Stock Market Review 2020: Looking Back on an Unprecedented Year

2020 stock review

The year 2020 proved to be one of the most tumultuous in modern history, marked by a number of developments that were historically unprecedented. But the year also demonstrated the resilience of people, institutions, and financial markets. The novel coronavirus was already in the news early in the year, and concerns grew as more countries began reporting their first cases … Read More

Q4 Stock Market Recap

q4 stock market report

In this Q4 recap: the appearance of two COVID-19 vaccines gives businesses and consumers hope and lifts stocks; U.S. lawmakers approve a second financial stimulus; European negotiators sign off on a post-Brexit trade deal. On Wall Street, the fourth quarter’s biggest development had everything to do with science and medicine. In November, news that two vaccines had been highly effective … Read More

November Market Report

november 2020 stock recap

In this month’s recap: Stock prices powered higher and energized investors thanks to a month-long succession of positive news events. U.S. Markets Stock prices powered higher and emboldened investors in November thanks to a series of positive news events. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which has lagged much of the year, led the rally, jumping 11.84 percent. The Standard & … Read More

Interest Rates and Your Mortgage: What You Need to Know

interest rates

With the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates at or near zero, you may wonder about your mortgage. Is it a good time to refinance or even pay off the debt entirely? After all, your mortgage is one of the biggest expenses you may have in life, so why not rid yourself of that debt as soon as possible?1 Not so … Read More

Midterm Elections—What Do They Mean for Markets?

midterm elections stock returns

It’s almost Election Day in the US once again. While the outcomes of the elections are uncertain, one thing we can count on is that plenty of opinions and prognostications will be floated in the days to come. In financial circles, this will almost assuredly include any potential for perceived impact on markets. But should long-term investors focus on midterm … Read More

How Much Impact Does the President Have on Stocks?

election

The anticipation building up to elections often brings with it questions about how financial markets will respond. But the outcome of an election is only one of many inputs to the market. Dimensional Fund Advisors’ interactive exhibit examines market and economic data for nearly 100 years of US presidential terms and shows a consistent upward march for US equities regardless … Read More

Year-End Financial Planning Checklist

year-end financial to do list

Here are some things you might consider before saying goodbye to 2020. What has changed for you in 2020? For many, this year has been as complicated as learning a new dance. Did you start a new job or leave a job behind? That’s one step. Did you retire? There’s another step. Did you start a family? That’s practically a … Read More

October is Financial Planning Month

october financial planning month

Six areas of personal finance to review. When training to become a financial professional, much of our course work centers on the six critical areas of creating a financial strategy. Some recognize October as Financial Planning Month, so it’s an excellent opportunity to review those six personal finance areas.1 Cash Management This is a broad topic that can address many … Read More

2020 Q3 Economic Update

q3 2020 stock update

In this Q3 recap: stocks post further 2020 gains as the economy bounces back and the Federal Reserve announces a shift in its approach to inflation. Q3 Market Recap The summer brought an economic rebound and a continuation of the stock market rally that began in spring. In late September, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s GDPNow tracker estimated real … Read More

Taking Stock of Lump-Sum Investing vs. Dollar-Cost Averaging

dollar cost averaging

Some investors favor a dollar-cost averaging (DCA) approach to deploying their investment capital. Unlike lump-sum investing, in which the full amount of available capital is invested up front, DCA spreads out investment contributions using installments over time. The appeal of DCA is the perception that it helps investors “diversify” the cost of entry into the market, buying shares at prices … Read More