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Passing Shots

The Fifth Set Blog

“In Investing, You Get What You Don’t Pay For”

That was the title of a keynote address given by Vanguard founder John Bogle in February 2005.  For Bogle, a prominent evangelist of low-cost investing, the premise, simply stated, was that investment expenses directly erode investor returns. Investor Returns = Market Returns – Expenses Market  …read more »

“The Market” has Recovered its Coronavirus Losses, but Most Stocks are Down Year-To-Date

How we, as investors, define “the market” can obscure actual investment experiences.  To illustrate, look at the following four measures of 2020 year-to-date returns through June 16th. S&P 500 (Large U.S. Stocks): -2.4% Russell 3000 (Broad U.S. Stocks) -2.8% Russell 3000 median stock: -17.6% FAANG[1]  …read more »

Great Stock Market, Horrendous Economy, What is Happening Here?

From March 24th, 2020 through May 26th, 2020, the stock market, as measured by the S&P 500, returned 36%.  That is not typo.  Over the same period of time, we have seen a torrent of terrible economic news. For example, on April 24th, the Congressional  …read more »

Coronavirus Pandemic – A Reality Check on Life and Disability Insurance

The Coronavirus outbreak is a difficult yet eye-opening experience, and a reality check for our financial health. It is a reminder that it does not matter how well life appears to be going, bad events might happen, and that is why risk management is always  …read more »

Coronavirus Pandemic Market Meltdown: Shouldn’t the Market be Lower Than It Is?

From February 20th, 2020 through March 23rd, 2020, the S&P 500 plummeted 34%. Concerns about the human and economic impact of the Coronavirus drove stock prices to down at a historic pace. Since then, in the U.S., we have seen tens of thousands lose their  …read more »

The Coronavirus Market Correction – Two Ways to Place Volatility in Context – An Update

Since our March 9th note placing current market volatility in context, the market, as measured by the S&P 500, has continued to see major swings in both directions.  S&P 500 daily losses of 4.9%, 9.5%, 12%, 5.2% and 4.3% have occurred as well as daily  …read more »

What is Wrong with Selling Now and Getting Back in When Things are Calmer: Nothing! But Not for the Reason You Think.

Why not sell out and get back in when things are calmer?  That is the question many investors are asking as the Coronavirus-provoked market volatility continues.  At first glance, it may seem obvious why that is a bad idea.  The wisdom of holding on and  …read more »

The Coronavirus Market Meltdown Continues – Two Ways to Place the Volatility in Context

This morning global equity markets continued the recent volatility around the Coronavirus’ human and economic impacts.  As of this morning, the S&P 500 is trading down roughly 5% and since February 20th, 2020, the S&P is down roughly 17%.   The uncertainly around the virus and  …read more »

Six Quick Thoughts on the Coronavirus Market Meltdown

As I sit to write this post, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down just less than 1,000 points.  Concerns around the impact of the Coronavirus on both human lives and economic growth is dragging down global equity markets.  Investors are understandably concerned about what  …read more »

Four Strategies for Managing the SALT Deduction Cap

For those who live in states with high income tax rates like New York or New Jersey, you may have been impacted by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which limited the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction to $10,000. Following are four strategies  …read more »