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Stocks vs. Bonds Thumbnail

Stocks vs. Bonds

U.S. Treasury bonds have not yielded this little interest since the 1940s. Based on the data, it’s fair to expect U.S. bonds to return something on the order of 2% per year over the next 10 years. You might then ask: why do we own bonds at all? The answer is because there is value in stability.

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Truth is Stranger Than Fiction Thumbnail

Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

Our family's Spring Break trip to Florida in 2000 took place during the infamous dot-com bubble burst. I can vividly remember my dad's reaction to the news of the bursting of the tech bubble. He had some of his portfolio (I'm not sure how much) invested in dot-com stocks via the Nasdaq Composite Index, which declined by 25% that week of our Spring Break. It ultimately took 15 years for the Nasdaq to get back to its high from the year 2000.

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Triumph of the Optimists Thumbnail

Triumph of the Optimists

Amidst the politically-charged climate in which we live, we can lose sight of the progress mankind has made over time. We often remind our clients the U.S. stock market has handsomely paid patient, long-term investors over time. One simple method for gauging economic progress over time is to consider the evolution of the largest publicly-traded companies in the US. Of the ten largest companies in the US today, only four were founded prior to 1970 (JPMorgan Chase; Johnson & Johnson; Procter & Gamble; and Visa).

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Gaining Perspective on Stock Market Volatility Thumbnail

Gaining Perspective on Stock Market Volatility

One of the most important rules of investing is this: tuning in to media sources (be they financial or general) will not help you be a better investor. In fact, it will likely make you a poorer investor. Does it help you to know how much the Dow or the Nasdaq moves in a given day? If the Dow is down 200 points today, will that alter your investment strategy? Will it alter your mood?

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Strong Growth Continues

Friday, March 9th marked 9 years since the US stock market bottomed during the Great Recession of 2008-2009. We have witnessed excellent stock market and economic growth since those dark times, leading many people to ask the question: “How long can this expansion/rally continue?” Before we answer that question, a short stock market history lesson is in order. While the US stock market has in fact rallied an incredible 380% since the stock market bottom (as measured by the total return of the S&P 500 Index), it has not been without significant drawdowns: From July 7, 2011 – October 3, 2011, the S&P 500 Index lost 18.4%. During that same time period, the global stock market (as measured by ticker ACWI) lost 22.5%. From May 19, 2015 – February 11, 2016, the S&P 500 Index lost 12.8%, while the global stock market was down 19.1%. So, there have been “breathers” (that’s a nice way of putting it) during this period of sustained economic and stock market growth. In other words, we have taken our lumps along the way.

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Employment Market Signals Strong Economy Thumbnail

Employment Market Signals Strong Economy

Quiz question: when was the last time initial jobless claims were as low in the U.S. as they are today? Answer: 1969. Think of that: by this metric, it’s been nearly 50 years since the U.S. labor market was this strong. The headline unemployment rate has been steady for a few months at 4.1%. The initial jobless claims report is released weekly by the U.S. Department of Labor. “This report measures the number of jobless claims filed by individuals seeking to receive jobless benefits.” The latest reading came in at 210,000:

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