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Despite a flurry of unnerving headlines during the quarter, the volatility of global stocks remains at historic lows. Major indices in the U.S., Europe and Asia have managed to avoid a retreat of 5% or more so far in 2017. Typically, 5% pullbacks occur once per quarter with 10% corrections at least annually, and 20% drops once per market cycle for most developed stock markets.

If you haven’t heard of health savings accounts, or HSAs, now is a great time to learn. An HSA allows for tax‐advantaged savings that can be used to pay for medical expenses now or in the future. In order to qualify for an HSA, you must be enrolled in a high‐deductible health insurance plan. High deductible insurance plans offer low premiums in exchange for the insured person or family taking on high deductibles.

Recently, I had an opportunity to help a new client with a strategic financial plan. When she came to us, she shared with us that she felt pride in what she had accomplished in life in raising her son and in her career. Yet, she felt uneasy and anxious about what was yet to come, and she could not tell from her company’s retirement statement if she would be able to travel as she wanted to do in retirement.

We women live longer than men, and many of us will be on our own at some time in the future.  At age 65, we can expect to live another 20 years on average, and we will need to depend on ourselves more than ever to successfully navigate the retirement landscape.  Most of us cannot afford to make a major mistake and still ensure there will be time to recover.

Emerging market stocks registered another strong quarter returning 6.3% for the period. International developed stocks and US stocks also rose, returning 5.6% and 3.0% respectively. Global real estate increased 2.0%, while U.S bonds returned 1.7% and global bonds returned 0.4%. Commodities declined for the second quarter in a row falling 3.0% for the period. With the first half of 2017 in the books, six of the seven major asset classes are in positive territory.