Author: Cliff Walsh, CFA

Understanding the Federal Unemployment Index

The unemployment rate is one of the most important economic indicators policymakers and investors have in gauging the health of the U.S. economy. More recently, it has become the central barometer for how investors view the direction in which the Federal Reserve may take its monetary policy.

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The Impact of Higher Yields on Retirees

While the predominant fear of retirees is running out of money, the findings that most older retirees still had 80% of their pre-retirement savings after 17 to 18 years of retirement suggest that longevity risk may not be as menacing as many think.

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The Cash Trap

After over a decade of near-zero interest rates, today’s relatively high yields have sparked an investor rush into safe, short-term debt investments, like money market funds. This 18% rise in money market holdings in just one year illustrates the enthusiasm of investors for higher yields, as bonds have suddenly become an alternative to stocks. But it begs an important question … are investors pouring too much into cash?

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Monitoring Your Retirement Income Plan

Physicians monitor the health of their patients by measuring a range of vital signs to help detect signs of potentially deteriorating medical conditions in individuals. Similarly, financial professionals must also monitor the vital signs of a retiree’s retirement income plan due to the special challenges of sustaining retirement income over 25 or more years.

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The Case for International Diversification … Is There One?

The asset allocation recommendations of the vast majority of investment advice providers include some meaningful exposure to international stocks. Yet, given the fact that U.S. stocks have outperformed international stocks for eight out of the last 10 years and the correlations between these markets have narrowed it’s not unreasonable to question the value of investing overseas.

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