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Monday, December 10, 2018

We’re off to a slow start. December is usually the best month of the year for the stock market. It has been since 1950, according to Randall Forsyth of Barron’s, but not so far this year. Two issues made investors...

 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Hold on to your hats! Recently, stocks have delivered a wild ride. During Thanksgiving week, U.S. stock markets took investor uncertainty on the chin, suffering a 3.8 percent drop, which was the worst performance in eight months. Then,...

 

Monday, November 26, 2018

It was a turkey of a week. The United States and China continued to spar over trade and other issues. An expert from Moody’s told Frank Tang of the South China Morning Post (SCMP) the United States-China dispute will not be...

 

Monday, November 12, 2018

How are you feeling about financial markets? Some votes are still being counted but investors appear to be happy with the outcome of mid-term elections. Major U.S. stock indices in the United States moved higher last week, and the...

 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Stocks recovered some ground last week and then stumbled over unemployment. Major U.S. stock indices faltered Friday after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on a popular ‘lagging’ economic indicator –...

 

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Why did the stock market fall when the economy is doing well? The answer is that one reflects the past and the other anticipates the future. Last Friday’s advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed the U.S....

 

Monday, October 22, 2018

The world remains full of opportunities and challenges. Although we’ve seen global markets moving in tandem in recent years, Sara Potter of FactSet pointed out, “…we’re starting to see the end of the...

 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Like an unexpected gust of wind that blows the hat off your head or flips your umbrella inside out, last week’s stock market performance startled investors. Looking back, it’s easy to identify some of the factors that may...

 

Monday, October 8, 2018

The stock market tends to be a leading economic indicator. Last week offered some insight to economics and stock market behavior. The U.S. unemployment rate reached its lowest level since 1969 and wages moved higher, yet major U.S....

 

Monday, October 1, 2018

It wasn’t headline news… But, if newsprint was still popular, last week’s key economic news would have appeared below the fold. The Federal Reserve raised rates for the third time in 2018, as expected. In addition,...

 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Did you hear the news? A tech company introduced a microwave you can turn on using Wi-Fi – as long as you have one of the company’s voice assistants at home, reported Kaitlyn Tiffany of Vox. Soon, the voice assistants will...

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

All investors are consumers, but not all consumers are investors. The September installment of the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Survey reported Americans are feeling pretty optimistic. Consumer sentiment rose to...

 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Remember: Volatility is normal. Major U.S. stock market indices climbed into record territory during August. They gave back some gains last week. Peter Wells of Financial Times explained: “Speculation about a fresh round of...

 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Where is our country’s biggest export market? Markets were fired up last week after the United States and Mexico agreed on new trade rules. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index reached an all-time high and finished the...

 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Tick, Tock. Not everybody loves meetings and even fewer enjoy reading the minutes, but investors make an exception with the Federal Reserve. This week the Fed published the minutes from its August 1 meeting. While no changes were made...

 

Monday, August 20, 2018

As Maxwell Smart used to say… Missed it by THAT much! After a rocky start, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index came within 1 percent of an all-time high last week, reported Ben Levisohn for Barron’s. It’s...

 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Let’s talk Turkey! So, how did a country that represents just about 1.4 percent of the world’s economy spark a global selloff? Turkey was once a rising star. The country’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan took...

 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Capital gains tax reform comes with a big price tag: $100 billion over 10 years. A capital gain is any increase in the value of an asset, such as an investment, a home, land, etc., between its purchase and its sale. The amount of a...

 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Is it a sugar rush or something more sustainable? Economic growth in the United States was strong during the second quarter. Gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all goods and services produced in the United States, grew...

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Last week, there was some good news and some notable news. Here’s the good news: Corporate earnings have been strong. As of July 20, 17 percent of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had reported second-quarter...

 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Investors are becoming more discriminating. Trade tensions escalated as the U.S. administration expanded tariffs on Chinese goods last week. You wouldn’t have known by watching the performance of benchmark indices, though. Just...

 

Monday, July 9, 2018

What a rollercoaster of a quarter! When it comes to the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Sentiment Survey, respondents tend to be more bullish than bearish about U.S. stock markets. The survey’s historical...

 

Monday, July 2, 2018

There’s a bear in China – and it’s not a panda. The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) Composite Index, which reflects the performance of all shares that trade on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, dropped into bear market...

 

Monday, June 25, 2018

What time is it? The yield curve may be the pocket watch of economic indicators. It’s been around for a long time and it’s often right, but not always. The yield curve is the difference between the interest paid on two-year...

 

Monday, June 11, 2018

G whiz! Never before could the Group of 7 (G7) Summit have been mistaken for reality TV. The generally dignified annual meeting of leaders from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom (along...

 

Monday, June 4, 2018

If the countries were instruments, last week sounded like a fifth grade garage band. World markets were buffeted by a clamor of good, bad, and unexpected news last week. Events that captured media and investor attention included:...

 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Geopolitical uncertainty didn’t dent U.S. stocks last week. Geopolitics is the intersection of geography, economics, and politics. Last week, there were some fine examples of the ways geopolitical events can create uncertainty....

 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Too much? Too little? Or just right? U.S. stock markets were relatively calm, although they finished the week lower. U.S. Treasury yields hit a 7-year high and finished the week above 3 percent. While these were notable, the most...

 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Splash! How do employers lure staff in a tightening labor market? The curly tail grubs and spinnies of the business world are higher wages and better benefits. During the past decade, the employment picture in the United States has...

 

Monday, May 7, 2018

What in the world? A lot happened last week. Some of the notable events included: Trade talks between the United States and China. The talks were described as “frank, efficient, and constructive,” although significant...

 

Monday, April 30, 2018

A meeting of the minds. The Federal Reserve and the U.S. bond market appear to be in agreement about the direction of interest rates. For more years than anyone cares to count, investment professionals have been predicting the end of...

 

Monday, April 23, 2018

The world is in debt. The April 2018 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Fiscal Monitor reported global debt has reached a historically high level. In 2016, debt peaked at 225 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) (the value of...

 

Monday, April 16, 2018

What do you think? Are you bullish, bearish, or neutral about the U.S. stock market? Are U.S. stocks undervalued, overvalued, or fairly valued? What is the biggest threat the U.S. stock market faces this year? During the first four...

 

Monday, April 9, 2018

You could almost hear the spurs jingling. Trade tensions ratcheted higher last week as the United States and China staked new positions on the not-so-dusty main street of trade. It was the latest round of posturing in what has the...

 

Monday, April 2, 2018

In like a lion… Investors roared into 2018. During the first week of the first quarter of the New Year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 25,000 for the first time ever. Less than two weeks later, it closed above 26...

 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Why am I saving and investing? After a week like last week, it’s an important question. There are many reasons people save and invest, including to: Live the life they want today and in the future Accumulate resources so...

 

Monday, March 19, 2018

It’s a good time for a gut check. Last week, after sliding lower for four days, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index recouped some of its losses on Friday. The reasons behind the week’s poor showing were diverse....

 

Monday, March 12, 2018

It’s a bird…It’s a plane…It’s a labor shortage! There is little doubt the Millennial generation has been reshaping our world. One of the most remarkable aspects of this demographic group is a preference...

 

Monday, March 5, 2018

As Yogi Berra once said: It’s déjà vu all over again. Last week, global stock markets took a bit of a dip after President Trump announced a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum. Tariffs are...

 

Monday, February 26, 2018

­Weekly Market Commentary February 26, 2018 The Markets U.S. Treasuries are offering a lesson in supply and demand. Last week, the U.S. Treasury auctioned $258 billion in bonds. Treasury auctions are the way the United States...

 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

As New York Fashion Week ended, inflation strutted its stuff. Ever since the Federal Reserve began raising the Fed funds rate in 2015, analysts have been anticipating higher inflation. The fact that price increases remained relatively...

 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Back to reality... After months of eerie calm, stock market volatility has returned. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) – a measure of how turbulent investors expect stock markets to be during the next 30 days – appeared to...

 

Monday, February 5, 2018

It was not a good week for stocks. Last week, stock markets around the world lost value. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500), Dow Jones Industrial Index (Dow), and NASDAQ all finished lower. Some...

 

Monday, January 29, 2018

The numbers are coming in. Publicly-traded companies report their earnings and sales numbers for the previous quarter in the current quarter. For example, fourth quarter’s sales and earnings are reported during the first quarter...

 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Last week, the United States government might as well have hung a sign on the front door of the Capitol that read, “Gone negotiating. We’ll be back in…however long it takes.” In 2013, the U.S. government closed...

 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Inflation, inflation, where’s the inflation? The U.S. Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates in anticipation of higher inflation. In its 2018 forecast, Goldman Sachs indicated it expected to see “a gradual increase...

 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Whoosh! Bang! Flash! Fizz! Whistle! U.S. stock markets delivered their own version of fireworks to celebrate the New Year. During the first week of 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a new all-time high, moving above 25,000 for...

 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Will Interest Rates Move Higher? The last bear market in bonds began in the middle of the last century and lasted for about 31 years. Some investors who bought bonds in 1950 locked in relatively low rates of return for a very long time...

 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

How good was 2017? It was so good, the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index finished in positive territory every month for the first time ever (on a total return basis), reported Barron’s. All major U.S. indices finished the...

 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

It’s time to turn your mind to taxes. Last week, President Trump signed tax reform, officially titled ‘An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal...

 

Monday, December 11, 2017

I've increasingly had clients and in general, everybody asks our opinion on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Here's my opinion, I don't fully understand it and even if I did it's too risky for my money. The one thing I will say though is...

 

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Markets “It's the hap- happiest season of all.” While holidays don’t make everyone happy, investors should be feeling festive. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is up more than 18 percent year-to-date. The...

 

Monday, December 4, 2017

What will it take to shake investors’ confidence? From the perspective of unsettling events, last week was jam-packed. North Korea claimed to have the capability to strike the United States with a nuclear missile, tax reform...

 

Monday, November 27, 2017

There was a lot to be thankful for last week. Stock markets around the world may have ripened to full-slip sweetness this year. Emerging markets have delivered the most attractive returns year-to-date. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index...

 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Are investors more like tigers or African wild dogs? It appears investors – retail and institutional – have become rather like predators. They patiently stalk shares, waiting for a dip, and then they strike – buying...

 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Selling it overseas pays off. Most of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index have reported third quarter earnings per share (EPS), which is the profit earned per share of stock outstanding during the period....

 

Monday, November 6, 2017

“Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s statement is engraved on the front of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, D.C. Some people agree...

 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The last full week of October was a box full of surprises. First, U.S. economic growth exceeded expectations. The devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria was widely expected to stifle U.S. quarterly growth, according...

 

Monday, September 25, 2017

“I can’t get invested right now.” That’s the statement a recent prospective client said to me. “Why not?” I replied back. “The markets are too high and it’s a bubble, and I’m...

 

Monday, September 18, 2017

From May through July, hackers exploited a website vulnerability at Equifax, one of the major consumer credit reporting agencies. If you have a credit report, there is a chance your sensitive and personal information including Social...

 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Understanding your risk tolerance is complex, and the standard questionnaire provided by financial planners may not capture an accurate picture. One reason is they sometimes combine different aspects of the risk profile that should be...

 

Monday, August 7, 2017

I had a colleague write me the other day and the email simply said, “I hate this market.” No other context was given besides his brief statement. Now normally this statement wouldn’t really give me pause, but then I...

 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

We believe that advisors can play a critical role in their client’s investment success, and that their role as a behavioral coach can be an important contribution to that endgame. But, behavioral coaching is most effective in the...

 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

- CNN Money, March 6th 2009: Stocks staged a comeback late Friday afternoon, with the Dow and S&P 500 bouncing after hitting 12-year lows on a bleak February jobs report and more worries about the bank sector. The Dow Jones industrial...

 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Roman poet Virgil once said in the epic poem The Aeneid. “I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts.” This line was in relation to the Trojan horse left by the Greeks to gain entry into the walled city of Troy. The...

 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sentiment and psychology are the true boogeyman of the investing world. Except this boogeyman just happens to be real. Sentiment is the one of the huge drivers of stock prices, and it normally happens at the most inexplicable times....

 

Friday, November 4, 2016

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness...

 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Lately, client meetings have revolved around one topic, the American Presidential Election. American’s top three concerns at any given time are the economy, their job, and money. Not particularly in that order, but if you ask...

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The market hasn’t cooperated lately. On the other hand, it hasn’t been uncooperative either. It’s simply in a pause, a stick in the mud, a stump that won’t move you could say. It has been bouncing around its...

 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions trade federal funds (balances held at Federal Reserve Banks) with each other overnight. When a depository institution has surplus balances in its reserve...

 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Benjamin Franklin once remarked there are two certainties in life, death and taxes. One is an inevitable part of being a mere mortal on this flying rock, and the other is the price you pay for a civilized society. In my line of work...

 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Investing is tough, plain and simple. The psychological anguish is probably the biggest hurdle most clients have to deal with day in and day out. The 24-hour news flow, the internet, phones, the talking heads…you get the idea....

 

Friday, July 1, 2016

I remember sitting there last Thursday night annoyed that once again the Minnesota Twins were getting shellacked by the Phillies. At least the Bay area teams were holding their own, I thought. The Giants were up on the Pirates, and the...

 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Voters in the United Kingdom decisively opted to leave the European Union on Thursday, favoring Brexit over staying by an unexpectedly high margin of almost three percentage points. Polls showed that support for leaving the EU revolved...

 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My weekly talking points are snippets of ideas that are pertinent to today’s markets. They come from my readings, American history background, and from 30 years’ experience trading and investing in the American Capital...

 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My weekly talking points are snippets of ideas that are pertinent to today’s markets. They come from my readings, American history background, and from 30 years’ experience trading and investing in the American Capital...

 

Friday, October 16, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson My weekly talking points are snippets of ideas that are pertinent to today’s markets. They come from my readings, American history background, and from 30 years’ experience trading and investing in the...

 

Monday, October 5, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson My weekly talking points are snippets of ideas that are pertinent to today’s markets. They come from my readings, American history background, and from 30 years’ experience trading and investing in the...

 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My weekly talking points are snippets of ideas that are pertinent to today’s markets. They come from my readings, American history background, and from 30 years’ experience trading and investing in the American Capital...

 

Monday, September 21, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson My weekly talking points are snippets of ideas that are pertinent to today’s markets. They come from my readings, American history background, and from 30 years’ experience trading and investing in the...

 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson My weekly talking points are snippets of ideas that are pertinent to today’s markets. They come from my readings, American history background, and from 30 years’ experience trading and investing in the...

 

Monday, August 17, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson My weekly talking points are snippets of ideas that are pertinent to today’s markets. They come from my readings, American history background, and from 30 years’ experience trading and investing in the...

 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson My weekly talking points are snippets of ideas that are pertinent to today’s markets. They come from my readings, American history background, and from 30 years’ experience trading and investing in the...

 

Monday, June 22, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson My weekly talking points are snippets of ideas that are pertinent to today’s markets. They come from my readings, American history background, and from 30 years’ experience trading and investing in the...

 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Here I bring you my 10 talking points for the week. These are things that I think are important to note in the market. This also is way for my clients and readers to drill down and block out the background noise of the day to day...

 

Monday, June 8, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson Here I bring you my 10 talking points for the week. These are things that I think are important to note in the market. This also is way for my clients and readers to drill down and block out the background noise of...

 

Monday, June 1, 2015

1. Last week we talked about risk and how investors tend to focus on sensational risks that may never happen. 2. Newsletters, the media, pundits constantly argue about the possibility of some dramatic event that will collapse stock...

 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

1. Last week we talked about risk and how it’s misunderstood. We pointed out that your biggest long term financial risk was failure to build your wealth + investing enough for retirement. 2. There are many risks associated with...

 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson 1. What does the concept “risk” really mean when applied to the financial markets? 2. Some pundits oversimplify the term by saying it means, “you will lose money,” or even “you could...

 

Monday, May 11, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson Here I bring you my 10 talking points for the week. These are things that I think are important to note in the market. This also is way for my clients and readers to drill down and block out the background noise of...

 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson Here I bring you my 10 talking points for the week. These are things that I think are important to note in the market. This also is way for my clients and readers to drill down and block out the background noise of...

 

Monday, April 27, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson 1. The market continues to grind higher. The noteworthy event is that the NASDAQ eclipsed its 2000 high—finally. It took 15 years.1 2. 1st Quarter earnings have been relatively strong, at least as of now. 3....

 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson In future posts will be switching to Scott's 10 talking points for the week. People seem to like numbered lists and so do we. Enjoy! 1. Get used to this volatility. The Dow, down 300, up 200, and so on. There are a...

 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson Fridays Jobs report came in at 126,000 while analysts had estimated 245,000.1 And, February’s total jobs number was revised down to give more credence to a US economic slowdown. This will lead to more...

 

Monday, March 23, 2015

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

By D. Scott Peterson BEWARE THE NOISE Each weekend I use Saturday a.m. to research and study what the markets are up to. It’s very easy to get lost in market noise with the national media manufacturing drama with every twist and...

 

Monday, March 9, 2015

By Jess Peterson It seems to be happening more and more these days where I find myself in front of a dooms sayer lecturing me on the market, government, Obama, the dollar, and the UN. I don’t know where exactly these people come...

 

Monday, February 23, 2015

A short list of articles we wish to share with clients and our readers. Sometimes the list will be longer or shorter depending on the news from that week. Once again some of the articles may have to do with investing while others may...

 

Friday, February 20, 2015

The French playwright Moliere once remarked, "The duty of comedy is to correct men by amusing them." Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary political special embodies that quote. SNL is for lack of a better term an institution in the...

 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

This blog will hopefully turn into something that clients and people searching for financial advice and sanity will come to read and enjoy. This blog won't be dedicated only to retirement advice and investing themes or portfolio...