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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Here are the facts. Generally speaking, women earn less than men, live longer than men, and often take time out of the workforce to have children and/or to care for an aging parent or sick loved one. The potential consequence of these...

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Americans, it seems, are spenders. Personal savings rates are low and many people spend beyond their means. If you're among those Americans who can't seem to save, it might be time to create a budget. A budget allows you to understand...

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

You should pick investments (and teams) so you win most of your games Sports metaphors and investing are natural pairs. A good way to look at portfolio management is the NCAA March Madness tournament. As with basketball, you should...

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Suppose you arrive at your company one morning and discover that a key employee died unexpectedly the night before. Have you ever considered how such a turn of events may affect your company? Along with losing a valued member of your...

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Dear Valued Investor: Monday was a tough day in the stock market, with the S&P 500 Index down more than 3% as the number of coronavirus cases reported outside of China jumped. Monday’s losses reversed all of this year’s...

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Stock markets modestly lower after renewed coronavirus concern. Apple’s announcement that the coronavirus would impact sales had international markets striking a cautious tone overnight, with the technology sector getting much...

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Medicare contains many rules that beneficiaries and their caregivers are required to learn. Perhaps the best way to grasp the program's details is to review the major components of the Medicare program: Parts A, B, C, and D. Medicare...

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Many adults are finding that their aging parents are in need of health care assistance. Luckily, there are many options available today to help your parents grow old gracefully, either in their own home or in a facility, and several...

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

When you're a small business owner, you need to pay extra careful attention to both your business and personal finances. Your financial planning strategies should simultaneously encourage the success of your business while also working...

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The financial media returned to a favorite topic in the last week, yield curve inversion, but we caution against getting caught up in the building frenzy. The Treasury yield curve inverts when short-term interest rates move above...

Monday, February 10, 2020

First the car broke down, then the dishwasher stopped working, and now the dog is sick. Sometimes the old proverb, "It never rains but it pours," seems to ring a little too true. When you need money to pay large, unexpected bills,...

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Thinking about the need and the costs of long-term care is enough to make anyone uncomfortable. But while it's a difficult subject to talk about, it's also a topic that often generates lots of questions and misunderstanding. Consider...

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Economic Blog The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield moved to within .05% of its recent low on Friday, January 31, approaching the 1.47% mark set back in August 2019. Prospects of stabilizing global growth and progress on trade encouraged...

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Market Blog Fears that the deadly coronavirus would spread further around the globe intensified Monday and led to the biggest one-day drop in the S&P 500 Index since October 8, 2019. In fact, it was the first time the index moved 1%...

Monday, January 27, 2020

After factoring in federal income and capital gains taxes, the alternative minimum tax, and possible state and local taxes, your investments' returns in any given year may be reduced by 40% or more. Here are five ways to potentially...

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

ECONOMIC BLOG As the economic expansion caps its first decade, we thought it’d be a good time to check on LPL Research’s leading indicators in our Recession Watch Dashboard. As you can see in our latest update and in the...

Friday, January 17, 2020

By investing for retirement through your employer-sponsored plan, you are helping to manage a critically important financial risk: the chance that you will outlive your money. But choosing to participate is just one step in your...

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Consumer inflationary pressures grew at a healthy, but manageable rate in December 2019. The core Consumer Price Index (CPI), which excludes food and energy, rose 2.3% year over year last month, around the fastest pace of the economic...

Friday, January 10, 2020

With the decline of traditional pensions, most of us are now responsible for squirrelling away money for our own retirement. In today's do-it-yourself retirement savings world, we rely largely on 401(k) plans and IRAs. However, there...

Thursday, January 9, 2020

In times of crisis, you don't want to be shaking pennies out of a piggy bank. Having a financial safety net in place can ensure that you're protected when a financial emergency arises. One way to accomplish this is by setting up a cash...

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The U.S. airstrike that killed the top Iranian military commander last week was a major escalation in Mideast tensions. In fact, it would be difficult to overstate the geopolitical significance of this action. Iran likely will...

Friday, January 3, 2020

Dear Valued Investor: Happy New Year! What a difference a year makes. One year ago the stock market was plunging and came perilously close to ending what has become the longest bull market ever recorded. In December 2018, dropping...

Thursday, January 2, 2020

The inverted yield curve was the biggest story of 2019 in the bond market. Historically, when long-term bond yields fall below short-term yields, as the 2- and 10-year Treasury yields did in August, recessions have tended to follow,...

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Economic BlogDecember 17, 2019 December has been widely viewed as a strong month for stocks, with this year following suit so far. What many probably don’t realize, however, is the majority of the gains have taken place late in...

Monday, December 16, 2019

Q: What’s the difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction?A: A tax credit reduces your tax dollar for dollar—that is, a $1,000 tax credit actually saves you $1,000 in taxes. By comparison, a tax deduction reduces...

Friday, December 13, 2019

The Federal Reserve’s (Fed) final policy meeting of 2019 starts today and will conclude tomorrow with the release of the Fed’s policy statement, updated economic projections, and a press conference by Fed Chair Jerome...

Monday, December 9, 2019

It may be better to give than to receive, but it may be even better to give and see your generosity rewarded. Charitable giving can play a valuable role in your financial and tax strategies. A well-planned gift to charity could provide...

Monday, December 9, 2019

If you donate your car to charity, you may claim a tax deduction for the donation if you itemize your deductions on your federal income tax return. To get started, you'll need to pick a qualified charitable organization, determine the...

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Tax planning can be more advantageous when done during the year and well in advance of year’s end.Opportunities may exist for you to minimize tax liability, which could leave more income for you and/or your family.Generally,...

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Hindsight is 20/20, but finding clarity in future uncertainty can be fuzzy. AT LPL RESEARCH, as we look forward to the year 2020 and a new decade, some key trends and market signals will be important to watch, including progress on U...

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Dear Valued Investor: Turning the calendar from October to November brought more than trick-or-treaters, pumpkins, and leaves to rake. It also brought a wave of important economic updates that delivered more treats than tricks and...

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

It took nearly 15 months, but the Russell 2000 Index finally broke out to a new 52-week high. On November 25, the Russell 2000 gained an impressive 2.1% to close at its highest level since October 2018. Small caps have lagged their...

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

“We’re going streaking!” Frank The Tank in Old School As the bull market continues to make new highs, the past few weeks have seen some amazing market streaks. Here are three that have caught our attention. The S&P...

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The S&P 500 Index has closed higher five consecutive weeks, making six new all-time highs along the way. There now have been 19 new highs in 2019, tying the number we saw last year. There’s no doubt that this bull market has been...

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Your retirement plan may offer you several options for managing your retirement plan assets when you change jobs or retire. Understanding these choices will help you narrow down your choices. Your Options Following are the options that...

Thursday, November 7, 2019

So you're about to become a parent. Congratulations! Parenthood may be one of the most rewarding experiences you'll ever have. As you prepare for life with your baby, here are a few things you should think about. Reassess your budget...

Thursday, November 7, 2019

At a time when your career is reaching a peak and you are looking ahead to your own retirement, you may find yourself in the position of having to help your children with college expenses while at the same time looking after the needs...

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Your retirement plan may offer you several options for managing your retirement plan assets when you change jobs or retire. Understanding these choices will help you narrow down your choices. Your Options Following are the options that...

Thursday, November 7, 2019

First the car broke down, then the dishwasher stopped working, and now the dog is sick. Sometimes the old proverb, "It never rains but it pours," seems to ring a little too true. When you need money to pay large, unexpected bills,...

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

“An object in motion tends to remain in motion along a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.” Sir Isaac Newton What a year it has been for the bulls. The S&P 500 Index recently made four more new highs, and...

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) is widely expected to cut interest rates on Wednesday, October 30, which would be the third cut this year after nine consecutive hikes. The current fed funds rate target is 1.75–2%, with a 25 basis...

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The United Kingdom’s (U.K.) withdrawal from the European Union (E.U.), or Brexit, is stumbling along, and another delay looks increasingly likely. The U.K. Parliament’s “Super Saturday” voting session last...

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

If you don't have a financial plan, that question may be hard to answer. To achieve financial wellness, you need to define your goals and set a time frame for reaching them. The following steps can help you take control of your...

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The debate over the United Kingdom’s (U.K.) withdrawal from the European Union (EU), or Brexit, is reaching another milepost in what could be an action-packed week. Talks between the U.K. government and the EU have entered...

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Because you've worked hard to create a secure and comfortable lifestyle for your family and loved ones, you'll want to ensure that you have a sound financial plan that includes trust and estate planning. With some forethought, you may...

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

“The economy, stupid” — Phrase campaign strategist James Carville used to help Bill Clinton get elected in 1992. As Carville noted ahead of the 1992 election, the recession in 1990 and 1991 was top of mind for many...

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Dear Valued Investor: Summer has turned to fall, and there’s already a little chill in the air. Three-quarters of the year is behind us now, and both stock and bond markets have had a strong year so far, although we expect to see...

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

You can see it just ahead, looming on the horizon -- the holiday season. While children can hardly stand the wait, adults often wish they had a few more months before its arrival. Unfortunately, time does not stop. This year, don't...

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

U.S. manufacturing activity fell to a 10-year low, dragged down by a weakening global economy. The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 47.6 in September, the lowest level since...

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Changing jobs is an important decision -- one that many of us are making more often. Once you've decided to switch jobs, your next move is to determine what to do with the money in your former employer's retirement plan. Four Common...

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the 10-year Treasury yield jumped 34 basis points (0.34%) in the week ending September 13, then gave back half that gain in a 17 basis point (0.17%) slide last week. The benchmark yield...

Friday, September 20, 2019

And the most important tip of all? Hire a financial advisor. Investing can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have a portfolio that was built for you and use the help of a financial advisor, you shouldn’t be...

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Consumer inflation has accelerated recently, bucking disinflation and deflation concerns that had permeated financial markets earlier this year. In August, the core Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased at least 0.3% for a third...

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

At some point in your life, you probably have heard about the importance of developing a budget. But, why is a budget so important? Perhaps you simply spend what you must and save whatever’s left over. Or, perhaps you spend all...

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

First and foremost, our thoughts are with all of those that were impacted by Hurricane Dorian over the Labor Day holiday and all those that are still in its path. Many have asked us what stocks tend to do after a major hurricane hits...

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Business investment remains a critical component for this economic expansion. Capital expenditures (capex) drive productivity gains (more output per hour worked), which enables economic growth while keeping inflation contained. That...

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

One extra curricular activity that every student should master before heading off to college is personal money management. Typically, a student’s day-to-day spending is done on an ad-lib basis, meaning that overspending is the...

Thursday, August 22, 2019

"How did it get so late so soon?" -- Dr. Seuss Dr. Seuss's whimsical take on life has been delighting children of all ages for generations. His simple but powerful words continue to resonate today, even in the context of planning for a...

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Trade tensions continue to weigh on China’s growth, creating added pressure to reach a trade deal with the United States. Economic reports released last week provided further confirmation that the trade war is continuing to...

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Consumer inflation has surged back after a strong quarter of U.S. consumer demand. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, Consumer Inflation Picks Up in July, the core Consumer Price Index (CPI), which excludes food and energy prices,...

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Many parents teach their children the ABCs at a very young age, but do they teach them the ABCs of good credit? At certain points in life, everyone must deal with banks, loans, credit, and finances. You may have learned your lessons...

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

We’re a week into August, and trade tensions have been the biggest driver of U.S. stocks, as we predicted in our latest Weekly Market Commentary. Markets don’t like uncertainty, and we are getting a heavy dose of it now. On...

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Maybe you've decided that graduate school is the path to advancement in your current job or your ticket to a better career. Or maybe you just want to take a few classes to upgrade your skills. Either way, returning to school as an...

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

It has been a great year for stocks. As of July 30, 2019, the S&P 500 Index is up more than 20% so far in 2019. To put that in perspective, since WWII only seven years have been up more than 20% by the end of July, with 1997 being the...

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

“I’ve been on a calendar, but I’ve never been on time.” Marilyn Monroe We’ve pondered where the S&P 500 Index could go now that it’s near our fair-value target of 3,000. As we discussed in the latest...

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Returning to a burglarized home can be a horrible jolt after a relaxing vacation. Unfortunately, the truth is that an empty home is an easy target for burglars, and peak vacation times show the highest number of break-ins. However,...

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Blue chip stocks have been on a tear this month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) has risen 2.8% in July, the best performer of the four benchmark stock indexes we track. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, The Dow’s Hot...

Monday, July 15, 2019

Charitable giving can play an important role in many estate plans. Philanthropy cannot only give you great personal satisfaction, it can also give you a current income tax deduction, let you avoid capital gains tax, and reduce the...

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Benjamin Franklin once said, “a penny saved is a penny earned.”¹ The modern upgrade to that observation might be that $100 not spent is more like $143.² One way to find the money to meet your spending or saving...

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The June jobs report was solid. Nonfarm payrolls rose 224,000, according to data released July 5. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, Strong June Payrolls Gain Surprises Investors, the rise in jobs last month handily beat estimates...

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The 10-year Treasury yield has been flirting with dipping below 2% throughout the later half of June and into the start of July. As our LPL Chart of the Day, Will Trade Truce Help 2% 10-Year Treasury Yield Hold?, shows, the yield has...

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Every year, millions of Americans celebrate the holidays with traditions such as throwing parties and buying gifts for family and friends. Unfortunately, many also participate in a tradition that lands them in debt -- spending more...

Friday, June 28, 2019

Whole life insurance remains in force for your whole life, as long as you remain current with your premiums. In exchange for fixed premiums, the insurance company promises to pay a set benefit when the policyholder dies. Whole life...

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

We are pleased to announce the release of the LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2019: FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets, with investment insights and market guidance through the end of 2019. LPL Research...

Friday, June 21, 2019

Everyone loves a winner. If an investment is successful, most people naturally want to stick with it. But is that the best approach? It may sound counter intuitive, but it may be possible to have too much of a good thing. Over time,...

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

U.S. stocks could have a big year if LPL Research’s forecasts prove correct. All year, we’ve maintained our fair value target on the S&P 500 Index of 3,000, implying that we expect this bull market and economic expansion to...

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

There are several ways you might consider gifting money to your loved ones. In 2017, the IRS allows you to give up to $14,000 annually (or $28,000 if you give jointly with your spouse) in cash, investments, and/or property to each of...

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Let's say that at the age of 25, you earned $35,000. If your salary increased at the average historical rate, you'd have earned nearly $2 million in total by the time you were 65.1,2 That might sound like a lot -- until you begin...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Business confidence surged in May despite renewed uncertainty in the U.S.-China trade dispute. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, “Business Optimism Surges Despite Trade Uncertainty,” the National Federation of...

Thursday, June 6, 2019

What recent graduates (and their parents) need to think about Spring is here, summer weather has begun (in many places), and graduation time has arrived. Across the country, students are finishing their high school, college, and even...

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The S&P 500 Index has closed lower four consecutive weeks, its longest weekly losing streak since October 2014. The S&P 500 has closed down five weeks in a row only once since the bull market started in March 2009—a six-week...

Thursday, May 30, 2019

People save for a variety of things in retirement. Some dream of vacation homes in tropical destinations, others plan to spend time with grandchildren and family. Of all the activities you are saving for in retirement, did you know...

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

With the bull market 10 years old and the economic cycle about to reach 10 years, the big question is how much longer can it go? To answer this question we will take a closer look at our Five Forecasters for late-cycle warnings....

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The S&P 500 Index has officially gained each of the first four months of the year for the first time since 2013. This comes on the heels of the best first quarter since 1998. Six straight months in green has been the best monthly win...

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

American households with credit card balances carry an average debt of $16,425.¹ The wise use of credit is a critical skill in today’s world. Used unwisely, credit can rapidly turn from a useful tool to a crippling burden....

Thursday, May 16, 2019

A flurry of new investment products, the emergence of global investing, the shift from company-funded pension plans to employee-driven retirement plans (like 401(k) plans), and uncertainty about Social Security have all contributed to...

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

U.S. stocks’ slide deepened May 13 with the worst one-day sell-off this year since January 3. On Monday, the S&P 500 Index dropped 2.4% amid threats of higher tariffs on all Chinese imports and retaliatory measures from China....

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Diversified investors were the big winners in the first four months of this year. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, both stocks and bonds have posted strong rallies through the first four months of this year, thanks to increased...