The term beneficiary crops up every now and again. Usually you’ll see it on an insurance form or hear about it in relation to a will, but despite the casualness we toss the term around with, beneficiaries are incredibly important.
If you’ve been listening to the financial media of late you have no doubt heard some experts prognosticating on the prospect of the next big bear market. Unquestionably, the stock market is at another crossroads that belies the concerns that most people have over the global economy. Even if their predictions are correct, should we be at all concerned? In the overall scheme of things, should we fear bear markets?
It has only been since the Baby Boomer generation began to cross the retirement threshold that we’ve had to seriously confront the new challenge of our longevity. Although most of us are now bracing for the probability of living 20 to 30 years in retirement (nearly double the retirement life spans of our grandparents), what isn’t quite as clear is that our actual longevity is a moving target. That is, the older we get, our life expectancy increases, and that can have serious implications for the way we plan for our retirement income.
Young families with an eye to the future are faced with a daunting choice – to save earnestly for a secure retirement or to save for their children’s education. Can you do both? Certainly it is possible; however, with the cost of a college education and retirement (thanks to health care costs) rising faster than the rate of inflation, just targeting one of those goals with savings is no sure thing.
While the equity markets here in the U.S. have cooled off over the last year or so compared to their strong run through 2014, they still remain near their all-time highs. Between a Federal Reserve manipulated low interest rate environment, an ongoing profits recession, and extended valuation levels, concerns have mounted over the sustainability of the current move higher in equity prices.
At its core, diversification is deliberate uncertainty, recognizing that it is difficult to know which particular subset of an asset class, or sector is likely to outperform another. Broad diversification, done effectively, seeks to capture the returns of different types of investments over time but with less volatility at any one time. Diversification done right should produce long term returns that either outperform or reduce the risks of portfolios that are too heavily weighted in any one security, sector, or asset class. There are, however, four vital keys to effective diversification that must be understood and effectively applied to ensure long term success:
With the recent market volatility brought about by last week’s historic Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom, here are our thoughts and opinions concerning the referendum and the potential investment implications this vote may have.
Jeff Spitzmiller June 29, 2016
As our lives become more intertwined with the Internet it may be only a matter of time before all of our important data is stored in this vast “cloud” of bits and bytes. Most people are well on their way with online banking and bill paying, e-tax filing, email, document storage vaults, Social Security information, and soon we will be making payments using our smart phones.&nbs