Three Key Market Questions in 2020

By Jay Pluimer, AIF® CIMA®

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

We’ve had an interesting start to the new decade as a variety of key economic, political, and investment questions are working together to create market volatility and investor uncertainty. There are a few questions that come up frequently during client conversations and hopefully we can share the research we’ve conducted to find answers. As evidence-based investors we like to look at historical market information so we can inform our views of the present based on what has happened in the past. History may not necessarily repeat itself, but historical data can provide a helpful perspective.

Understanding the SECURE Act and How it Could Affect Your Retirement

Learn More About the Sweeping Legislation Designed to Fight America’s Retirement Savings Crisis

By Jay Pluimer, AIF® CIMA®
Monday, 20 January 2020

In May 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, commonly called the SECURE Act. Designed to help tackle our country’s growing retirement savings crisis, the far-reaching legislation spent months tied up in the Senate. On December 19, 2019, it passed the Senate with a 71 to 23 majority.

Let’s take a look at a few standout provisions of the legislation and discuss what they could mean for you.

Market Commentary: Fourth Quarter 2019

By Jay Pluimer, AIF® CIMA®

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Investors of all varieties received a generous Holiday gift from the markets in 2019 as almost all markets generated positive returns. US Stocks led the pack once again as the S&P 500 Index earned 31.5%. It was an interesting year where Bonds also performed well, which isn’t always the case. Key drivers of performance in 2019 included support from the Federal Reserve which reversed course by cutting interest rates to support growth in the US along with moderate earnings growth and easing Trade War tensions. The Trade War between the US and China is on a path to resolution, calming a significant theme of uncertainty. International Stocks also performed well, up 21.5%, with optimism that a calmer foreign trade environment should be helpful for foreign companies plus what appears to be a Brexit resolution. Finally, the positive economic and investment landscape led to the first US decade without a recession as we turn the clock forward into the 2020s.

Market Commentary: Third Quarter 2019

By Jay Pluimer, AIF® CIMA®

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

A variety of economic and political themes led to mixed stock market returns in the third quarter while bonds fared well. The most significant global issue continues to be the Trade War between the US and China which is estimated to detract over $700 Billion from the global economy in 2019. A direct result of the Trade War, combined with a still-evolving Brexit, has led to significantly slower growth in Europe including a large volume of negative interest rate bonds (meaning the investor is actually paying extra for the opportunity to buy a bond instead of receiving interest payments).

An Inverted Yield Curve and You

By Jay Pluimer, AIF® CIMA®

Friday, 16 August 2019

The big news on August 15th announced an impending recession due to an inverted yield curve. Some clients may have been surprised to see that as a major headline since there have been other headlines over the past few months saying the exact same thing, just without an 800-point drop in the market. The goal of this update is to explain what an inverted yield curve is and what it means for your investments.

What is an Inverted Yield Curve?

It’s important to start by differentiating the stock and bond markets from the economy. The markets react to what is happening in the economy and then try to predict what will happen next. In this case, the bond market has been reacting to slower global growth by paying less interest for long-term bonds. Usually, an investor expects to get paid more (higher yield) for buying a long-term bond because there is more risk and uncertainty than with a short-term bond. The headlines on August 15th reflect that 10-year Treasury bonds are paying less interest than 2-year bonds (which, for perspective, was accurate by 0.022% and lasted for less than a day). However, the yield curve isn’t 100% accurate in predicting a recession, nor can it predict when the recession will start or how long it will last. The yield curve inverted in late 1966 right before an extended period of economic growth and there was also a brief inversion in 1998 when the yield curve was very flat, similar to our current environment, which also didn’t accurately predict a recession.

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