Brad McMillan

Brad McMillan, CFA®, CAIA, MAI, AIF®, is chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC, an independent broker/dealer–RIA. As CIO, Brad chairs the investment committee and is the primary spokesperson for Commonwealth’s investment divisions. Brad received his BA from Dartmouth College, an MS from MIT, and an MS from Boston College. He has worked as a real estate developer, consultant, and lender; as an investment analyst, manager, and consultant; and as a start-up executive. He is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®). Other professional qualifications include designated membership in the Appraisal Institute (MAI), the CFA Institute, and the CAIA Association. Brad speaks around the country on investment issues and writes for industry publications, as well as for this blog.
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Recent Posts

The Dog That Did Not Bark: Why Isn’t the Market Reacting to Drama?

August 18, 2017

In thinking about the market over the past week or two, what has really struck me is how truly remarkable the market’s behavior has been. After the U.S. president implicitly threatened nuclear war, the market dropped, of course—but by less than 2 percent—and then it bounced back. Today, after CEOs from big-time companies essentially abandoned the White House, the market is down—but by less than 1 percent. We’ve seen more political drama in the past couple of weeks than we saw in years under some administrations—and the market is just sitting there. What’s going on?

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The 4-Letter “C” Word for Investors: Cash

August 17, 2017

Recently, many readers have asked me about where the market is, as they are worried about what to do with their portfolios. The gentleman behind the grill at the café where I get breakfast, who knows what I do, has the same questions for me. Advisors want to know what I think about gold as a risk reducer. Almost every day for the past couple of weeks, I have heard about the nervousness. People are getting scared.

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How Not to Be Wrong, by Jordan Ellenberg: A Book Review

August 16, 2017

Yesterday, I wrote about mistakes I’ve made in the past and how I am using that experience to avoid being as wrong—at least in the same way—in the future. So, you can certainly see why a book with “How Not to Be Wrong” as the title appeals to me. The subtitle, “The Power of Mathematical Thinking,” is also attractive, as math is one of the great organizing principles of my profession. On the face of it, this sounds like exactly what anyone in my position should be looking for.

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Identifying My Mistakes (and What I Did About Them)

August 15, 2017

I received a really interesting e-mail from one of our advisors the other day. He asked me to identify instances when I had been completely wrong about something, why I had made the mistakes, and what I had learned from them. He was looking for ways to better himself when it came to thinking about the future—a goal I totally endorse.

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Monday Update: Inflation Low, Not Dropping Further

August 14, 2017

Last week, the only major economic report was on consumer prices, released on Friday. Overall, this month’s data suggests that inflation remains low but is not dropping further. Therefore, the Fed will remain watchful, and it isn’t likely to increase rates in September but may well start the balance sheet reduction program.

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Appearance on CNBC's Power Lunch, August 11, 2017 [Video]

August 11, 2017

After three consecutive days of market declines fueled by tensions with North Korea, the major U.S. indices were up on Friday. Is recent performance simply normal market action, or is it a sign of something worse to come? 

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Is This Normal?

August 11, 2017

Events of the past couple of days have me thinking about the entire concept of normal. “Normal,” by definition, means “usual, average, or typical.” It’s a good definition. But when you actually apply it to what we see around us, that definition makes you consider whether the current “normal” meets those conditions—and thus deserves the term.

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