Top 3 Money Management Tips – Financial Literacy Month

Did you know that April is National Financial Literacy Month? What started out as a financial-literacy awareness day more than a decade ago is now a month-long campaign that has been recognized by Congress every year since 2004. The program is designed to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach people of all ages how to manage their money wisely.[i] And, according to recent surveys, Americans have a lot of room to improve in their financial knowledge. A July 2016 study by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) shows that 63% of Americans are unable to correctly answer more than three of five questions about basic economics and finance. FINRA’s study included more than 25,000 American adults, who represented national population in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and education.[ii] About 40% of those surveyed spend less than they earn. The other 60% are either breaking even or spending more [...]

April 25th, 2017|Blog|

Stocks Gain and Questions Remain

Weekly Update – April 24, 2017 Domestic stocks posted losses on Friday, April 21, largely due to investor concerns about the French election. Despite these daily losses, U.S. indexes broke their two-week losing streak, with the S&P 500 adding 0.85%, the Dow gaining 0.46%, and the NASDAQ increasing 1.82%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE grew by 0.18%. What Did We Learn Last Week? The French Election Is Concerning Investors Uncertainty surrounding France’s presidential election contributed to investor caution last week. After Sunday’s ballot, National Front candidate Marine Le Pen will advance to the second round of voting on May 7, which decides the new president. Le Pen has promised to remove France from the European Union if she wins, a choice that could affect markets and currencies. Quarterly Earnings Reports Are Mostly Strong By Friday morning, 95 companies in the S&P 500 had reported their quarterly earnings; 77% of [...]

April 24th, 2017|Blog, Weekly Market Update|

7 Principles of Long-Term Investing

Increasing your wealth over time is about more than making the right stock picks or always buying low and selling high. Too often, we see intelligent investors hamstring their potential for success by making fundamental errors in their investing strategy. Over the years, we have observed the effects of fear, greed, lack of discipline, groupthink, and many other pitfalls that investors experience. Accordingly, we have compiled this list of seven principles of long-term investing. These principles are by no means exhaustive, nor will they guarantee investment success, but we hope that you will find them useful in helping you make investment decisions. 1. FOCUS ON THE TOTAL REAL RETURN OF YOUR INVESTMENTS To maximize investment growth over time, it’s critical to factor in the effects of fees, taxes and inflation on your returns. Many posted investment returns explicitly exclude the effects of fees, which come right off the top of [...]

April 18th, 2017|Blog, Retirement|

Stocks Slip for Second Week

Weekly Update – April 17, 2017 Last week, major indexes experienced losses for the second week in a row, with the S&P 500 falling 1.21%, the Dow giving back 1.01%, the NASDAQ dropping 1.26%, and the MSCI EAFE declining 0.14%. Markets closed on April 14 for the Good Friday holiday, but in the four trading days, a number of headlines dominated the news cycles: International tensions surrounding Syria and North Korea continued to heighten. The U.S. dropped its biggest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan. United Airlines lost $250 million in market value on Tuesday after footage emerged of a passenger’s violent removal from an overbooked flight. These headlines drew great attention last week, and we will continue to follow events as they develop. Meanwhile, we want to focus on newly released data from last week that gives perspectives on where the economy is today—and what we should watch for in the [...]

April 17th, 2017|Blog, Weekly Market Update|

5 Things Retirees Should Know about Social Security Benefits

Social Security provides an important source of guaranteed income for most Americans. Choosing the right claiming strategy is even more important under new Social Security regulations.   For most Americans, Social Security will provide a significant portion of their income in retirement. According to Social Security Administration (SSA) statistics, Social Security benefits account for about 34 percent of retirement income for the average American. One of the biggest mistakes today’s retirees can make is to underestimate the importance of Social Security in their retirement strategies. In an era of vanishing pensions and volatile markets, Social Security offers government-guaranteed income that isn’t vulnerable to market risk, can’t be outlived, and can provide for your loved ones after your death. The Social Security landscape changed dramatically in 2015 when Congress abolished several advanced claiming strategies that helped retirees increase lifetime income. The new rules make it more important than ever to make [...]

April 13th, 2017|Blog, Retirement|

Don't Panic: 4 Level-Headed Strategies for Volatile Markets

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