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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

After the best first quarter for the S&P 500 Index since 1998, the big question is: What happens next? We’ve already discussed why a good start to a year could lead to more gains (here and here), but today we will take a look at...

 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

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, April 3, 2019

What a start to 2019! The S&P 500 Index had its best first quarter since 1998—gaining 13.1%. Taking a deeper look at the data reveals another rare occurrence: The S&P 500 was higher each of the first three months of the year for...

 

Friday, March 29, 2019

In the third quarter of 2017, more than 2,500 small businesses were sold. The median sale price was $225,000, up from $200,000 the year before.¹ As a business owner, ascertaining the value of your business is important for a...

 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) is one of our favorite economic indicators. It is designed to predict future movements in the economy based on a composite of 10 economic indicators (like manufacturers’...

 

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

If you have a refund check coming your way, consider using it to bolster your personal balance sheet. The average refund is usually around $3,000, and most people receive the money within three weeks of filing their returns. That's a...

 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

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...

 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

After dropping nearly 20% late last year, the S&P 500 Index has officially bounced up more than 20% from the December 24 lows. As we noted at the time, most bear markets that take place in a non-recessionary environment tend to bottom...

 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Investing with an eye toward promoting social, political, or environmental concerns (or at least not supporting activities you feel are harmful) doesn't mean you have to forgo pursuing a return on your money. Socially responsible...

 

Thursday, March 14, 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...

 

Monday, March 11, 2019

In case you haven't noticed, it's tax time again. You have your 1040 package, your W-2, and various 1099 forms. And, with April 15th fast approaching, it is time to get down to business. A glance at the following questions and answers...

 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Taxes can take a big bite out of your total investment returns, so it's encouraging to know that your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan may offer a variety of tax benefits. Depending on the type of plan your employer offers,...

 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Here's the dilemma: You have a traditional 401(k) that contains both after-tax and pre-tax dollars. You'd like to receive a distribution from the plan and convert only the after-tax dollars to a Roth IRA. By rolling over/converting...

 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

After gaining 7.8% in January, the S&P 500 Index has added another 3.3% so far in February for a grand total year-to-date return of 11.4%. With two days to go, currently this is the best first two months of the year since 1987. As we...

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Economic data have consistently missed expectations recently as investors and Wall Street have struggled to quantify the impact of global trade and political risks. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the Bloomberg U.S. Economic...

 

Friday, February 15, 2019

More women are working and taking charge of their own retirement planning than ever before. What does retirement mean to you? Do you dream of traveling? Pursuing a hobby? Volunteering your time, or starting a new career or business?...

 

Friday, February 15, 2019

1. WHAT IS LONG-TERM CARE? Long-term care refers to the ongoing services and support needed by people who have chronic health conditions or disabilities. There are three levels of long-term care: Skilled care: Generally...

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

“Bulls make money, bears make money, and pigs get slaughtered.” Old Wall Street saying. The Chinese New Year (often called the Lunar New Year) kicked off Tuesday, February 5, and with it came the Year of the Pig. Although...

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

BACKGROUND The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) was a sweeping piece of legislation that significantly changed the federal gift and estate tax and the GST tax for the years 2001 through 2010. The...

 

Friday, February 8, 2019

How much do you really know about your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan? If you're like many people, you have many ideas about how your plan works, which may or may not be entirely accurate. To gauge your knowledge, take...

 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Diversified investors just capped one of their best months of the current economic cycle. In January, the S&P 500 Index posted its biggest monthly gain since October 2015. At the same time, the Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate Bond Index...

 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Pursuing your retirement dreams is challenging enough without making some common, and very avoidable, mistakes. Here are eight big mistakes to steer clear of, if possible. 1. No Strategy:Yes, the biggest mistake is having no strategy...

 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Super Bowl indicator suggests that stocks rise for the full year when the Super Bowl winner comes from the original National Football League (now the NFC), but when an original American Football League (now the AFC) team wins,...

 

Monday, January 28, 2019

One study found that 43% of cyber attacks target small business, and 60% of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyber attack.¹ Business owners are also required to protect their customers’ personal...

 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Recent U.S. economic data have been sending a lot of conflicting signals, and Wall Street’s economic outlook is more clouded than at any point of the cycle. Because of this, we thought we’d provide some direction from Main...

 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Yesterday’s U.K. Parliament vote was another bump in the road for Brexit. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the British pound and the euro have steadily declined over the past few months, weighed down in large part by...

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Most Americans know the fundamentals of good health: exercise, proper diet, sufficient sleep, regular check-ups, and no smoking or excessive alcohol. Yet, despite this knowledge, changing existing behaviors can be difficult. Look no...

 

Friday, January 11, 2019

This modern twist on the Ben Franklin maxim reflects the multiplicity of taxes to which earnings are subject in today’s world.¹ Finding ways to manage expenses is one of the cornerstones of a sound financial strategy. Here...

 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Stocks have rebounded strongly off the December lows, with the S&P 500 Index adding 2% in January to its 7% gain over the last week of 2018. We see potential for further gains ahead given the fundamentals supporting economic growth and...

 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Conventional wisdom says that what goes up, must come down. But even if you view market volatility as a normal occurrence, it can be tough to handle when it's your money at stake. Though there's no foolproof way to handle the ups and...

 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Recent Federal Reserve (Fed) rhetoric has spooked financial markets, especially as uncertainty has clouded investors’ horizons. But we still believe the fundamental U.S. economic landscape is compelling, and despite market...

 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

On Monday, the S&P 500 Index came about as close as possible to the technical definition of a bear market without officially registering one (defined as a 20% or larger decline based on closing prices). Enduring these sharp declines...

 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

As days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, it may feel like there is little time to catch up on all of your financial responsibilities. Sometimes it may be easier to simply toss ATM receipts, credit card bills, and bank...

 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Sometimes, even highly-compensated individuals may find it difficult to achieve long-term success when it comes to managing their personal finances. Although they may attain a comfortable level of income, their focus may be on career...

 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

S&P 500 Index Reaches Bear Market on an Intra-Day Basis. While the S&P 500 Index is technically not in a bear market by the most widely used definition (20% or more decline based on closing prices), it is important to recognize that...

 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Have you ever had one of those months? The water heater stops heating, the dishwasher stops washing and your family ends up on a first-name basis with the nurse at urgent care. Then, as you’re driving to work, giving yourself...

 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

So far it’s been rough for stocks in December, a month that has historically been bullish. How bad has it been? After 10 trading days, we’re off to the worst start to December since 1980! In fact, the S&P 500 Index is...

 

Monday, December 17, 2018

We are pleased to announce the release of the LPL Research Outlook 2019: FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets, filled with investment insights and market guidance for the year ahead. After nearly 10 years of...

 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Last week was a tough week for stocks, with the S&P 500 Index down 4.5%, the worst performance since March. So what are some things investors should consider? To help answer that question, here are five takeaways on the near-term...

 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

As of this writing, the S&P 500 Index is down another 2% on top of the over 3% drop on Tuesday (markets were closed Wednesday to celebrate the life of former President George H. W. Bush 41). Here are our thoughts on the latest...

 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

2018 has been a rocky year with a big dose of volatility, but could a late-year rally be in store for investors? History says it is quite possible. “Although the well-known Santa Claus rally is technically the last five days of...

 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

We expected another strong earnings season, and corporate America delivered with S&P 500 Index year-over-year earnings increasing 28% in the third quarter. A pickup in economic growth, strong manufacturing activity, and tax cuts were...

 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

This question is being asked a lot following last week’s midterm election results, in which the Republicans held onto the Senate and the Democrats claimed control of the House. In one sense, these results may not matter for U.S....

 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The consensus was right. Although some votes are still rolling in, the Republicans have held onto their Senate majority (and they are tracking to add at least a couple seats to their majority), while the Democrats are poised to retake...

 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The potential outcomes of the midterm elections have been dominating the news cycle lately, and we know from history that the markets typically do not like uncertainty. With the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives,...

 

Friday, October 26, 2018

After the S&P 500 Index’s least volatile third quarter since 1963, October has ushered in a wave of volatility: Daily moves in excess of 1% now feel like the norm. Here’s what you need to know about volatility: It tends to...

 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

After more than three months without a single 1% change (up or down) for the S&P 500 Index, volatility came back—and in a big way—this past week. This brings up an interesting question: What would happen if you could avoid...

 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Do you have a will? A will enables you to specify who you want to inherit your property and other assets. A will also enables you to name a guardian for your minor children. Do you have healthcare documents in place? Healthcare...

 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Stocks just had their worst one-day drop since February, as a combination of higher bond yields, U.S./China tensions, nervousness over the upcoming midterm elections, six straight months of gains, and worries about peak margins this...

 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what...

 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Similar to taking care of your personal health by proactively incorporating healthy habits and annual checkups, you can also take control of your financial health when you are proactive and engaged in managing your finances. And also...

 

Monday, August 6, 2018

It’s not simply a matter of working harder; it’s much more about using your non-financial skills and talents in new ways to bring you prosperity and a greater sense of personal satisfaction. Here are five tips to follow...

 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

College won’t pay for itself. How will you pay for it? You may have more choices than you think. Is creating a college fund on your to-do list? Consider these options. 529 plans. Anyone can contribute to these savings vehicles....

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

College marks a great milestone in a child’s life. It may be the first time he or she will live away from home. Dropping off your child at college may be an experience loaded with emotions, so here are a few tips for a smoother...

 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The recently released LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2018: The Plot Thickens is filled with investment insights and market guidance to take us through the rest of the year. So far this year, the return of the business cycle has brought...

 

Monday, June 18, 2018

The summer months are almost underway, which means that both vacations and midyear check-ins are ahead. As we approach the midpoint of 2018, many of us will take this opportunity to reflect on what we’ve seen so far and what may...

 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Tips for making a memorable family vacation.

 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Are you carrying too much debt? Find out if you are, and learn ways to potentially reduce it.

 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

One of the common threads of a mobile workforce is that many individuals who leave their job are faced with a decision about what to do with their 401(k) account.¹ Individuals have...

 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Many of us grew up with the concept that making regular, periodic contributions to our retirement account was a sound investment strategy. The idea was that, in a fluctuating market, regularly investing a set amount would enable an...