The purpose of this commentary is to share briefly our views on some of the recent events that have impacted the capital markets in the United States. What appears to be a case of near market hysteria and panic should, as always, be looked at in perspective.
Equity markets have recovered in October after a steep correction in the third quarter. The S&P 500 fell approximately 7% in the third quarter due to uncertainty over the Federal Reserve and the path of interest rates, fears of an economic slowdown in China and an expected weak corporate earnings season.
The past two weeks have been historically volatile in the stock market, with the Dow dropping 1900 points before recovering more than 900 points in the span of about two weeks. Monday was particularly stunning as the Dow lost more than 1000 points, before recovering almost all of its lost ground, only to lose almost 600 points within one trading day.
This special market commentary is intended to address the current weakness in commodity prices that began in the latter half of 2014 and has continued throughout this year. While the collapse in oil prices has drawn significant media attention recently, other commodities like natural gas, gold and copper have also suffered a similar fate.
The Wall Street Journal Online has a good article in its "weekend investor" section today that reviews several important financial planning topics for new college graduates and savers in their 20s. Notably, the article highlights the importance of getting started on saving in a 401(k) plan and paying off debt as early as possible in one's working career.
We have repeatedly written about the importance of maximizing contributions to retirement savings plans, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, due to the benefits of tax deferral on retirement nest eggs. A recent survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) underscores this concept.
We recently posted our First Quarter 2015 Market Commentary to the News & Analysis page! The Market Commentary includes our review of market developments in the first quarter, as well as our outlook for the second quarter 2015 and beyond. The content of the Market Commentary is reproduced below:
Investors are often faced with emotions caused by swings in the stock market, as exemplified by this year's heightened market volatility. However, emotions can also come into play when dealing with personal financial decisions at home, such as how much to spend when we shop, savings contributions, charitable contributions and the like.
A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research indicates that a key component of investment success over the long-term is financial knowledge, as outlined recently in CNN Money.
A common retirement rule of thumb that we have written about in our blog in the past is the 4% rule for withdrawals from savings in retirement. A recent Market Watch article discusses the potential that this rule is inadequate for many investors.