The New Year brings with it a fresh list of intentions for better living. Financial wellness is usually on the top of everyone’s list. Unfortunately, by the time Spring rolls around, these plans for improving the health of your wealth are a distant memory. Here are some easy tips to keep you accountable during the entire year. (more…)
“It feels much better to buy assets while they’re rising. But it’s usually smarter to buy after they’ve fallen for a while. Bottom line…. there’s little logic in investor psychology.” Howard Marks
The year 2014 was the year of the S&P 500. US large capitalization stocks ruled. They rose despite the decoupling of other assets classes such as small caps, international stocks, commodities and high yield (junk) bonds. Surprisingly, intermediate and long term treasury bonds also were strong performers, defying the prognostication of most pundits who forecasted that interest rates would increase.
Since the S&P 500 is widely reported and its strong performance has been front and center in the news, many investors wonder why they should bother with other assets classes such as international markets, small cap stocks, and bonds—why not just pile into large US stocks. (more…)
Crude oil prices have dropped significantly. In October of 2014 crude WTI oil topped $90/barrel while now it is approaching $58/Barrel 12/17/14. The good news is that the drop in crude means lower prices at the pump.
When I ask clients when they plan to retire, they often pick an age much lower than what may be realistic for them. In some cases, this is an arbitrary target based on when their parents retired on what they perceive to be the societal standard for an “early retirement”. In fact, the peer pressure can be annoying. Many retired Baby Boomers will ask their friends who are still gainfully employed why they have not retired, suggesting that someone has “failed” if they are still working. The reality is that many early retirees leave the workforce too early. Whether the decision was against their will or intentional due to a stressful work environment, this decision is often regretted. Early retirees are often ill-prepared emotionally as well as financially. (more…)
The S&P 500 which represents US large cap stocks has performed admirably in the past 5 years, but there is a disconnect between these lofty valuations and fundamentals. In fact, recently several variables have pulled away from the larger market suggesting that the S&P is likely to follow. See these charts courtesy of zerohedge.com (more…)