financial markets

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…


Acute threat: a looming U.S. recession

The threat of a U.S. recession will add to a number of looming issues contributing to heightened financial market and economic complexities and uncertainties in 2020. While some of the latest economic data suggest that growth in the U.S. economy remains steady, some key market and economic indicators are more consistent with a downturn, like the inverted yield curve. The health of the U.S. consumer is likely to hold the key to the health of the U.S. economy and the…


Brace for more uncertainties in 2020

An undercurrent of seemingly benign financial market and political developments are poised to move both prepared and unprepared households further away from their financial goals in the coming years. These issues include monetary policy-related financial market distortions, a drag from excessive global debt and the rise of geopolitical uncertainties. Households attempting to financially prepare for the future will need to contend with financial market distortions that induce greater risk taking, debt constrained growth that lead to increasingly more expensive investment…