Weekly Commentary

Monday, March 4, 2024

The bull market is alive and well.   “We know what investors are thinking,” reported Jacob Sonenshine of Barron’s. “The gains can keep coming, driven by an economy that is neither too hot nor too...

Monday, February 26, 2024

Optimism abounds!  Enthusiasm for everything related to artificial intelligence (AI) drove a global stock market rally last week. Equity markets in the United States, Europe, and Japan hit all-time highs after a leading chipmaker...

Friday, February 23, 2024

Don’t fight the Fed. The Federal Reserve (Fed) is the central bank of the United States. A longstanding bit of investment wisdom is: Don’t fight the Fed. It means that investors should align their strategies with the...

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

China is out of favor with investors. . Much of that cash is now heading for India, with Wall Street giants…endorsing the South Asian nation as the prime investment destination for the next decade. That momentum is triggering a gold rush...

Monday, February 5, 2024

We’ve been hearing a lot about layoffs.   Last week, the January 2024 Challenger Report found that employers based in the United States cut more than 82,000 jobs in January. That’s a lot. In December 2023, about 35,000...

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Thursday, February 1, 2024

Even better than expected! The United States economy is not performing the way anyone thought it would. Instead of tipping into a recession last year, it crushed expectations. Gross domestic product, which is the value of all goods and...

Monday, January 22, 2024

Are you feeling optimistic or pessimistic?   Consumers are a force to be reckoned with – and we’re all consumers. We buy coats and tweezers, electricity and bread, screens and fishing poles. We download apps and games...

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Is inflation retreating?   Last week, we received a lot of information about inflation. Some seemed to support the idea that inflation was sticky, meaning it wasn’t moving lower, while other data suggested inflation was in...

Monday, January 8, 2024

And we’re off…to a slow start.   Last week, investors appeared to suffer from a New Year’s hangover. The culprit was too much optimism.   After its December meeting, with inflation easing and the U.S....

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

2023 was a big year for U.S. stocks.   The story of 2023 has its roots in 2022, when the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index lost almost 19.5 percent amid rising inflation and aggressive Federal Reserve rate hikes. As 2022...

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

If all you wanted for Christmas was two percent inflation, you’re in luck!   Barring unforeseen events, it appears the United States Federal Reserve (Fed) is on the cusp of accomplishing a feat many thought impossible...

Monday, December 18, 2023

Have rates peaked?   Last week, at its final policy meeting for 2023, the United States Federal Reserve indicated that rates may have peaked. After the meeting, Chair Jerome Powell said:   “As we approach the end of the...

Monday, December 11, 2023

Still exceeding expectations.   Last week, the United States Treasury market rallied. Yields fell and bond prices rose as some bond market investors enthusiastically embraced the idea that the Federal Reserve will soon change...

Monday, December 4, 2023

We’re cycling along.   It’s easy to forget that economic activity tends to move in cycles. A full cycle, known as the business cycle, typically includes four stages:   Contraction occurs when economic growth slows...

Monday, November 27, 2023

In November, investors were more optimistic than consumers.   At the start of November, investors were decidedly bearish. During the week of November 1, the AAII Investor Sentiment Survey found that about 50 percent of respondents...

Monday, November 20, 2023

Is it done? (We’re not talking about the turkey.)   Last week, investors enthusiastically embraced the idea that the Federal Reserve (Fed) could be done raising rates – and that it might even begin to lower them. As...

Monday, November 13, 2023

Earnings grew in the third quarter.   Four times a year, during earnings season, publicly traded companies report how well they performed during the previous quarter. The strength of corporate earnings – also known as...

Monday, November 6, 2023

Will there be a year-end rally?   Last week, there was a lot of speculation about whether the United States will see a year-end stock market rally. Some say yes, and some say no.   For example, at Bank of America,...

Monday, October 30, 2023

The Mark Twain Effect?   Historically, economic theory was based on the idea that financial decisions were grounded in rational thought. In recent years, behavioral economists have recognized that people don’t always behave...

Monday, October 23, 2023

Stay calm and consider the big picture.   Today, investors have a myriad of worries that are creating tremendous uncertainty. A September Investopedia survey found investors are concerned about how their investments may be...

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Markets were resilient. Last week, investors had a lot to process – geopolitics, inflation, consumer sentiment, the possibility of government shutdown – and markets were volatile. Toward the end of the week, some investors...

Monday, October 9, 2023

The strong economy has been a source of significant uncertainty. Last week, despite the strong jobs report bolstering the likelihood of another Fed rate hike, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Indices moved higher.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Inflation is slowing but consumers aren’t feeling it.   In August, for the first time in two years, inflation (excluding volatile food and energy costs) dropped below four percent. Last week, one of the Federal Reserve...

Monday, September 25, 2023

How high will they go?   Just as the market anticipated, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) chose not to raise interest rates last week. However, Fed officials made it clear another rate increase might be necessary...

Monday, September 18, 2023

Adding new ingredients to the economic blender.   The performance of United States economy in 2023 has been as unexpected as a lentil-avocado-cinnamon smoothie – a tasty surprise. Last week, economic data suggested the...

Monday, September 11, 2023

All the work, work, work.   2023 has been a remarkable year so far. It has, “confounded economists, humbled forecasters, and rewarded investors. Despite a rapid rise in interest rates, the U.S. economy continues to grow....

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Lowering inflation.   If you’ve ever waited in traffic while the center section of a bridge lifts to allow ships and sailboats to pass underneath, you may have noticed the enormous counterweight that lowers as the bridge...

Monday, August 28, 2023

Becalmed.   The Chinese government’s zero-COVID policy took the wind from the sails of its economy. When the government finally ended the policy earlier this year, many economists anticipated that pent-up consumer demand...

Friday, August 25, 2023

Forbes' annual list spotlights the nation’s top advisors, evaluated based on a methodology developed by SHOOK Research. Advisors are also evaluated based on interviews, industry experience and revenue trends.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Higher bond yields may be good for income investors – and not so good for stock markets.   After more than a decade of near-zero interest rates, the “free money” era – a time when people and businesses...

Monday, August 14, 2023

Consumer sentiment is a lagging indicator. It’s also a contrarian indicator.   After rising sharply in June and July, consumer sentiment leveled off this month. The preliminary August reading for the University of Michigan...

Monday, August 7, 2023

An unwelcome surprise.   Last week, Fitch Ratings startled markets by lowering the credit rating of United States Treasuries from AAA to AA+. It was the second rating agency to downgrade U.S. Treasuries; Standard & Poor’s...

Monday, July 31, 2023

Central bank palooza!   While music lovers attended concerts and festivals across the United States, central banks had a lollapalooza of their own. The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) led things off last Wednesday, followed by the...

Monday, July 24, 2023

Better than expected. In January of this year, the Bloomberg’s MLIV Pulse survey collected and shared investors’ expectations for stock markets. Survey participants were generally a gloomy group. Seventy percent...

Monday, July 17, 2023

Disinflation was in the air! To the great relief of the Federal Reserve, the American economy has been experiencing “disinflation,” which is a slowdown in the rate of inflation. For example, last week we learned...

Monday, July 10, 2023

Markets are playing Federal Reserve (Fed) Clue. Last week, investors parsed the monthly Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for clues about whether the Fed will raise the federal funds rate at its next...

Monday, July 3, 2023

Showing remarkable resilience.Throughout the first half of 2023, the U.S. economy and financial markets proved to be resilient – and so did investors. U.S. stock markets moved higher amid enthusiasm for artificial intelligence...

Monday, June 26, 2023

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Express is traveling fast. Investors are enthusiastic about AI. Late last year, an AI research lab introduced a chatbot that could answer questions – and people were enthralled. Within two...

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Rebalancing ahead! There is one decision all investors should make: how to allocate the money they’re investing. Asset allocation decisions are usually based on a myriad of factors: expected returns, potential volatility,...

Monday, June 12, 2023

Leaping over the wall of worry. The “wall of worry” is an obstacle – or set of obstacles – that investors face. This year, the wall reached a considerable height as inflation, the War in Ukraine, United...

Monday, June 5, 2023

As Gomer Pyle used to say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!” Gomer Pyle USMC was a popular American sitcom in the 1960s. It focused on a naïve, do-gooding auto mechanic from Mayberry RFD who joined the military....

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

It’s a three-ring circus! For centuries people have embraced the circus. Enjoying the sticky fluff of cotton candy while elephants, clowns and trapeze artists perform in the spotlights. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the...

Monday, May 22, 2023

Investors aren’t happy, but stocks are up. If you ever participated in a fantasy football league, you may have experienced a run on a position during your draft. One person picks a kicker or defense mid-round and, suddenly,...

Monday, May 15, 2023

Brace yourself! The debt ceiling standoff continues. Consumers aren’t optimistic. The Consumer Sentiment Index fell to a six-month low in May, dropping 9.1 percent month-to-month. Participants in the University of Michigan...

Monday, May 8, 2023

The labor market just keeps growing…and growing… Last week, the April employment report for the United States arrived. It showed that unemployment dropped to the lowest level in more than 50 years – 3.4 percent....

Monday, May 1, 2023

Get real! Despite more than a year of aggressive Federal Reserve rate increases, the United States economy is still growing, albeit more slowly. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) – the value of all goods and services...

Monday, April 24, 2023

Better than expected. It’s earnings season – the time when publicly traded companies report on how profitable they were during the first quarter of 2023. So far, reports suggest that companies listed on United States...

Monday, April 17, 2023

Keep your eye on the big picture. Last week, there was nothing too surprising in economic and financial news. Inflation eased, as expected, although it remained above the Federal Reserve (Fed)’s target rate. The...

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Ambiguous images. Some illustrations are optical illusions. When two people view the picture, they may see completely different images. A good example is Rubin’s Vase. One viewer may see a vase, while another sees two faces...

Monday, April 3, 2023

Perhaps we should call this a pushmi-pullyu market. The first quarter of 2023 brought Dr. Dolittle’s pushmi-pullyu – the rarest animal of all – to mind. It is the offspring of goat-antelopes and unicorns, and has...

Monday, March 27, 2023

What’s your jam? When you think of fun, are you running an Arctic marathon? Biking to your favorite burger place? Gaming with friends online? Each has inherent risk: Polar bears and hypothermia, traffic and flat tires, and...

Monday, March 20, 2023

Unknowns and uncertainty. Financial markets were volatile last week as investors parsed the risks around bank closures, central banks offered additional protections for depositors, and regulators took a harder look at bank balance...

Monday, March 13, 2023

Thrown for a loop. Early last week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress the Fed is committed to bringing inflation down to 2 percent. If economic data continues to come in hot, he said, then it’s likely the Fed...

Monday, March 6, 2023

Sibling discord. Stocks and bonds are two of the better-known asset classes in the family of potential investments. Last week, they were in opposition. Bond yields have been moving higher in anticipation of the Federal...

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Is it good news or bad news? The answer depends on your perspective. Last week, we learned that: Consumer sentiment is at its highest level in more than a year. Consumers are feeling better about current economic conditions...

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Brace for a bumpy ride. There were some unwelcome surprises in last week’s economic data that caused markets to reassess expectations for 2023. For example: Inflation didn’t fall as fast as expected. Last week,...

Monday, February 13, 2023

There has been a lot of speculation about how the This time may be different...or it may not be. Federal Reserve’s policies will affect the United States economy. Economists have differing opinions about whether the country...

Monday, February 6, 2023

What do Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) and the current economic expansion have in common? Author and humorist Twain was prematurely reported to be dead. It first happened in 1897. Twain was on a speaking tour in London when...

Monday, January 30, 2023

The vicious cycle of inflation. Last week, we learned that pay increases at central banks in many parts of the world won’t keep pace with inflation. As a result, their employees may not be able to maintain the standards of...

Thursday, January 26, 2023

“It’s hard to be a contrarian for very long these days because the consensus seems to change so quickly,” opined Ed Yardeni via LinkedIn last week. We’ve certainly seen a shift in investors’...

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Bullish or bearish?After last year’s geopolitical turmoil, economic malaise, and tumultuous stock market decline, many financial professionals – from investors to asset managers – have strong opinions about what will...

Monday, January 9, 2023

It’s being called the “Goldilocks” report.Last Friday, we learned that demand for workers in the United States remained strong in 2022. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.5 percent in December. (It was 3.7 percent in...

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

It’s finally over.2022 was a dismal year for financial markets. Major United States stock indices moved lower, trimming or eliminating the previous year’s gains. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which had gained...

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

What a year! In some ways, it feels as though we lived through several years in 2022. The onslaught of events included, “The first major European war since the 1990s, unprecedented sanctions, energy-price mayhem, bail-outs,...

Monday, December 19, 2022

Bad news is bad news, once again.For months, investors have cheered bad economic news. When the United States economy showed signs of weakness, stock markets often reflected investor enthusiasm. The thinking was that bad economic news...

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

What comes next?The U.S. stock market tends to be a forward-looking vehicle. Investors make decisions today based on what they think may be ahead for the economy, and how economic change may affect the companies they’re...

Monday, December 5, 2022

What will it take to slow this economy down?In 2001, railway workers slowed a runaway train in Ohio by latching a second engine to the back of the locomotive and applying the brakes. In all, the train traveled sixty-six miles over two...

Monday, November 28, 2022

There was a shift in the winds of monetary policy.Last week, it became clear the Federal Reserve (Fed) had softened its hawkish stance. The minutes of the central bank’s November policy meeting indicated the Fed was likely to...

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR. In mid-November, people begin to prognosticate and predict, offering their thoughts about what the future may hold. While everyone else is future-gazing, we thought it might be interesting to look at some past

Monday, November 14, 2022

Last week was remarkable for many reasons.One reason is that sky watchers around the world had an opportunity to see a total lunar eclipse. The moon, Earth and sun aligned, causing the moon to appear crimson. We won’t see another...

Monday, November 7, 2022

Rate hikes are like winter planting. It’s the lag time. To no one’s surprise, the Federal Reserve continued to battle inflation last week, raising the federal funds rate for the 4th time this year, reported Claire Ballentine of Bloomberg.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Some companies are doing better than others – a lot better.It’s earnings season; the time when companies share how well they performed during the previous quarter. Earnings reports are important because they provide...

Monday, October 24, 2022

Markets turned – again.Markets continue to be volatile. Last week, stocks headed north. Nicholas Jasinski of Barron’s reported the change of direction reflected investors’ desire for the market to finally hit bottom....

Monday, October 17, 2022

We’re not there yet.Investors are understandably eager for the stock market to hit bottom. Some hoped it happened last week, but it did not. Despite the Fed’s rate hikes, last week the Consumer Price Index showed the...

Monday, October 10, 2022

Bah humbug!Last week, OPEC+, which includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied oil producers like Russia, chose to cut production by two million barrels a day. The stated goal is to keep crude oil prices...

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The third quarter marked a change in attitude. So far, 2022 has been a tough year for investing. We’ve experienced an unusual phenomenon – the simultaneous decline of stock and bond markets. Throughout the third...

Monday, September 26, 2022

Central bank tightening sparked recession fears.Last week, the Federal Reserve (Fed) raised the federal funds rate for the fifth time this year. During 2022, the Fed has lifted its benchmark rate from near zero to 3.12 percent. Fed...

Monday, September 19, 2022

It’s open to interpretation. Jackson Pollock was an action painter. He poured, dropped, and dripped paint onto horizontal canvases. Some people look at his work and wonder why it’s highly valued. Others find deep meaning in...

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Central banks are hawkish. Stocks popped higher, anyway.Last week, despite signs that inflation is slowing, U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) officials emphasized their commitment to tightening monetary policy to lower inflation. Several...

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

You may have heard this one: Don’t fight the Fed.The Fed is the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. Among other things, the Fed influences monetary conditions in pursuit of price stability and full employment. As...

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Markets were tuned to the signals coming from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.During World War II, United States armed forces often relied on high-powered radio sets to communicate. When determining whether transmissions were garbled by static...

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Is this a bear market rally or a new bull market? Investment professionals are in the middle of a heated debate. Since mid-June, United States stock markets have moved higher, regaining about $7 trillion as many investors who had sold...

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Rally caps were waving.In recent weeks, investors have embraced the idea that economic data will persuade the Federal Reserve to slow the pace of rate hikes. Last week’s inflation data fanned their enthusiasm.The big news was...

Monday, August 8, 2022

The strength of the United States economy continues to surprise.If you have ever been camping, you may have banked your campfire by covering the hot coals with ash. It’s a process that keeps the coals burning low so the fire can...

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Investors thought they heard a dovish note from the Federal Reserve and markets rallied.Last week, we learned from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) that economic growth in the United States slowed for the second consecutive...

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

A lot of people are worried that a recession may be in our future. Some think it may already be here.Unemployment is low (3.6 percent), and inflation is high (9.1 percent). Both tend to occur when an economy is experiencing strong growth...

Monday, July 18, 2022

Nobody is happy, but Americans are feeling more optimistic.Last week, headlines blasted the new inflation numbers. Prices were up more than 9% year-over-year in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Consumer Price...

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Rising inflation is a bit like a child throwing a temper tantrum in the grocery store.The red-faced parent, in this case the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed), tries to calm the child. Sometimes, it works and the child calms down (soft...

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

The first six months of 2022 have earned a place in history books.2022 is likely to become part of the lore passed from generation to generation. Stories will be told about this bear market, as well as the remarkable political and...

Monday, June 27, 2022

Unhappy consumers and slower growth in manufacturing made investors very happy. Consumer spending drives the economy. So, if consumers begin to spend less and economic growth slows, then the Federal Reserve may slow its rate hikes...

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The fight against inflation intensified. Last week, the Federal Reserve (Fed) delivered a message that it is serious about fighting inflation. The fed funds rate is now 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Inflation news unsettled already volatile stock and bond markets. There was a hint of good news: the CPI, which excludes food and energy prices because they are volatile and can distort pricing trends, is trending lower, 6.0 percent in May.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Despite high levels of pessimism, inflation-adjusted consumer spending has increased every month in 2022, supported by solid wage gains and abundant savings. Spending on: furniture, cars, clothing, food, shelter, fuel, and education.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Investors reassessed; markets bounced. Change in investor attitude may have been influenced by: Strong corporate earnings, more attractive share prices, optimism about the Fed's approach, and the possibility that inflation may have peaked.

Monday, May 23, 2022

On the fear and greed cycle. Feeling greedy: Everyone wants to invest. Nobody wants to miss out. Feeling fearful: During corrections and bear markets, when the market is moving lower, no one wants to invest. Ride the cycle.

Monday, May 16, 2022

People define bear markets in different ways. Some people say a drop of 20 percent is bear market territory. Other people say it occurs when more investors are bearish than bullish. How bear aware are you?

Monday, May 9, 2022

Economic and financial market data tell different stories, making it tough for investors to know where the economy is headed. Since markets move based on those stories and what investor predict for the future, they have been volatile.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Investing lately has been like running a forest trail with unexpected obstacles appearing often – a fallen tree, a swarm of flies, a bear! Economic, pandemic, and geopolitical events have taken a toll on the markets, and the economy.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Remember the ice bucket challenge? Were you challenged to pour icy water over your head for a cause? Last week, the Fed poured a bucket of ice water over the U.S. stock market. The Fed’s challenge is to slow high inflation.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

How can inflation be 8.5 percent and 6.5 percent at the same time? The answer is that it depends on how you measure it. Determining how quickly prices are rising or falling – and where they may be headed in the future – is not simple.

Monday, April 11, 2022

The first quarter of 2022 was jam-packed with volatility-inducing events: rising inflation, war in Ukraine, rising interest rates, sanctions on Russia, and a new COVID-19 outbreak in China. Here’s a brief review of what happened in Q1 2022.

Monday, April 4, 2022

The Fed's purpose is to promote price stability and max employment. We now know that inflation keeps rising. Personal income rose too but not quite as quickly as inflation. Unemployment remained low. It's not the same for everyone though.

Monday, March 28, 2022

In early March, two-thirds of survey respondents were in favor of a rate hike... and they got it. This makes borrowing more expensive, often reduces demand, thus lowering inflation. The change began to affect consumers in a variety of ways.

Monday, March 21, 2022

"Spring Forward. Fall Back." is not only the mnemonic device we use to remember that clocks gain an hour in March and lose an hour in November. It is also a good way to explain the state of our economy, the pandemic and the world.

Monday, March 14, 2022

The world has experienced enormous change. The pandemic led to rapid growth of e-commerce, a new work order, innovation vaccines, and a rethinking of global supply chains. These changes have created opportunities for investors.

Monday, March 7, 2022

The world is adapting to a changing reality. As the war in Ukraine intensified, financial markets grappled with uncertainty. Sanctions have economists revising expectations for global growth and inflation. But War wasn't the only concern...

Monday, February 28, 2022

Russian President Putin’s decision ignited the biggest military conflict in Europe since World War II. The war is already exacting a terrible human toll.  It has also disrupted global markets and raised questions about the global impact.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Volatility was high last week as investors guessed how markets would react if Russia invaded Ukraine. They also contemplated whether the Fed can tame inflation without hurting economic growth. And the old college debate is back! Uncertainty

Monday, February 14, 2022

If the category on Jeopardy is "Reasons the Markets Finished Lower Last Week," what would you say? What is... rising inflation, expected rate hikes, political tensions? Any of those questions would win you that round. And many more...

Monday, February 7, 2022

To say that economists did not have great expectations for the January employment report might be an understatement.  It was widely believed that the spread of the Omicron variant would mean dismal numbers. Instead, it was a rosy rearview.

Monday, January 31, 2022

The January stock market decline was interrupted by a Friday rally. The change in direction reflected: Confidence in the economy, strong corporate profits and/or buy-the-dip impulses. It’s difficult to know which direction they will go next

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Last week several articles about the U.S. stock market used the adage, “As goes January, so goes the year.” The saying describes the January Barometer, which holds that the performance of the S&P500 Index in January has predictive value.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

You may have seen the headlines that retail sales declined 1.9 percent in December.  The statistic has raised questions about the strength of strength of the economy.  After all, how could retail sales move lower during the holiday season?

Monday, January 10, 2022

In the 1950’s, then Fed Chair William McChesney Martin described the Federal Reserve as “the chaperone who has ordered the punch bowl removed just when the party was really warming up.” In 2020, the opposite was true.

Monday, January 3, 2022

2021 was a fizzing mints-in-soda kind of year. Everything shot higher – from COVID-19 cases and vaccinations to economic growth and global stock markets. Everything except optimism. As we head into 2022, let’s a look back at 2021.

Monday, December 27, 2021

As we say goodbye to 2021, investors are feeling bullish. Last week, the S&P 500 closed at a record high for the 68th time this year. That’s the second-highest number of record closes in a single year. But also a year filled with oddities..

Monday, December 20, 2021

Stock and bond markets diverged. With inflation high and employment at full pandemic capacity, the FOMC met last week and decided to become less accommodating more quickly and begin to raise rates. Stocks declined and bonds rallied.

Monday, December 13, 2021

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) last week, it showed that inflation was at levels last seen in 1982. In November, prices were up 0.8 percent month-to-month and 6.8 percent year-to-year....

Monday, December 6, 2021

Last week, employment and manufacturing data confirmed that the economy continued to strengthen in November, but it was all overshadowed by investors’ concerns about the spread of coronavirus and Federal Reserve policy changes to come.

Monday, November 29, 2021

As Thanksgiving approached in the U.S., there was concern that holiday togetherness would increase cases of COVID-19. Financial markets took it in stride but were less sanguine when the new variant of coronavirus "omicron" was reported on.

Monday, November 22, 2021

The S&P500 Index finished last week slightly higher and has gained about 6 percent during the past 25 days; however, investors have curbed their enthusiasm. Thinking about the possibilities, we have some thoughts on why.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Economists like to joke that inflation is just right when no one notices it. Last week, investors noticed it. The U.S. saw the highest inflation in over 30 years and well above the Fed's goal of two percent. Officials are debating....

Monday, November 8, 2021

Investor bullishness ticked higher last week. Investor optimism may have been fanned by positive financial and economic news, include unemployment, a moderate approach to monetary policy changes and the strength of corporate earnings.

Monday, November 1, 2021

The road to recovery is slow and bumpy. Last week, we learned that economic growth had slowed in the third quarter as a new wave of COVID-19 cases surged across the United States. Consumer spending dropped sharply during the period.

Monday, October 25, 2021

It’s MESSI! No, this commentary is not about Lionel Messi, the Argentine soccer phenom who is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time. However, it is about something that economists say may be...

Monday, October 18, 2021

Barron’s Big Money Poll is a survey of market sentiment among professional investors. Half are bullish about the coming year, 12% are bearish and the rest neutral. While 50% thinks stocks are fairly valued, 80% expect a market correction.

Monday, October 11, 2021

The term “jouncy” was born out of a combination of the words bouncy and jolting – and it’s a pretty good way to describe markets last week.They fluctuated wildly but then had little reaction to the jobs report. And the world powered down...

Monday, October 4, 2021

September strikes again… If you look back over the last 20 years, September has been the worst performing month for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, according to Nasdaq. Following that trend, the S&P 500...

Monday, September 27, 2021

Central bank policies influence investors, markets and economies. The Fed will start tapering before year-end. Cryptocurrencies are on the rise but China has banned any crypto transactions. What concerns you most?

Monday, September 20, 2021

Recently, bullish sentiment has drifted lower like sediment settling after a storm. Each month, Bank of America surveys global asset managers. In the September survey, fewer managers were optimistic about global economic growth.

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Delta variant could take a toll on economic growth. As infections surged across the U.S., expectations for growth dropped more sharply than anticipated. The Ig Nobels were awarded to imaginative projects to make us smile at least.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

What do you picture when asked about wave power? Almost three-quarters of the Earth is covered by water. Tides surge and retreat. Wind blows the waves. Freshwater and marine life drift on currents. The markets move similarly at times.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Last week, Fed Chair, Jerome Powell’s, words helped grow equity market returns. Powell confirmed that the U.S. economy had made substantial progress toward the Fed’s maximum employment and price stability goals. Investors were delighted....

Monday, August 23, 2021

Markets were shaken last week by a potent cocktail of central bank tapering and economic growth concerns, mixed with coronavirus and a splash of the new Chinese privacy law. On Wednesday, the minutes from the United States...

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The Markets What is the most important driver of economic growth in the United States? The most common way to measure economic output is Gross Domestic Product or GDP. It’s the value of all goods and services produced in our...

Monday, August 9, 2021

Investors have long been wondering when the Fed will “normalize” its policies, which will eventually lead to higher interest rates. Last week, a better-than-expected jobs report sparked speculation that we have arrived at that point.

Monday, August 2, 2021

The Chinese dragon cast a shadow over free trade and foreign investment last week. For decades, investors have recognized the investment potential of China. Since the country opened to foreign trade and investment in 1979,...

Monday, July 26, 2021

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has announced the official dates of the 2020 recession. Economic activity peaked in February and bottomed in April, making it the shortest ever recession in history. The magnitude however....

Monday, July 19, 2021

The popular term “peak growth” is a catchphrase with the potential to mislead. It does not mean the economy has reached the pinnacle of growth and it’s all downhill from here. It means economic growth will climb at a slower pace.

Monday, July 12, 2021

There was a gapers’ block in financial markets last week as equity investors slowed to see what the Treasury market was up to. U.S. Treasury bonds rallied last week. Yields on 10-year Treasuries dropped...

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The world is about halfway back to normal. The Economist developed the global normalcy index to measure the recovery. In March 2020, it was at 35 overall, with 100 being normal. The U.S. recently reached 72.8 but it's been uneven road back.

Monday, June 28, 2021

"I" is for Infrastructure, which is essential but often taken for granted. Our system recently received a very poor report card but a bipartisan plan has been announced. "I" is also for Improvement. And Inflation is also an "I". What else?

Monday, June 21, 2021

The FOMC meets eight times a year to review economic conditions, assess price stability and economic growth, and adjust monetary policy. They met last week and while they did not change policy, they were a bit more hawkish this time.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Is Inflation going to transitory or is it here to stay? The markets took it in stride last week but it remains a top concern for consumers and investors. Inflationary psychology could take hold of many and perpetuate the cycle.

Monday, June 7, 2021

When you store tools or machinery in a shed or garage for an extended period of time, you know they often need some care and repair to function properly. The same appears to be true of the pandemic economy. It just needs some TLC.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Are we at a tipping point? One side effect of the pandemic was a collapse in demand for oil, which led to “the largest revision to the value of the oil industry’s assets in at least a decade. Courts and shareholders are weighing in.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Markets hate uncertainty and recently, there has been plenty of it. Questions plaguing us: Why aren’t people returning to work? What will the Fed do? Is inflation here to stay? If you have these or any other questions, give us a call.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Inflation is here. CDC states that those vaccinated can remove their masks and people are more than ready to return to normal activity. Demand is surg aas supply chain shortages remain sending the CPI higher. What will normal cost now?

Monday, May 10, 2021

Unemployment numbers were a big miss last week but what does that mean? The pandemic is changing the way we think about our lives, work and finances. A new study makes us wonder if our brains have evolved to make optimal financial choices.

Monday, May 3, 2021

It’s Spring and economic recovery is in the air. The U.S. economy grew at a 6.4 percent annualized rate for the first three months of 2021. While that’s good news, asset managers and investors are still cautious.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Last week, news was mixed. Corporate earnings have been positive but coronavirus cases are rising and inflation is ticking up. And, it's possible that capital gains tax will almost double. What does that mean for a price of a pork chop?

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The direction of bond yields is influenced by investors’ expectations for economic growth, among other factors. There are reasons to be optimistic and reasons for concern. One main area of focus is financial well-being going forward.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Why didn't investors stumble over inflation last week? The year-over-year comparisons from last March are starting from a base much lower than normal so we may be seeing an upward distortion. Priced stability is a top priority.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Big economies tend to recover from recessions slowly but may not be the case this time. We are seeing improvements in many sectors. We hope That it's full speed ahead for all of 2021 and longer.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Last week, unemployment claims were looking good, and consumers were feeling good. Markets were mixed but reflect strong recovery from last year. We will watch to see how delays in the Suez affect global trade on all levels.

Monday, March 22, 2021

For the first time in almost a year, the top worry of fund managers is not COVID but inflation, although most predict a strengthening economy. The World Happiness Report showed people around the world are surprisingly resilient as well.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Forbes' annual list spotlights the nation’s top advisors, evaluated based on a methodology developed by SHOOK Research. Advisors are also evaluated based on interviews, industry experience and revenue trends.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Good news continues to fuel optimism. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was signed, new cases of the virus are slowing, inflation stayed low and major indices soared, setting new records. What's next? Anyone up for fishing on the moon?

Monday, March 8, 2021

Per the CDC, vaccines have been effective in fighting the coronavirus, which is having a positive effect on the economy. As they roll out, what will the new normal include? Digital currencies are a good guess. But how do we evaluate them?

Monday, March 1, 2021

On Thursday, there was a historically unusual economic event. Treasury notes briefly matched the dividend yield for the S&P 500 Index. Normally, Treasuries tend to have higher yields... but these are not normal times.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Contrarian investors like to buck the trend. They buy when other investors are selling and sell when others are buying. Equities are at an all time high and asset managers are almost fully invested. Contrarians ears are starting to perk up

Monday, February 8, 2021

The yield curve for U.S. Treasuries is steeper than it has been in a while. Yield curves provide insight to bond investors’ perceptions about the economy. Under current conditions, the steepening of the curve is a good sign.

Monday, February 1, 2021

People often see different things while watching the same event. The social-media fueled volatility in some companies proved that. That activity overshadowed some events that will likely have more impact. Is this another new norm?

Monday, January 25, 2021

Market optimism continues as vaccinations roll out but there are many reasons asset prices have remained high. Or are these just bubbles? What else might affect our recovery? Financial literacy helps. And, if you need help, give us a call!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The continuing economic damage caused by the rising number of coronavirus cases is slamming recovery. What should we expect next? Inauguration riots? (In)effective stimulus? Inflation? Lockdowns? What's next?

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Events at the U.S. Capitol didn’t deter global stock markets. The disruption to the democratic process was less significant than the Georgia run-offs. Add poor employment numbers and rising virus cases. Is this a stock market melt-UP?

Monday, January 4, 2021

Last week was the cherry on top of a turbulent year. No one expected a global pandemic. Markets fell but rebounded as central banks took action. Optimism has kept the markets afloat, buoyed by new stimulus and vaccine rollouts. What a year!

Monday, December 28, 2020

As we gladly leave 2020 and jump into 2021, risks are everywhere. Investor optimism is high, which fuels the markets. Stimulus was passed by Congress and Trump finally signed it, adding to optimism. Just in time to have a happy new year!

Monday, December 21, 2020

We are finally seeing a stimulus package from Congress. The Fed will keep rates near zero. Investor confidence remains high. There are all sorts of reasons to be bullish right now! Happy holidays to all!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Frothy beverages can be delicious. Are frothy markets good too? IPO's are hot as bullish investors want in. With contrarian indicators high, what kind of shopper (investor) are you? Do you enjoy a delicious frothy holiday beverage?

Monday, December 7, 2020

When is bad news good news? Last week, major stock indices hit all-time highs, despite dismal employment report and a surge in COVID-19 cases. Considering this news, why were markets bullish? Could stimulus be coming?

Monday, November 30, 2020

Vaccine optimism immunized investors against signs of economic weakness. Anxiety is high, unemployment is ending and stimulus is needed but people are shopping. Narratives are influencing all of it. Watch the trends for new opportunities.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Thanksgiving is going to be different this year and Americans are rising to the challenge. People are getting very creative with how they share the holidays and their meals. Whatever you do with the day, make it an amazing Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2020

The word "vaccine" is very powerful right now. Reports of a vaccine with positive results moved markets higher but a surge in cases, new restrictions and a lack of stimulus dampened enthusiasm. Stay calm and focus on the long-term.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Despite uncertainty about the U.S. elections, positive economic data boosted investor confidence and major stock indices moved higher last week. These are good signs but we'd like to pause and thank our veterans for their service.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Two economic stories are emerging. The economy grew, unemployment decreased and spending increased, yet coronavirus rose, stimulus is delayed and the election looms. Even with our differences, remember, we are more alike than we realize.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Markets react to stimulus but it's unsure whether a new package will be approved prior to the election, which is just eight day away. People are worried about how the results will affect the markets. All you can do is get out and vote!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Waves of good and bad news hit markets last week: upbeat earnings and retail sales, while the virus surges and vaccine trials pause. In a time when our mental accounting habits are important, don't let this hold you back from opportunity.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Markets focused on the on/off status of stimulus talks last week but global indices were bullish at the possibility of a deal. Earnings season starts this week but many companies will not offer annual guidance. More yes, no, maybes to come

Monday, October 5, 2020

In Q3, stocks moved higher then pulled back. The economy improved but the pace is slowing. Stimulus talks resumed. Then the first day of Q4 delivered a doozy - the President has coronavirus. Will we have more October surprises?

Monday, September 28, 2020

The U.S. stock market has sparked and sputtered, with pandemic-driven demand fueling investors. New innovations and vaccines are in development to meet the needs of the new normal. Traditional Halloween celebrations are changing too.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Investors were not happy with central banks last week. After the FOMC meeting, stocks dropped sharply. The Bank of England rattled markets after noting they will study negative interest rates. Is this just unsettling or worst-case scenario?

Monday, September 14, 2020

The incredible speed at which events have flown through financial markets is incredible. Although, this can be somewhat explained by COVID-19 and the upcoming election, it almost feels like the wind at times. Wind really does have power too

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

COVID-19 has reshaped our world. Everything from how we work, educate, shop and interact has changed. Even the we breath is different. We have also seen extreme changes in the market behavior. What exactly is the "new normal?"

Monday, August 31, 2020

One test we use to gauge the markets, company earnings, doesn't pass. Yet the markets rallied in August. The new tests tend towards optimism and fiscal stimulus. What test do you use? Would you pass a test in stocks or American history?

Monday, August 24, 2020

There are many things we don't know. Market indices hit record highs but the reasons are unclear. There are fewer job postings yet unemployment is improving. There is research everywhere but how can we understand what we just don't know?

Monday, August 17, 2020

Markets have recovered in just 175 days. This is remarkable in the midst of a recession and weak earnings. The economy has contracted sharply while valuations have rocketed higher. No one is certain what the next 175 days will bring.

Monday, August 10, 2020

We got good and bad news last week. There was positive data about employment but it is still high. The economy is improving but not in great shape. Pro-sports resumed but with empty seats. Better but not great. What's the flip side?

Monday, August 3, 2020

Last week delivered a mixed bag of news. Earnings are up, GDP is down, federal benefits are ending and stimulus has stalled. For some fun, we use the Big Mac Index to assess global currencies, which is another mixed bag!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Where are we on vaccines? Governments around the world are funding research to accelerate the development of vaccines for COVID-19. This virus has wrought economic havoc! It's hard to know where we're at. Let's hope we find a vaccine soon!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Is the economy recovering or faltering? It depends which data you consider. There are divergent stories everywhere. The U.S. Mint has even reported that it costs more to produce a penny than a penny is worth! Nothing is making cents today!

Monday, July 13, 2020

A Japanese theme park recently asked patrons not to scream on the rollercoaster. How do you not? If the current financial rollercoaster, inspired by twists and turns of the coronavirus, has you thinking, come review your financial goals.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Who could have thought a pandemic would inflate the markets? Who would have imagined we'd be facing a pandemic? Who would have guessed that drive-in movies would make a comeback? Economic recovery is tenuous. What's your guess?

Monday, July 6, 2020

If your stress and anxiety levels are reaching a breaking point, you’re not alone. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll found 45 percent of adults in the United States are feeling worry and stress related to the coronavirus....

Thursday, July 2, 2020

2020 is destined to become an indelible chapter in American history. In just six months, we have suffered a pandemic, encountered economic and financial disruption, and tackled civil justice issues. After all that, we deserve a...

Monday, June 29, 2020

As coronavirus restrictions ease and businesses reopen, the American economy should gain steam. Data released in May and June, including employment, payroll, and manufacturing numbers, suggested the economy may have hit bottom in April...

Monday, June 29, 2020

Markets retreated last week as new COVID-19 cases increased in America. We can't currently rely on traditional performance-drivers of economic growth. Leading indicators are now lagging and Covid-impaired results add to the puzzle.

Monday, June 22, 2020

U.S. markets marched higher despite a pandemic, an economic downturn, and social justice protests – many wonder why. Investors tell themselves varied stories resulting in confirmation bias and diverse outcomes. What story do you tell?

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Break out the socks and neckties! It’s time to celebrate your dad. See what you know about Father’s Day by taking this quick trivia quiz: 1. When is Father’s Day in the United States? a. Second Sunday in Mayb. Third Sunday in Junec....

Monday, June 15, 2020

Stock indices rallied last week on optimism about the reopening of businesses, then sputtered out. Market performance is inconsistent with the slow economic recovery path. Investors suffer "recency bias" and question their choices.

Monday, June 8, 2020

U.S. stock markets responded enthusiastically to the news unemployment decreased to 13.3% in May, a silver lining in today's world. Many would prefer to be employed but some are creating innovative solutions for interesting questions.

Monday, June 1, 2020

If you have been paying attention, you may have seen a few green shoots last week, aka signs of improvement in a downturn. Restrictions ease, businesses reopen and consumer sentiment improves. Also, June is a month of holidays to enjoy!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Life as we know it has changed dramatically during 2020. As the coronavirus spread across the United States, cities and states issued shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus and prevent healthcare facilities from...

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

While U.S. stock rallied, we saw trouble in Hong Kong. Optimism for vaccines, followed by contradictory reports. The fates of small businesses and employees are still great unknowns. So many outcomes to consider and anything is possible.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

At 3:00 p.m. local time on Monday, May 25, 2020, the National Moment of Remembrance takes place by silently thanking the men and women of the United States military who gave their lives for our country.1 Originally, Memorial Day was...

Monday, May 18, 2020

America is reopening but it's far from business as usual. Unemployment benefits have increased salaries for some. Will this support consumer spending and sustain demand to match production? Recovery strategies differ and the debate goes on.

Monday, May 11, 2020

The U.S. stock markets are moving higher while the U.S. economy is contracting, leading to the conclusion that the stock markets are just not mindful of the present moment. Maybe, but the definitions and drivers can also be very different.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Whether they stay at home or work for a company, moms rarely have just one job. They’re event planners, coaches, interior designers, chefs, art directors, judges (and juries), housekeepers, maintenance supervisors, network...

Monday, May 4, 2020

The corona virus starts to retreat but we're still stuck at home. Between Zoom meetings, emails and kids, working from home and homeschooling present challenges. That's Pandemic Life! At least we can find some humor in it.

Monday, April 27, 2020

We live in interesting and unprecedented times. Negative oil prices. Stimulus Checks. Coronavirus restrictions. Do what you can now and hope for the future.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Last week’s economic data was about what you might expect. Demand is down. Earning are weak. Unemployment has skyrocketed. The crisis continues. Stay optimistic! There are a few bright spots and things you can do if you lose you job.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

If you have ever been flattened by a rogue wave while fishing or sunbathing on the shore, you probably recognize the emotional responses that have accompanied the pandemic wave crashing across the United States – shock, anxiety, and...

Monday, April 13, 2020

Why is the stock market doing so well when the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to peak? While we wait, many people are getting creative while they quarantine.

Monday, April 6, 2020

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy says to her little dog, “Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.” Today, many of us understand Dorothy’s trepidation and uncertainty better than ever before....

Monday, March 30, 2020

The Markets The United States set some records last week. First, we became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Popular Science explained: “An increase of 15,000 known cases in just one day pushed the United States past Italy..

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Markets The coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to spread across the United States last week. On Friday, March 13, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported there were 1,629 confirmed and presumptive cases and 41 deaths.

Monday, March 16, 2020

The Markets Last week was one for the history books. Mid-week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus a global pandemic.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

St. Patrick’s Day is a day of unity. In the past, St. Patrick was celebrated by Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics. As it has been said, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. See what you know about this celebration of Irish...

Monday, March 9, 2020

The Markets Last week, market volatility reached levels that make many investors uncomfortable. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged higher, delivering its biggest one-day point gain in history.

Friday, March 6, 2020

In late February, concern that efforts to contain Coronavirus Disease 2019 (a.k.a. COVID-19) might result in slower global economic growth disrupted global markets. Share prices fell as economists and financial analysts revised growth...

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The coronavirus, which is now officially called Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), has received a lot of attention. Since the outbreak began in China, late in 2019, the disease and efforts to understand and manage it have made...

Monday, March 2, 2020

Take a deep breath. We have experienced downturns before. Think back to 2018. During the last quarter of the year, major stock indices in the Unites States suffered double-digit losses, much of it during December.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

There was a little something for everyone in the ‘Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement’ (SECURE) Act, a piece of bipartisan legislation that was attached to the United States federal spending bill and signed into law...

Monday, February 24, 2020

Risk on or risk off? The coronavirus appears to have inspired two distinct schools of thought among investors.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Many stock markets around the world moved higher last week. Investors’ optimism in the face of economic headwinds has confounded some in the financial services industry.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Valentine’s Day and love songs go hand-in-hand. If you’re looking for a way to show love and appreciation, consider sharing some of the most popular love songs of all time. Here are a few of the most popular, according to Billboard...

Monday, February 10, 2020

The Markets Last week, major U.S. indices posted strong gains. That’s welcome news, but the drivers behind share price appreciation appear to have little to do with company fundamentals.

Monday, February 3, 2020

There is a good chance markets will be volatile in the coming weeks.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

The best place to retire in the United States is in dispute. There’s no formal debate, but a review of reliable publications showed surveys have named different states and cities as the “best” place to retire. For instance: • Iowa was...

Monday, January 27, 2020

News of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China unsettled investors around the world.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Markets The new trade deals are here! The United States and China signed a preliminary trade deal last week. The next day, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was approved by the Senate.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

In 2019, a Pew Research Center survey reported many Americans were pessimistic about the future. Their worries included the national debt, the gap between the rich and the poor, and automation.1 Martin Luther King was sometimes...

Monday, January 13, 2020

U.S. Treasury bond yields dropped sharply last week before rebounding. Financial Times reported the possibility of war caused global investors to seek out investments perceived to be safe havens.

Monday, January 6, 2020

2019 was a remarkable year for investors with many asset classes delivering positive performance.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Since 2011, the number of Americans owning smartphones has increased from 35 percent to 81 percent, although there remains a significant digital divide, demographically. A Pew Research survey found the vast majority of younger...

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Not everyone is financially prepared for retirement. Earlier this year, the Employee Benefit Research Institute estimated almost 41 percent of American households will run short of money in retirement. That’s an improvement over 2014...

Monday, December 30, 2019

The Markets 2019 will be a hard act to follow. Investors may find themselves reluctant to ring out the old and ring in the new this week. During 2019, stock and bond markets delivered exceptional returns.

Monday, December 30, 2019

If you’re not fond of New Year’s resolutions, then start or adopt new traditions that help get the year off to a positive start. Your new tradition should be something you can repeat each year with family and friends. Here are a few...

Monday, December 23, 2019

Major stock indices in the United States and overseas are poised to deliver double-digit gains for the year.

Monday, December 23, 2019

No matter what holiday you celebrate, we hope it’s filled with joy, laughter, and heartfelt happiness. That said, we know holiday cheer can be overwhelmed by the pursuit of perfection and opinions of relatives. Just in case your...

Monday, December 16, 2019

Last week was a good week for investors. Ben Levisohn of Barron's explained: "The Federal Reserve and European Central Bank both pledged to do what they could to underpin their respective economies.

Monday, December 9, 2019

On Friday, the unemployment report flashed its numbers like a hair model in a shampoo commercial. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 266,000 new jobs were created in November.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Sometime, probably not so long ago, comedian Dave Barry wrote, "Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice."

Monday, December 2, 2019

You’ve probably never asked your adult children and younger relatives whether they have security software on their computers and devices. Why would you? They’re digital natives, born with keyboards under their fingertips.It may be time...

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Thanksgiving is all about gratitude. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists shared an autumn feast with the Wampanoag Indians. They were celebrating survival and friendship. It’s also a poignant story.1About one-half of the passengers who...

Monday, November 25, 2019

Year-to-date, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite have all gained more than 20 percent with dividends reinvested. The MSCI World Index also is up 20 percent year-to-date.

Monday, November 18, 2019

U.S. stock markets climbed higher for the sixth week straight - the longest rally in U.S. markets in two years - and the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 28,000 for the very first time, reported Bloomberg.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Last week, major United States stock indices finished at historic highs.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

After World War I, many nations celebrated the end of “The Great War” by establishing Armistice Day. Eventually, the holiday was broadened to celebrate those who served in all wars. In the United States after World War II and the...

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates last week, as expected. There were no enthusiastic fans singing the Baby Shark song, but the Federal Open Market Committee's decision was well received.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

One of the most discussed topics in the United States is retirement security. Few Americans have set aside enough savings to live comfortably throughout retirement. In fact, the most recent National Retirement Risk Index (NRRI)*...

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Americans expect to spend $8.8 billion on costumes, decorations, candy, and other Halloween purchases, according to the National Retail Federation.1That’s enough money to purchase the New England Patriots ($3.8 billion), the Los...

Monday, October 28, 2019

2019 has been a tremendous year for U.S. stocks. Through the end of last week, the S&P 500 Index had gained more than 20% year-to-date, the Dow Jones Industrial Index was up more than 15%, and the Nasdaq Composite had risen more than 24%.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Last week was like an overstuffed suitcase that busts open on the baggage carousel. A lot was unpacked in a surprising and disorderly fashion.

Monday, October 14, 2019

The United States agreed to not increase tariffs from 25 percent to 30 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports next week. In return, China agreed to purchase $40 to $50 billion of agricultural goods, including soybeans and pork.

Monday, October 7, 2019

From trade wars to impeachment inquiries, investors had a lot to ponder during the third quarter.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

What data about you is most important?The data that identity thieves are after – social security, credit card, and bank account numbers – is important, as well as more basic data which is being collected by companies whose devices you...

Monday, September 30, 2019

The simple answer is probably.Historically, the American economy has grown in fits and starts, otherwise known as recessions and expansions. As a result, it is likely there will be another recession in the United States.What are...

Monday, September 30, 2019

The University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers indicated confidence improved in September, which appeared to be positive news. However, the report suggested positive sentiment is eroding.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Renowned economist Robert Shiller's new book suggests investors may be able to predict and prepare for economic events by tracking popular stories. Applying the theory might have been a challenge last week.

Monday, September 16, 2019

If you enjoy searching for Waldo, the visual nemesis in a red-striped sweater and cap, you may appreciate the quandary of central bankers in many wealthy nations. For almost a decade, they've been trying to find inflation.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Bill Murray's character is a crotchety newsman who lives the same day over and over again. The movie came to mind last week when the United States and China headed to the negotiating table. Again. Global stocks rallied on the news. Again.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Last week finally brought some relief. It was the best week for major U.S. stock indices since June. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite all gained between 2 and 3 percent.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Would you give up a share of $62 billion?Would you give up a share of $62 billion?If your answer is no, then you may be a member of the relatively small group of Americans (36 percent) that takes all of the vacation days available to...

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Just over 100 years ago, Americans typically worked physically demanding jobs. Adults toiled 12 hours a day, seven days a week for low wages. Americans did not take lunch breaks. They did not get sick days or vacations. They were not...

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Markets Have you ever watched a lake in a thunderstorm? Heavy rain pummels the surface. Dark clouds drop the sky closer to the water. Gusty winds crash waves ashore. Up top, on land, damage may occur. Underneath, in the deeper...

Monday, August 19, 2019

It's possible we're nearing the end of the longest bull market for U.S. stocks. Further inversion of the yield curve last week suggested recession could be ahead. However, it's unlikely to arrive immediately.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Investors boomeranged from stocks to safe havens and back as trade tensions between the United States and China intensified last week.

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Markets The Federal Open Market Committee completed what it called 'a mid-cycle adjustment' with a quarter-point rate cut last week.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The world is becoming smarter and more connected all the time – and that has serious implications for people who want to protect their personal data and their privacy. If you’ve been enjoying the convenience of smart utilities and...

Monday, July 29, 2019

It has been said there are two sides to every story. Just look at world financial markets. Stock markets and bond markets are telling very different stories.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Did last week mark the start of a new policy for the Federal Reserve? The U.S. Federal Reserve has a reputation for providing little transparency about the timing and direction of potential rate changes.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

A Prescription for Dementia Prevention If you’ve ever played a party game that asks you to make difficult decisions, you may have run into a question like this one: Would you rather enjoy good physical health all of your life or good...

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Markets There was unexpected economic news last week. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced 224,000 new jobs were added in June, which was more than analysts had anticipated.

Monday, July 1, 2019

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index finished the second quarter up about 17 percent year-to-date, according to Ben Levisohn of Barron's. The index gained 6.9 percent in June, its best performance since 1955.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Life, Liberty, and Tax-Advantaged InvestingAmericans are passionate about taxes. We have reason to be. In recent years, Americans have spent more on taxes than on food, clothing, and housing combined.1 The Tax Foundation estimates...

Monday, June 24, 2019

The FOMC met last week (they decide whether the central bank of the United States should push rates higher or move them lower). It left rates unchanged but indicated a willingness to lower rates in support of economic expansion.

Monday, June 17, 2019

The economic facts are encouraging, but recent events have potential to knock the U.S. economy off its tracks. The most significant threat may be a second round of oil tanker explosions in the Gulf of Oman.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Most dads have at least one recipe they like to cook for family and friends. Some have dozens. This year, celebrate Father’s Day by collecting the recipes from the men in your family. Bring a notebook to your next family celebration...

Monday, June 10, 2019

Since the U.S.-China trade conflict resumed in early May, investors have been off balance. The possibility of escalating tariffs on Mexico heightened economic uncertainty.

Monday, June 3, 2019

The Markets Just two weeks ago, the U.S. government lifted tariffs on Mexico and Canada. So, it was a surprise last week when President Trump tweeted the United States would impose an escalating tariff on all goods imported from Mexico...

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Throughout history people have made inheritance choices that are inexplicable to others. In 1926, Harry Houdini left his magical equipment to his brother, his pulled-from-the-hat rabbits to the children of friends, and a series of...

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Markets During the past decade, the profitability of U.S. companies increased rapidly. Strong corporate earnings helped the U.S. stock market outperform markets in other nations by a significant margin.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance. It’s the time when we pay our respects to the men and women who died fighting for our country. See what you know about this important holiday by taking our Memorial Day quiz.1. What did the...

Monday, May 20, 2019

There was some good news on trade, last week. The United States took steps to reduce trade friction with the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and Japan.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Major U.S. stock indices moved lower when trade talks between the United States and China broke down.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Moms are like snowflakes. No two are exactly alike. So, when you’re thinking about what to give your mom for Mother’s Day, consider a gift that is as unique as she is -- share your memories with her. Here are some prompts to get you...

Monday, May 6, 2019

Despite the exceptional performance of U.S. stock markets year-to-date, and data that suggest economic growth remains steady, some analysts and investors have been pecking at Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Economic growth in the United States was strong during the first quarter. The Bureau Of Economic Analysis announced gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all goods and services produced in the United States, increased by 3.2%.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Where do you set aside the money you’re saving for retirement? If you’re like many Americans, you save for retirement primarily through an employer’s retirement plan, according to Pew Research.1Unfortunately, less than one-half of...

Monday, April 22, 2019

A Jeopardy! contestant captured the nation's attention last week by setting multiple records for the most money earned in a single episode. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index has been setting some records, too.

Monday, April 15, 2019

The curtain appeared to close on the first act of 2019 last week - and what an impressive act it was. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index delivered some dramatic returns and is less than 1 percent away from a new all-time high.

Monday, April 8, 2019

While the U.S. stock market has delivered attractive returns year-to-date, suggesting investors anticipate strong economic growth ahead, the bond market has been telling a different story.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

If someone tells you older people need less sleep than younger people do, don’t believe it. Older Americans need about eight hours of sleep, just like everybody else. What’s different is quality sleep is harder to come by as you age....

Monday, April 1, 2019

Through the end of last week, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up more than 13 percent year-to-date, despite falling corporate earnings and modest consumer spending gains.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

It’s no secret healthcare costs are going up. Medical expenses have been steadily increasing for years. In 2007, costs were up almost 12 percent. However, the rate of increase slowed to 6 percent during the past five years and that...

Monday, March 25, 2019

Wonder what the Federal Reserve's 40-yard dash time is? On Wednesday, the Fed juked like an NFL running back and left investors wondering whether they should buy or sell.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Last week, major U.S. stock indices finished higher for the 10th time in 12 weeks.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

On St. Patrick’s Day, it’s okay to celebrate even if you’re not Irish. St. Patrick himself wasn’t Irish. As we celebrate, we would like to share some of our favorite facts and tidbits about St. Patrick’s Day:1 • St. Patrick’s Day is an...

Monday, March 11, 2019

The market hates surprises, especially when the surprise comes from a central bank. Last week, the European Central Bank (ECB) unexpectedly reversed course and took a more accommodative stance on monetary policy.

Monday, March 4, 2019

If the Federal Reserve lifts rates enough to prevent the economy from overheating without jolting it into recession, then it has engineered a soft landing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

How many password-protected accounts do you have?If you keep mental inventory, use a password manager, or have a written record of your passwords (which is not recommended by anyone), take a quick count. You’re likely to find you may...

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Fed delivered its semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress last week.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

With no clear driver, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 3 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite and Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 Index moved higher by about 2.5 percent. It was a puzzler.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Valentine’s Day means different things to different people. Some welcome Valentine’s Day as a time for romance, while others see it as an opportunity to cherish friends and family. No matter how it’s celebrated, Valentine’s Day...

Monday, February 11, 2019

At its first policy meeting of 2019, the U.S. Federal Reserve changed direction. After four rate increases in 2018, Chair Jerome Powell announced interest rates were on hold.

Monday, February 4, 2019

The FOMC met on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, to discuss the state of the economy and determine policy. After the meeting, Fed Chair Jerome Powell offered a positive assessment of U.S. economic strength that was leavened with a few concerns.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Whether you own a house or rent an apartment, building a smart home is easier than it has ever been. Homeowners and renters can purchase kits that integrate specific smart items or they can select smart home products, such as light...

Monday, January 28, 2019

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which has gotten off to its best start since 1987, ended the week with a slight loss, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite finished slightly higher.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Investors who remained steady during December's wild ride are probably pleased with their decision as stocks have gotten off to a strong start in 2019.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation establishing the third Monday of January as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.1 Dr. King, who is remembered for his powerful oratory and transformative ideas, once said, “Life’s most...

Monday, January 14, 2019

The original theory of the January Effect held that tax-loss harvesting pushed stock prices lower in December, making shares more attractive to investors the following month.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Bella. Coco. Charlie. Lucy. Max. No matter the name, many pets are considered to be members of the family, providing companionship, protection, and unconditional love. The pet-owner relationship has some powerful benefits, which may...

Monday, January 7, 2019

Investors will think of the last quarter of 2018 for years to come, but they won't remember it fondly. Last quarter's volatility and the slide in share prices owed much to uncertainty about economic growth.

Monday, January 7, 2019

It’s only January, but you may want to jumpstart your 2018 taxes since there are a slew of new regulations that may affect you. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 goes into effect this year so make sure you understand how tax...

Monday, December 31, 2018

Investing during the month of December was like traversing an icy mountain stream. It delivered a staggering shock to the senses that triggered the instinct to, “Get Out!”

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Eat healthier. Get more exercise. Save more money. Those were the top New Year's resolutions for 2018, according to Statista.1 Few people achieved them. One of the reasons so few resolutions become reality is because people tend to...

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Holidays can be joyful and a little stressful. Here are a few ways to bring a moment of happiness into your life and the lives of those around you:1 • Take time to call an old friend.• Buy coffee for a stranger.• Briefly chat with your...

Monday, December 17, 2018

It never feels good when the stock market heads south, and that's what happened last week. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500), Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite all moved into correction territory...

Monday, December 10, 2018

December is usually the best month of the year for the stock market. It has been since 1950, according to Randall Forsyth of Barron's, but not so far this year. Two issues made investors particularly uncomfortable last week...

Monday, December 3, 2018

Powell on Wednesday said that rates were 'just below' the level that would be neutral for the economy - meaning they would neither speed up nor slow down economic growth.

Friday, November 30, 2018

When the ups and downs of stock markets leave you stressed and wondering whether stocks really will help you pursue your long-term financial goals, there are two things to remember:1. Historically, over long periods, stocks have tended...

Friday, November 30, 2018

When the ups and downs of stock markets leave you stressed and wondering whether stocks really will help you pursue your long-term financial goals, there are two things to remember:1. Historically, over long periods, stocks have tended...

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Organization for Economic Coordination and Development (OECD) anticipates global economic growth could stumble if trade tensions escalate.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thanksgiving is a true American holiday. It celebrates generosity and gratitude, and it recognizes the relationships that helped colonists who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 survive beyond their first winter. History.com explained:1...

Monday, November 19, 2018

Last week, stock markets finished lower. MarketWatch reported U.S. stocks moved higher on Friday after President Trump indicated he might not pursue tariffs against China.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Some votes are still being counted but investors appear to be happy with the outcome of mid-term elections. Major U.S. stock indices in the United States moved higher last week...

Thursday, November 8, 2018

There are more than 20 million veterans living across the United States. These men and women fought in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, the War in Afghanistan, which continues today, and many...

Monday, November 5, 2018

Major U.S. stock indices faltered Friday after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on a popular 'lagging' economic indicator - unemployment.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

It’s a pricey question.It’s a pricey question.College Board estimated the average cost for full-time, in-state students who live on campus at four-year public colleges or universities during the 2017-18 school year is $25,290...

Monday, October 29, 2018

You have probably heard the saying, "Markets hate uncertainty." Recent volatility seems to be the result of uncertainty and it is possible uncertainty will cause stock markets to bounce around for some time.

Monday, October 29, 2018

If trick-or-treating in your neighborhood requires a trick to get a treat, your little ghosts and goblins will need some short and easy-to-remember options. Here are a few that were recommended by Reader’s Digest:1• What has hundreds...

Monday, October 22, 2018

Strong economic growth and robust earnings helped U.S. stocks significantly outperform other regions of the world during the third quarter of 2018.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Like an unexpected gust of wind that blows the hat off your head or flips your umbrella inside out, last week's stock market performance startled investors.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Remember the television classic, Green Acres? Eddie Albert, who portrayed a New York City lawyer, and Eva Gabor, who portrayed his sophisticated spouse, move from the big city to the country – and it’s not quite what they expected...

Monday, October 8, 2018

Last week offered some insight to economics and stock market behavior. The U.S. unemployment rate reached its lowest level since 1969 and wages moved higher, yet major U.S. stock indices lost value.

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Federal Reserve raised rates for the third time in 2018, as expected. In addition, the Federal Open Market Committee projects economic growth will continue for three more years.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Here’s a number that will knock your socks off: $400 trillion.1By 2050, the retirement savings shortfall in eight of the world’s largest economies is expected to reach $400 trillion, according to estimates from the World Economic Forum...

Monday, September 24, 2018

A tech company introduced a microwave you can turn on using Wi-Fi - as long as you have one of the company's voice assistants at home.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The September installment of University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Survey reported Americans are feeling pretty optimistic. Consumer sentiment rose to the second highest level since 2004, and consumer expectations reached the...

Monday, September 10, 2018

Major U.S. stock market indices climbed into record territory during August. They gave back some gains last week. Peter Wells of Financial Times explained: "Speculation about a fresh round of tariffs on Chinese imports from the Trump...

Monday, September 3, 2018

Markets were fired up last week after the United States and Mexico agreed on new trade rules. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) Index reached an all-time high and finished the month of August up about 3 percent.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Labor Day is set aside to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers. It was proposed as a holiday by Matthew Maguire in 1882 while he served as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York, NY. The labor...

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

How long will you live? How long will you live? It’s not a question anyone can answer with any certainty, and that creates a significant risk when planning for retirement. Your retirement may last for a long time, and you will need to...

Monday, August 27, 2018

Not everybody loves meetings and even fewer enjoy reading the minutes, but investors make an exception with the Federal Reserve. This week the Fed published the minutes from its August 1st meeting.

Monday, August 20, 2018

The global equity market is shrinking at the fastest pace in at least two decades, as a wave of corporate share buybacks swamps the overall volume of companies going public, issuing new stock or selling convertible debt.

Monday, August 13, 2018

So, how did a country that represents just about 1.4 percent of the world's economy spark a global selloff?

Monday, August 6, 2018

A capital gain is any increase in the value of an asset, such as an investment, a home, land, etc., between its purchase and its sale. The amount of a gain is determined by subtracting the purchase price from the sale price.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

In recent years, investors have largely ignored geopolitical risks. Russia’s invasion of the Crimean Peninsula, the Brits’ vote to leave the European Union (EU), unrest in the Middle East, and other global events have not affected...

Monday, July 30, 2018

Economic growth in the United States was strong during the second quarter. Gross domestic product (GDP), the value of all goods and services produced in the United States, grew by 4.1 percent. That's the fastest growth in four years.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Corporate earnings have been strong. As of July 20, 17 percent of the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index had reported second quarter results. More than 85 percent of those companies reported positive earnings surprises.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Investors are becoming more discriminating. Trade tensions escalated as the U.S. administration expanded tariffs on Chinese goods last week. You wouldn't have known by watching the performance of benchmark indices, though.

Monday, July 9, 2018

As the second quarter of 2018 began, investors were feeling less optimistic than usual. As the quarter progressed, investor optimism increased on signs of economic strength.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

In the olden days, the word ‘subscription’ typically was applied to just magazines and newspapers. Today, that’s not the case. Americans are buying everything from meal kits to baby products to vitamins by subscription. A McKinsey &...

Monday, July 2, 2018

There's a bear in China - and it's not a panda. The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) Composite Index, which reflects the performance of all shares that trade on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, dropped into bear market territory last week.

Monday, July 2, 2018

On July 4, 1776, the American colonies banded together and declared independence from Great Britain. The countries had been at war for more than a year due to a number of issues, particularly in regards to harsh taxation and a lack of...

Thursday, June 28, 2018

To the relief of many South Africans, Day Zero has been pushed back to 2019. Day Zero is the date on which Cape Town will run out of water, and its four million residents will begin to collect daily water rations of about seven gallons...

Monday, June 25, 2018

The yield curve may be the pocket watch of economic indicators. It's been around for a long time and it's often right, but not always.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Last week opened with heightened trade tensions between the United States and its allies. It closed with the United States imposing new tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods. The Chinese declared it was the start of a trade war.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

There are many perceived requirements of being a dad. “One of the jobs of a good dad is to help kids become a little tougher, a little more resilient, a little more separate…dads push kids to leave the nest; they brush off the dirt...

Monday, June 11, 2018

G whiz! Never before could the Group of 7 (G7) Summit have been mistaken for reality TV. The generally dignified annual meeting of leaders from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom...

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The words ‘bear market’ have been bandied about a lot lately. When you read or hear them, remember to respond the same way you would if you saw an actual bear in the woods – by staying calm and keeping your wits about you. A changing...

Monday, June 4, 2018

World markets were buffeted by a clamor of good, bad, and unexpected news last week. Events that captured media and investor attention...

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Geopolitics is the intersection of geography, economics, and politics. Last week, there were some fine examples of the ways geopolitical events can create uncertainty.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

If you’ve ever composed a grocery list in your head while driving carpool and listening to your children discuss who got in trouble at school and why, then you know what it’s like to have your attention divided. If you’ve ever worked...

Monday, May 21, 2018

US stock markets were relatively calm, although they finished the week lower. US Treasury yields hit a 7-year high and finished the week above 3%. While these were notable, the most remarkable events last week occurred beyond our borders.

Monday, May 14, 2018

How do employers lure staff in a tightening labor market? The curly tail grubs and spinnies of the business world are higher wages and better benefits.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Mother’s Day is almost here! We all have moms and, whether they gave birth to us or not, they have helped us become the people we are today. Here are 10 reasons moms are so important, adapted from Psychology Today:11. She gave birth to...

Monday, May 7, 2018

U.S. unemployment fell to 3.9 percent, which is the lowest it has been since 2000. Typically, low employment is a sign of a strong economy.

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Federal Reserve and the U.S. bond market appear to be in agreement about the direction of interest rates. The latest increase, along with signs of higher inflation, helped push bond rates higher.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Understanding family attitudes towards money may improve financial decisions and reduce financial stress. Understanding family attitudes towards money may improve financial decisions and reduce financial stress. People inherit more...

Monday, April 23, 2018

There are numerous reasons high levels of government debt (the amount a government owes) and significant deficits (the difference between how much a government takes in from taxes and how much it spends) are a cause for concern including...

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Technology is a life changer. GPS has improved interpersonal relations by eliminating arguments about asking for directions. Apps for car services, food delivery, video streaming, news media, and social media have changed the way we...

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

“There’s no place like home.”1Conjuring an image of ‘home’ was a lot easier for Dorothy than it is for people who are on the cusp of retirement. After all, isn’t retirement supposed to be a new start? Aren’t retirees supposed to wave...

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

It’s almost time to don green and gold. That’s right, March 17 is upon us. There’s more to the holiday, however, than eating corned beef and cabbage and celebrating the Irish. For instance, St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland,...

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Here’s a number most people would like to see on an annual statement: 21.6 percent. That was the annual return for the Standard & Poor (S&P) 500 Index during 2017. In general, U.S. stock indices did quite well last year – and the year...

Monday, February 12, 2018

If you’re looking for a gift that will express your love better than chocolates or a bouquet of flowers, don’t fret. Trendhunter.com has some innovative and unconventional suggestions:• Literary love tattoos. Perhaps, you’d like Rainer...

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Here’s a riddle for you: Some people are reluctant to start me, unless I’m automatic. I’m frequently exhausted when I don’t roll over. I’m sometimes left behind. Retirees devour me. What am I? Answer: A retirement savings plan.New jobs...

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Most Americans know Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister and the leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States until he was assassinated in 1968. Test your knowledge with this quiz about Dr. King.1. Before...

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Fifteen years ago, a Health Services Research report described the challenges ahead for the United States as the Baby Boom generation aged into retirement. Four issues were paramount: 1) improving payment and insurance systems for...

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The last bear market in bonds began in the middle of the last century and lasted for about 31 years. Some investors who bought bonds in 1950 locked in relatively low rates of return for a very long time. On January 1, 1950, 10-year U.S...

Thursday, December 28, 2017

New years bring new adventures, and 2018 is no different. To paraphrase Ed Sullivan: 2018 could be a really big year. Here are a few of the events we can look forward to:• Men’s World Cup in Russia. CBS’s power rankings put Brazil at...

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

“The holidays are often seen as a time of joy: ruddy cheeks, festive parties, and twinkling laughter, all wrapped in a warm, tinsel-framed glow. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It may be the ‘season to be jolly,’ but not...

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

There is a simple and unsettling reality in the United States. Most Americans are not financially prepared for retirement. There is a simple and unsettling reality in the United States. Most Americans are not financially prepared for...

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thanksgiving is the mother of all family dinners. It’s a celebration of our great nation and the many blessings that occur when people unite together in the spirit of communication. As you’re gathered around the table this year, here’s...

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

All too often, we assume the men and women who fought for our country can take care of themselves. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. There are some important ways ordinary Americans can help those who are returning from battle...

Monday, October 30, 2017

Retirement and Social Security are inextricably linked. Not only did Social Security help establish the official U.S. retirement age at 65, it also provides a significant portion of today’s retirees’ incomes. Retirement and Social...

Friday, October 27, 2017

Halloween is almost upon us! Whether you’re wearing a costume, decorating your yard/house, or handing out treats, you won’t be alone. More than 179 million Americans are expected to participate in 2017’s Halloween festivities – and...

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Smartphones are incredibly handy. That may be why about three of every four Americans own them.1 On average, smartphone users spend almost three hours a day – 86 hours every month – using their phones. They send texts and email,...

Thursday, September 28, 2017

How times change! In 1940, half of Americans finished their education in eighth grade. College degrees were relatively rare. Just 6 percent of men and 4 percent of women had one.1During the past 80 years, college has become far more...

Friday, September 15, 2017

Greetings, Last week, one of the big four credit reporting agencies, Equifax, announced it experienced a security breach resulting in criminals accessing personal information of approximately 143 million Americans between May and July...

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Labor Day is about a lot more than the end of summer and the start of a new school year. The holiday, which celebrates American workers, became a federal holiday in 1894 and was created to recognize the contributions and achievements...

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

In a 2002 interview with Mike Wallace, former First Lady Nancy Reagan said she often reread the love letters written by her husband, former President Ronald Reagan. The letters, which had sustained and enriched their relationship,...

Friday, July 28, 2017

While some may be concerned about the iconic American meat that arrives in a rectangular 12-ounce tin (and is inexplicably popular in certain island states and American territories), more should be wary of its namesake – the spam that...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The idea of Artificial Intelligence (AI) may bring to mind movies like Terminator, Wall-E, and Transcendence, but the reality of AI is expected to help people find answers to some significant issues. For example, a PwC survey found:1 •...

Friday, June 30, 2017

On July 4, 1776, the American colonies claimed independence from Britain. This declaration eventually led to the formation of the United States. As we celebrate the birth of our great nation, test your knowledge with this brief quiz.1...

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The bull market in U.S. stocks has been charging ahead for more than eight years.1 While that’s young in people years, it’s ancient in bull market terms. Since World War II, the longest bull market in U.S. stocks lasted for almost...

Thursday, June 15, 2017

You’re probably familiar with ‘20 Questions.’ It’s a classic long-distance-car-trip game that encourages creativity and deductive reasoning. On this Father’s Day, try playing a version that can help you learn a lot more about your...

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Wouldn’t it be something if you could plump up your retirement savings as easily as you can put on a few pounds eating fast food? Here’s one way to do it: Open a health savings account (HSA). It offers a triple tax advantage and you...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have given their lives in the service of our country. See what you know about Memorial Day by answering a few questions from an AARP quiz.1 1. Memorial Day was created to honor...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Changing diapers, arranging play dates, driving car pools, calming squabbling siblings, attending musicals and sporting events, chaperoning proms, coaching teams, helping with college applications…moms have a lot of responsibilities....

Thursday, April 27, 2017

We are all, inexorably, marching toward old age. By 2030, 72 million Americans will be age 65 or older.1 The good news is longevity has been improving, and people are remaining healthy and vibrant at older ages. The bad news is...

Monday, April 3, 2017

Some people may name a medical device or implant, such as a hearing aid, an artificial joint, or a pacemaker. Others may say they couldn't live without their electric bikes, GPS devices, tablets, or food processors. A surprisingly...

Thursday, March 30, 2017

It’s tax season! Every year, around this time, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes its dirty dozen – a list of scams criminals use to try and ferret out personal information and/or steal money.1 For example, if you received an...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It has been said everyone in America is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Whether you have Irish ancestry or merely enjoy a good celebration, test your knowledge of the old country by taking this quiz. 1. What is Gaeltacht?1a. A region of...

Monday, February 27, 2017

More than one-half of working Americans know little or nothing about Medicare costs.1 Not knowing can be expensive. On average, people who haven’t yet retired estimate they’ll spend approximately $50,000 on health care after retirement...

Friday, February 10, 2017

The celebration of Valentine’s Day is attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer who wrote a poem about love and St. Valentine in the 1300s. Although this poem did not mention chocolate, the tasty treats have since become a Valentine’s Day...

Monday, January 30, 2017

How many times did you login to a digital account today? It probably was more than once. Some people access digital sites via computer or tablet, but many others rely on their phones. Deloitte recently reported the essentials of life...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize. He accepted the award and took the opportunity to articulate his hope the civil rights movement would be successful, as well as his hope for all mankind:1 “…I must...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

…And, it may have some thorns. There’s something you should know about retirement. It’s not as easy as everyone makes it seem. Remember what life was like when you tied the knot? How about once you had children? Or, when you accepted a...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Holiday Greeting - The Way You Eat in 2017 What can we expect in the New Year? If international food consultancy Baum + Whiteman is correct, we may find ourselves embracing new food trends including:1 • Restaurants without seats. We...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Retirement IncomeHere’s a million dollar question: How will you transform your savings into income that will last throughout your retirement?1There are probably as many answers to that question as there are retirees. However, all...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

We hope your holidays will be filled with family, friends, merry-making, and good cheer. One way to ensure a happy holiday season is to stay safe online. Here are a few tips that may help. 1. When using public Wi-Fi at a hotel, coffee...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

For about 35 years, investors have enjoyed a bull market in bonds. At the start of 1982, the interest rate on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds was 14.2 percent. By November 1, 2016, interest rates had fallen to 1.8 percent.1 Since bond...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving is America’s second favorite holiday,1 and it offers something for everyone. You can enjoy family togetherness, feasting, football, school plays, parades, gratitude, and, of course, shopping. If you’re a traditionalist,...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

“American soldiers in battle don’t fight for what some president says on TV. They don’t fight for Mom, apple pie, the American flag. They fight for one another. ”1 Stars and Stripes used the words of Lieutenant Colonel Harold “Hal”...

Monday, November 7, 2016

Last week, investors experienced another bout of election jitters, and the Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) Index fell for the ninth straight session. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), a.k.a. the fear gauge, which measures the expected...

Monday, October 31, 2016

During July 2016, Pew Research reported almost 60 percent of Americans were suffering from election fatigue. They weren't uninterested in the election. They were just worn out by never-ending news coverage that focused on candidates'...

Friday, October 28, 2016

In the 1970s, a TV episode of The Odd Couple taught viewers never to assume.1 It’s a lesson we appear to have forgotten. Many Americans assume Medicare will provide financial assistance to help with long-term care costs in retirement....

Friday, October 28, 2016

In the 1970s, a TV episode of The Odd Couple taught viewers never to assume.1 It’s a lesson we appear to have forgotten. Many Americans assume Medicare will provide financial assistance to help with long-term care costs in retirement....

Thursday, October 27, 2016

People of a certain age will remember ‘It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.’ The animated television special debuted in 1966,1 way back when there were only a few channels and you had to get out of your seat to change them from one...

Monday, October 24, 2016

"Verrrry interesting." Arte Johnson's catch phrase from Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In may not have described U.S. stock markets last week, but there were some interesting economic, cyber-security, and consumer developments around the world...

Monday, October 17, 2016

Third quarter earnings season, that is. Every quarter, companies report earnings to let investors know how profitable the companies were during the quarter. When profits grow, a company's share price may move higher. When profits...

Monday, October 10, 2016

The U.S. unemployment rate ticked higher last week. The September jobs report showed the United States added 156,000 new jobs in September. That was 16,000 fewer than economists were expecting and 11,000 fewer than were added in...

Monday, October 3, 2016

Markets were relatively calm during the third quarter of 2016, yet they delivered some attractive returns overall. In the United States, all three major U.S. indices posted record highs twice during a single 7-day period in August,...

Friday, September 30, 2016

That’s how much Americans had spent on pain relief medications and treatments when the Institute of Medicine (IOM) completed its report in 2011. If you factor in lost productivity, the economic cost of pain rose to more than $560...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

If you ask people what creates stress in their lives, money is often at the top of the list. Stress in America: Paying With Our Health found money was a somewhat or a very significant source of stress in the lives of 64 percent of...

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Markets As expected... The U.S. Federal Reserve left rates unchanged last week and markets celebrated. Across the globe, national stock market indices finished the week higher. In the United States, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Economic data released last week will factor into this week's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decision on whether to push interest rates higher in the United States. Some of the August data supports the idea economic growth was...

Monday, September 12, 2016

After 44 consecutive sleepy, summer days when Barron's reported the Standard & Poor's 500 Index opened and closed without a 1 percent move in either direction, the index tumbled last week - and so did indices in other markets around...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"We can never know about the days to come, but we think about them anyway..." --Carly Simon Economists and market analysts have been thinking a lot about the Federal Reserve and the actions it may take before the end of 2016. Friday's...

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Labor Day weekend — the three days dedicated to celebrating American workers — marks the end of summer and, for some, the start of a new school year. It’s a good time to relax and ponder thoughts about work and play: “No work is...

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

You may not have heard of the Longevity Market but, if you’re older than 50, you’re one of its 74.9 million members.1 It may be easiest to think of the Longevity Market as another way of describing the Baby Boom and preceding...

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Market Attention investors: U.S. interest rates may be moving up and it might happen this year. During last Friday's speech at the Federal Reserve's annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen...

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Markets Last week, Wall Street was speculating about monetary policy with the enthusiasm of commentators trying to predict who will bring home Olympic gold. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expected to introduce another...

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Most investors are familiar with the maxim ‘buy low and sell high.’ The unfortunate reality is that it’s a difficult principle to follow. Buying low often means investing in a company when its shares are priced below full value.Of...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Would you accompany a group of high school students studying photojournalism and social change in Argentina? How about a group learning about language and culinary traditions in France? Does working for a season or two in a great place...

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Our Founding Fathers structured American democracy and left a legacy that has greatly influenced the world. This Fourth of July, see what you know about the Founding Fathers by taking this brief quiz. 1. Who were America’s Founding...

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

You may be asking yourself whether that’s a trick question. After all, almost one-third of 18- to 34-year-olds are still living at home with their parents. It is, in fact, the most common living arrangement for this age group and a...

Friday, June 17, 2016

For several years, researchers at Boston College have been studying the experiences and expectations of fathers. As you might suspect, the way in which men understand the role of ‘Dad’ has been changing. While some still believe their...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

In medieval times, alchemists sought methods for transforming ordinary metals into gold. Today, just about every adult searches for a means of transforming savings into a retirement’s worth of income. Recently, they received help from...

Friday, May 27, 2016

Before the big barbecue, take time this Memorial Day weekend to honor the men and women who gave their lives fighting for our country. If you’re looking for a way to remember those brave Americans, here are a few suggestions:1 • Raise...

Friday, May 6, 2016

Scientists have been mapping our mothers’ brains! They haven’t found eyes in the back of her head, or a way to help her worry less, but they are beginning to understand the mother-child bond better:1 “After centuries of observing...

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Super Bowl winners, the length of hemlines, and Sports Illustrated covers – all of these have been used to develop theories about the direction in which stock markets may be headed. Presidential elections and terms have also inspired a...

Thursday, April 7, 2016

If you receive a voice or email message from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or you field a phone call from an IRS agent informing you “you owe back taxes” and “you better pay now or be arrested (or deported)...

Thursday, March 31, 2016

College students have steep learning curves. In high school, they were tasked with doing well academically, participating in extracurricular activities, complying with the rules of their parents’ homes and, possibly, having a job...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

If wars were fought with words, Ireland would be ruling the world. --Irish proverb1 The wit and humor of the Irish is legendary, as is their ability to weave words into poems, prose, folk tales, and song. On this St. Patrick’s...

Friday, February 26, 2016

It’s almost tax time. During April, many people take advantage of the opportunity to reduce taxes by funding a Traditional IRA. While that makes sense for some Americans, others may benefit by contributing to a Roth IRA that...

Friday, February 12, 2016

Are you looking for just the right Valentine’s Day message for someone you love? Here are a few suggestions that have a decidedly financial twist from 14 Ways an Economist Says I Love You by Liz Fosslien. The messages are...

Friday, January 29, 2016

The world’s first central bank offered unprecedented convenience. It gave 17th century Swedes the option to pay with paper notes rather than 40-pound copper plates, which were the currency units of the Swedish empire at the time....

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a complex man who took an unconventional approach to a difficult problem. He used non-violent protests to focus attention on civil rights in the United States. While he fought the status quo, he...

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Understanding 2016’s Higher Medicare Part B PremiumsOne-in-seven Medicare enrollees will pay higher Medicare Part B monthly premiums during 2016. Their premiums will be $121.80 each month, an increase of 16 percent. While...

Thursday, December 31, 2015

From early Babylonians to present-day Americans, people have been celebrating the beginning of every new year for almost four thousand years!1 Here are a few ways people celebrate the holiday in the United States:2 61 percent of...

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December is full of high spirits and good cheer. If you browse online, you’ll find some surprising holidays amidst more well-known celebrations. Just in case you need more reasons to celebrate the season, here is a list of major...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thanksgiving traditions aren’t quite as straightforward as the elementary school plays about Pilgrims and Native Americans sharing a feast would have us believe. History.com suggests that’s because Thanksgiving is,...

Friday, October 30, 2015

Veterans are skilled leaders and problem solvers who have a lot to offer in and out of the service. Got Your 6, a campaign to empower veterans in America, offered some interesting insights about the men and women who have chosen to...

Monday, October 26, 2015

You may have heard of tax loss harvesting. Some people harvest losses every year, while others do so only when they have taken significant capital gains or have received more income than expected during a given year (perhaps they sold...

Monday, October 19, 2015

A number you’re probably not looking for is 1.5 billion. That’s the number of pounds of pumpkins grown every year. History.com said that’s more than twice the weight of the Empire State Building. Here are a few other interesting...

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

If you’re 57 or older, it’s a pretty good bet you take at least one prescription medication. If you take more than one, it’s really important to understand how the drugs may interact with one another in your system – particularly, if...

Monday, October 5, 2015

Twenty-five years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, guaranteeing disabled Americans – people with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities – equal opportunity in employment, transportation, government...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Workers are essential to innovation and success. According to the London School of Economics (LSE), they’re a source of ideas for new products, new services, new approaches to work, and new business models.1Worker-led innovation must...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Workers are essential to innovation and success. According to the London School of Economics (LSE), they’re a source of ideas for new products, new services, new approaches to work, and new business models.1Worker-led innovation must...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Healthcare. Retirement. Those may be two of the most stressful words in the English language today. Especially when you include them both in the same sentence. For instance, a married couple that saves $326,000 has a 90 percent chance...

Friday, August 7, 2015

How Do You Make Money in Stocks?Have you ever watched Family Feud? Perhaps you were a child when Richard Dawson hosted the game show or maybe you enjoy the current version. No matter, take a moment and:• Name a three-letter word that...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

People think about character in many different ways. You have probably heard or may have commented on someone else’s character by saying:• She is a woman of good character.• What a character!• That was really out of character.• He has...

Monday, June 22, 2015

Achieving U.S. citizenship can be life changing, but it is not easy. Those who aspire to become American citizens must pass a 100-question naturalization test and answer six of 10 questions correctly during their naturalization...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

While your high school student is taking standardized tests, parsing college choices, and raring for graduation, you’ll probably find yourself spending some time with net income calculators on college websites. Whether your family’s...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Modern dads are a diverse bunch. They may go to work or stay at home with the kids. They may be single, married, or dating. They may be birth parents, adoptive parents, or step-parents.1 They may be expected to teach children morals...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

There are many ways to show gratitude for the sacrifices made by the men and women who have died while fighting for our freedom. In 1868, General John Logan issued a Memorial Day Order that said:1“Let us, then, at the time appointed,...

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

When you think “Mom,” it’s likely your brain conjures up a scent or a story or a song that feels like home. Here are a few inspiring and heartfelt words that have been written about the value and importance of mothers:“A mother enables...

Monday, April 27, 2015

It all depends on you. Thanks to the Baby Boom generation, pre-retirees and retirees have a lot more options than did previous generations of Americans. There is a lot to consider before you decide where to live during retirement: your...

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Before you know it – thanks to smart phones, tablets, and wireless technology – your home will be connected to the Internet of Things. Sure, home automation costs a few shekels, but just imagine it! You could be the envy of Jane Jetson...

Friday, March 6, 2015

St. Patrick, the apostle of Ireland, is one of the most well known and popular Catholic saints. Of course, he wasn’t actually Irish and his birth name wasn’t Patrick! Maewyn Succat was born to Calpurnius and Conchessa, a Roman couple...

Friday, January 30, 2015

Romantics welcome Valentine’s Day and having the opportunity to lavish loved ones with attention. Economists appreciate Valentine’s Day, too. Sure, the $13 billion spent on Valentine’s Day is just a drop in the $17 trillion bucket of...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

You have probably heard the term ‘planned obsolescence.’ It’s also known as ‘shortening the replacement cycle.’ No matter what you call it, the strategy was developed by manufacturers to ensure consumers would buy products more than...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

If you were to create a list of Americans who’ve had great influence on our country during the past 100 years, it would not be complete without the name Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While he’s best remembered for fighting for civil...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Some people have a gift when it comes to gifts. Whether it’s a birthday, wedding, baby shower, Christmas, Hanukah, or some other occasion, they always seem to find just the right thing for each person. If you’re not an insightful gift...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

In addition to making wonderful memories during the holiday season, almost two-thirds of Americans – including people of all income levels – make the gifts they give to family and friends. It will come as no surprise more women than...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sitting is bad for your health. Whether you’re sitting at a desk doing work, in a classroom listening to a lecture, or on a ship sailing the ocean, research suggests extended periods of sedentary behavior may increase the likelihood of...