The Global Portfolio Strategies Group recently released its second-quarter 2012 economic outlook. A summary of its conclusions is provided below
As a fee based financial advisor, my job is to help manage the financial affairs of my clients in a way that will give them the best opportunity to achieve their values based goals. It occurred to me that this explanation may be less clear than I thought. If a picture is worth a thousand […]
There is no denying that the past year was a trying one for investors. Global equity markets were mostly lower. Global bond markets saw extreme volatility, with the debt of a few select countries (the U.S., Germany, the U.K. and Canada, to mention the most important ones) registering the only healthy returns in an investment environment that swung from risk-on to risk-off with unnerving frequency and ferocity.
There is, however, no rest for the weary. Global financial markets remain fragile and subject to sharp moves based on the latest headlines. With Europe on the cusp of recession, China laboring through the downside of a property bubble, and the U.S. heading towards its most important election cycle in decades, there will be no quick end to the uncertainty that has made investing a difficult enterprise.
During periods of turbulence and uncertainty, it’s common to look at prior crises as benchmarks against which current conditions can be assessed, and there’s certainly no shortage of historic episodes that investors can look to for perspective. Economic and financial crises have been a regular feature of monetary economies throughout history. While no two have been exactly alike—they vary widely in size, scope, causes and length—they do tend to share some common characteristics.
After 17 consecutive weeks of claims registering north of 400,000, this week’s number finally fell below that psychological mark while also setting a four-month low. Hopefully, this is the start of a new trend. With the market in need of positive data to at least partially offset recent negative developments, the claims number was welcomed by investors.
As we look back over the first decade of the 21st century, we can draw one undeniable conclusion – it was a bear of a time for investors. Major market declines from 2000 to 2002 and then again in 2008 dragged equity returns well below their long-term averages.
In recent weeks, major credit rating agencies have expressed renewed concern over the fiscal outlook for the U.S. government, even raising the possibility that it could eventually lose its AAA rating. What are the implications for investors? There’s both a short- and a long-term dimension to this question. In the near-term, the Treasury estimates that if its statutory borrowing limit is not soon raised by Congress, it could default on interest and debt repayments by August. This risk is still viewed as remote, but if it did occur, it could cause significant dislocation in markets, and a credit rating downgrade would be justified. Additionally, rating agencies worry that the U.S. government is on an unsustainable long-term fiscal path. Does any of this lead us to believe that investors should not own U.S. government debt?
Inflation is the topic on everyone’s mind. In the United States, a visit to the gas station is enough to cause most people to worry. In emerging-market countries, the rising cost of food has resulted in significant geopolitical unrest. While the prospects of $5-per-gallon gasoline and $4-per-gallon milk aren’t things we like to […]
With a plethora of economic reports due in the next few days, all eyes will be on the fragile recovery. The housing market looks like a “double dipper”, but what will the next round of reports bring, and what impact will it have on your portfolio? SEI May31 weekly update
Please take a moment to view our video: CCC Economic Update
This is not the time of year when everyone wants to stay indoors with their finances. But a midyear review of your tax situation, retirement and spending issues can be far more valuable than the rushed attempt most people make at the end of the year — or when it’s too late at tax time. […]
Recent research from the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) shows that planners are embracing annuity products to help a more conservative generation of clients protect assets and reach their retirement goals. Apparently the White House is getting in on the annuity bandwagon as well.
Estate planning is an essential part of anyone’s personal finances — no matter how wealthy you are. But even for those who have been diligent about planning for their spouses and heirs, this is a year when it may make particular sense to re-examine your strategy.
You may have read that term life insurance rates are at historic lows and that now is the time to buy. It’s worth a quick primer on why life insurance is necessary and who should buy it before getting to specific amounts that individuals should own.