Are you really worse off after the recent drop in stocks?
From the perspective of your overall financial health, a big jump in stock prices ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Nor is a drop in stocks as damaging as you might fear. This is the “Even Steven” concept – you lose something in one part of your plan, but you gain it back in another.
Since the Federal Reserve recently raised short term interest rates by .25%, there has been a lot of discussion on the impact that will have on the Domestic and International markets. Open this article and examine 7 charts that explains the decision making process of the Federal Reserve that brought the first rate hike since 2006.
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.
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%.
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 personal rate of return, which each participant can view by logging in to their account on the plan website, offers the best information because it takes into account your individual deposits and withdrawals which means your performance will differ a bit from your fellow employee’s.