1/22/2018 Weekly Market Commentary

  Last week, the United States government might as well have hung a sign on the front door of the Capitol that read, “Gone negotiating. We’ll be back in…however long it takes.” In 2013, the U.S. government closed for 16 days. About 850,000 federal workers were furloughed and 6.6 million workdays lost. The shutdown affected private companies that worked with the government, too, and the U.S. economy took a hit.1 The prospect of kicking off […]

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11/27/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  There was a lot to be thankful for last week. Stock markets around the world may have ripened to full-slip sweetness this year. Emerging markets have delivered the most attractive returns year-to-date. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index was up 34 percent year-to-date, last week. The United States and Europe have marched higher, too. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up about 16 percent year-to-date, while the Euro Stoxx Index was up 11.3 percent, […]

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4/10/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  U.S. stock markets are sending mixed signals. If you look at the performance of the CBOE Volatility Index (a.k.a. the VIX or fear gauge), which is a measure of market expectations for volatility in the near future, it appears all is well and investors expect no unexpected events.1 Barron’s explained:2 “…which brings us back to a central fact: the absence of volatility. The first quarter was historic for the CBOE Volatility Index…It ranged from […]

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When You Leave a Job, Consider Taking Your Retirement Account With You

Many people who change employers or retire leave their assets in the former employer’s 401(k) plan. Often they are not aware of other options and how these choices can impact their long-term goals. While you were employed you had limited options with your retirement account. Now you have the freedom to consider many more investment options. One option is to roll assets into an IRA where you can invest in just about any type of […]

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8/22/2016 Weekly Market Commentary

  Last week, Wall Street was speculating about monetary policy with the enthusiasm of commentators trying to predict who will bring home Olympic gold. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expected to introduce another rate hike before the end of 2016, according to the BBC, and it has just three opportunities to deliver the goods – during its September, November, or December meetings. Analysts and pundits parsed minutes from July’s FOMC meeting looking for […]

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8/15/2016 Weekly Market Commentary

  How do you measure stock market valuation? If you look at conventional measures – like price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios – then U.S. stock markets appear to be pricey. The Wall Street Journal reported trailing 12-month P/E ratios are high when compared to 10-year averages.1 High P/E ratios haven’t dampened investors’ interest in U.S. stocks, and share prices have been moving higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow), Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, and NASDAQ all […]

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8/9/2016 Weekly Market Commentary

It’s déjà vu all over again! The Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) Volatility Index, also known as the VIX, tracks the prices of options on the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index. Since options often are used to hedge portfolio risk, the VIX is considered to be a ‘fear gauge’ that has predictive value with regard to market volatility during the next 30 days. The VIX moves higher when investors are worried and […]

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When Your Children Leave Home, Will You Save More for Retirement?

You may be asking yourself whether that’s a trick question. After all, almost one-third of 18- to 34-year-olds are still living at home with their parents. It is, in fact, the most common living arrangement for this age group and a circumstance that hasn’t occurred in more than 130 years, according to Pew Research Center.1 If your children are at home, you may be wondering whether they’ll move out before you retire. (If they don’t, […]

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7/11/2016 Weekly Market Commentary

When the yield on 10-year Treasuries finished last week at 1.37 percent, a record closing low, Barron’s called it a Kübler-Ross rally. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross was a Swiss psychiatrist whose research identified the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. According to Barron’s, institutional money managers have reached the final stage of grief and accepted that bond yields may remain low for some time: “Far from irrational exuberance, many institutional investors voice resignation […]

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Keep Your Financial Plan Working While You’re On Vacation

The plan receiving the most attention this time of year is the vacation plan. But there’s another plan that also deserves attention – your financial plan. Here at the midyear point, take some time to look over your financial plan before you leave on vacation. Are you on track to meet goals you set at the beginning of the year?  Have things changed in your life or business that would make financial goal realignment a […]

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