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Thursday, September 19, 2019

“History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.” Mark Twain As expected, the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) policy committee cut its policy rate by 25 basis points (.25%) to a target range of 1.75%–2%. This comes on...

 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Consumer inflation has accelerated recently, bucking disinflation and deflation concerns that had permeated financial markets earlier this year. In August, the core Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased at least 0.3% for a third...

 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

First and foremost, our thoughts are with all of those that were impacted by Hurricane Dorian over the Labor Day holiday and all those that are still in its path. Many have asked us what stocks tend to do after a major hurricane hits...

 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Keeping your cool can be hard to do when the market goes on one of its periodic roller-coaster rides. It's useful to have strategies in place that prepare you both financially and psychologically to handle market volatility. Here are...

 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, there are 11.6 million women-owned businesses, employing nearly 9 million people and generating $1.7 trillion in sales in 2017.1 Many of these businesses started small,...

 

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Business investment remains a critical component for this economic expansion. Capital expenditures (capex) drive productivity gains (more output per hour worked), which enables economic growth while keeping inflation contained. That...

 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Consumer inflation has surged back after a strong quarter of U.S. consumer demand. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, Consumer Inflation Picks Up in July, the core Consumer Price Index (CPI), which excludes food and energy prices,...

 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

U.S. stocks have hit another trade-induced summer storm. The S&P 500 Index fell 3% on Monday, its worst day since December 2018. The index is now about 6% from record highs in U.S. stocks’ worst bout of volatility since May. As...

 

Monday, August 5, 2019

As more Americans shoulder the responsibility of funding their own retirement, many rely increasingly on their 401(k) retirement plans to provide the means to pursue their investment goals. That's because 401(k) plans offer a variety...

 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

It could be a momentous week for U.S. monetary policy and the Treasury yield curve. The Federal Reserve (Fed) is expected to cut its policy interest rate for the first time in 10 years July 31. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day,...

 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

U.S. stocks have powered back to record highs, and they could benefit more from a relatively expensive fixed income market. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, Stocks Appear Historically Cheap Relative to Bonds, S&P 500 Index stocks...

 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A major issue in estate planning is who to name as beneficiaries on life insurance policies, pension plan accounts, IRAs, and annuities. This important decision often doesn't take into account the substantial estate and income tax...

 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

There are several ways you might consider gifting money to your loved ones. In 2017, the IRS allows you to give up to $14,000 annually (or $28,000 if you give jointly with your spouse) in cash, investments, and/or property to each of...

 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

You've worked long and hard to accumulate the assets that you are using to help finance your retirement. Now, it's time to start drawing down those assets. Exactly how you liquidate your assets will affect your tax and impact how long...

 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Retirement income is different than what you're used during a full-time career. You'll have a new set of concerns, but you'll also have a decent amount of freedom to make your money behave the way you want. Here are nine of the most...

 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Part 1 -- Communicating Your Wishes Do you have a will? Are you comfortable with the executor(s) and trustee(s) you have selected? Have you executed a living will or health care proxy in the event of catastrophic illness or...

 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Central banks are back in easing mode, to the dismay of coupon-clipping fixed income investors. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, Global Central Banks Back in Easing Mode, central banks around the world are embarking on a marked...

 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The June jobs report was solid. Nonfarm payrolls rose 224,000, according to data released July 5. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, Strong June Payrolls Gain Surprises Investors, the rise in jobs last month handily beat estimates...

 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The 10-year Treasury yield has been flirting with dipping below 2% throughout the later half of June and into the start of July. As our LPL Chart of the Day, Will Trade Truce Help 2% 10-Year Treasury Yield Hold?, shows, the yield has...

 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Federal Reserve (Fed) will likely cut rates at its next meeting in late July. This begs the question: Will the Fed really cut rates with stocks up so much year to date and near all-time highs? “It might sound strange for the...

 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

We are pleased to announce the release of the LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2019: FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets, with investment insights and market guidance through the end of 2019. LPL Research...

 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

U.S. stocks could have a big year if LPL Research’s forecasts prove correct. All year, we’ve maintain our fair value target on the S&P 500 Index of 3,000, implying that we expect this bull market and economic expansion to...

 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Bonds have increasingly signaled that Federal Reserve (Fed) policy may be too tight for an economy tied up in a drawn-out trade dispute. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, “Bond Market Increasingly Pricing in Rate Cuts...

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

It's generally a good idea to review your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan at least once each year and when major life changes occur. If you haven't given your plan a thorough review within the last 12 months, now may be a...

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Thinking about the need and the costs of long-term care is enough to make anyone uncomfortable. But while it's a difficult subject to talk about, it's also a topic that often generates lots of questions and misunderstanding. Consider...

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Investing for your retirement isn't about getting rich quick. More often, it's about having a game plan that you can live with over a long time. You wouldn't expect to be able to play the piano without learning the basics and...

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

These crucial years call for action. Today, retirement may seem nearer to you than it once did. The following moves might be worth making—and soon. Catch-up contributions to your retirement accounts. Starting in the year you...

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Making decisions about your retirement account can seem overwhelming, especially if you feel unsure about your knowledge of investments. However, the following basic rules can help you make smarter choices regardless of whether you...

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

After years of saving and investing, you can finally see the big day -- retirement. But before kicking back, you still need to address a few matters. Decisions made now could make the difference between your money outlasting you or...

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The backyard pool can be great summer fun, but it can also be a source of danger for children. Every year hundreds of children fatally drown. In fact, drowning is the leading cause of preventable death among children ages 1-4.¹,...

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Every year, millions of Americans celebrate the holidays with traditions such as throwing parties and buying gifts for family and friends. Unfortunately, many also participate in a tradition that lands them in debt -- spending more...

 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Long-term Treasury yields’ rapid decline has been one of the most baffling market developments of 2019. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the 10-year Treasury yield fell 38 basis points (0.38%) in May, its biggest monthly...

 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

With the bull market 10 years old and the economic cycle about to reach 10 years, the big question is how much longer can it go? To answer this question we will take a closer look at our Five Forecasters for late-cycle warnings....

 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The S&P 500 Index has officially gained each of the first four months of the year for the first time since 2013. This comes on the heels of the best first quarter since 1998. Six straight months in green has been the best monthly win...

 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

As we noted yesterday, the recent bout of volatility has caught many investors off guard. However, we’ve been saying since late March that some type of normal correction could happen, and we’ve taken a more cautious stance...

 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Diversified investors were the big winners in the first four months of this year. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, both stocks and bonds have posted strong rallies through the first four months of this year, thanks to increased...

 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Why do most avoid this important investment? Why do so many of us not use our vacation days? Salespeople talk about “leaving money on the table.” Well, employees leave vacation on the table. And the cost to us is...

 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

At some point in your life, you probably have heard about the importance of developing a budget. But, why is a budget so important? Perhaps you simply spend what you must and save whatever’s left over. Or, perhaps you spend all...

 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

One extracurricular activity that every student can master while in college is personal money management. Typically, a student’s daily spending is done on an improvised basis, meaning that overspending is often the norm rather...

 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what...

 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The odds of winning the lottery are astronomically long. Yet, the allure of pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars can tempt even the staunchest penny pincher. While there's no harm in playing your lucky numbers every now and again,...

 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

What recent graduates (and their parents) need to think about Spring is here, summer weather has begun (in many places), and graduation time has arrived. Across the country, students are finishing their high school, college, and even...

 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

One of the most popular investment axioms is about to take over the airwaves: “Sell in May and Go Away.” That’s because the upcoming six months(from May until the end of October) have historically been the weakest...

 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Knowledgeable investors are aware that investing in the capital markets presents any number of risks—interest-rate risk, company risk, and market risk. Risk is an inseparable companion to the potential for long-term growth. Some...

 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

After more than seven months, the S&P 500 Index notched a fresh all-time closing high of 2,933.68 on April 23. To get here, investors have weathered back-and-forth in trade negotiations, a historic government shutdown, unrelenting...

 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

It seems, sometimes, as though financial professionals come in only two flavors. There are those who promise everything is going to be fine; you don't have to fret about retirement, they say, because they'll help you make more than...

 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

After such a strong rally this year, you may be wondering what could drive stocks higher from here. With the S&P 500 Index near its all-time high, a lot of good news could be priced in to stocks. At the same time, disappointments could...

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

After the best first quarter for the S&P 500 Index since 1998, the big question is: What happens next? We’ve already discussed why a good start to a year could lead to more gains (here and here), but today we will take a look at...

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Waiting in a winding airport security checkpoint line is just one of many potential headaches today's travelers experience. Worrying about what to pack, what kind of identification is required, and how much cash to bring are yet...

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

But it’s also a time to do some life-planning The spring ritual of high school graduations is here. But graduates and their parents often are poorly prepared to meet the practicalities of the youngsters’ sudden entry into...

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

You can buy insurance for practically anything these days. Planning a vacation to France? Your airline, travel agent or even hotel will likely offer trip insurance in case you need to change your dates or cancel. Going to the casino?...

 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

YOU SHOULD PICK INVESTMENTS (AND TEAMS) SO YOU WIN MOST OF YOUR GAMES Sports metaphors and investing are natural pairs. A good way to look at portfolio management is the NCAA March Madness tournament. As with basketball, you should...

 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

What a start to 2019! The S&P 500 Index had its best first quarter since 1998—gaining 13.1%. Taking a deeper look at the data reveals another rare occurrence: The S&P 500 was higher each of the first three months of the year for...

 

Friday, March 29, 2019

In the third quarter of 2017, more than 2,500 small businesses were sold. The median sale price was $225,000, up from $200,000 the year before.¹ As a business owner, ascertaining the value of your business is important for a...

 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

How much do you really know about your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan? If you're like many people, you have many ideas about how your plan works, which may or may not be entirely accurate. To gauge your knowledge, take...

 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

In times of crisis, you don't want to be shaking pennies out of a piggy bank. Having a financial safety net in place can ensure that you're protected when a financial emergency arises. One way to accomplish this is by setting up a...

 

Monday, March 25, 2019

If you have a refund check coming your way, consider using it to bolster your personal balance sheet. The average refund is usually around $3,000, and most people receive the money within three weeks of filing their returns. That's a...

 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

A successful investor maximizes gain and minimizes loss. Though there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful and all investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, here are six basic...

 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

After dropping nearly 20% late last year, the S&P 500 Index has officially bounced up more than 20% from the December 24 lows. As we noted at the time, most bear markets that take place in a non-recessionary environment tend to bottom...

 

Friday, March 15, 2019

The combination of investments you choose is as important as the individual investments themselves. In fact, many experts argue that it's even more important, since the mix of various types of investments accounts for most of the ups...

 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Many parents teach their children the ABCs at a very young age, but do they teach them the ABCs of good credit? At certain points in life, everyone must deal with banks, loans, credit, and finances. You may have learned your lessons...

 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Investing with an eye toward promoting social, political, or environmental concerns (or at least not supporting activities you feel are harmful) doesn't mean you have to forgo pursuing a return on your money. Socially responsible...

 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

In case you haven't noticed, it's tax time again. You have your 1040 package, your W-2, and various 1099 forms. And, with April 15th fast approaching, it is time to get down to business. A glance at the following questions and answers...

 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Taxes can take a big bite out of your total investment returns, so it's encouraging to know that your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan may offer a variety of tax benefits. Depending on the type of plan your employer offers,...

 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

After gaining 7.8% in January, the S&P 500 Index has added another 3.3% so far in February for a grand total year-to-date return of 11.4%. With two days to go, currently this is the best first two months of the year since 1987. As we...

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Economic data have consistently missed expectations recently as investors and Wall Street have struggled to quantify the impact of global trade and political risks. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the Bloomberg U.S. Economic...

 

Friday, February 15, 2019

1. WHAT IS LONG-TERM CARE? Long-term care refers to the ongoing services and support needed by people who have chronic health conditions or disabilities. There are three levels of long-term care: Skilled care: Generally...

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

“Bulls make money, bears make money, and pigs get slaughtered.” Old Wall Street saying. The Chinese New Year (often called the Lunar New Year) kicked off Tuesday, February 5, and with it came the Year of the Pig. Although...

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

BACKGROUND The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) was a sweeping piece of legislation that significantly changed the federal gift and estate tax and the GST tax for the years 2001 through 2010. The...

 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Making decisions about your retirement account can seem overwhelming, especially if you feel unsure about your knowledge of investments. However, the following basic rules can help you make smarter choices regardless of whether you...

 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

More women are working and taking charge of their own retirement planning than ever before. What does retirement mean to you? Do you dream of traveling? Pursuing a hobby? Volunteering your time, or starting a new career or business?...

 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Diversified investors just capped one of their best months of the current economic cycle. In January, the S&P 500 Index posted its biggest monthly gain since October 2015. At the same time, the Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate Bond Index...

 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

All eyes are on the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) interest rate announcement and press conference today for signals on future policy after a volatile December. Markets have increasingly positioned for a pause in the Fed’s gradual...

 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Super Bowl indicator suggests that stocks rise for the full year when the Super Bowl winner comes from the original National Football League (now the NFC), but when an original American Football League (now the AFC) team wins,...

 

Monday, January 28, 2019

One study found that 43% of cyber attacks target small business, and 60% of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyber attack.¹ Business owners are also required to protect their customers’ personal...

 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

The baby boomers have re-defined everything they’ve touched, from music to marriage to parenting and, more lately, to what “old” means—60 is the new 50! Longer, healthier living, however, can put greater stress...

 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Recent U.S. economic data have been sending a lot of conflicting signals, and Wall Street’s economic outlook is more clouded than at any point of the cycle. Because of this, we thought we’d provide some direction from Main...

 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

We are pleased to announce the release of the LPL Research Outlook 2019: FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets, filled with investment insights and market guidance for the year ahead. After nearly 10 years of...

 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Yesterday’s U.K. Parliament vote was another bump in the road for Brexit. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the British pound and the euro have steadily declined over the past few months, weighed down in large part by...

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Most Americans know the fundamentals of good health: exercise, proper diet, sufficient sleep, regular check-ups, and no smoking or excessive alcohol. Yet, despite this knowledge, changing existing behaviors can be difficult. Look no...

 

Friday, January 11, 2019

This modern twist on the Ben Franklin maxim reflects the multiplicity of taxes to which earnings are subject in today’s world.¹ Finding ways to manage expenses is one of the cornerstones of a sound financial strategy. Here...

 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Stocks have rebounded strongly off the December lows, with the S&P 500 Index adding 2% in January to its 7% gain over the last week of 2018. We see potential for further gains ahead given the fundamentals supporting economic growth and...

 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Conventional wisdom says that what goes up, must come down. But even if you view market volatility as a normal occurrence, it can be tough to handle when it's your money at stake. Though there's no foolproof way to handle the ups and...

 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

It’s not simply a matter of working harder; it’s much more about using your non-financial skills and talents in new ways to bring you prosperity and a greater sense of personal satisfaction. Here are five tips to follow...

 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Recent Federal Reserve (Fed) rhetoric has spooked financial markets, especially as uncertainty has clouded investors’ horizons. But we still believe the fundamental U.S. economic landscape is compelling, and despite market...

 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

On Monday, the S&P 500 Index came about as close as possible to the technical definition of a bear market without officially registering one (defined as a 20% or larger decline based on closing prices). Enduring these sharp declines...

 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what...

 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

As days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, it may feel like there is little time to catch up on all of your financial responsibilities. Sometimes it may be easier to simply toss ATM receipts, credit card bills, and bank...

 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

S&P 500 Index Reaches Bear Market on an Intra-Day Basis. While the S&P 500 Index is technically not in a bear market by the most widely used definition (20% or more decline based on closing prices), it is important to recognize that...

 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Have you ever had one of those months? The water heater stops heating, the dishwasher stops washing and your family ends up on a first-name basis with the nurse at urgent care. Then, as you’re driving to work, giving yourself...

 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Purchasing homeowner’s insurance is not only critical for protecting your home and personal property against any potential liability; if you have a mortgage, your lender will require it. WHAT’S COVERED A homeowner’s...

 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Tip: One key difference between a will and a living trust is when they take effect. A will takes effect when you die; a living trust takes effect when you execute it and begins to operate when you transfer assets to it. DO YOU HAVE A...

 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pursuing your retirement dreams is challenging enough without making some common, and very avoidable, mistakes. Here are eight big mistakes to steer clear of, if possible. 1. No Strategy:Yes, the biggest mistake is having no strategy...

 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A flurry of new investment products, the emergence of global investing, the shift from company-funded pension plans to employee-driven retirement plans (like 401(k) plans), and uncertainty about Social Security have all contributed to...

 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Most understand that waiting to claim Social Security benefits can result in higher monthly payments. However, many don’t know that there are other ways to maximize their benefits, some of which depend on their marital status....