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What’s on our mind? Whether it’s ideas from the industry or emerging trends, you have found the place. You can read our Weekly Market Commentary, bi-weekly blog posts, and weekly infographics right here! 

 

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Markets Are we on the cusp of change? The United States is doing quite well. Randall Forsyth of Barron’s reported: “…the U.S. economy and stock market both seem to be doing better than OK, thank you, as the...

 

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Markets Surprise! It was a great week for markets. 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. Then,...

 

Monday, June 3, 2019

The Markets Tariff trouble. 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...

 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Markets U.S. stocks have had a great run. 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...

 

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Markets Trade war trade-off. 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. “The United States on Friday reached an...

 

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Monday, May 13, 2019

The Markets Trade talk trouble took a toll last week. Major U.S. stock indices moved lower when trade talks between the United States and China broke down. The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index, Nasdaq Composite, and Dow Jones...

 

Monday, May 6, 2019

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is off to its best start in 20 years. 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...

 

Friday, May 3, 2019

We introduce you to our newest member on the team, Allie Wilson. As of May 2019, she hit the ground running as a full-time Marketing & Client Services Coordinator in our Columbia location. Allie is a recent graduate of Stephens College...

 

Monday, April 29, 2019

The Markets It wasn’t an ‘Avengers End Game’ spoiler, but there was big news last week. Economic growth in the United States was strong during the first quarter. The Bureau Of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced gross...

 

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Markets And the answer is… 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...

 

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Markets Investors took an intermission. 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...

 

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Markets The first quarter of 2019 brought a welcome reversal. Last year, Barron’s published a group of market strategists’ expectations for 2019 performance. The article came out in mid-December, before the steep...

 

Thursday, April 4, 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...

 

Monday, April 1, 2019

The Markets “Fascinatingly counterintuitive…” That’s how Michael Arone, an investment strategist, described the U.S. market environment to Avi Salzman of Barron’s: “‘Stocks are rallying, but...

 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Markets 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. Heather Long of The Washington Post reported...

 

Thursday, March 21, 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...

 

Monday, March 18, 2019

The Markets Stock and bond markets rallied. Last week, major U.S. stock indices finished higher for the 10th time in 12 weeks. Bond markets moved higher, too, with the yield on 10-year Treasuries dropping just below 2.6 percent,...

 

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Markets Markets were rattled last week. 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...

 

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Markets Is it a soft landing? Economists use aviation metaphors to describe the results of central banks’ efforts to manage rapidly growing economies. If the Federal Reserve lifts rates enough to prevent the economy from...

 

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Markets Investors were pleased with the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) new approach to its balance sheet. The Fed delivered its semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress last week. The report recapped the events of late 2018...

 

Thursday, February 21, 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...

 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Markets Why did the stock market do that? The great mystery of stock markets reared its head last week. With no clear driver, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 3 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite and Standard &...

 

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Markets Central banks take a turn. 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. Last week, banks in...

 

Friday, February 8, 2019

 

Monday, February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019The Markets And, U.S. stock markets celebrated. Last week, the Federal Reserve put itself on hold. The Federal Open Market Committee met on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, to discuss the state of the economy and determine...

 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

After logging strong returns in 2017, global equity markets delivered negative returns in US dollar terms in 2018. Common news stories in 2018 included reports on global economic growth, corporate earnings, record...

 

Monday, January 28, 2019

January 28, 2019The Markets Like competitors who’ve completed a difficult section in an endurance race, U.S. stock investors took a breather last week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which has gotten off to its best start...

 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Markets We’re off to a good start. 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. Unfortunately, those who reduced...

 

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Markets People love rules of thumb. Sometimes, mental shortcuts are helpful. Other times they are not. When it comes to investing, seasonal shortcuts are not uncommon. In fact, January boasts two: The January Effect explains why U...

 

Thursday, January 10, 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...

 

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Markets Investors will think of the last quarter of 2018 for years to come, but they won’t remember it fondly. The Economist described it like this, “After a rotten October and limp November, the S&P 500 tumbled in...

 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

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% of American...

 

Monday, December 31, 2018

The Markets 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!” When it comes to investing, that...

 

Friday, December 28, 2018

As much as I value the unfettered access to information the internet provides, I recognize the potential harm that too much information can cause. Take, for example, a friend of mine, who was experiencing some troubling medical...

 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

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, December 17, 2018

December 17, 2018 The Markets Ouch! 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...

 

Thursday, December 13, 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: Historically, over long periods, stocks have tended...

 

Monday, December 10, 2018

December 10, 2018 The Markets We’re off to a slow start. 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...

 

Monday, December 3, 2018

December 3, 2018 The Markets Hold on to your hats! Recently, stocks have delivered a wild ride. During Thanksgiving week, U.S. stock markets took investor uncertainty on the chin, suffering a 3.8 percent drop, which was the worst...

 

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Markets It was a turkey of a week. The United States and China continued to spar over trade and other issues. An expert from Moody’s told Frank Tang of the South China Morning Post (SCMP) the United States-China dispute will...

 

Monday, November 19, 2018

November 19, 2018 The Markets Keep your eyes on the horizon. Motion sickness happens when your body receives conflicting signals from your eyes, ears, and other body parts. One way to manage the anxiety and queasiness that accompany...

 

Monday, November 12, 2018

November 12, 2018 The Markets How are you feeling about financial markets? 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...

 

Monday, November 5, 2018

November 5, 2018 The Markets Stocks recovered some ground last week and then stumbled over unemployment. Major U.S. stock indices faltered Friday after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on a popular ‘lagging’...

 

Monday, October 29, 2018

October 29, 2018 The Markets Why did the stock market fall when the economy is doing well? The answer is that one reflects the past and the other anticipates the future. Last Friday’s advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic...

 

Monday, October 22, 2018

October 22, 2018 The Markets The world remains full of opportunities and challenges. Although we’ve seen global markets moving in tandem in recent years, Sara Potter of FactSet pointed out, “…we’re starting to...

 

Monday, October 15, 2018

October 15, 2018 The Markets 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. Looking back, it’s easy to identify...

 

Monday, October 8, 2018

October 8, 2018 The Markets The stock market tends to be a leading economic indicator. Last week offered some insight to economics and stock market behavior. The U.S. unemployment rate reached its lowest level since 1969 and wages...

 

Monday, October 1, 2018

October 1, 2018 The Markets It wasn’t headline news… But, if newsprint was still popular, last week’s key economic news would have appeared below the fold. The Federal Reserve raised rates for the third time in 2018,...

 

Monday, September 24, 2018

September 24, 2018 The Markets Did you hear the news? 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, reported Kaitlyn Tiffany of Vox....

 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Here’s a number that will knock your socks off: $400 trillion.1 By 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...

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

September 17, 2018 The Markets All investors are consumers, but not all consumers are investors. The September installment of University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Survey reported Americans are feeling pretty optimistic....

 

Monday, September 10, 2018

September 10, 2018 The Markets Remember: Volatility is normal. 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:...

 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

September 4, 2018 The Markets Where is our country’s biggest export market? 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...

 

Monday, August 27, 2018

August 27, 2018 The Markets Tick, Tock. 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 1 meeting....

 

Monday, August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018 The Markets As Maxwell Smart used to say… Missed it by THAT much! After a rocky start, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index came within 1 percent of an all-time high last week, reported Ben Levisohn for...

 

Thursday, August 16, 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...

 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Jake DeKinder, Head of Advisor Communication, explains how capital markets have rewarded investors that are able to tune out short-term noise and stay disciplined over the long-term.

 

Monday, August 13, 2018

August 13, 2018 The Markets Let’s talk Turkey! So, how did a country that represents just about 1.4 percent of the world’s economy spark a global selloff? Turkey was once a rising star. The country’s Prime Minister...

 

Monday, August 6, 2018

August 6, 2018 The Markets Capital gains tax reform comes with a big price tag: $100 billion over 10 years. A capital gain is any increase in the value of an asset, such as an investment, a home, land, etc., between its purchase and...

 

Monday, July 30, 2018

July 30, 2018 The Markets Is it a sugar rush or something more sustainable? Economic growth in the United States was strong during the second quarter. Gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all goods and services produced...

 

Monday, July 23, 2018

July 23, 2018 The Markets Last week, there was some good news and some notable news. Here’s the good news: Corporate earnings have been strong. As of July 20, 17 percent of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index...

 

Monday, July 16, 2018

July 16, 2018 The Markets 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...

 

Thursday, July 12, 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, July 9, 2018

July 9, 2018 The Markets What a rollercoaster of a quarter! When it comes to the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Sentiment Survey, respondents tend to be more bullish than bearish about U.S. stock markets. The...

 

Monday, July 2, 2018

July 2, 2018 The Markets 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,...

 

Thursday, June 28, 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...

 

Monday, June 25, 2018

June 25, 2018 The Markets What time is it? 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. The yield curve is the difference between the...

 

Monday, June 18, 2018

June 18, 2018 The Markets Deal or no deal? 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...

 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

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,...

 

Monday, June 11, 2018

June 11, 2018 The Markets 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...

 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

How to Prepare for a Changing Bond Market 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 –...

 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A brief lesson on where currency has been and where it is going.

 

Monday, June 4, 2018

June 4, 2018 The Markets If the countries were instruments, last week sounded like a fifth grade garage band. World markets were buffeted by a clamor of good, bad, and unexpected news last week. Events that captured media and investor...

 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

May 29, 2018 The Markets Geopolitical uncertainty didn’t dent U.S. stocks last week. Geopolitics is the intersection of geography, economics, and politics. Last week, there were some fine examples of the ways geopolitical events...

 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The book The Financially Intelligent Parent: 8 Steps to Raising Successful, Generous, Responsible Children, by Eileen and Jon Gallo, focuses on the idea that the way in which parents spend money sends messages to their children about...

 

Monday, May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018The MarketsToo much? Too little? Or just right? U.S. stock markets were relatively calm, although they finished the week lower. U.S. Treasury yields hit a 7-year high and finished the week above 3 percent. While these were...

 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Understanding family attitudes towards money may improve financial decisions and reduce financial stress. People inherit more from their parents and grandparents than big feet, eye color, self-discipline, a passion for sports, or an...

 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Here’s a guide to explain all the parts of Medicare.

 

Monday, May 14, 2018

May 14, 2018 The Markets Splash! 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. During the past decade, the employment picture in...

 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The true cost of raising a child may be far more than you expect.

 

Monday, May 7, 2018

May 7, 2018The MarketsWhat in the world?A lot happened last week. Some of the notable events included: • Trade talks between the United States and China. The talks were described as “frank, efficient, and constructive...

 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Are you a thrill seeker, or content to relax in the backyard? Use this flowchart to find out more about your risk tolerance.

 

Monday, April 30, 2018

April 30, 2018 The Markets A meeting of the minds. The Federal Reserve and the U.S. bond market appear to be in agreement about the direction of interest rates. For more years than anyone cares to count, investment professionals have...

 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

 

Monday, April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018The MarketsThe world is in debt. The April 2018 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Fiscal Monitor reported global debt has reached a historically high level. In 2016, debt peaked at 225 percent of global gross domestic...

 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Life in the Future 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...

 

Monday, April 16, 2018

April 16, 2018The MarketsWhat do you think?• Are you bullish, bearish, or neutral about the U.S. stock market? • Are U.S. stocks undervalued, overvalued, or fairly valued?• What is the biggest threat the U.S. stock...

 

Monday, April 9, 2018

April 9, 2018 The Markets You could almost hear the spurs jingling. Trade tensions ratcheted higher last week as the United States and China staked new positions on the not-so-dusty main street of trade. It was the latest round of...

 

Monday, April 2, 2018

April 2, 2018The MarketsIn like a lion…Investors roared into 2018.During the first week of the first quarter of the New Year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 25,000 for the first time ever. Less than two weeks later,...

 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Is a million dollars enough to last a lifetime? Many often think they have enough to live on until they plan to retire; however, they don’t consider the lifestyle they want to live post-retirement.

 

Monday, March 26, 2018

March 26, 2018The MarketsWhy am I saving and investing?After a week like last week, it’s an important question. There are many reasons people save and invest, including to:• Live the life they want today and in the...

 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

“There’s no place like home.”1 Conjuring 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...

 

Monday, March 19, 2018

March 19, 2018The MarketsIt’s a good time for a gut check. Last week, after sliding lower for four days, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index recouped some of its losses on Friday. The reasons behind the week’s poor...

 

Monday, March 12, 2018

March 12, 2018The MarketsIt’s a bird…It’s a plane…It’s a labor shortage!There is little doubt the Millennial generation has been reshaping our world. One of the most remarkable aspects of this...

 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Now and Then Dave Goetsch, Executive Producer of The Big Bang Theory, reflects on his investment experience in the recent market downturn and contrasts his new perspective with memories of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

See what Dr. Spelman, a psychologist and relationship expert, has to say about these survey results regarding money in relationships!

 

Monday, March 5, 2018

March 5, 2018The MarketsAs Yogi Berra once said: It’s déjà vu all over again.Last week, global stock markets took a bit of a dip after President Trump announced a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff...

 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

See what a 20 year research study by Cornell University found provides the most happiness.

 

Monday, February 26, 2018

February 26, 2018The MarketsU.S. Treasuries are offering a lesson in supply and demand.Last week, the U.S. Treasury auctioned $258 billion in bonds. Treasury auctions are the way the United States government finances its debt. The...

 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Two Ideas Worth Thinking About When Markets are Moving 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...

 

Monday, February 19, 2018

February 19, 2018The MarketsAs New York Fashion Week ended, inflation strutted its stuff. Ever since the Federal Reserve began raising the Fed funds rate in 2015, analysts have been anticipating higher inflation. The fact that price...

 

Monday, February 12, 2018

February 12, 2018 The Markets Back to reality... After months of eerie calm, stock market volatility has returned. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) – a measure of how turbulent investors expect stock markets to be during the next...

 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

What Would You Do? 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...

 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Are you aware of these strange and surprising taxes that have been implemented, some long ago, some currently?

 

Monday, February 5, 2018

February 5, 2018The MarketsIt was not a good week for stocks.Last week, stock markets around the world lost value. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500), Dow Jones Industrial Index (Dow), and NASDAQ all...

 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

There are many reasons why people have trouble sticking to a budget: impulse, debt, income. See how financial literacy in the U.S. stacks up against other countries.

 

Monday, January 29, 2018

January 29, 2018 The Markets The numbers are coming in. Publicly-traded companies report their earnings and sales numbers for the previous quarter in the current quarter. For example, fourth quarter’s sales and earnings are...

 

Thursday, January 25, 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...

 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Have you heard all of these money colloquialisms from around the world?