August 8, 2016

SP 500 at New High After Jobs Blowout

“SP 500 at New High After Jobs Blowout”, WEEKLY UPDATE – August 8, 2016 Stocks bounced last week, ending sharply higher after a better-than-expected jobs report. For the week, the SP 500 gained 0.43%, the Dow rose 0.60%, the NASDAQ added 1.14%, but the MSCI EAFE lost 1.41%.[1] SP 500 Among last week’s major events was a shockingly good July jobs report. Last month, the economy added 255,000 new jobs, blowing away expectations of 180,000 jobs.[2] Even better, the gains were broad-based and the labor force participation rate (an area of concern because fewer people in our population were actively participating in the labor force) ticked upward.[3] Overall, not too shabby. Headline unemployment remained stable at 4.9%, but that single number hides a lot of complexity. Let’s dig a little deeper. The chart below shows six different measures of unemployment, each slicing the data in a different way. The U-6 unemployment rate is the most comprehensive, showing total unemployed, marginally attached workers (discouraged workers and those considered barely employed) and those total employed part time for economic reasons.[4] You can see that all measures rose during the recession and have been steadily dropping ever since. While headline unemployment (U-3 unemployment in official […]
July 20, 2016

Do You Understand Your Emotions About Money?

If you’ve ever felt a rush of excitement at making a big purchase or experienced feelings of shame at making a financial mistake, you know that our relationship with money isn’t completely rational. For most people, money comes with a lot of emotional and psychological baggage that affects the decisions we make. Psychologists call these emotions “money scripts” and have found that these unconscious beliefs can drive many positive and negative financial behaviors. Many of our money scripts come from our families and the way our parents handled and discussed their finances. It’s one of the reasons why we encourage our clients to talk to their kids about money and teach them good financial skills early in life. As adults, it’s also our responsibility to explore and understand our own feelings about money and how they drive our behavior. As financial professionals, we know that money is a very emotional subject. We have seen many instances where emotions drive negative actions. Emotional investing decisions can wreak havoc on long-term performance by leading to overconfidence when markets rally and panic when markets decline. Anxiety about the unknown can leave people feeling paralyzed with worry and unable to make financial decisions or […]
March 16, 2016

Bull Market Anniversary: What’s Changed in 7 Years?

WEEKLY UPDATE - MARCH 14, 2016