Why Inflation Reports are 6.5 Months Out of Date

The news has been all abuzz about inflation.  But as is typical with news, the reports may be misleading.  The reason is the inflation reports are 6.5 months out of date the day they are reported. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the November 2022 Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) one-year inflation rate dropped to… [Continue]

Should Debt Be Paid Down?

Clients frequently ask if their debt should be paid down. Generally, we recommend avoiding debt other than a reasonable mortgage, especially as retirement approaches.  In some cases, however, debt can be innocuous or even helpful. This chart summarizes the logical process for deciding to pay off debt. The steps are described below Cash Flow Risk… [Continue]

How Long Are Bear Markets?

When the market is down, our mantra is time eats volatility.  We are very confident in the maxim because of the mathematics of volatility, but it’s important to understand how much time. S&P 500 Bear Markets To answer this question, we examine the monthly total returns of the S&P 500 since June 1927 through May… [Continue]

Preparing for Market Storms

The financial weather seems to be turning nasty and market storms are on the horizon. Inflation is blazing and the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates. In January the ETF SPY (S&P 500 index) lost 9.2%, but then regained some back. Can anything be done to protect your portfolio? Well, yes, but perhaps… [Continue]

Two Critical Investment Lessons from 2020

Lesson 1 from 2020: The Power of Diversification The first investment lesson from 2020 is diversification. Everyone knows that it is important to diversify in order to stabilize your portfolio.  In more technical speak, this means holding some assets that tend to zig when other holdings zag  To accomplish this, many investors hold long-term bonds.… [Continue]