This is my fourth and final blog post on COVID data. Similar to my first post in early April and subsequent posts, the intent is to provide graphs of key metrics for context. Similar to my last post in mid-July, I will end on the exciting developments of promising vaccines.
The first part of October continued the strong rally from late September but peaked on October 10 weekend. Most equity indices ended down but small caps and emerging markets held on to gains. Technology definitely ended down.
The September CPI data has been stamped. The 2021 inflation adjustment for Social Security benefits will be 1.3%; the wage base subject to SS taxes will go up about 3.7%.
Welcome to fall when things cool a bit. Most markets embraced this season as well in September. The word ‘correction’ was even invoked for the NASDAQ, but recall the heat of August.
It is that time of year again - cooler air, harvest, football - and the inflation adjustment for Social Security benefits and maximum salary subject to Social Security payroll taxes. The final CPI-W data point will be released October 13th but with 2 of the 3 data points known, an early estimate can be calculated.
The usual suspects are still flying. I repeat the charts showing major asset class returns followed by the comparison of NASDAQ and growth vs. value to help visualize the almost 40% YTD returns. I then focus on a few negative monthly returns (yes Virginia, there were a few “-“'s) related to the Fed’s inflation policy.
It’s back-to-school time – no really, it is. And though not all schools will have a fall football season, they all have tuition bills. Check out the latest rates for Federal Student Loans (temporarily 0% rate!), amounts available and how it can fit in to the overall funding for college.
This past month saw a strong march higher in … well… everything, even inflation (ok, cash was flat and will be for a while). And the YTD total return winner is not technology but rather the 30-year treasury at 30+%.
Given the increase in COVID-19 numbers and news coverage, this blog updates data I posted back in April and May. The overall picture doesn’t appear as dire as the headlines when you ask the data these four questions.
You have seen the headlines – “best quarter since 1998!”. But always remember the starting point of a given return metric and recall the level of uncertainty at the end of March.
To the recent college graduates – Congratulations! Your last semester didn’t go as planned in these unique times but an exciting future still lies ahead. Some of the topics in that future will be financial related. In this blog post I share some general financial advice for those early (or not so early) in their career in a Q & A format.