The Retirement Channel

What Does the Health Care Decision Mean for Stocks?

There is plenty of “upside risk.” Earnings growth is improving, even in the environment of modest growth. The recent market strength could go on for years without any policy changes. If some of the Trump agenda (probably with Democratic support) becomes law, it could mean a spike in both economic growth and profits. We already see improved business and consumer confidence.

Strategist: Keep Calm, Tax Reform Is On Its Way

Regardless of its failure to be repealed, tax reform is on its way. Just today, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reassured Americans that we could still expect “comprehensive” tax reform by August. It’s also worth recalling that, even though he failed to reform health care during his eight years in office, President Bill Clinton still managed to tackle tax reform with the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Up 15K from Last Week, Annual Revisions

Today's seasonally adjusted 258K new claims, up 15K from last week's number, was worse than the forecast of 240K. Revisions were made to annual seasonal adjustment factors along with revisions going back to 2012 to the initial and continuing claims seasonal factors.

Robotization Without Taxation?

The public reaction to recent proposals that robots be taxed when they replace human labor has been largely negative. But a moderate tax on robots – even a temporary levy that merely slows the adoption of disruptive technology – seems like a natural and obvious component of any policy to address rising inequality.

The Biggest Trends in Family Wealth

Family wealth has emerged as the financial-industry topic of this decade, akin to what estate planning was in the ‘70s, investment planning in the ‘80s, financial planning in the ‘90s, and wealth management in the ‘00s. Today family wealth advisors serve 35,000 households that all together account for more than $5 trillion in assets.

The World’s Most Deceptive Chart

I received an email last week which I thought was worth discussing.

Do I Need a Succession Plan if I Will Never Retire?

I don’t see myself retiring. I have two children in their mid 20s. They could take over my firm if need be. I resent my team inferring that I don’t have a succession plan. Is there a polite way to tell them to back off?

On My Radar: A High Probability Way to Forecast Recession (Recession? No Sign Just Yet)

One of the realities we will face is recession. The good news is that we are in the eighth year of a growth phase (the last recession was in 2009) and as you’ll see in my favorite indicator charts below, there are no current signs of recession.

Angst in America, Part 1: Aimless Men

This week we begin a series of letters exploring the new economic and sociological anxiety. I want to look at what causes it and think about what we can do to ease it. I don’t know how many letters this dive will take. I may break away for other topics and then come back to the topic of angst. 

Global Supply Chains Contain Inflation

Globalization has profoundly affected politics, society and economic performance. Among its most significant results has been persistent downward pressure on prices.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: February Industrial Production Virtually Unchanged

Today's report on Industrial Production for February shows a 0.0% change month-over-month (0.01% to two decimal points), which was below the consensus of a 0.2 percent increase. The previous month was revised upward from -0.3 percent to -0.1 percent. Industrial Production peaked in November 2014, only one point higher than its pre-recession peak in November 2007. The year-over-year change is 0.31 percent, up from last month's small YoY increase.

Schwab Market Perspective: Teflon Market

Nothing seems to be able to phase the stock market recently. Political infighting, Presidential tweets, North Korean missile launches, oil falling below $50, European political uncertainty, higher bond yields, and the Fed raising rates: none of those forces have knocked stocks off their recent uptrend.

Will Trump Budget Lead to a Government Shutdown?

Earlier this week, President Trump issued a proposed government budget for FY2018 calling for the largest reduction in domestic program spending since the aftermath of World War II.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: February Real Retail Sales

Note: With the release last week of February Retail Sales and the Consumer Price Index, we've updated this commentary to include the latest Real Retail Sales. Month-over-month nominal sales in January rose by 0.1% (0.08% to two decimals). Real Retail Sales, calculated with the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index, was mostly unchanged at 0.0% (-0.04% to two decimals). 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.

Five Decades of Middle-Class Wages: February 2017 Update

We've updated this series to include yesterday's release of the Consumer Price Index as the deflator and the February monthly update. The latest hypothetical real (inflation-adjusted) annual earnings are at $36,725, down 13.7% from 44 years ago.