “wisdom of crowds”, the proposition that, in many situations, the collective wisdom of a group will surpass that of even its smartest individual members.

9) October 15, 2014
Ignore the Headlines
Dave shares a few thoughts on the current state of the world as the ebb and flow of daily crises seem to have surged past some invisible threshold that leaves us feeling off balance and scrambling for a firm place to stand.

Elissa and Paul WEB10) October 24, 2013
Elissa Awarded Financial Planning Profession’s Highest Honor
In October 2013, Elissa was awarded the prestigious P. Kemp Fain, Jr. Award, the Financial Planning profession’s equivalent of a lifetime achievement award. Elissa’s significant role in merging the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (ICFP) and the International Association for Financial Planning (IAFP) to form the Financial Planning Association, her contributions as a thought leader to the advancement of the profession through her writing, presenting, and teaching, and her contributions to society and the profession through her work at the Foundation for Financial Planning were highlighted as she received the award.


Here’s wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!

How to Hire the Next Generation

Articles of Interest, Yeske Buie in the Mediaon November 3rd, 2014No Comments

Yusuf FP Mag coverThe November issue of Financial Planning Magazine sports the smiling face of our very own Yusuf Abugideiri under the heading, How to Hire the Next Generation.  Elissa is quoted extensively in the accompanying article, beginning with a discussion of how Yeske Buie has helped support the FPA student chapter at Virginia Tech.

Wealth management executive Elissa Buie, for instance, has co-sponsored FPA chapters at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., as well as William Paterson. “I pay for dues and pizza, and I’ve also gone and spoken at the FPA chapter at Virginia Tech,” says Buie, co-founder and CEO of Yeske Buie, which has offices in San Francisco and in Vienna, Va. “When students get input from people who are out in the world doing [the work], it’s really valuable.”

Elissa also discusses Yeske Buie’s team approach to serving clients and how this creates opportunities for young planners, interns, and residents to get client-facing experience from day one.

“We always have a senior planner in a meeting, plus a second chair for someone who is more junior. The intern shadows that [junior] person,” says Buie, whose firm offers both internships and residencies. “They learn what it means to prepare for a meeting, take notes, and do the follow-up.”

Buie also assigns interns projects. “Maybe we have client tax returns, but we haven’t been tracking losses carried forward. We might have [interns] create the database, go through the returns and enter the data. Is it generally done very well? Yes,” she continues. “Perfectly? No — but it’s easier for an assistant financial planner to do cleanup than to do it all from scratch.”

Elissa also has the opportunity to highlight the key drivers behind Yeske Buie’s “In Residence” program.

Buie does hire some former interns, but her firm also uses the residencies to attract young talent while managing their expectations. Residents join the firm for two or three years, and are paid the same as a permanent hire at the same level — but everyone knows that their time at the firm is finite.

“You can’t keep growing and hiring and have everyone on a partnership track,” she says. “Our residents fill the paraplanner positions. They … get experience and take the CFP exam while they’re with us. When they leave, they’ll be ready to get scooped up by another firm or start their own business.”

Learn more about Elissa and Yusuf’s background.

The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare

Articles of Intereston October 24th, 2013No Comments

The Kaiser Family Foundation has created an animation series known as the “YouToons” to make learning about the healthcare law a much more easy-to-follow and enjoyable process.  The following video is well worth the seven minutes to get the basics on Obamacare. We recently wrote a post on the new marketplaces, which is a facet of the Affordable Care Act, but the video will touch on a more comprehensive, albeit brief, summary of all of the different pieces of the Act. And now for the YouToons…

“The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare: Health Insurance Changes Coming Your Way Under the Affordable Care Act,” The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, accessed Oct. 10, 2013, []

Your Email Inbox: The Weakest Link?

Articles of Interest, Cybersecurity, Financial Planning, Yeske Buie Millennialon June 20th, 2013No Comments

EmailAdvancements in technology have revolutionized how we live and communicate, with few technologies dominating more of our daily life than email. The convenience and ubiquity of email, however, has a dark side: as more of our personal and financial information finds its way to our email inbox, it becomes an irresistible target to hackers and identity thieves. It is only with prudence and the diligent application of good email “hygiene” that we can keep the hackers at bay. To that end, we here offer tips for practicing safe email hygiene, as well as a plan of action for dealing with a compromised email account.


Practice Safe Email Hygiene

  • Be sure the passwords attached to your accounts follow these best practices:
    -Employ a mixture of letters, numbers, and special characters
    -Do not use actual words
    -Avoid patterns that would be easy to identify such as birthdays or names of family members
  • Set up two-step account verification – this means no computer or device can access your email without first being authorized by entering a code sent to your cell phone.
  • If something seems strange or out of the ordinary, trust your instinct and take a closer look at the email you received.
  • Double check the sender’s email address as hackers will use familiar names in the address line and body of the email but have a strange email address listed as the sender. For example, if an email address is, they may modify it to,, or some other similar variation hoping you won’t notice the minor change.
  • ALWAYS hover over a link before clicking and read the website address. If it doesn’t make sense (isn’t clearly about what it is meant to be about), don’t click on it and contact the sender to see if they are legitimate. Even something as seemingly innocent as clicking on a link can unleash evil stuff onto your computer and onto your network.
  • Do not save important information (Social Security Number, passwords, date of birth, etc.) via email. Emails don’t get intercepted, accounts get hacked. They will find it in your inbox. If you must send information via email, make sure to delete the message from your sent folder and trash folder, or from your inbox and trash folder if you are the recipient. Ideally, it would be best to either password protect a document that has this information or transmit the information verbally so there is no written record to potentially be hijacked.
  • Many of us check our email on devices other than our computer, such as our cell phones, iPads, tablets, etc. Protect these devices by setting up a passcode and selecting the option to have the devices’s memory erased if too many attempts are made with the wrong code. If you’re using Apple products, be sure to activate “find my iPhone,” which will allow you to remotely erase the memory of lost iPhones and iPads.
  • Have a list of your contacts saved to another email account or other storage device that you can access easily. If you are ever locked out of your email account by a hacker, this list can be a good back up for the information you will need so you can notify your network about the breach immediately.

What To Do If Your Email Account Has Been Compromised

  • Change your password IMMEDIATELY.
  • Search your sent folder to see who the hacker may have contacted. In some instances the hacker may have deleted the emails they sent, so search your trash folder as well.
  • Send an email to your contacts telling them that they should not act on any requests for money or private information and that you either have regained control of your email or will be switching to a different email soon.
  • If you decide to change your email or are locked out of it, update any accounts that had your old email address listed as a login ID or for electronic correspondence.
  • If you are concerned the hacker may have gained access to your financial details, sign up for a credit monitoring service with TransUnion, Experian, Equifax, and/or IdentityForce.

Other Resources

How To Guard Against Identity Theft
Learn about the different types of identity theft, how hackers get your information, and how to protect yourself

Staying Safe in the Technology Age
Review Schwab’s Security Guarantee and Yeske Buie’s Security Policies

Live Big® Digest – Housekeeping Edition – Cloud Hygiene
James Fallows wrote an interesting article in the November 2011 issue of The Atlantic (“Hacked”),  in which he relates the experience he and his wife had when her Gmail account was hacked

15 Transformational Advisers: David Yeske and Elissa Buie

Articles of Interest, Policy-Based Financial Planning, Yeske Buie in the Mediaon June 20th, 2013No Comments

Elissa and Dave were featured in InvestmentNews‘ 15th anniversary edition special feature of the top 15 transformational advisers.  The feature, written by Andrew Osterland, highlights Elissa and Dave’s relationship and their extensive contributions to the financial planning profession, focusing especially on their work in the areas of “policy-based financial planning” and the introduction to greater scientific rigor to the profession’s body of knowledge.


Osterland notes Elissa and Dave’s longtime commitment to improving practice through research and teaching.

The two financial advisers, whose firm has offices in Vienna, Va., and San Francisco, are well-known in the financial planning profession for their work at the industry’s major trade group — the Financial Planning Association — as well as their roles as educators at Golden Gate University and their contributions to the academic literature of the financial advice field.

Also noted in the article was the work Elissa and Dave have done to develop the concept of “Policy-Based Financial Planning,” which involves the development of compact decision rules that can guide clients who must make decisions in the face of a rapidly changing environment.

Mr. Yeske’s and Ms. Buie’s most important contribution to the academic literature was a paper published in the Journal of Financial Planning that they co-authored in 2006 on policy-based planning. In it, they argued that just as advisers use investment policies in managing assets, they also should draft policies to guide their planning with clients.

Elissa and Dave in the Wall Street Journal

Articles of Interest, Yeske Buie in the Mediaon June 6th, 20131 Comment

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal profiled three adviser couples who work together. Elissa and Dave were one of those couples. Here is what Caitlin Nish had to say in her article, “Adviser Couples Who Live, Work Together”.

Elissa and Dave in Alaska

Dave Yeske and Elissa Buie

Yeske Buie Inc., Vienna, Va. and San Francisco, $440 million in assets under management

First comes a board commitment, then comes marriage:

Mr. Yeske and Ms. Buie met while on the board of a financial planning group in 1996. At the time, they each had their own practice–on opposite coasts, he in California and she in Virginia. They also were married to others. Six years later, when both were single again and at a conference in Alaska, they decided not to let 2,419 miles stand between them, Ms. Buie says.

They married in 2006 and finished merging their firms in 2008.

Why they combined practices:

“At first we assumed we wouldn’t merge,” Mr. Yeske says. “We thought we might kill each other.” But their businesses were complementary: Ms. Buie had the staff and systems to serve clients in a particularly consistent and effective way. Mr. Yeske had hardly any staff but strong technology.

They also had different interests: Ms. Buie wanted to manage the business. Mr. Yeske wanted to work with clients and bring in new ones.

How he got top billing:

Ms. Buie volunteered for the second spot in the firm’s name. “She said, ‘It matters more to you. And, oh, by the way, I’m going to be the CEO,'” Mr. Yeske recalls.

The toughest part of working together:

“We eat, sleep and breathe the business,” Ms. Buie says, adding that it occasionally frustrates their daughters. “The challenge is making sure we focus on things other than the business.” These include sports, opera and travel.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson