KFA Blog

Senior Trading and Research Specialist


Influenced at an early age her father who often talked about investing and actively bought and sold stocks, Lisa developed a love of the markets. This passion lead her to a career in financial services. Lisa started in the financial services industry after college.  She began in 1990 working on the retail side. Today Lisa's main area of focus is researching new investment ideas for clients’ portfolios.  She also maintains the firm’s internal information and communication to ensure we are aware of any news regarding our investments and the impact it has on our portfolios.  Another main area of focus is on placing investment trades as well as maintaining client asset allocations that coincide with the individual objectives and risk tolerance.  She received a Bachelor's degree in Business from DePaul University in Chicago. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her children and family, attending sporting events, and volunteering for her children’s activities.  Lisa enjoys doing yoga, walking her dog and skiing. Lisa can be reached by email at: info@kabarec.com  

Does Money Buy You Happiness?

By:  Lisa Thuer - Senior Trading and Research Specialist

How much money do you need to make you happy?


  • A cup of coffee at home OR a Starbucks latte?
  • Vacation abroad OR road trip?
  • Luxury car OR a means of transportation?
  • A local beach OR the Caribbean?

This answer is different for everyone. Not everyone desires glitz and glamour. When people ask, 

“How much do I need to 

retire?”. “It all depends.”, really is the correct answer.  The word happy is defined as delighted, pleased, or glad over a particular thing.  It is characterized by pleasure, contentment, or joy.

People are accustomed to different lifestyles.  Some people stop at Starbucks every morning to pick up their latte, but to someone else that may be their luxury item they treat themselves to once in a while. There is no right or wrong answer in how you live, as long as you live within your means.

Happiness is not always determined by how much money you have. Your emotional well-being helps measure your happiness too. Spending time – laughing, crying, having a cup of coffee with a friend, going to dinner with your spouse – may bring happiness and cost very little, if anything.

Do these quotes guide your mind to what makes you happy:

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~Abraham Lincoln

“He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.” ~Henry Ward Beecher

“Give a man health and a course to steer, and he'll never stop to trouble about whether he's happy or not.” ~George Bernard Shaw

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements in life, when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” ~Charles Kingsley

“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” ~Margaret Lee Runbeck

For example, retirees tend to be happy if they have their mortgage paid off. There are more funds available to spend on what they want to do.  People who have a rainy day savings tend to feel more in control and have a better sense of well-being.

Everyone would like to have a life-time experience that will add to their fulfillment. Would you rather enjoy a baseball game or go to the opera? Each of these is not something we do on a regular basis but if you have the funds to check things off of your “Bucket List”, it adds to your life fulfillment. These life-time experiences show our personality and what we enjoy in life.

Perhaps seeing a financial advisor is on your Bucket List, but you do not know how to go about it and not sure what questions you actually want to ask?  Give us a call and we can help you determine how much you need to satisfy the lifestyle you enjoy.

“A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.” – Author Unknown

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Second Quarter Market Summary

By:  Lisa Thuer - Senior Trading and Research Specialist and

Michelle Smalenberger - Director of Client Services and Financial Advisor

Dear Friends,

Among the quarter’s economic news, U.S. GDP growth—one of the primary indicators used to gauge the health of the country’s economy—was b2ap3_thumbnail_Market.jpgrevised further downwardfor the first quarter, marking the largest drop since early 2009. Expectations are for growth to rebound in the second quarter (after a very harsh winter depressed activity in the first part of the year); however, the fact remains that the economic recovery continues to be subpar. Other indicators were more positive, including continued improvements in the labor market, though wage growth is still very slow. Global monetary policy continues as a significant swing factor affecting financial markets and the trajectories for geopolitical conflicts (in Ukraine and Iraq most prominently) are a further unknown.  Private sector balance sheets continue to strengthen (reflecting the U.S. household and financial system deleveraging that has occurred since 2009). This lessens the odds of another financial crisis and is a key support for the recent increase in our estimate of fair value for the stock market as we discounted a less stressed macro environment.

For investors, though, the second quarter was positive. Larger-cap U.S. stocks were up 5.2% for the quarter and 7.0% for the year to date, after rising more than 2% in June. Smaller-company stocks again lagged as they have so far this year, though they posted a very strong 5% gain in June.  Developed international stocks rose 4.4% as the European Central Bank took further easing steps to combat the risk of long-term deflation while Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe continued his multi-pronged effort to generate healthy inflation and boost Japan’s economy.

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