Welcome to “Adult Life”… Where Do I Even Begin?

By |2024-05-16T22:09:52-05:00February 1, 2024|Money Management, Featured, Investing, Young Investors|

You did it! Your days of 8AM classes and cramming for final exams are over, now what? There are so many things that college doesn’t prepare you for, like what’s a 401k and how does it work? How am I going to save for my future? How do I pay off this massive student loan balance? These are things that most likely didn’t cross your mind while you were in school, but now that you have your diploma, and you are out in the “real world” these questions surface and can become quite stressful. Once you begin working and you start to make a steady income, a few things will become a little clearer. These things include how much your fixed monthly expenses (like rent, utilities) are and how much you tend to spend on other things like food, entertainment, and late-night shopping sprees when you can’t sleep. For some [...]

The End of the World as we Know it – 2.0

By |2024-03-03T19:18:22-06:00December 14, 2023|Investing|

A few years ago, I used this R.E.M song to describe the negative tint in all things market, economy and policy related. As I write this on Monday, September 26th I am again marveling at the pervasive negative news across the world. Take your pick – a bumbling Fed, out of control inflation, Russia/Ukraine, and the Iowa Hawkeye’s offense – things seem bleak. All this dour energy is justified. We have seen a bear market take place in both bonds and stocks. That has not been the case since the early 80’s and has thrown a number of investment assumptions out the window. While I believe diversification and defensive posturing will always help – they haven’t been the lifeguard we’ve needed. So, what to do? 1. Acknowledge the negativity and recognize that these bad times, generally, do not last forever. We have persistent problems with high inflation and the [...]

Trying to Time Recession?

By |2024-03-03T19:20:18-06:00December 14, 2023|Investing|

Economies move in cycles – always have, always will The Federal Reserve has been steadily increasing interest rates in an attempt to slow the rate of inflation. Its efforts are yielding some results, although inflation remains stubbornly high. This may cause the Fed to keep rates higher for longer, which may increase the chances of a recession. It’s important to remember that economic fluctuations are normal, and if we enter a recession, it is not a time to panic. As detailed below, every recession is unique, with varying lengths and severities. Putting recessions in context, we have come through each slowdown in the past, and the trajectory of the U.S. economy over time has been positive. Stages of the business cycle1 The economy’s movement through alternating periods of growth and contraction is known as the business cycle. The business cycle has four phases: expansion, peak, contraction, and [...]

Understanding the September Effect: What It Is and Why It Happens

By |2024-03-03T19:21:02-06:00December 14, 2023|Investing|

If you ask the average investor which month is the most volatile for the stock market, they will probably say October. It's a reasonable answer, but it's incorrect. Despite October's reputation for market-defining events like the crash of 1929 that led to the Great Depression, Black Monday's drop in 1987, and the federal bank bailout at the start of the Great Recession in 2008, over the last 25 years, September returns on the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index have been worse. This phenomenon has become known as the "September Effect." And as you can see in the chart below, this isn't just a U.S. market anomaly, but a global trend that has affected stock markets worldwide. With September upon us, we wanted to discuss the September Effect and assure you that your investment strategy takes into consideration that there will be periods of market volatility. We also [...]

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