Asset Class Returns - 9/30/2019

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
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Despite the continued themes of trade war and slowing growth – and a couple new shocks in September – the markets remain resilient through September but economic indicators bear watching.

2020 ESTIMATED Social Security Inflation Adjustment: 1.5%

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
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The fall season brings us changing leaves, 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 10th but with 2 of the 3 data points known, an early estimate can be calculated.

Asset Class Returns - 8/31/2019

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
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When a corporate bond ETF has a higher YTD return than US small caps which returned close to 12%, you know rates are an important story.

Asset Class Returns - 7/31/2019

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
What a boring month in the markets … except for the last afternoon! It was only boring because the past months have been so volatile. Based on the first two days of August, not so boring...
Risk can be many things - a game; an opportunity; a 4-letter word. For an investor, it can be all of them (though maybe only speculators refer to it as a game). This blog post will look at the different risks related to an investment portfolio. It is important to be comfortable with the amount of risk you are taking.

Asset Class Returns - 6/30/2019

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
June equity returns were almost a mirror image of May - but with a positive number - bringing YTD returns back to April highs. Don't forget the base is off the relative lows of Christmas Eve, but still quite impressive. The same two drivers are present - trade negotiations and the Fed.

Social Security: Yes it will be there ... most of it

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
Each year the Social Security Trustees issue a report on the status of the program. Included is how long the funds are projected to last and what portion of promised benefits can be covered if no changes are made. It is not 100% and it is coming relatively soon, but it's not 0% either.

Asset Class Returns - 5/31/2019

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
April showers bring… more May showers – in the sky and markets. Risky asset classes had negative returns but long maturity treasury bonds brought sunshine.
There are five key factors that go into the FICO score. This recent article from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis {link below} explains these factors, how they impact your overall score and ways to improve creditworthiness. Do you say “yes” to new credit card offers when shopping? That falls under the “Frequency of New Credit” category and is a negative.

Asset Class Returns - 4/30/2019

by Kirk Kreikemeier on
YTD returns of 3.54%, 5.71% and 8.78%. One would think pretty impressive for equities. These are actually bond asset classes of TIPS, Inv Grade and High Yield. 4 months of US equity... close to 20%. Check out the blog post other asset classes and 1-year graphs for context.