Do Your Kids Know The Value of a Silver Spoon?

Do Your Kids Know The Value of a Silver Spoon?

You taught them how to read and how to ride a bike, but have you taught your children how to manage money?

One study of 2016 college graduates showed they had an average $37,172 in student loan debt. And more than one in ten of them will either default or be delinquent in repaying those loans.1

For current college kids, it may be too late to avoid learning about debt the hard way. But if you still have children at home, save them (and yourself) some heartache by teaching them the basics of smart money management.

Weekly Market Commentary

The Markets

North Korea may be a little country, but it can churn up big trouble.

The possibility that verbal hostilities between the United States and North Korea could trigger geopolitical conflict had investors on the run last week. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell by 1.4 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.1 percent, and the NASDAQ Composite finished 1.5 percent lower.

Financial Times explained:

“The sell-off came as U.S. President Donald Trump escalated the war of words against the North Korean regime’s accelerated [program] of nuclear testing. Mr. Trump tweeted on Friday, “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.”

Weekly Market Commentary

The Markets

Who’s been buying shares of company stock?

Since the start of the bull market in 2009, U.S. companies have been buying their own stock. Stock buybacks peaked during the first three quarters of 2016 and have dropped off sharply since then, reports Financial Times citing a report from Goldman Sachs.

Companies participate in stock buyback (a.k.a. share repurchase) programs to improve shareholder value. For example, if company management believes a company’s shares are undervalued, it can buy shares on the stock market or offer shareholders a fixed price to purchase their shares. This reduces the number of shares in the marketplace and increases earnings per share, which has the potential to boost the company’s stock price.

Mutual Funds vs. ETFs

Mutual Funds vs. ETFs

The growth of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has been explosive. In 1998, there were only 29; near the end of 2016, there were 1,700 investing in a wide range of stocks, bonds, and other securities and instruments.¹

At first glance, ETFs have a lot in common with mutual funds. Both offer shares in a pool of investments designed to pursue a specific investment goal. And both manage costs and may offer some degree of diversification, depending on their investment objective. Diversification is an approach to help manage investment risk. It does not eliminate the risk of loss if security prices decline.

Weekly Market Commentary

The Markets

There was some good news and some bad news last week.

First, the good news: Thanks to consumer spending and an upturn in federal government spending, the U.S. economy grew faster from April through June this year. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.6 percent during the period, according to the advance estimate for economic growth. This was an improvement over growth from January through March, when GDP increased by 1.2 percent.