Social Security’s future solvency has become one of the most commonly-discussed issues in retirement planning—and for good reason. Gallup polls show that an estimated 57% of retirees rely on Social Security as a major source of retirement income—a number that has held steady since the early 2000s.
Volatility is back. Just as many people were starting to think markets only ever move in one direction, the pendulum has swung the other way. Anxiety is a completely natural response to these events. Acting on those emotions, though, can end up doing us more harm than good.
Chances are, you’re celebrating today’s lower gas prices. AAA reports that the national average price of gas is $2.60, the lowest since December 2009. The result: an estimated $70 billion in direct savings for U.S. consumers over the next 12 months. At previous prices, the average American was spending about $2,600 a year on gasoline, so the 20% price decline would result in $520 more to save or spend.
It gets better. Even though gas prices (and, therefore, the cost of driving) have plummeted, the Internal Revenue Service is raising the standard mileage rates that people can deduct on their tax return for business travel, from 56 cents in 2014 to 57.5 cents per business mile driven next year.
Now that the midterm elections are safely behind us, a lot of people are wondering how politics will impact their investment returns. The conventional wisdom is that divided government--where one party holds the White House while the other controls the House, the Senate or both--is good for the markets. But is that true?
rofessional investors know something that most people find impossible to believe: that the threat of scary ups and downs in the markets is by far the best friend of the long-term and diversified investor. Why? Because over the long term, stocks have provided returns far higher than bonds or cash.
Ricky Grunden, Sr., president and CEO of Grunden Financial Advisory, Inc., and Dave Ragan, Senior Financial Planning Specialist, have been awarded the Dallas/Fort Worth region recipients of the 2014 Five Star Wealth Manager award. This is Grunden’s sixth year in a row and Ragan’s second.
The second quarter wrapped up recently and enclosed you’ll find Grunden Financial Advisory, Inc.’s second quarter market review. This report contains information on how world stock/bond markets performed over the last three months as well as brief explanations of the numbers.
If you've visited the grocery store this year, you know that food prices have been going up alarmingly in recent months--and, in many cases, the price increases actually started years ago.
How much are you going to spend in retirement? What once seemed like a simple question has become incredibly complicated in recent years.
The unusually strong performance of US stocks in 2013 was a welcome surprise for investors who are following a simple buy-and-hold strategy and a source of exasperation for many professionals caught flatfooted by the steady rise in share prices.
It was the best year for the S&P 500 Index since 1997, with a total return in excess of 32%. The size and value dimensions were even more rewarding: 2013 was the best calendar year since inception for the DFA U.S. Large Cap Value Portfolio, while the DFA U.S. Micro Cap Portfolio had its second-best performance in 32 years of operation.