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Welcome to #AskBedel, a weekly personal-wealth Q&A where you can ask financial planning and investment experts for advice. Each week we’ll be answering your personal finance questions, so be sure to submit your questions to Bedel@BedelFinancial.com.
Halfway through May, the headlines came daily. We would get several breaking news updates each day as we neared the end of the month. The press coverage became relentless, and the debt ceiling standoff was front and center of the attention of Americans.
As we continue to monitor the inflation and economic data coming in, it is important to make sure your portfolio can withstand a bumpy ride should interest rates need to go higher than anticipated and tip the economy into a recession.
In an ideal world, the consumer steadily spends money with zero credit card debt and a healthy savings balance. However, we live in the real world. Given the circumstances, the U.S. consumer is still in relatively good shape.
While the switch from a 75-basis point to a 50-basis point hike may not seem like a huge deal, it is an important shift. The problem with interest rate policy is that while rate hikes go into effect immediately, their impact on the economy as a whole takes a lot longer to work through the system.
While the 1974 "WIN" campaign may have ended with a whimper for President Gerald Ford, its central message remains true today. When inflation starts to creep up, take a look at your budget and finances and make the necessary moves to offset rising costs.
Statements by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on August 26th poured cold water on the stock market rally. Powell has been using strong language to reiterate the Federal Reserve's position that tackling inflation remains the central bank's number one priority, and they intend to maintain this policy even if it causes "pain" to the markets or economy.
Interest rates are on the rise! What does this mean for your money? Well, it could be good or bad news depending upon where you keep your cash holdings. We’ve outlined how rising interest rates could affect your loan rates, credit card rates, investment returns, and more. Read on to ensure you’re getting the most yield from your cash holdings while those rates continue to rise.
How things play out will depend on the future supply of existing and new homes for sale, the health of the mortgage market, and the consumer's financial well-being. If you are looking to sell your home, you might want to do so sooner rather than later.
While we know you get tired of hearing it, the best advice we can give is to stay the course and ensure that your portfolio is aligned with your financial goals. This is not just an empty platitude; we encourage it because it works.
While a strengthening dollar has provided relief for US consumers against inflation, if the dollar were to fall against other currencies, this benefit would dissipate and expose Americans to further inflation from increasing import costs.
After the Federal Reserve began raising its Federal Funds discount rate, the headlines predictably shifted to guess whether these actions would cause an economic slowdown and a recession.
Cyclical markets can be unsettling: increased market swings and volatility can scare even the most seasoned of investors. But these market cycles can be used to your advantage. Jonathan explains how to make the market cycles work to your portfolio’s benefit.
Your investment strategy should consider the likelihood of experiencing the occasional recession. If it does, you have already factored slowdowns into your long-term plans.
The oil and gas market is a complex global market impacted by many factors. Unknown variables (both economic and political) are sure to play a role in pricing, and economists continuously debate their relative importance.
The current score for the Bedel Barometer is +3. While we all know “past performance is not a guarantee of future results,” our economic metrics continue to improve with the slow reopening of the economy.
We may be in the middle of the largest supply chain disruption since World War II. But what is the "supply chain," and how did we get into this mess?
The rate at which the Federal Reserve has been purchasing assets is more than we have ever experienced. What signals does that send to investors, and how does the stock market react when the Fed buys or sells assets?
Used vehicle price increases are frustrating to consumers who need a vehicle now. However, remember the negotiating power you hold for those who already have a used vehicle to trade-in/sell.
Stocks inevitably encounter rough patches and periods of increased volatility. While investors have benefited from seven straight months of increases in the equity markets, it is important to remember the cyclical nature of markets.
The impact of COVID-era federal programs and interventions is still with us. Barring an extension of the federal unemployment insurance program from Congress, these benefits will expire in just a few months and could provide a tailwind for employment and growth.
Home prices have been soaring across the country, and new institutional investors are entering the market to compete with traditional buyers. With interest rates near all-time lows and home equity at all-time highs, current homeowners may enjoy a benefit when it comes to cashing out equity.
Investors need to consider the current environment when managing their return expectations in the coming years. If you are becoming concerned about higher valuations and fear a downturn, a strategy to consider is becoming more defensive with your equity allocations.
While gas prices in Indiana are often below the national average, experts predict that the U.S.'s average price could exceed $4.00 per gallon later this summer. As prices at the pump increase, other transportation modes are also likely to see meaningful increases in their prices.
After a surprisingly strong 2020, the stock market continued to perform well through most of January. No one knows what the rest of the year holds, so make sure that your portfolio reflects your long-term goals.
The role central banks across the world played in orchestrating an economic recovery cannot be understated. While their efforts succeeded in pushing the stock market to fresh record highs, the prospect of meaningful future price inflation as a consequence is very real.
The positive impact from the previous stimulus has encouraged another package. For individuals that qualify for a stimulus check, the money should arrive shortly.
Investing will always be met with uncertainty, whether the Dow is 20,000 points, 30,000 points, or 40,000 points. It is rarely a smooth ride to that next milestone.
Are you prepared for what the last stretch of 2020 could bring? With a disciplined approach and a solid financial plan, you should be equipped to weather any storm.
Did equity markets fully recover from their March lows? Is the reopening of global economies sustainable, or are we on a path to another shutdown?
There is no way to sugarcoat the numbers. The severity of the hit to our economy is unprecedented. Today's headlines may grab your attention, but what does this all mean about our future?
Have you heard the expression about the canary in the coal mine? Canary birds were the first to react to unhealthy conditions in coal mines and served as a warning to the miners. Bonds can also be like those canaries, warning investors of a coming recession.
With large swaths of the economy closed for part of the first quarter, expectations for corporate earnings headed south in a hurry. What does this mean for the stock market?
Headlines recently proclaimed that the price of crude oil plunged below zero for the first time in history. However, you probably noticed that your local gas station was not giving away its fuel for free. So what exactly happened in the oil markets?
Recently, the "CARES" Act was signed into law. The almost 900 pages of legislation are jam-packed with programs designed to help taxpayers navigate the economic hardships. We've outlined the areas that are likely to impact people on a personal level.
It’s unclear when things will be able to return to normal. So, how do you financially plan through periods of absolute uncertainty?
Have you taken a look at your investment portfolio? During times of uncertainty, it is important not to get lost in the daily headlines. Concentrate on keeping everything in perspective. Let’s take a step back and remind ourselves of where we were not so long ago and look for where we might be headed in the next few weeks.
There are many books and theories published around the correlation between election cycles and stock market cycles. Is it true that the stock market outperforms in an election year? We are here to debunk (or not) myths and share some facts.
While the impact of the Wuhan coronavirus may seem temporary and relatively mild, the scare does serve as a useful lesson for investors. It is a good reminder to investors to expect the unexpected and to not act impulsively.
Are you hearing chatter about an upcoming economic recession? Economists use a variety of economic data to formulate their opinions but they are often confusing and meaningless to everyone else. Here are some of the more common economic indicator data points and their significance.
In July, WeWork was one of the most talked-about IPOs in years. At that time, we noted that it was too early to say what would happen, but said: “it should be very interesting to watch it all play out.” In the span of 30 days, WeWork went from one of the most-anticipated IPOs of 2019 to an indefinitely delayed IPO and a business looking like it could be in trouble. What went wrong, and what’s next?
Currency exchange rates around the globe are always fluctuating, including our U.S. dollar. Right now the U.S. dollar is “strong.” That’s a good thing for your wallet and the economy, right? Not necessarily. Economists can make a valid argument either way. Take a look at what determines the strength of a currency and the impact it can have.
The recent sharp downward move in interest rates, coupled with recent downturns in the market, has created an interesting situation for some investors – guaranteed negative returns on nearly 25 percent of bonds currently trading. What could this mean for your portfolio? Read on for the details.
What is the debt ceiling and why is it important? In the wake of the recent budget agreement, the debt ceiling has been temporarily suspended. What does the suspension of the debt ceiling mean, and how could it affect you? We’ve examined the recent deal and discuss the potential pitfalls of operating without a cap on the country’s debt.
WeWork (now The We Company) is planning for its IPO either later this year or early in 2020. Is WeWork stock a good fit for your portfolio? While it’s still a bit too early to tell if WeWork will be a good buy, we’ve outlined potential issues to be aware of before you decide to buy.
The Dow Jones and S&P 500 took investors on a roller coaster ride in December 2018. While the market volatility left investors feeling uneasy about their portfolios, it’s important to keep these fluctuations in perspective. We’ve compared the recent highs and lows to those of 2008 to better understand just how recent market swings really stack up.
Chances are you’ve crossed paths with Amazon at some point recently – purchasing a Christmas gift, ordering groceries for the home, or even researching products and their customer reviews. But Amazon's impact extends far beyond the way you shop - but just how far remains to be seen.
Recessions are a fact of life in the world of investments, but there are ways you can help to protect your portfolio from periods of economic downturn. Because no one can accurately predict just when a recession will hit, it’s important to be prepared. Read on for our tips and strategies on preparing your investments to weather the storm.
If your investment portfolio is exposed to economies whose currencies continue to depreciate against the U.S. dollar, the risk in your portfolio can rise. What causes this and what does it mean to you? Anthony explains this growing trend and how to be sure you’re comfortable with the amount of risk in your portfolio.
Investors, the bond market’s yield curve is indicting the possibility of impending recession! However, while the shape of the yield curve can be used as a tool to project the future health of the economy, it is not a crystal ball. Read on for a better understanding of yield curves and how this trend could impact you.
News of rising interest rates has been hard to miss, but if the economic jargon makes you anxious or you’re trying to ignore the topic altogether, you may have overlooked the impact this could have on your investments. We’ve pulled together a few basic points to help you feel more confident in the current economic environment.
With so much talk about the imposed tariffs on China, potential trade wars, and possible retaliatory tariffs on the U.S., it’s hard to know what to believe. Are we really headed for a trade war? Read on to better understand the pros and cons of the tariffs game.
Tariffs and trade wars and volatile markets…Oh my! You probably already know that the President has imposed tariffs on many Chinese goods coming into the U.S. But you might not understand what that means for the stock market, American corporations, and your wallet. We’ve cut through the hype to focus on tariffs and what they could actually mean for the economy…and your pocketbook!
The featured speaker at Bedel Financial’s annual Financial Forum was Liz Ann Sonders, senior vice president and chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. Liz Ann touched on a number of issues regarding the economy and the market. Here are the highlights!
Everyone knows volunteering is a good thing to do. Volunteers touch lives and make a difference. However, volunteering also provides true economic ...
Thinking about buying or selling a home? In Central Indiana, home prices have never been stronger! Will this trend continue? If so, how long? ...
Dow hits record high 20,000! Can it go higher? Will the bottom drop out? Should you buy, sell, or hold? These are all good questions with no easy ...
The UK is leaving the EU. Reaction: Yikes! What does this mean to you and me? Nothing or everything? Why did they vote to leave? What will change and how quickly?
In Denmark, it actually happened! You borrow money, pay no interest, and collect a premium to boot. However, as an investor, you pay the bank to hold your money.
Today, Greek banks and the Greek stock market were closed, as they will be all week. Meanwhile the Greek citizenry are getting set to vote on a referendum that could determine whether they remain part of the European Union or exit.
To most of us, inflation means higher prices. The grocery bill goes up, it costs more to go to the movies and to buy a car. But, what else is impacted by inflation?
We live in a global community. Activities anywhere in the world can have an impact, positive or negative, on our investment markets. So, what about Russia and the Ukraine?