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What Happens When You Fail at Market Timing

The impact of missing just a few of the market’s best days can be profound, as this look at a hypothetical investment in the stocks that make up the S&P 500 Index shows. A hypothetical $1,000 turns into $138,908 from 1970 through the end of August 2019. Miss the S&P 500’s five best days and that’s $90,171. Miss the 25 best days and the return dwindles to $32,763. There’s no proven way to time the market—targeting the best days or
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How Markets Work and the FAANG Mentality

November 2019 The stocks commonly referred to by the FAANG moniker— Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google (now trading as Alphabet)—have posted impressive gains through the years, with all now worth many times their initial-public-offering prices. The notion of FAANG stocks as a powerful group holding sway over the markets has sunk its teeth into some investors. But how much of the market’s recent returns are attributable to FAANG stocks? And does their performance point to a change in the
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It’s Open Enrollment Season. Have You Taken a Good Look at an HSA?

For high-income investors who are maxing out other tax-sheltered accounts, the high-deductible healthcare plan/HSA combo is close to a no-brainer. In one of the biggest changes to employee benefits in decades, high-deductible healthcare plans are appearing on more and more benefits menus, and these plans are experiencing dramatic growth in enrollment as a result. Thirty percent of workers were covered by a HDHP in 2019, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation; in 2014 20% of workers were covered by
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Quarterly Market Review Q3 2019

Click the link below to view our Quarterly Market Review for Q3 2019. This report features world capital market performance and a timeline of events for the last quarter. It begins with a global overview, then features the returns of stock and bond asset classes in the US and international markets. The report also illustrates the impact of globally diversified portfolios and features a quarterly topic. Quarterly Market Review Q3 2019

Value Judgments: Viewing the Premium’s Performance Through History’s Lens

There’s a misconception in the markets: value stocks have lost their vigor. Value stocks have underperformed growth stocks over the past decade. In the US, the annualized compound return has been 12.9% for value stocks, or those trading at a low price relative to their book value. That contrasts with 16.3% annualized compound return for growth stocks, or those with a high relative price.1 LESSONS OF THE PAST Value underperforming growth by 3.4 percentage points a year over a decade is indeed
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3 Steps to Protect Your Financial Identity

Beginning in 2016, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated every October Nation Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), in an effort to raise awareness of safer online activities. Here are 3 simple steps to protect your financial identity: Prevent Prevent criminals from obtaining confidential information by taking the following steps: Freeze your own Social Security number, plus have others within your span of care (spouse or partner, children, elderly parents) do the same. Store financial documents in a
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A Tale of Two Decades: Lessons for Long‑Term Investors

The first decade of the 21st century, and the second one that’s drawing to a close, have reinforced for investors some timeless market lessons: Returns can vary sharply from one period to another. Holding a broadly diversified portfolio can help smooth out the swings. And focusing on known drivers of higher expected returns can increase the potential for long-term success. Having a sound strategy built on those principles—and sticking to it through good times and bad—can be a rewarding investment
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When Is It Critical to Review Your Estate Plan, and Why?

Just like other important life tasks, your estate plan deserves your time and attention. It’s important that you work with us to review your estate plan at least once a year. Think of this as your estate plan’s annual physical exam, and remember—prevention is the best cure. An annual exam isn’t necessarily the only time we see a doctor. Similarly, an annual planning meeting isn’t the only time you need to consider your estate plan. The occurrence of special life
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Why Dismissing Social Security in Your Retirement Plan Is a Mistake

When the subject of Social Security comes up during retirement planning conversations, both younger and older investors often greet it with a healthy dose of cynicism. Such discussions tend to include comments like, “Oh yeah, sure. If there’s even anything left for me” or “Isn’t Social Security going bankrupt?” Sometimes I hear a more draconian stance, like, “I just plan on it not being around when I’m retired.” This last viewpoint actually is quite common. According to a study by AARP,
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Invest in the S&P 500 and forget it? Hope you have a strong stomach!

Invest in the S&P 500 and forget it: Every so often, this advice becomes more and more popular from the media and well-intended TV personalities with the intent to simplify investment management. I’m a huge fan of simplifying; however, this advice can also be misleading, dangerous, and rob you of proven and disciplined long-term opportunities. Why is this so popular now? It just so happens that over the past 10 years, the S&P 500, which we show as Asset Class
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