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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

My Mother passed away last month. She was healthy and vibrant for nearly 80 years of her life. Then one day, as she was baking cakes for church, she got sick and then never returned home. 2 months later she passed away.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

First and foremost, our thoughts are with all of those that were impacted by Hurricane Dorian over the Labor Day holiday and all those that are still in its path. Many have asked us what stocks tend to do after a major hurricane hits...

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Business investment remains a critical component for this economic expansion. Capital expenditures (capex) drive productivity gains (more output per hour worked), which enables economic growth while keeping inflation contained. That...

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Keeping your cool can be hard to do when the market goes on one of its periodic roller-coaster rides. It's useful to have strategies in place that prepare you both financially and psychologically to handle market volatility. Here are...

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Consumer inflation has surged back after a strong quarter of U.S. consumer demand. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, Consumer Inflation Picks Up in July, the core Consumer Price Index (CPI), which excludes food and energy prices,...

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

As more Americans shoulder the responsibility of funding their own retirement, many rely increasingly on their 401(k) retirement plans to provide the means to pursue their investment goals. That's because 401(k) plans offer a variety...

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

U.S. stocks have hit another trade-induced summer storm. The S&P 500 Index fell 3% on Monday, its worst day since December 2018. The index is now about 6% from record highs in U.S. stocks’ worst bout of volatility since May. As...

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

As we discussed here last week, August has been one of the worst months for stocks in recent decades. After last week’s more than 3% drop in the S&P 500 Index, seasonality could be taking hold once again in U.S. equities. Outside...

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

It could be a momentous week for U.S. monetary policy and the Treasury yield curve. The Federal Reserve (Fed) is expected to cut its policy interest rate for the first time in 10 years July 31. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day,...

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

U.S. stocks have powered back to record highs, and they could benefit more from a relatively expensive fixed income market. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, Stocks Appear Historically Cheap Relative to Bonds, S&P 500 Index stocks...

Monday, July 22, 2019

Do you have a will? A will enables you to specify who you want to inherit your property and other assets. A will also enables you to name a guardian for your minor children. Do you have healthcare documents in place? Healthcare...

Monday, July 22, 2019

There are several ways you might consider gifting money to your loved ones. In 2017, the IRS allows you to give up to $14,000 annually (or $28,000 if you give jointly with your spouse) in cash, investments, and/or property to each of...

Monday, July 22, 2019

Retirement income is different than what you're used during a full-time career. You'll have a new set of concerns, but you'll also have a decent amount of freedom to make your money behave the way you want. Here are nine of the most...

Friday, July 19, 2019

Part 1 -- Communicating Your Wishes Do you have a will? Are you comfortable with the executor(s) and trustee(s) you have selected? Have you executed a living will or health care proxy in the event of catastrophic illness or...

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Central banks are back in easing mode, to the dismay of coupon-clipping fixed income investors. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, Global Central Banks Back in Easing Mode, central banks around the world are embarking on a marked...

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The June jobs report was solid. Nonfarm payrolls rose 224,000, according to data released July 5. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, Strong June Payrolls Gain Surprises Investors, the rise in jobs last month handily beat estimates...

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The 10-year Treasury yield has been flirting with dipping below 2% throughout the later half of June and into the start of July. As our LPL Chart of the Day, Will Trade Truce Help 2% 10-Year Treasury Yield Hold?, shows, the yield has...

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Federal Reserve (Fed) will likely cut rates at its next meeting in late July. This begs the question: Will the Fed really cut rates with stocks up so much year to date and near all-time highs? “It might sound strange for the...

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

We are pleased to announce the release of the LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2019: FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets, with investment insights and market guidance through the end of 2019. LPL Research...

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

U.S. stocks could have a big year if LPL Research’s forecasts prove correct. All year, we’ve maintain our fair value target on the S&P 500 Index of 3,000, implying that we expect this bull market and economic expansion to...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The backyard pool can be great summer fun, but it can also be a source of danger for children. Every year hundreds of children fatally drown. In fact, drowning is the leading cause of preventable death among children ages 1-4.¹,...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

It's generally a good idea to review your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan at least once each year and when major life changes occur. If you haven't given your plan a thorough review within the last 12 months, now may be a...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Investing for your retirement isn't about getting rich quick. More often, it's about having a game plan that you can live with over a long time. You wouldn't expect to be able to play the piano without learning the basics and...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Knowledgeable investors are aware that investing in the capital markets presents any number of risks—interest-rate risk, company risk, and market risk. Risk is an inseparable companion to the potential for long-term growth. Some...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

These crucial years call for action. Today, retirement may seem nearer to you than it once did. The following moves might be worth making—and soon. Catch-up contributions to your retirement accounts. Starting in the year you turn...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Making decisions about your retirement account can seem overwhelming, especially if you feel unsure about your knowledge of investments. However, the following basic rules can help you make smarter choices regardless of whether you...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Every year, millions of Americans celebrate the holidays with traditions such as throwing parties and buying gifts for family and friends. Unfortunately, many also participate in a tradition that lands them in debt -- spending more...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Bonds have increasingly signaled that Federal Reserve (Fed) policy may be too tight for an economy tied up in a drawn-out trade dispute. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, “Bond Market Increasingly Pricing in Rate Cuts...

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Long-term Treasury yields’ rapid decline has been one of the most baffling market developments of 2019. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the 10-year Treasury yield fell 38 basis points (0.38%) in May, its biggest monthly...

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

With the bull market 10 years old and the economic cycle about to reach 10 years, the big question is how much longer can it go? To answer this question we will take a closer look at our Five Forecasters for late-cycle warnings....

Friday, May 24, 2019

Why do most avoid this important investment? Why do so many of us not use our vacation days? Salespeople talk about “leaving money on the table.” Well, employees leave vacation on the table. And the cost to us is...

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The S&P 500 Index has officially gained each of the first four months of the year for the first time since 2013. This comes on the heels of the best first quarter since 1998. Six straight months in green has been the best monthly win...

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

As we noted yesterday, the recent bout of volatility has caught many investors off guard. However, we’ve been saying since late March that some type of normal correction could happen, and we’ve taken a more cautious stance....

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

At some point in your life, you probably have heard about the importance of developing a budget. But, why is a budget so important? Perhaps you simply spend what you must and save whatever’s left over. Or, perhaps you spend all...

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

What recent graduates (and their parents) need to think about Spring is here, summer weather has begun (in many places), and graduation time has arrived. Across the country, students are finishing their high school, college, and even...

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

After years of saving and investing, you can finally see the big day -- retirement. But before kicking back, you still need to address a few matters. Decisions made now could make the difference between your money outlasting you or...

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what...

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Diversified investors were the big winners in the first four months of this year. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, both stocks and bonds have posted strong rallies through the first four months of this year, thanks to increased...

Friday, May 3, 2019

I want to share a great book suggestion with you. This book is like no other. "Way of the Warrior Kid" written by an amazing Navy Seal, American hero and true Patriot. Jocko Willink. I actually read this book, word by word, page by...

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

One of the most popular investment axioms is about to take over the airwaves: “Sell in May and Go Away.” That’s because the upcoming six months(from May until the end of October) have historically been the weakest...

Monday, April 29, 2019

It's generally a good idea to review your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan at least once each year and when major life changes occur. If you haven't given your plan a thorough review within the last 12 months, now may be a...

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

After more than seven months, the S&P 500 Index notched a fresh all-time closing high of 2,933.68 on April 23. To get here, investors have weathered back-and-forth in trade negotiations, a historic government shutdown, unrelenting...

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

It seems, sometimes, as though financial professionals come in only two flavors. There are those who promise everything is going to be fine; you don't have to fret about retirement, they say, because they'll help you make more than...

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

How much do you really know about your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan? If you're like many people, you have many ideas about how your plan works, which may or may not be entirely accurate. To gauge your knowledge, take...

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

After such a strong rally this year, you may be wondering what could drive stocks higher from here. With the S&P 500 Index near its all-time high, a lot of good news could be priced in to stocks. At the same time, disappointments could...

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

You can buy insurance for practically anything these days. Planning a vacation to France? Your airline, travel agent or even hotel will likely offer trip insurance in case you need to change your dates or cancel. Going to the casino?...

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

BUT IT’S ALSO A TIME TO DO SOME LIFE-PLANNING The spring ritual of high school graduations is here. But graduates and their parents often are poorly prepared to meet the practicalities of the youngsters’ sudden entry into...

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Every day the average human being makes approximately 35,000 decisions. According to Cornell University we make 226.7 decisions per day on food alone! Of these 35,000 decisions… Some are made in our subconscious. Some are made...

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

After the best first quarter for the S&P 500 Index since 1998, the big question is: What happens next? We’ve already discussed why a good start to a year could lead to more gains (here and here), but today we will take a look at...

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Waiting in a winding airport security checkpoint line is just one of many potential headaches today's travelers experience. Worrying about what to pack, what kind of identification is required, and how much cash to bring are yet others...

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

What a start to 2019! The S&P 500 Index had its best first quarter since 1998—gaining 13.1%. Taking a deeper look at the data reveals another rare occurrence: The S&P 500 was higher each of the first three months of the year for...

Friday, March 29, 2019

In the third quarter of 2017, more than 2,500 small businesses were sold. The median sale price was $225,000, up from $200,000 the year before.¹ As a business owner, ascertaining the value of your business is important for a...

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) is one of our favorite economic indicators. It is designed to predict future movements in the economy based on a composite of 10 economic indicators (like manufacturers’...

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

In times of crisis, you don't want to be shaking pennies out of a piggy bank. Having a financial safety net in place can ensure that you're protected when a financial emergency arises. One way to accomplish this is by setting up a...

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

After dropping nearly 20% late last year, the S&P 500 Index has officially bounced up more than 20% from the December 24 lows. As we noted at the time, most bear markets that take place in a non-recessionary environment tend to bottom...

Friday, March 15, 2019

If you have a refund check coming your way, consider using it to bolster your personal balance sheet. The average refund is usually around $3,000, and most people receive the money within three weeks of filing their returns. That's a...

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The S&P 500 Index corrected nearly 20% from the September peak until December 24 before staging a furious rally of 19%. What could happen next? A well-deserved pullback would be perfectly normal, and in fact, is probably needed before...

Monday, March 11, 2019

In case you haven't noticed, it's tax time again. You have your 1040 package, your W-2, and various 1099 forms. And, with April 15th fast approaching, it is time to get down to business. A glance at the following questions and answers...

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

After gaining 7.8% in January, the S&P 500 Index has added another 3.3% so far in February for a grand total year-to-date return of 11.4%. With two days to go, currently this is the best first two months of the year since 1987. As we...

Friday, February 22, 2019

Many parents pay for college with a combination of current income, savings, and financial aid. By learning the basics of financial aid, you'll be able to understand how the aid process works and compare the aid awards your child...

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Economic data have consistently missed expectations recently as investors and Wall Street have struggled to quantify the impact of global trade and political risks. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the Bloomberg U.S. Economic...

Friday, February 15, 2019

1. WHAT IS LONG-TERM CARE? Long-term care refers to the ongoing services and support needed by people who have chronic health conditions or disabilities. There are three levels of long-term care: Skilled care: Generally...

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

“Bulls make money, bears make money, and pigs get slaughtered.” Old Wall Street saying. The Chinese New Year (often called the Lunar New Year) kicked off Tuesday, February 5, and with it came the Year of the Pig. Although...

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

BACKGROUND The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) was a sweeping piece of legislation that significantly changed the federal gift and estate tax and the GST tax for the years 2001 through 2010. The...

Friday, February 8, 2019

Making decisions about your retirement account can seem overwhelming, especially if you feel unsure about your knowledge of investments. However, the following basic rules can help you make smarter choices regardless of whether you...

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Diversified investors just capped one of their best months of the current economic cycle. In January, the S&P 500 Index posted its biggest monthly gain since October 2015. At the same time, the Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate Bond Index...

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Daily Insights Fed day. All eyes are on the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) interest-rate announcement and press conference today for signals on future policy after a volatile December. Fed fund futures are pricing in about a 70%...

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Super Bowl indicator suggests that stocks rise for the full year when the Super Bowl winner comes from the original National Football League (now the NFC), but when an original American Football League (now the AFC) team wins,...

Monday, January 28, 2019

One study found that 43% of cyber attacks target small business, and 60% of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyber attack.¹ Business owners are also required to protect their customers’ personal...

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Recent U.S. economic data have been sending a lot of conflicting signals, and Wall Street’s economic outlook is more clouded than at any point of the cycle. Because of this, we thought we’d provide some direction from Main...

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Yesterday’s U.K. Parliament vote was another bump in the road for Brexit. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the British pound and the euro have steadily declined over the past few months, weighed down in large part by...

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Most Americans know the fundamentals of good health: exercise, proper diet, sufficient sleep, regular check-ups, and no smoking or excessive alcohol. Yet, despite this knowledge, changing existing behaviors can be difficult. Look no...

Friday, January 11, 2019

This modern twist on the Ben Franklin maxim reflects the multiplicity of taxes to which earnings are subject in today’s world.¹ Finding ways to manage expenses is one of the cornerstones of a sound financial strategy. Here...

Friday, January 11, 2019

It’s a new year and resolutions are in place, but investors in the financial markets may be struggling to find their optimism. The past several weeks have been very difficult, as the stock market sell-off resulted in the worst...

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Stocks have rebounded strongly off the December lows, with the S&P 500 Index adding 2% in January to its 7% gain over the last week of 2018. We see potential for further gains ahead given the fundamentals supporting economic growth and...

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Conventional wisdom says that what goes up, must come down. But even if you view market volatility as a normal occurrence, it can be tough to handle when it's your money at stake. Though there's no foolproof way to handle the ups and...

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Recent Federal Reserve (Fed) rhetoric has spooked financial markets, especially as uncertainty has clouded investors’ horizons. But we still believe the fundamental U.S. economic landscape is compelling, and despite market...

Thursday, December 27, 2018

On Monday, the S&P 500 Index came about as close as possible to the technical definition of a bear market without officially registering one (defined as a 20% or larger decline based on closing prices). Enduring these sharp declines...

Thursday, December 27, 2018

As days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, it may feel like there is little time to catch up on all of your financial responsibilities. Sometimes it may be easier to simply toss ATM receipts, credit card bills, and bank...

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Sometimes, even highly-compensated individuals may find it difficult to achieve long-term success when it comes to managing their personal finances. Although they may attain a comfortable level of income, their focus may be on career...

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

S&P 500 Index Reaches Bear Market on an Intra-Day Basis. While the S&P 500 Index is technically not in a bear market by the most widely used definition (20% or more decline based on closing prices), it is important to recognize that...

Friday, December 21, 2018

Have you ever had one of those months? The water heater stops heating, the dishwasher stops washing and your family ends up on a first-name basis with the nurse at urgent care. Then, as you’re driving to work, giving yourself...

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

So far it’s been rough for stocks in December, a month that has historically been bullish. How bad has it been? After 10 trading days, we’re off to the worst start to December since 1980! In fact, the S&P 500 Index is...

Monday, December 17, 2018

We are pleased to announce the release of the LPL Research Outlook 2019: FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets, filled with investment insights and market guidance for the year ahead. After nearly 10 years of...

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Last week was a tough week for stocks, with the S&P 500 Index down 4.5%, the worst performance since March. So what are some things investors should consider? To help answer that question, here are five takeaways on the near-term...

Thursday, December 6, 2018

As of this writing, the S&P 500 Index is down another 2% on top of the over 3% drop on Tuesday (markets were closed Wednesday to celebrate the life of former President George H. W. Bush 41). Here are our thoughts on the latest...

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Posted by lplresearch 2018 has been a rocky year with a big dose of volatility, but could a late-year rally be in store for investors? History says it is quite possible. “Although the well-known Santa Claus rally is technically...

Thursday, November 29, 2018

We expected another strong earnings season, and corporate America delivered with S&P 500 Index year-over-year earnings increasing 28% in the third quarter. A pickup in economic growth, strong manufacturing activity, and tax cuts were...

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

This question is being asked a lot following last week’s midterm election results, in which the Republicans held onto the Senate and the Democrats claimed control of the House. In one sense, these results may not matter for U.S....

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The consensus was right. Although some votes are still rolling in, the Republicans have held onto their Senate majority (and they are tracking to add at least a couple seats to their majority), while the Democrats are poised to retake...

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The potential outcomes of the midterm elections have been dominating the news cycle lately, and we know from history that the markets typically do not like uncertainty. With the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives,...

Friday, October 26, 2018

After the S&P 500 Index’s least volatile third quarter since 1963, October has ushered in a wave of volatility: Daily moves in excess of 1% now feel like the norm. Here’s what you need to know about volatility: It tends to...

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

After more than three months without a single 1% change (up or down) for the S&P 500 Index, volatility came back—and in a big way—this past week. This brings up an interesting question: What would happen if you could avoid...

Monday, October 15, 2018

Do you have a will? A will enables you to specify who you want to inherit your property and other assets. A will also enables you to name a guardian for your minor children. Do you have healthcare documents in place? Healthcare...

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Stocks just had their worst one-day drop since February, as a combination of higher bond yields, U.S./China tensions, nervousness over the upcoming midterm elections, six straight months of gains, and worries about peak margins this...

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what...

Monday, August 20, 2018

Similar to taking care of your personal health by proactively incorporating healthy habits and annual checkups, you can also take control of your financial health when you are proactive and engaged in managing your finances. And also...

Monday, August 6, 2018

It’s not simply a matter of working harder; it’s much more about using your non-financial skills and talents in new ways to bring you prosperity and a greater sense of personal satisfaction. Here are five tips to follow...

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

College marks a great milestone in a child’s life. It may be the first time he or she will live away from home. Dropping off your child at college may be an experience loaded with emotions, so here are a few tips for a smoother...

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

College won’t pay for itself. How will you pay for it? You may have more choices than you think. Is creating a college fund on your to-do list? Consider these options. 529 plans. Anyone can contribute to these savings vehicles....

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The recently released LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2018: The Plot Thickens is filled with investment insights and market guidance to take us through the rest of the year. So far this year, the return of the business cycle has brought...

Monday, June 18, 2018

The summer months are almost underway, which means that both vacations and midyear check-ins are ahead. As we approach the midpoint of 2018, many of us will take this opportunity to reflect on what we’ve seen so far and what may...

Monday, June 4, 2018

Tips for making a memorable family vacation.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Are you carrying too much debt? Find out if you are, and learn ways to potentially reduce it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

One of the common threads of a mobile workforce is that many individuals who leave their job are faced with a decision about what to do with their 401(k) account.¹ Individuals have...

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The month of April has opened with some volatile market swings, accompanied by speculation of an escalating trade war. It’s during times like this that we need to take a step back, avoid getting caught up in the headlines, and...

Monday, February 13, 2017

Your credit score is simply a statistical estimation of how likely you are to pay your debts and, by extension, how much credit you should have. Everyone is different—everyone has a different history, different experiences. But...