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In Defense of Diversification

Diversification is a time-tested, foundational principle of wealth management. Reduced portfolio volatility and downside loss mitigation are bedrock principles of its value. Yet the further removed we get from the type of market conditions in which diversification reveals its value, the more likely we are to question it. We see this pattern of belief, frustration and abandonment repeated time and again over market cycles. We appear to have, once again, arrived at one of those moments.

What Can Investors Expect After a Rollercoaster Week?

The selloff in equities accelerated last week, taking stocks to their third straight weekly decline for the first time since June 2016. The S&P 500 index shed 4.1 percent, but it could have been worse, if not for a 1.4 percent rebound on Friday that allowed the index to close above its 200-day moving average, although just barely. As it is, the index has fallen 5.4 percent in the past three weeks. 

Have We Reached a Tipping Point?

Yields on Treasury securities surged higher last week in response to a round of solid economic reports and comments by Fed officials about the future path of interest rates. The ten-year Treasury note began the year at a yield of 2.41 percent, and by the middle of February had climbed to 2.95 percent. Except for a brief spike to 3.11 in mid-May, the yield remained in a tight band between roughly 2.80-3.00 percent for the better part of the next six months. But after Fed Chairman Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole in late August, the yield began a steady climb from 2.80 to 3.06 percent by the middle of last week. Then the lid came off. Over just the last three days of past week, the yield suddenly surged higher to close at 3.23 percent. It is the highest level on the ten-year since 2011. The yield spike followed comments from Powell on Wednesday that the Fed intends to continue raising rates at a gradual pace, but would do so more aggressively should inflationary pressures rise. Powell also indicated that the Fed funds rate at present was likely a long way from neutral.

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Retirees ready, but reluctant to spend savings

Retirees ready, but reluctant to spend savings

Expert Marcy Keckler shares tips to help you feel more confident about drawing down assets in retirement. Learn more about our Making Money Last study.