How Did We End Up in A Bear Market, And What Comes Next?

    As inflation has risen and stock prices have fallen, we’ve heard a lot of buzz about a bear market recently. And now we’re officially here. Traditionally defined as a period during which stock prices fall 20 percent or more from recent highs, a bear market indicates significant market and economic stress. While the Nasdaq has been in a bear market for quite some time, that index is made up primarily of technology stocks, which are notoriously volatile. Now the S&P 500 has also hit this milestone. Since this index includes the largest and best-known companies across all industries, the price drops here are a better indicator of overall market stress.

    What’s Driving Gas Prices Higher?

    Whether you’ve seen the prices at the pump, clicked on the headlines, or overheard discussions in the grocery store, you know the rising cost of gas has everyone talking. At the start of the summer driving season, the average price of regular gasoline in the U.S. reached an all-time high, surpassing $4.50 per gallon. Inflationary pressures, including strong demand, supply chain disruptions, and low inventories, have caused price spikes for many consumer goods. As the cost of filling your tank rises, you’re likely wondering which market factors caused the spike in gasoline prices.

    What Do We Do Now? A Strategic Response to the Stock Market Tumble

    Many of the discussions around the market decline so far this year have revolved around two issues: why is it happening and how far will it go? Most people look at the market as an independent entity, trying to second-guess how it will act in the future. Most people will, inevitably, be wrong.

    A Closer Look: Why Is the Stock Market Going Down?

    Job growth is still at high levels, consumer spending is still healthy, and businesses are continuing to invest. So, you may be confused when you see news of the stock market going down in an economy that seems to be doing well. The market has fallen significantly from its peak at the start of the year and, more recently, has taken a sharper drop. Shouldn’t the stock market go up in a healthy economy? The short answer: not necessarily. Let’s take a look at the reason for the market downturn, and what we can expect in the future.

    What Happened to Bond Prices—And What Lies Ahead?

    If you’re a fixed income investor, there’s bad news—and good news. The bad news: so far this year, rising interest rates have caused bond prices to fall and led to declines for most fixed income investors. You may be wondering what caused this decline and what may be expected for the future (spoiler alert: there’s good news on the horizon). 

    The Ukraine War and Your Investments

    Now that we’re almost two weeks into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, some of the dust is starting to clear around the financial markets. Since the invasion on February 24, markets first rallied, then dropped, and (as of this writing on the afternoon of March 9) now are roughly at the same level as they were before the invasion. In other words, for all the headlines and the tragic damage in Ukraine itself, markets have so far largely shrugged off the impact. Not at all what you would expect.

    The Ukraine Invasion—What Does It Mean for Investor Portfolios?

    Russia launched attacks on Ukraine yesterday, marking the start of the next phase in the Ukraine crisis. It makes sense that the markets are already reacting. Before the market opened, U.S. stock futures were down between 2 1/2 percent and 3 1/2 percent, while gold was up by roughly the same amount. The yield on 10-Year U.S. Treasury securities has also dropped sharply. International markets were down even more than the U.S. markets, as investors fled to the more comfortable haven of U.S. securities.

    Is the Stock Market Poised for a Crash?

    With the recent market pullback, investor concerns are starting to mount. To be sure, there is plenty to worry about—the Omicron wave, inflation, interest rates, and a potential war in Ukraine, just to name a few. Given all the things that could go wrong, is a stock market crash an inevitable outcome?

    The Medicare Advantage Do-Over: What You Need to Know for Open Enrollment

    We’ve all made decisions we wish we could change. If you enrolled in Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, during the annual fall open enrollment and now doubt whether it’s the right health insurance for you, you may have the opportunity to complete a do-over.

    Outlook 2022: Opportunity Ahead

    As 2021 wrapped up, the world looked different from a year ago—and yet very much the same. Another wave of the virus emerged, with a new variant more contagious than its predecessor.