Interest Rates on the Rise: What Does This Mean for the Stock Market?

The Federal Reserve (Fed) raised interest rates for the second time this year.  The Fed’s policy-setting committee raised the interest rate at which banks lend overnight funds to other banks by 0.25% to a range of 1.00% to 1.25%.  The markets were widely anticipating the increase, with the move signaling Fed optimism about the overall health of the U.S. economy.  While indications of an improving economic landscape are usually celebrated by Wall Street, many investors continue to worry about the effects of future interest rate hikes on stocks and bonds.

What Should You Do When Markets Hit New Highs?

2016 began with a bang (in a bad way) — with the stock market falling in a hurry. In fact, it was the worst 10 day start to a calendar year in history. From the beginning of the year to January 15th, the U.S. stock market (as measured by the S&P 500 Index) had dropped over 8%.  The S&P 500 hit its low for 2016 on February 11th, 6 closing at 1829.08, a decline in excess of 10.5% for the year.

A New Investment Account for the Disabled

This summer, states have begun rolling out a new type of investment account that is tailored to help families take care of children and adults with special needs.

The ABLE account is a tax-advantaged vehicle for individuals with disabilities that will allow families to save without jeopardizing government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid. 

Are You Caught in the Middle?

Many clients today are caught in the “sandwich generation” where they are caring for elderly parents as well as their children. An important thing for these caregivers to remember is to care for themselves! As in the safety discussion on an airplane, you put on your own oxygen mask first. You can’t help anyone else when you don’t have enough oxygen yourself.

Having Second Thoughts About Social Security Payments

The most popular start date for Social Security is 62, which is the earliest age possible. Among women, 48% start their Social Security checks at that age versus 42% of men.

While the vast majority of people are happy with their decision regarding the timing of their Social Security benefits, some people regret what they’ve done.

The good news is that for some Social Security recipients it is possible to undo this pivotal decision.  

Celebrating 25 Years of Service to Our Clients

At the tail end of what had been a relatively quiet quarter, global stock markets suffered a sharp two-day sell-off following the surprise vote on June 23rd by the United Kingdom to exit the European Union.  Despite the dire predictions made immediately after the vote, the decline was short-lived.  The major global indices rebounded to pre-Brexit levels or higher by the end of the quarter.  In fact, the second quarter ended on a positive note for most asset classes.

Asset class returns for the quarter and year-to-date were as follows: