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Friday, May 27, 2022

California’s CalSavers Retirement Savings Program (CalSavers), introduced in 2019, is designed to help as many as 7.5 million Californians access a workplace retirement program, providing a portable option that employees can keep and....

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Last Friday I put out a special report titled, "Market at a Crossroad." To my analysis and the various market measurements that I have been presenting the last few weeks, it was sort of looking very extended to the downside....

Friday, May 20, 2022

If you are newly married with no children, you may have a special opportunity to build your savings and investments. Financially, a married couple can be more than the sum of its parts. One spouse can work steadily, while the other...

Thursday, May 19, 2022

In the spotlight today: economic expectations due to domestic retailer weakness, sentiment, and valuations — the big things you need to know: The S&P 500 is still trading as though it’s experiencing a growth scare, a...

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

In this week’s letter, I believe that we have enough meat on the bone to address a few of the different issues that have been plaguing markets and set up a road map for an investor going forward. I want to first break down what...

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Friday, May 13, 2022

Many couples blame their marriage problems on disagreements and an inability to see eye to eye. Marriage counseling is a great option for couples who need to learn how to better communicate, but it might not solve the problem that...

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

This week I really don't have a whole lot to share with you. I really don’t need to restate that we have a market that has a number of different issues raining on its parade. So, I am going to put some...

Friday, May 6, 2022

What counts is how your money is invested now in anticipation of rate hikes At their recent March meeting, the Federal Reserve moved its fed funds target rate from near zero to a range of 0.25% to 0.50%. It was the first rate hike...

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Last Thursday, when the Commerce Department announced that the 2022 first-quarter GDP dropped 1.4%, many market commentators voiced surprise. As many observers should know, after so many negative concerns this should have been far from...

Friday, April 29, 2022

If you're paying attention to the news, you've probably come across story after story on the health of Social Security. And depending on the actuarial assumptions used and the political slant, Social Security has been described as...

Friday, April 29, 2022

Few sporting events hold as much tradition as the Kentucky Derby, which began in 1875. You probably know of mint juleps, fancy hats, and maybe a few fan-favorite thoroughbreds running in the race, but the history of the derby spans...

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Thus far, 2022 has been a year in which equities and bonds have had the proverbial "kitchen sink" hurled at them. Given all this, the US equity market is about where it should be; beat up but not dead. 

Friday, April 22, 2022

The inflation/interest rate cycle at a glance When prices rise, bondholders worry that the interest they're paid won't buy as much. In an effort to control inflation, the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates to encourage investors...

Thursday, April 21, 2022

After a decade of robust market gains, 2022 has begun much differently, with inflationary fears and conflict in Ukraine sapping the strength from animal spirits and sending US markets to their first negative quarter since COVID began...

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

To say that this has been a difficult and different start to a year is a gross understatement. At the end of last week, we started getting the parade of earnings for the first quarter of 2022—beginning with the large money...

Friday, April 15, 2022

Even though the Federal Reserve has been keeping its benchmark federal funds rate at historic lows recently, it's important to remember that rising rates can affect you as a consumer and investor. What is the federal funds rate? The...

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

This week’s commentary is going to be short and sweet – well, ‘sweet’ is still up for debate. Last week, I went into extensive detail on what I am noticing and paying attention to. We are in quite a precarious...

Friday, April 8, 2022

Many couples may find themselves confronted with a dilemma as retirement nears. If you plan to receive your pension payout on a monthly basis (rather than in a lump sum), you must decide whether you want to receive a higher payment...

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

It's clear that the buzz of the last few weeks has been college basketball's Sweet Sixteen tournament, and Monday of this week was the last game of the season's Final Four. Needless to say, it was very exciting with...

Friday, April 1, 2022

As you approach retirement, many important decisions await you. If you have a qualified employer-sponsored retirement plan, whether it is a traditional pension or defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k), you will have to decide how...

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Domestic growth continues to be strong. Since our economy is very diverse, growth can be categorized in many ways. Some are growing off the charts (commodities), some are growing at normal rates (consumer staples and consumer...

Friday, March 25, 2022

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), tax scams tend to increase during tax season and/or times of crisis.1 Now that tax season is in full swing, the IRS is reminding taxpayers to use caution and avoid becoming the victim of...

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

In today's newsletter, I am going to cover what I believe to be the important points to cover that should be focused on instead of focusing on the continued death and destruction being espoused by the media. As far as I see it, these...

Friday, March 18, 2022

Making sure your investments help you work towards your true life goals Too often during uncertain times, we inadvertently compare ourselves to the people around us – and that may lead us to make financial mistakes. In his book...

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Vladimir Putin's diabolical invasion of Ukraine has succeeded in turning Russia into a rogue state, and with his nuclear threats, he is playing an insanely dangerous game. The nations of Europe have placed themselves in a...

Friday, March 11, 2022

No matter what markets are doing, be assured that this time is not different Bear markets happen. Bull markets happen. Just stick to your financial plan, and stay calm and disciplined. When the market sours or slumps, don’t...

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

There is so much going on right now that I’m not even sure where to begin. By now, anyone plugged into the news and financial markets should have a rough idea of what has been happening: The war in Ukraine...

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

As humans, we are inherently emotional animals. As such, right, wrong, or indifferent, we want an answer to a problem. Why did it happen? How bad will it get? How do we fix it? This year has not been pretty for the broad markets....

Thursday, March 3, 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has drawn condemnation and punitive sanctions from the United States, Europe, and their allies. The humanitarian cost of war cannot be measured, and the long-term economic effects could take months or...

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

It has been some time since we have had the “darlings” of Wall Street be the “heels” of the market for such an extended period of time. It could have been due to their unabated runs higher or maybe their...

Friday, February 25, 2022

In the U.S., more people are choosing to remain single and not be partnered. Census data shows that in 2019 the share of American adults who were neither married nor living with a partner had risen to 38 percent according to an October...

Thursday, February 24, 2022

As the heat held strong on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I have to wonder if Putin and China’s Xi bought index puts against the US stock market to benefit from the decline experienced last week? Most textbooks omit the chapter...

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

One of the most popular questions we’ve received lately is what could happen in the upcoming midterm election? Although we are a long way away from Election Day, it is important to note that a new president has historically...

Friday, February 18, 2022

As of 2018, about 58 million Americans had a 401(k), while around one-third of households owned an individual retirement account (IRA).1, 2 Yet for as commonplace as these retirement accounts can be, the nuances of contributions...

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

By any number of measures, the markets have taken quite a hit. For example, as of January 25th, 2022, the average stock in the Russell 2000 Index has experienced a drawdown of almost 40%, and in the NASDAQ Composite, the average stock...

Friday, February 11, 2022

The average college student graduates with around $30,000 in student loan debt. While this isn't an insurmountable amount of debt for a degree that may boost your earning potential, it also makes it important to maintain responsible...

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Before I dive into this week’s focus, I want to take a moment and talk about some major policy items that people should be aware of: First, I want you to remember that the markets (stock, bond, currency, and commodity markets)...

Friday, February 4, 2022

Most of us find the notion of creating (and sticking to) a budget about as appealing as spring cleaning chores. And, with the stress that usually accompanies tax filing hopefully behind you, you may not be inclined just now to tackle a...

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

If I’m being honest – last week was brutal. I know I wasn’t the only one who was looking for a bag of frozen peas to help numb the pain of losing the octagon match against the Market. But hopefully, no one’s...

Friday, January 28, 2022

Things to think about as you review your long-term retirement strategy Tempted to stash your money in a bank certificate of deposit (CD)? Or maybe under your mattress? Think either one of them will keep pace with inflation? Think again...

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Normally when you think of January you think cold temperatures or winter. But as of late, the markets have been heating us up and not in a good way. Maybe we can compare it to when you’re wearing a thick turtleneck that you...

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

"You got to let me know. Should I stay or should I go? If you say that you are mine. I'll be here 'till the end of time. So you got to let me know. Should I stay or should I go?” —The Clash, June 10, 1982

Friday, January 21, 2022

Market corrections happen about once every 19 months – and we’re at 19 After the stock market’s fantastic growth in 2021, many believe a pullback (or even a correction) may be a healthy thing. Such a drop is not...

Thursday, January 20, 2022

This past week certainly wasn't the destroyer that the first week of the year was, but after a promising bounce following the Monday morning punch to new short-term lows on the major indexes, the sellers did come back to try and finish...

Friday, January 14, 2022

On December 15, 2021, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve System made a significant shift in monetary policy in response to rising inflation. The Committee accelerated the reduction of its bond-buying...

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Many analysts were disappointed by last Friday's job report for December, but we think the headline masks an overall report that shows continued improvement in the labor market and a possible surge in small-business start-ups. On the...

Friday, January 7, 2022

A traditional IRA offers a great way to shield income from taxation while boosting your retirement accounts. Meanwhile, a Roth IRA can let you pay tomorrow's taxes today. But how can workers who are eligible to contribute to either...

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

2021 was the year of a continued virus, rising inflation, and the promise of higher interest rates from the Fed. Not a trifecta of great things, yet the market had its best year out of the last three really good years! So that means...

Friday, December 31, 2021

We all have things we’d like to see happen in the New Year. Whether it’s an improvement to your health and well-being, a new career you’d like to pursue, or a bad habit you need to break, resolutions are sometimes...

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Now that 2021 is about done, the next logical question is where will the S&P 500 be at the end of 2022. Regarding this logical yet elusive question, it is clear that one could guess, but given how strange the environment has been for...

Friday, December 24, 2021

Before you lock in that 15%, make sure you consider all the variables Are you thinking about bailing out of stocks before year-end while the capital gains rate is low? Before you hit the sell button, think it over carefully. For now,...

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

To me, this current market is starting to feel a lot like it did when COVID first hit in 2020, yet this time we know what happened. In 2020, there were very severe cases that, to many, became lethal. There was no vaccine as of yet, and...

Friday, December 17, 2021

For some, it’s easy to put personal finances on the back burner during the last few months of the year. However, before the year comes to an end, it’s essential to review your finances. By doing so now, you can make the...

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

If there haven't been enough interruptions already, this week should be the last big week of the year, with five major central banks scheduled to meet and nine more from emerging market countries. And yesterday's PPI was not the most...

Friday, December 10, 2021

Not knowing what Congress will do should not stop you from planning One variable that is hard to plan for in retirement is taxes. There are steps you can take, though, despite the uncertain tax landscape. We don’t even know what...

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

At the close on Friday, the NASDAQ Composite Index was down 6.1% and the S&P 500 was down 3.5%, from their recent all-time record highs.  The 10-year US Treasury yield had cratered from 1.71% to 1.34%, a decline in the 10-year...

Friday, December 3, 2021

Saving money can be hard. It often feels like your paycheck goes in your bank account and a minute later it’s gone. Between bills and unexpected life moments, it always seems you’re left saying “I’m broke...

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

I know it may sound strange, but I really think that the markets needed a day like Friday. Was it painful? Was it a shock? Was it based on a new variant? I think it was something totally different altogether. I believe we had a...

Friday, November 26, 2021

After his grandfather died more than a decade ago, Lamarr Couser and his family were caught by surprise when the funeral director asked whether the World War II veteran was covered by a life insurance policy from the Department of...

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Today’s report will be a little different than usual. There once again isn’t much new to say about the short-term setup in the market, so while I will discuss that a little, the main emphasis will be on the bigger picture...

Friday, November 19, 2021

Remember, early planning puts time on your side Whether retirement is around the corner or decades away, there are more options than ever to help you plan for it. Let’s look at Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)...

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

"Critical Thinking is the desire to seek patience, to doubt fondness, to meditate slowness, to assert readiness, to consider carefulness, to dispose and set in order and hatred of every kind of imposter" — Francis Bacon, 1605...

Friday, November 12, 2021

Contrary to what many people think, trusts are not reserved only for the wealthy. The truth is, people from all walks of life may benefit from a trust. What Is a Trust? Generally speaking, a trust is a legal entity that allows someone...

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Exiting last week, roughly 90% of the S&P 500 constituents have reported their quarterly results, with 82% of them beating on EPS and 68% beating on revenue, which compares to an average of 79% beating on EPS and 65% beating on revenue...

Friday, November 5, 2021

Whether you're a current business owner or a budding entrepreneur burning with the next great idea, one of the most important steps you can take on your road to success is creating a business plan. Why? A well-thought-out and...

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Brother wind, rain, a broken supply chain, rising inflation, slowing GDP, flattening bond yield curve, Cushing oil supply hitting critical point, slowing incomes (due to ending of Government subsidies), flagging sentiment, nor...

Friday, October 29, 2021

Sustainable investing is on the rise, accounting for about $1 in every $3 in actively managed assets.1 And with more investors interested in companies with responsible corporate governance, climate change commitments and long-term...

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

When I am asked what I worry about in the financial markets, the answer usually is "nothing and everything,” because everyone else in the market seems to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying, and so all of the relevant...

Friday, October 22, 2021

Few U.S. high schools have comprehensive personal finance programs, which means that some teens enter adulthood without a deep base of knowledge on topics like investing, budgeting, and consumer debt. Even those who feel they're fairly...

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

In the face of the greatest stimulus in the history of mankind, it is a small wonder that it is leading to the US adding as much debt in the last 18 months as was in place up until 2006 for the whole history of this country. There can...

Friday, October 15, 2021

The past two years presented many small-business owners with unprecedented challenges. This year’s tax planning preparations include necessary measures for small-business owners to satisfy existing, new and modified tax laws that...

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

This week is set to begin earnings season for the third quarter of this year. It should be kicked off with earnings reports from large money center banks. If one were to look at the markets from a week ago, things were starting to look...

Friday, October 8, 2021

But retirees need to remember that inflation is a symptom, not a cause Does increasing inflation boost economic growth? And do dropping prices hurt growth prospects? No and no. But to hear the Federal Reserve tell it when Janet Yellen...

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Investors have become preoccupied with Federal Reserve monetary policy with regard to the anticipated tapering of the Quantitative Easing bond-buying program, along with continuing concerns about the virus and the variant. With the...

Monday, October 4, 2021

Knowing the different types of investment risk can help you cope with market volatility. When was the last time you checked your retirement plan balance? If your balance was less than it was the last time you checked, you probably felt...

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

It's important to understand where the market has come from over the past couple of weeks. As I have noted in recent missives, the rally that we're seeing following Monday of last week's gap-down panic break on the "supposed"...

Friday, September 24, 2021

Your retirement portfolio might be up, but inflation is crushing your returns On August 11th, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index increased 5.4% over the past 12 months. Shockingly, media outlets...

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

I've spoken about the major economic and international elements that seem to be shaping the direction of our US equity markets, but this week seems to be a little more tenuous. In my September 8th missive, I started out by talking...

Friday, September 17, 2021

California recently joined several other states by enacting a legal workaround for the $10,000 limitation on state and local tax (SALT) deductions.1 This $10,000 limit was part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and had a major...

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Valuation is a perfect example of something that investors are told matters a great deal, but I have not seen any real evidence to support that in practice. Those who disagree with me will try to tell me otherwise, but you have to...

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

In 2021, 44.7 million Americans are facing the burden of student loan debt. They owe more than $1.53 trillion in student loans. These alarming statistics prove the importance of saving for higher education. In the past, many parents...

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

For the last two weeks, every time it looked like the stock market might correct a bit deeper it (once again) just came right back. As it stands, the only real hook to hang a hat on for the widely expected September swoon is the...

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The rules and consequences of IRA beneficiary arrangements are complex The rules pertaining to Individual Retirement Account (IRA) beneficiaries can be complicated. Here is a quick look at the limitations the Internal Revenue Service...

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

I plan on talking a bit about where the markets are as they seem to continue to go to all-time highs: the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, New York Stock Exchange, and the NASDAQ Growth Index. Yet the negativity and...

Friday, August 27, 2021

"Secular bull markets tend to last 15-20 years and sometimes longer. So, a case can be made that we are approximately 12 years into this bull market and there is no reason not to expect this one to extend for years to come. In fact,...

Thursday, August 19, 2021

The Producer Price Index surges to all-time highs, and the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average does as well, hmmmm, that's a little strange. Inflation at the producer level is rising at never-before-seen levels and the indexes...