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What’s on our mind? You can read about it in our blog. Whether it’s ideas from the industry or emerging trends, you can read about it here.

 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Investors are probably glad September is over, as it delivered its typical down performance, with the market falling 3.52 percent. While October entered with a bang, it wasn’t without drama, be it from an unconventional first...

 

Monday, October 5, 2020

We’re now in the fourth quarter of a wild year. And considering some recent events, it’s more important than ever to rely on data, not the television pundits Last week marked the end of a dismal market month, the...

 

Monday, September 28, 2020

In recent posts we’ve covered how taxes and regulations in a potentially changing political environment could affect investors. They could change drastically, and they’re just two of many important factors that will...

 

Monday, September 21, 2020

During the COVID-19 economy we’ve been providing economic- and market-related updates in every post. Typically, the economy leads off. However, this week we’re going to start with market updates because, after the last...

 

Monday, September 14, 2020

We’ve spread our wings a bit lately in terms of blog topics, talking about taxes, regulations, and politics in general as the election nears. They’re important discussions, to be sure. We’ll continue them in the...

 

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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

We’ve analyzed in recent posts about how the market might be affected by different political scenarios. Taxes and regulations are important issues that drive (or hinder) economic growth. And in the future, we’ll cover more...

 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Like last week, we’re going to continue analyzing what a political shift on the federal level could mean for investors. In this analysis, facts guide us, and objectivity is the sole mission. Like many other people, we’re...

 

Monday, August 24, 2020

With the election about 10 weeks away, many of our upcoming posts will use a fact-based lens to examine how changes in the federal government could affect policy. We’ll start today with taxes because they could impact our...

 

Monday, August 17, 2020

At Cornerstone, we’re often asked about the “disconnect” between the performance of the stock market and the never-ending news about how bad the U.S. is botching its COVID-19 response. When peeling back the data, a...

 

Monday, August 10, 2020

In 2020, digital networks have been our lifelines. We’ve used them for commerce, communicating with loved ones, and so much more in our daily lives. Our memories are short though. We forget how daily-use technologies like...

 

Monday, August 3, 2020

Our faithful readers know two measures always on our economic dashboard – high frequency data and COVID-19 infections. These data provide insight into two key components to our recovery – wide-ranging economic activity,...

 

Monday, July 27, 2020

As markets start to stabilize and move sideways, we at Cornerstone want to take time to expand our analysis to look forward. Specifically, we want to discuss the types of market risks that will affect short- and intermediate-term...

 

Monday, July 20, 2020

The past few months we’ve been examining the economy and markets as COVID-19 recovery takes hold. We’ll continue that analysis while also stepping back for a mid-year review and sharing our outlook for the rest of 2020....

 

Monday, July 13, 2020

At first, scientists told us we needed 15 days to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19. The medical experts have consistently lengthened this timeline, leading governments to shut down economic activity in...

 

Monday, July 6, 2020

New COVID-19 cases have created uncertainty from an economic standpoint. As a result, investors are leery. Not surprisingly, markets fell recently – but not because of the virus. It was because of the fear of more...

 

Monday, June 29, 2020

This week we again examine what’s happening economically and in markets amidst our new COVID-19 reality. There is good news on the personal savings front. What happens going forward in that regard will be telling. As for markets,...

 

Monday, June 22, 2020

Bearish investors received a reprieve on June 11, as markets seemingly fell off a cliff. But since then, markets have recovered well, preserving the technical threshold of around 3,000 for the S&P 500 and 9,500 for the Nasdaq composite...

 

Monday, June 15, 2020

This week we continue to look at the economic and market situations in the U.S. Even though we’re in unprecedented times where nothing seems to shock, some recent data opened eyes everywhere. Welcome Economic Surprises The May...

 

Monday, June 8, 2020

This week we again look at the current paths of Main Street and Wall Street. In general, progress appears to be taking hold. Still, we’re in early days. But we like what we see thus far, and given what’s happened over the...

 

Monday, June 1, 2020

Right now, it seems there two rather stark American realities. The one investors are experiencing is prosperous and promising. The one felt by millions of American workers is fraught with economic loss and vast uncertainty. This post...

 

Monday, May 25, 2020

As another week passes in the COVID-19 economy, we remain pretty much in limbo. That said, there are some welcome signs – economies reopening, investors diversifying, and the like – though there are reasons for caution too....

 

Monday, May 18, 2020

The range of plausible 2020 economic outcomes is wide right now. Key factors on our ultimate fate include measures that don’t normally drive economies. As we’ve discussed, it’s the spread of COVID-19, how fast the...

 

Monday, May 11, 2020

There is more data, but also steady uncertainty. States “reopen,” but business remains slow. Markets gain and lose, but overall activity is mild, plotting no major course yet in our recovery. And thus, we remain in COVID-19...

 

Monday, May 4, 2020

According to data released last week, U.S. real gross domestic product for the first quarter of this year was down 4.8 percent, which blew away the 3.9 percent estimated decline. We’re now in the second quarter of the year, and...

 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Let’s review a little history lesson, brought to you by Cornerstone Financial Services. Today, we’re going to look back to better understand the Covid-19 economy. Of course, we first need to thank our “sponsors”...

 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Has the market moved on from Covid-19? It’s a fair question, given the significant rallies over the last couple weeks in both the equity and fixed income markets. At Cornerstone, we consider some of the uptick to be “false...

 

Monday, April 13, 2020

It feels like we’re in a lull right now. Economically and socially, we’re stagnant. Most people are abiding by stay-at-home orders, and since many businesses aren’t open, there isn’t a lot of economic activity...

 

Monday, April 6, 2020

The wrath of COVID-19 is still unfolding, and each day seems to bring something new. Thankfully, there have been positive recent developments on several fronts. But there have also been unprecedented actions that, while needed in these...

 

Monday, March 30, 2020

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or you’ve been on an “unplugged” retreat, you know about COVID-19 and the havoc it’s caused worldwide. There’s no need to review what’s transpired thus...

 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Cornerstone Financial Services clients benefit from a team constantly looking for the right balance between risk and reward. That’s especially true when seeking yield and income in low interest rate environments, like we have now...

 

Monday, March 16, 2020

For some time, employment data have improved. We often view them on a weekly or monthly basis, analyzing sectors and trends. As of late, the positive movement is clear. But rarely do we look at longer timeframes. And even more seldom...

 

Monday, March 9, 2020

We’ve been in a Goldilocks economy for more than a decade, wherein things have generally been good, and neither too hot, nor too cold. Frankly, it’s the best sort of economic environment, even if rapid growth sounds better...

 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Not long ago, we talked about a market correction on the horizon. That began last week, with the spreading coronavirus being the catalyst. We saw COVID-19 fears drive significant daily declines, wiping out gains for the year. Frankly,...

 

Monday, February 24, 2020

We’ve talked about it before. We’ll talk about it again. We talk about it every day. We’ll keep doing it until we’re blue in the face…because we can’t understate the importance of investment...

 

Monday, February 17, 2020

Every day 10,000 baby boomers turn 65. Obviously, we all hope to age gracefully and retire happily in the process. But the reality is the boomer demographic is increasingly a target for financial scams and fraud, to the tune of almost...

 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Since the last real estate crash, we’ve been making a slow and steady rebound. The most recent housing data not only suggest the trend is continuing, but that the rebound is picking up pace. In fact, the latest data blow...

 

Monday, February 3, 2020

At Cornerstone we’re fairly bullish on 2020 growth from a fundamental perspective. That said, there are potential bumps in the road. So, we want to be cognizant of the short-term risks over the next six weeks or so. The Market is...

 

Monday, January 27, 2020

More than $3 trillion in capital is sitting on the sidelines, waiting to be deployed. Coupled with the huge amount of stock buybacks we’ve seen the past few years, and increasingly larger dividend payouts, this could be the fuel...

 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Thankfully, we have a deal done for the first phase of a U.S.-China trade pact, avoiding more tariffs. Just as well, Congress passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaces the outdated North American Free...

 

Monday, January 13, 2020

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, which aims to provide a clearer path to a secure retirement for more Americans, recently passed into law. The new law includes many significant changes to the...

 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Our 2019 outlook forecasted a year of growth with some rockiness along the way. Looking back, it’s clear 2019 was a strong growth year. It also capped off the first decade in our history without a recession: Last year was a huge...

 

Monday, December 23, 2019

We’re in the heart of the giving season and I’d like to talk briefly about charitable giving. There is a largely unknown way to give to charities that can produce big impact for all involved. The Qualified Charitable...

 

Monday, December 16, 2019

As we enter the new year, the Cornerstone team is continually examining equity and fixed income market data for what to expect in the future. Currently, we see opportunity for continued growth in 2020. Here’s why. Productivity...

 

Monday, December 9, 2019

It’s been a brutal decade for emerging markets (EM) investors. But that trend may begin to change in 2020. There’s a possibility the EM disaster (relative to the S&P 500’s rise) could be on hold in the next 6-12...

 

Monday, December 2, 2019

With the holidays upon us, we’re making a lot of purchases. In fact, the National Retail Federation forecasts nearly $731 billion in holiday spending this year. Yet, we often hear in the media about the “death of...

 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Employees often have a sense of security associated with qualified workplace retirement plans (401(k), 403(b), etc.). It could be because of loyalty to their employer, belief in their retirement plan, or anything else. But employees...

 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

I can’t say it enough – economic fundamentals are what really matter. Earnings and revenue are the levers that drive the economy. Almost all third quarter earnings have been reported, so it’s time to look to estimates...

 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

The marginal yield curve inversion has made a lot of news this year because of its supposed ability to predict recessions on several prior occasions. If history repeats itself, there’s already a countdown on when our economic...

 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

There’s been a recent tweak to the U.S. trade talks with China. The two nations are now employing a phased approach to the negotiations and approaching agreement on the first phase. The new approach is most likely the result of...

 

Monday, October 28, 2019

In our last post, we explained what rebalancing is, why it’s a good thing for investment portfolios, and the importance of having a plan. Now we’re going to dive deeper into why rebalancing works and how often you should it...

 

Monday, October 21, 2019

The world is about to change. I’ve written about the coming 5G revolution, describing how it will enable widespread innovation, and how the buildout could be rewarding for investors as well. The pace of change will be rapid, and...

 

Monday, October 14, 2019

A most-welcome sign of economic strength for investors is arriving as S&P 500 dividend payouts are expected to reach an all-time high of $122 billion in Q3 2019. In the second quarter, the S&P 500 paid out $118.68 billion in cash...

 

Monday, October 7, 2019

Last month’s drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil infrastructure caught the world’s energy markets off-guard. While details are still being determined, a few things are known. The attack took 5 percent of global oil...

 

Monday, September 30, 2019

When I see large, old trees, I often wonder the path they took to achieve their impressive forms. See, as trees grow, they need to be trimmed and “seen to” every now and again. If you’re a homeowner with trees on your...

 

Monday, September 23, 2019

The Harbaugh family is famous in coaching circles, having produced multiple head football coaches. They’re also famous for the saying – “Who’s got it better than us? Nobody.” The quote speaks to the...

 

Monday, September 16, 2019

The market rallied last month because of strong financial results from retailers, with Target, Walmart, and Lowe’s leading the pack. Interestingly, the consumer discretionary sector, which sells goods and services the public...

 

Monday, September 9, 2019

If you’ve been around any financial news lately, you’ve heard about the inverted yield curve. Most of the headlines say we need to worry, that the end is near, and recession is imminent. At Cornerstone, we don’t see...

 

Monday, August 26, 2019

I want to talk about income inequality – but not in the way you’re probably used to hearing in the news. Normally, income inequality is discussed along racial or gender lines. That’s an important discussion, without a...

 

Monday, August 19, 2019

In our last post, we discussed the opportunities and challenges unique to 1031 exchanges. We learned that while the 1031 exchange is a powerful planning tool, it’s limited by IRS rules. Specifically, the requirements around the...

 

Monday, August 12, 2019

Normally I’m very positive in everything I talk about, and that’s primarily because there’s so much good to discuss. For instance, we’ve had 3-percent gross domestic product growth, low inflation, low interest...

 

Monday, August 5, 2019

So far in this series we’ve discussed the basic parts of Medicare and “Medigap” supplement plans. Now let’s dive deeper into “Medicare Advantage” plans, which package Medicare Parts A and B with...

 

Monday, July 22, 2019

When you enroll in Medicare, you receive healthcare benefits, but what if they aren’t enough? Well, there are a couple ways you can supplement Medicare coverage, bridging the divide between basic coverage and what you really need...

 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Cornerstone Financial Services is in constant pursuit of investment opportunities, using data to inform decisions that we hope ultimately result in healthy capital gains. And right now, our opinion is that the world may be at the edge...

 

Monday, July 8, 2019

In our last post on 1031 exchanges, we explained what they are and how they deliver a unique tax deferral benefit for real estate investors or selling business owners with real estate. But like any financial tool or strategy, there are...

 

Monday, July 1, 2019

At Cornerstone Financial Services, we talk a lot about eliminating the noise from the financial media (especially bad news), and instead being data-driven to find real opportunities. To drive that home further, let’s be clear...

 

Monday, June 24, 2019

At Cornerstone, we’re no strangers to helping retirees and those close to retirement handle many aspects of their financial lives. That undoubtedly includes medical costs, which are often higher as age increases. That’s why...

 

Monday, June 17, 2019

In our last series on real estate investing, we covered the basics, including how real estate offers unique income and estate tax opportunities. But as we know, one of the potential downfalls of real estate investing is directly owning...

 

Monday, June 10, 2019

There has been a bit of a recent pullback in the stock market, which history (and recent earnings reports) has shown can be a great opportunity for investors. Let’s start with earnings. This last earnings season brought some...

 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Recent volatility in the market can be attributed to the trade negotiations between China and the U.S. hitting an impasse. It’s gotten to the point where each country has announced new tariffs on the other, which potentially...

 

Monday, May 27, 2019

When it comes to the need for long-term care (LTC), there are basically three choices: Ignore it Self-fund or self-insure it Leverage existing assets for funding Which one are you doing right now? If you’re like most Americans,...

 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Let’s talk about oil. The U.S. benchmark for crude oil – the West Texas Intermediate crude oil index (WTI) – hit a high point at the end of the first quarter in 2014 at $107.26 per barrel, and a low point in February...

 

Monday, May 13, 2019

The ongoing trade debate between China and the U.S. is losing its steam following the early 2019 Chinese economic rebound (6.4 percent gross domestic product growth in the first quarter). It was a higher-than-expected result and made...

 

Monday, May 6, 2019

The stock market hitting an all-time high made us at Cornerstone Financial Services think of how far things have come in a decade. To refresh your memory, let’s journey back in time to the first half of 2009, where things are...

 

Monday, April 22, 2019

In our previous post in this series, we looked at why you would consider investing in real estate and the ways it can be done. Now we’ll examine one of those ways in more detail – direct investing. Invest Carefully and...

 

Monday, April 15, 2019

The sentiment for the third and fourth quarters of 2019 is that earnings will recover from the trough we experienced in the first quarter of the year. Data firm FactSet analyzed investment analyst reports and determined there is a...

 

Monday, April 8, 2019

In our last post, we discussed how Americans are more vulnerable than ever when it comes to protecting themselves and their families with life insurance. Today, we’ll dive more into the types of life insurance available and the...

 

Monday, April 1, 2019

In an abrupt and surprising change in policy, the Federal Reserve announced last month that there will be no interest rate hikes in 2019, and perhaps only one in 2020. It was widely believed the Fed would increase the Federal Funds...

 

Monday, March 25, 2019

Some folks continue to focus on the negatives in the financial sector. However, we at Cornerstone Financial Services think there’s much to praise about it. The recovery from the 2009 crisis is clearly ongoing; however, the job...

 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Last time we looked at real estate as an investment option relative to other types of investments. Now it’s time for a simple real estate investing question – do you want to do the dirty work of property ownership, or would...

 

Monday, March 11, 2019

The stock market at the end of 2018 was a dumping ground. But 2019 has seen a huge turnaround, so far. Let’s take a look into the valuations and key growth sectors driving the good performance. Valuations Price-to-earnings (P/E)...

 

Monday, March 4, 2019

Based on our experience at Cornerstone Financial Services, most people think long-term care (LTC) is confusing and a subject to be avoided. But it doesn’t have to be. When you boil it down, the basics of LTC are rather simple. In...

 

Monday, February 25, 2019

Last month we discussed how rising interest rates hurt traditional fixed income strategies. While bond performance may be lacking, it doesn’t mean lower-volatility investment instruments shouldn’t exist in a portfolio. From...

 

Monday, February 18, 2019

One of the greatest benefits of a financial plan is it provides a clear signal in a world full of noise. This is particularly true in times of market volatility. A bumpy ride can bring emotion into the mix – and that can be...

 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Most Americans don’t have enough life insurance. Many have none at all. And every one of these folks are subjecting their families and their assets to substantial risk. To dive deeper into the American life insurance coverage gap...

 

Monday, February 4, 2019

At Cornerstone Financial Services, we use a “panoramic planning” methodology that manages both risk and assets. In our opinion, risk isn’t discussed enough in general, especially since it’s such a big variable...

 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

A constant topic of discussion at Cornerstone Financial Services is investment diversification. Most people think that means some mix of stocks and bonds. But there are other alternatives available for investors to reach their goals....

 

Monday, January 28, 2019

Over the years, Cornerstone Financial Services spoke often with clients about the effects of interest rates on traditional fixed income. We’re continuing that practice because everything still holds true in 2019. In this post...

 

Friday, January 25, 2019

The next big recession is supposed to hit in 2019. People in the media have been echoing this sentiment for a while. But I’m here to tell you, according to the hard data, that’s simply incorrect. We might not have a...

 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

According to pundits, 2019 either has recession written all over it, or it will be a great year. Not to discredit pundits and their accolades, but it’s important to realize headline news often has an underlying agenda. Plus, fear...