What a Market Top Looks Like

The current bull market in stocks will reach its 8th anniversary tomorrow, and for about the last four years, professional investors and financial planners have been scratching their heads.  The markets have gone up and up and up, and we all know that they won’t go up forever, which means there’s a correction looming somewhere on the horizon.

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Longer Lives, Here and Abroad

For years, the U.S. life expectancy was among the longest in the world, a natural byproduct of the fact that the U.S. is wealthier, per capita, than other nations.  Indeed, a research report in the medical journal The Lancet projects that between now and 2030, women in the U.S. will live an average 83.3 years (up from 81.2 today) and men an average of 79.5 years (up from 76.5 today).

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Depression’s Silver Lining

A lot of people are depressed these days: in 2015, one study showed that 6.7% of American adults suffered from a major depressive episode in the previous 12 months.  Meanwhile, an estimated 12% of Americans are taking antidepressants, which suggests that the study may have underestimated the problem.

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Real Crime vs. Imagined

Crime in America is totally out of control these days, right?  Every day you read about some new shooting, robbery, kidnapping etc., and the impression you get is that we live in an age where the streets aren’t safe and neither is your home.

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The Good and Bad of Millennial Finances

Millennial Americans saving their money at a higher rate than their Baby Boomer counterparts at a similar age.  Research from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies shows that nearly three-quarters of Millennials are saving for retirement at an earlier age than past generations.  Half are putting away 6% of their income or more—a statistic that makes Millennials the best cohort of savers since the Great Depression, despite having to carry record high levels of student loan debt.  Those who participate in their workplace retirement plans are saving 7% a year, on average.

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Greece’s Return to the Headlines

As you can see from the graph, the nation of Greece, once the subject of almost daily speculation about the viability of its government bonds, has pulled its economy out of a disaster into a muddle.  No doubt, you got tired of hearing about Grexit scenarios and all the times when the European Central Bank and the European Stability Mechanism came to the rescue.

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Not “If;” “When”

You’re starting to hear people talk about “if” there’s a bear market during the Trump Administration, when the real truth is they should be talking about “when.”  And it won’t necessarily be triggered by a poorly-worded tweet, a global-trade-stopping new tariff regime or tax and entitlement reform.  Every presidential cycle has its share of market drawdowns, seemingly regardless of presidential policies.

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