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Six Ways to Live Through a Volatile Market as a Retiree

1. Check your cash. 

An Update by the Numbers


•    The stock market S&P 500 hit an all-time high on May 21, 2015, reaching a high of 2130.  At this writing, the close was 2095.  
•    The employment numbers are very slowly improving.  There were 2.99 million more Americans employed as of 3/31/2016 than employed as of 3/31/2015.    

Our Biggest Financial Challenges are often Self-Inflicted

In many respects, people can be their own worst enemies in their quest for financial security. When you consider that our lives are nothing more than a culmination of the decisions we make each day, if we tend to make more bad decisions than good decisions, or worse, if we can’t make decisions at all, it’s should be no surprise when financial security  remains elusive.

The 4 Essential Elements of a Retirement Plan

Until recently, many retirees have been able to rely upon the three-legged stool of retirement income sources: A defined benefit pension plan that guarantees a lifetime income, their own savings, and Social Security.

Thoughts on the Oil Market

With the market in its current state, especially oil prices, we continually scour other “experts” opinions on where we might be headed.  Professor Jeremy J. Siegel, a regular commentator on CNBC and contributor to Yahoo!

4th Quarter 2015 Update - Key Points

Historically, the first interest-rate hike by the Federal Reserve is not the start of a market or economic downturn.  Typically, equities have performed well during the period of immediately after the initial hike, as the economy gathers strength.

The Greek Crisis – What’s Next?

If you have been listening to the news lately, you have been bombarded with the endless talk of Greece and where its financial future is heading.  The Greek Prime Minister just last week encouraged the Greek people to vote no to the July 5 referendum which resulted in a 60% voters’ opposition.  This week the same Prime Minister has made a 180 degree turn on the issue and is requ

2nd Quarter 2015 Update

The 1st quarter ended giving us a mixed picture of activity. Looking at the global economy it seemed to be very uninspiring but an increase in monetary easing outside of the U.S. pushed global bond yields lower and U.S. equities higher.  Economically, the U.S. still seems to be in a solid mid-cycle growth phase, coupled with Europe and Japan showing improvement. U.S.

Stock Rally To Continue?

Many are asking if the current bull market will stay intact for a longer period of time. The chart below portrays that it could be in the works for a while longer. The chart breaks down bull market returns, bear market returns and “round-trip” returns since 1928. The current bull market that began on March 9, 2009, is up 178%. The last bear market (October 9, 2007 – March 9, 2009) fell 57%. The “round-trip” (October 9, 2007 – March 9, 2014) return is at 20% while the average “round-trip” returns comes in at 54%. The chart explains a “round-trip” being a timeframe from the beginning of a bear market to the end of the next bull market.

This stock rally has lasted longer than the historical average but the preceding bear market was much steeper than the average and the “round-trip” gains are near the median but much lower than the average. This translates to a possible continuance of the rally based on historical bear and bull markets.

If history repeats itself, we could see more of this up market in play. Previous bulls that survived to a sixth year posted much larger gains.

Any Merit To "Sell In May And Go Away"?

You have heard us before mention the saying “sell in May and go away”. For decades, Wall Street has provided investors with some wisdom based on a seasonal affect that might suggest that traders sell in the month of May and don’t return until later in the year.

I have heard that this originated in England and it seems traders have adopted the practice. Studies have shown that in many years, not all, stocks don’t perform as well in the months between May and October. If the practice is actually put in motion, you could argue that this is definitely an event of market timing. Market timing is risky as we don’t know which way the market will move at any moment in time. It’s interesting that in the last three years, a market correction of between 10%-19% occurred in April. But, it has not occurred this year.

So that’s history, but what about now? At this writing, the month of May has produced a 4% increase in the S&P 500. It seems that nothing phases the upswing we are witnessing. We know many investors have been “out of the market” for quite some time and have managed to miss the bull market leading to attempts to chase returns and catch up on several years of investing. This translated to record inflows of investments into stock funds the first quarter of the year. Could this be leading to a support of stocks in May—even though economic data is what we are calling a “mixed bag” of information?

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