January 2015: How You Can Get A Greater Return on Your Life

January 1, 2015
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Happy new year!

We hope that you had an amazing finish to 2014, and that 2015 proves to be even better for you. It’s been an amazing year, to say the least.  We’ve witnessed and experienced some incredible accomplishments within the Illumination community and we look forward to even greater returns on life in the year ahead. Here’s what we cover in our January 2015 newsletter to help you generate a greater return on your one best life.

  • How Your Can Get A Greater Return on Life
  • The Market Scoreboard for December 2014
  • Illumination’s Media Spotlight: Financially Intelligent Insights

Illumination’s Insights: How You Can Get A Greater Return on Life

This past month Matt sat down with business and life coach extraordinaire Asha Monkowska. We had an incredible conversation and got into some amazing tips on building wealth and a career and / or business that supports an incredible life. Here is what we covered:

  • The most important wealth building factor that are actually in your control.
  • The most common mistakes people make when it comes to their business & / or career
  • The biggest expense standing in between you and your wealth and why your must know it.
  • The best wealth building books you should invest in.

Click here to watch the Interview with Asha on How Your Can Get A Greater Return on Life

Market Scoreboard
Dec 2014 Market Scoreboard

Instead of the usual narrative we figured it would be helpful for you to view how global markets and asset classes performed in 2014. Foreign markets, on average, were down for 2014 despite some meaty numbers from China and India. U.S. Stocks performed well with large caps leading the way in 2014 while their smaller cap counterparts, rose, albeit a slower and more volatile pace.

Click on the pictures for a clearer image.

Sources: www.stockcharts.com. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

Our colleague Doug Short has a great 2014 World Market Summary that delves into all of the performance of this year, since the market low in 2009 and the turn of the century. You’d be surprised but of the eight major market indices, only 50% are positive since 2000.

For an even broader perspective on asset classes, we want to turn your attention to this asset class quilt as created by Ben Carlson at A Wealth of Common Sense.


What this chart illustrates is the lack of consistency in asset class returns on a year over year basis. Ben said it well in his recent post: “The most important takeaway I get from looking at this asset allocation quilt every year is that it’s basically impossible to predict the winner in any given year and I’ve yet to find an investor that’s able to do so.”

His friend Peter Bernstein went on to say:  “The riskiest moment is when you’re right. That’s when you’re in the most trouble, because you tend to overstay the good decisions. So, in many ways, it’s better not to be so right. That’s what diversification is for. It’s an explicit recognition of ignorance. And I view diversification not only as a survival strategy but as an aggressive strategy, because the next windfall might come from a surprising place.”

Illumination’s Media Spotlight

Our Appearances

4 Year-End Tips on Giving Well and Living Wealthy

Personal Finance

Bloomberg: Walk Away From The 2015 Know It Alls

ThinkAdvisor: Better Odds Playing the Powerball than Picking The Best Mutual Fund


Success: 5 Ways to Read More Books


Business Insider: The Backstory On Uber’s CEO

Great Videos, Podcasts & TED Talks

TED: The Power of Believing That You Can Improve

Illumination’s Community Spotlight

Congratulations to our friend David Benowitz on the opening of his new gastropub, Pub 819, in Hopkins, MN. The burgers look incredible. We can’t wait to taste one and hope you all get to as well.

“Every great work, every big accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding to the vision.” – Florence Scovel Shinn

We hope you enjoyed this month’s addition and look forward to a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2015 with you all.

All the Best,
Matt & The Illumination Wealth Team