During the intensely volatile first 100 trading days of 2022, the stocks of companies in the S&P 500 index delivered their worst performance since 1970.¹ The S&P 500 continued to tumble, and the benchmark index descended into a bear market — typically defined as a sustained drop in stock prices of at least 20% — on June 13, 2022. When the market closed, the S&P 500 had dropped 21.8% from its January 3 peak, and the tech-heavy NASDAQ, already in bear territory, had plunged 32.7% from its November 19, 2021 peak.² Some investors who are nervous about the future and their portfolios seem to have taken a defensive stance by selling riskier assets, including investments in growth-oriented technology stocks.
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 changed the rules for taking distributions from retirement accounts inherited after 2019. The so-called 10- year rule generally requires inherited accounts to be emptied within 10 years of the original owner’s death, with some exceptions. Where an exception applies, the entire account must generally be emptied within 10 years of the beneficiary’s death, or within 10 years after a minor child, beneficiary reaches age 21. This reduces the ability of most beneficiaries to spread out, or “stretch,” distributions from an inherited defined contribution plan or an IRA
Most people are not aware just how often financial market downturns occur. Financial markets are known to dip like an elevator (fast) and rise like taking the stairs (slow & steady). While you might prefer to ride in the elevator up, remember that markets rise based on fundamentals and technicals: earnings, growth, yields, yield curves, federal reserve moves, political, geopolitical events, etc. Drops typically occur due to fear of the unknown. If you plan ahead for your goals and needs, you can rest assured the markets are not something to worry about on a daily basis.
Businesses sell shares of stock to investors as a way to raise money to finance expansion, pay off debt, and provide operating capital. Each share of stock represents a proportional share of ownership in the company. As a stockholder, you share in a portion of any profits and growth of the company. Dividends from earnings are paid to shareholders, and growth is realized by the increase in value of the stock. Stock ownership also generally gives you the right to vote on management issues.
The headline U.S. unemployment rate fell from 6.7% at the end of December 2020 to 3.9% in December 2021, marking the biggest one-year improvement in history. While many workers took advantage of this strong rebound in the job market, companies large and small have been struggling with labor shortages.
After dropping the benchmark federal funds rate to a rock-bottom range of 0%–0.25% early in the pandemic, the Federal Open Market Committee has begun raising the rate toward more typical historical levels in response to high inflation. At its March 2022 meeting, the Committee raised the fund’s rate to 0.25%–0.50% and projected the equivalent of six more quarter-percentage-point increases in 2022 and three or four more in 2023.
Your retirement lifestyle will depend not only on your assets and investment choices, but also on how quickly you draw down your retirement portfolio. The annual percentage that you take out of your portfolio, whether from returns or the principal itself, is known as your withdrawal rate. Figuring out an appropriate initial withdrawal rate is a key issue in retirement planning and presents many challenges.
Mutual funds offer two key benefits. Because most mutual funds own dozens or hundreds of securities, you achieve greater diversification than buying a few individual securities on your
One of the longest-standing debates in investing is over the relative merits of active portfolio management versus passive management. With an actively managed portfolio, a manager tries to beat the performance of a given benchmark index by using his or her judgment in selecting individual securities and deciding when to buy and sell them. A passively managed portfolio attempts to match that benchmark performance, and in the process, minimize expenses that can reduce an investor’s net return.
If you’re a decade or so away from retirement, you’ve probably spent at least some time thinking about this major life change. How will you manage the transition? Will you travel, take up a new sport or hobby, or spend more time with friends and family? Should you consider relocating? Will you continue to work in some capacity? Will changes in your income sources affect your standard of living?