The Current Market Decline in Context

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Right when we began to think markets only move upwards, the pendulum reverses. Unless your personal goals have changed, stay the course according to your personal plan. It never hurts to repeat this steadfast advice during periodic market downturns. We understand that thinking about scary markets isn’t the same as experiencing them. Fear is a completely normal response when something like this happens. Acting on those emotions, though, can end up ...

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2017 Market Review

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At the beginning of 2017, a common view among money managers and analysts was that the financial markets would not repeat their strong returns from 2016. Many cited the uncertain global economy, political turmoil in the US, implementation of Brexit, conflicts in the Middle East, North Korea’s weapons buildup, and other factors. The global equity markets defied their predictions, with major equity indices in the US, developed ex-US, and emerging markets posting strong returns for the year.

The broad global advance ...

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Are You Prepared for the Next Market Correction?

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If you enjoy a good read, we recommend Warren Buffett’s annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letters, dating back to 1965. While financial reports are rarely the stuff from which dreams are made, Buffett’s way with words never ceases to impress. His most recent 2016 letter was no exception, including this powerful insight about market downturns:

“During such scary periods, you should never forget two things: First, widespread fear is your friend as an ...

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2016 Market Review

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In 2016, the US market reached new highs and stocks in a majority of developed and emerging market countries delivered positive returns. The year began with anxiety over China’s stock market and economy, falling oil prices, a potential US recession, and negative interest rates in Japan. US equity markets were in steep decline and had the worst start of any year on record. The markets began improving in mid-February through midyear. Investors also faced uncertainty from the Brexit vote in ...

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Brexit Fears and the Capital Markets

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As a kid in school we learned the “sun never sets on the British empire”; fast forward this coming week we await a Brexit vote for secession from the European Union (EU). The opinion polls show a slight edge to the British exit while the bookies favor continued membership. While no one knows how the vote will turn out one of our ...

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Our Relationship with Investment Risk

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Is investing riskier than usual these days? In our experience, probably not. It just feels that way because of the constant bombardment of information. If there is such a thing as “normal” in this world of ours, risk is certainly built into the definition.

In Morningstar’s Quarterly Economic Commentary, Francisco Torralba, Ph.D., CFA described the [f]inancial markets as having lived in a heightened ...

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Investing for Retirement Income: Part III: Total-Return Investing

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As we’ve discussed in the first two parts of this three-part series, we do not recommend turning solely to dividend-yielding stocks or high-yield (“junk”) bonds to support your retirement income, even in low-yield environments. So what do we recommend? Today we’ll answer that question by describing total-return investing.

PART III: TOTAL-RETURN INVESTING FOR SOLID CONSTRUCTION

If you think it through, there are three essential variables that ...

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Investing for Retirement Income: Part II: High-Yield Bonds

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In Part I of our three-part series on investing for retirement income in a low-rate environment, we explained why we don’t advise bulking up on dividend-yielding stocks as a reliable way to generate retirement cash flow. Like the Three Little Pigs’ straw house, dividend-yielding stocks can disappoint you by exhibiting inherent risks just when you most need dependability instead.

Another popular tactic is to ...

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2015 Review: Economy & Markets

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The US economy and broad market showed modest gains during the year, although investor discipline was tested by news of a global economic slowdown, rising market volatility in China and emerging markets, falling oil and commodities prices, and higher US interest rates.

The S&P 500 Index logged a 1.38% total return. The returns across US indices were mixed, but overall the broad US market, as measured by the Russell 3000, gained ...

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