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Market Minute - March 9, 2018

by Scott Rosenquist, CFA

FIXED INCOME MARKET

The low interest rate environment over the past several years has changed the broad bond index that I discussed last month (Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate).  The interest rate sensitivity has increased to levels that investors may not be aware of.  This is highlighted in the chart below from J.P. Morgan’s Guide to the Markets.

Happy Home Hunting!

19424094_s.jpg by Jon Flaherty

Are you in the market for a new home?  If so, you may be wondering how much house you can afford.  The general rule is that you should spend no more than 28% of your gross income on your housing cost.  Although this doesn’t work for everyone, it is a good starting point in determining a comfortable amount. 

Monthly Markets Memo - February 2018

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

The collective euphoria within the markets was shattered by a surge in volatility that led to several days of intense selling.  After peaking on January 26th, the S&P 500 index had dropped over 10% by market close on February 8th, the first technical correction for the market since the 1st quarter of 2016.  Both developed and emerging international equity markets could not escape the turmoil as they declined in lockstep with the U.S. markets.  

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. 

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