Why Market Timing Is Risky Business

Few words characterize today’s financial markets like uncertainty. When the federal government can be switched off like a light, and speeches by Federal Reserve officials cause markets to flip-flop unpredictably, investors are left wondering what they should do. In an attempt to make major market movements work for their portfolios rather than against, some investors attempt to time the market. Read more

Retirement Age on the Rise While Savings Decline

Just 10 years ago, most Americans felt confident they’d hang up their hat by the time they turned 60. Now the average working American expects to retire at age 67 due to the housing crisis and credit crunch, among other nest egg busters.  Experts are predicting that the trend will continue, thanks to the Great Recession so, for now, Americans are just focused on keeping their day jobs.   Did you know people spend more time planning a vacation than they do a 25 year retirement?  Pensions and living on Social Security are becoming a thing of the past.  Some experts say we are heading towards a significant retirement crisis with the average 401(k) balance for 65 year olds estimated at $25,000 by independent experts.  What are your plans?  When will you retire?  Here are 5 tips we hope will get you thinking about your future.  The time to get started is now! Read more

Eyes on Earnings and Congress

The jobs report that was due out October 4th was delayed due to the government shut down came out first thing this morning.  U.S. employers added just 148,000 workers in September, according to the Labor Department, missing expectations for a gain of 180,000 new jobs. Still, the unemployment rate dropping to 7.2 percent, the lowest level since November 2008.  Read more

America’s Credit Rating Gets A Warning

Fitch Ratings put America’s triple-A credit rating on “watch negative” for potential downgrade Tuesday, saying “the political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a U.S. default.” It raised concerns that the U.S. may be “forced to incur widespread delays of payments to suppliers and employees, as well as social security payments to citizens — all of which would damage the perception of U.S. sovereign creditworthiness and the economy.”  Read more

Four Challenges Facing Markets This Fall

You may have noticed that markets have been especially volatile in the last few weeks. The S&P 500 dropped 4.5% from its August peak, while the Dow lost 5.4%. Since then, markets have regained their footing and are heading towards historic highs again.  However, as we move into fall, many experts believe we’ll face a period of high volatility as markets grapple with some major events. Let’s address a few of them. Read more

Investing When Interest Rates are on the Rise

From 2008 through 2012 investors poured more than $1 trillion in net flows into bond mutual funds, while pulling more than $250 billion from stock funds. But bonds and bond mutual funds are not without risks—including one worth paying particular attention to now: interest rate risk. When interest rates hover near historic lows for extended periods of time, it becomes easy to forget that what goes down will eventually come back up. However, rates will generally begin to rise as an economy rebounds. Therefore, now is the time to begin preparing for this shift in the interest rate environment. Read more

Markets Surge after Bernanke Clarification

Markets continued to surge last week continuing a 2 week strengthening from the down market we were in most of June. The first week of July started strong with an upbeat June jobs report coming out and we have seen the growth continue in the market last week following remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that the central bank would continue its aggressive measures supporting the U.S. economy. Read more