A final thought for 2020...

On March 17, 2020, I wrote in this newsletter:

"You will probably not exit this crisis the same person as the one who entered. You won't have a choice, so it's best to work toward accepting that now (it's not easy), be nimble mentally and assume life is going to change."

I said perhaps more than I knew.

For just one moment, let's look in the rearview mirror. On the investment side, the idea of a low-cost, well-diversified equity and real estate investment program protected by Treasuries sparkled. In March those Treasuries mobilized and rose, and if they weren't so ethereal, I know more than a few of our clients would have given them a giant bear hug. Then, surprising almost everyone, the equity world reversed and roared out of the bottom with large cap stocks taking the lead. Tech stocks collectively drank a bathtub of Red Bull and blew out the market top. And then in the fall leadership rotated to small cap stocks, and they broke monthly gain records.

It was enough to give you whiplash as an investor. But it proved one investing concept after another. And in that purely financial sense, if you were invested well, it was symphonic.

Each year at the close I write down the biggest lesson I learned. This year there was no contender to the trophy: The Power of Narrative ran away with it. Whether it was medicine, politics, or finance, numbers didn't stand a chance against stories. This is a known characteristic of the financial world: Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller's latest book bears the title "Narrative Economics." (Always good idea career-wise to write a book that might found an entire field.)

The human mind doesn't work on numbers. It works on stories: they are memorable, emotional, and, frankly, partial. Narratives trigger not only interest but fear and greed. They fit neatly into people's pre-conceived notions, giving them fuel to spread. They make the world exciting and maddening. They are Kodachrome.

Folks, 2020 is just about done. 2021, we await you. We anticipate you. We beg you to come.

Dan Cunningham

Return to Articles
How We Are Different
Low-fee index funds. Transparent & fiduciary financial advisors.
Local Financial Advisor
We are in your community. We are local.
Investment Management
We tailor to each client. Index funds at the core.
Index Funds
Broad market exposure, low expense.
Dan's Corner
Meaningful musings from our founder.
Your best interests are our priority.
Low Fees
Our fees are among the lowest in the nation.
Financial Planner
Financial advisor optimizes your financial picture.
U.S. Treasury Bonds
Use Treasury Bonds to reduce risk.
Book Recommendations
Here are some of our favorites.
What is inflation, and what causes inflation.
When Should I Invest?
Life transitions = important financial decisions.
Retirement: 401k and More
Retiring? Plan the future you want.
IRA Rollovers
401k Rollovers. IRA Rollovers
Active vs. Passive Investing
We believe there is a winner in this debate.
The Investment Process
How we work: low-cost index funds, personalized attention.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Investing: What to Focus On
Low-fee index funds. fee-only advisor.
Switching Financial Advisors
Can be uncomfortable, but an important step.
Advisor Recruiting
We attract top-tier talent. Not your usual firm.
Basic Investing
Let's start with Investing 101.
Understanding Your Financial Statement
Let's break it down to basics.
Taxes on Investments
What causes taxes within your investments?
Behavioral Economics
The less emotion, the better.
Timing the Market in 2020
2020 - a case study in the futility of market timing.
How Financial Firms Bill
Fee-based vs. fee-only, and lots more.
Who Supports Indexing?
Bogle, Swensen, Buffett, and others.
One click to see our fees.
Mutual Funds vs ETFs
Clarifying the difference.
Does Stock Picking Work?
The research says no.
Countering Arguments Against Index Funds
What happens in a down market?
Lots of fees, little clarity.
How Do Mutual Funds Work?
Invest in the basket.
How to Relieve Financial Stress
New client? anxiety is normal.
Financial Terms Glossary
Common investment terms you should know.
Firm Comparison
One Day In July vs the competition.
Retirement Investing
Retiring? Let us help.
Accounts We Manage
We manage a wide range of investment account types.
Pay Yourself First
Saving and Investing for the future.
Investing an Inheritance
Prioritizing and planning for the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Good questions, real answers.
Women and Investing
Your voice needs to be heard. We are listening.
For the Business Owner
Choosing what's best for your business.
Environmental Investing
Carbon intensity, fossil fuels.




United States



401k Plans



Account Types


Cash Flows

Low Fees


Dedicated Advisor


Advisors: Join Us


Articles on Investing

About the Secure Act

Quarterly Booklets


Vermont Investment Management

Vermont Retirement Planning

Vermont Wealth Management

Vermont Financial Advisors

Investment Tools

In the Media

Shelburne, VT Financial Advisor

Frank Koster | Josh Kruk | Keith McCarthy

5247 Shelburne Rd, Suite #101

Shelburne, VT 05482

(802) 777-9768

Stowe, VT Finanical Advisor

Available for meetings in Stowe.

Peter Egolf

(802) 999-2321

Burlington, VT Financial Advisor

Hans Smith | Katie Bensel

Nancy Westbrook | Peter Egolf

77 College Street #3A

Burlington, VT 05401

(802) 503-8280

Darien, CT Financial Advisor

Available for meetings in Darien.

Keith McCarthy

(203) 554-9466

Rochester, VT Financial Advisor

Available for meetings in Rochester, VT and surrounding area.

Carrie McDonnell

(802) 767-7665

v 2.2.12 | © One Day In July LLC. All Rights Reserved.