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February 25, 2020
Market Commentary- 2/25/2020

Risk on or risk off?
The coronavirus appears to have inspired two distinct schools of thought among investors. Some investors currently favor opportunities that are considered lower risk, like Treasury bonds and gold, because they’re concerned about the potential impact of the coronavirus on the global economy. Others are piling into higher risk assets, like stocks, that could benefit if central banks (like the United States Federal Reserve) take steps to stimulate economic growth, reported Randall Forsyth of Barron’s.
Currently, the Federal Reserve (Fed) is holding interest rates steady.

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February 18, 2020
Market Commentary - 2/18/2020

Many stock markets around the world moved higher last week.

Investors’ optimism in the face of economic headwinds has confounded some in the financial services industry. Laurence Fletcher and Jennifer Ablan of Financial Times cited several money managers who believe investors have become complacent. One theory is investors’ buy-the-dip mentality has become so firmly ingrained that any price drop is seen as a buying opportunity, regardless of share price valuation.

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February 11, 2020
Retirement: You've Got This!

Not everyone is financially prepared for retirement. Earlier this year, the Employee Benefit Research Institute estimated almost 41 percent of American households will run short of money in retirement. That’s an improvement over 2014 when almost 43 percent of 35- to 64-year-olds were unprepared.

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February 11, 2020
Market Commentary - 2/11/2020

Last week, major U.S. indices posted strong gains. That’s welcome news, but the drivers behind share price appreciation appear to have little to do with company fundamentals.

Fourth quarter earnings season is underway. During earnings season, companies let investors know how profitable they were during the previous quarter. With 45 percent of companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index reporting, earnings are slightly down. If the trend continues, this will be the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year earnings declines, according to FactSet.

Falling company profits, in tandem with rising share prices, have made U.S. stocks relatively expensive.

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February 4, 2020
Market Commentary - 2/4/2020

Prepare yourself. There is a good chance markets will be volatile in the coming weeks.

Precautions designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus may also slow Chinese economic growth and, by extension, global economic growth.

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January 29, 2020
Do You Know What Your Smartphone Can Do?

Since 2011, the number of Americans owning smartphones has increased from 35 percent to 81 percent, although there remains a significant digital divide, demographically. A Pew Research survey found the vast majority of younger Americans rely on smartphones, while just 53 percent of the 65-and-over crowd use the devices.1 Americans who have embraced the technology […]

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January 28, 2020
Market Commentary - 1/28/2020

Markets hunkered down last week.

News of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China unsettled investors around the world. The respiratory infection is related to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), reported WebMD.

Previous virus outbreaks have affected global economic growth. Research into pandemic preparedness suggests extreme events can reduce global annual income by 0.6 percent per year (including mortality and income loss). Lower income often is equated with slower economic growth.

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January 21, 2020
Market Commentary - 1/21/2020

The new trade deals are here!

The United States and China signed a preliminary trade deal last week. The next day, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was approved by the Senate.

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January 15, 2020
Market Commentary - 1/14/2020

It was a nerve-wracking week. Iran fired 22 ballistic missiles at the Ain Al Asad air base near western Iraq and a second base in northern Iraq following last week’s U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian military commander. Newsweek reported the bases suffered minimal damage and there were no casualties from the attack. […]

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