It’s official. At ten years, the US. stock bull market is the longest in our history. Does a slowing economy present a credible threat to stock investors? Both Washington and Wall Street have eyes on the Fed, which will have a major say. We get into all this and more and appreciate your interest. Feel free to forward to anyone who might be interested.
- Slowing U.S. Economy: Economists generally expect the U.S. economy to grow around 2 percent in 2019. Ruchir Sharma, the Morgan Stanley chief global strategist, makes a compelling case for why this growth rate is both sufficient and not that far off long term growth rates. Charles Evans, the Chicago Fed President, says the chances of a recession are low.
- Trump Wants Rate Cuts: Larry Kudlow, the president’s economic advisor, says the president wants rate cuts now. This would complete the 180 degree Fed shift from the last rate hike in December and the expectation of further rate hikes in 2019. We give lower odds on a rate cut in 2019 but do agree that a rate cut may happen before another rate hike. As the Fed world turns!
- Home Planning: Take note if you’re thinking of refinancing or moving. Mortgage rates are down to the 4% level. Listing a home for sale in April may give a big advantage too. And keep in mind that taxpayers taking the standard deduction lose the benefit of a mortgage interest deduction.
- Dimensional and Rocket Science: As many know, we have great respect for Dimensional Fund Advisors (“DFA”), one of the investment firms favored by top independent financial advisors. This article talks about what attracted the Irish aeronautical engineer, now it’s Co-CEO, to DFA. DFA’s connection with four Nobel prize winners in the fields of finance or economics was apparently a factor to a “numbers guy”.
- North America Trade Deal In Jeopardy: In a development that is flying somewhat under the radar, it is entirely likely that Congress may not approve Trump’s reworked NAFTA agreement. What happens then? The trade conflict with China understandably gets a lot of attention, but our trade relationships with Canada and Mexico are much more important.
- The Immune System and Cancer: One of the most promising medical stories in the last few years is the breakthrough research in harnessing the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. The medical community initially made fun of Jim Allison, the Texas scientist who pioneered the research. In time, he won a Nobel prize for his work.
- Protecting Your Internet Accounts: The threats are getting worse, but there are more tools available to play good defense. Two-factor authentication is a good idea for key accounts. See this article for four methods.
- Rick Steves and Travel: I enjoyed this article about Rick Steves, the travel guru who wants to change the world. I had heard of him but wasn’t familiar with him beyond name recognition. Travel can be so powerful.
- A Quote I Like: “One thing. Slow down to one thing.” Steve Chandler
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