Is There a Bond Bull Fight in the Post Trump/Pre-Yellen Arena?

With the exception of an increase in consumer spending in liquor sales due to the “despair of Clinton supporters,” the pundits predicted Trump-Ageddon. The experts were wrong again; instead, stock markets soared and bond prices crashed, the latter suffering a ferocious and mind-boggling $1.29 trillion sell-off.  The uncertainty generated by the election has brought about […]

Elephants & Donkeys vs. Bulls & Bears…. Oh My!!

The 2016 presidential race has already offered plenty of surprises.  But what could it mean for the economy and the markets; and, ultimately, your financial picture? We’ve got a lot of uncertainties in this election; and if there’s one thing markets hate, it’s uncertainty.  Predictably, the markets have had a bumpy ride that will continue […]

Who Dunnit? Investigating the Culprit in the 2016 Market Turmoil

Well, 2016 has certainly not been dull… I have spent some time fielding concerns from a few exasperated clients, as equities plunged into a sea of red.  But does this recent under-performance in equities, particularly large US stocks, mean catastrophe for your portfolios?  My standard answer is: “not if they are diversified… and patient.”   […]

2015 Year-End Review & 2016 Forecast

PREAMBLE: For those of you who have been anxiously waiting for my 2015 year-end bulletin, I must apologize for the delay. Every time I sit down to compose what I hope to be a useful guide, the market takes yet another dramatic downturn, and compels me to amend yesterday’s draft. One would think in this […]

Market Review & Outlook – Third Quarter 2015

As the third quarter comes to a close, we are reminded that financial markets don’t always rise, and volatility can attack without warning and as we have just seen, quite swiftly.  When the dust settled, the S&P 500 finished the quarter down 6.4%, corporate bonds lost close to 5%, and emerging market equities would go […]

An Explanation for Why We Haven’t Seen A Correction

This chart shows the price action of the S&P 500 since the last official correction back in the second quarter of 2012, and the red portions indicated each market selloff greater than 3% since then. Let me point to three important observations: Markets Dip Often:  Investors were forced to endure ten separate instances of the […]

Restoring Trust in the Financial Planning Industry

In tumultuous economic times, and after numerous financial scandals and stories of outrageous financial prophets, more than a few fortunes were soon parted from their unknowing owners. The financial services industry has always had a black eye.  A Harris Interactive poll was done a few years ago asking Americans whether they trust the advice they’re […]

It’s Not What You Know, It’s What You Don’t Do…

Traditional Financial Advice Has Failed – And the Statistics Prove It:   More than 95% of the population is failing to retire with financial security. – U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare For the twenty years ending in 2013, the S&P 500 Index averaged 9.22% a year. The average equity fund investor earned a […]

New IRS Ruling about IRA Transfers vs. Rollovers: What’s the Difference?

A new ruling from the IRS could mean big changes for retirement assets.   As a result of a recent U.S. Tax Court decision, the IRS has changed its interpretation of the “once per year” IRA rollover rule to mean exactly that:  Only one IRA-to-IRA rollover is permitted during a 365-day period from any of […]

Will the Stock Market Save Your Public Pension?

Double-digit annual returns for most U.S. public pension systems over the past two years have done little to shrink the yawning deficits facing many of them after a decade of inadequate funding, according to analysts and recent data. -excerpted from Reuters, March 10, 2014   Thanks to a robust stock market, most systems have enjoyed […]