The market continues to reach new highs although many stocks in the S&P 500 are still below their previous highs. For example, as of this writing, 40% of S&P 500 stocks are 20% below their highs. The market is reaching new highs on just a handful of stocks; including Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon, etc. In recent days we have been receiving a significant amount of interest from our clients as to the direction of stocks and the effects of a presidential election.
A recent article in Barron’s magazine discussed analysis by Ned Davis Research Chief Equity Strategist Ed Clissold. He mentioned stocks have risen more under Democratic presidents, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 7.8% a year, versus 3.3% under Republican presidents. When both the White House and Congress have been held by Democrats the Dow gained an average of 3% annually, compared with 7.1% annually when Republicans have held both the Presidency and Congress.
Learn More about this State-Sponsored Investment Account for Educational Costs
As a parent, you want the very best future for your children – but what happens when that future comes at a substantial cost? If you dream of a private school college education for your kids, it just might.
For parents who are hoping to cover the partial or full costs of college, a 529 college savings plan may be a useful tool. Designed specifically for educational costs, a 529 plan is a state-sponsored investment account that offers many advantages. However, it is easy to make missteps with these plans that could cost you big down the road, so it’s important to learn all you can before starting one.
Understand Plan Variations
As with many other financial instruments, it often pays to shop around. All fifty states and the District of Columbia offer at least one 529 plan, and you are not necessarily limited to choosing your state’s plan. You will want to consider the differences among plans, especially in these categories:
Stock returns are volatile, but nearly a century of bull and bear markets shows that the good times have outshined the bad times.
- From 1926 through March 31, 2020, the S&P 500 Index experienced 17 bear markets or a fall of at least 20% from a previous peak. The declines ranged from —21% to —80% across an average length of around 10 months.
- On the upside, there were 17 bull markets or gains of at least 20% from a previous trough. They averaged 56 months in length, and advances ranged from 21% to 936%.
- When the bull and bear markets are viewed together, it’s clear equities have rewarded disciplined investors.
Five Considerations Before You Purchase a Larger Home
A lot has been written and discussed over the years about the benefits of downsizing your home when you reach a certain point in your life, typically retirement or when your grown children move out. However, there are many people in a different phase who are currently facing the exact opposite scenario – upsizing.
As you contemplate upgrading your starter home, maybe your family is growing and requires more room, or you would simply like a more spacious floor plan, upsizing is a big step. The decision to purchase a larger home, and likely take on a larger mortgage payment, requires thoughtful consideration.
Below, we discuss five things you may want to think about as you make this important move.
1. Understand ‘Why?’
People upsize their homes for a variety of reasons. You may want to upsize because you need more bedrooms for your growing family, you may be running out of storage space and in a desperate search for more, or you may have experienced a recent increase in your income and want to upgrade your lifestyle. Whatever the reason, make sure it is clearly defined. Ask yourself whether you are trying to achieve an intrinsic goal by upsizing, rather than an extrinsic one, in keeping up with the neighbors’ upgrades, for example.