July 2013 Blog: Hot Weather and Hot Markets?

With temperatures in parts of the Bay Area recently moving the thermometer well north of 100 degrees, I have begun to wonder if there was any connection between the stifling weather and other unexpected and bumpy developments in the financial world!

As you might have guessed, I am referring to a recent period of heightened volatility in both the fixed income and equity markets. Some investors may have felt a different type of discomfort than what they experienced during the steamy weather, as the prices of many types of financial assets simultaneously declined in value. The unusual conditions might not have been the investment equivalent of sun spots, but they were certainly noteworthy!

I wondered whether I should commission a team of top economists and climatologists to research whether there is a connection between these seemingly disconnected events. I soon concluded, however, that such research might not result in anything useful for my clients — and besides — I most likely couldn’t afford to hire the folks I had in mind anyway!

Instead, for my July 2013 newsletter, I am opting for a more practical approach and decided to provide some useful ideas and approaches to help you take the “temperature” of some of your personal financial and investment matters:

Just How Risky Is Your Portfolio?
If you’re like most people, you probably evaluate your portfolio in terms of its return. However, the amount of risk you take in pursuing those returns is just as important, especially when you are experiencing a time of personal change, or contemplating a career shift. Learn about a nuanced approach to understanding and evaluating investment risk. Read more…

Mid-Year Planning: Accounting for New Tax Rules
As you get ready for summer, your tax situation might be the last thing on your mind! Yet, if you are not familiar with the tax provisions approved by President Obama and Congress in early January 2013, you might miss out on the chance to try to improve your year-end tax position. Read more…

Happy Healthday: HSAs Turn 10!
Health Savings Accounts (or “HSAs” as they often referred to) are a great way for individuals and families set aside money on a tax-advantaged basis to pay for health-care costs. They may also be particularly applicable to people transitioning from traditional employment to roles as either independent contractors or as sole proprietors! Read more…

The Great Investment Debate: Active versus Passive
For many years, the debate between the advocates of passive and active investing has been as hot as the weather. Learn more about of each of these approaches and why your decision about which to use is important for your long-term financial health! Read more…

I hope these thoughts may help you feel more confident and “cool”, even during times when the financial climate is heating up! As always, please do not hesitate to contact me at (925) 301-4086 or send me an email at bill.pollak@lpl.com if you have any questions about these or other financial topics!

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. The tax information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax advisor.

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