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?
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.