Blog

Continued Trade Fears Weighing Down Markets, Should Boost Gold

The Dow Jones dropped over 400 points in early trading to start the week, on renewed fears of a heightened trade war. The European Union began its implementation of tariffs on $3.2 billion of US imports on Friday. President Trump responded by threatening a 20% tariff on imports of European cars, and an insistence that any tariffs or barriers to trade would be met with full reciprocity by the United States. President Trump is also expected to announce new [...]

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retirement planning

Retirement Planning Requires a Long-Term Focus

Investing money make many people nervous. Especially when your life savings are at stake, the thought of losing any money, let alone thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, is enough to make you think twice about putting any of your assets at risk. But investment ultimately is necessary in order to build up wealth. Sticking money under a mattress or stashing it away at the bank isn’t any way to build up wealth. Because of inflation over time, [...]

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economy

The US Economy Isn’t What It Used to Be

Market events this week have made even the most bullish investors realize that the US economy isn’t what it used to be. In an attempt to ensure “fair trade,” President Trump placed a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports last Friday. The Chinese retaliated, and Trump threatened on Monday to place additional tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese imports if China doesn’t abandon its retaliatory tariffs. The prospect of a major trade war is [...]

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stock market

China-US Trade Spat Is Bad News for Stock Markets

President Trump late last week slapped $50 billion worth of Chinese imports with a new 25 percent tariff. While the tariff had been long discussed, negotiations with the Chinese government in recent weeks seemed to have indicated a softening of Trump’s position towards China. That was particularly the case with Trump’s attempts to find a solution to keep troubled Chinese semiconductor and telecommunications firm ZTE in business. News of the tariff therefore came as an unwelcome surprise. Despite Trump’s Chinese [...]

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saving money

If Millennials Don’t Start Saving, They Could Become the Lost Generation

The millennial generation has become the largest generational cohort in the United States. Much ink has been spilled trying to analyze millennials and their behavior. While many of the characterizations of millennials tend to focus on personality traits and work ethic, there’s no question that millennials are vastly different from generations that preceded them. They aren’t making as much money as previous generations, are reaching major milestones such as marriage, child-bearing, and home-buying at much later ages, and aren’t saving [...]

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federal reserve

Central Banks Are the Elephant in the Room That Everyone Neglects

Monetary policy is one of those topics that only a handful of people ever devote much time to studying. Most people ignore central banks during good times and beg them to intervene during bad times. During the worst part of the financial crisis Wall Street clamored for more assistance from the Federal Reserve. They got that assistance in spades, with trillions of dollars of new money flooding the economy. Now that things seem to have gotten better, and stock [...]

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credit card

Credit Card Delinquencies Continue to Rise: An Ominous Omen?

In what could be an ominous sign indicating a deterioration of the financial health of American households, levels of credit card debt have risen over the past year, with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York noting that the “flow into 90+ day delinquency for credit card balances has been increasing notably for the last year.” That’s a piece of data that deserve further scrutiny, particularly if the delinquency rate continues to increase. With the Trump tax cuts having [...]

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gold bars

Foreign Policy Foibles Will Continue to Weigh on Markets

Will he or won’t he? That’s the question everyone is asking about the nuclear summit between the United States and North Korea. Will President Trump pull the plug on the summit, or will it go ahead as scheduled? With all the back and forth, no one seems to know for sure. And that uncertainty has weighed on stock markets, erasing recent gains and getting investors nervous once again about conflict on the Korean peninsula. While there’s always uncertainty in markets, [...]

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stock market

Markets Are Waiting… Now Is the Time for Action

After an amazing two-year run in which stock markets gained 60% in value, the past three months have seen stocks take a long hiatus. With the Dow trading mostly in the 24-25,000 point range, markets are largely waiting to see what direction the economy will take. On the positive side, the Trump tax cuts have put billions of dollars into the pockets of both American consumers and American businesses. And with an official unemployment rate under 4%, the headline numbers [...]

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