The past several weeks has seen the first pandemic in the era of social media. The last H1N1 Influenza pandemic was in 2009. In 2009, Facebook was young (founded 2004) and Twitter was in its infancy (founded 2006).
In addition to a handful of other major factors, the Covid-19 coronavirus is descending on the planet during: a US Presidential election year, a high-level fight over oil between the Saudis and Russia AND immediately following an almost 11-year UP stock market in the US.
Staying positive in a negative interest rate world just got a little easier. Sweden’s central bank, one of the world’s first to lower benchmark interest rates to below zero, this week raised its rate up to zero from negative 0.25%, or -0.25%.
After a year – really a decade – of excellent returns in the stock market, and for 2019 in the stock AND bond markets, it makes sense to ask, “WHAT IF?” As in, what if certain events take place in the markets or economy that could spoil the last several years of positive portfolio returns? Naturally then, there would be a handful of guesses or responses to the “what if” questions.
There have been lots of trends (mostly good) in real estate this year.
Existing home sales have been mostly UP and exceeding expectations
New home sales are near a 12-year high
Interestingly, a statistic that can be seen as mostly positive (for certain suburbs) but partly negative (for certain major cities) is that the Millennials who are between the ages of 25 and 39 have shown interest in moving OUT of several major cities.
Does it seem to you that with the stock market rebound since late December that you feel “good” or “better” today than you felt in early January?
If you DO feel good, that “good” feeling today may not be as strong as the “pain” you felt in January following December’s big decline.
If you do NOT feel “good” or “better” today, is it attributable to the markets? (Unlikely) A job or the economy? Family? The political environment?
The reason I ask is that good and bad feelings – especially related to the stock markets – come and go. However, extensive research* says that “bad” or “painful” times are felt more strongly than “good” times. Maybe good is boring but I would rather have good than bad.Continue reading “Is Good Boring?”
This edition of TGIF 2 Minutes originally ran on February 16, 2018 just after the (now) temporary 12% decline in the Dow Jones, which ended as a 6% decline for the month.
Typically, I do not get too far “into the weeds” of technical terms in my TGIF 2 Minutes messages. However – this has not been a typical last two weeks in the markets – at least not “typical” as defined by the past several years of gradually UP markets (and portfolios) month after month. Thus, a short walkinto the weeds to talk a little about inflationis warranted – and may shed light on the volatility we have experienced lately with more likely to come over the next months and year or so.
See this visual of a rocket launch* – and not just any rocket launch, the Falcon Heavy launch as photographed by a friend of mine with years of clearance for NASA rocket launches – as an appropriate comparison to what inflation can look like. Continue reading “Inflation Revisited”
“TGIF 2 Minutes” was never meant to simply report current events. Rather, my intent is to highlight topics in personal finance – or a current topic – that affects your financial life and decision-making. BUT (there is always a “but”) certain pieces of news affect our mindset – both positively and negatively – and if I can comment on how to avoid letting the news sway you too far either way financially-speaking, then I believe it worth commenting!
ECONOMIC TIMES ARE GOOD! This week the revised U.S. GDP report (the key measure of economic growth) revealed a strong, strong US economy. There is a reason I am mentioning this news as it relates to our mindset for making all sorts of major spending and savings decisions – decisions for us, our families and businesses in the short-term and longer-term.
As we sip our coffee and start our weekends or workdays there is a group of economists, Federal Reserve officials and finance ministers from the U.S. and around the world gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for three days. Why is this worth mentioning?