The Year in Review

With 2016 in the rear view mirror it is time to reflect and time to look ahead to 2017.  You have heard us say many times we don’t predict.  As the great philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”  There is no better example of this than to look at 2016.  The year started off very badly for the markets.  … [Read more...]

Presidential Election is in Full Swing

  As July drew to a close the commerce department released the second quarter economic report with a disappointing 1.2% GDP annual growth rate, adjusted for inflation and seasonal impact.[1]  Consumer spending, which represents 2/3rd of the GDP, remained strong expanding at a rate of 4.2%, but it was offset by a reduction in business investment and a … [Read more...]

June in Review

Voters in the UK surprised the world on June 23rd and voted to exit the European Union.  Polling anticipated a “too close to call” result, but in the last days leading up to the vote sentiment seemed to favor “Remain”.  The vote to “Leave” rocked global markets and the Dow shed 900 points in two days.  Then as if to scoop up bargains, buyers rushed in and … [Read more...]

Global Markets Decline

The U. S. stock market opened to the upside this morning (Tuesday, August 25) bouncing off yesterday’s close in a way that may encourage some investors that things are not really as bad as they thought only twenty-four hours ago.  After trading in a narrow range for the last ten months, the stock market has declined 10% in the past week.  This drop is being … [Read more...]

Technical Weakness in the Market

Volatility continued in the market in July as headlines at home and around the world provided investors with plenty of uncertainty.  The Greek drama continued as Greece formally defaulted on $1.7 billion in debt at the end of June.  Stocks in China peaked in June at the highest value in seven years, and then sold off sharply in July.  The Federal Reserve … [Read more...]

Volatility and Its Significance

Volatility is a measure of the variation in the price of stocks.  You may remember trading days earlier this year when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (The Dow) moved up or down as much as 200 to 300 points in one day.  That is volatility.  The VIX is a chart that was created by Chicago Board Options Exchange in 1993 to track volatility.  It is used today … [Read more...]

Question: Should I take my employer pension plan in a lump sum or take annuity payments at retirement?

Like many questions, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this important question.  Professional advice is very important before you make a decision about how to receive your pension benefits. Here are some things to consider: What is your health status and possible life expectancy? If you are in poor health when you retire or you are convinced … [Read more...]

Question: Are bonds a safe place to put money that I don’t want at risk in the stock market?

Answer:  Conventional thinking says that bonds are a buffer and offer diversification from the stock market, and many people don’t realize that bonds can lose value, too.  A bond is a debt instrument.  When you buy a bond you are loaning your money to the government or a municipality or a corporation.  In return for the loan, the issuer of the bond promises … [Read more...]