Financial Resources & News

Monthly Market Update (November 2023): 3 Things You Need to Know

Markets closed November in a positive mood thanks to tentative signs of economic moderation in the U.S. and falling inflation across developed markets. Here are 3 things you need to know: The S&P (+9.1%) saw the best month since July 2022, and reversed three months of losses. It was the best month for the Bloomberg US Bond Aggregate Index (+4.53%) since May 1985. Real estate’s (U.S. REITs)...

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Monthly Market Update (October 2023): 3 Things You Need to Know

Heightened volatility, robust economic data, and concerns about the sustainability of government finances appear to be driving the recent movement in intermediate to long-term Treasury yields with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note topping 5% for the first time since 2007. For now, the stock market is taking its cues from the bond market. Here are 3 things you need to know: The Bloomberg...

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The Disciplined Approach to Geopolitical Analysis

By: Steven Yamshon, Ph.D., Managing Principal It isn’t often that we talk about geopolitical events, but it has great relevance because geopolitical events affect economies. Until shortly, after World War II, the economic courses taught in the universities were not split into macroeconomics and microeconomics. It was taught as just plain economics and was often labeled political economy. Why on...

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Monthly Market Update (September 2023): 3 Things You Need to Know

The boogie man (i.e., the Federal Reserve) showed up early rather than waiting for Halloween and major stock and bond market indices were down for the month keeping the historical pattern typically seen during September intact. Here are 3 things you need to know: The S&P 500 index closed the month down 4.87% - its worst month since December 2022 and the fourth year in a row that the index...

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Monthly Market Update (August 2023): 3 Things You Need to Know

Most global assets were down on the month. The general weakness in the month came from a few different angles. Here are 3 things you need to know: 10-yr. U.S. Treasury yields hit their highest level (4.36%) since 2007 driven partially by a larger-than-expected Treasury supply announcement. Fitch downgraded U.S. government debt from AAA to AA+. China's property crisis is rippling through its...

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Monthly Market Update (March 2023): 3 Things You Need to Know

Despite the banking-sector turmoil seen in March, the S&P 500 rose in March, helped by strong returns from growth stocks that were buoyed by falling bond yields. Here are 3 things you need to know: The Federal Reserve continued to hike interest rates by 25 bps in March bringing the Federal funds rate range to 4.75% to 5.00%. U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell admitted, the current bank stress will...

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Monthly Market Update (January): 3 Things You Need to Know

Overall, January continued the strong bounce back seen for most global assets since October even if the performance seen in the first half of the month wasn’t quite matched in the second half. It was still the best January in several years for many assets. Here are 3 things you need to know: Q4 2022 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) came in above expectations at 2.9%. The increase primarily...

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Employee Stock Purchase Plans (Part 3)

By:  Paul Horn, CFP®, CPWA®, Senior Financial Planner As the final part of the series, we look at Employee Stock Purchase Plans (ESPP). Although these are not explicitly for executives, this is an important benefit that is not well understood and often underutilized. In case you missed Part 1 on Deferred Comp plans and Part 2 on Stock Options, read here and here, respectively. Employee Stock...

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Ambiguity Aversion

This short video discusses ambiguity aversion, just one of the many biases and habits that lead to poor investing decisions. Why do we typically choose known outcomes over the unknown, even if the unknown has significantly more upside? BFSG Shorts: Ambiguity Aversion Disclosure: BFSG does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or...

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Monthly Market Update (November): 3 Things You Need to Know

Christmas came early this year for the markets. The idea that falling inflation could mean that the end to the rate hiking cycle is not far off gave both stocks and bonds a boost. Here are 3 things you need to know: The October consumer price index (CPI) showed prices rose 7.7% from a year ago and 0.4% from the prior month, according to the Labor Department, both below expectations. Prices of...

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Herding Bias: Don’t be a sheep

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” – Charles MacKay What is Herding Bias? In behavioral finance, herding bias refers to investors' tendency to follow and copy what other investors are doing.  When markets are volatile, it could lead to behavior that is not fully rational such as...

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Monthly Market Update (October): 3 Things You Need to Know

Although this year has felt spooky, the U.S. stock market rallied in October after enduring several straight months of losses, leading to optimism that the end of the bear market may be in sight. Here are 3 things you need to know: The S&P 500 ended the month up 8%. Ten of the 11 sectors of the S&P 500 rose during the month, with energy stocks leading the way higher.Gilts (a UK...

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How to Ignore the “Noise” When Investing: Recency Bias

How much "noise" is the media pushing out to us every day? And even more important, how often does this seemingly important "breaking news" that might impact markets today, actually have a long-lasting impact a long-term results? Find out more here and learn about recency bias, just one of the many biases and habits that lead to poor investing decisions. BFSG Shorts: Recency Bias Disclosure:...

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Great Expectations – Q3 2022 GDP

By:  Thomas Steffanci, PhD, Senior Portfolio Manager The Q3 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 2.6% was in line with the consensus. But it was anything but normal. The increase was entirely driven by a large increase in the trade balance. Net exports surged 2.8% due to a 1.6% increase in exports of energy commodities and military hardware, and a 1.2% decrease in imports. Inventory...

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It’s Your Money Financial & Estate Literacy – “Investment World” Replay

BFSG’s CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, Michael Allbee, CFP® and Paul Horn, CFP®, CPWA®, were invited to be guest speakers for the “It’s Your Money!” workshop series. For the “Investment World” session, Mike and Paul focused on how the investment world gets compensated. Learn the differences between brokers versus advisors, what does the word “fiduciary” mean, how to find an advisor,...

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