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Monday, October 18, 2021

Don’t get spooked! Barron’s Big Money Poll is an exclusive survey of market sentiment among professional investors. Last week, Nicholas Jasinski reported on 2021’s findings: “America’s money managers are...

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A well-structured estate plan can be invaluable to you and your family. It is common for people to put off planning their estates. After all, no one wants to anticipate his or her own death. In addition, many people may believe that...

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Long term care insurance is just like any other piece of your financial puzzle. Periodic monitoring can help ensure your insurance continues to meet its desired objective. An annual review provides an opportunity for you to re-examine...

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

We have used most of the superlatives we know to describe corporate America’s stunning performances over the past two earnings seasons. Despite lofty expectations, results exceeded estimates by huge margins. We expect solid...

Monday, October 11, 2021

The Markets The word “jouncy” may have started life as a combination of bouncy and jolting – and it’s a pretty good way to describe what happened to stock markets last week. The week started with the Standard &...

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Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The debt limit—commonly called the debt ceiling—is the maximum amount of debt that the Treasury Department can issue to pay its, already committed, financial obligations. The amount is set through Congress and has been...

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

In 2013, a Gallup poll found that only about one in every three U.S. households maintained a budget.1 A 2021 survey of 1,000 Americans found that 80% now say they have a budget.2 Americans are budgeting more due to the pandemic....

Monday, October 4, 2021

The Markets September strikes again… If you look back over the last 20 years, September has been the worst performing month for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, according to Nasdaq. This year, the S&P 500 dropped 4.8...

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The municipal market continues to be a relative bright spot for core fixed income investors. While most of the other “safe” parts of the core fixed income universe have generated negative returns this year, the national...

Monday, September 27, 2021

The Markets Central banks have a lot of influence on investors, markets and economies. For the last year or so, the Federal Reserve has been purchasing $120 billion of bonds every month to ensure United States markets remained liquid...

Friday, September 24, 2021

On Thursday, September 23, the Conference Board released its August 2021 report detailing the latest reading for the Leading Economic Index (LEI), a composite of ten data series that tend to lead changes in economic activity. Many...

Monday, September 20, 2021

The Markets In recent weeks, bullish sentiment has drifted lower like sediment settling after a storm. Every month, Bank of America (BofA) surveys global asset managers. The most recent survey, which was conducted in early September,...

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

After a crazy summer of nosebleed inflation readings, we may finally be starting to see signs of transitory inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the August Consumer Price Index (CPI) data this morning, which came in...

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Markets The Delta variant could take a toll on economic growth. There was some good news last week. The 7-day moving average of COVID-19 cases in the United States declined. The bad news was that the rate of infection remained...

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

When it comes to planning for retirement, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Putting together a financial strategy can be complicated at any time of life, what with changing regulations, ups and downs in the market, and disagreements...

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The Markets Stagflation isn’t trending, but it was mentioned in quite a few headlines last week. Stagflation is a portmanteau of ‘stagnation’ and ‘inflation.’ It occurs when a country experiences slow...

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Suppose, during the middle of the workday, you receive an urgent phone call. It is the local hospital informing you that your elderly, widowed father has been the victim of a serious car accident and lies unconscious in the emergency...

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Markets “Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder,” advised the Persian poet Rumi. Last week, Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell’s words helped grow the week’s...

Monday, August 23, 2021

The Markets Markets were shaken last week by a potent cocktail of central bank tapering and economic growth concerns mixed with coronavirus and a splash of the new Chinese privacy law. On Wednesday, the minutes of the United States...

Saturday, August 21, 2021

In general, workers seem to begin preparing for retirement almost as soon as they get their first job. However, according to the 2021 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), retirement...

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

As mentioned in the most recent Muni Market Monitor, high yield muni funds have accumulated $24 million of net inflows year to date, representing ~20% of total inflows to the total municipal category. With the prospects of higher...

Monday, August 16, 2021

What is the most important driver of economic growth in the United States? The most common way to measure economic output is Gross Domestic Product or GDP. It’s the value of all goods and services produced in our country over a...

Thursday, August 12, 2021

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its July inflation report showing that the headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.5% month-over-month and 5.4% year-over-year. The core CPI, which strips out the volatile food and energy...

Monday, August 9, 2021

The Markets Are we there yet? For months, investors have wondered when the Federal Reserve (Fed) might begin to “normalize” its policies, a process that will eventually lead to higher interest rates. Last week, a...

Saturday, August 7, 2021

After two years of decreases, interest rates on federal student loans are set to increase almost a full percentage point for the 2021-2022 school year.1 The interest rates on federal student loans are reset each year after the May...

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Hard to believe, but we are in August already! The good news is stocks are still firmly in a bull market, but the bad news is the calendar is a potential worry now. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, August and September have been...

Monday, August 2, 2021

The Markets The Chinese dragon cast a shadow over free trade and foreign investment last week. For decades, investors have recognized the investment potential of China. Since the country opened to foreign trade and investment in 1979,...

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Lofty expectations for second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth were left somewhat wanting as a decent headline number fell short of expectations. Peering under the hood, though, we think this is still a fairly solid report....

Monday, July 26, 2021

The Markets Shortest ever. Last week, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) finally announced the official dates for the recession that occurred in 2020. Economic activity peaked in February 2020 and bottomed in April 2020....

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The term “peak growth” has become almost as popular as the comedy show Ted Lasso. Peak growth is a catchphrase with the potential to mislead. When the term is applied to the U.S. economy, it does not mean the United States...

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

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...

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Markets There was a gapers’ block in financial markets last week as equity investors slowed to see what the United States Treasury bond market was up to. U.S. Treasury bonds rallied last week. Yields on 10-year Treasuries...

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Markets The world is about halfway back to normal. The Economist developed the Global Normalcy Index (GNI) to measure the post-pandemic return to normal. In March 2020, the GNI was 35 overall, with 100 being the normal pre-pandemic...

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Losing a spouse, whether through death or divorce, can be devastating both emotionally and financially. The loss can take months or even years to adjust to since there is no way to prepare for death or divorce despite having discussed...

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Markets are off to a strong start this year, with the S&P 500 Index up about 14% so far. However, most of those gains came early in the year, and many stocks have stagnated over recent months. While we remain overweight on stocks...

Monday, June 28, 2021

What begins with the letter “I”? Infrastructure is essential and sometimes taken for granted. Pipes carry drinking water to our homes, offices, and healthcare facilities, and carry away sewage and wastewater. Highways,...

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The “dot plots” are slowly becoming the new phrase of the year after the July 16 Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting. As a reminder, the dot plots represent the expected path of short-term interest rates by Fed members. Each dot...

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Markets Is that a hawk? The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) met last week. They get together eight times a year to review current economic and financial conditions, assess risks to price stability and economic growth,...

Friday, June 18, 2021

Over the next twenty years, a wealth transfer will occur that exceeds $30 trillion as the Baby Boomer generation passes the remainder of their wealth to the Millennials and subsequent generations. The Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are...

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

As nearly everyone knows by now, inflation has soared the past few months, with the May Consumer Price Index (CPI) coming in at 5.0% year-over-year, the highest since 2008, while the core CPI (excluding energy and food) was 3.8%, the...

Monday, June 14, 2021

The Markets It’s transitory. It’s not transitory. It’s transitory. It’s not transitory. Media analysts were plucking the inflation daisy petals last week. On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the...

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

While many of the taxable markets have generated negative returns this year, both the high quality and high yield municipal markets have generated positive returns (no guarantees that will continue, of course). State and local...

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Pulling the economy out of the shed. If you’ve ever stored tools or machinery in a shed or garage for an extended period of time, you know they often need some care and repair to function properly. The same appears to be true of...

Thursday, June 3, 2021

The U.S. economy is opening up and overall sentiment on Main Street is the strongest it’s been since our earliest analysis in 2005, according to LPL Research’s proprietary Beige Book Barometer (BBB). The result is based on...

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Markets Are we at a tipping point? One side effect of the pandemic was a collapse in demand for oil, which led to “the largest revision to the value of the oil industry’s assets in at least a decade,” reported...

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Mortgage rates are still around all-time lows but they may be headed higher. The 30-year national average mortgage rate hit an all-time low of 2.82% back in February, but with the U.S. economic recovery in full swing, mortgage rates...

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

If you own a business, you may have spent years dreaming of passing along the business to your children, nieces and nephews, or other family members after you retire. However, transferring a family business—and its ability to...

Monday, May 24, 2021

The Markets What do markets hate? They hate uncertainty, and recently there has been plenty of it. Some of the questions plaguing economists and pundits include: Why aren’t people returning to work? Americans, like people in...

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Retirement is inevitable, but knowing exactly when to do so is often unclear. No matter when you actually begin your retirement, you’ll benefit from planning your post-work life as early as possible. According to Gallup, the...

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Inflation is all the rage after last week’s much hotter than expected inflation numbers. Our base case remains that this period of higher inflation will be transitory, as many of the forces that have kept a lid on inflation over...

Monday, May 17, 2021

The Markets Uncle Inflation is here. Will he overstay his welcome? Ever since the financial crisis, central banks have pursued expansionary monetary policies to encourage reflation and avoid deflation. Well, it’s taken some time,...

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

For nearly a year, investors have had the late spring/early summer months circled on their calendars for a potential jump in inflation. Base effects from rolling off weak data a year ago held the promise of eye-popping year-over-year...

Monday, May 10, 2021

The Markets Like a gender reveal gone wrong, last week’s employment report delivered an unexpected surprise. Economists estimated 975,000 new jobs would be created in April. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)...

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

If you're a small business owner, many of the best practices employed by individual investors are also available to you (of course!), but you also have some additional options and factors to weigh while creating your investment plans....

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities This month provided another set of positive results for the U.S. major market indexes. The top performer was the Nasdaq, rebounding from last month’s lagging...

Monday, May 3, 2021

The MarketsIt’s Spring and economic recovery is in the air. Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported the U.S. economy grew at a 6.4 percent annualized rate for the first three months of 2021. While that’s good...

Friday, April 30, 2021

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day. When the sun is out and the wind is still, you’re one month on in the middle of May.” American Poet Robert Frost One of the best known...

Monday, April 26, 2021

The Markets It wasn’t just the price of pork chops. Last week, as investors weighed the news, strong corporate earnings were offset by higher grocery prices and rising numbers of global coronavirus cases. Solid corporate earnings...

Friday, April 23, 2021

It was a particularly challenging year for the greenback in 2020, where the world’s reserve currency acted as a “safe haven” asset at the height of the March 2020 market volatility, only to fall over the remainder of...

Monday, April 19, 2021

The Markets Where are Treasury bonds going? The direction of bond yields is influenced by investors’ expectations for economic growth, among other factors. When economic growth is expected to weaken, bond yields tend to move...

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities This quarter provided positive results for all major market indexes. The top performer and standout was the US small cap Russell 2000, returning over 12% for the...

Monday, April 12, 2021

The Markets Investors didn’t stumble over inflation last week. Why not? Inflation – rising prices of goods and services – can be measured in a variety of ways. For example, the Consumer Price Index considers changes...

Thursday, April 8, 2021

As your retirement draws closer, you will probably start to have lots of questions such as: How much Social Security will I receive? When should I retire? How will I know when to retire? Do I have enough saved? What will I need to do...

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Daily Insights U.S. stocks point higher after employers added the most jobs in seven months. Several major European markets are closed for the holiday. Japanese and Korean markets climbed overnight, while China and Hong Kong were...

Monday, April 5, 2021

The Markets Zoom, zoom, zoom. Big economies tend to recover from recessions about as quickly as semi-trucks accelerate from stop lights. In other words, recovery tends to be slow. That may not be the case this time. “Everything...

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Markets Last week, unemployment claims were looking good and consumers were feeling good. The number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits declined. Just 684,000 people filed claims during the week of March 20,...

Friday, March 26, 2021

Our friends at Goldman Sachs recently announced a 2021 growth target for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 8% (Q4/Q4). Should this happen, it would be the biggest annual increase in GDP since 1951. Of course, last year was the worst year...

Friday, March 26, 2021

Ask yourself whether there is any real benefit to waiting to file your taxesThe U.S. Department of the Treasury is delaying the April 15th deadline to file and pay taxes until May 17th, giving individuals and businesses another month...

Monday, March 22, 2021

The Markets What are professional asset managers thinking? Bank of America recently published the results of its March global asset managers’ survey, which polls 220 professional investors responsible for about $630 billion in...

Friday, March 19, 2021

Watch the 10-year and oil because inflation eats away at retirement income The current job market landscape is a warning sign of how painful the U.S. economy is for many, as over 745,000 Americans filed for first time-unemployment...

Thursday, March 18, 2021

The Federal Reserve (Fed) wrapped up its two-day meeting There were no surprises as the Fed upgraded growth and inflation expectations. Monetary policy was left unchanged with the Fed funds target rate remaining at 0-0.25% and the...

Monday, March 15, 2021

The Markets Investors had a lot to be enthusiastic about last week. Major stock indices in the United States soared, finishing the week higher and setting new records along the way, reported Al Root of Barron’s. There was plenty...

Thursday, March 11, 2021

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” -Yogi Berra The Nasdaq officially moved into correction territory, down more than 10% from the all-time high. It took only 15 trading days to do this, one...

Monday, March 8, 2021

The Markets Neanderthal DNA may make people more – or less – susceptible to COVID-19, reported The Economist. It all depends on whether you have the genes and, if you do, which DNA string you inherited. No matter what your...

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Here Comes The Earnings Boom LPL Research reviews an incredible earnings season and speculates on a potentially strong earnings rebound for 2021 and beyond. Find out more in today’s Weekly Market Commentary, available at 1 p.m....

Monday, March 1, 2021

The Markets Students of financial markets may have noted a historically unusual event last week. On Thursday, the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes briefly matched the dividend yield for the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index....

Friday, February 26, 2021

March is right around the corner and with it is a harsh reminder of one year ago when everything stopped. As we inch closer to a lot of reminders about March 2020, here are three charts that have caught our attention recently. First...

Monday, February 22, 2021

The Markets It’s a contrarian’s dream come true. Contrarian investors like to buck the trend. They buy when other investors are selling and sell when others are buying. Last week, Bank of America (BofA) delivered a...

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Tax identity theft is when someone steals your Social Security Number, files a tax return with your number, and directs a refund to their own bank account. In other cases, this type of identity theft may involve a scam artist calling...

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Markets Way back, when radio disk jockeys played 45-rpm vinyl singles, the A-side of a disk was the song the record company was promoting and the other side – the flip side – held a song that sometimes had an equal or...

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

“Bulls make money, bears make money, and pigs get slaughtered.” Old Wall Street saying. The Chinese New Year (often called the Lunar New Year) will kick off Friday, February 12, and with it will begin the Year of the Ox....

Monday, February 8, 2021

The Markets It’s not a black diamond ski run yet, but the yield curve for U.S. Treasuries is steeper than it has been in a while. A yield curve is the line on a graph showing yields for different maturities of bonds. Yield curves...

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Stocks got off to a nice start in 2021, until the late January selloff, as everyone got GameStop fever. Should bulls worry about what a down January might mean for the rest of 2021? There’s an old adage on Wall Street that...

Monday, February 1, 2021

The Markets They say people watching the same event often see different things. That seems to have been the case last week when share prices of a few companies experienced tremendous volatility. Some cast the events as a David vs....

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

2021 kicks off the first year of a new four-year presidential cycle. One of the most popular questions we’ve received lately is how have stocks performed historically during this political year. For starters, the S&P 500 Index...

Monday, January 25, 2021

The Markets Last week, as COVID-19 vaccination efforts continued, there was speculation about stock market corrections and asset bubbles. On Sunday morning, Bloomberg reported 63 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine had been...

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Markets Investors were rocked by economic data showing the economy hit the brakes hard in December. Last week, major U.S. stock indices decelerated as investors gaped at the economic damage caused by the rising number of...

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Most people who decide to purchase stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other investment vehicles do so understanding that there are risks associated with investing, but believing that the potential growth they may realize over time...

Friday, January 15, 2021

Amidst all the pandemic news and 2020 election drama, many might have missed that the IRS also quietly published new 2021 tax rates in late October and a there are plenty of changes that will impact taxpayers in 2021. While it’s...

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

While the 2020 tax year saw some significant changes to filing deadlines due to the effects of the global pandemic, the 2021 tax season seems to be set to be on track with normal filing deadlines. With the pandemic still in sight, it...

Monday, January 11, 2021

The Markets The event at the United States Capitol building had a resounding impact around the world, but it didn’t deter global stock markets. Last week, investors weighed the violent disruption of America’s 2020...

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

After months of intense debate, the House and Senate voted to pass a second COVID-19 economic stimulus bill and the President has signed it into law.1 At a total cost of $900 billion, this 5,600-page bill1 contains everything from...

Monday, January 4, 2021

The Markets Last week was the cherry on top of a turbulent year for investors. After the $900 billion fiscal stimulus bill was signed on Sunday, major U.S. stock indices moved higher. The Washington Post reported, “The S&P...

Monday, December 21, 2020

The Markets Congress is at $900 billion, will they hear $1.4 trillion, $1.4 trillion, governments at $900 billion, who’ll go $1.4 trillion, $1.4 trillion… The stimulus auction continued last week. Early on Sunday, The New...

Monday, December 14, 2020

The Markets When it comes to beverages, frothy can be delicious. In what may be the least inspiring description of fizzy drinks ever written, a group of food engineers explained, “Aeration in beverages, which is manifested as...

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The Internal Revenue Service announced annual inflation adjustments for the 2021 tax year for more than 60 tax provisions, including standard deductions and the tax rate schedules. More details can be found at “Revenue Procedure...

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

More than most years , it’s hard to look ahead to the next year, to 2021, without looking back at 2020. A global pandemic, a massive economic collapse, a bear market, a surprisingly sharp reversal, a hotly contested election...

Monday, December 7, 2020

The Markets When is bad news good news? Take a look at last week. Major stock indices in the United States hit all-time highs on Friday, despite a lackluster employment report and a surge in COVID-19 cases, reported Lewis Krauskopf of...

Monday, November 30, 2020

The Markets Last week, vaccine optimism immunized investors against signs of economic weakness. In previous commentaries we’ve written about narrative economics, which holds that popular stories may affect individual and...

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

As 2020 winds down, it has been an extremely tough year on all of us. Still, there are many reasons to be thankful and today we will share some reasons investors should be thankful. Stocks have had one of the largest reversals ever in...

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Markets The U.S. economy is like a semi-trailer truck. No one likes being stuck behind a semi at a stoplight because big trucks don’t go from zero to 60 in 2.5 seconds. Neither does the U.S. economy. When the pandemic brought...

Monday, November 16, 2020

The Markets Vaccine can be a powerful word. It’s worth 14 points in Scrabble (42 on a triple word square) and, last week, it was worth a whole lot more than that to financial markets. On Monday, a pharmaceutical company and a...

Friday, November 13, 2020

This year’s Masters Golf Tournament teed off Thursday at the Augusta National Course in Georgia. While there will be some familiar sights as the players compete for the coveted green jacket, it will also be a year unlike any...

Monday, November 9, 2020

The Markets It’s said markets hate uncertainty, but that wasn’t the case last week. Despite tremendous uncertainty about the outcome of the United States election, major domestic and international stock indices moved higher...

Monday, November 9, 2020

2020 has been one of the most unprecedented years in recent history, but some things—like tax contributions and retirement deadlines—don't change much, if at all. And with the uncertainty surrounding just about everything,...

Monday, November 9, 2020

Many clients may fastidiously plan the path they want their assets to take, but not give their beneficiary information the attention it needs and deserves. Designating the best beneficiaries is essential for proper asset planning, and...

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The American people have voted, casting a record number of ballots under extraordinary circumstances, which is a testament to the enduring resilience of our democracy. Determining the outcome of our elections is a process, but it...

Friday, October 30, 2020

With Election Day a mere five days away, we at LPL Research thought we would add one last election forecaster to the mix of what we’ve presented over the last several months—as much because of what it might tell us about...

Monday, October 19, 2020

If you are one of the 90% of taxpayers who don't itemize deductions, you cannot claim a federal deduction for charitable donations. To get past this issue, some people lump their charitable gifts together. Wondering how to claim a...

Monday, October 19, 2020

When developing your estate plan, you can do well by doing good. Leaving money to charity rewards you in many ways. It gives you a sense of personal satisfaction, and it can save you money in estate taxes. A few words about transfer...

Monday, October 19, 2020

At the end of 2015, Congress permanently extended the rule allowing taxpayers to exclude from taxable income certain individual retirement account (IRA) distributions made directly to a qualified charity. Otherwise known as qualified...