Trade Troubles?

You may have heard or read the news of an escalating trade war between the United States and China, which has dominated headlines recently as both countries formally imposed substantial tariffs on one another. In response to the Trump administration’s 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods (largely industrial and technology products), the Chinese government levied tariffs of equal size on certain U.S. goods (largely agricultural products). The U.S. government is expected to launch a second round of tariffs on China, worth another $16 billion, in the next few weeks. Then on July 11, the White House announced it is preparing yet another wave of tariffs targeting China to go into effect sometime after August 30.

 

 

This most recent trade conflict follows tariffs of up to 25 percent that the Trump administration imposed in June on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, who then countered with levies on U.S. exports ranging from maple syrup to Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

 

How do these decisions affect you, and is there anything we should be doing about it when it comes to your investments? > SEE MORE

Waypoint Wealth Management

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Waypoint Wealth Management

Rate Fears And Your Fixed Income Strategy

What a difference a decade makes.  It’s hard to believe it’s been approximately ten years since the “Great Recession” began. By year-end 2008, the U.S. Federal Reserve (the Fed) had lowered the target federal funds rate to near-zero and went on an aggressive easing campaign, hoping to resuscitate the economy with a booster shot of lending, borrowing and spending dollars.

Some would say the economic recovery that followed was a result of these Fed initiatives. More likely, there were a number of contributing factors including technology and innovation. Either way, the Fed has begun to reverse course, restoring its policies and targets closer to historical “norms” through quantitative tightening and gradually rising rates.

 

 

Here’s the $64,000 question: as an investor, what can or should you do to prepare if rates do continue to rise? For that matter, what can or should you do if they don’t? As usual, our advice may not be as action-packed as you might crave, but there are a number of solid, evidence-based strategies that stand the test of time.  > SEE MORE

Waypoint Wealth Management

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Waypoint Wealth Management

10 Ways To Not Sweat The Small Stuff (With Investing)

If you pay attention to the news, you can’t help but hear about how volatility has increased recently.  Overall, market temperatures have been so mild for so long, many newer investors have yet to weather a perfect market storm. Even if you have, you may have forgotten how challenging those times can be.

This worries us. Experience and evidence alike show us how severely bear markets test investor resolve.  We’ve also seen how damaging it can be to act on rash fear rather than rational resolve during market downturns.

 

Let’s be clear – we’re not saying that we think markets are about to go south.  But we do think that investors should be as informed and educated as possible.  So just as we prepare for other emergencies in life, here are 10 timely actions you can take when financial markets are tanking … and, frankly, even when they’re not. > SEE MORE

Waypoint Wealth Management

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Reminder: Headlines Are Framed to Frighten – Not Enlighten

If we’ve been doing our job as your fiduciary advisor, you might already be able to guess what our take is on the current market news: Unless your personal goals have changed, stay the course according to your personal plan.

Still, it never hurts to repeat this advice during periodic market downturns. We understand that thinking about scary markets isn’t the same as experiencing them.

 

So, what’s going on? Why have stock prices suddenly become volatile after such a long, lazy lull, with no obvious calamity to have set off the alarms?  While we could point out fears of inflation, interest rate movements, and other potential reasons, we can’t (and no one can) know for sure what exactly moves markets on any given day, and this does not inform us of what will happen next. > SEE MORE

Waypoint Wealth Management

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Waypoint Wealth Management

Your Retirement Plan Doesn’t Care About January

Have you heard of the “January Indicator” or “January Barometer?” This theory suggests that the price movement of the S&P 500 during the month of January may signal whether that index will rise or fall during the remainder of the year. In other words, if the return of the S&P 500 in January is negative, this would supposedly foreshadow a fall for the stock market for the remainder of the year, and vice versa if returns in January are positive.

 

I’ve heard this for years.  And I can remember early on in my career probably giving it too much attention.  After all, the financial news loves soundbites, and this was one that could grab viewer’s attention as we wonder about the upcoming year.  But what does the evidence show us? Have past Januarys’ S&P 500 returns been a reliable indicator for what the rest of the year has in store?  More importantly, should we care or worry about it? > SEE MORE

Waypoint Wealth Management

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Waypoint Wealth Management