Will the Current European Economy Affect Your Investment Portfolio?

European Economy

-+*Collectively, the European Union (EU) has the largest economy in the world as measured by gross domestic product (GDP). Last year the total value of all goods and services produced within the 28-member EU totaled 14.3 trillion euros, according to the International Monetary Fund.[1] But the European economy has been languishing, and due to its… Read More


How Bond Market Investors Cope in a Low-Rate Environment

Bonds

-+*It’s understandable that bond market investors might be frustrated at this point in time. Most already have lower total return expectations than stock market investors, which they accept in exchange for lower overall levels of risk and regular interest payments. However, the total return expectations within the bond market have become so low that investors… Read More


How Baby Boomers May Impact Asset Classes and Investment Vehicles in the Future

Baby Boomers

-+*Some investors may be wondering how the aging baby boomer generation—many of whom are at or near their retirement age—might impact the investment landscape in the future. Baby boomers control a lot of wealth in this country and the decisions they make regarding that wealth may significantly affect certain asset classes and market sectors. The… Read More


The Intricacies of International Investing

The Intricacies of International Investing

-+*When aiming to create a diversified portfolio, many investors assume that international exposure is a necessary component. This makes sense, considering that roughly half of global stock market value is based inside the United States while the other half is generated abroad. International investing is important for some, particularly larger investors with long time horizons… Read More


Oil, Markets, Volatility

Oil, Markets, Volatility

David R. Kotok

-+*Sharply lower oil prices have occasioned a huge discussion about their impact. We see it play out daily in newspapers, on TV and radio, at websites, on blogs, and in market letters. The range of forecasts runs from one extreme to another. On one side, pundits predict a recession resulting from a US energy sector… Read More


Is the Fed Really “Stealing from Savers”?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Geoff Considine

-+*In a recent article on MarketWatch, Chris Martenson asserts that the Fed’s low interest rate policy and quantitative easing in recent years is deliberately stealing from savers. This article has elicited a big response, with almost 800 comments and almost 2000 likes on Facebook. The key point of the article is that the Fed’s policy… Read More


Am I Effectively Diversified?

istock_000001756684large

Geoff Considine

-+*This is the sixth installment in our series on how individual investors can assess their financial health. Diversification is a perennial topic among investors, and if it seems controversial at times, that may be due to the fact that people don’t always share the same understanding of what it means. But diversification isn’t about investing… Read More


Is My Portfolio at the Right Risk Level?

Return and risk balance concept

Geoff Considine

-+*This is the fifth installment in our series on how individual investors can assess their financial health. At every stage of investing, you should periodically ask yourself how much risk you can realistically tolerate. The primary way to measure the risk level of your portfolio is to look at its allocation of stocks vs. bonds. … Read More


Am I Better Off Investing or Paying Down Debt?

paying-bills

Geoff Considine

-+*This is the fourth installment in our series on how individual investors can assess their financial health. A common dilemma in personal finance is whether to use funds to pay down debt faster or to invest more. The question crops up in various forms: Should I pay off all credit card debt or make smaller… Read More


Am I Saving Enough to Reach My Goals?

Businessman using tablet computer

Geoff Considine

-+*This is the second installment in our series on how individual investors can assess their financial health. The starting point for any discussion of a household’s financial health is to evaluate current savings and savings rates in the context of financial goals.  The three largest expenses that most families will face are buying a home,… Read More