Updates

Play Your Game

This weekly update has often explained that a successful financial plan is about focusing on personal goals and the variables in our lives which we can control. Short-term market action is obviously not one of those variables. Weekly market moves will only distract investors. This is not an original thought. Legendary investor, economist and university […]

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Avoid Retirement Surprises

The latest news on retirement preparedness is not encouraging. An estimated 40% of households headed by people aged 55 through 70 are unlikely to have sufficient resources to maintain their standard of living, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. The median 401(k) account balance for this group is just $135,000, which might be enough […]

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What Changed? What Do We Do Now?

The S&P 500 lost 5.58% from last month’s record high but is still up 3.50% year to date. Was this the correction that didn’t come during the summer? Was this the beginning of another 10% correction similar to the 10.16% decline we experienced between January 26th and February 8th? Could this be the start of […]

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A New Kind of Long-term Care Insurance

More than 400,000 long-term-care insurance policies were sold in 1992, according to figures published by The Wall Street Journal. These are the policies that help seniors cover the costs of nursing home stays at the end of life. At least 400,000 additional policies were purchased each year in the subsequent ten years, peaking at about […]

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The Fed is Not Ending the Expansion

Interest rates moved to new near-term highs last week. The yield on the 10-Year Treasury ended the week at 3.23%, a level not seen since 2011. The backdrop for this move was statements by Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Jerome Powell, which included, “The really extremely accommodative low interest rates that we needed when the economy […]

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What’s in a Sector?

The S&P 500 stocks may be divided into sectors, as follows: Energy Consumer Discretionary Consumer Staples Health Care Information Technology Financials Industrials Materials Communication Services Utilities Why is this important? Just as all stocks do not move in lockstep, each sector of the S&P 500 follows its own path. Some exhibit more growth characteristics; others […]

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Third Quarter Recap

Stocks were off a tad for the week, but finished the quarter with a gain of 7.7%, as measured by the S&P 500. This pretty much closed the window on the seasonal correction many expected over the summer. Anticipated double digit third quarter earnings growth along with movement toward resolution of trade disputes seemed to […]

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A Tax Break for the Elderly

Many states offer some tax relief for their elderly citizens.  There may be some generosity behind the offer, or it may be part of an attempt to compete with lower-tax states for retiree residents.  That competition may heat up now that the state and local tax deduction is limited to $10,000.  The tax relief takes […]

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Relative Value

Value stocks outpaced growth stocks last week. The S&P 500 moved to new all-time highs, finishing the week up 0.85%, while the NASDAQ Composite remained below its late August highs, closing at 0.28% for the week. Further evidence of the relative strength of value stocks was evident in the 1.51% gain in the S&P 500 […]

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Money and Satisfaction

Lotteries have become enormously popular in the United States.  There is a widespread perception that many lottery winners burn through their newfound wealth rather quickly, and don’t end up better off in the long run. Swedish researchers have examined this perception more rigorously, in a manner akin to a randomized test of a drug’s efficacy.  […]

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