With the Federal Reserve recently raising interest rates for the first time in many years, the U.S. economy may be at the beginning of a transition away from the ultra-accommodative monetary policy environment that has existed since the global financial crisis. However, central banks in other major developed economies are not following suit—in fact, they are still trying to counteract the current low growth, low inflation economic environment.Details
As the laws governing how financial professionals guide client retirement assets are set to change, financial advisors are being required to place the interests of their clients first. With this change, all advisors must not only recommend investments that are suitable for their clients, but more importantly, they must act as a fiduciary and place their clients’ interests ahead of their own.
So how will this affect the investments of Pinnacle clients? It won’t.Details
We are pleased to present a recording of “Bearish Tendencies (and Silver Linings),” our 2016 Inside the Investment Committee event, which gave attendees an inside look at the thoughts, views, and strategies of our investment team. Table of Contents (To go directly to a speaker, drag the round video playhead to the time listed below.)…Details
Hear Ken Solow discuss presidential politics, the national economy, global markets, and your money on Dan Rodrick’s Roughly Speaking podcast. To fast forward to Ken, click on the 51 minute mark.
2015 had many twists and turns, but from a financial market perspective, it was effectively a road to nowhere when looking across a variety of asset classes. In U.S. equity markets, large company stocks (large cap) barely moved as just a few sectors and stocks were big winners. In the broad market, many stocks performed far worse than the large cap averages and gave investors the false impression that the market was generally flat. On the contrary, a broader measure of the market which consists of 1700 equally weighted stocks was down roughly 7% on the year, and helps to highlight how skewed the major indices were, due to just a few large companies that had good years.Details
The S&P 500 Index is down over 12% from its high last May, which qualifies as a market correction but not a bear market. In fact, it’s been quite a while since we experienced our last bear, although it may not feel that way. From April to October of 2011, the stock market declined by 19.39% on a closing basis. While experts can debate whether this meets the definition of a bear market (which are typically defined as 20% declines), those who remember it will recall how scary it was. By the time the market bottomed in October, many were recalling the 2007–2009 bear market, which was gut wrenching for everyone. During that excruciating market decline, the S&P 500 Index fell by 55% and the economy tumbled into a deep recession. It is only in hindsight that we can see that both the market bottom in 2009 and the October low in 2011 marked important market bottoms. Since October of 2011, the S&P 500 Index rallied 94% to its eventual high set in May of last year.Details
The decision of whether to delay Social Security benefits is a trade-off: give up benefits now, in exchange for higher payments in the future. If the higher payments are received for enough years – dubbed the “breakeven period” – the retiree can more than recover the foregone benefits early on, even after adjusting for inflation and the time value of money.
With couples, however, the decision to delay is more complex. Earning 8%/year delayed retirement credits can not only boost an individual’s own retirement benefit, but increases the potential survivor benefit as well… which means the breakeven can be reached as long as either member of the couple remains alive long enough! In turn, this makes delaying benefits even more appealing, as the odds of at least one member of a couple remaining alive is better than the single life expectancy of either member in particular.Details
Last week, the House Ways and Means committee came to an agreement for key legislation to renew the so-called “Tax Extenders,” a series of tax provisions that have lapsed and been reinstated (i.e., “extended”) repeatedly over the past decade. The new legislation, entitled the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH), will once again retroactively reinstate for 2015 the tax extenders that were renewed for and then expired at the end of 2014.Details