Welcome Back Volatility

2017 was an awesome year to be an investor. Your returns were stable and guaranteed no matter what broad based index you invested in. Not only that but your rate of return was two or three times historical averages. As mentioned, the cherry on top was that volatility was non existent. The markets just kept going up, never taking a break from its climb higher. Then came 2018 and the inevitable questions of sustainability.  The markets can’t possibly keep this up forever could they? Continue reading “Welcome Back Volatility”

Margin at Record Levels

If you don’t know what margin debt is, it’s basically borrowing to invest. It’s a way to use your investments as collateral in order to borrow from your broker and buy more shares of a given company. Sometimes it is referred to as trading on the margin and if you want to know more about it there is tons of information online. Although, knowing my views on debt you’ve probably already guessed by now my opinion of margin debt. Continue reading “Margin at Record Levels”

Up, Up and Away

The markets have continued their climb in 2017 to all new heights. They’ve shrugged off any negative news or signs the economy might be slipping a bit to get there. Pretty much any broad based stock index fund around the world would have netted you gains. The increases have been very impressive and below are the returns of a few ETFs to show you the amazing climb the markets have made this year. Continue reading “Up, Up and Away”

A Big Pile of Junk

Junk, Fallen Angel, High Yield or whatever else you want to call it, these bonds have been all the rage for many years. For almost a decade now, interest rates have been skimming the bottom of the barrel causing many to reach for better yields. One popular arena has been junk bonds. I myself have bought them in the form of a mutual fund because it’s been one of only a few bond areas returning anything. But a recent story on Investopedia gave me pause about my own holdings. Continue reading “A Big Pile of Junk”

Stockless

Yesterday the Dow hit yet another milestone, 20,000, for the first time. It’s always nice to see record stock levels when they are in positive territory. Since the Dow Jones bottomed out during the Great Recession, the market has been up over 300%. This is an incredible jump in less than a decades time but I saw article that shone light on a problem. A record number of Americans aren’t invested in the stock market at all. Continue reading “Stockless”

Good News for Retirement Savings

I talked about it before, when it comes to saving for retirement, time matters. According to Chase Bank, Baby Boomers began saving for retirement at age 40, Gen X began at age 30 and Millennials began at age 23. This is a big deal. The earlier you start saving, the more time your savings has to multiply. It gives more room for the rule of 70 to work its magic. Continue reading “Good News for Retirement Savings”

The Death of Scottrade

Do you have a company that your fiercely loyal to? A company who might not be the best in the industry but you love them flaws and all? For me that company is Scottrade. Recently the news came out that TD Ameritrade was in the process of purchasing them. Needless to say I was devastated. Is this an overreaction to something that happens everyday? Probably but Scottrade is not something that can’t be easily replaced. Continue reading “The Death of Scottrade”

Is Company Ownership Stupid?

As you probably already know, when you purchase a share of stock you have bought ownership in that company. If you only buy a few shares your ownership percentage will be very small but you will own a piece of that company never the less. I recently ran across an interview of Mark Cuban by Entrepreneur magazine where Cuban stated that you shouldn’t invest at all. Continue reading “Is Company Ownership Stupid?”

How to Deal with Financial Uncertainty

In life we have all sorts of unknowns. It is something we have to deal with on a daily basis whether we want to or not. One of the areas of life where uncertainty is the most unwelcome is our finances. During market downturns you can easily lose tens of thousands of dollars in a few short days. These loses, or even the fear of impending loses, can create a lot of stress and anxiety. So how do we deal with this constant uncertainty? I believe the best way to discuss this topic is from a Biblical perspective. Continue reading “How to Deal with Financial Uncertainty”