Lessons on Living Fully: Anthony Bourdain

Lessons on Living Fully: Anthony Bourdain

Earlier this summer, Anthony Bourdain passed away. His passing was marked by a remarkable outpouring of grief, not just from people who knew him, but from his fans as well. This grief felt more widespread than when we’ve lost other public figures. Perhaps his cause of death was part of this, but I have a feeling it wasn’t just Bourdain’s death itself, but something more that made this loss so deep. Bourdain was an example to many of us of what it means to live a full life. He was an inspiration or, perhaps, an aspiration, to all kinds of people across the world. (more…)

Merriman’s Take | The Role of Bonds

Merriman’s Take | The Role of Bonds

Stocks and bonds are the basic building blocks of our portfolio. Think of stocks as the offense and bonds as the defense. Bonds are basically loans to a government entity or company that are paid back over time. Depending on how creditworthy the borrower is and how long the borrower will take to repay the loan, bonds can be relatively safe investments, or carry more risk. The two big factors that help investors classify bonds are referred to as quality and maturity. (more…)

Merriman’s Take | The Role of Stocks

Merriman’s Take | The Role of Stocks

Stocks represent ownership in a company and provide the long-term growth an investment portfolio needs. When you invest in stocks, you invest in the growth of companies and the economy.

While bonds provide investors with stability and are more predictable, stocks have outperformed them for decades. Whether you invest in large companies or small ones, history shows that stocks will outpace bonds, as the above graph shows. Note, too, the difference between short and long-term bond investments. Over the last 90+ years, short-term bonds barely kept up with inflation, meaning investors who committed to short-term bond portfolios over the long term may have actually lost money over time. In fact, without stocks driving growth in a portfolio, even keeping up with inflation can be a challenge. We know that without stocks, an investment portfolio isn’t going to help you meet your goals. (more…)

Swedish Death Cleaning

Swedish Death Cleaning

As hard as it is to think about, the end of life will involve your loved ones cleaning out your home. At Merriman, we work with you and your estate planning team to get your financial affairs in order, both to ensure your wishes are met, but also for the ease of those people in your life who are most important to you. Margareta Magnusson recently published a book entitled The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter. Swedish death cleaning? While the sound of it may make you a little nervous, it’s a useful tool to cut down on possessions in a service to your loved ones and a fulfillment of that same goal.

(more…)

Merriman’s Take | Stocks vs Bonds

Merriman’s Take | Stocks vs Bonds


What’s the best asset mix for you? You already know that your two major options are stocks and bonds. The choice between them represents a basic tradeoff: growth vs. stability. Investing in stocks is more likely to produce higher returns than investing in bonds, but with more volatility. (more…)

Merriman’s Take | How We Pick Investments

Merriman’s Take | How We Pick Investments

Merriman is an independent investment advisor. That means we don’t receive any income or financial benefit from the companies whose products we recommend for you. This keeps us on the same side of the table with you, allowing us to fulfill our fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of our clients, and we take that responsibility seriously.

Our research department reviews the available investment options and selects investments based on the following key principles. (more…)