Whatever, whoever you want to call them: Beneficiaries, “Bennys”, Heirs… make sure to check who is listed as Beneficiary or Beneficiaries on your retirement accounts, insurance policies, IRAs or in your Will (if you have a Will).*
Inevitably, time flies. Loved ones pass away or important loved ones, well, change. (Think: divorce, relationship changes). On the positive side, new beneficiaries, or heirs, are born or enter the picture! In the busy-ness of life, often the accuracy of beneficiaries goes unchecked.
There is an element of luck involved in investing. A specific term for this luck is, “Sequence of Returns.” What on earth is that? Answer: it is a risk. And it may just be the most important concept in the world if you ever wish to spend your savings – and have them last as long as you need.
Over what will undoubtedly be a most unusual Memorial Day weekend the possible topics of conversation will be endless. Everything is fair game this year – especially politics (and maybe sex and religion too). Also high on the list will likely be:
what is proper social distancing
kids’ drive-by graduation celebrations
how many Zoom cocktail hours were held in the past 8-10 weeks.
A couple of points of perspective to this very hectic open to the US stock markets:
There are comparisons today and the past two weeks to the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The US stock markets were most volatile n Fridays and Mondays throughout late 2008 with financial institution failures that took place over or near weekends – Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers…and then Merrill Lynch.
With this week’s fast and furious weakness in US and global stock markets – primarily based on spread of the Coronavirus – the next “shoe to fall” likely will be slower short-term economic growth in parts of the US and definitely longer, more pronounced slow-downs in China. These types of slowdowns do happen as a part of market cycles. This situation also got me to thinking about how economic slowdowns, often over decades, have benefited beer and alcohol sales.
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?”
These are not times for the faint of heart. Almost every day we have been battered with news of geopolitical challenges, tariffs, Federal government partial shut-downs, Brexits, Federal Reserve policy changes, polar vortexes… all amidst new all-time highs for stocks accompanied by the worst December for the S&P since 1931.
It is always helpful to define where stand today and understand a few points about how we got here. So as a sequel to my last post, here are a handful of data points about today’s economy and market stats from the recent past. Several of these may surprise you.
And not just any Saturday. The Saturday just 3 days before Christmas! And, the Saturday following a week of sharp stock market declines and abrupt political events. In fact, a Saturday capping off an entire year of unfamiliar volatility and weakness in the stock market.