A quick online search for “Dow rallies 500 points” yields a cascade of news stories with similar titles, as does a similar search for “Dow drops 500 points.” These types of headlines may make little sense to some investors, given that a “point” for the Dow and what it means to an individual’s portfolio may be unclear. The potential for misunderstanding also exists among even experienced market participants, given that index levels have risen over time and potential emotional anchors, such as a 500-point move, do not have the same impact on performance as they used to. With this in …
We typically keep these newsletters light on technical details, but given the abundant news on yield curves we thought diving into this would help quell fears. The yield curve graph below shows the relationship between bond yields and bond maturity. Typically, investors require higher interest rates for longer maturity bonds. Back when we all visited physical banks 😊, we walked by the posted Certificate of Deposit (CD) rates. You might remember the longer-term CDs had higher rates. This makes sense. Investors want higher rates if the bank is going to hold their money for longer period of time.
The theory is simple enough: The more risk you are willing to assume, the higher the expected potential return. The challenges, though, are selecting an asset allocation that will provide the returns you require to meet your long-term financial goals and sticking to the allocation through up and down markets.
Average total returns in the stock and bond markets are often cited in financial circles, perhaps giving lay investors the false impression that these returns are the norm. In reality, there have been very few years when either stock or bonds delivered returns that are even close to market averages.
Short-term stock market volatility can cause us to lose perspective. In times of market volatility, you may see alarming fluctuations in your account balances, making it tempting to adjust your asset allocation in search of calmer waters. Yet it’s important to consider the performance of a balanced portfolio over time.
With the recent tragedies involving the Boeing 737 Max airplane, travel safety is back in the news. The debate of flying versus driving is always a curious one. It says many things about human risk behavior. Most people know it is much safer to fly than to drive. Here are the latest United States fatality statistics for 2017:
While speaking with a cardiologist recently, my eyes were opened to the “Simple, but not Easy” strategy being applied in the medical profession. We communicate frequently about the importance of this strategy in personal finance so it was fascinating to see it play out in another profession. I thought it would be helpful to share this experience (Don’t worry, no one was hurt in this process!).
Global stock market leadership historically has alternated between U.S. and international markets. Rather than choosing one class of stocks over the other based on past performance, focus on the potential long-term benefits of a global approach.