21 Jun 2021

Federal Reserve Changes its Tune

As noted above, the Federal Reserve took center stage last week as they signaled that change is afoot with short-term interest rates. While they did not change interest rates and did not adjust their $120 billion monthly asset plan purchases, they did indicate through their ‘dot plot’ that more members see interest rate hikes in 2022 and 2023. Although I don’t have a picture of the dot plot, I made… Read More

7 Jun 2021

Drawdowns in Retirement

This past week, I was meeting with a client and the discussion turned to the low yield bond environment. The client has a pretty common question – isn’t there something that yields more? The answer is yes, there are a lot of things that yield more than the investment-grade bond market. We could buy junk bonds, emerging markets bonds, or other questionable issuers. These kinds of bonds aren’t inherently bad,… Read More

24 May 2021

Betting Big on the Future

Some of the hottest exchange-traded funds (ETFs) over the past few years come from the ARK family of funds, founded and run by famed investor Cathy Woods. The ARK funds are a series of theme-based ETFs that seek to find the early companies in a variety of emerging fields including robotics, space exploration, genomics, fintech, and 3D printing, among others. I can’t say that I’m very familiar with the ARK… Read More

17 May 2021

Inflation Data Spooks Market

Markets were caught off guard last week by several inflation data points last week, and the biggest surprise came from the core inflation rate which was expected to come in at 0.3 percent for the month but was 0.9 percent instead. Most of the time stocks and bonds move independently of each other, but stock and bond prices fell on the inflation news because it could prompt the Federal Reserve… Read More

3 May 2021

Biden’s Tax Proposal

President Joe Biden outlined his tax proposals in his address to Congress on April 28th and issued an 18-page fact sheet, which can be found by clicking here. There are many proposals, but here are some of the items of note for individual investors: The top tax bracket would increase to 39.6 percent from 37.0 percent. In 2021, the top bracket began at $523,601 for single individuals and $628,301 for… Read More

12 Apr 2021

Down the Data Rabbit Hole

I was planning a different article on life expectancy after reading about Prince Philip’s death at 99. I couldn’t have told you his name until I watched The Crown on Netflix and he was one of my favorite characters, especially in the first two seasons. I know it’s fiction, but I would never have read his obituary before watching the show. Instead, though, I fell down a rabbit hole looking… Read More

29 Mar 2021

Having it all with Buffer Funds?

I’m proud to say that Acropolis was an early adopter of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Although they had been around for almost ten years by the time we launched the firm, they were not actively used. In fact, five years before we launched Acropolis, I wanted to buy some in an account that I had with my dad’s broker at A.G. Edwards. I wanted to buy the S&P 500 ‘Spider’ fund… Read More

15 Mar 2021

Sensational Small-Caps

Over the last six months or so, small-cap stocks have enjoyed one of their strongest periods of relative performance in history. In the five months that ended in February, the S&P 500 is up 14.1 percent, which is a terrific return, but the S&P 600 Small-Cap index, is up 50.3 percent, which is tremendous. This month isn’t over, so it’s too soon to say for sure, but as of Friday,… Read More

16 Feb 2021

Where the Economy Stands Now

Vanguard has always provided balanced and thoughtful commentary about the economy and markets. In the last few years, they’ve done an even better job of producing it regularly and making it easy for advisors to access. Today, I’m sharing a client-approved document that they produced that is easy-to-read and sets a great baseline for thinking about 2021. The title says it all: Approaching the Dawn. Although I encourage you to… Read More

8 Feb 2021

Modern Robin Hood is No Hero

Last week, I wrote that that frenetic trading of a handful of stocks was affecting our portfolios, albeit moderately. I noted that GameStop was the largest holding in the S&P 600 small-cap index, which meant that we owned it through the index fund that tracks that index (and a few other places: for more, click here). Last week, GameStop stock fell -80 percent, but it didn’t hurt us too badly… Read More