Market Commentary

How Does an SMA Work?

November 10th, 2015
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Salsbury Cove, ME asks…How Does an SMA Work?
This is one of those questions we answer frequently — glad you asked!
“SMA” stands for Separately Managed Account, and it refers to a portfolio of assets managed by an advisor or a money management firm.[…]

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Is the Correction Over?

I Think the Correction is Officially Over – the S&P 500 is less than 1% away from reclaiming its July 20 high in further evidence the selling pressure experienced in late August was a correction, not a bear market. I’ve written about this several times noting I saw the selling pressure as short-term,[…]

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Corporate Debt Sends Signal to Investors

There was a tinge of nervousness in corporate debt markets toward the end of September when investment-grade companies sold just $105 billion of new debt. Sounds like a big number, but it marked a 20%+ decline from a year earlier and was the weakest September in four years (September is historically a strong month for bond issuance).[…]

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3 Creative Required Minimum Distribution Approaches

November 3rd, 2015
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The end of the year is fast-approaching, which means retirees aged 70½+ have an important item on their checklist: fulfill your Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)!
Not doing so properly could mean paying up to a 50% penalty on your unfulfilled RMD,[…]

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Aware of this Market Sweet Spot?

The S&P 500 is back in positive territory for the year, driven in large part by technology companies posting solid Q3 earnings (so far). Tech stocks have rallied hard since late August, largely leading the way for S&P 500 sectors. Tech as a category is now up over 5% on the year,[…]

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Tech Domination, The Future of Retail, Budget Deal and more…

October 30th, 2015
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Tech Domination in Earnings Round-Up – Including Apple’s report this week, as of this writing, we now have Q3 reports from 32 of the 64 Tech companies in the S&P 500 (which, combined, account for 65.6% of the sector’s total market cap in the index).[…]

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Inheritance Coming – What Can I Do to Prepare?

October 28th, 2015
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New York, NY asks…
I Will Likely Gain an Inheritance Soon – What Can I Do to Prepare?
The very first thing to do is consult with a tax attorney and the estate’s executor so you can talk-over the legal and tax issues associated with settling the estate.[…]

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Hedge Funds Underperforming, Ferrari Goes Public, Alphabet (Google) Powers Ahead and more…

October 23rd, 2015
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Hedge Funds Continue to Underperform – in Q3, hedge funds suffered their largest quarterly loss in assets since 2008 – a reminder that even hedge funds are not immune to downside volatility. According to Hedge Fund Research, the average fund lost 3.9% in the third quarter,[…]

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Recession in 6-12 Months?

A few clients have approached me recently with some ‘worrisome’ U.S. government agency data. From the Energy Information Administration to the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Labor to the Department of Commerce, there appears to be a confluence of weak data that – according to a few sources – signals the U.S.[…]

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How Dividend Stocks Turned a Janitor into a Millionaire

October 20th, 2015
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Ronald Read spent the better part of his life working as a mechanic and a part-time janitor at J.C. Penney—a far cry from the highly skilled jobs that normally produce millionaires over time.
Yet, following his passing last summer, Mr. Read’s estate made its first distributions—$4.8million and $1.2 million to the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and the Brooks Library,[…]

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