Bull Bear Pen

December market review A choir of optimistic investor sentiment closed 2023 on a high note, as expectations of “steep cuts to interest rates” may be at odds with the Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) actual sheet music. Considering the tumult of the year as sentiment focused on economic...

Rick Wagener spoke to Money Geek about getting Life Insurance at age 60. What are the key factors 60-year-olds should consider when choosing a life insurance policy? The main starting point is the need for insurance. If it is short-term, less than ten years, then term insurance...

September market review Throughout the run of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) inflation-fighting, rate-raising program, the equity market has shown uncommon enthusiasm supported by a growing economy, a strong labor market and healthy consumer spending. Contrary to the expected way of these things, inflation continued to cool...

June market review  The bear may have entered hibernation in June, but can we now count a bona fide bull? That may be overselling it. Equities capped off a remarkable first half of the year by continuing to gain value even as the Federal Reserve (Fed)...

Events through March would again test a market that has continued to demonstrate resilience. While volatile conditions remain, and despite equities’ February retreat carrying into mid-March, the major indices ended the first quarter of 2023 up. If one were to look solely at the headlines, this...

December did not bring the good tidings investors wished for – and typically see in the final month of the year – as most major asset classes struggled at the end of an especially volatile year for the capital markets. December is historically the third-strongest month...

Rick spoke with Money Geek about holiday spending. Read this article to hear some of his alternative gift giving ideas. https://www.moneygeek.com/financial-planning/resources/budgeting-for-the-holidays/#expert=richard-wagener-cfp...

September market review Inflation remains persistent. To fight it, the Federal Reserve (the Fed) indicated it would need to raise rates higher than originally expected for longer, sending shocks through the market. As in previous months, these events drove the market’s major currents in September as...

We have many clients who are grandparents and know all too well that “it takes a village” to afford to send children to college. They’ve learned the basics of 529 plans, but many are unsure of how best to get started. While there is no one...

June market review As the Federal Reserve (Fed) committed itself to battling inflation this year, one question looming large was how aggressive a tack it would take. In June, we received a second, clarifying answer. In light of continuing high inflation, the Fed took a more forceful...

Welcome to our College Savings series. Over the next few weeks, we will be providing short (maybe a long one here and there) blog posts about College Savings – specifically 529 Plans. ...

March market review Global equities experienced volatility throughout March, though a late rally softened some of the sharper losses from earlier in the month. The volatility of recent months continued, driven by geopolitical events that I believe are unlikely to dissipate soon, a more hawkish Federal...

Watch this video to hear Rick sharing his views on the market, as well as: Contributing to your 401k: How much you can contribute, as well as how much should you contribute? Should you contribute a percent of your salary or a fixed dollar amount? How often can...

Amanda joined fellow financial advisor, Melissa Joy, on her podcast to talk about active vs. passive investing. The 52 Pearl Weekly Money Wisdom Podcast is hosted by Melissa to provide actionable advice to improve financial decisions. Listen to Amanda and Melissa discuss investing – the...

December market review While the traditional end-of-year Santa Claus equity rally may not have been as pronounced as we typically see, it may have just come early. Thus far, we’ve seen both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 notch new highs in December...

September market review Markets prefer clarity – or at least as close a facsimile as they can get. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen how markets can push through uncertainty, up to a certain point. September, however, brought a stack of compounding uncertainties, combining to...