Views from the Hill

Our monthly view on global financial markets and behavioral finance. Insightful commentary in a brief format to help professionals and clients make informed planning decisions.

Should Interest Rates Raised or Lowered Concern Your Long-Term Planning?

May, 2023 The Federal Reserve Bank once again raised its rate another quarter point. It signaled that that may be the last increase for a while. A series of rate increases are the Fed’s effort to lower current high inflation … Continue reading

When Headlines Worry, Bank on Informed Planning

April, 2023 Regulators took control of Silicon Valley Bank as a run on the bank unfolded at internet speed last month. Two days later, regulators took control of a second lender, Signature Bank. They were the second and third largest … Continue reading

Sound Planning Anticipates Good and Bad Times

March, 2023 Most are aware of last week’s closure of California’s Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. They are the second and third largest bank failures since 2001. Over 85% of the deposits, it is estimated, were very large institutional … Continue reading

The Market’s Contango Dance

February, 2023 Many extreme events happened in recent years: a global pandemic, rapid burst of inflation, war in Europe, earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods in many regions and, last but not least, highly volatile financial markets. Hyper-focused media attention on terrifying … Continue reading

2020-2022: A Stress-Test of Your Plan

January, 2023 Think back to December 2019. The economy was in high growth mode. Unemployment, interest rates, and inflation were at historically low levels. But what happened next?

Market Movements Aren’t Announced in Advance

December, 2022 Negative stock returns and aggressive U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hikes have many concerned that another Big Recession is coming — if we’re not already there. Media commenting on the possibility creates even more worry about markets sinking … Continue reading

Rising Rates: Short-Term Pain for Long-Term Gain?

November, 2022 Bonds have done so poorly this year that many investors wonder about still holding bonds. Others see a great opportunity in fixed income securities due to greatly increased yields. U.S. government bonds now yield over 4 percent; other … Continue reading

Pre- and Post-Election Investing Considerations

October, 2022 KEY POINTS It’s difficult to identify any election year systematic market return patterns. Market returns on average have been positive the year following mid-term elections. Market expectations associated with elections are embedded in current prices. It’s almost Election … Continue reading

Meta Morphasizing from Growth to Value

September, 2022 A frequently voiced argument against value investing stems from opinions expressed in the media and elsewhere that we’re in a “new normal” environment where stocks in innovative or high-tech companies have an investing advantage over “old guard” established … Continue reading

Capturing Value Returns in Planning

August, 2022 KEY TAKEAWAYS A continuous and careful value focus best positions you to capture value premiums when they appear for a greater expected return than focusing on growth stocks. Value stocks have surged in the past year, but the … Continue reading