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.

Tuning Out The Noise

When faced with short-term noise, it is easy to lose sight of the potential long-term benefits of simply staying invested. For investors planning their goals, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the relentless stream of news about markets. … Continue reading

Hindsight Is 20/20. Foresight Isn’t.

The year 2019 provided many examples of unpredictable markets. Interest rates that U.S. policy makers expected to rise, instead fell. American consumers’ confidence weakened as the year began,1 and news headlines broadcast fears of a pending economic slowdown. Market returns … Continue reading

7 Smart Planning Ideas for Year-End

The fourth quarter is still an opportunity for some smart tax planning. 1. Remember to maximize retirement saving accounts If you’ve turned 50, you’re able to make a catch-up contribution of $6,000 in your 401(k) or 403(b) plan. It’s not … Continue reading

Recent U.S. Stock Market Volatility

While recent volatility of American stock markets may worry some investors, market declines are a normal part of investing and part of the reason why stocks have a higher expected return than other investments. Stock market declines in July and … Continue reading

IPOs: Profiles Are High. What About Returns? – August 2019

Initial public offerings (IPOs) often attract initial public interest — especially when familiar brands become broadly available to investors for the first time. In recent months, investors have had the opportunity to buy shares of ride‑hailing networks Uber and Lyft, … Continue reading

Timing Isn’t Everything – July 2019

Over the course of a summer, it’s not unusual for the stock market to be a topic of conversation at barbecues or other social gatherings. A neighbor or relative might be asking about which investments are especially good at the … Continue reading

Will Index Investing Make Investors Worse Off?

Many commentators claim that the increased popularity of index funds somehow distorts market prices. Their argument premises that indexing reduces the “efficiency” of price discovery. But should increasing use of index funds really concern investors? The acceptance of index funds … Continue reading

The Unexpected in Average Returns

“I have found that the importance of having an investment philosophy — one that is robust and that you can stick with — cannot be overstated.” –David Booth, former CEO and Founder, Dimensional Fund Advisors The US stock market has … Continue reading

Getting to the Point of a Point

While the Dow and other indices are popularly interpreted as indicators of broader stock market performance, the stocks composing these indices may not represent an investor’s actual portfolio or strategy. A quick online search for “Dow rallies 500 points” yields … Continue reading

Déjà Vu All Over Again

“Wild Week Leaves Investors Reeling” is the front-page headline of today’s Wall Street Journal. After remarking on the week’s “sharp plunges and euphoric rises,” it goes on to rhetorically ask: “What is behind the remarkably sudden swings in the market?” … Continue reading