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CAPE Fear: Should Investors Be Concerned With Market Valuations?

Investors often look for signals indicating whether it’s a good time to get into or out of the market. Market valuation measures, such as the cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings (CAPE) ratio(1) of Campbell and Shiller (1998), are frequently portrayed as indicators to assess whether the stock market’s expected return has increased or decreased. Despite the attention market valuation measures continue to receive, we do not observe compelling evidence these indicators are useful for investors’ asset allocation decisions. WHAT’S IN A VALUATION
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Will Inflation Hurt Stock Returns? Not Necessarily.

Investors may wonder whether stock returns will suffer if inflation keeps rising. Here’s some good news: Inflation isn’t necessarily bad news for stocks. A look at equity performance in the past three decades does not show any reliable connection between periods of high (or low) inflation and US stock returns. Since 1991, one-year returns on stocks have fluctuated widely. Yet the weakest returns can occur when inflation is low, and 23 of the past 30 years saw positive returns even
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All-Time-High Anxiety

KEY TAKEAWAYS Financial journalists periodically stoke investors’ record-high anxiety by suggesting the laws of physics apply to financial markets—that what goes up must come down. But shares are not heavy objects kept aloft through strenuous effort. They are perpetual claim tickets on companies’ earnings and dividends. If stocks have a positive expected return, reaching record highs with some frequency is exactly the outcome we would expect. Investors are often conflicted about record-high stock prices. They are pleased to see their
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Are You a Smaller, a Baller, or an Aller?

Whether it happens sooner (perhaps as early as next year) or later (but likely no later than 2026), there’s a good chance we’re going to see a significant drop in the federal estate tax exemption amount. And while there’s some uncertainty around exactly when it will happen, one thing that is certain is that if/when it does, substantially more Americans will be subject to this tax. Such potential changes on the horizon mean that one of the best ways to
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Key Questions for Long-Term Investors

Whether you’ve been investing for decades or are just getting started, at some point on your investment journey you’ll likely ask yourself some of the questions below. Trying to answer these questions may be intimidating, but know that you’re not alone. Your financial advisor is here to help. While this is not intended to be an exhaustive list, it will hopefully shed light on a few key principles, using data and reasoning, that may help improve investors’ odds of investment
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Business Owners: 10 Strategies to Create, Manage and Distribute Wealth

Despite a lengthy global pandemic, supply chain delays, inflationary spikes in segments of the economy, and a very tight labor market, your business is highly successful. Yet maybe these challenges, or even other circumstances, have placed financial pressure on your business that you still need to successfully navigate. Whether your business is currently healthy or under a bit of strain, a key question still needs asking: How is your personal financial situation? A healthy business does not automatically translate into
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Out of Bounds: Style Drift in the Russell 2000 Value Index

AMC and GameStop are priced squarely in the large cap growth space, and yet represented nearly 1.5% of the Russell 2000 Value Index as of May 31. On the scale of size discrepancies, this is akin to 7-foot-6-inch former NBA star Yao Ming visiting a kindergarten class. However, investors in strategies tracking the Russell 2000 Value Index may be surprised to learn the list of holdings inconsistent with the index’s definition goes much deeper, an outcome of the style drift
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‘Everything Screams Inflation.’ How to Interpret the Headlines

KEY TAKEAWAYS After last year’s economic shocks, we shouldn’t be surprised to see prices rebounding. But the potential for inflation is one among many factors investors take into account when agreeing on a price at which to trade. A look at headlines from the past 50 years shows the difficulty of timing markets around inflation expectations. Investors may be better served sticking to a long-term plan. How quickly things change. Two years ago, the New York Times reported, “Federal Reserve
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Swing in Small Value Stocks Shows Benefits of Staying the Course

Value stocks, or those with low relative prices, have outperformed higher-priced growth stocks in the US over the long term. Similarly, the stocks of smaller companies have fared better than the stocks of bigger ones in the US. But the performance of these stocks has varied at different points in history. As the global pandemic rocked markets in March 2020, large growth stocks outdid small value stocks by 19.6%, the greatest monthly margin on record. From March through September, the
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Stay Invested to Reap the Harvest

Historically bad to historically good Value investors who chose to stay the course through the last few years were finally rewarded for their discipline! Although it’s hard to believe, if we back up just a few months, the one-year period ending September 2020 was the worst return ever for small value stocks relative to larger, more growth companies, with small value underperforming by a whopping 52%. The three-year returns were also abysmal, with small value underperforming large growth by nearly
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