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
In April, the S&P 500 Index had a historic rally off the March 23 lows, gaining more than 31% through April 29. The strength of the move, as well as internal data, suggests that a full retest of the March 23 lows may not be in the cards.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment report this morning, revealing that the domestic economy lost 20.5 million jobs in April. This is by far the largest contraction in the history of the data series, which goes back to 1939.
April was the month that stock markets rallied after an unprecedented drawdown. U.S. markets were up by double digits, international markets gained, and fixed income markets came back as well. What does May hold in store?
All around the country, firms and employees are taking things to the next level to provide value that doesn’t have anything to do with financial recommendations. Here is a list of the top five activities that firms are participating in to support their clients and their communities.
This week, the news has generally been good. The virus continues to come under control, with the growth rate slowing (although the case count has not declined as much). Some states are reopening their economies, which will give us valuable data and should help with employment.
Many clients may be feeling uncertain or panicked about their financial future. Communicating with them through social media and other online tools can provide reassurance and a source of stability.
One of the best known investment axioms is to “sell in May and go away.” This is largely because these six months have historically been some of the worst six months of the year. What will May 2020 bring?
For the first time, young advisors are facing the reality that they do not have the benefit of having guided clients through the Great Recession, the dot-com bubble, or any other notable contraction.
Headlines had oil selling at -$37.63 per barrel at close on Monday. The negative sign in front? Sellers had to pay buyers $37.63 to take the oil off their hands. Except this wasn’t the price of oil.
This earnings season will be unlike any other, as travel restrictions and lockdowns related to COVID-19 have impacted results dramatically. The biggest economic hits came in mid-March, however, and won’t be fully captured in first quarter results.
As the U.S. and the world continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout, advisors must prepare to handle more unique situations and a reduction in scalability across their practices.
What makes this recession unique is the government intentionally brought it on, with the chances for an economic bounce back later this year high if the virus is contained. If this recession becomes one of the shortest on record, as we expect, stocks may enjoy better times ahead.
The difference between now and the start of the pandemic is that we can at least see the end. We can see that we have flattened the curve, and we can reasonably project when the pandemic will be brought under control. What does that mean for the markets and the economy in general?
Our entire way of life and how we operate on a daily basis has been turned upside down and inside out. For many people, they have been able to adapt to the new reality, but for many more, the sudden, drastic change to how we function is causing stress.
Stock market volatility has remained high as investors continue to closely track COVID-19 containment efforts while getting a glimpse into how damaging travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing have been on the US economy.
March was a really tough month. After a terrible February, all major stock indices were down by double digits, leading to significant declines for the quarter as a whole. All of the major indices ended the month and quarter below their 200-day moving averages, often a sign of more trouble ahead.
To ensure clients have immediate means to cover unforeseen costs, advisors should consider the merits of personal lines of credit as an alternative to standard emergency fund plans. Here’s how advisors can manage the process.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to significantly and negatively impact the global economy, making this crisis one of the worst we have ever faced. In addition to the tragic human toll, containment measures have further elevated near-term uncertainty for investors.
n the past, logistical and legal issues hindered advisors who wanted to work with high-income international clients – that is, noncitizen, nonresident clients – investing in the U.S., but recent changes have opened up this significant potential market to American agents.
As expected, the initial jobless claims report—the one that shows how many people have been laid off and are newly applying for unemployment assistance—was a shocker this morning. Three million people lost their jobs and applied for unemployment last week.
People spend most of their college career refining networking skills, perfecting their resume, and completing mock interviews. But once they start their career, professional development can take a back seat to day-to-day work and life responsibilities.
Just mentioning an annuity in financial planning can have a polarizing effect. There are those who don’t believe in annuities to solve any problem other than guaranteed lifetime income, and there are even more who actually don’t understand the many benefits of FIAs.
In today’s environment, it’s easy to live in a state of panic and fear. Especially when you continually hear “Dow down 2000 points,” “We are in a recession,” “stimulus package,” “rising cases and deaths.” But focusing on the things you know will help you guide your clients out of this uncertain economic and political time.
Clients want human interaction in this time of social isolation, and they need to have their advisors communicate with them. Brock Jolly, financial advisor at Veritas Financial, shared some tips for communicating with clients during a webinar held Monday for members of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.
COVID-19 has left businesses in uncharted waters. It is often insurance that carries businesses through these waters. But policyholders need to know where to look for this life raft, and how to navigate these murky waters.
There is a tremendous amount of information available about the coronavirus pandemic. But what’s missing is a framework for that information that would help clarify the big picture as it related to financial services.
As seniors read the news and contemplate how to stop the bleeding of their hard-earned savings and wonder what to start doing to preserve what they have left while ensuing their ability to capture opportunities after the market recovers (and it will), what are seniors being told to do?
There are plenty of reasons to believe stabilization of the stock market might come soon. First, from a valuation perspective, the stock market is getting close to its cheapest level since about 2016. Second, looking at the data, we appear to be approaching some major resistance levels.
As the coronavirus continues to scare global markets, it would be easy forget that the current bull market started 11 years ago today. Based on investing fundamentals, analysts continue to believe we’ll see a resumption of economic growth and a continuation of this bull market into at least 2021, but worries are building.
Any advisor can gain significant advantages by going independent. By charting one’s own course, advisors have the ability to shape their businesses to fit their own vision, not that of a large company. Wayne Minich shares five decades of experience as an independent advisor.
It is important that financial planning firms are up to date on current technology tools to improve accuracy and efficiency so they can focus on what helps clients change behavior most – involvement, connection, and trust. Here are six tech tools for young advisors to try.
As the popularity of fee-based and fee-only financial advice continues to rise, many advisors are making the switch – even in nations like the U.S., which don’t require fee-only practices. But this transition can go awry if not well-planned.
A risk-off sentiment driven by the spread of the coronavirus from China spooked investors to start 2020, leading to modest declines for equity markets at month-end. Markets have since recovered and moved back to new highs, but that does not necessarily mean the risks have disappeared.