March 2019 market returns were less than spectacular, but they were mostly positive as we wait and see how the global economic growth picture develops. Importantly the equity markets held on to the gains built over the previous three months.
Stocks were off to their best two-month start to a year in roughly three decades, with the S&P 500 rising nearly 11.5% from January 1 thru February 28. The US Federal Reserve’s easier stance and progress in US / China trade negotiations were two factors helping to drive demand for stocks.
A growing US economy, rising employment, wage gains, low inflation and buoyant consumers are among the bright spots to highlight as we start 2019. Mid-single-digit returns across the equity markets and low-single-digit returns for bonds are achievable this year. But risks are rising, too. Read on for a review of 2018, a discussion of how we see 2019 unfolding, and thoughts on how to position your portfolio.
For risky assets, December was the most difficult month in a year that proved to be particularly tough sledding for stocks. During times of market turbulence, it's particularly important to look through the volatility, use a diversified approach, and stay invested in order to achieve your long-term financial goals.
October was a frightening month for risky assets. Comments from the Federal Reserve suggesting higher U.S. interest rates, continued trade tensions between the U.S. and China, and expense and profit margin pressures for big companies conspired to push bond yields up and stock prices down.
Watching the stock market fall and your asset balances decline is a stark reminder of the emotional ride investing and risk-taking provides. Typical behavior is to celebrate during the good times and be driven crazy by the selloffs.
For most individuals, the benefits of working with a financial advisor are clear. They include better financial outcomes, time savings, and peace of mind knowing that you are working with a trusted professional. But how about the costs? Because costs can be difficult to decipher, we present a primer on the price of advice.
Are you wondering if your current savings will be enough to support your future lifestyle in retirement? Use this ‘multiple of income’ table to gauge your retirement readiness and see if you’re on track.
Pension and wealth accumulation patterns have experienced a seismic shift in the last 30 years. Individuals now own their retirement assets versus the defined benefit pension plan model. We may be at a generational pivot point where accumulated family wealth can support education, equity building investment opportunities, meaningful philanthropic/charitable campaigns and legacy assets., similar to the goals of a sovereign wealth fund.
August was a hot month for US equities. The buoyant US economy, confident consumers, and balanced testimony from the Federal Reserve, along with some progress regarding trade, helped lift US stocks to new all-time highs. Outside of the US, the markets faced headwinds.