March 9, 2019, marked the 10th anniversary of the current bull market, the longest-running in U.S. history. In that decade, the market more than quadrupled, and when you factor in dividends, it’s up fivefold.
The short-term spikes over the past few years coupled with corporate share buybacks have served to keep performance humming. As we move forward, a few points of note:Read More
When Lessie Brown, a 114-year-old woman from Ohio, passed away in January, her family attributed her longevity to the fact that she ate a sweet potato nearly every day until she was well past 100.Read More
According to new research from Genworth, one of the nation’s leading long-term care insurance companies, Americans are both entering caregiver roles and requiring care at younger ages.Read More
U.S. stock markets were enjoying an eighth consecutive year of a bull market until volatility toward the end of 2018 erased all of the past year’s gains.1 In times like this, as share prices continue to bounce back and forth on a day-to-day basis, investors close to or in retirement often transition to more conservative investments. One option is the municipal bond market.Read More
Thirty years ago, developed markets were seen as much more stable than smaller, emerging countries. But as political division and uncertainty permeates the West, the differences have faded, and emerging markets (EM) have shed the high-risk perception that accompanied foreign investment.
Sound government situations, conservative monetary policy and lower levels of debt were once staples of developed markets, while EMs posed higher risks with regard to politics and central bank policies. EM countries have evolved, along with their institutions and policies, while populist politicians have gained prominence in the West by touting the benefits of isolationism and protectionism.1Read More
Each quarter we give our clients the chance to huddle together and receive some analysis regarding what transpired in the U.S. markets in the proceeding quarter. One of the staples we like to share is how the major asset classes performed and compare it trailing performance during recent years (like this chart below). It is always interesting to see how much fluctuation there can be in short period of time. For example, notice 2017’s leading sector of “Emerging Markets” fell completely to the bottom in performance in 2018 while “Cash” demonstrated the inverse.Read More
What’s the secret to Col. Sanders’ recipe for fried chicken? Is the reason Coca-Cola tastes different from Pepsi based on a formula locked up in a vault at corporate headquarters? For many companies, their trade secrets – also known as intellectual property (IP) – are a key differentiator and the primary reason for their success. For some, it’s a recipe or a chemical formula. For others, it’s customer data or proprietary technology.Read More
“Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world.”
-Napoleon Bonapart speaking about China
General Motors recently announced the pending closure of three U.S. assembly plants and the discontinuation of six cars made at those plants. While large sedans are no longer big sellers in the United States, they remain popular in China, and GM will continue to manufacture them there.Read More
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 reduced federal income tax liability for some, but not all, Americans. Wealthy residents of California, New York, and other high-tax states could face a higher tax bill when they file their 2018 return.
While cutting tax rates on ordinary income, increasing the standard deduction and doubling the federal estate and gift tax exemptions, the tax legislation also capped the deduction for state and local taxes (SALT). While once open-ended, the SALT deduction is now limited to $10,000 ($5,000 if married, filing separately).Read More
Given a choice, which would you choose: a guaranteed fixed income for the rest of your life, or a lump sum that you could invest? As it turns out, lots of people prefer a sure thing.
This is what a recent survey showed about public sector employees posed with the option to select a defined benefit pension plan or a 401(k)-type defined contribution individual account. In fact, even when the defined contribution plan was the default option and workers had to proactively choose the defined benefit pension plan, they made the effort. In the eight states studied that offered a choice between the two options, all had employees choosing pensions at rates of 75 percent or higher in 2015.Read More
U.S. stock markets were enjoying an eighth consecutive year of a bull market until volatility toward the end of 2018 erased all of the past year’s gains.1 In times like this, as share prices continue to bounce back and forth on a day-to-day basis, investors close to or in retirement often transition to more conservative...