MRA Blog

It’s “All in the Farm-ily” for Michelle Papa-Dines!

On any given day when Michelle steps into the office, she’s already tended to 40+ chickens, 30+ pigs, 20+ ducks, 10+ turkeys, twin teen-agers, Richard and Grace, her husband Dan, a multi acre vegetable garden, 3 cats and a dog! It’s that “get it done” attitude that allows her to juggle the multiple balls in the air in terms of taking care of our clients’ service needs.

"Hitting on 18"

Several years ago, I observed a friend as he sat down at Turning Stone Casino to play Blackjack. I am not a gambler myself (I’ll get into that later) but we were there for dinner and he decided to play a few hands before we were seated. He was an avid player and more than familiar with basic strategy, however luck was not his friend that night. I enjoy watching Blackjack because it is a dynamic game of shifting percentages. Every card dealt changes the odds of success for the player. Ed Thorp, the “Father of Blackjack strategy” as well as a highly successful money manager wrote the seminal book on Blackjack betting , Beat the Dealer back in 1962 in which he gave readers the odds for how to bet depending on what their starting hand was and what the dealer was holding. My friend followed this strategy perfectly. He held at 16 when the dealer was showing a 4, only to have the dealer uncover a King and drop a 5 on it. He held at 20 and watched the dealer draw a 21. On and on this went until eventually my friend threw in the towel and left the table.

Where to Find Value in the Market

Resilient and overvalued. That is certainly one way to describe the Growth factor of the US stock market. With companies like Nvidia, Autodesk, Visa and Dexcom all trading at greater than 15x price to sales, a reasonable investor may consider the landscape a touch overextended. If you have invested solely in pure value equities, the past decade or more has been a difficult period for your portfolio. Value has steadily underperformed Growth across all market caps since mid-year 2007. However, within the Value category there are both qualitative and style factors that deserve our consideration. Factors that crossover into strong Growth names and remain respectful of traditional Value metrics. We believe these strategies satisfy modest levels of risk appetite and have performed well on both a relative and absolute basis.

Rachel’s Thoughts from the Mile-High City

Two weeks ago, Neil, Sonnet, Jeff and I had the pleasure of attending Commonwealth National conference in Denver. Here are some take-aways from the conference I’d like to share with you.  

Pascal's Wager Applied to Financial Markets

Hello Friends, Welcome to Summer.  This weekend should continue our streak of 90-degree weather after a cool and wet Spring. The stock market has been heating up as well, with the S & P 500 up over 20% year to date after losing just over 4% last year.  This strong performance, which caps off a ten-year period of 14 % + annualized returns, naturally has people wondering if the end is near and a bear market imminent.

2019 Investment News Women to Watch Awards

Advisors Rachel Roney and Sonnet Loftus CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ professional attended the 2019 Investment News Women to Watch awards luncheon dedicated to honoring outstanding women in the financial services industry. InvestmentNews is the go-to news source for financial advisors.


Dear Friends & Clients, Welcome to the beginning of March.  Here in Syracuse where the winters are long and bitter, we always welcome the dawn of Spring!  We want to update all of you on our RIA-Broker Dealer change to Commonwealth Financial.  After 27 years with Cadaret, Grant we made the difficult but highly considered decision to make the move to Commonwealth.

Michael Roberts Summer BBQ was a big success!

Michael Roberts Summer BBQ was a big success! We had a great crowd of over 130 people come out last Thursday to help us celebrate summer and raise awareness and money for Clear Path for Veterans, a local charity that helps to support the journey home for veterans through programs, events, friends family and more. Thank you so much to those who attended. We are proud to announce that we raised over $2600 to support this worthy cause.  It is important to us at Michael Roberts associates to partner with charitable causes to give back to our community. 

Pause To Give Thanks

Tales of people donating their time, talents and money to help others, especially during this time of year are plentiful. I am moved to hear about so many of our clients and affiliates who are deeply involved with their communities. From volunteering in schools, sitting on boards of community organizations, working to support veteran’s groups, like our local Clear Path for Veteran’s, volunteering with Doctors without Borders, volunteering at places of worship, visiting shut-ins at retirement homes, going on service or mission trips to other countries… the list is long.

Interview with CNY 55 Plus Magazine

I was interviewed for an upcoming article in the CNY 55 Plus Magazine. While the topic was focused on the financial and legal effects of marrying later in life (55+), the discussion brought up a lot of great points that are applicable no matter your age.