There is a danger in rising (and falling) markets that is so subtle we can easily overlook or ignore it. In fact, it is so integrally woven into our human fabric that separating the logical strands from the emotional ones is nearly impossible.
Boxcars roll steadily in a column, bound front and back to others, with their graffiti facades, pulled and pushed by locomotives they never meet, along steel rails that take them to and from places they've rolled many times before. Ever feel like you are plodding endlessly along familiar tracks, pushed and pulled by forces you don't understand, to places that no longer excite you?
For the next 19 years, 10,000 baby boomers a day turn 65 - the traditional age to retire. Not surprisingly, many are asking questions like: If we left our salary, have we saved enough to see us through? Is there enough time to make up the difference? What is that difference, or how much is enough?
When I was growing up my family didn’t have a lot of money to spend on luxuries. In fact, I can remember rooting around in our couch cushions trying to find spare change to buy gas for my '69 VW Bug. With a 10 gallon tank and 90¢ gas you’d be surprised how far I could go after a little scavenging. Thankfully, today I can fill my Honda Accord’s gas tank without having to tear through our living room couch cushions, but, I still have a tendency to view money as a very limited resource. Some would say I'm frugal, others stingy. Either way my past experiences directly impact the conversations I have and the decisions I make with my finances.
Next week's economic reports may test investors' resolve as closely-watched reports on retail sales, housing, jobs, manufacturing, and inflation are released. The most important is retail sales, which drives 70% of our economy. It is likely to show a second month of contraction, according to economists tracked by Bloomberg.
If you could use only one word to describe the most important thing in investing what would it be? If the question was real estate, you'd quickly say - LOCATION. If eating - healthy, maybe taste, or sport - winning, or sailing - wind, or mechanical motion - friction.
There was building sentiment in April that we were headed for another spring slowdown. Unfortunately, last Friday's GDP report failed to put those concerns to rest as it showed the economy was growing, but more slowly than anticipated, and not fast enough to create meaningful job growth. This week the Fed announced no changes in rate targets or current stimulus plans saying the economy was growing "at a moderate pace." But remarkably several usually hawkish (meaning tough on inflation) Fed bank presidents revealed their growing concern over "De"- flation. And just to keep things interesting, today's jobs report stirred the pot further with a surprise on the upside. Today, we'll try to make some sense of it all.