Investors will recall that 2017 was a year characterized by an extreme lack of volatility in the stock market relative to historical norms. Coming into the current year, we said that investors should expect a pickup in volatility, and that the markets were overdue for a correction. Moreover, mid-term election years have historically exhibited greater volatility than the average year. Read More..
Today, we can look back and glean important insights from the financial crisis that began with the U.S. housing market and culminated with a full-blown global credit crunch that affected many countries around the world. This crisis, known as the Great Recession, is the worst recession in the United States since the Great Depression. The start of the crisis is often marked by the bankruptcy of investment bank Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008. Read More..
What U.S. Blues?
The U.S. economy continues to show exceptional strength and resilience in the face of myriad negative headlines, as well as slowdowns in several parts of Europe and Asia. As the chart below shows, U.S. GDP growth bottomed in Q2 2016 and has risen sequentially in every quarter since. This trend is expected to continue for Q2 and Q3 of this year. Confidence also remains strong, with consumer confidence near its highest levels since 2000 and small business confidence at multi-decade highs.
Emphasis in retirement is generally placed on financial planning, which is critically important, but doesn’t address the potential void of emotional, psychological, intellectual and physical adjustments. Serious attention to these non-financial aspects is important for those who are considering retirement, wanting to revitalize their current retirement and/or are a partner in a retirement relationship.
When economists studied the Great Depression after the 1930s, one of the things that was cited as worsening the economic decline and prolonging the recession was the Smoot-Hawley tariffs. This protectionist trade policy was signed into law in 1930 and raised the tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods to the U.S. Despite nearly 90 years passing since then, whenever the term “trade war” surfaces in the media, folks immediately cite the mistakes from the 1930s and warn against repeating them.
According to the Pew Research Center, 1 in 7 middle aged adults is providing financial support to both aging parents and their children. The term “Sandwich Generation” is used to describe people between their late 30’s through their early 50’s who are feeling the financial pressure of supporting their aging parents, supporting their children, and saving for their own retirement. Read More..
Tax-deferred retirement accounts allow investments to compound free of taxes, which can make them an exceptional investment vehicle. One of the downsides is the fact that there are annual contribution limits on these accounts. The IRS is in charge of determining the contribution limits to each of these types of accounts. In determining these limits, they take into account several factors including your income. They announce the limits for the upcoming year annually, which may or may not change. Below are the 2018 contribution limits for some of the various retirement accounts.