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…)

Why Dismissing Social Security in Your Retirement Plan Is a Mistake

By Jarrett Simpson

When the subject of Social Security comes up during retirement planning conversations, both younger and older investors often greet it with a healthy dose of cynicism. Such discussions tend to include comments like, “Oh yeah, sure. If there’s even anything left for me” or “Isn’t Social Security going bankrupt?” Sometimes I hear a more draconian stance, like, “I just plan on it not being around when I’m retired.” This last viewpoint actually is quite common. According to a study by AARP, 65% of adults are not confident about Social Security’s future. (more…)

Hindsight is Clearer than Foresight

By Meir Statman

Predictions on November 7, 2016, the day before voters elected Donald Trump as our next president…

“As the historic 2016 U.S. presidential election approaches, major Wall Street analysts agree that the S&P 500 will likely sell off if Donald Trump wins, and at least hold gains if Hillary Clinton wins.” CNBC

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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…)

Active Management’s Persistent Failure to Persistently Outperform

Since 2002, S&P Dow Jones Indices has published its biannual Indices Versus Active (SPIVA) reports, which compare the performance of actively managed equity funds to their appropriate index benchmarks. It also puts out a pair of scorecards each year that focus on persistence of performance. This is an important issue because if persistence is not significantly greater than should be expected at random, investors cannot separate skill-based performance (which might be able to persist) from luck-based performance (which eventually runs out). Following are some of the highlights from the just-released December 2019 Persistence Scorecard, with data through September 2019: (more…)

Directing Your Own Financial Destiny

Do you feel “in charge” of your financial life?  Or do you feel you are being swept along by a set of circumstances that are beyond your control?  Do you take responsibility for making your own financial decisions, or do you acquiesce to the plans and opinions of others?  Does fear, denial, or complacency keep you from taking a proactive approach to nurturing your own financial well-being? (more…)

Resilience in the Time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 global pandemic and resulting economic uncertainly have had a profound effect on our sense of safety and control.  The closest experience that many of us have had in our lifetimes was the financial crisis in 2007-2008 followed by a deep recession.  Although the root causes are dramatically different, the impact on our sense of financial well-being is similar.  Few of us expected to face such challenging economic circumstances again within such a relatively short period of time. (more…)

$2.2 Trillion Stimulus: What it means for you

By: Matt Grodin

I am working hard (from home) to get tax returns out the door, and I would like to take a moment to answer some questions regarding the stimulus package signed by President Trump on Friday afternoon. There is a lot of information in the news on this subject, but not all of it is complete or accurate.  I’ll provide the highlights, including a few sources that I trust. Please note that information on this topic will continue to evolve. Regulations have not yet been written for how this law will be implemented. (more…)