Too High?

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Generally, most people believe that over time the stock market goes up, but when it does it makes many people nervous. Turn on the TV or read any financial news and your bound to hear an analyst or commentator saying the market is “too high”, “valuations are stretched” or  “overvalued”  and, of course…is overdue for a correction.

A quick Google search of the words “Stock Market correction 2017” yields some 17,5000,000 results. Here’s some of the top results…

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Investing vs Trading

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When we turn on the TV, we’re expecting to be entertained on some level. It doesn’t matter if it’s HBO or CNBC. Now, we may not think about it that way, but producers focused on attracting eyeballs. I always remind myself that there is an entertainment element to the Financial ‘news’.  It isn’t meant for investors, but for traders, people who believe speed is paramount.

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Knowing common retirement blind spots can make a big difference

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Planning a successful retirement isn’t only a matter of understanding the obvious steps along the way. An alarming study by The American College pegged 80% of older Americans as illiterate when it comes to basic retirement planning knowledge.

You don’t need to have eyes in the back of your head, but knowing common retirement blind spots can make a big difference in mapping out your futures. Here are five to consider:

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Turn off the financial news spigot

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For many people, paying attention to financial media distracts them from their primary goals.

Here’s a simple question: When was the last time you read some financial news that you acted on and then were glad you acted on it?

Unless you’re concerned with following the latest changes in tax law, there’s little value to be had in much of what passes for financial journalism. It’s a lot of noise dedicated to grabbing our time and attention. But for many, it’s just distracting them from everything else that should be more important to them.

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The Fed: More Noise Than Meaning

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Some commentary from one of our favorite market thinkers :

The Fed: More Noise Than Meaning

by Brian S. Wesbury – First Trust Chief Economist

Get on with it already! Don’t get us wrong, we know this is the “Super Bowl” for business journalism (anyone have tix to the ESPN party?), but raising rates from 1/8th to 3/8ths of 1%, after six years of economic recovery should be a no-brainer.

Our suggestion: spend the week analyzing companies and investment products. Don’t get sucked into the idea that there is some genius trading strategy for how to deal with this.

That’s right; ignore it. Don’t read the statement and don’t watch the press conference.

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What to do with Greece?

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Some commentary from one of our favorite market thinkers :

Ignore Greece

by Brian S. Wesbury – First Trust Chief Economist

Don’t let anyone tell you Greece is sticking up for its “dignity” by fighting “austerity.” The current Greek government is sticking up for socialism by fighting reality.

After several years of working toward some very minor market-friendly reforms, and finally starting to see a glimmer of economic growth, Greece elected a far left government back in January. Its economic and financial situation has gotten worse ever since. Instead of trying to boost growth and pay its debts, by trimming government spending and reducing regulation, the government is saying it won’t cut retirement benefits and wants to raise taxes on what little private sector it has left. MORE

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Holding Your Winners

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Holding your winners can be one of the hardest things to do as a portfolio manager. A position runs up 10, 20, or 30 percent and the initial reaction is to “take the trade”. If you take the gain, you win, bottom line. You buy a stock at $50, sell is at $60 and you just made 20%. When the stock pulls back to $50, you look like a hero. However, what happens if the stock doesn’t pullback? What happens if stock rallies to $100? Perhaps a more likely scenario is you buy a stock at $50, then watch it rally to $60, then pullback to $55. What do you do? How do you manage the position? Do you lock in a 10% gain or hang on for the ride? These are questions that get asked every, single day by portfolio managers, and for managers without an objective lens to evaluate the position, these questions become more difficult to answer.
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Where is the market headed?

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One of the most common ways to get an idea of how the general market is doing is through an index that tracks the “market.” Today, the S&P 500 (SPX) is trading in a “middle of the field” formation.

It has been ranging, forming a fair base of accumulation between its March lows and May highs of this year. The trend of SPX remains positive, but it did test it back in May and June of this year. More →

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