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Women and Investing: The Gender Investment Gap

by Cascade

I have noticed over the past 20 years since I made the transition from banking to money management, that women are different than men when addressing financial issues, and investments in particular.  At first I thought it was just my observation, but then I started noticing articles on the subject referencing research results indicating some very interesting conclusions supporting my original thoughts.  Not surprisingly, this research showed women and men have differing attitudes regarding money and investing.  Men usually measure investment results quantitatively, while women usually measure them qualitatively.  A man might have a total return portfolio goal of 8% (currently unrealistic) over an intermediate period of time, while a woman wants to be certain she has sufficient money in order to live comfortably in retirement and provide for her adult children, if they need financial assistance from time to time. Men tend to make investment decisions quickly and without
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Market Minutes for the week of September 19th

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of September 19th: “Opportunities are never lost. Someone will take the ones you miss” — Andy Rooney According to a survey of corporate CEO’s from the Business Roundtable, they are somewhat downbeat on the economic growth outlook. The group sees the economy continuing to be stuck in neutral leading to lower sales and reduced capital spending. Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman:  “The continued lack of action on an aggressive pro-growth policy agenda that includes tax reform, trade expansion and a smarter approach to federal regulation contributes to an economy that continues to perform below its potential.” Eagle-eyed First Trust Economist Brian Wesbury, does not expect a recession any time soon. By the middle of 2017? Maybe. According to Brian, one of the best signals of an impending recession has been medium and heavy truck sales. In the past fifty years, any time sales have dropped substantially
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Market Minutes for the week of September 12th

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of September 12th: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde What’s wrong with the stock market all of a sudden? After a summer of calm, volatility is back in a big way. Here is what is bothering investors:  1.) A fear that the Fed will soon raise short-term rates into a lackluster economic recovery. If our central bank raises rates while others don’t, the dollar could strengthen and damage demand for U.S. exports. 2.) Is the much anticipated “bond bubble” about to burst? Long bond rates in Japan and Germany have suddenly risen, which in turn has caused our 10-year Treasury bond to go from 1.53% to 1.73% in less than a week. When this happens in a slow growing economy, stocks sell-off fearing weaker profits in the future. 3.) The stock market earlier
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Market Minutes for the week of August 22nd

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of August 22nd: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou In a speech today at the annual Jackson Hole symposium, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that the “case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months.” Does this mean as early as September? Possibly if the trends in the labor markets remain strong. Next week’s employment report will be an important one for the Fed. The Chicago Fed’s national economic activity index climbs to a 12-month high. The index rose 0.27% in July vs a gain of 0.05% in June. The Commerce Department reported that durable goods orders (U.S. non-defense, excluding aircraft) rose 4.4% in July. It is the largest gain since January and followed a revised 0.5% rise
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Market Minutes for the week of August 15th

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of August 15th: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss The Atlanta Fed updates its quarterly estimate of GDP as the numbers come in and thus gives us an interesting point in time view of the economy’s activity during the quarter. Last week the Atlanta Fed upped its forecast for real GDP growth in the 3rd quarter to 3.8%. The July Leading Economic Indicators Index rose by 0.4% to 124.2 after rising 0.3% in June. Hmmm. The Philadelphia Fed reports that its current August business activity index rose to 2.0 from a -2.9 in July. The Commerce Department reports that retail sales in July were flat at 0.00% vs 0.8% in June. Core sales declined by 0.3% vs +0.9% in June. Vehicle sales rebounded by 1.1%. Furniture sales rose as well but the real strength remained in online retailing where
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Blueprints: ABLE Act Accounts – Up and running in three states

by Cascade

The world changed this year for individuals with developmental disabilities. For the first time since the legislation that created Supplemental Security Income in 1972, individuals with developmental disabilities will be able to have an investment account that they can control that can hold more than $2,000 without disrupting benefits. Three states have made it possible for individuals to have ABLE Act accounts. More are sure to follow soon. Nebraska, Tennessee and Ohio are the first three to offer ABLE accounts. Legislation says that you have to use the state plan where the account owner resides, unless that state does not offer a plan. So if you live in Colorado, you can use any of the three plans available right now. Colorado, where I live, is working on getting their ABLE plan up and running soon. These accounts represent a big step towards a greater degree of independence for people with
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Market Minutes for the week of August 1st

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of August 1st: “I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge, you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” – Kurt Vonnegut Peter Boockvar: “The U.S. economy grew just 1.2% in the second quarter in real terms and 3.4% in nominal terms. Analysts had expected 2.5% real growth and 4.4% in nominal terms. The Commerce Department also revised first-quarter GDP growth down to just 0.8% from a previous +1.1% reading. Personal spending rebounded to a 4.2% gain from +1.6% in the first quarter … The gains stemmed from increased spending on both goods and services. However, private investment was the real drag [on GDP], falling almost 10% and taking 170 basis points from GDP. Within the private-investment sector, commercial-real-estate construction fell 7.9% and residential real estate construction fell 6%. Equipment
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Market Minutes for the week of July 18th

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of July 18th: “My wife made me join a bridge club. I jump off next Tuesday.” – Rodney Dangerfield Investors Intelligence’s latest weekly survey for financial-adviser sentiment found that the percentage bulls rose to 54.4% from 52.5% last week and represents the highest level since April 2015. When sentiment reaches 55%, Investors Intelligence considers it to be at the “danger level.” Those expecting a correction fell to 22.3%, the lowest level since June 2014. Peter Boockvar says the bottom line is that “We now have a buffet of extreme bullish sentiment,” as the CNNMoney Greed vs Fear Index is now at 91 (on a scale of 1 to 100) and the VIX (S&P Volatility Response Index), has closed at a 2-year low. Rallies like this one can continue on well into overbought territory but the margin for tolerance of bad news gets smaller and smaller.
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Market Minutes for the week of July 11th

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of July 11th: “You may be drawing a circle for the thousandth time, but maybe it’s a slightly better circle.” – Lou Reed Three weeks ago the markets were down 5% in 2 days as Brexit had people calling for very bad things as a result. Today we have the S&P 500 making new all-time highs seemingly every day, so what really is going on? Jim Cramer (who is one of the smartest figures on Wall Street when it comes to knowing what is behind market moves) has recently given us a number of good reasons for why stocks have rallied off the Brexit shock. 1.) Brexit was, for the most part, a uniquely European event. The one consequence for the U.S. was it drove interest rates down even further which is a good thing for businesses and consumers. 2.) The Fed went “on ice”
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Market Minutes for the week of July 5th

by Cascade

Market Minutes for the week of July 5th: “There are no failures – just experiences and your reactions to them.” Tom Krause By early last week on June 27th, the U.S. stock market had lost 950 Dow points on the news of the Brexit. By late in the same week on July 1st, the market had recovered all but 100 of those points on the news of the Brexit. Jim Cramer: “We got a real lesson in why panic is not a strategy [last] week, and I hope you will take it to heart. But I don’t know if you did, especially given that Monday, the second big down day after Brexit, was the seventh-biggest day of redemptions in the past 10 years, which, of course, includes those ugly Great Recession days, with $9.5 billion pulled out of global equity funds. I find the statistic infuriating because no matter how
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