Articles by Peter Donisanu

Is now the right time to get into the markets?

It would be an understatement to say that financial markets have experienced a bit of volatility this week.  In fact, the VIX surged to its highest level since the height of the Global Financial Crisis more than a decade ago.  To be sure, we believe that a host of issues ranging from the unmitigated spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. and around the world, a seeming concerted effort by the Saudis and Russians to flood the oil markets and…


Three quick steps to help manage financial anxieties during uncertain times

If the coronavirus, recession angst or elections are keeping you up at night or have generally increased your level of anxiety, you can take comfort in knowing that what you’re feeling is natural.  In fact, our brains are primed for an anxiety response during times of heightened uncertainty.  At least that’s according to one research paper published in the journal Nature.  And as the researchers point out, higher levels of uncertainty disrupt our ability to assign clear probabilities of success…


Economic update: Downside risks still increasing

The outlook for the U.S. and global economy has deteriorated yet again.  Unsurprisingly, the culprit behind the outlook downgrade has been news of the coronavirus’ continued spread.  To be sure, risk assets sold off this week and financial market volatility increased as concerns about the virus and its potential impact on the global economy dented investors’ up-until-recent euphoric sentiment.  More importantly, worries about the coronavirus come at a time when economic conditions in the U.S. and around the world remain…


Are Democratic Candidates’ Proposed Economic Policies Disruptive?

The race for the Democratic Presidential nominee remains crowded with eight candidates (as of this writing).  Yet, with Super Tuesday just around the corner, the list of candidates is likely to be winnowed quickly.  And one deciding factor that could make (or break) the decision for the Democratic Presidential nominee in July is likely to be a candidate’s economic policy.  But what exactly are the candidate’s positions and more importantly, why should they matter to savers and investors?  In this…


What should you know about the SECURE Act?

If you are preparing for retirement, are currently retired, or own a small business chances are you’ve probably heard something about the SECURE Act.  So what is it?  Simply put, the SECURE Act is a law that makes it easier for small business owners to offer attractive retirement savings opportunities to a population of workers largely underserved by retirement savings options. In this week’s blog post, we explore a high-level overview of the SECURE Act and its implications for businesses…


Why the coronavirus is relevant to your finances

It’s getting harder and harder to ignore the potential financial fallout from the novel coronavirus (nCoV-2019) outbreak underway.  Some of this fallout was evidenced in the global stock selloff on Friday and futures (as of this writing) point to a weaker start at Monday’s open.  Indeed, the concerns surrounding the ongoing spread of nCoV is likely to weigh on market sentiment for weeks.  But why is nCoV relevant from a financial perspective?  Well, in our opinion, the quickening spread of…


Cut costs to increase investment returns

Cutting costs may be one of the most effective ways to increase investment returns this year.  To be sure, some investors have been riding a wave of positive market momentum over the past year as lower central bank policy rates have broadly boosted asset prices and seemingly contributed to easy investment returns.  While monetary policy could be supportive of risk assets in 2020, we expect prices to remain susceptible to quick reversals as markets remain near historic highs.  In fact,…


Economic update: Recession risks on the rise

U.S. Growth Our latest estimates continue to suggest that economic growth in the U.S. will weaken in the coming year while the risk of a recession remains elevated.  We expect growth to come in around 2.1% YoY in 2020, slightly weaker than our expectation of 2.2% for 2019.  International Growth Globally, World GDP is likely to accelerate as emerging market economies (ex China) rebound from markedly low levels of growth in 2019.  We expect China’s economy to slow further in…


Let the good times roll: the beginning of the end?

Stock market prices continued to grind higher as economic data releases surprised to the upside this week.  Indeed, a host of indicators suggest to some that growth in the U.S. may in fact be improving after a softer showing in 2019 which has supported a rally in risk assets not just in the U.S. but globally this year.  A key question for investors and savers now, however, is whether the good times are just getting started or the data mark…


Personal financial playbook: your path to getting ahead

Households will face many near- and long-term financial market complexities and economic uncertainties in the years to come. A personal financial playbook can help people get ahead despite these challenges.   We believe that a flexible and adaptable personal financial playbook should include three important elements: 1) a well-defined statement of financial purpose, 2) prioritization of financial outcomes and 3) a financial operating plan. Partnering with a trusted advisor can also potentially multiply your chances of achieving your financial goals…