financial markets

Four Ways to Prepare for Heightened Market Volatility

Many investors know that managing volatility is central to achieving essential financial goals. But how much should you worry about volatility, and what can you do to prepare for it? Volatility represents the ups and downs of asset prices over time. And quite often it’s not the volatility that you should be worried about as it is periods of heightened market volatility.  What’s more, human expectations about the future tend to influence asset price movements. And it’s during periods of…


Six Ways Target Date Funds Simplify Investing

Investing is simple, but it’s not easy. No matter where you are in your savings journey, you probably know that a lack of diligence and poor investment decisions can lead to a major financial setback. That’s why having a disciplined process is crucial to growing your savings quickly and increases your chances of achieving investing success. What can you do if you don’t have the time or inclination to follow an investment management process, or are just looking for a…


Are Stocks Setting Up for a Second Quarter Repeat?

U.S. stocks had a blockbuster second-quarter. Indeed, both the Dow and S&P 500 have posted their best returns in decades. How long can this outperformance last?  With market sentiment still generally positive, some investors are asking whether supportive central bank policies and hope for a rapid economic recovery may be the set up for a third-quarter market surge.  We believe that the dominant narrative that had supported the second-quarter rally is increasingly coming under pressure. Stretched asset valuations and a…


When will they shut the markets?

Global risk assets continued to move lower on Monday, pushing the current selloff well into bear market territory and on pace with a level of volatility not seen since the market crash of 1987.  To be sure, the S&P 500 index shed over 12% in another unpredictable day of trading and follows the surprise FOMC meeting on Sunday that slashed the fed funds rate by 100 basis points and saw the restart of its asset purchase programs.  What has become…


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…


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,…


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…