Connecting You and Your Wealth

 

Jennifer Myers – A NoVA Top Financial Professional (August 28, 2017)

Top Financial Professional in Northern Virginia

Jennifer Myers of SageVest Wealth Management is a Top Financial Professional in Northern Virginia

As our clients know, SageVest Wealth Management takes pride in connecting you with your wealth in impactful and meaningful ways. Our team of advisors provides personalized, comprehensive financial advisory and investment management services to individuals, families, and business owners across Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the Greater Washington, DC area.

It’s fitting, therefore, that Jennifer Myers was again recognized this year as a Top Financial Professional in the Northern Virginia area. Read More

5 Reasons To Stay Invested In Stocks At Market Highs (July 26, 2017)

The stock market’s been on a tear recently, setting new all-time records, despite a plethora of unsettling headlines about the Donald Trump Presidency, global trade tensions, the North Korean crisis, and more. Like many people, you might be questioning whether to stay invested in the stock market, or sell in preparation for a market downturn.

Market anxiety can be universal at any age, but it often peaks if you’re nearing, or are already in, retirement, when the stakes are higher to protect your nest egg. Whether you’re approaching retirement, a retiree already, or are simply questioning your investment strategy, here are five reasons to stay invested in the stock market, even at market highs.  Read More

Preparing To Celebrate 100 Months Of A Bull Market (July 6, 2017)

We recently released our quarterly commentary for the second quarter of 2017. Highlights are as follows:

– The first half of the year marks one of the strongest upturns in stocks in recent history.

– Several market drivers are supporting returns, giving rise to optimism looking forward.

– Central bank actions are one notable cautionary point on the horizon, with little historical reference for consideration or predictions. Read More

Investment Outlook, Given Politics And Interest Rates (April 6, 2017)

We recently released our quarterly commentary for year-end 2016. Highlights are as follows:

– The first quarter set new market highs in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 indices.

– While the markets remain strong, warning signs could be emerging, including political discord, rising rates and high valuation levels.

– Investors are encouraged to be mindful of risk exposure in pursuit of their desires to both grow and preserve. Read More

The Pros And Cons Of Target-Date Funds (March 31, 2017)

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Target-date funds have made investing easier over the past few decades, offering investors a one-stop investment solution. Also known as life-cycle or age-based funds, they comprise of a mix of holdings that alter over time, based upon a specific target date.

Such funds have allowed many individuals to gain confidence investing beyond cash and CDs. This is a positive step forward, and there are certainly merits to using target-date funds in a number of situations. However, there are also indicators that a savvy investor should be cognizant of in advance.  Read More

A Potentially Inflationary Era Ahead (February 2, 2017)

President Trump has hit the ground running since his inauguration, with a flurry of executive activity on many different fronts. While it’s early in the new administration to start making forecasts, a number of key strategies aimed at boosting the economy also suggest that a potentially inflationary environment could be ahead.

A healthy growing economy would be a positive step forward for the US. Furthermore, some additional level of inflation could be a welcome event after years of relative stagnation. However, potential signs of inflation always deserve some advance consideration, both within your investments and within your personal finances. Read More

The Dow 20,000: Looking Past A Record High (February 1, 2017)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) recently topped 20,000, setting a new record high and achieving a symbolic moment in US investment history. Investor sentiment has been climbing for a number of months, and a recent post-election market rally energized the Dow to finally cross this much-anticipated market boundary. The last time the Dow crossed such an important threshold was in 1999, when it hit 10,000.

This recent market movement begs the question of what happens next. Could this latest defining moment in the Dow’s history echo the downturn that followed 1999’s high point, when it took 11 years to re-secure the Dow’s standing of 10,000? Alternatively, will the momentum continue, extending the second longest market rally in recent times, and providing investors with increased opportunities for financial advancement? Read More

2016: A Year Of Surprises (January 5, 2017)

We recently released our quarterly commentary for year-end 2016. Highlights are as follows:

– 2016 was a historic year in politics and the markets, with surprise reactions to populist movements.

– 2017 will undoubtedly bring changes with a pro-growth, pro-business administration, possibly fueling an extended bull market.

– Valuations are rich, potentially supported by rising earnings, but stand as a warning signal. Read More

Drifting Toward An Eventful Year-End (October 5, 2016)

We recently released our quarterly commentary. Highlights are as follows:

–  The third quarter was docile, allowing markets to advance and support modest, yet encouraging, year-to-date results.

–  US elections and a December meeting of the Federal Reserve could make the fourth quarter more volatile as the markets await and absorb results.

–  Absent a resurgence in corporate earnings, investors might need to gain comfort with more speculative momentum investing.   Read More

Structured Or Market-Linked CDs (September 19, 2016)

For the past several years, many investors have been tempted by the too-good-to-be-true descriptions of structured CDs (also known as market-linked CDs). These instruments often claim to offer the upside of stock market or other investment exposure, with little-to-no downside risk.

Enough years have now passed since the inception of structured CDs to allow adequate evaluation of their investment results. A recent analysis reviewed their effectiveness, and the results support the age-old saying of, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Read More

The World Post-Brexit (July 7, 2016)

We recently released our quarterly commentary. Highlights are as follows:

– The Brexit vote stunned the world, raising economic, political, central bank and currency uncertainties.

– Bond investors benefited handsomely post the Brexit vote, and interest rates are now expected to remain low as central banks consider necessary stimulus efforts.

– The US economy remains fairly steady, offering encouragement for a possible resumption in growth. Read More

A Roller Coaster First Quarter To 2016 (April 8, 2016)

We recently released our quarterly commentary. Highlights are as follows:

– Following steep declines, stocks rebounded and left investors fairly flat for the first quarter.

– Recent reports show signs of economic growth here and abroad, a positive indicator looking forward.

– After seven years, the efficacy of central bank actions, which have supported market rallies, is being drawn into question.   Read More

2016: China, The Markets and More (January 8, 2016)

Last year started fairly steady and strong, but lingering risks from the summer caused 2015 to fall flat, with broad-based negative stock market returns.  Most economists predicted a healthy 2015, and it should have been by a number of historical standards.  Unfortunately, not even the beloved Santa Claus Rally came to fruition.  On the heels of such a year, and a rocky start to 2016, investors are left questioning the outlook for the markets.  Last year proved that forecasts can easily go awry.  That said, we offer our insights for the year ahead.   Read More

A Healthy Perspective On Market Concerns (October 8, 2015)

The third quarter was hopefully a time of enjoyable vacations, but it was also a time of tumult in the markets.

Performance among stocks was ugly, bringing the first correction since the autumn of 2011.  Broad US stock markets were down 7% to 9% for the quarter and international stocks ended down more than 12%.

The only asset class that was positive was bonds.   Read More

International Markets – Greece, Puerto Rico and China (July 8, 2015)

A docile second quarter proved to be anything but calm in its final week, as a convergence of international events in Greece, Puerto Rico and China captured headlines and erased second quarter market gains.  The quarter end’s sudden drop occurred in spite of continuing improvement in the U.S. economy and in many of the world’s larger market economies.

The next few weeks could determine if continued economic recovery is enough to fuel a full seven-year bull market rally.  Read More

Year 7 Of A Bull Market: Three Key Questions To Consider (June 10, 2015)

It’s always important to evaluate your investment structure, and perhaps more so today, as the U.S. equity markets are now in their seventh year of a bull market cycle. This isn’t the longest or greatest bull market in history, but it is now the S&P 500’s third longest and fourth strongest bull market since 1929.  It’s also well beyond the averages, as illustrated below.

This means that it might be a good time to take stock of your stock market exposure.  Read More

Winds Of Change: The Rising U.S. Dollar (April 9, 2015)

So far, 2015 marks a distinct reversal in U.S. market dominance as large-cap stocks floundered while international stocks thrived. The S&P 500 index and the Dow Industrial Average experienced significant up and down days, but ultimately moved nowhere.

What happened?

Largely, a dramatic rise in the U.S. Dollar, placing our companies at a competitive disadvantage. Read More

An Open, Honest Discussion About Fees (April 2, 2015)

We recently came across an article in the New York Times that predominantly discussed mutual fund fees and alleged investment advisory conflicts. The public commentary in this and other similar pieces is well intentioned, with an objective of helping investors plan for retirement. However, we are concerned that some discussions lack clarification and that, worse, they could scare Americans away from saving for their futures.

It seems timely to offer a few words on the advantages of working with a Registered Investment Advisor and fiduciary like SageVest, as well as important information to give you peace of mind about our services and how we structure the investments in client portfolios.  Read More

The Fed Opens An Uncertain Door To Rate Hikes (March 19, 2015)

Investors closely eyed the Federal Reserve (the Fed) this week, looking for indications of the first Fed funds rate increase since 2008.

The federal funds rate is the key driver for all types of interest rates and varies depending upon the strength of the economy.  It sets the bar for bond prices, mortgages, loan rates, investments, real estate valuations, and so much more.  As expected, the Fed removed the word “patient” from its policy statement, thereby opening the door to higher interest rates in the near-term.  Read More

Oil And Troubled Waters (January 13, 2015)

2014 was a banner year for the S&P 500 and the Dow Industrial Average as both indices set new records.

While the celebrations were joyous, they were also lonely when we look broadly across the investment markets. Smaller US companies posted meager returns after trending flat to negative for much of the year. International stocks had a less favorable outcome, ending down for the year in the wake of a global economic slowdown. Read More

Emerging Global Risks (October 9, 2014)

Our domestic economy enjoyed a number of growth achievements in the third quarter, but investment results were mixed, with more negative results than positive in the wake of troubling global developments. The S&P 500 and the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index managed to post modest advancements of 0.62% and 0.17%, respectively. However, a far longer list of asset classes retreated, including US small-cap stocks down -7.36% and international equities down -5.27%, along with declines in real estate and commodities. The strongest sectors of the quarter were health care and technology. Energy and utility stocks fared worst.  Read More

A Sea Of Green (August 1, 2014)

Investment markets painted a sea of green through the first half of the year as all major asset classes (stocks, bonds, commodities and real estate) were in positive territory.  Stocks posted several new highs, despite advancing at a slower pace than 2013.  The ‘surprise’ investment was bonds, which rallied as the 10-year Treasury rate dropped from 3% at year-end to 2.5% as of June 30th, rewarding bond owners at a time when many expected rising interest rates.  Investors who remained in the markets have enjoyed positive absolute returns and an unusual level of market tranquility, offering a pleasant start to summer.  Read More

Changing Investment Climates: From Weather To World Politics (March 31, 2014)

After a stellar year for the stock market in 2013, the first quarter ended largely unchanged, yet with a fair amount of volatility along the way.

Stocks eked out modest gains, allowing the extended bull market to celebrate its fifth birthday in March, making this the sixth longest bull market since 1928. Bonds posted the greatest returns as investor confidence began to wane, causing flight into the safety of Treasuries. Bonds surged 1.8% in the first quarter, reflecting investor fatigue towards growth in the midst of Fed tapering, one of the worst winters in history and geopolitical uncertainty in the Ukraine that resurrected coldwar tensions with Russia.  Read More

The Top Three Investment Headlines of 2013 (December 31, 2013)

U.S. stocks dominated investment returns in 2013 as the S&P 500 index posted a 30% return, the strongest since 1997. Investors rejoiced in continued economic recovery as well as continued easy money policies extended by the Fed.

It was a year when U.S. stock markets maintained positive year-to-date returns on every trading day of the year, following an almost perfect upward trajectory in the fifth year of a bull market.

Returns elsewhere were more mixed.  Read More

The Federal Reserve And The Federal Government (September 30, 2013)

A strong year in the US extended in the third quarter as both the US stock market and household networth set new all-time highs. Fortunately, the good news didn’t stop there. Previously sluggish international stocks staged a strong rally, climbing a handsome 9.6% for the quarter. Bonds also posted positive returns as interest rate pressures began to subside. It was generally a quarter of good news, with one big zinger at the end: the US government shutdown, which perpetuates as of the writing of this commentary. We explore a number of surprises that emerged in recent months, positive signals looking forward, and a few meaningful short-term risks that the fourth quarter entails. Read More

Discussing Bonds: Shaken, Not Stirred (June 30, 2013)

June brought a bumpy landing to the second quarter as the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) signaled likely tapering in its bond buying program, and news from China raised liquidity concerns for the second largest world economy. US stocks,  the starlets of 2013, managed to retain significant YTD returns. Dividend paying stocks retreated as bond yields became more attractive, but US stocks on the whole remained rather resilient. Looking elsewhere, returns turned negative among international stocks (largely emerging markets), bonds and commodities alike. Read More

US, European And World Performance (April 5, 2013)

The S&P 500 and Dow Industrial Average indices posted fresh all-time records in the first quarter, as both indices boasted double digit returns in just a short three months. US stocks were ‘the place to be’, while many other investment areas were far more muted. The international equity markets offered a modest 3% return, with Japan as the big winner and emerging markets (primarily Brazil) as the laggard. The aggregate bond market was slightly negative as interest rates moved higher. Commodities were mixed, but slightly negative; in large part due to a pull back in gold. Overall, it was a rewarding first quarter, but with wide variations in performance among various types of investments. Read More

Investment Positives And Negatives (January 8, 2013)

Pleasant surprises materialized for investors during 2012, after a lackluster 2011. The prior year’s European debt crisis and fiscal concerns persisted, yet the investment markets rejoiced in the wake of much negative news. In fact, 2012 was dubbed ‘risk-on’ as the riskiest sectors enjoyed the largest returns. Domestically, the beleaguered financial and home building sectors posted the strongest performance while utilities fell to the bottom rank. Perhaps the largest surprise was in Europe, where Greece (yes, Greece!) captured the highest stock market gain. Read More

Europe’s Fiscal Stimulus Vs. America’s Fiscal Cliff (October 5, 2012)

The third quarter of 2012 provided handsome returns to risk-seeking investors, despite weak economic data that surfaced throughout the quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added more than 500 points as investor sentiment substantially improved. International stocks also enjoyed strong growth, including among beleaguered European countries. Bond investors felt a little upside, but it was muted in relative terms, effectively helping to cover inflationary effects. With substantial year-to-date returns across major stock markets, the question as we look forward is can returns continue, particularly at the same pace? Read More

Elevated Investment Risks (July 9, 2012)

The opening quarter of 2012 was the finest quarter for U.S. stocks since the late 1990s; the second quarter was a markedly different story. After an all-but-flat April and an abysmal May, stocks finally managed to advance in June, much of which happened on the last trading day of the quarter when renewed hope emerged from Europe. The second quarter wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but institutional and individual investors contended with plenty of bumps in the road. These bumps reflect a continuing struggle to achieve recovery and growth against numerous headwinds. Read More

The Investment Tax Landscape (May 31, 2012)

In December 2010, Congress extended the so-called Bush-era tax cuts by passing the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.

As a result, investors have been granted a reprieve while Congress wrestles with those issues.

That’s time you can use to think about how best to position your portfolio. Read More

Spring Growth Across World Markets (April 9, 2012)

Spring arrived early in 2012 with a remarkable surge among world stock markets. In fact, it was the best first quarter for the U.S. stock market since 1998. Bonds on the other hand, posted stagnant returns as interest rates inched higher. The resurgence in equities reflects a sharp change in investor sentiment and regained confidence that the economy might not fall into the dire state that people began to expect throughout 2011. The reality is that many of the significant challenges of 2011 persist today; however, monetary actions in Europe have likely averted the most worrisome of outcomes. Read More

Resilience In US Markets Rounds Out A Rocky Year (January 10, 2012)

It was a frustrating year on Wall Street, but the fourth quarter of 2011 was a real turnaround from the third. However, the stock market still posted a subpar year due to incredible events including an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan, riots throughout most of the oil-producing Arab world, the first ever downgrade of the United States’ credit rating, and spreading debt problems throughout the European Union. The resilience of our U.S. markets throughout this period is somewhat astounding. Following is a look at significant developments of the quarter, including improved economic indicators, and thoughts moving into 2012. Read More

Greece Is The Word: The European Debt Crisis (October 10, 2011)

The third quarter was difficult for equity investors as stocks suffered the largest declines since the first quarter of 2009. Double digit losses occurred throughout worldwide stock markets.

What is notable is that these events did not mirror economic or corporate results. Rather, they were instigated by a lack of political decision making, with political divides leading to the first ever downgrade to our U.S. Treasuries and to a worsening debt crisis in Europe, namely in Greece. Read More

From Stimulus Spending To Budget Cuts (July 12, 2011)

For the first time in four quarters, U.S. stocks did not advance. The S&P 500 lost 0.39% in second quarter as investors reacted to European debt concerns, the conclusion of the Fed’s quantitative easing program, high gas prices and indications that the recovery was stalling. Yet as June ended, encouraging domestic indicators and better headlines from overseas helped to renew the collective appetite for risk. Returns in the last week of June virtually erased losses that occurred during the quarter, allowing major equity indices to remain in positive territory for the year. Read More

Around The World In 90 Days (April 11, 2011)

No forecast for 2011 came close to the events unfolding in just the first quarter. Tensions in Tunisia unleashed widespread social unrest throughout North Africa and the Middle East, with ongoing conflict and military action. Catastrophic natural disasters in Japan shifted the earth’s axis and left the world on the edge of a possible nuclear disaster. Coupled with a worsening debt crisis in Europe, you might be surprised by the fact that world markets managed to post positive investment performance. Read More

Investor Holiday Cheer (January 11, 2011)

What amounted to be a choppy year fortunately finished with investor holiday cheer. Investment markets posted positive across-the-board returns among equities, bonds, real estate and commodities, rewarding those who held confidence throughout a number of challenges such as the BP oil spill, the May 6th Flash Crash, a mortgage foreclosure debacle, political turmoil and the continuing European debt crisis. All in all, a second year of recovery has further strengthened the economy and allowed many investors to regain financial stability, offering a strong start and outlook as we move into 2011. Read More

A Tug Of War In The Markets (October 7, 2010)

After a difficult start, the third quarter ended with a red-hot rally, bringing a much needed ‘Indian Summer’ effect to the markets. Equities significantly outpaced bonds for the month of September. This was an anomaly as September is one of the worst performing months by historical standards, and a reminder of how trying to time the markets based on trends can easily backfire. Year-to-date, bonds remain primary contributors to bottom line returns as the economy desperately tries to regain recovery momentum. Read More

Stimulus Spending At Home, Austerity Measures In Europe (July 13, 2010)

The months of May and June cast grey clouds over the markets. The Greek debt crisis and the coinciding May 6th “flash crash” quickly erased early 2010 market gains. Ensuing debt contagion fears swathed much further than the so-called “PIIGS” (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain). The effects put broad government debt burdens under scrutiny, brought future economic recovery into question, and ultimately forced equity markets into negative territory for the year. Read More

Steady And Strong (April 14, 2010)

World equity markets started the year with gusto carried over from 2009, but were quickly set back when the Greek debt crisis surfaced.  Investors are still trying to determine the short and long-term impacts of mounting Greek debt and around the world.  These concerns did not prove significant enough to halt the recovery process.  The balance of the quarter offered steady, strong results that brought domestic equities back into positive territory and allowed international equities to end the quarter essentially flat. Read More