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Mike and Coach coaching

NCAA Hall of Fame Football Coach Phillip Fulmer and Back Porch Vista CEO Mike West Discuss Money Management with Professional Athletes Part One: Understanding an Athlete’s Financial Position Where the worlds of finance and sportsdom collide, a number of savvy advisors have carved a comfortable niche managing professional athletes’ wealth. For some, this advisor-client relationship may represent an ideal professional situation – after all, what advisor doesn’t want a small book of high-profile, high net worth clients? But the world of…

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Last week I had breakfast with a friend of mine at a small diner in Crested Butte, Colorado. David has successfully run a small retail shop on Elk Avenue, the main street in town, for twenty-five years. He has survived downturns and thrived during good times. In short, he has seen it all. Given his life experience, it would be difficult to imagine someone could offer advice that would change his understanding of his business. David is like so many…


The term “Social CRM” has been picking up steam in marketing communities for several years. Recently, the term has entered financial services, but what exactly does it mean? For years we have collected information about our clients in files, on Outlook, or even in ACT! Properly leveraged, this knowledge can be powerful to relationship building. Social CRMs collect all of your client information in a single, dynamic location. A great example of this is the app REFRESH. Wouldn’t it be…


“High-yield bonds have certainly caught our attention. There is some evidence of reach for yield behavior.” – Janet Yellen, June 18 In the month following Fed Chairman Janet Yellen’s June press conference, high yield debt funds experienced as much as a 20% drawdown, and high yield spreads have been steadily increasing. Despite this, high yield bonds have caught our attention as a potential investment opportunity. Perhaps the most pressing question is whether we are in a junk bond bubble; at…


Addendum to the April 2014 Report Since we began the Frontier Market Series earlier this year, hard times have fallen on the subject of our first report. Argentina’s well-publicized default on restructured bonds in July was set in motion when a U.S. court blocked payment until holdout investors were paid. As many media outlets have noted, this complex, but not wholly unexpected event could have severe repercussions for the Argentine economy. Given the potential consequences, it is surprising the Merval has…

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The month of August began on a sour note after equity markets fell dramatically in late July. Despite this and a hoard of international concerns, markets rallied in mid-August and reversed their losses. The Federal Open Market Committee additionally declared the economy closer to its unemployment and inflation goals after meeting in late August, indicating it may continue with its plans to scale back bond purchases. Equity Markets dropped rapidly in late July after Argentina’s partial default appeared to be…


Equity, Fixed Income, and Commodities Up in First Half of 2014 1. Executive Summary U.S. equities, bonds, and commodities have all posted positive returns for the first half of 2014. At the same time, volatility remains surprisingly low despite several geopolitical shocks as a result of accommodative actions by the Federal Reserve and what seems to be an unusually large appetite for risk among investors. International markets, both developed and emerging, are also up for the year. Going forward, we…

Trying to make sense of the Federal Reserve’s “dot charts” is something akin to interpreting an inkblot test. The charts, which illustrate Fed board members’ long-term expectations, at the most  basic level show that federal funds rates are being revised downward. But what is the chart really telling us and why are the dots shifting? If the Fed believes slower growth is ahead, we may see returns sag and investors begin to take on greater risk. In such a situation, we believe active…

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Despite July’s bleak headlines relating to the fighting in Gaza and the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash, U.S. markets continued to climb after a sluggish winter. Equity held on, despite bearish pessimism and temporary drops. The nation’s jobs situation improved noticeably, as did the housing market, encouraging investors on Wall Street. The fixed income market was mixed, with yields increasing on shorter-dated Treasuries and decreasing on long-term Treasuries. The Barclays Aggregate Bond Index was up slightly for the month. Equity Chairwoman Janet Yellen came…


Things have been eerily quiet lately. All major asset classes have crept steadily higher while volatility across asset classes has dropped to rock-bottom levels. And while the market continues to climb the wall of worry, perhaps investors are becoming a bit too comfortable. The waters may be still at the moment, but those who are unprepared for sudden change may be at risk. If anything, I believe the present situation highlights the need for a diversified investing approach that accounts…

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