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STA Weekly Report – Do Not Let Your Political Views Cloud Your Investment Decisions

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Do Not Let Your Political Views Cloud Your Investment Decisions
Weekly Snapshot of Global Asset Class Performance
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In a recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center, Americans were asked “Would you rate economic conditions in this country today… as excellent, good, only fair, or poor?”.  Of those surveyed, 55% said that national economic conditions are either excellent or good. A similar percentage of people also said they view their personal financial situation as excellent or good. These positive assessments are the highest they have been in nearly two decades.

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What really stands out is how the public’s views of the nation’s economy are deeply influenced by political affiliation. For instance, 79% of Republicans and those with Republican leanings consider economic conditions as excellent or good, with 34% saying it is excellent. In contrast, only 33% of Democrats and those with Democratic leanings believe the national economy is in good shape, with merely 6% considering it as excellent.

A deeply divided economic view along party lines is not a coincidence, but rather a consistent pattern that has repeated itself throughout history. When George W. Bush was in office, Republicans held a more optimistic view of the economy than Democrats. The difference was literally reversed when Barack Obama took office. Again, when Donald Trump took office, positive economic views have once again surged among Republicans while the views of Democrats have soured – even as they looked at the same numbers including GDP growth and unemployment rate, among others.

Keep in mind, people were asked about their views about today’s economy, not expectations of future economic conditions.

Schwab Trading Statistics

It is one thing to have different interpretations of economic data. However, it is another thing to let those views to affect investment decisions. For example, a Republican may have taken higher investment risks during the Bush administration’s term while overlooking emerging issues in the economy, given his or her overly optimistic view. That investors portfolio would have suffered large losses during the financial crisis. The same person may have held a more pessimistic view during the Obama administration and shifted to holding overly conservative investments. As a result, the portfolio would miss the strong recovery that started in 2009. Similarly, a Democrat may have reduced stock exposure after Trump took office and missed the leap ahead markets have taken since then.

The key message here is to not let your political views cloud your investment decisions. Instead, strive to maintain discipline in the face of headlines out of Washington. Over time, this will be more likely to keep your portfolio profitable and healthy.

Weekly Global Asset Class Performance

Recession Survival Guide

By Scott A. Bishop, MBA, CPA/PFS, CFP®

Over the years, I have written many articles on financial planning. Several of those have been “guides” to help readers through different stages of their life or lifecycle events. Two of those were the Retirement Survival Guide and Layoff Survival Guide.

Over the last year or two, I have had many friends and clients ask about the pending “recession”. Many have been waiting for the next one almost every year since the “Great Recession” of 2008. As no one knows for sure when (not if) the next recession will come, I felt that it was time to start considering writing a “Recession Survival Guide”. As I have written many of the components that I will eventually reference in that guide, I thought I would start out with this article sharing some thoughts, pointers, and guidelines that may help you find good solutions for you and your family.

The bottom line, for any risks in life you need to address, you should have a plan – don’t react. Once a future recession is upon us, many will react on fear which typically ends in a less than optimal solution. As a long-time financial planner, I know that having a plan in advance of any unexpected event will allow you to make optimal decisions to help keep you and your family on track to your longer-term financial goals and objectives. With that in mind, here are some thoughts and linked articles for your consideration to help you “survive” any future recession.

Recession Risks

Before you start reacting or even planning, it is good to help understand what risks and issues you must address related to a recession. Don’t just worry about whether the next recession or bear market will destroy your portfolio, have a plan and don’t make bad decisions while riding the stock market rollercoaster




Financial Planning and Investment Advice offered through STA Wealth Management (STA), a registered investment advisor. STA does not provide tax or legal advice and the information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters or legal issues, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.  These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice. As always, a copy of our current written disclosure statement discussing our services and fees continues to be available for your review upon request.


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