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Insights



Under the Macroscope: When Stocks and the Economy Diverge

How can investors make sense of the apparent disconnect between stock market performance and economic indicators? Do you find it puzzling when a bleak economic report emerges from the press, only to be accompanied by a positive surge in the stock market? You’re not alone. The last few weeks have produced many examples of a stark contrast between stock market performance and economic indicators. So why the apparent disconnect? Markets are forward-looking, meaning current asset prices reflect market participants’ aggregate
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The Bumpy Road to the Market’s Long-Term Average

Since 1926, the US stock market has rewarded investors with an average annual return of about 10%. But it’s important to remember that returns in any given year may be sky-high, extremely poor, or somewhere in between. Annual returns came within two percentage points of the market’s long-term average of 10% in just six of the past 94 years. Yearly returns have ranged as high as up 54% and as low as down 43%. Since 1926, annual returns have been
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May Planning Action Items

With travel plans and home events gearing up in the summer months, May is a great time to review your emergency savings and property casualty policies to ensure you’re properly protecting your assets. Emergency Savings – The more you earn, the higher your expenses, and the more important this key account becomes in protecting your wealth. Set aside in a specifically designated savings account enough cash to cover a minimum of 6 – 12 months worth of expenses. Obviously, in
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History Shows That Stock Gains Can Add Up After Big Declines

Sudden market downturns can be unsettling. But historically, US equity returns following sharp downturns have, on average, been positive. A broad market index tracking data since 1926 in the US shows that stocks have tended to deliver positive returns over one-year, three-year, and five-year periods following steep declines. Cumulative returns show this to striking effect. Five years after market declines of 10%, 20%, and 30%, the compounded returns all top 50%. Viewed in annualized terms across the longest, five-year period,
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April Planning Action Items

Stuff to Do While Quarantined: Clean Up Expenses and Financial Records “When we throw out the physical clutter, we clear our minds. When we throw out the mental clutter, we clear our souls.” –Gail Blanke I get it. We’re all scared. Something is happening that we’ve never experienced before. One thing that might help is to distract yourself while doing something productive. It’s easy to get frozen by news reports and fear. See if this helps get your mind on
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What Do You Do When Markets Are Down? Build Wealth!

It never feels great to see the stock market drop, especially by a lot, and then watch as your portfolio’s value falls with it. Fear, frustration, anger, anxiety, helplessness – each is a totally understandable and even appropriate response. But all circumstances, no matter what part of life they touch, come with context. And nothing about the context surrounding current market events happens to change what you can and cannot control. At an elemental level, for instance, we have no
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The State of the Economy and Coronavirus

Given the volatility in the financial markets beginning the week of February 20, 2020, it’s helpful to review the state of the U.S. economy entering into this stressful period, what’s happened since, and some of the potential economic impacts. Here is our take on those topics. At the beginning of 2020, the U.S. economy was in very strong shape, with unemployment falling and the labor force participation rate and wages rising. Compared to 2008-09, this is not a financial crisis
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March Planning Action Items

Complete gathering W2’s, investment account 1099’s, K1’s and other key tax documents. Meet with your CPA and finalize your tax returns and extensions, if applicable. Review your W2’s, 1099’s, and K1’s with your Independent, Fiduciary CFP®. Understand your true net take home income, so you can better plan for monthly expenses and contributions to wealth building and preservation. Apply income and salary to living expenses. Adequately budget for large capital improvements and repairs to real property – personal residence and
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Recent Market Volatility

In recent days, the increase in volatility in the stock market has resulted in renewed anxiety for many investors. While it may be difficult to remain calm during a substantial market decline, it is important to remember that volatility is a normal part of investing. Additionally, for long-term investors, reacting emotionally to volatile markets may be more detrimental to portfolio performance than the drawdown itself. Intra-Year Declines Exhibit 1 shows calendar year returns for the US stock market since 1979, as well
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February Planning Action Items

Review your W2 and 1099s with your Independent CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM. Your 1099s and W2s provide valuable information about your earnings and investing habits. If your salary has increased, have you also increased your savings and investment rates? Apply income/salary to living expenses, and bonuses and stock options proceeds to retirement goals. If your mutual funds made sizable capital gains distributions, would you be better off holding low cost, tax-managed institutional funds in your taxable account(s)? Bump up contribution rates
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