When Making Financial Decisions, Look Past Politics

When compared against your overall investment horizon, a single presidential term is relatively brief. A single election cycle barely registers as a blip on the radar. The emotions that come with these events, however, can be expansive, consuming, visceral. Amid everything else that’s going on, we hope to put the campaign season between now and November into some financial perspective, because as the data shows, whoever is in the White House does not preordain doom or boom for stock returns. Stock market performance, when grouped by presidential party, historically has favored a Democrat in office, but it doesn’t tell the whole story (remember, correlation is not causation). In fact, stocks were up the majority of the time, regardless of who was in office. Even so, our political beliefs can color how we see the world around us – whichever party is in power – and so influence our investment decisions, often with less-than-ideal financial results. (more…)

Market Declines and the Long-Term Investor

By Jonathan Scheid, CFA, AIF®

The COVID-19 coronavirus sent stock markets and interest rates dramatically lower in the first quarter. As reports of the disease spreading outside of China grew, so did concern – panic at times – about what this meant for people’s health and broader, everyday lives. Governments and businesses stepped up preventative measures, but investors were concerned that the disruption would lead to an economic recession. (more…)

Increasing Happiness is a Matter of Intention

For many years, the prevailing theory was that individuals have a genetically determined happiness set point.

In other words, scientists believed that each person could temporarily experience more happiness (depending on circumstances, relationships, and life events), but would then slide back to his or her “pre-programmed” set point. In fact, less than two decades ago, one researcher was quoted as saying, “It may be that trying to be happier is as futile as trying to be taller.” (more…)

Financial Planning During Volatile Markets

The journey to achieving your long-term wealth goals follows a road that is not always smooth, clear and free of debris. Sometimes the market and the world at large will litter our path with obstacles for us to overcome. Global markets have been experiencing increased volatility, which comes in stark contrast to the even, steady growth that we often expect. (more…)

The Case for Optimism

You might be reading this hunkered down in your basement, taking inventory of your supplies, or watching a DIY facemask tutorial on YouTube. If so, you’re like all of us navigating a fog of uncertainty that, so far, has left more questions than answers. To help offer you some firmer footing, allow us to paint a realistic picture of where we stand regarding financial markets and the economy more broadly. (more…)