Hannah Elzea

A Fantastic Story about Happiness and Making a positive Impact

In this episode of Matt’s Minutes, Matt is sharing a thought-provoking story about happiness. True happiness often comes from selflessly giving and contributing to the happiness of others. By focusing solely on our own happiness, we may miss out on the profound joy that comes from making a positive impact in someone else’s life. It is through acts of kindness and compassion towards others that we can truly discover a deeper sense of fulfillment and lasting happiness.

Click on the video above to hear the full story.

New Year’s Resolutions or Intentional Conversations?

As we approach the end of the year, I know a lot of people like to reflect on the past and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead. I am sure everyone of us has, at some point in our lives, set a new year’s resolution. A Google search on resolutions produced this list:

  • Save more money
  • Exercise more
  • Eat Heathier
  • Lose weight
  • Reduce spending
  • Reduce stress
  • Spend less time on social media.

One common theme with the items above is that they are focused on one’s self. That doesn’t make them bad, but life is short, and I have never regretted an intentional conversation. I would like to challenge you to ask yourself and those near and dear to you five important questions. These are questions that could have helped shape who you are or could make a major impact on someone’s life this year. These types of questions can act as a roadmap for better understanding each other and a platform for intentionality.

  1. What is one piece of advice that somebody gave you that you feel has altered the course of your life?
  2. What’s a piece of advice that you gave to somebody that might have altered the course of their life?
  3. If you could give somebody some advice and you knew they would take it, what advice would it be, and who would you give it to?
  4. If you set one goal for yourself and knew you would achieve it, what would that goal be?
  5. If you could do something for somebody else in the next year, what would you do, and who would you do something for?

We love being part of your life. If you care to… please email us at help@rossfinancialinc.com with your answers to one or more of these questions from above.

Happy New Year!

“Forecasting” the Markets for 2024

 In this weeks episode of Matt’s Minutes, Matt is sharing his number one most asked question of his career. “Matt what do you think the market is going to do next?” Today, we finally have an answer for you. But it’s important to remember, not to make concrete investment decisions based on people’s predictions of what the market is going to do. This information should be used for entertainment purposes only. Market predictions are speculative in nature and can often be inaccurate. Click on the video above to watch the full video.

Here is the article I reference in the video: Wall Street Forecasts For The S&P 500

Moving Update

This week, we have an exciting update regarding our new office location. We will be moving office locations from our office in the Mill Creek Towncenter to just a couple miles south on Bothell Everett Highway, 17921 Bothell Everett Hwy., Suite 106, Bothell, WA 98012. There shouldn’t be any interruptions in service, but we appreciate your patience as we move and get settled into our new space. We look forward to having you come to our new office in the new year!

What could be better than a 5% CD

In today’s episode of Matt’s Minutes, we are talking about CD rates, which are currently favorable. But it is crucial to consider potential shifts in other areas of the market for investment options for long-term growth. In this interesting visual I share, we can see from history that when CD rates were at their peak, other areas of the market might have been a better place to invest one year later. Click play above to watch the full video.

Will you to stop going to Starbucks?

In this episode of Matt Minutes I am using a very basic analogy pertaining to shopping and how it can affect the markets more than the news that we hear or read about.  It’s alright to be concerned about things going on around us, but you need to make sure to put it into perspective.

Takeaways: Don’t let the current crisis of the day, week, or month derail your long-term investment plan. Or, better yet, don’t let your personal convictions and emotions dictate your financial decisions. While staying informed about current events is crucial, it’s equally important to remember that the market is influenced by a multitude of factors, not just the latest headlines. It’s important to maintain a rational and objective approach when it comes to investing. 

Where Are The Opportunities?

 In today’s episode of Matt’s Minutes, I’m recording from a two-day conference in beautiful Alderbrook. I just heard from chief market strategist Dr. David Kelly, who is a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, and other financial media outlets. He shared some interesting insights and compelling visuals that support the idea that there are still plenty of opportunities within the market. The visual shared in this video provides a visual representation of the current undervalued categories within the market, highlighting the potential for growth and opportunity.

Identity Theft and Cybercrime Toolkit

In today’s episode of Matt’s Minutes, we are sharing some valuable tips and tricks to protect yourself and your loved ones from identity theft and cybercrime. Identity theft and cybercrime have become increasingly prevalent in our digital age, making it crucial to stay informed and proactive in safeguarding our personal information. If you remember, a few years ago we hosted a webinar with former FBI agent Jeff Lanza. He shared a wealth of knowledge with us, below is his 5-page guide. The guide offers practical advice on creating strong passwords, recognizing phishing attempts, and securing your devices, empowering you to take control of your online security. Additionally, we encourage you to share these tips with your friends and family, as raising awareness is key to combating these threats together. 

Don’t retire FROM work…

In this episode of Matt’s Minutes, we are discussing the idea that instead of retiring “from” work, think of retiring “to” fill in the blank. So often, people get caught up in their identity at work that when they retire, they tend to face feelings of isolation, seclusion, and loneliness. Retiring to something meaningful and fulfilling can help maintain a sense of purpose and connection. By focusing on what you are retiring to, you can create a post-work life that is vibrant, rewarding, and filled with new opportunities. 

Are Bonds Broken?

In today’s episode of Matt’s Minutes, we were discussing bonds. While bonds may have disappointed us last year, it’s important to understand how interest rates impact the value of bonds and why they underperformed last year. In the video above, Matt explains this inverse relationship, and by understanding the dynamics of bonds, investors can anticipate how changes in interest rates may affect the value of bonds in their portfolios. 

Story time with Uncle Matt- A Tale of 5 Investors

In this episode of Matt’s Minutes, Matt shares a tale of five investors. In this story, each of these investors received a cash gift from their fairy godmother to invest. Some investors used their gifts wisely, making strategic investment decisions and multiplying their wealth; others did not. Click on the video above to see the various outcomes for the five investors. 

News that is NOT Newsworthy

We all know there is news that is newsworthy and news that is not newsworthy. In this episode of Matt’s Minutes, we are discussing market volatility and why it’s NOT newsworthy.  In this video I share an interesting visual that shows intra-year declines, which are the largest stock market drops during the year. These declines happen regularly and are a normal part of the market’s behavior. Understanding this pattern can help investors make informed decisions and avoid unnecessary panic.

Are you ready if tragedy strikes?

In today’s episode of Matt’s Minutes, I’m reflecting on the devastating fires on the island of Maui, causing tragedy for those who have lost their lives, family members, and their homes. It emphasizes the importance of being prepared for such events. Are you prepared? If not, we can help. Click above to watch the full video, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help getting prepared. 

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

In this episode of Matt’s Minutes, we are discussing the fact that we are officially in a bull market. A bull market is when the stock market rises by 20%. I’m sure the people who sold at the bottom of the market are saying to themselves, ” I shoulda, coulda, woulda.” Staying invested in a declining market is psychologically difficult but financially rewarding. Click on the video above to watch.

The Vehicle vs The Road

In today’s Matt’s Minutes, we’re talking about an analogy that resonated with Matt and how it correlates to your finances and your long-term goals. Thinking less about the ‘vehicle’ or the specific investment and instead more about the ‘road’ and the journey ahead will help your long-term financial plan and goals.

Is hindsight really 20/20 vision?

In today’s episode of Matt’s Minutes, we are discussing hindsight—is it really 20/20? Hindsight may seem like 20/20 vision because it allows us to see the consequences of our choices more clearly. However, it’s important to remember that the decision-making process itself plays a crucial role in shaping those outcomes. Seeking wise counsel can often lead to better outcomes and help you avoid potential pitfalls. So don’t hesitate to reach out to us for the support you need on your decision-making journey.

The Pain of Loss vs. The Pleasure of Gains

In today’s episode of Matt’s Minutes, we are talking about the concept of loss aversion. The study I reference in this video highlights the fact that most people need to win twice as much as they lose in order to participate in any venture that involves risk. Said differently, the sting of lose hurts twice as much as the thrill of win. This finding sheds light on the importance of understanding our individual risk tolerance and how it can impact how we invest. Attached to this email is a risk questionnaire. It is a very unique questionnaire that is actually fun to take. Please take a few minutes to answer the questions, you can gain valuable insights into your own appetite for risk. If you do answer the questions, please reply to this email and let us know what your risk score or letter is.

Join us in Celebrating Ross Financial – AdvisorHub’s Advisors to Watch in 2023

We are excited and humbled to share that Ross Financial was named in AdvisorHub’s 2023 “200 Fast-Growing Advisors to Watch”. It is an honor to be recognized for our hard work and dedication. This recognition would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our entire team. Please join us in celebrating this recognition, because without you, there is no us. 


Click here to see the full list: 2023 AdvisorHub 200 Fast Growing Advisors to Watch list


† The 2023 AdvisorHub 200 Fast Growing Advisors to Watch ranking is based on an algorithm of criteria, focused on three key areas: Quality of Practice, Year-Over-Year Growth, and Professionalism & Character. The rankings weigh the scores in Quality and Growth more heavily than other areas. Time period upon which the rating is based is from 1/1/2021 to 12/31/2022 and was released on 6/20/2023. Advisors considered have a minimum of seven years’ experience, a clean regulatory record with 2 or fewer complaints and no significant judgements, must have been with their current firm for at least two years and in good standing, and have at least $100 million in assets under management. Out of 1,246 total nominations received, 200 advisors received the award. This ranking is not based in any way on the individual’s abilities regarding providing investment advice or management. This ranking is not indicative of advisor’s future performance, is not an endorsement, and may not be representative of individual clients’ experience. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors or RIA firms pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. Raymond James is not affiliated with AdvisorHub.

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Matt’s Minutes – Why The Value Of Your Investment Account Isn’t Important

This might be the most controversial episode Matt has ever produced. In this week’s episode of Matt’s Minutes, we are discussing why the balance of your investment account doesn’t really matter. Now that I have your attention, hear me out. Click the video above to see why.


Matt references dollar cost averaging in this video. If you want to see a great example of dollar cost averaging, watch this video: Dollar-Cost Averaging: A Magic Trick

Market & Economic Outlook – Panel Webinar Replay

In this Market & Economic Outlook, we have not one but two industry experts joining us, in this Q&A style webinar. We discuss the current economic outlook and answer all your questions, Matt moderates this discussion.

Our guest speakers are Jason Piper of MFS Investments and Joe Macintyre of Hartford Funds. These two industry experts represent two companies you may have heard of before. Hartford Funds & MFS Investments are deeply rooted in economic research and market analysis. They are answering all your questions, sharing timely information & research that we know many of you will be interested to hear about.


All the slides used in this webinar are attached below.

Guide To The Markets 2023 – Webinar Replay

To kick off the new year we have special guest Justin Sidhu from JP Morgan joining us over zoom on January 25th at 4pm pacific for a Guide to the Markets.

With a year like 2022 behind us, we are already getting many questions about the new year upon us and what we see happening…..good and bad. Our guest speaker represents a company deeply rooted in economic research and market analysis. He will be sharing timely information that we know many will be interested to hear about.

A little bit about our speaker: Justin Sidhu is an executive director and client advisor at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. An employee since 2005, Justin works in the independent broker dealer channel and is responsible for mutual fund and ETF sales growth in the Pacific Northwest. Justin helps bring extensive resources straight to our team to help support all our clients.

  1. Cover slide
  2. The key takeaways from this slide are that regardless of how the market finishes the year, whether positive or negative, the market is down an average of -15% at some point every year. So, when the market is down -15%, investors don’t necessarily have to worry because that is not out of the ordinary. And even though the market is down an average of -15% each year, we can still see that the market has a tendency to recover and give us positive returns 75% of the time with an average rate of return of 8.7% over the last forty-two years.
  3. There are two key concepts depicted on this slide. The first concept is on the left, where we can see that based on our expected return, we can anticipate how long it will take for the market to recover from the negative performance we saw in 2022. Which is why, now is not the time to move to safety, because it is the future growth that portfolios need in order to recover what declined in value during the previous year. On the right, you will see the details of some historical bull markets and their countering bear markets. Each side of the table gives the overall returns and the duration of each event. Considering that no one has a crystal ball or knows precisely when a bull or bear market will start or end, the point we can take away is that it pays to remain invested because the average bull market outperforms the average bear market.
  4. Similar to slide three, which depicts intra-year volatility of the stock market, this slide shows the intra-year volatility of the bond market. Despite average intra-year drops in the bond market, bonds still produced an average annual rate of return of 6.6% over the last forty-seven years and were positive 89% of the time. We can also see how unprecedented of a year 2022 was for the bond market, since it was the first time that bonds were down -17% and finished the year down -13%. While this is a unique time in the market, bonds are typically the less volatile portion of an investment portfolio and considered safer. Because of this, the chart also showcases why, even if we are worried about the market’s volatility, we never want to put all our eggs in one basket and are better served by having a properly diversified portfolio with a mix of bonds and stocks.
  5. This chart shows the Fed’s anticipated interest rate levels. The expectation is for the economy and inflation to continue to slow down now that interests have been increased to current levels. Since we are starting to see inflation numbers come down, the hope is that trend will continue, and we will only see smaller, more spaced-out rate hikes over the next twelve months. Once the Fed sees signs of inflation for goods and wages coming under control, they expect to be able to begin reducing interest rates in early 2024.
  6. Slide seven is referred to as a blanket chart because it looks like a quilt. The important lesson that can be learned from this chart is that a diversified portfolio that includes a mix of all investment types such as bonds and stocks, as well as a diversified mix of investments across stock market sectors and industries is the ideal way to reduce volatility while still achieving a good risk adjusted return.
  7. The final slide is one of the most important slides to take note of because we are all subject to the headlines and the fear mongering on media outlets. Volatility is a reality of investing, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s bonds or stocks, but that volatility diminishes with time and diversification. So even though the markets are down in a twelve-month period, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to sell or change investment strategies. In general, without taking a into account your personal risk tolerance, it’s recommended that shorter-term funds that you will need in the next 1-3 years are invested in less volatile investments, while longer term needs can be more aggressively invested, because when the market is broken down into 15 or 20 year time periods going all the way back to 1950, none of those periods have produced a negative return.

The Year of the Unicorn

In this week’s episode of Matt’s Minutes, we are discussing why 2022 was the year of the unicorn, this video shows how unique and unheard of some of the market movements & interest rate hikes were. Click the video above to hear Matt talk about how that may affect 2023.

2023 Retirement Contribution Updates

Every so often the IRS updates the amount you are eligible to contribute into your retirement plans such as your 401(k) through your employer or your IRA & Roth IRAs. If you’re already retired this video does not apply to you. See highlights of the changes discussed in this video & highlighted below.

Post-Election Market Outlook Webinar Replay

In case you missed the post-election Market Outlook Webinar Ross Financial hosted with sought-after speaker Phil Orlando on Monday, November 14th at 1:30 pm PST.

Click above to watch the replay, Matt interviews 40-year economic expert Phil Orlando. Phil is the chief equity strategist and the head of the Client Portfolio Management at Federated Hermes’. For more than 25 years, Phil has been a regular on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business news, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. We have NEVER had the ability to have someone of this caliber EVER speak directly to our clients. In this exclusive post-mid-term commentary webinar, we’ll cover the recent outcomes of the midterm elections and the future market outlook. You are not going to want to miss his insights.

Where The Market Goes After It Hits The Bottom

This episode of Matt’s Minutes is a follow-up to last week’s video. "Matt's Minutes - What if I suggested we get out of the market?" Today’s video is about where the market goes AFTER it hits the bottom. As promised, we take a look at a visual that shows the returns of the market a year after a major decline. In the long run patient investors will continue to be rewarded for staying in the market.

What If I suggested We Get Out of The Market?

In this episode of Matt’s Minutes, I’m proposing a hypothetical question to you all. What if I suggested we get out of the market? Selling out of the market may give investors some short-term relief but long-term reflection could be filled with regret. Watch the video above to hear my rationale on why this is an important scenario to walk through during market downturns.

Unscientific Science

In this week’s Matt’s Minutes, we discuss a common pattern that has emerged over the years regarding the bottom of the market. Matt talks about the “unscientific science” behind client calls and market timing that may surprise most.  Essentially in our experience, the most concerned calls and emails from clients have historically peaked at a time when the market is bottoming out.  This isn’t a prediction of what we think is about to happen but calls and emails recently have hit an all-time high and it will be interesting to see where the market goes from here. 


Politics & The Market

Dylan discusses a hot and at times contentious topic. With the upcoming mid-term elections, you may be wondering how that may affect the stock market. Check out the video above to see Dylan breakdown some historical trends of the market during election periods. Once the midterm elections are over, we will be sure to follow up with some additional commentary.

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How a Market Correction Can Benefit You

It’s important to understand how investor behavior during a market correction can potentially impact the balance of your portfolio over time. In this week’s episode of Matt’s Minutes, we take a look at an interesting visual that spans over 41 years, and we discuss the three investor behaviors: buying, selling or doing nothing. Click on the video above to watch and learn how a market correction can actually benefit you!

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