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Why Investors Shouldn’t Just Rely on the Dow

When assessing the health of the stock market, it’s easy to look at whatever index is ticking across the bottom of a cable business channel at that moment. Commonly, news anchors and reporters comment on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow), citing milestones when new highs are hit or losses occur.

While we don’t want to demonize the Dow, we caution investors to avoid fixating on this particularly popular index. The Dow may be a poor indicator of the market overall as it only tracks 30 large public companies in the country, based on price. A price-weighted index is proportionally…


Three Things to Consider Before Selling a Stock

When market volatility strikes, we often get questions from clients about selling a stock that may have taken a big hit. Investing can test our emotions, but reacting out of fear is typically not the answer. For long-term investors, we advise against watching day-to-day market moves. With that said, there are times when you can and should consider selling a stock. Selling could mean either eliminating it from your portfolio completely or trimming part of your position in the company.

Whether you’re working with an advisor or investing on your own, it’s important to understand a few logical and data-driven…


Don’t Fall for These Common 401(k) Myths

You build a career and diligently save money in your 401(k) so you can live comfortably in retirement, but do you truly understand what’s going on in your retirement investment account? A 2018 survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that three in 10 workers don’t know what to do with their retirement savings. Below, are a few common misconceptions to avoid to help get you on the right track when it comes to your retirement efforts.

“I can just sign up and forget about it.” Enrolling in your company’s 401(k) plan and setting up automatic contributions is a good…


Investing 101: Fundamentals to Consider

Financial literacy is incredibly important, but a 2015 S&P Global FinLit survey covered by Forbes showcased alarming stats – only 57 percent of U.S. adults are financially literate. Individuals are much more likely to tee themselves up for financial success if they understand basic components of wealth management. In this article, we’ll dive into a primer about investing, the misconceptions surrounding this effort and how individuals can easily incorporate an investing strategy into their life.

One of the biggest mistakes we see investors make is chasing yield and not considering the underlying business or why the dividend yield is…


Insight on Market Volatility

After an exceptionally strong start to the year fueled by above-trend global economic and corporate earnings growth, the S&P 500 finished January with a 5.6% total return.

In the last two trading days, equity markets around the globe sold-off after digesting Friday’s very strong January payroll report, among other reasons. In addition to the economy adding 200,000 jobs, average hourly earnings jumped 2.9% on an annualized basis. This was the best gain since the early days of this remarkably sluggish recovery which began in March 2009.

While this wage growth is still markedly below the long-term average, it fueled investor worry…


The Biggest Financial Mistake We See Investors Making

For many of the retired investors we have met with recently, their time of reckoning has come. It has been a tumultuous ride for those in their retirement years drawing dividend and bond income from their portfolios during the past 24 months. Since December 2008 in the depths of the global financial crisis, low interest rates or zero interest rate policies have plagued retiree portfolios causing investors to reach for income or “yield” to supplement Social Security income and the ever rarer pension.

In the last two years, certain stocks and bonds have shown their true colors. The root cause…


Market Commentary: January in Review

Much like last January, the market began the year falling into negative territory largely thanks to a renewed decline in energy commodity prices and the growth concerns with the global economy. The losses pushed major global indexes into the red with the S&P 500 falling -4.96%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shedding -5.48%, and the NASDAQ dropping -6.79%.

What is causing this market volatility? It can be attributed to several factors including the drop in oil prices. In mid-January, oil fell below $27 a barrel, reaching levels not seen since 2003. This precipitous drop in oil prices started when West…


Girard Insights: November Market Commentary

Global equity markets gained 0.7% during the month of November showing resiliency ahead of an unusually critical year-end. In December key central bank meetings will be the focus of global markets with the European Central Bank and Federal Reserve expected to make bold monetary policy adjustments. The S&P 500 rose 0.05% for the month and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.32%.

The bond market saw a significant adjustment in November, ahead of the expected activity later this year, with the yield on the two-year Treasury rising 0.20% during the month. The German government was able to sell two-year debt…


What Does the Turmoil in Greece Mean for Local Investors?

As of Tuesday, June 30, 2015, Greece will be without international rescue loans for the first time in more than five years. It will also default on the €1.55 billion ($1.73 billion) International Monetary Fund (IMF) payment. Given these events, the likelihood that Greece will exit the European Union in the coming days has increased.

Global stocks stumbled Monday following the breakdown in weekend negotiations between the Greek government and its creditors, which left the highly indebted country no closer to a bailout agreement. Eurozone finance ministers have now rejected a Greek request for an extension, and in response, the Greek…


Do You Spend 20 Days a Year Worrying About Money?

According to a recent Legg Mason survey investors spend 475 hours a year – that’s one hour and twenty minutes each day or twenty days per year – thinking or worrying about money.  And that’s just on average. According to the survey, 10% of all investors spend two to three hours each day – or between 730 and 1,095 hours annually contemplating their finances.

 

The survey sample, which was compiled from 458 U.S. based investors last year with a minimum of $200,000 in investable assets not including their home, listed the top three issues investors fear could prevent them…

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