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Beginning with the first paycheck you received, you’ve likely been hearing a consistent message from family, friends and employers encouraging you to save for retirement. While this is certainly invaluable guidance, it’s not clear to most how much should be saved to reach a goal of financial independence. Are you on track for a successful retirement?
Shaken Not Stirred
James Bond usually gets roughed up pretty good as he goes about his missions, but invariably comes out golden in the end. And like 007’s infamous martini, global stocks markets were shaken in August and September, only to recover vigorously in October as the S&P had its best month since 2011 with an 8.4% return.
Commodities and Emerging Markets have performed poorly in the last few years. Should you sell low?
While it would be fun to hold a Portfolio in which all of the asset classes were going up at the same time, it would be a nightmare if they were all moving down at once.
To protect against epic losses, investors seek uncorrelated returns — asset classes that behave dissimilarly so that a portfolio’s ingredients don’t all move in the same direction at the same time.
But diversified portfolios should be built with the knowledge that including uncorrelated assets means always having to endure pain in part of the portfolio. That part will be going down or remaining flat, since it tends to move differently from the uncorrelated part that is going up.
Several years of unusual calm in equity markets gave way to a succession of sharp swings in the last quarter as investors reacted to a plethora of concerns. The net result was the worst quarter in four years with the Vanguard Total Stock Index tumbling 7.3%, and the Vanguard Total International Index losing 11.6%.
Are you on track to reach your retirement goals?
Those that fail to plan, plan to fail. We all know the old adage, but finding the time to sit down and create a retirement income plan can be daunting, and about as exciting as a trip to the dentist. Fortunately, Ascensus offers a Retirement Calculator on their website which takes the pain out of the process. This tutorial will answer common questions that arise while competing the tool.
When you weigh risk, you are attempting to predict future outcomes without knowing whether the results you expect will actually occur. With recent market volatility stemming from a myriad of issues, it may sometimes seem impossible to accurately foresee which risks will have the most impact. More than ever before, it is important to understand the nature of risk, how it affects you and your money, and what you can do to manage it.
By rethinking risk, you can set yourself up at the top of the food chain to beat the sharks at their own game and capture your share of investment returns.
Portfolio rebalancing is like a tune-up for your car: it allows individuals to keep their risk level in check and minimize risk.
It also helps you to take advantage of differences in performance among investments in a diversified account by buying low and selling high. This article explains why rebalancing is important. For those participants not invested in a Target Risk Model Portfolio, it explains how to set up automatic rebalancing for your account at Ascensus.
Proper planning can help you avoid financial shocks in retirement.
Thanks in large part to a bull market that has lasted the better part of six years, retirement may be looking more doable than you thought, sooner than you thought. Such happy thoughts are likely cycling through the minds of many 50- and 60-somethings these days. What seemed like a distant dream in the wake of the financial crisis--a financially comfortable retirement--is starting to look eminently possible.
One in 10 American workers isn't saving for retirement, according to a survey that accompanied Bankrate's Financial Security Index for August. And their numbers are increasing, even though the economy has improved.
The good news is that 401(k) contributions have increased, according to Fidelity Investments’ most recent quarterly retirement savings analysis based on data from the 401(k) and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) it manages. The bad news is one glaring problem for Baby Boomers; the asset allocation of their 401(k)s is drastically out of balance.
The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient: Warren Buffett.
After several years of rising prices and unusually low market volatility, the stock market and parts of the bond market have suddenly given way to a correction. After declining 6% in the last month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 5.8% so far in 2015, and 1% in the last twelve months.
The market has been brutal over the last few days as concerns over China, fed rate hikes, and commodity weakness have invoked worries that haven’t been felt so acutely since the financial crisis. Yet, as one of my colleagues said recently, the market drop is as surprising as a hurricane hitting North Carolina!
Pardon the pun, but diversified portfolios have slipped in the last few months on oil. Moderate returns in the broad US stocks indexes have been pinched on one side by negative results in the bond market, and on the other by a retreat in international, emerging markets stocks and commodities, primarily oil.
The famous marshmallow test conducted in the 1960's showed that we have a hard time resisting instant gratification, even if we know that delaying gratification would lead to an even bigger reward. This, in short, is what makes investing and managing businesses so hard. Success requires many qualities, but conviction, discipline and thinking long-term must rank near the top....