Given the impressive economic recovery to date and improving underlying technical and fundamental conditions, we think small cap stocks in particular may have attractive growth potential. Despite election and COVID-19-related risks, we see further gains ahead.
Imagine this: you’re great at your job. You make sales, you manage your clients’ assets well and you’re an attentive advisor who makes sure to follow up. But you can’t get a call back from referrals and your prospects aren’t scheduling appointments. You can’t figure out why.
How can you find the right firm for that first job and entry to the advisory world? It can start with reading and understanding a firm’s ADV, delineating between what is on the firm’s website and what they reported to the SEC, and coming up with the most pertinent questions.
The S&P 500 closed at 3,534 Monday, less than 2 percent below the all-time high of September 2, just before markets tumbled. The Dow and Nasdaq results were similar. Clearly, the markets think everything is awesome. But are they really?
This earnings season, corporate America will get closer to the return of earnings growth—which is likely in the first quarter of 2021. We probably will have another decline in profits for third quarter 2020, though potentially only about half as big as last quarter’s.
September, as expected, was a difficult month, with markets in the U.S. and abroad down pretty much across the board. Despite this correction, which came after two very strong months, markets were left with strong gains for the quarter, both here and abroad.
Speculation has been increasing that the November election results may be delayed or disputed, or both. A contested election might affect financial markets in several ways. Also, the news that President Donald Trump has tested positive for COVID-19 may potentially impact markets as well.
Potential is about what’s inside us. So how do you stay on top and highly motivated doing the same thing for five decades? The answer is simple: potential is power. And power works as long as you do. It won’t run out as long as you don’t give up.
A virtual presence went from being optional 10 years ago to a necessity in essentially every industry and profession. But having a social media account or a website is only the standard in our digital age, so planners are becoming innovative with their approach in the new wave of online engagement.
The recent correction in the S&P 500 Index’s technology sector presents a unique challenge to markets following a historic stretch of outperformance as technology’s share of the market has ballooned in size.
When seasons change, the major central banks meet. The Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and Bank of Japan all met in September to discuss their outlooks on the economy and monetary policy going forward. Key observations from the meetings include maintaining policy while keeping an eye on COVID-19.
Prospecting, obtaining referrals and securing business in financial services require a foundation of trust among multiple parties. You can use just five percent of your time to network with confidence – generating and maintaining likability and trust by elevating your professional presence.
After virtually no volatility since March, market-watchers got a heavy dose of it with the recent three-day 10% correction in the NASDAQ—one of the fastest corrections ever, and the fastest ever from a record high. Historically, the NASDAQ has tended to rise after fast corrections. What will happen this time?
The past week has seen continued improvement with the coronavirus, with the case growth rate down to new lows and case growth below 30,000 per day for the first time since June 21. The pandemic remains under control, and things are still getting better. The control measures are working.
With the S&P 500 Index up more than 50% since the March lows and stocks pricing in an optimistic recovery in the economy and corporate profits, we believe stocks may be due for a pullback—and the drop that occurred September 3–4 may be the start of it. Here are some other things to look out for in the weeks ahead.
As the severity of COVID-19 continues to alter America’s workforce, investment advisories across the country have transitioned to the work-from-home model. From Wall Street to Main Street, we have seen a seismic shift in culture to ensure safety among employees and the public.
Disruption and change are two of the most enduring constants in the financial services industry. COVID-19 represents an extreme example of this, but other challenges like recessions, market crashes and geopolitical events lurk just around the corner.
A second term for President Donald Trump would likely feature a continuation of the pro-growth policies from the first term of his administration, and importantly for financial markets, a continuation of the status quo.
What a month August was, with the S&P 500 Index up more than 7%, for the best August since 1984. Not to be outdone, this is the first time in history August saw two separate 6-day (or more) win streaks. The S&P 500 gained 16 days in the month, for the most since 16 in April 2019. But now September is here…
Even as the stock market is at all-time highs, interest rates are close to all-time lows. This scenario makes sense, as lower rates generally equate to more valuable stocks. As such, this is indeed a condition that has supported values.
The job interview is crucial to achieving career success. While you may know the answers to personal questions when you sit quietly in a room, the pressure of an interview can cause you to second guess your answer and lead to a less than organized response.
Baby boomers should have at least $1 million of investable assets to generate adequate income for the duration of their life expectancy, according to a report by the Insured Retirement Institute. Note, that figure doesn’t even include Social Security benefits.
A potential Biden presidency may mean a shift from some pro-growth policies of the Trump administration, it’s possible any negative market impact may be muted. Economic forces tend to dominate policy, though policy still matters, and historically, markets and the economy have shown little preference for either Republican or Democratic leadership.
The COVID-19 pandemic has unsettled the country’s employment picture for months and will likely continue to do so for a while. However, the nature and terminology of this disruption varies greatly among individuals – some have seen their jobs disappear, others have been “furloughed” and still others have been offered an early retirement.
Many advisors, new and seasoned, are looking for a mentor to help guide them into the next step of their career. No matter how much success you’ve achieved, there is always potential to reach the next level in your expertise.
It took a while, but the S&P 500 Index finally made a new all-time high, coming all the way back from the vicious 34% bear market in less than six months. The bear officially lasted one month and took five months to recover the losses. Usually when there’s a bear market during a recession, it takes 30 months to recover those loses.
Corporate America delivered on expectations and then some during a second quarter earnings season that some are calling the biggest upside surprise ever. We recap the results, share five key takeaways for investors, and discuss our near-term outlook for stocks with the S&P 500 Index near record highs.
Politics has less of an effect on the economy and, therefore, the markets than we think. Since 1900, according to Bespoke Research, the average gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been 4.8 percent per year, reflecting the economy as a whole. Decade after decade, markets have moved ahead as the economy grew, regardless of the party in power.
The stock market continues to do quite well. The S&P 500 Index, which has risen four straight months, has returned 5% so far in 2020, despite probably the worst pandemic in the United States in 100 years and one of the sharpest economic contractions since the Great Depression. How does that makes sense?
Financial abuse occurs in 99% of all abusive relationships, making this one of the most important types of abuse to watch for. Advisors have a special ability – and therefore a special responsibility – to detect and combat financial abuse.
Financial Planning Association (FPA) Knowledge Circles are gathering places for like-minded planners who want to engage in dialogue about best practices and trends on particular topics. The Knowledge Circles, very much like “sections” in law or business, allow for more in-depth examination of issues, financial planning resources, regulations, etc.
Beyond the headline numbers, state-level data continues to improve. Case growth in most of the worst affected states, including California, Arizona, Florida, and Texas, appears to have peaked, as people and governments there have started to reimpose social distancing and other restrictions.
As the headlines have begun to point out the decline of the dollar in recent months, worries have started to rise. In fact, if you look at the chart for the most recent couple of months, you can see where these headlines are coming from.
Even as new daily infections remain near record highs and US-China tensions ratchet higher, S&P 500 stocks have been marginally higher year to date—and barely below their all-time highs. Market participants haven’t seemed too concerned about stock valuations, which are as high as they’ve been since the technology bubble.
Understanding the major drivers of the government’s revenue is critical to an informed discussion and understanding of the impending tax increases, and why some think tax rates could go up to wartime levels.
Financial planning is moving from advisors being the beholders of the right answers, towards planners being the guides of helping people make confident, informed choices throughout the uncertainties of life.
We will see one of the biggest year-over-year quarterly declines in S&P 500 Index profits ever, and we will hear a lot about uncertainty facing corporate America as COVID-19 continues to impact many companies in the United States and globally. But it may not all be negative.
Advisors must continue adapting to generating referrals, prospects and sales from online efforts. Proper preparation and shifts in business practices can even help generate more potential business than existed before the pandemic started.
Markets continued to rise in June, as efforts to reopen state economies across the country continued throughout the month. Investors reacted to the continued reopening with optimism, driving the S&P 500 up 1.99 percent in June following a 4.76 percent increase in May.
Surprisingly, both the economic recovery and financial markets did very well in June. As we enter July, the question of many minds is whether the medical situation will improve—and whether the good economic and market news will continue.
Although all election years feel different, 2020 no doubt may be one of the most unique election years ever. We have a pandemic, a deep recession, extremely heightened partisanship, a mail-in ballot controversy, an unpredictable president, and the oldest presidential candidate ever.
Given the headlines, the key to figuring out what is likely to happen over the rest of the year is to focus on the most important trends, which for us means the coronavirus pandemic, the economic response to it, and the financial markets.
Though businesses have been hard hit by COVID-19 and the ensuing global recession, business owners still need financial services and advice just as much as – if not more than – they did before the crisis. This diverse group can bring a variety of engaging work for financial advisors, but also requires specialized financial skills.
So you want to be a financial advisor? There are positions available in an industry that needs young people to reach the next generation. Regardless of how you approach your search, be patient with yourself and the process; unfortunately, there is no secret sauce to finding your next opportunity.
Since 1928, the stock market has accurately predicted the winner of the election 87% of the time and every single year since 1984. It is quite simple. When the S&P 500 Index has been higher the three months before the election, the incumbent party usually won, while when stocks were lower, the incumbent party usually lost.
An LPL Financial analysts has five reasons for continued cautious tactical outlook toward developed international equities, most of which are composed of European stocks.
We’ve been conditioned to think leadership is only attained by a position of power, or that it’s a skill you must be born with. The truth is, leadership skills can be honed and developed. Real leadership starts with a commitment to creating positive change for you and others.
With so much economic healing ahead of us and a still-uncertain path for COVID-19, the key question for investors is whether stocks are pricing in an overly optimistic scenario for the recovery in economic activity and corporate profits.
Finding personal connections with prospects can be more challenging in this altered form of business, so we must consider the most thoughtful and impactful ways to connect while physically separated.
Through a barrage of negative news, intensified fears and an uncertain future, the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened people’s emotions. This can often affect the personal side of financial planning and overshadow the technical perspective.
Pro bono financial planning has always been a hallmark of the financial planning field, but it needs to be ingrained in everything we do. The next generation of financial planners need to embrace the importance and impact of pro bono just as the legal, medical, and dental professions have.
The disconnect between stocks and the economy generated widespread concern among some investors despite a strong May. At the same time, reopening optimism and massive stimulus overshadowed some concerns about a second wave of COVID-19 infections and increasing US-China tensions.
From closed businesses, stock market crashes and income reductions (including an absolute stop of income for some), cash flow is being affected in ways unlike previous recessions. This makes the pandemic a real test of forced retirement.
First-quarter earnings season offered something for everyone. On the positive side, corporate America produced solid results outside of the COVID-19 pandemic trouble spots, which included retailers, travel-related businesses, and banks.
The interest rate aspect doesn’t yet receive the attention it deserves, likely because no one has any real-life experience with 0% rates in the U.S. The implications are not all positive. From a macro standpoint, 0% rates deprive the Federal Reserve of one of its most used economic tools.
Technology use during meetings went from being (arguably) optional to necessary in a matter of weeks for many communities, including financial advisors. As if learning new technology wasn’t tricky enough, may advisors have found themselves managing virtual client relationships with regularity for the first time.
Financially stressed workers may be tempted to withdraw funds from the 401(k) accounts. But employees should explore all alternatives prior to withdrawing from their 401(k) whether it’s during this pandemic or anytime.
Stocks took a sharp market downturn last week, leaving investors to wonder why. Stocks may have been due for a pullback after gains in late March through April and could potentially have further to fall.
The S&P 500 gained 12.82 percent during April, marking the best single month for the index since 1987. While this swift rebound was quite welcome for investors, very real risks to markets still remain—and there are several key factors that matter when determining the overall risk level.
When discussing the complexities of current markets with your clients, make sure you don’t .fall victim to the “curse of explaining.” Clients should always leave a meeting more informed than when they arrived, but this doesn’t mean you need to expound upon every background detail