Global stock markets pulled back this quarter. Stocks started the year off strong but sold off in February and March. This ended the streak for positive consecutive positive months at 13. The sell off can be attributed to trade tensions, a slumping US Dollar and economic data that missed expectations. Global equities fell almost 5% in local currency.
The quiet calm that investors grew accustom to last year ended this quarter as the market has entered a period of increased volatility. The year started off as 2017 ended with stocks enjoying their glide higher. The S&P 500 jumped 7.4% by January 26th only to give back all the those gains as investors became spooked by rising interest rates.
There’s nothing like tax season to get you thinking about what kind of financial documents are important to keep on hand -- but knowing what to do with your old financial records is important no matter what time of year it is.
Thinking about hiring a financial planner -- but still not entirely clear on what you should expect?
Financial planning is an incredibly valuable service, but it can also be hard to understand exactly what happens at every stage of the planning process because so much depends on your unique situation.
You know how you seem to accumulate more stuff (and responsibilities) as you get older?
Maybe you own a vehicle or a home. Or you have various savings and investment goals you need to set, contribute to, and track. You need to maintain health insurance for yourself and your family.
529 accounts have been the most common way for parents and families to save for college. Prior to 2018 these accounts could only be used for higher education expenses. The new tax law passed at the end of 2017 allow for 529 accounts to be spent on any approved educational expenses.
Do you know the one action that will help you build a solid foundation for financial independence?
It’s nothing complicated or tricky. It’s simply developing a savings habit and saving money each and every month (preferably 20 percent or more of your income).
Take a moment and think about every major goal you want to achieve in your life.
That list might include events and milestones like sending your kids to college, traveling the world, or retiring to your favorite town that you can currently only vacation to once a year.
Conversations around life insurance are fraught with emotions. Most salespeople know this, and the worst of them will try to play on those emotions to scare people and parents into purchasing policies.
Global stocks hit two milestones in 2017. First, international stocks outperformed US stocks (S&P 500) for the first time since 2012. Second, international stocks did not have a single down month this entire year. This was the first time in the history of the index that it happened. 2017 was quite a year!