Interest Rates and the Federal Reserve: Why You Should Be Paying Attention

How will the raise in interest rates impact your investment portfolio?

As has been long anticipated, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates on December 16 by 0.25%. The increase will eventually ripple through much of the economy. While few banking products or interest rates are tied directly to the Fed’s interest rate, many are tied to the prime interest rate. Following the Fed’s announcement, major banks… Read More


Political Shift in White House Unlikely to Clip Stock Market

Will a political shift impact the stock market and your investment portfolio? Not if you're focused on the long-term.

The stock market loathes uncertainty. And with a presidential election year nearly upon us, there should be plenty of questions facing stocks as a crowded field of Republican candidates and two Democrats battle for the White House. For investors, history suggests it’s time to batten down the hatches and prepare for a rough ride. The presidential… Read More


Investors Leading a Low Cost Revolution

Investors are leading a low cost investing revolution by demanding more from their investment brokerage.

Shopping around can save you money at the grocery store, the car dealership, and perhaps most importantly, in your investment portfolio. More investors than ever realize that one of the keys to a successful investment experience is managing costs. Need evidence? Mutual fund expense ratios—the annual charges paid to cover management fees as well as… Read More


Interest Rate Debate Hinges on 3 Factors

The Federal Reserve did not raise interest rates in September. Will they in October?

The U.S. Federal Reserve decided against raising the federal funds rate at its latest meeting in September, extending its zero interest rate policy and ramping up the debate about what it will take for the Fed to act. Disagreements in 3 areas explain the Fed’s caution. The most crucial and most recent influence on the… Read More


Investing in Stocks During Retirement

Should you consider stock investing during retirement?

If you’re like most people, investing in stocks during your working years offers one of your best opportunities for growing a nest egg large enough for a comfortable retirement. And when retirement is still years away, any volatility that comes from stock ownership can be waited out by patiently holding a diversified portfolio. For most… Read More


Factoring Sequence Risk into Retirement Planning

Be sure to factor sequence risk into retirement planning.

When building your retirement portfolio, investing in a routine, systematic way can ensure that you purchase assets at random prices over time. So long as the market moves higher in the long run, any temporary declines, or even major corrections, will provide you with the chance to buy assets on sale. The same cannot be… Read More


Don’t React To Every Bit of Stock Market News

Reacting to Stock Market Volatility Can Have a Negative Impact on Your Investment Portfolio.

When you’re learning to play football, one of the first things any coach will teach you is to watch the other player’s waist. The reason for that is that it’s easy to get faked out by watching the head—or the feet. Just like it can be easy to get faked out and over-react to the… Read More


Looking Past Near-Term Difficulties in China

China's economy and regulations have had a volatile effect on the U.S. and global stock markets.

China has quickly gone from hero to scapegoat of the global economy, bearing the blame for the sharpest sell-off in stocks in the last three years. The policy actions taken by Chinese leaders over the last several months, highlighted by the decision to devalue its currency, have called into question their ability to manage the… Read More


Understanding Risk and Setting Realistic Expectations

Know the inherent risk in stock ownership before market volatility hits.

Until the recent global equity sell-off, stocks had been on an upward trajectory for some time, with the S&P 500 Index—a broad measure of U.S. stocks—delivering six straight years of gains. An investor who’d bought shares in an S&P 500 Index fund at the last market bottom, on March 9, 2009 would have seen that… Read More


Smart-Beta ETFs: Offering Headway or Hype?

Are Smart-Beta ETFs here to stay in investor's investment portfolios? Time will tell with these ETFs.

We have written in the past about new trends in the ETF marketplace and one of those trends is the emerging popularity of “smart-beta ETFs.” Smart-beta ETFs weight holdings by factors other than market cap—factors such as dividends or earnings—in an attempt to produce superior long-term results. According to the July, 2015 issue of ETF… Read More