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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

2020 is only five months old, but in many ways it is one of the most historic years we’ve ever seen. “2020 went from moving along nicely, to seeing the worst recession in a generation and the fastest bear market ever...

Friday, May 29, 2020

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 Index closed above its 200-day moving average for the first time since March 4. While that move marks an important milestone for an index that has rebounded more than 35% from its March 23 low, we believe...

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Despite the gradual reopening of the economy in several states, sentiment on Main Street remains suppressed, as the effects of COVID-19 appear to be keeping a lid on American optimism in the most recent Federal Reserve (Fed) Beige Book...

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The S&P 500 Index flirted with closing above 3,000 yesterday, even as much of the economic data is some of the worst we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes. We are often asked how this is possible. The reality is the double backstop of...

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Federal Reserve (Fed) increased its bond exchange-traded funds (ETF) purchases in the week ending May 20 (the most recent data available), adding another $1.5 billion in bond ETFs to its balance sheet, bringing the total holding to...

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Friday, May 22, 2020

Leading economic indicators are signaling that the pace of economic deterioration may be slowing. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI), a composite of leading data series, fell...

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Most economic charts we look at from the LPL Research Department look alike. Many segments of the US economy came to an abrupt halt in March when the lockdowns and business closures began, making most economic charts covering March and...

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The incredible rally off the March 23 lows continues for equities, with the S&P 500 Index now up more than 32% in 40 trading days. As impressive as the rally has been, we do have some near-term concerns, as we discussed in Downside...

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

There’re plenty of people who think negative interest rates are a good policy. But we don’t really think so at the Federal Reserve. And I think it’s an area of real uncertainty in the central banking world. -Fed Chair...

Friday, May 15, 2020

Retail sales numbers for April were released today, and the basic story was no surprise. Retail sales fell a record 16.4% in April, after declining 8.4% in March, already the largest decline since the government started keeping records...

Friday, May 15, 2020

As we discussed in earlier this week in Markets Due for a Pause, there were multiple technical reasons to believe that US equities were due for some sort a pullback following a more than 30% rally from the March 23 lows. Technical...

Thursday, May 14, 2020

As stocks rallied 30% off the March 23 lows and earnings expectations were cut dramatically, valuations have become increasingly concerning for many investors (including some high-profile hedge fund managers being quoted in the...

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Gold has done quite well so far in 2020, up more than 12% year to date versus the S&P 500 Index which is down about 10%. We started to warm to the yellow metal late last year and continue to think it can serve as a potential hedge in a...

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Like most major segments of the bond market outside Treasuries, mortgage-backed securities (MBS) experienced increased market stress as global COVID-19 containment efforts accelerated. And, like most major segments of the bond market,...

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The number of COVID-19 tests in the US has ramped up significantly, which is a major step to defeating this terrible pandemic. “We know we need more testing to help quickly isolate those infected, and last week we had more than...

Friday, May 8, 2020

Economists had braced market participants for massive job losses in today’s employment report, but that does not make the numbers any less eye-popping. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment report this...

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Stocks have staged one of the strongest rallies ever since the S&P 500 Index’s bear market low on March 23. Some, including LPL Research, are worried that the rally may have come too far too fast given the economic realities...

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Recent economic data confirms that the US economy has entered a recession, led by the consumer, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy based on gross domestic product (GDP). The consumer spending collapse was evident...

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

One of the most historic market crashes ever took place 10 years ago today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index plunging more than 1,000 points, or 9%, within minutes, only to regain most of the losses by the end of the day....

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Like other areas of the economy, the finances of states, counties, cities, and towns have been heavily impacted by efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The disruption has raised concerns for municipal bond (“muni”)...

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Federal Reserve (Fed), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) all met in the last week and while the show of power was minimal compared to recent weeks, they collectively reasserted their resolve to do...

Thursday, April 30, 2020

One of the best known investment axioms is to “sell in May and go away.” This is largely because these six months have historically been some of the worst six months of the year. As you can see below, the next six months...

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Over the past couple of weeks, we have thankfully witnessed new cases of COVID-19 in the US trending lower. Increasingly, we are also seeing governors implementing plans to re-open their state economies in phases. If the US economy...

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for April came in 86.9, falling more than 30 points from the prior month. The monthly drop was the biggest for the index since 1973, reflecting the severity of the economic...

Friday, April 24, 2020

With 20% of S&P 500 Index companies having reported first quarter results so far, earnings season has been a mixed bag. In our April 13 earnings preview, we noted that S&P 500 Index earnings for the quarter were expected to decline 10%...

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

With 22 million jobs lost in the past four weeks, a record drop in retail sales, and huge drops in industrial production and housing starts, it is safe to say we are likely in a recession. Even the Federal Reserve (Fed) in the recent...

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Headlines had oil selling at -$37.63 per barrel at close on Monday, April 20. The negative sign in front? Sellers had to pay buyers $37.63 to take the oil off their hands. Except this wasn’t the price of oil. It was the price of...

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Stock returns get all the headlines, and with US equities entering their first bear market since 2008, there is good reason for that. However, fixed income may account for a significant portion, or even a majority, of many...

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

We continue to follow our Road to Recovery Playbook for help determining where the market is in its bottoming process. Today we are making two changes. The first is to Signal #1, which we upgraded from “monitoring daily” to...

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

What a ride 2020 has been for investors. The fastest bear market ever, now one of the steepest recoveries ever. After being down more than 30% for the year on March 23, this recovery is extremely impressive. In fact, before yesterday,...

Monday, April 13, 2020

First quarter earnings season will kick off this week with 40 S&P 500 Index companies slated to report results, including several of the biggest banks on Tuesday and Wednesday. Analysts are calling for a roughly 10% year-over-year...

Thursday, April 9, 2020

The economic damage inflicted by the current COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented, with thousands of businesses temporarily shuttered and millions of workers out of work. While the historic drop in economic activity is real and...

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Market Blog Stocks have rallied nicely off the March 23 lows on the back of a bold policy response from the Federal Reserve (Fed) and lawmakers in Washington, DC, which was followed by signs that a peak in growth of COVID-19 cases may...

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Did the US economy go into a recession last month? According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) the answer is no, but we think there’s a good chance that will be revised after the fact to show the economy did...

Monday, April 6, 2020

Experiencing a major pullback in stocks is never a comfortable feeling. In times like these, we believe it can be helpful to set aside the daily headlines and keep perspective of how stocks have historically performed over the long...

Friday, April 3, 2020

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment report this morning, showing the US jobs market posted its first month-over-month decline in March since September 2010. As seen in the chart below, total nonfarm...

Thursday, April 2, 2020

More than 6 million people filed new claims for unemployment in the week ending March 28. It’s hard to capture what a number like that means. Last week’s 3.3 million new claims was already almost five times the previous...

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

With the US economy having entered recession, investors were braced for weak manufacturing data today. The report released this morning at 10am ET clearly showed the pandemic has negatively impacted the sector, but the headline number...

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Factor #1 in our Road to Recovery Playbook is finding confidence in the peak of COVID-19 cases in the United States. Ford Financial Group and LPL Research are monitoring this factor daily, and we wanted to provide an update into what...

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The big equity bounce has continued, with the S&P 500 Index up more than 17% from the multi-year lows hit last Monday. The big question on many investors’ minds is could this be a bear market rally? After all, some of the most...

Friday, March 27, 2020

With the major stock market indexes all entering a bear market this month, it’s no surprise that stocks have stolen most of the spotlight. However, actions taken by the Federal Reserve (Fed) to support what may be considered the...

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Weekly new jobless claims were reported this morning, and to no one’s surprise they rose to levels thought unimaginable just a few weeks ago. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, 3.3 million people filed new claims for...

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

We’ve been monitoring the details in our Road to Recovery Playbook closely over the past few weeks, looking for ways to opportunistically take advantage of the sharp pullback in equity prices. The Playbook has five important...

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented volatility in recent weeks that has investors and traders scrambling to assess the economic and market impact of the aggressive containment measures. This past week the CBOE Volatility...

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The incredible volatility continues, with the S&P 500 Index now in one of its worst bear markets ever, along the way making the quickest move from an all-time high to down 30% at only 22 days. What is a long-term investor to do?...

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

As COVID-19-related fear continues grip global financial markets, we wanted to take a closer look at factor #1 in our Road to Recovery Playbook: confidence in the timing of a peak of new COVID-19 cases in the United States. This is...

Monday, March 23, 2020

Policy makers in Washington, DC, worked over the weekend to try to put the finishing touches on a significant stimulus package to help cushion the economic and financial blow being delivered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal...

Friday, March 20, 2020

Over the past few weeks, investors may have been introduced to a new term they weren’t previously familiar with: circuit breakers. Today, we answer a few simple questions about circuit breakers: What is a circuit break? A circuit...

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The indiscriminate selling continued yesterday, with one of the worst days in stock market history. Fears over the potential impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) have led to one of the steepest sell-offs in history, rivaling what we saw in...

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

In just 13 trading days, the S&P 500 Index pulled back nearly 19% from its recent all-time highs, making this the fastest such move in stock market history. We all know why this happened, as concerns over COVID-19 (coronavirus) and...

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

On October 16, 2008 in an editorial for The New York Times, Warren Buffett, considered by many to be one of the greatest investors of his generation, repeated one of his favorite maxims: Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy...

Friday, March 6, 2020

While stock markets continue to be extremely volatile as they come to terms with how the coronavirus may affect global growth, the U.S. job market has remained remarkably robust. Continued U.S. jobs data resilience in the face of...

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Despite strong market gains on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, the on-the-run 10-year Treasury yield ended the day below 1% for the first time ever and has posted additional declines in real time, sitting at 0.92% intraday as this blog is...

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The hits keep coming, as the Federal Reserve (Fed) did an intra-meeting cut yesterday, causing stocks to sell off hard on concerns the economy is on more fragile footing than most think. Read First Emergency Rate Cut By the Fed Since...

Thursday, March 5, 2020

In a move in which the timing was more compelling than the decision itself, the Federal Reserve (Fed) announced this morning that it unanimously decided to cut its policy rate by 50 basis points (0.5%) from the 1.5-1.75% range to the...

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Amid all of the attention on the coronavirus outbreak and related market volatility, and rightly so, we did get one of the most impactful U.S. economic data points on Monday—the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Purchasing...

Friday, February 28, 2020

Amid increasing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its potential impacts on global economic growth, many major global stock markets entered correction territory on Thursday; a correction is generally defined as...

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The coronavirus outbreak—or Covid-19 —has caused significant market volatility over the past week. Our approach as always is to focus on economic fundamentals first, but the uncertainty around the scope of the outbreak has...

Monday, February 24, 2020

News that the coronavirus—known as COVID-19—has spread to South Korea, Italy, Japan, and Iran, has led to massive selling around the globe, with many European markets closing down more than 4%. U.S. stock markets are...

Friday, February 21, 2020

The recent news that technology giant Apple would miss its fourth quarter 2020 revenue targets has understandably increased investor anxiety surrounding the potential economic impact of the coronavirus (now called COVID-19). Lost in...

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

We hope everyone had a nice Presidents’ Day yesterday, and by nice we hope you got the day off work! In honor of George Washington, starting in 1971, the third Monday in February was originally celebrated as a Federal holiday to...

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A late month selloff in January saw the S&P 500 Index close marginally lower for the month. But stocks have taken off in February, with the S&P 500 up nearly 4% this month, as US economic data remains strong and fears over the...

Monday, April 23, 2018

1. I don't have enough money to invest. Sure, some firms have minimum dollar requirements in order for you to get in the door, however not all firms are the same. Be sure to research different advisors and see if they have a niche...

Monday, April 16, 2018

In my experience in working with younger investors, I find that many people start to get serious about their finances once they start a family. When you have a little one you're now responsible for, the stakes get a little bit higher,...

Monday, February 5, 2018

Happy 2018! We are making our way through our staff and we hope that you are enjoying learning a little bit more about the folks at Ford Financial Group. This month we are featuring Erin Redmond. Erin has been with Ford for 4 years....

Monday, January 29, 2018

My biggest 2018 resolution is to get out of my comfort zone. It is very easy for me to reject opportunities because they are scary. I am quite content in my little routine, thank you very much. However, this year I am facing my fears...

Monday, December 18, 2017

Yes, another year is almost over. Most of us take a few minutes to sit and ponder about how we can make next year better; more profitable, save more, spend less, max out the retirement plans, save for vacation, put money in our...

Monday, December 11, 2017

This month, we are featuring Ryan Louie. Ryan is a Financial Advisor and has been with Ford for 11 years. In addition to meeting with his clients and the day to day responsibilities of being a Financial Advisor, he’s also a...

Monday, December 4, 2017

What is the one thing that is not only good for your wallet, but also good for your well-being? Giving back and volunteering! The holidays are always a time of deal shopping, parties, treats, and time with family, but it also a time...

Monday, November 20, 2017

In my experience, most of our clients tend to use a 529 college savings account to save and invest for their kid’s college. It is easy, can provide a tax deduction in some states, and has other benefits (like multiple...

Monday, November 13, 2017

Data breach. Identity theft. Cybersecurity. Digital security. Password protection. Hacking. Malware. Are you as sick as I am? Seriously, it makes me want to go back to the 70’s… ok, 80’s - before these words and...

Monday, October 30, 2017

Ah the holidays… the time of year where our schedules fill up with parties, good food, laziness, and nostalgic movies. While the holidays are joyful and a perfect excuse to dive into some baked goods, it can also be a hard time...

Monday, October 23, 2017

One of the things I hear the most often from younger investors is how they are skeptical of equity markets and they want to use what they perceive as more conservative investments as they seek to protect their money as the save for the...

Monday, October 16, 2017

So a loved one left you money, either expectedly or unexpectedly. It might be tempting to treat yourself or your family to a luxury. A new car, a long vacation, new teeth, a face lift... ok, the last two are more impractical but you...

Monday, October 9, 2017

In this month’s profile, we are featuring Robert Farmer, one of two new advisors to join Ford Financial Group. While he’s only been here for a few weeks, he already feels like a long-time member of the team! We are excited...

Monday, October 2, 2017

How taking a simple approach has made money lessons fun for my children (and myself). A couple weeks ago I noticed my daughter, who is 6, was fascinated with the concept of money. As we strolled the aisles of the store rather than my...

Monday, September 25, 2017

In my last post I discussed zero-based budgeting and how it can really help to turn your finances around. In this post I want to cover some of those tools that can make the budgeting process faster and easier, so you can stick with it...

Monday, September 18, 2017

While most of us don’t want to be a financial burden to our kids, without an adequate investment portfolio or some type of Long Term Care Insurance, chances are… we will be. I know, we all say our kids would care for us in...

Monday, September 11, 2017

In this month’s post, we are featuring Brian Ullmann, Financial Advisor here at Ford Financial Group. Brian has been with Ford for 10 years. In addition to preparing and meeting with clients, Brian is also our go-to in house tech...

Monday, September 4, 2017

Budgeting is so much fun... said no one ever. But look, we all should adhere to a budget, if for no other reason than to learn more about our spending habits over time. I am, still to this day, shocked how the little things add up. via...

Monday, August 28, 2017

Many people know, deep down, they need to do a better job of budgeting their money. Yet, we all come up with tons of reasons why we can’t do it THIS month…. You’re too busy, an odd expense just came up, you want to...

Monday, August 21, 2017

Last year, while leaving for a conference, I had a morbid thought… what if the plane goes down? Would my husband know how to pay the bills online? Would he know the passwords? Does he know which payments go out automatically...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Like many of us around here, Nik wears many hats – he is our experienced trader (thanks to his years of experience at a trade desk in Chicago; more on that later), advisor, manager and dad. Nik is used to me asking him a million...

Sunday, August 6, 2017

If you love the NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation" like I do, one of my favorite episodes features a scene where characters Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford spend one day treating themselves to anything they wanted, they called it: via...