Author: Cathy C. Miller, MBA, CFP®, CRPS®, CDFA™

Narrow Market

Those following the stock market may realize that the S&P 500 hit a new all-time high on 9/2, building on the August 18th high which wiped out all its losses from the coronavirus sell-off, and surpassing the previous high of February 19th. However, a CNBC analysis shows that many stocks have yet to climb back to their prior levels. For example, between the prior market high on February 19th and August 18th, when the market first surpassed the previous high, 38% of stocks in the index made gains while the remaining 62% were still negative.

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Mortgage Refinancing: How the Market Downturn Has Provided an Interesting Opportunity

As of July 30, the national average rate for a 30-year mortgage has fallen to 2.99%, with an average of 0.8 points paid, while 15-year fixed rates have fallen even further with an average of 2.51% and .7 points paid, according to data from Freddie Mac.1 Mortgage rates have plunged to the lowest levels in decades, and continue to remain near historic lows, driving purchase demand over 20 percent above a year ago. Real estate is one of the bright spots in the economy, with strong demand and modest slowdown in home prices heading into the late summer. Home sales should remain strong the next few months into the fall.

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Strategies to Grow Your Wealth During the Pandemic

During times of market turmoil and economic uncertainty, its tempting to focus exclusively on risk – risk to your portfolio, your income and your plans for the future. And making sure your portfolio is aligned with your appetite for risk and with your time horizon for investing is critical.  But focusing exclusively on the risk of losing money can lead investors to overlook the opportunities market declines may bring. Baron Rothschild, an 18th-century British nobleman and member of the renowned Rothschild banking family, is famously credited with saying that “the time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets.” He took his own advice and made a fortune in the panic that followed the Battle of Waterloo against Napoleon. 

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Within 10 Years of Retirement? Here’s How to Protect Your Financial Plan

Are you an investor who was planning to retire in the next ten years? Do the current market conditions make you fearful for your future? The recent decline in domestic and global markets has been undeniably rough for investors, especially those nearing retirement. Our 11-year bull market run came to an end in March when all major domestic indices dropped dramatically in one of the swiftest declines into a bear market we have seen.  Although the markets have since recovered from those bottoms very significantly, uncertainty abounds due to the ongoing global pandemic.  It is only natural to be concerned about how to approach retirement against a background of such uncertainty and volatility.

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Tools to Survive (and Thrive) During Tough Times

Resiliency is one of the characteristics I most admire in others, and that I have always tried to foster in my children and live out in my own life.  And we certainly have an opportunity in these unusual times to practice it on almost a daily basis. One of my favorite quotes on the subject speaks to the personal growth that can come from difficult times: “On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it. Raise your sail and begin.” — Gregory S. Williams I am sure many of you have developed ways to cope and even thrive over the last few weeks as you have adjusted to the “new normal” that comes with quarantine and social distancing.  But I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the best resources we have found to help us all emerge on the “other side of the storm” stronger than we began.

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5 Ways to Stay Confident in Retirement – Step 1

Today’s retirees are living longer than ever before and experiencing retirement in new ways.

Gone are the days when people worked 50 years for the same employer, retired on a predictable pension, and settled down into a quiet lifestyle.

Today’s retirees are more active—with baby boomers controlling 70% of the country’s disposable income. They’re traveling the world, learning new skills, and redefining what creates a retirement community. With 10,000 boomers retiring daily, this drive to enjoy a vibrant retirement is becoming more common.

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