Monthly Markets Memo - October 2018

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA 

Market Update

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell recently gave a speech in which he stated that the Fed may need to continue to increase rates, possibly aggressively, especially if inflation begins to quickly move higher.  The yield on the 10-year treasury surged, with yields moving from 3.06% to 3.23% in four days, a big move for treasuries in a short amount of time.  The equity markets can typically withstand rising rates but tend to get nervous when the pace is this fast.  Next, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reduced their global growth projections citing ongoing trade policy disruptions, specifically mentioning disruptions to NAFTA, Brexit and the European Union, as well as the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China. 

Market Minute - October 15, 2018

by Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Earnings Season

Third quarter earnings will start coming in this week with several of the large banks reporting last Friday.  Earnings reports typically start one or two weeks after the quarter as companies prepare their financial reporting.  This period is also known as “earnings season” and allows investors to analyze company’s financial performance and hear from management regarding strategy and outlook.

Fire in a Crowded Theater

Vantage Financial welcomes guest contributions.  Please know the information, opinions and forecasts expressed in the article below are presented from unassociated parties and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Vantage Financial Partners Limited. ​

Stock Market Graph Image.jpgby Bob Veres with Inside Information

Yesterday’s market declines—the Dow down 3.15%, the S&P 500 down 3.29% and tech stocks, as represented by the Nasdaq index, off 4.08%--were entirely within the normal range of mini corrections, which we’ve experienced numerous times since March 9, 2009.  But they represent an interesting test of character for the press and market pundits.

Monthly Markets Memo - September 2018

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA 

U.S. Equities are putting on a one-man show posting positive returns over the past month.  Various economic indicators point to continued strength in the U.S. Economy.  Manufacturing activity is at a 14-year high, consumer confidence is at an 18-year high, and small and medium-sized business sentiment is at a 35-year high.  Developed international markets continue to languish but were mostly unchanged from a month ago. The U.K. continues to negotiate their exit from the European Union driving some uncertainty within the region.  Broader Europe appears to be coming out of an economic soft-patch that weighed down the first half of the year.  Turning to fixed income, yields on treasuries had been held down by investors seeking safety from developments in the emerging markets.  This reversed itself when the August jobs report revealed robust wage growth, sending treasury yields higher from 2.88% towards the 3.00% mark.

The New Wave in Charitable Giving

Scan Alert Image.jpg by Tom Rueger, CFP®

Donor-advised funds have become increasingly popular as a way to make charitable donations. In 2016 alone, more than $23 billion was contributed to donor-advised funds. Now, with the deduction for charitable contributions surviving the 2018 income tax changes, donor-advised funds will become even more popular. This is because the standard deduction has nearly doubled ($24K for Married filing jointly) and many components of the standard deduction are either being capped or eliminated (most notably the deduction for state and local taxes is being capped at $10K). As a result, many people will have the tax benefit of their charitable gifts either reduced or eliminated by the larger standard deduction.

Market Minute - September 12, 2018

by Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Valuation Check-In

The U.S. equity markets are now trading near record highs surpassing the levels seen back in January.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average has yet to reach new highs, but the S&P 500, Russell 2000, and the Nasdaq all continue to trade at record levels.  The sell-off experienced in late January seems long ago and many investors may be wondering where the market stands now in terms of valuation. 

The Basics of Disability Insurance

Scan Alert Image.jpg

Disability insurance can be a means of shortfall funding. It also goes hand and hand with life insurance as typically individuals in prime working years are more likely to face disability than death. Many workers are covered through their employer but may not be well versed on the specifics of coverage. You need to have a firm grasp on the terms of your employer’s disability insurance, so you can evaluate if a supplemental policy is needed. I will cover the basics of disability insurance including length, definition of disability, elimination periods and other common factors.

Monthly Markets Memo - August 2018

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

Market Update

The markets seem to be playing a game of tug-of-war, or should I say “tug-of-trade-war”?  On one end of the rope you have a solid U.S. economy backed up by strong corporate earnings growth.  On the other end you have an ongoing trade war, rising interest rates, and an economic crisis unfolding in Turkey.  The U.S. markets have pushed higher throughout the quarter, with the S&P 500 near its January high.  The international markets continue to struggle as they cope with the UK’s ongoing Brexit negotiations, trade tensions with the U.S., and a strengthening dollar that dampens international returns. 

Market Minute - August 14, 2018

by Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Yield Curve Implications

The yield curve is a widely followed measure of the bond market that shows the yields available for bonds of the same credit quality and varying maturity dates.  The most common is the U.S. Treasury yield curve, a favorite among investors who monitor it for clues on the direction of the economy. 

Maintaining Finances with Technology

Technology Image.jpg by Matthew Emerson

Dependence on technology grows more and more every day with no end in sight.  Whether it is for work or personal, a study from the Nielsen Company says that the average American spends nearly 11 hours a day using various forms of technology.  Between computers, tablets, smartphones, smart watches, televisions and more, it is easy to watch this number accumulate daily.  As technology has grown and expanded, the way it interacts with finance has evolved as well. 

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