The Retirement Channel

The “Twin” Deficits

Nothing causes more anger, confusion, and bewilderment than the trade deficit – that is, except for the federal budget deficit. In past decades, these were often called “the twin deficits.” They are not identical, but they are related.

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Down 10K

Today's seasonally adjusted 239K new claims, down 10K from last week's revised 252K, was slightly better than the forecast of 240K. From the release: "Claims taking procedures continue to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands. The ability to take claims has improved in Puerto Rico. "

Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Black Friday Lead to a Green Market?

The economic calendar includes few reports, crammed into two days of a holiday-shortened week. Many will be taking time off – including some of the “A List” pundits. I expect to see some new faces on financial television and a lot of discussion about consumers and the economy. Many will be asking: What does Black Friday mean for the economy, and for stocks?

Annual Beneficiary Audits: As Important as a Will

Many investors assume a will dictates where their assets will go. But without properly designated beneficiaries, investors may not reach their legacy goals.

Ongoing Contributions to a Donor Advised Fund

While the initial gift to a client’s fund may tend to be the largest, we should not ignore the opportunity to continue to incorporate donor-advised funds into the client’s ongoing charitable plan.

Neil Hennessy – The Opportunities in Mid-Cap and Japanese Stocks

Neil Hennessy is a portfolio manager and chief investment officer at Hennessy Funds. In this interview, he discusses the compelling opportunities in mid-cap and Japanese stocks, and what RIAs should be doing in advance of the next market correction.

How do you measure an active manager’s success?

Financial research and technology can dissect individual funds to attribute the reasons behind performance.

Seven Tips for a Firm Name Prospects Won’t Forget

Most firm names are so bland and nondescript that it’s like having no name at all. There’s zero brand identity. Here are some of the worst mistakes advisors have made naming their firms.

Still Laboring

The trend is global: most countries are experiencing a relative increase in workforce participation among older workers.

Our Message to Congress: Save Our Savings!

One of President Donald Trump's campaign promises was to overhaul the US tax code. The administration recently released its tax proposal, and the pundits have been weighing in on how it will affect us all. As Congress continues to debate the latest version of the plan, which passed through the House of Representatives on November 16,

Five Decades of Middle-Class Wages: October 2017 Update

We've updated this series to include yesterday's release of the Consumer Price Index as the deflator and the October monthly update. The latest hypothetical real (inflation-adjusted) annual earnings are at $37,441, down 12.8% from 44 years ago.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: Industrial Production Up 0.9% in October

Today's report on Industrial Production for October shows a 0.9% increase month-over-month, which was better than the consensus of 0.5%. Industrial Production peaked in November 2014, only one point higher than its pre-recession peak in November 2007. The year-over-year change is 2.88 percent, up from last month's YoY increase.

Six Tips to Take DC Plans to the Next Level

Tax reform. Interest-rate hikes. Regulatory questions. Inflation. There’s always a reason to put off making changes to your company’s defined contribution (DC) plan. But some improvements will be good for your plan and participants no matter what happens.

The Importance of Implementation Efficiency

In the second of a three-part series on principles of the low-return imperative, we zero in on the value of efficient implementation—and identify three ways it may help achieve desired outcomes.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: October Real Retail Sales

Note: With today's release of October's Retail Sales and Consumer Price Index, we've updated this commentary to include the latest Real Retail Sales. Month-over-month nominal sales in October increased by 0.2% (0.23% to two decimals). Real Retail Sales, calculated with the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index, increased by 0.13. The chart gives us a close look at the monthly data points in this series since the end of the last recession in mid-2009. The linear regression helps us identify variance from the trend.