The Retirement Channel

Investing for the Long Term: A Conversation with Marc Lichtenfeld

My good friend Marc Lichtenfeld from the Oxford Club has always been savvy in following such strategies. I invite you to learn from his investment journey in this special Q&A.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: July Real Retail Sales

Note: With the release of July Retail Sales and Consumer Price Index, we've updated this commentary to include the latest Real Retail Sales. Month-over-month nominal sales in July increased by 0.5% (0.51% to two decimals). Real Retail Sales, calculated with the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index, increased by 0.34%.

Munis in Focus: Preparing for Late-Cycle Certainties

Munis may offer U.S. taxpayers key benefits as they contemplate the end of the economic expansion.

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Down 2K, Beats Forecast

This morning's seasonally adjusted 212K new claims, down 2K from the previous week's revised figure, was below the forecast of 215K

The Big Four Economic Indicators: Industrial Production Up 0.1% in July

Today's report on Industrial Production for July shows a 0.1% increase month-over-month, which was worse than the consensus of 0.3%. The year-over-year change is 4.23%, up from last month's YoY increase. Revisions were made to the previous five months.

How to Double Your Seminar Appointments

Do you use seminars to get new prospects? Are you booking less than 85% of attendees into appointments? If so, then please read on.

NFIB Small Business Survey: "Small Business Optimism Index Nears Survey High in July"

The latest issue of the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends came out this morning. The headline number for July came in at 107.9, up 0.7 from the previous month and its second highest of all time. The index is at the 100th percentile in this series. Today's number came in above the forecast of 106.9.

Regulation Best Interest – A Junk Food Diet

Gary Cohn, former economic advisor to President Trump, told the WSJ that the DOL Rule was bad rule. Translated to language of our time, with respect to the SEC’s proposed regulation best interest (RBI), ”It’s okay to pig out on junk-food investments.”

Weighing the Week Ahead: Don’t Get Framed!

The market remains in a narrow trading range, near the record highs. There have been some relatively minor leadership changes. This reflects not investor complacency, but intense disagreement about how to interpret data and events. Each viewpoint has a history, a philosophy, and problem something to sell!

Five Decades of Middle-Class Wages: July 2018 Update

We've updated this series to include Friday morning's release of the Consumer Price Index as the deflator and the July monthly update. The latest hypothetical real (inflation-adjusted) annual earnings are at $38,279, down 12.5% from 45-plus years ago.

Brexit at the Cliff’s Edge

The economic team looks at the possibility of a bad Brexit.

The Pool of Tradable Stocks Is Shrinking. Here’s What Investors Can Do

The number of publicly listed companies in the U.S. has fallen steadily since 1997. More companies have delisted, in fact, than gone public in every year of the past 20 years except one, 2013. Put another way, the pool is getting smaller even while the population and economy are expanding.

What Inflation Means to You: Inside the Consumer Price Index

Let's do some analysis of the Consumer Price Index, the best-known measure of inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) divides all expenditures into eight categories and assigns a relative size to each. The pie chart illustrates the components of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers, the CPI-U.

U.S. Workforce Recovery

We've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include last week's Employment Report for July. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) came in at 157K.

Demographic Trends for the 50-and-Older Work Force

Note: This commentary has been updated with the latest numbers from last week's Employment Report.

This is not the scenario that would have been envisioned a generation ago for the "Golden Years" of retirement. Consider: Today nearly one in three of the 65-69 cohort and about one in five of the 70-74 cohort are in the labor force.