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Money Talk

September 30, 2022

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s no question 2022 has been a turbulent year for the U.S. markets and the economy. Writing this on September 26, year to date the S&P 500 has fallen 24% and the US Aggregate Bond Market has declined 14.9%. With current inflation rates not seen since ...

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Like many other savers and investors, you may be worried that we are headed toward more challenging economic times. Successful savers and investors are usually more prepared to handle difficult financial periods because they understand some key foundational information. Maximizing a financially ...

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The first half of 2022 saw the S&P 500 decline 23.6% from an all-time high of 4,796.56 to a closing low (so far) of 3,666.77. Finishing up at 3,785.38, it’s the worst six months the Index has weathered since 1970. More noteworthy than the extent of the decline was its gathering volatility: ...

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During the last few years, borrowers and spenders have enjoyed historically low interest rates. However, analysts all agreed that at the Federal Reserve’s June meeting, interest rates were going to be increased.  Although rising interest rates have been anticipated, many Americans aren’t feeling ...

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For a glimpse of just how volatile commodities currently are, look at nickel markets. Prices doubled in early March. Then they fell sharply. Then the London Metals Exchange halted trading. In late March, the market for nickel — a key component in electric vehicle batteries and stainless steel ...

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This graphic, borrowed from Andes Wealth Technology, shows the emotional roller coaster we all experience at some level as the markets go about their ups and downs. The study of Behavioral Finance teaches that the amygdala in our brain (the small almond-shaped gray matter that experiences emotions) ...

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In February of 2022, the IRS and Department of Treasury released 275 pages of proposed regulations to implement the SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement), that was originally enacted in December 2019. The SECURE Act was designed to increase access to retirement plans ...

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You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t fear loss. Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman demonstrated this with his loss aversion theory, showing that people feel the pain of losing money more than they enjoy gains. The natural instinct is to flee the market when it starts to plummet, just ...

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Baseball legend Yogi Berra once said, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” This holds true when it comes to timing the stock market. Investment markets have recently experienced a few years of very strong returns, but market volatility has returned in early 2022 in a big ...

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Welcome to 2022! Whew, we made it. I am hoping this is last of our Five Act tragicomedy. Act I: The Election of 2020 Act II: The Election Hangover Act III: Covid-19 Oh My! Act IV: Delta & Omicron Act V: Cue the hero and the happy ending! (not yet written) Enough already. I am ...

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WESTFIELD, NJ — We recently spoke with two of Westfield Financial Planning’s advisors Daniel M. Song CFA and Tim Huynh CFP about their practice and how they serve their clients. Song, a partner and portfolio manager, and Huynh, a partner and wealth advisor, work with managing partner and ...

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One of our primary goals is to help our clients try to optimize their tax situations. This article offers many suggestions and review strategies that can be useful to achieve this goal. If you have earned income or are working, you should consider contributing to retirement plans. This is an ...

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Interest rates play a crucial role in the American economic system. They influence the return on savings, the costs of borrowing and can have a bearing on the direction of many investments. The direction of interest rates is also known to provide insight into future economic and financial market ...

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, several trends in technology have accelerated. It comes as no surprise that consumers and corporations continue to adapt to these advances. Join me, as I examine two top trends I’ve been watching while the world slowly reopens. Entertainment: Streaming and ...

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Every investor normally has personal goals in mind that they would like to achieve. Although most non-retired adults have some savings, only 36% say their nest egg is “on track,” according to the Federal Reserve. Sometimes, those eager to boost retirement savings could become more aggressive and ...

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529 savings plans are an excellent way to save and invest money for children’s education. But what constitutes a “qualified” educational expense? When that question relates to 529 savings plans, the answer may be broader than you think. Although 529 accounts are often used to pay for a child’s ...

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“Won't Get Fooled Again” The Who from: Who's Next (1971)  It’s a glorious day for a hike on your favorite trail. Suddenly you find yourself on high alert as a black bear crosses your path. Your natural fight-or-flight response takes over because we are hard-wired to react in a crisis. That ...

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Why are things suddenly more expensive? From residential homes and the lumber to build them, to cars, gas and groceries. Is it truly inflation; is it here to stay? There always seems to be a “crisis” in the stock market which the media makes a point to call “the” crisis. When the crisis fails to ...

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Market volatility is a part of the investment experience and seasoned investors understand that acting emotionally can be more harmful than helpful. It is always appropriate to understand and prepare for market volatility and downturns, even when markets are going up. Investors should not let ...

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Volatility and risk are not the same thing. When a stock is volatile, it means that it tends to make big moves (up or down). When a stock is risky, it means that it can lose money (go down). In financial terms, risk is the potential permanent loss of money whereas volatility is how rapidly an ...

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“All that glitters is not gold.”  — William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice Bitcoin — A Primer “Fiat” is a term derived from the Latin meaning “Let it be done.” The US Dollar, like all major global currencies, is a fiat currency. This means the US government merely declared the dollar ...

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. —Charles ...

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WESTFIELD, NJ — When he was 8 years old, Mark Swingle took the money he saved from doing extra chores around the house and invested in the stock market. The Westfield boy didn’t get rich off of his first investments, but he sure learned a few things. “That was my first experience with stocks,” ...

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Although the coronavirus and the resulting economic dislocations are sadly still with us, there are glimmers of hope. The scientific community tells us: Masks are proving to be effective tools for preventing infection. The US mortality rate per infection is roughly half of what it was in ...

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Join Westfield Financial Planning Oct. 28 for an MIT AgeLab presentation! Media Replay: Crises of today .. .or yesterday? Today’s headlines may seem scary — so scary that “playing it safe” may seem like the only rational strategy. But are these headlines really “new” news, or a media ...

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The first quarter saw the S&P 500 drop 34% at the fastest pace ever. Our way of life and our health is under siege by COVID-19. Our countrymen are suffering the worst bout of unemployment since the Great Depression. Today’s political environment is among the most divisive in our almost ...

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