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.
Selecting and owning individual stocks has lost favor as a way to invest in the best companies in the world. It isn’t trendy and may seem out of date. However, this approach offers benefits that wealthy investors and institutions have enjoyed for decades.
For many families, paying for college is an enormous responsibility and the costs are daunting. Tuition has risen at an average of 5% per year over the past decade, significantly outpacing the general rate of inflation. Total outlays for a four-year private college education can exceed $200,000. Using a Qualified Tuition Program (529 account) is an efficient way to save money for future school-related expenses.
July ended a news-rich month with favorable returns for global equities and the higher risk sectors of the fixed income market. Support came from strong second-quarter earnings reports and a jump in GDP to its best level in four years. Tariffs remained a focus but the tone was light and improved with a new agreement with Europe and no escalation with China. Late in the month, the news cycle flipped to earning misses from highly owned Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix.
Cash is a critical part of an overall financial strategy. A risk with cash is that is can build up, providing unneeded easy access and a low-interest rate. To combat the risk, try to match cash to scheduled liabilities and maximize the return. Cash investment strategies can include money market accounts, ladders of certificates of deposit (CDs) or short/intermediate bond mutual funds.