The list of risks threatening investors is unusually long. Stocks are at the edge of a bear market. Inflation last raged so high in 1981. The pandemic lingers as does the risk of bad subvariants. Supply chain problems remain a drag on consumer spending. Oil prices could spike higher still, as Russia’s pariah status compels Germany to impose a ban on imports of Russian oil and gas. This is a great moment to ask yourself: “What’s my pla..
The headlines are ugly. “Late Rally Lifts Stocks After S&P 500 Skims Bear Market,” according to WSJ.com’s top story after Wall Street closed today. “Markets End Down for 7th Straight Week, Despite Late Rally,” according to NYT.com. Stocks are at the edge of a bear market – defined as a loss of -20% from the last record-high closing price of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (on Jan. 3). Not since 2001, The Wall Str..
After flirting with a -20% decline from its record high price, which would have placed it in bear market territory, the stock market, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, has bounced back – for now. The drop in stock prices could resume, however. Inflation, Russia, and the pandemic are wild cards and any one of them could send stocks tumbling again. It’s a time of high financial anxiety. 2022 has been a bad year f..
Despite a gain of +2.4% on Friday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index declined for a sixth consecutive week – reportedly the longest losing streak since 2011. With stocks flirting with bear market territory – a loss of -20% from the last peak on January 3, 2022 – no one can say for certain when the financial and economic outlook will improve. Predicting the future is impossible. However, we do know how difficult times like these ha..
At a class for professionals, L. Paul Hood, Jr., one of the nation’s leading estate planning educators of lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors, recently identified all the things that can go wrong with an estate plan. It’s a lot! For individuals facing estate plan questions, here are some important considerations. The players involved in creating an estate plan include you, the client, of course. But you will probably need to work wit..
The United States is emerging from the darkest period in modern history, and we could be heading into a much brighter economy unless the Federal Reserve slams the door on growth as it fights runaway inflation...
It’s been easy being a buy and hold investor. Until now. Stock market investments, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, approximately doubled in value in the past five years. It was up 26.9% in 2021, 18.4% in 2020 and 31.5% in 2019, and it is 59.3% higher than at the bottom of the Covid bear market in March 2020. The stock market suffered another losing week and is in the throes of the longest weekly losing streak in over..
The economy shrank 1.4% last quarter but is expected to grow 2.7% in the next four quarters. Economist Fritz Meyer, at a webinar for financial professionals today, called the state of financial economic conditions “cognitive dissonance,” which is defined as the discomfort felt when two or more thoughts contradict each other. Here’s a factual perspective of the clashing cognitions of financial economic conditions currently. The most re..
Anyone who lives in, has visited, or frequents New York City knows that there is something extraordinary about a black and white cookie. Also known as half-moons, if you’re upstate, or harlequins in the Midwest, they are more than a cookie. They are a fluffy, just-sweet-enough cake covered in thick, decadent fondant (half chocolate, half vanilla) instead of frosting, so that they can be wrapped in cling-wrap and travel well… not that they ..
The U.S. economy shrunk -1.4% last quarter, but a +2.7% average growth rate is expected for the next four quarters. In the first quarter of 2022, Covid 19 disruptions to the supply chain stunted growth. “A slower pace of inventory investment by business in the first quarter -- compared with a rapid buildup in inventories at the end of last year -- also pushed growth down,” according to a front-page story in Friday’s Wall Street ..
Five years is not a long time in financial planning. However, it is the shortest time-period to consider in planning a long-term portfolio that can outlive you. In America, the world’s largest and most rewarding financial economic system, building a portfolio that outlives you is the No. 1 financial goal of parents, family leaders, and charitably inclined individuals. Data in this bar chart showing five years of history should inform your..
The stock market had another bad week, as the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 2.8% Friday and lost -2.8% from last week’s closing price. The stock index is 11% lower than the all-time high of Jan. 3, back into correction territory. About 80% of public companies that have reported earnings for the first quarter of 2022 are beating analyst expectations, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal referencing FactSet, a financial da..
A recently published survey of long-term care insurer rate increases offers a rare glimpse into a sector of the financial services industry with a history of causing problems for consumers. Long-term care insurance is intended to protect you if you ever need to stay in a nursing home. Long-term care insurance pays for a nursing-home stay or home health care if you ever suffer a chronic or disabling condition...
Investments in IRAs are the main source of funding retirement income for a vast majority of Americans. Your IRA is probably crucially important to your retirement success and may also play a role in your estate plan. Trouble is, the rules on IRAs have changed and so has the investment environment, and, as a result, taking a strategic approach is not so easy. Here is a very simplified explanation of strategic planning opportunities triggered..
Retail sales rose one-half of 1% in March, the Commerce Department reported on Thursday, climbing for the third consecutive month as prices continued to increase, and the consumer price index measure of inflation soared in March to a 12-month rate of 8.5% -- the highest inflation rate in 40 years. However, there are signs that inflation is probably peaking. While gasoline continues to fuel the worst round of inflation in decades, price hike..
We face uncertainty daily – globally, professionally, fiscally, and personally - so I wanted to speak to an expert in the field of managing uncertainty. I connected with Rick Andrews who has over two decades of experience in improvisation and has worked with over 100 clients including Google, J.P. Morgan, Salesforce, and even the NFL, to name a few. He uses improv as a tool to make companies and teams work better. Here is an excerpt from our co..