The US economy and broad market showed modest gains during the year, although investor discipline was tested by news of a global economic slowdown, rising market volatility in China and emerging markets, falling oil and commodities prices, and higher US interest rates.
The New Year is a customary time to speculate. In a digital age, when past forecasts are available online, market and media professionals find it harder to hide their blushes when their financial predictions go awry. But there are ways around that.
Have your long-term financial goals changed in the last three days?
Are American companies less valuable because investors in China are panicking?
Is there any reason to think that because Chinese investors are panicking, that Chinese companies are less valuable today than they were a few days ago?
Wednesday the U.S. Federal Reserve Board started the long process of ending its intrusion into the interest rate markets, by allowing rates to rise. This was the first time the Fed raised rates since 2006, and for some it will mark the beginning of the final chapter of the Great Recession.
On the surface, it seems too good to be true. You have a married couple, where (let’s say) the husband has earned higher yearly income than his wife. That means he has contributed more to Social Security over his working life. The husband files for Social Security benefits at full retirement age (currently age 66) and then immediately files to suspend those benefits.
The same time it was announced Social Security recipients won’t receive any increases in their benefits in 2016, the government was announcing that certain Medicare participants would be paying dramatically higher premiums for Medicare Part B, the highest price jump in the program’s history. Under Social Security and Medicare rules, the government is required to collect 25% of all expected Part B costs from recipients each year—in the form of premiums. The total Part B cost is anticipated to reach $171.2 billion 2016 and would have resulted in historic premium increases.
Denton, TX – Ricky Grunden, Sr., President and CEO of Grunden Financial Advisory, Inc., has been awarded 2015 Best Financial Planner in D Magazine. Appearing in the October issue of D Magazine.
Stock prices in markets around the world fluctuated dramatically for the week ended August 27. On Monday, August 24, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,089 points—a larger loss than the “Flash Crash” in May 2010—before rallying to close down 588. Prices fell further on Tuesday before recovering sharply on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Although the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively, for the week, many investors found the dramatic day-to-day fluctuations unsettling.
Global markets are providing investors a rough ride at the moment, as the focus turns to China’s economic outlook. But while falling markets can be worrisome, maintaining a longer term perspective makes the volatility easier to handle.
A typical response to unsettling markets is an emotional one. We quit risky assets when prices are down and wait for more “certainty.”