Blog Posts

Should I Panic Yet?

Stock market anxiety has suddenly gone mainstream, with otherwise normal people talking about an “inverted yield curve.” You get returns on stock ownership because of the risk, not despite the risk. It’s the inherent and persistent uncertainty in the stock market that generates higher returns than more predictable investments like bonds. There’s always a lot to worry about. The modern stock market has been around for more than 120 years, through political upheaval, scandals, wars, depressions and discontent. In the long-run, companies figure out a way to grow and generate profits. Don’t panic.

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Tim Quillin
Aptus Guest Post On White Coat Investor Blog: "Automated Cash Flow Systems: Put Your Money on Autopilot"

Aptus partner Tim Quillin's guest post on the White Coat Investor blog discusses how an automated cash flow system can “help you determine the best balance of spending in ways that make you happy, bring you peace of mind and express your values…” He adds, "Financial success hinges on one critical concept: spending less money than you make. For those of you lucky enough to be natural savers, this is intuitive and relatively effortless. For many people, though, even high-income physicians, this is often much easier said than done."

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Tim Quillin
How Much Should I Save for Retirement?

How much should you save? We’ve attempted some general recommendations, but the most important rule of thumb is to save as much as you can. Your current self needs most of your income, but your future self also needs some love. You will never talk to a 65-year-old who says, “Gosh, I wish I had saved less for retirement.”

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Tim Quillin
Aptus Named Best of Arkansas!

This was an unexpected honor in Arkansas Times’ Best of Arkansas issue. Our clients are the best. We’re thrilled that they support our business model. Our clients would love to see the industry move toward flat fees and no conflicts. We have a cult following across the country, but it's great that folks in our backyard are noticing. Thank you!

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Tim Quillin
You Can't Beat the Street; Sell the Individual Stocks and Buy Index Funds

Many of us at Aptus have experience in stock research. We’ve seen how the sausage is made on Wall Street and we can say with some confidence that you can’t beat the Street—you are much better off investing in broad index funds. It’s just extremely hard for the average investor to consistently and systematically pick a portfolio of individual stocks that beats a simple index fund over time. There are many reasons why this is the case, including market efficiency, competition from professionals and positive skew.

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Tim Quillin
A Crisis Ahead

Aptus partner Tim Quillin’s op-ed discusses the retirement crisis, legislation to address it and the need for a grass roots effort to Save 10 and Run a 401k. “I ask everyone to commit to save at least 10% of their gross pay for retirement. I don’t take this lightly and I know it will be a real challenge for some families to save 10% of their income. But I also know it’s a struggle for retirees to make ends meet on just social security income. Second, I ask that every business owner in America “Run a 401k.” It sounds more exhausting than running a 5k but trust me, it’s not. Set up a 401(k) plan for your business.”

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Tim Quillin
DIY 'Til I Die; You Can DIY Your Investments If You Have The DIY Ethic

Our clients are intelligent, savvy, curious, confident, humble and a little bit punk. Our business is subversive. We exist as a reaction to the status quo: a financial services patriarchy charging high fees for overly complex solutions. We teach our clients to manage their own money, simply and effectively, so more of it stays in their pocket. This is dangerous.

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Tim Quillin
Forget the Credit Card Rewards and Consider Spending with a Debit Card

Many of our clients use credit cards prudently and accumulate rewards while staying within their budget. They pay off their credit cards in full each month and go on vacations with their reward points. The evidence is pretty strong, though, that people are inclined to spend more when using credit cards rather than debit cards. The 1%-2% you get back in reward points may not be worth it if you spend 10% more than you would without the credit card.

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Tim Quillin
You Can Slay Student Debt, But There's No One-Size-Fits-All Approach

At Aptus, we often work with clients who carry high-six-figure or even low-seven-figure student loan balances. The good news is that folks with postgraduate degrees and high levels of student debt can usually manage it down relatively quickly. It can seem overwhelming, but there are many effective approaches to slaying student debt, typically involving the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, refinancing or both.

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Tim Quillin
The Self-Healing Global Economy

If the stock market seems especially risky, that probably bodes well for future returns. We believe the global economic system is self-healing over the long run. When there’s a fissure in the system, the components of the system identify, respond and fix the system. We encourage our clients to “set it and forget it.” Focus on what you can control and stay the course with your investment strategy.

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Tim Quillin
The Best Time To Nudge Your Employees To Save

Aptus founder Sarah-Catherine Phillips Gutierrez's commentary in Arkansas Business makes a simple ask. This holiday, talk to your loved ones, your co-workers, your friends, your community about money. Urge them to resolve this New Year to call up their HR department and request that 10 percent of their pay go to savings. They might just do it.

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Sarah Catherine Gutierrez
Financial Tips For Parents

Parenting is hard. We get it. We live it. Our primary mission is to love our children, and for most of us it’s mission accomplished on that front. What’s more challenging is nurturing, protecting, educating and encouraging our children so that they eventually become independent, productive, happy adults. We sure don’t have all the answers, but we offer a few [mostly] financial tips for parents.

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Tim Quillin
Avoid The AUM Fees, You Are Better Off Doing It Yourself

Many people who give financial advice have business models that make it hard for them to work solely for you and in your best interests. We believe you’re better off—and will have a greater sense of financial control—if you do it yourself with the guidance of a flat-fee or hourly rate financial planner. Avoid those asset under management (AUM) fees, which many investors overlook because they are automatically deducted from their account. If a 1% AUM fee seems like a tiny slice of your nest egg, think of it instead as a 20% chunk of your annual investment returns—now that’s meaningful.

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Tim Quillin
Great Small-Business 401(K) Plans Are Possible If You Take A DIY Approach

We believe small business 401(k)s can be less expensive than feared, relatively simple to manage and provide significant long-term benefits to both owners and employees. For high-earning small business owners, the ability to defer taxes on a significant chunk of income each year—more than is possible with a SIMPLE IRA—and avoid the pro rata rule on “backdoor” Roth IRA contributions make 401(k) plans attractive, especially over the long run.

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Tim Quillin
One Key To Financial Wellness: Find A Job You Love

At Aptus, we believe simple beats complex almost every darn time. Find a job you love [or at least don’t hate], spend less than you make, save for rainy days and retirement, and invest simply and wisely. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. When we present this concept to clients, we often caveat it by saying we can’t really help them find a job. There are limits to the scope of our work, right? Well, we’re not a staffing firm but we do have some thoughts on finding a job you love.

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Tim Quillin
Buyer Beware

Aptus partner Tim Quillin’s op-ed highlights the ongoing regulatory efforts to force brokers to act in their clients’ best interests. “…this is probably not an issue that will be solved by government intervention. Folks, we need to assume that many of the people who give financial advice are not always looking out for us. In the financial world, we need a healthy level of cynicism. If you have the right personality and disposition, you're better off managing your own money.”

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Tim Quillin