Why Boston Private Financial Hldg. Inc. Shares Jumped

Boston Private Financial popped after delivering better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings with a nice surprise for its shareholders to boot.

Jan 16, 2014 at 10:22PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Boston Private Financial Holdings (NASDAQ:BPFH), a private banking, investment management, and wealth advisory firm that caters primarily to New England, Southern California, and the Pacific Northwest, rose as much as 17% after reporting its fourth-quarter earnings results after the closing bell yesterday.

So what: According to Boston Private Financial's report, the company delivered a 3% increase in sequential quarterly deposit growth and 5% year-over-year deposit growth as fees from its wealth management business grew by 10% from the sequential quarter. Overall, adjusted EPS for the fourth quarter came in at $0.20, $0.01 higher than Wall Street had anticipated, but were still down 10% from the sequential third quarter when it earned $0.22. In addition to boosting deposits and total assets under management, Boston Private Financial also raised its dividend by one penny to $0.08, pushing its yield to 2.5% as of this writing.

Now what: All told this was another solid quarter for Boston Private Financial with organic loan and assets under management growth. To boot, shareholders also were privy to a dividend increase. But Boston Private Financial is also getting near the magic mark of two times book value that often stops most banking institutions in their tracks. Based on its current price and its year-end book value of $7.34, the company may have little upside left before skeptics return. Personally, even with the company at a reasonable 15 times forward earnings, that gives me enough pause to stick to the sidelines and wait for a sizable pullback before considering its shares a bargain.

Boston Private Financial may be surging, but it's going to have a hard time keeping up with this top stock!
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A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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