Weekly Market Commentary

The Markets

“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, in practice there is.”

Yogi Berra was talking about baseball, but the concept also applies to diversification, according to the GMO White Paper, The S&P 500: Just Say No. From the title, you might think the authors – Matt Kadnar and James Montier – don’t like U.S. stocks. They do:

“Being a U.S. equity investor over the past several years has felt glorious. The S&P 500 has trounced the competition provided by other major developed and emerging equity markets. Over the last 7 years, the S&P is up 173 percent (15 percent annualized in nominal terms) versus MSCI EAFE (in USD terms), which is up 71 percent (8 percent annualized), and poor MSCI Emerging, which is up only 30 percent (4 percent annualized). Every dollar invested in the S&P has compounded into $2.72 versus MSCI EAFE’s $1.70 and MSCI Emerging’s $1.30.”

Safeguarding Personal Information

Electronic theft of personal information is the fastest-growing crime in the United States, with more than two billion personal records stolen worldwide in 2016. Protecting your personal information is a key component to reducing the potential that your information may be stolen.

There are four main ways to ensure that your information is safe:

  • Know who you share information with
  • Store or dispose of your personal information in a secure way
  • Ask questions before deciding to share your personal information
  • Maintain appropriate security on your computers and other electronic devices

Disability and Your Finances

Disability and Your Finances

The Social Security Disability Insurance program paid out $142.8 billion in benefits in 2016. And with a rush of new applicants lining up each year, the system is expected to exhaust its reserves at the end of 2034 if changes aren’t made.1

Rather than depending on a government program to protect their income in the event of a disability, many individuals prefer to protect themselves with personal disability insurance.2

Disability insurance provides protection by replacing a portion of your income, usually between 50% and 70%, if you become disabled as the result of an injury or illness. This type of safeguard may have considerable benefits since a disability can be a two-fold financial problem. Those who become disabled often find they are unable to work and are also saddled with unexpected medical expenses.

Weekly Market Commentary

The Markets

Last week, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and potency of Hurricane Irma dominated hearts and minds, but there were some diversions and some welcome news, too. 

The NFL kicked off its 2017 season with the Chiefs’ win over the Patriots. The men’s U.S. soccer team tied Honduras to stay in the running for a World Cup spot. And, Sloane Stephens made the jump from 957th best on the women’s tennis tour to U.S. Open Champion.

Also, last week, President Trump signed a bipartisan bill authorizing relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey. The damage from Harvey has been estimated at about $50 billion, reported Yahoo! Finance, and the damage from Hurricane Irma may be even greater.

Weekly Market Commentary

The Markets

When it comes to economic growth, the government doesn’t measure twice. It measures three times. 

Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its initial estimate that the gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all goods and services produced by a country or region, grew by 2.6 percent during the second quarter of 2017. The second estimate indicated the economy grew by 3.0 percent from April through June. The third and final GDP estimate for the second quarter will become available near the end of September.