By now, most investors know that in late February of this year through mid-March the stock markets kind of crashed. It was a matter of 31 days from February 20th to March 23rd….not that I had to look that up or anything.
It was swift and ugly. And then, the stock markets both suddenly and slowly recovered, hitting it big in April and then gradually reaching new all-time records by September. Hmmmm… how does that work? Is it “free markets”? More buyers than sellers? Individuals throwing money at stocks?
After talking with a number of clients and friends in the past couple of weeks it became apparent that a breakdown of YTD stock market performance would be informative. There are major pronounced differences currently in the various stock categories. An explanation of these differences could illuminate why certain portfolios have gone up (or down) more than others.
Please note that this discussion is not meant to minimize the importance of performance. Performance is critical; however, the time frame of performance evaluation and the concept of progress toward achieving goals are even more critical to successful investing.
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.
If anything has been important since mid-February 2020 it has been being mentally strong and resilient – or having friends and family who are mentally strong to lean on. Believe it or not, this has nearly always been the case with investing.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE!
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal alluded to the concepts of mental strength, resilience – and process – amidst the coronavirus.
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.
What Emoji are you feeling these days when it comes to your financial life? Recall that an “emoji” is that little character that expresses an emotion using the keys on your computer or phone keyboard. Happiness, joy, confusion or sadness… there’s an emoji for it all. But just because the markets have been mostly joy … :o) … does not mean that your financial life is all joy and satisfaction. (That is the “uncertainty/confused” emoji.)
Did you finish your taxes? Technically you have until Tuesday, April 17th to file – and pay if you owe – because of Emancipation Day in Washington, DC on Monday, April 16th AND a Sunday being April 15th.
Last year was bitter-sweet for taxpayers and investors. The stock markets enjoyed gains, gains, gains in 2017 – almost the 9th year in a row – and the economy delivered mostly good things in the way of jobs and incomes. There are always exceptions, of course, but 2017 was mostly a great year economically and investments-wise. So even though you probably paid more in taxes and likely had less investment losses to offset gains, it was a positive year. Remember, rebalancingyour portfolio is a critical tool but one that can create taxable gains — and an attentive, qualified adviser will guide you to minimizing inevitable taxes on a profitable portfolio. Continue reading “Onward to Tax Year 2018”
Welcome to 2018. In checking out Dictionary.com I found:
“No rest for the weary definition. You must keep persevering no matter how tired or overworked you are.”
This could be the mantra of my readers, no matter if you are in your first job, running a company, or retired. If you want to be successful and informed, it takes hard work to wake up – and keep up – in America today. Continue reading “No Rest for the Weary”
Are you familiar with the saying, “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while”?
The year of 2017 (and every year since 2009) in the stock markets could fall under this category – and prove dangerous to those not recognizing or admitting this reality. In other words when the S&P 500, the index of the largest and most recognizable companies in America, rises every year (including dividends) for 9 years in a row (and was up over 13.5% in 6 out of those 9 years) we have been given a slightly false sense of security that investing is easy.
Last week we explored Quadrant #1 of Saving, or Personal Vision. This week we take the next step beyond vision to build a portfolio that attempts to bring the vision to life… at some point in the future.
This is what “Quadrant #2 of Saving” is all about: Building a Portfolio.
Unfortunately, this step is often mistakenly addressed first (prior to the vision step) by investors and less-qualified advisers alike. Why? Because the portfolio is the part everyone likes to talk about! Of course, the portfolio is essential; but success depends first on Quadrant #1 and addressing the “Commonly Overlooked” items (see last week’s edition). A plan must be in place to build the savings that go into the portfolio — no savings, no portfolio.Continue reading “Quadrant #2 of Saving: Personal Vision”