Yearly Archives: 2022

July 2022 Monthly Market Update

Stock and bond markets rallied in July, providing some consolation for 2022’s poor first-half performance. Despite high inflation data in June, some investors felt optimistic about the potential for inflation to moderate. Most commodities, including gasoline, copper, lumber, wheat, and corn, saw sharp declines. Import prices also fell, aided by the strong dollar and slowing… Read More »

Traditional versus Roth: Which Retirement Account Maximizes Portfolio Value

A common question among investors is, “Should I contribute money to a Traditional or Roth retirement account?” If the investor isn’t constrained by contribution or tax-deductibility limits, the correct answer is strictly determined by which marginal income tax bracket they’re in now and which tax bracket they expect to be in when making future withdrawals… Read More »

June 2022 Monthly Market Update

The second quarter was marked by broad declines in bond and stock prices as markets contend with rising interest rates and a weakening economic outlook. Last year, the economy and financial markets were riding a tailwind of stimulus in two forms: 1) significant deficit spending by the federal government and 2) ultra-low interest rate policies… Read More »

May 2022 Monthly Market Update

Major stock market indices ended the month of May roughly flat, following a poor April. 2022 has been a challenging year for risk assets. In general, riskier parts of the market have shed more than the broader market, as one might expect during periods of elevated volatility. Year-to-date, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, composed of… Read More »

April 2022 Economic Dashboard

Stocks and bonds sold off in April as interest rates continued to rise and the U.S. dollar index hit a 20-year high. All else equal, a stronger dollar applies downward pressure to inflation as imports become cheaper. The strengthening dollar and rising interest rates are not unrelated. Europe and Japan’s central banks are hardly budging… Read More »

March 2022 Economic Dashboard

Markets stumbled out of the gate this year as fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine became a tragic reality. Despite the geopolitical turmoil, the Dow and S&P 500 ended the quarter higher than before the war began. The consequences of the conflict, including international sanctions, will significantly impact the global economy. Russia is a… Read More »

February 2022 Economic Dashboard

The Russia-Ukraine conflict dominated financial headlines in February, leading to modest declines for U.S. stock indices. Interest rates continued to climb most of the month but dropped following the invasion. Mounting international sanctions have put the Russian Ruble into free-fall, as businesses and individuals rush to sell Russian assets. The U.S. economy and stock market… Read More »

January 2022 Economic Dashboard

January was an eventful month in financial markets. Fourth quarter real GDP growth came in at 6.9% as businesses replenished inventory and consumer spending remained strong despite less government stimulus. The Federal Reserve continued to accelerate plans for interest rate hikes, signaling a likely first hike in March to combat inflation. How inflation responds to… Read More »

December 2021 Economic Dashboard

2021 was an outstanding year for U.S. stocks. The S&P 500 rallied nearly 30% on low volatility by historical standards (there was not a single correction of 6% or more). Fiscal and monetary stimulus, combined with a rapidly reopening economy, helped propel the market higher. We enter 2022 with a much stronger economy than a… Read More »