6/19/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  All eyes on inflation! Inflation is the way economists measure changes in the prices of goods and services. The United States has enjoyed relatively low inflation for a significant period of time. Last week, the consumer price index indicated inflation had moved lower in May.1 Inflation is our focus because it is at the core of two very different opinions that currently are influencing markets and investors. A commentary on the Kitco Blog explained:2 […]

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6/12/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  Stock market historians may dub 2017 the Xanax year. Traditional historians will probably choose a different moniker. Stock markets in many advanced economies have been unusually calm during 2017, reported Schwab’s Jeffrey Kleintop in a May 15, 2017 commentary.1 The CBOE Volatility Index, a.k.a. the Fear Gauge, which measures how volatile investors believe the S&P 500 Index will be over the next few months, has fallen below 10 on just 15 days since the […]

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5/30/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  Is preparing for the future more important than enjoying the present? There is a lot to enjoy today. Last week, Financial Times wrote:1 “Wall Street ended an impressive week on a steady note – eking out a tiny gain to a fresh record close – as oil prices recouped some of the previous day’s steep losses and the latest U.S. GDP data reinforced expectations for a June rate rise.” In fact, U.S. equities have […]

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5/23/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  How much is too much? There has been no shortage of drama since the new administration took office – legislative setbacks, controversial hiring and firing, and fiery tweets on various topics. Regardless, U.S. investors and markets remained stalwart until last week when the CBOE Volatility Index (a.k.a. the fear gauge) jumped 46 percent higher and markets declined.1 Financial Times explained:2 “…a range of stock benchmarks made their biggest single-day fall since November, as the […]

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5/15/2017 Weekly Market Commentary

  Does performance tell the whole story? American stock markets have delivered some exceptional performance in recent years. Just look at the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index. Barron’s reported the S&P 500, including reinvested dividends, has returned 215 percent since April 30, 2009. The index is currently trading 50 percent above its 2007 high.1 The rest of the world’s stocks, as measured by the MSCI EAFE Index, which includes stocks from developed countries […]

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Learning to Be a Retiree

Practice Makes Perfect When it Comes to Retirement Most of us really look forward to the idea of well-deserved, unstructured free time. A time to do exactly what we please when we please. Until we get it. Half of retirees reported being somewhat or not at all satisfied with their retirement. A retirement satisfaction survey from EBRI found that half of retirees (51.4%) in 2012 reported being somewhat or not at all satisfied with their […]

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Don’t Overlook These Eight Common Estate Planning Problems

Regardless of your age or current health, mapping out a clear plan for your estate will help avoid unnecessary turmoil for your loved ones. Estate planning goes beyond wills to include trusts, powers of attorney and letters of instructions. Talk to your advisor about what you need, and be sure to look out for these common mistakes. A will-based estate plan or no estate plan – Without the benefit of a clear estate plan or will, […]

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Key Steps to Building Your Portfolio

Revisiting the Basics Can Build Confidence in Your Financial Plan in the Face of Volatility In all market environments, it’s important to understand the fundamentals behind your investment strategy, portfolio composition and overall financial plan. Understanding the underlying elements will help you advance your financial objectives and can provide well-founded confidence that may just help you stick with your plan in times of uncertainty. First things first Three essential elements hold up the structure of […]

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Consolidate Your Accounts to See the Big Picture

As you may have noticed, many financial institutions are raising or re-instituting fees for services that used to be free. Often these fees aren’t much, but if you have a number of accounts, it adds up quickly. Fees aside, having multiple financial accounts can make it more difficult to see the “big picture” of your financial situation. This is particularly true when it comes to investment accounts, where it’s critical to understand your asset allocation […]

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10/17/2016 Weekly Market Commentary

  ‘Tis the season! Third quarter earnings season, that is. Every quarter, companies report earnings to let investors know how profitable the companies were during the quarter. When profits grow, a company’s share price may move higher. When profits decline, a company’s share price may move lower. For five consecutive quarters, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) has been in an earnings recession – the earnings for the companies in the index have […]

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