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Market Minute - February 9, 2018

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA

BLOOMBERG BARCLAYS US AGGREGATE BOND INDEX

The Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index is one of the more popular bond indices that covers the broad bond market similar to the S&P index as related to the stock market.  It is often referred to as the “AGG” for short.  Formerly known as the Lehman Aggregate Bond Index and then the Barclays US Aggregate Index, the index dates back to 1986.  The bond market has certainly changed since then but let us take a look at what makes up this popular index. 

Highlights of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act

19424094_s.jpg by Thomas Rueger, CFP

As everyone knows, President Trump has signed into law the first major tax reform in more than 30 years. These changes go into effect for the 2018 calendar year. This means that they won’t have any effect on your 2017 tax return that you will soon be filing, but it could impact decisions that you make in 2018. Here is a quick overview of the key provisions.

Monthly Markets Memo - January 2018

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA & Scott Rosenquist, CFA

The U.S. markets are off to an exceptionally strong start for 2018, with the S&P 500 hitting a string of new highs over the first several weeks.  International markets, both developed and emerging, are keeping pace thus far.  Unlike the S&P, the broad international market indices of both developed (EAFE Index) and emerging markets (MSCI EM Index) have a way to go to make new highs, as neither has exceeded the highs made prior to the financial crisis. 

Market Minute - January 18, 2018

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA

FACTOR INVESTING

The concept of factor investing is well known and includes years of academic research.  The objective is to find ways of constructing portfolios using factors compared to market capitalization which is how most major indices are built (ex. S&P 500). Factors are attributes that help explain sources of risk and return in the financial markets.  There are two categories of factors: economic and style. 

Monthly Markets Memo - December 2017

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA

2017 Year in Review

The markets have been more than kind to us this year.  Both domestic, international developed, and emerging markets are all up double digits.  The U.S. benefitted from a combination of earnings growth, and general optimism over the pro-growth agenda of President Trump. 

Funding a Financial Shortfall

19424094_s.jpgby Jonathan Alton

Life is unpredictable, so it’s understandable if you feel you can’t prepare for everything. From losing a source of income to losing valuable possessions, the risk of financial shortfalls are always on the back of our mind. In this article I will outline several pre-emptive and reactionary courses of action to fund a financial shortfall. I will touch on topics from disability insurance to qualified plan distributions to illuminate several options available to fund a shortfall.

Market Minute - December 13, 2017

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency has been a hot topic in the financial press this year and even hotter with investors.  Bitcoin is just one of the several cryptocurrencies that are now receiving interest from everyone; professional investment managers to grandmothers.  Bitcoin, the most popular of the cryptocurrencies has soared in value this year as more and more people are becoming interested in the digital currency. 

Retirement From or Retirement To?

Keeping Up With.jpg by Kimberly R. Taylor, IACCP®​

Thinking about retirement?  If you are like most, your focus is on the ‘retirement from’ aspect.  You may be happy and excited about ending your 9-5 workday world.  The daily commute, travel, responsibilities and pressures are something you are excited to end.  For some, work has been very fulfilling and enjoyable.  There is a bittersweet sense as you think about finishing your career.  Then there are those who wouldn’t retire if you paid them – but they tend to be the rarity.  Retiring from your career takes planning which should begin years or (hopefully) decades ahead of time.  With people living well into their 80s and 90s, there are many years to consider following retirement.  That is where the ‘Retirement to’ question comes in.
 

Monthly Markets Memo - November 2017

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA & Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Market Update

Equities in the U.S. were largely unchanged in the past month with the S&P 500 up approximately 0.5%.  The international developed markets took a breather with a 5 day sell-off, with most major international indices shedding approximately 1%.  The slide seemed to be triggered by weakness in commodities, and lower expected demand for oil.  Nearly every fixed income asset class posted negative returns over the past month.  Solid U.S. economic reports helped push prices lower as investors shifted assets towards riskier spaces.  The Fed signaled its intention to increase interest rates in December, and progress surrounding U.S. tax reform is also pushing yields higher, which in turn puts downward pressure on the fixed income prices.

Market Minute - November 9, 2017

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Capital Gain Distributions

Mutual fund companies are starting to release their estimates for 2017 capital gains distributions.  What do investors need to know about these distributions? 

To start, what are capital gains distributions? 

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