28 12, 2015

KOM Financial Blog – Investing vs Gambling

By |December 28th, 2015|News|Comments Off on KOM Financial Blog – Investing vs Gambling|

By: Jack Strada – KOM Financial Planning

If I offered you a game of chance, where 75% of the time you would win and 25% of the time you would lose, would you play? Most people would. Thought of as another way, if a Las Vegas casino offered people 75% odds of winning, they would go bankrupt in a hurry.

Is investing like gambling? Not if you focus on what you can control and think long-term. Below is a histogram of annual US stock returns from 1926-2014:

Source: Dimensional Funds. CRSP data provided by the Center for Research in Security Prices, University of Chicago. The CRSP 1-10 Index measures the performance of the total US stock market, which it defines as the aggregate capitalization of all securities listed on the NYSE, AMEX, and NASDAQ exchanges. Indices are not available for direct investment; therefore, their performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

If you invest in a US stock market index, and hold it for the long-term, you should see similar results. This is why I encourage my clients to hold at least a portion of their savings in a stock market fund. Buy and hold for the long-term, and don’t panic when the market has a bad year, or years. Historically, this has proven the best way to grow your wealth at a rate greater than inflation.

Let the markets work for you: use history to guide your decisions, keep your costs low, diversify broadly, and stay disciplined. If you need help to get started, or need a steady hand to guide you, please contact me.



18 12, 2015

December WCA Nutrition Blog; Rosemary Benefits

By |December 18th, 2015|News, Nutrition|Comments Off on December WCA Nutrition Blog; Rosemary Benefits|

From Backyards To Kitchen Tables – Rosemary Has Many Delicious Benefits

Rosemary is a common cooking herb, but does it have other beneficial effects besides tasting good?
The rosemary plant is native to the Mediterranean area, but can now be found all over the world- from backyard gardens to indoor planters as a perennial herb. The plant itself has an inedible woody stalk, but the rosemary needles are a consumable treat. There are many different and beautiful varieties, so make sure to buy the “cooking rosemary” to grow indoors or outdoors, but make sure to place it in a sunny place. The plant is extremely resilient, so even I couldn’t kill one with over-watering and long spells of neglect! Don’t want to grow it? No problem! You can easily buy fresh rosemary, dried whole rosemary needles, dried powdered rosemary, and rosemary oils. When buying fresh rosemary, keep it in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator, and it will stay good for several weeks.

Rosemary has been used for centuries as a medicinal component to treat and improve memory, relieve muscle pain and spasm, prevent indigestion, and support the circulatory and nervous systems. Rosemary branches were placed on the floors of medieval homes to combat diseases during the “black plaque,” and used as an incense due to the wonderful scent it emits.

In more recent scientific research studies, rosemary has been shown to have potent antioxidant properties and may have antimicrobial capabilities. Just a reminder that antioxidants act to neutralize free radicals in our body- this protects the cellular membrane and cellular DNA from being damaged which can cause our cells to die. We [...]

17 12, 2015

The power of an invitation – Christina Gokey-Smith

By |December 17th, 2015|Featured Rider, News|Comments Off on The power of an invitation – Christina Gokey-Smith|

By: David Mable
Women’s Cycling Network

Christina Gokey-Smith of Denton, Tex., grew up sitting in the saddle of a horse, so an invitation to go for a mountain bike ride with a friend seemed only natural. Riding a Huffy and wearing an equestrian helmet, she and her friend hit the local trails, her horseback riding skills kicking in when needed. “I thought I’d better get a helmet after our ride,” she said of that first ride. “I came upon a dip in the trail. My girlfriend stopped, but my “I can do anything” attitude kicked in. I hit that dip, went over the handle bars, skinned up my palms and walked the rest of the way out.” A short time later, Gokey-Smith had a new Specialized Stumpjumper and a proper helmet, as well as a NORBA license. She started racing mountain bikes locally, but as her experience grew, she began to see some success, and also met her husband, who currently races both mountain and cross bikes. “I think it’s important to have the support of your spouse,” said Gokey-Smith. “This is a sport that takes up a bunch of time and isn’t cheap. It would be really difficult to do if you didn’t have the support of your spouse and family.” With her husbands support, she discovered a love for the road, especially criterium racing, and now rides professionally, in 2015 for the Pepper Palace/pb The Happy Tooth cycling team.

“I love criterium racing,” said Gokey-Smith. “I just love it. I love going fast. I love the competitive side. I got my first road bike in 2006 and in 2009, I decided road [...]

10 12, 2015

A Used Bike Changes Katie Hall’s Life

By |December 10th, 2015|Featured Rider, News|Comments Off on A Used Bike Changes Katie Hall’s Life|

You never know. You just never know where a 20-year-old used bike could lead you.

While living, working and going to graduate school in northern California, Katie Hall was looking to rid herself of a crowded commute and $4-per-gallon gas. A scan of Craigslist turned up a 1990 Cannondale road bike.

Eight years later, she’s still got that Cannondale, but it’s reserved for her days off because while at work, she’s riding a 2016 Wilier with her professional cycling team — UnitedHealthcare (UHC).

“I lived and worked a quarter mile off the Burke-Gilman Trail in Seattle. There was 25-miles of fantastic trail between my home and work,” said Hall. “I started commuting and I absolutely loved being outside and not being stressed about being stuck in traffic.”

While at the University of Northern California, she became involved with the cycling team and began racing. She did quite well and quickly moved up through the categories, now traveling around the world with the UHC squad.

Starting with a collegiate team was key to Halls early success.

“I think the collegiate system is an absolutely awesome way to get into racing bikes,” said Hall. “There’s a ton of structure, you already have a team, and all the teams are super supportive of people just getting started.

“I think women have a lot of different experiences as they’re getting into cycling,” she continued. “It can be pretty intimidating. It’s definitely a male-dominated sport. I got into it through collegiate racing, and that’s so great for women to start cycling. There are both men and women, and the whole team benefits from everyone riding together. The team really supports the women as much as the men because all the scores [...]

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