The outstanding fourth-quarter earnings season we had in 2020 is a tough act to follow, but 2021’s first quarter has the makings of another potentially great earnings season.
The first quarter looks to be the turning point, both for the pandemic here in the U.S. and for the economic damage it has caused. While risks still remain, especially in the short term, the significant progress we made in the first two months of the year started coming to fruition in March, signaling that we are through the worst of it.
Your preferred financial news source is always talking about the next wave sweeping over the financial advisory profession. That’s with good reason, technology has made access to different ways of doing business much more possible in the 2010s and 2020s than they ever were before.
The U.S. economy’s recovery from the pandemic continues to surpass our expectations, aided by the accelerating vaccine distribution, massive stimulus, and America’s desire to resume some semblance of normal daily life.
But by rising to the challenge of the worst global pandemic in 100 years, advisors who went above and beyond served as successful examples of how to navigate emergency situations while bolstering client loyalty.
What more can we say other than few months have been kinder to stocks lately than the month of April. In fact, it was last year that saw the S&P 500 Index gain an incredible 12.7%, for one of the greatest one-month gains in history.
Generally speaking, when inflation fears increase, bond prices decrease and rates rise, which is what we’ve seen in the bond markets recently. In fact, the primary reason we’ve seen falling bond prices/higher interest rates since bottoming in March 2020 and again in August of last year, has been growing fear of inflation.
The realization that most Americans aren’t ready for retirement has caused many states across our country to take initiative to help increase retirement plan access and savings by implementing state-run programs.
By adopting best practices now and having an open mind to the future, advisors can ensure that their post-COVID work policies contribute to a productive, fair and growth-oriented office culture.
With the NCAA college basketball tournament getting underway this week, LPL Research is getting in the spirit with its own version of March Madness. Here we share our “Final Four Factors” for the stock market in 2021: Vaccines, Policy, Profits, and Rates.
Having good rapport with prospective clients is often deemed more important than educating them. A lot of bright and talented young people I meet and speak with today are passionate about serving clients. Many of them also worry that being introverted or quiet will disqualify them from fulfilling that mission.
Every American knows how critical video meeting platforms like Zoom have been holding our families and workplaces together in the past year. For many financial advisors, learning how to use such programs was the push they needed to catch up with a key technological trend.
Planners spend their days meeting with clients, working on plans, educating themselves, keeping up with responses to calls and emails, marketing, and trying to find moments to gather their thoughts. The to-do list can feel overwhelming and unapproachable. But, it is possible to organize these tasks and take back control of your time.
Despite the turmoil the world has experienced since the outbreak of the pandemic, the S&P 500 marched forward to set new all-time highs less than 6 months later on August 18 and hasn’t looked back. So after such a wild year since the market peaked on this day in 2020, what have we learned?
For the average, middle-class American, an emergency fund should contain between three and six months’ worth of expenses. Americans in two-income households can more safely err toward three months’, though the risk is still higher with that arrangement.
When the pandemic hit in early 2020 and the entire economy hunkered down, demand collapsed. We were not driving to work, going to restaurants, or taking vacations and business trips. Suddenly, there was gasoline at the gas stations with no takers, perishables that restaurants were not buying, and theme parks and malls shut down.
When investors think about income, or yield, they would normally think bonds first. Next they might think about getting extra yield from their stock portfolios, maybe with a dividend strategy that might be heavy on real estate investment trusts (REITs) and utilities.
The Securities and Exchange Commission released the first proposed changes in the rules affecting advisor advertising in 40 years. But what did they change?
January was a month of transition. Markets took a break, with small gains or declines. The presidential inauguration handed the reins from the Trump administration to the Biden administration. What will February and March bring?
The resilience of the US economy continues to exceed our expectations. With encouraging progress toward ending the pandemic, and massive fiscal stimulus in place—and more likely coming soon, our prior economic growth forecasts may prove overly conservative.
Could narcissistic leadership have roots in childhood? The answer from science might surprise you but just like with adults, little narcissists are not necessarily better leaders.
According to estimates from recordkeepers and employee benefit research organizations, the average retired couple will spend over a quarter million dollars for healthcare and medical expenses in retirement.
You did your due diligence, asked the right questions during the interview, and took the job. However, now that you are in the role, something seems wrong, and you are trying to pinpoint the problem. Have you ever experienced this or know someone who has?
The S&P 500 Index historically has gained 6.8% per year during the first year of the four-year presidential cycle, but stocks have done better when the president was re-elected than when someone new occupied the White House.
The incredible action from some of the most heavily shorted names has investors everywhere wondering what it all means? GameStop (GME) specifically has taken the country’s imagination by storm, as the stock started the year under $20 per share.
Are you truly committed to serving your clients for the long run? You may care deeply about your clients and their financial interests, but if you don’t have a great relationship with their spouses or adult children, how can you assure their financial interests will survive well into the future?
Estimates for the fourth quarter have risen by about 2.3% since October 1, 2020, which signals companies will be able to deliver at least the typical several percentage points of upside. Estimates typically decline by about 4% during a quarter.
The economic news has continued to soften in recent days. December saw layoffs go up and the number of jobs decline, and, this morning, the retail sales numbers dropped. Consumer confidence has gone down. Clearly, the economic headwinds from the pandemic are getting worse.
In track and field, the success of a long jumper depends on several factors: speed, conviction, height. But perhaps most important is the second-to-last, or penultimate, step they take before launching into the actual jump. This step can prepare jumpers for excellent results, or it can dash their hopes.
There will be more regulation and a more active anti-business approach, especially around the big tech companies. This shift could certainly affect sentiment and, with it, the markets. We need to keep an eye on both tax and regulatory policy going forward, and we will be talking about that here as things unfold.
2020 was a year characterized in part by the outbreak of a global pandemic, which captivated the world and shocked the global economy and financial markets. As we turn the page to 2021, it can be helpful to reflect on the lessons learned from such a historic year.
Stocks and bonds posted strong returns in 2020 despite a tumultuous year, although that may be surprising only for bonds. We believe we’re in the early stages of a new bull market for stocks, but the opportunities for bond investors may require more patience.
As we consider what may happen in 2021, it’s useful to reflect on how we ended 2020—both the good and the bad. For the good, the election is behind us. Vaccines look to be more effective than anyone expected. Jobs and confidence are holding up surprisingly well as the economy adapts. In many ways, things are much better than we thought.
Not all business is good business. Many advisors take whichever clients come their way at the start of their careers, only to find themselves saddled with exhausting clients and juggling infeasible requests a few years later. These situations threaten to demoralize advisors.
U.S. markets were up by double digits in November, as were most markets around the world. We saw new all-time highs here, and even fixed income had a good month. From an investor’s point of view, things looked not just good but great—and clearly markets expect even better times ahead. But do they have it right? Let’s take a closer look.
A way better than expected earnings season, a likely split Congress, and major breakthroughs on the vaccine front all helped stocks soar last month. Add ongoing support from the Federal Reserve as the cherry on top and we are looking at a truly historic month on many levels. But what now?
A new wave of COVID-19 cases threatens to trip up the economy. Increasing cases in Europe and the United States have brought new restrictions on activities, but the market doesn’t appear to be fazed by the recent outbreaks.
While the dynamic nature between the cross-sections of policy politics, the public health crisis, and the economy will persist well into 2021, we find comfort in the fact that the economy won’t have to absorb extensive policy changes on top of the ongoing battle with the public health crisis.
In the third quarter, analysts had more information and the environment included fewer twists and turns, which should have made predicting results much easier. Still, analysts were overly pessimistic by nearly the same margin, as earnings results far surpassed expectations.
Last spring, advisors and clients alike had to learn to use tools like Go To Meeting or Zoom. If – like I was – you or your clients had previously been resistant to new technologies, COVID might actually have been the kick in the pants you needed to catch up to current times.
In stressful times it is important we as advisors are prepared to properly show up for our clients. Three ways we can prepare are as follows: arming ourselves with information, understanding the history of our business and its intricacies, and taking care of our own needs.
Heading into the election, polling data and market signals disagreed on how close the presidential election would be, with market signals calling the race much closer—which turned out to be accurate. Now that we have more clarity on the results of the election, we can review what we believe will be some of the key market implications going forward.
With the industry’s own retirement crisis mounting, the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing advisors to think more urgently about the value of their practices in preparation for an accelerated exit.
As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, since 1952, with surprising regularity, US voters have given each party a second term in the White House to complete its legislative agenda. With equal regularity, they have flipped the party in the White House after eight years, resetting the balance of power in our two-party system.
At some point in their career, a financial advisor is likely going to feel professionally lost. They’ll feel stuck, and most critically, they won’t know how to move forward. These situations can be frustrating and frightening, but with the right balance of acceptance and action, advisors in these situations can get back on track.
Over the course of my career, I have had many opportunities to work and be mentored by amazing women. However, no matter where I worked, what financial planning conferences or networking event I attended, it was clear women are the minority.
Various polls show former Vice President Joe Biden comfortably in the lead in the 2020 presidential race, although in some battleground states the race appears to be quickly tightening. Influential states like Ohio and Pennsylvania may even be a coin toss at this point.
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.
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.
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?