September 23, 2013
Surprised Markets Rally To New Records, Then Retreat Is it just me, or does anyone else find irony and abnormality in the headline, “Fed Cuts Outlook Again, Cites Fragile Economy, Stocks Roar to New Records”? Welcome to The New Abnormal, friends, a surreal condition wherein bad economic news is cheered by the frat boys on Wall Street because it means that Professor Ben will continue to enable them by keeping their punch bowl filled with their favorite elixir: Free Money
August 20, 2013
Depending on which experts you ask, the stock market is either about to suffer another precipitous decline a la 2007-9 — or continue a rally with no end in sight. Both sides have their math (more on that in a moment), but the bears increasingly have statistics, history, and facts on their side. In early July, Americans learned that first quarter U.S. economic growth (GDP) was revised downward to 1.8 percent from the previously-estimated 2.5 percent annual pace—a massive overestimation
May 13, 2013
If you blinked, you missed it: the amount of time that the US financial media has spent analyzing the potential fallout from recent events in Europe, not just in Cyprus but in Italy, Spain, Slovenia and elsewhere. At this writing, US markets are up nearly 12 percent year-to-date, either unconcerned or oblivious to the multiple crises developing in the Mediterranean region on economic, political and military fronts. In Cyprus, the extortion that the Cypriot government agreed to with the European
March 22, 2013
In this 2011 analysis in Smart Money magazine, which remains timely and relevant today, author Glenn Ruffenach makes the point that the advisor who got you to retirement, is very often not the specialist you’ll need to get you through retirement. When we were in our thirties, forties, and fifties, an advisor’s mission was to get us to our target retirement date by growing our retirement savings subject to risk, primarily in the stock market. When the market grew, we
February 19, 2013
At the end of last year, CNNMoney took a survey (Stocks ‘need to be corrected’) wherein they polled more than 30 investment strategists and money managers as to where the S&P 500 would finish 2013. The realistic consensus was a valuation of 1,490, up just 4.5 percent for the year, given the multiple headwinds of debt, Europe, tensions in the Middle East, slowing GDP, and the pending implementation of ObamaCare at year end. That was the last week of last year.
January 25, 2013
Why the market’s upcoming milestones will not be gratifying for retirees Last week, the financial networks touted two of the three major market indices – the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 – for their recent advances to within sight of their all-time highs. The S&P 500 is now just 5 percent shy, while the DJIA is but 3.6 percent below its top mark. (Meanwhile, the NASDAQ is nowhere to be found, still a stunning 38 percent below its
January 4, 2013
What is the 10-Year Treasury Telling Us? As the Federal Reserve has “printed” money over the last 5 years, few Americans understand that the majority has been electronically generated (placed on the Fed’s balance sheet by the mere entering of a number in a computer), and “distributed” into the economy via mandatory loans to the major banks in 2008. The interest rate on these loans has ranged between zero and 0.25%, but these are loans nonetheless, and are therefore subject
December 26, 2012
In 2011, my team and I were encouraged to submit an entry for Senior Market Advisor magazine’s 2011 Advisor of the Year award, one of the most coveted national honors that any financial services professional working with retirees can receive. We were one of only five finalists nationwide, which led to me writing a monthly column in Senior Market Advisor on the subject of practice management, for the benefit of the many advisors that make up their readership.