Financial Planning and Advice Blog for Syracuse
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LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2018: The Plot Thickens
By highpointadvisors July 20, 2018 No Comments
Dear Valued Investor: We are pleased to announce the release of the LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2018: The Plot Thickens, with investment insights and market guidance to take you through the rest of the year. So far this year, the return of the business cycle has brought the fiscal policy changes that were expected to propel economic activity and the financial markets higher in 2018. Policy remains a key theme to watch. Tax cuts, a more business-friendly regulatory environment, and increased government spending should support consumer spending, business investment, and corporate profits — key drivers of our economic and stock forecasts. The biggest risk to investor confidence this year has been around trade, including new tariffs. When we compare the fiscal measures with the potential impact of increased tariffs, however, the benefits appear to outweigh the costs. With these factors in mind, we maintain that policy changes should have a positive influence on the economy and markets. Another theme that may garner more attention this year is that certain economic and market indicators may have peaked, and that we may have seen the best out of this expansion. However, the context is critically important here. Reaching these points with a strong economic backdrop is expected and indicates the potential for continued growth; in addition, historically, we’ve seen an average of four more years of stock gains after triggering these market signals. So, although we are in the later stages of the economic cycle, we don’t believe a recession is looming. Against this backdrop, we maintain the forecasts we set forth at the beginning of 2018, following the passage of the new tax law. We expect up to 3% gross domestic product growth for the U.S. economy, with tax cuts, government spending, and deregulation measures providing support. As expected, accelerating economic growth and rising interest rates continue to pressure bonds. We maintain our forecast of flat to low-single-digit returns for bonds (as measured by the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index), but believe high-quality bonds may provide diversification benefits for investors’ portfolios. We expect strong earnings to remain the key driver of stock gains, thanks to the benefits of the new tax law. Given that we are in the later stages of this economic cycle, with factors such as increased trade tensions and geopolitical uncertainty at play, we do expect greater volatility may be ahead. But it’s important to remember that experiencing these ups and downs is a normal aspect of our market environment. Also, within the context of steady economic growth and strong corporate profits, we see the potential for stock gains of 10% or more (as measured by the S&P 500 Index). Overall, we expect to see continued economic and market growth in 2018 and beyond, and the LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2018 is here to provide insightful commentary to help you navigate the year ahead. If you have any questions, please reach out to your trusted financial advisor. IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual security. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a nondiversified portfolio. Diversification does not ensure against market risk. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee return or eliminate risk in all market environments. Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price. The S&P 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries. The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based flagship benchmark that measures the investment-grade, U.S. dollar-denominated, fixedrate taxable bond market. The index includes Treasuries, government-related and corporate securities, MBS (agency fixed-rate and hybrid ARM pass-throughs), ABS, and CMBS (agency and non-agency). Additional descriptions and disclosures are available in the Midyear Outlook 2018: The Plot Thickens publication. This research mat...
The Difference Between a Stockbroker and a Financial Advisor
By admin July 19, 2018 No Comments
Even if you’ve done your research, the world of finance can be confusing, as it’s packed with terms that seem similar and yet have very different meanings. Two such terms are “financial advisor*” and “stockbroker.” While both figures share a number of similarities, they’re distinctly different for a variety of reasons. Below, we’ll outline what makes financial advisors and stockbrokers different, and why you might prefer one over the other when it comes to developing your wealth management strategy.
As their title suggests, financial advisors* are financial professionals who typically provide a diverse selection of wealth management services. These can include everything from general financial planning to precise investment advice designed to help clients work towards their long-term financial goals. This broad scope of specialization is the most notable distinction between financial advisors and other industry professionals, such as stockbrokers, who also offer advice concerning investments.
But another key difference lies in how financial advisors provide their advice. Many advisors – namely registered investment advisors – can also be known as fiduciaries, who are advisors that must act with their clients’ best interests as a first priority. Some financial advisors choose to act as fiduciaries as their fundamental obligation, while others join associations or receive certifications, such as CFP®, that necessitate a pledge of fiduciary responsibility.
Though they’re still financial professionals, stockbrokers differ from financial advisors in that they focus on one type of service – the buying and selling of stocks and other securities. Interactions with clients may bear a closer resemblance to a transaction than the long-term relationships that are often nurtured by financial advisors. Without this relationship, you may find a lack of connection to your long-term goals and overall wealth management strategy.
Additionally, while stockbrokers are still required to provide advice that’s “suitable” for clients, that’s their key limitation – suitability. This means that stockbrokers are able to place their own best interests first, so long as their advice is appropriate in respect to their client’s needs and resources.
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If you’re seeking professional assistance to help reinforce and manage your financial stability, look no further than HighPoint Advisors, LLC in East Syracuse, New York. Though we’re a small, boutique firm, our team features seasoned financial professionals who take a client-first, in-depth approach to wealth management and every service we provide. For more information, contact us today.
* Financial advisors that are also registered investment advisors....