Dear Towerpoint,

Amazon Prime is now $119/year. Should we be outraged, or accepting of this price increase? What is the service worth to you?

While Amazon is set to make an estimated $800 million in additional revenue thanks to the increase, the probability of a mass defection is extremely low, as the benefits of the program are too big for most consumers to ignore. Cowen & Co. analyst John Blackledge calls Prime "the best deal in retail," and it appears many of us are in agreement. And, understanding it has been four years since the last Prime price increase, Blackledge goes even further by pegging the program's value at $400. By recouping some of its ballooning shipping costs, which have been rising as more people use the program, not only will Prime be on more stable footing, Amazon will have greater leeway to offer even more program perks in the future.

We cite this not as a commercial for or endorsement of Amazon or its Prime service, but simply as an illustration of the difference between price and value. Price is arbitrary and value is fundamental, a concept not lost on Warren Buffett:

The distinction between price and value is regularly made in the stock market as well, where the price of any individual stock is a product of a list of factors that might take months or even years to read through, quantify, and properly understand. Layer in the challenges of quantifying human characteristics - such as fear and greed - and what becomes evident is how difficult (yet not totally insurmountable) the task of successfully picking individual stocks is.

These challenges are why we at Towerpoint Wealth remain steadfast in our Core Beliefs, found HERE. We recognize that the foundation of our relationship with you is built on using our knowledge and experience to help you properly manage and coordinate all of your financial affairs. And one of the more important aspects of this coordination is having and following a disciplined process to manage and coordinate your investment portfolio, and to remain consistently objective in executing on this approach. We recognize no one even comes close to being perfect when correctly evaluating price versus value investment decisions, but working with a firm like Towerpoint Wealth, who has a clearly defined philosophy and a clearly defined process, significantly increases the probability of intermediate and longer-term success.

Shifting gears, here has what has been trending the past two weeks:

Lastly, we encourage you to take three or four minutes to review the curated content found below, highlighted by:

  • The full curriculum of the Dynasty Investments Forum, held last week in Nashville, attended by President Joseph Eschleman, Director of Research and Analytics, Nathan Billigmeier, and Director of Tax and Portfolio Planning, Steve Pitchford
  • The Happiness and the Gorilla article discussing the "Arc of Happiness" as we age and mature
  • A new addition to our newsletter, the App of the Week

The world is complicated. We encourage you to call (916-405-9140) email ( or Tweet (@twrpointwealth) with any concerns, questions, or needs you have - we are here for you, and look forward to connecting with, helping, and being a direct, fully independent, and no-strings-attached expert financial resource for each of you.

- Joseph and the Towerpoint Wealth team

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