Published: Fri, 09 Apr 2021 20:01:02 +0000
Market Blog Friday, April 9, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities The major United States markets were mostly higher this week. The Nasdaq Composite was the best performing index while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 09 Apr 2021 15:58:13 +0000
Market Blog Friday, April 9, 2021 Stocks have kicked off the year in a strong fashion, and history shows this may give reason to be optimistic for the rest of the year. After a solid—but certainly turbulent—year in 2020, the … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 09 Apr 2021 14:58:08 +0000
Friday, April 9, 2021 Top Story Was the first quarter the sweet spot for returns? The S&P 500 Index rose 5.8% in the first quarter, and historically this has been in the “Goldilocks” range of returns that isn’t too hot, … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 08 Apr 2021 15:58:44 +0000
Economic Blog Thursday, April 8, 2021 Before the pandemic we had begun to warm up to international stocks. Valuations relative to the U.S. markets had become increasingly attractive after a long stretch of outperformance by U.S. stocks compared with those … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 08 Apr 2021 14:58:58 +0000
Thursday, April 8, 2021 Top Story Global GDP forecasts are on the rise, led by the U.S. A look at consensus expectations for economic growth around the world supports our preference for U.S. over developed international equities. Gross domestic product … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 07 Apr 2021 16:58:56 +0000
Economic Blog Wednesday, April 7, 2021 On the LPL Market Signals podcast, Equity Strategist Jeff Buchbinder and Asset Allocation Strategist Barry Gilbert update forecasts based on how the economy’s recovery from the pandemic, aided by vaccine distribution, massive stimulus, and … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:58:18 +0000
Economic Blog Wednesday, April 7, 2021 The United States, and the rest of the world, are looking to emerge from the shadow of COVID-19, and business conditions may already have put the pandemic in the rear-view mirror—at least according to … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 07 Apr 2021 14:58:43 +0000
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 Top Story Record surge in Purchasing Managers’ Index surveys U.S. businesses are looking to escape from underneath the shadow of COVID-19, and the Institute of Supply Management’s (ISM) Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) surveys may be suggesting … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 06 Apr 2021 15:58:18 +0000
Market Blog Tuesday, April 6, 2021 Coming into this year, we expected longer-maturity U.S. Treasury yields to rise, consistent with improving economic growth dynamics. That is indeed what we have seen, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury higher by … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 06 Apr 2021 14:58:53 +0000
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 Top Story Raising Economic And Market Forecasts…Again On the LPL Market Signals podcast, Equity Strategist Jeff Buchbinder and Asset Allocation Strategist Barry Gilbert update forecasts based on how the economy’s recovery from the pandemic, aided by … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 05 Apr 2021 14:58:22 +0000
Monday, April 5, 2021 Top Story Raising Forecasts…Again LPL Research revises previous forecasts to better reflect the growing optimism of an economy on the rebound in this week’s Weekly Market Commentary, available at 1 p.m. ET. Daily Insights U.S. stocks … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 01 Apr 2021 20:16:37 +0000
Market Blog Thursday, April 1, 2021 Index Performance U.S. and International Equities The major United States and international markets were higher this week. The Nasdaq Composite was the best performing index while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained a fraction. … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 01 Apr 2021 16:58:52 +0000
Market Blog Friday, April 1, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities This month provided positive results for the U.S. major market indexes. The top performer was the Dow Jones Industrial Average, returning over 7% for the … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 01 Apr 2021 15:59:02 +0000
Economic Blog Thursday, April 1, 2021 It’s tempting to predict runaway 1970s inflation as an April Fools’ Day joke. But at the risk of upsetting our friends in the compliance department, we’ll shoot straight here. With that important disclaimer out … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 01 Apr 2021 14:58:24 +0000
Thursday, April 1, 2021 Top Story Expect contained inflation long term It’s tempting to predict runaway 1970s inflation as an April Fools’ Day joke, but we don’t want to upset our friends in the compliance department, so we shoot straight … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 15:58:33 +0000
Market Blog Wednesday, March 31, 2021 As we continue LPL Research’s Inflation Week, today we will examine how stocks have historically done at different inflation levels. For more color on our views on inflation, please read here and here, and … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 14:58:00 +0000
Wednesday, March 30, 2021 Top Story Gallon-sized Improvement in Employment In the latest LPL Street View, Research Chief Investment Officer, Burt White, makes the case that even though unemployment claims are at their lowest level since the pandemic started, we … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 12:00:00 +0000
Market Blog Wednesday, March 31, 2021 “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Mark Twain What more can we say other than few months have been kinder to stocks lately than the month of April. In fact, it was … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 06:00:36 +0000
Market Blog Wednesday, March 31, 2021 Is higher inflation on the way? This is the question nearly everyone is asking, and this week the LPL Strategists will explain why the answer is likely no, contrary to what so many expect. … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 15:58:02 +0000
Market Blog Tuesday, March 30, 2021 Inflation is coming and, according to certain market-based inflation metrics, markets are expecting sustained inflation rates not seen since the late 2000s, although likely still at manageable levels. Inflation, which captures price increases in … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 14:58:36 +0000
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 Top Story Let’s Talk About Inflation LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick and Equity Strategist Jeff Buchbinder examine inflation concerns and explain why they think any increases in inflation will most likely be fleeting in … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 29 Mar 2021 15:58:50 +0000
Market Blog Monday, March 29, 2021 It has been a little over a year since the S&P 500 Index bottomed on March 23, 2020, and it was certainly an eventful year, to say the least. It’s also been one year … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 29 Mar 2021 15:00:27 +0000
Monday, March 29, 2021 Top Story Are We on the Brink of an Inflation Crisis? LPL Research explains why any upticks in inflation will ultimately prove transitory in this week’s Weekly Market Commentary, available at 1 p.m. ET. Daily Insights … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 26 Mar 2021 19:58:00 +0000
Market Blog Friday, March 26, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Major United States markets were mixed this week. U.S. small caps (Russell 2000 Index) have been the worst performing index for two straight weeks while … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 26 Mar 2021 15:00:27 +0000
Friday, March 26, 2021 Daily Insights US stocks mixed as S&P 500 Index looks to avoid a second straight weekly decline; Nasdaq set to underperform The Federal Reserve announced that banks that clear the next round of stress tests will … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 26 Mar 2021 14:00:57 +0000
Market Blog Friday, March 26, 2021 Our friends at Goldman Sachs recently announced a 2021 growth target for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 8% (Q4/Q4). Should this happen, it would be the biggest annual increase in GDP since 1951. Of … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 25 Mar 2021 15:58:47 +0000
Market Blog Thursday, March 25, 2021 It has been just over a year since the S&P 500 Index bottomed on March 23, 2020, and while global stock markets have provided historic returns since the low, the biggest winners come from … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 25 Mar 2021 14:59:11 +0000
Thursday, March 25, 2021 Top Story Commodities the biggest winners since the low. While stock markets have posted solid returns since the S&P 500 Index bottomed in March 2020, commodity markets have been on an absolute tear as economy activity … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 24 Mar 2021 17:24:45 +0000
Market Blog Wednesday, March 24, 2021 A year ago this week the stock market bottomed and thus ended one of the most vicious bear markets of all-time. In our recent Market Signals video, LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 24 Mar 2021 15:59:32 +0000
Economic Blog Wednesday, March 24, 2021 It has now been a little over a year since the first COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns were implemented in the United States, with California having implemented the first stay-at-home order on March 19, 2020. … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 24 Mar 2021 15:03:47 +0000
Wednesday, March 24, 2021 Top Story High frequency data one year after lockdown. It’s been a little over a year since the first COVID-19 restrictions were implemented in the United States, when California put in place the first stay-at-home orders … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 23 Mar 2021 15:59:47 +0000
Market Blog Tuesday, March 23, 2023 While most market participants have been (rightly) focusing on the sell-off in the Treasury markets this year, U.S. corporate credit markets have sold off as well. Corporate credit markets, as defined by the Bloomberg … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 23 Mar 2021 15:00:06 +0000
Tuesday, March 23, 2021 Top Story The Bull Market Turns One On the LPL Market Signals podcast, Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick and Equity Strategist Jeff Buchbinder consider what could be in store for stocks in year two of the … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 22 Mar 2021 15:00:22 +0000
Monday, March 22, 2021 Top Story The Second Year Of The Bull Market Begins LPL Research discuss the end of the bear market and the trends of a bull market in year two in this week’s Weekly Market Commentary, available … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 19 Mar 2021 20:10:29 +0000
Market Blog Friday, March 19, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities All major United States markets declined this week. U.S. small caps (Russell 2000 Index) were last week’s best performing index. This week, they reversed course … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 19 Mar 2021 16:00:42 +0000
Economic Blog Friday, March 19, 2021 In almost every direction we turn, we see optimism mounting over a mid-2021 economic reacceleration. Unfortunately, it seems we will have to wait at least another month for that optimism to make their way … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 19 Mar 2021 15:18:18 +0000
Friday, March 19, 2021 Top Story The day after Yields soared, with the 10-year yield closing at 1.72%, its highest level in 14 months, with the 10-year on pace to be up eight consecutive weeks. Worries that the Federal Reserve … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 18 Mar 2021 17:04:08 +0000
Market Blog Thursday, March 18, 2021 March is here and with it comes some Madness! In our recent Market Signals video, LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick and Equity Strategist Jeff Buchbinder discuss four things that matter the most … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 18 Mar 2021 15:59:43 +0000
Economic Blog Thursday, March 18, 2021 Last week we reviewed updated global economic growth forecasts from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), highlighting the significant increase in their gross domestic product (GDP) forecast for the United States this … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 18 Mar 2021 15:00:25 +0000
Thursday, March 18, 2021 Top Story The Federal Reserve (Fed) wrapped up its two-day meeting There were no surprises as the Fed upgraded growth and inflation expectations. Monetary policy was left unchanged with the Fed funds target rate remaining at … Continue reading →
A stock represents a share of ownership in a business. When you hold one or more shares of stock in a company, you actually own a piece of that company. Your percentage of ownership will depend on how many shares you hold in relation to the total number of shares issued by the company. Investors who purchase stock are known as the company's stockholders or shareholders. The price of shares reflects the public's level of interest in owning the shares. If a lot of investors want to buy shares, they bid against one another, driving up the market price of the stock. If interest is low, competing bids are few and far between, and the price of shares is likely to fall. You may hold the stock in the form of a stock certificate, which identifies you as the owner of the stock and the number of shares you own. Alternatively, shares may be held in an account with a brokerage firm.
Your percentage of ownership in a company represents your share of the risks taken and profits generated by the company. If the company does well, your share of the total earnings will be proportionate to how much of the company's stock you own. The flip side, of course, is that your share of any loss will be similarly proportionate to your percentage of ownership, though you are not personally financially responsible for any share of the liabilities of the company in which you hold an equity interest. Beyond that, depending on the company and the types of shares you have, stock ownership may carry other benefits. Specifically, you may be entitled to dividend payments (which you can generally receive either in cash or additional shares), capital gains payouts, voting rights, and other corporate privileges. For example, common stockholders have the right to vote for candidates for the board of directors and on other important issues.
From the standpoint of the company, issuing and selling stock enables it to raise capital needed to expand, conduct research, modernize, pay off creditors, and meet other corporate expenses. When you give a company capital by buying its shares, you acquire equity in that company. Just as your equity in a home represents the portion that you actually own relative to the amount you owe on the mortgage, equity in a company represents your ownership stake. That's why stocks are sometimes referred to as equities.
Many investors never venture beyond the world of cash alternatives--bank accounts, CDs, money market accounts, and Treasury bills. They take comfort in knowing that these investment vehicles provide relative safety coupled with liquidity that allows them to access their money easily if they need it. However, while these investments are relatively low risk, they generally yield minimal returns; some may not even keep pace with inflation. At some point, most investors want the potential for greater returns, which is where stocks enter the picture. A variety of factors motivate people to invest in stocks. Many view equity investments as an opportunity to accumulate wealth or to prevent inflation from eventually reducing the purchasing power of their money. They generally take a long-term view, hoping their stocks will appreciate in value over time. They may also be interested in the dividends that some stocks pay, which shareholders may accept in cash or (in some cases) reinvest in additional shares of the company. Dividends and any increases or drops in the stock's price combine to produce the stock's total return. Investors with a gambler mentality may be attracted by the thrill of playing the market. They may trade actively, sometimes buying and selling the same issue within a few days or a few hours. These day traders try to take advantage of small, intra-day price movements in volatile stocks or indexes.
Investors who purchase stock hope to make money in one of two ways--through dividend payments and/or capital gains.
Some investors buy stocks because they seek regular income from dividends. Dividends represent distributions of corporate earnings to shareholders. The company's board of directors decides whether to distribute a dividend to shareholders; payment of a dividend is by no means mandatory. Dividends, if distributed, are usually paid out to investors in cash. However, a company may also pay dividends in the form of additional stock, known as stock dividends, or in property (this is rare). Some companies allow investors to buy stock through an automatic dividend reinvestment plan. A brokerage commission may or may not apply. Qualifying dividends received by an individual shareholder from domestic corporations (and qualified foreign corporations) are taxed at long-term capital gains tax rates, making dividends more attractive to many investors. As of January 1, 2013, those rates range from 0% for individuals in the 10% and 15% marginal income tax brackets to 20% for individuals in the highest marginal tax bracket of 39.6%. In addition, a 3.8% Medicare contribution tax applies to the investment income (including qualified dividends) of individuals with income that exceeds $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly). Not all stock dividends qualify for capital gains tax treatment. Dividends that are ineligible will be taxed at ordinary income tax rates. These include:
Further, dividends paid on hybrid preferred stock (i.e., stock that is reported as debt) are also ineligible for capital gains tax treatment.
Capital gains represent increases in stock prices. Investors looking for capital gains hope to buy a company's stock at a low price and sell it when the price has risen. Stock prices can increase for many reasons, including company profitability, a good economic environment, or rumors of a takeover. Conversely, stock prices may decline for many reasons, including poor earnings reports, poor management, lawsuits, faulty or out-of-date products, competition, bad publicity, or an overall poor economy. Prices also can be affected simply by the investment community's view of the stock market as a whole. Capital gains from selling stock result in taxable income; however, such gains, if long term, will generally be taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income tax rates, as was discussed above in connection with dividends. Also, in any given year, any capital loss you sustain can be used at tax time to offset capital gains. Finally, if unused capital losses remain, they can be used to offset up to $3,000 ($1,500 if married filing separately) of ordinary income for that year or can be carried forward to future years. Caution: Capital losses cannot be used to offset dividend income taxed at long-term capital gains rates.
The decision to invest in stocks is a personal one that should depend on your individual situation. Before taking this step, and before selecting specific types of stocks to add to your portfolio, there are some issues you should take into account.
One of the main factors to consider before buying stock is your attitude toward risk. How much financial risk, if any, are you willing to accept? If the thought of even a small amount of risk makes you anxious, you probably would be considered risk averse, in which case stocks might not be an appropriate investment for you. If you can handle some risk, you still need to tailor the stock portion of your portfolio to your particular level of risk tolerance. Though past performance is no guarantee of future results, stocks as a whole have historically offered relatively high potential reward over the long term compared to most other types of investments. As a result, stocks generally have a higher level of risk compared to other investments. You can lose a portion of your investment in stocks--or even your entire investment. Among the factors that affect the level of risk you face with stocks are:
Different kinds of stocks carry different degrees and types of risk and are therefore suited to different types of investors. For example, if you are fairly conservative and prefer minimal risk, you might think about stable, relatively safe blue-chip stocks. If you are very aggressive, however, you may want to consider riskier investments like aggressive growth and microcap stocks. Although an investor can screen for potential risks before making an investment, it is virtually impossible to plan for every conceivable contingency that could affect a business. For this reason, stock investors must be prepared for some degree of risk.
How much of a profit do you hope to make on your stock investments? If you seek the potential for better returns than cash alternatives and most fixed-income securities such as bonds or notes can offer, and you don't want the management responsibility of real estate or partnerships, you should probably at least investigate investing in stocks. Their potential for higher returns than many other investments means that stocks as a whole have a better chance at staying ahead of inflation, thus preserving your money's purchasing power over the long term. If you are certain that you want to pursue the highest returns possible, the stocks that you should consider are very different from those suitable for an investor who would be happy with modest returns. Of course, you should always weigh your desired return against the amount of risk you are willing to assume, because the potential for higher returns also means greater potential for loss. It can be challenging to strike the right balance.
First and foremost, your finances will determine whether you are in a position to invest in stocks and, if so, what types of stocks are appropriate for you. If even a small loss would have a meaningful impact on your finances, stocks may not be a viable option for you. If you have relatively limited resources, the types of stocks you choose and the amounts you invest will probably differ from those of an investor with substantial assets. Also, make sure you consider your finances in relation to your income and other personal circumstances. For example, if you have $200,000 available to invest but also have a child who will be attending college within a couple of years, the choices you make about stocks probably won't be the same as those of someone who has the same amount of investable assets but no significant near-term financial obligations.
Stocks are typically a long-term investment. The reason is that stocks can be volatile. If you're counting on a stock's price going up, it may take several years of ups and downs to reach your desired selling point--if indeed it ever does. But there is another reason. The sale of stock held for one year or less results in short-term capital gain or loss, and short-term capital gains are taxed at ordinary income tax rates. By comparison, the sale of stock held more than one year results in long-term capital gains, and long-term capital gains generally are taxed at lower rates than ordinary income. For example, if you are in the 28 percent tax bracket for ordinary income, your long-term capital gains are generally taxed at 15 percent.
Your investment choices will naturally be affected by the various factors discussed previously: your attitude toward risk, your desired return, and your financial and personal circumstances. Other factors may come into play as well, but these are the most common ones. Based on these very important considerations, you and your financial professional will be able to choose investments that match your situation. Different stocks may have very different strengths and weaknesses in terms of how they attempt to achieve a return. For example, you may want short-term gains, long-term capital appreciation (growth in value), steady income, or some combination.
No one, not even the most esteemed expert, can forecast with any certainty what the stock market will do from day to day or from year to year. It's not for a lack of trying, however. It seems there are always a number of conflicting theories floating around that attempt to predict or explain the market. You may have your own theories as to how the market works or will perform in the future. If so, such beliefs will likely influence your decisions about which stocks to invest in or whether to invest in stocks at all. In addition, your research into specific companies may guide you toward certain stocks and steer you away from others.
As you probably know, hundreds of millions of shares of stock trade daily on the stock market. The stock market is a general term referring to the organized trading of stocks and other securities through various exchanges, including the over-the-counter market. Stocks are generally bought through intermediaries, known as securities brokers and dealers. Investors can also purchase a group of stocks indirectly by owning shares of a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund (ETF).
Most stocks are traded on various stock exchanges. Two major U.S. exchanges are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the American Stock Exchange (AMEX). The Nasdaq is an equally important U.S. exchange, although there is no trading floor—the stocks are bought and sold over a broker-dealer computer network. In most cases, when you buy or sell stock, you go through a broker rather than deal directly with the issuer of the stock. This is true for most transactions, including initial public offerings (IPOs) and secondary offerings. In exchange for brokerage services, you ordinarily have to pay your broker (including discount brokers) a commission based on the dollar value of a particular transaction or the number of shares purchased. Many brokerage firms also offer so-called wrap fee programs, which are all-inclusive accounts whose fee structure includes commissions and investment advisory services.
In addition to the major exchanges, you can buy and sell stocks on the over-the-counter (OTC) market. Stocks that trade on the OTC market are generally those of smaller companies that don't trade on the NYSE and the AMEX because they don't meet the listing requirements of those exchanges. In recent years, however, many companies that qualify for listing have chosen to remain with OTC trading because they prefer this system to the centralized approach of the major exchanges.
An IPO occurs when a corporation decides to go public by offering shares of its stock to the general public for the very first time. Only the first issue of stock made available to the public is considered an IPO; subsequent issues by a public corporation are called public secondary offerings.
There are several ways that investors can evaluate the financial health of a company, as well as its prospects for the future. These methods may include an examination of factors specific to the individual company, or they may pertain to the industry as a whole.
The stock market is enormous; there are many different types of stocks from which you can choose. This should come as no surprise, given the number of companies worldwide that sell stock to the public. The types of stocks that you ultimately pick should depend on your individual circumstances. In narrowing the field to appropriate stocks for your portfolio, your financial professional can be immensely helpful. Very broadly speaking, stocks can be divided into two general categories--common stock and preferred stock. In many cases, a single company will make both kinds of stock available to investors. Each has its own particular strengths and weaknesses. Stocks can be further broken down into voting stock and nonvoting stock. Beyond that, there are stocks for investors of all types. For the more conservative investor who wants to keep risk to a minimum, there are blue chip stocks and conservative, income-oriented stocks. For the very aggressive investor who sits at the other end of the spectrum and is more interested in the potential for greater returns, there are aggressive growth stocks, microcap stocks, and emerging market stocks, among others. If you fall somewhere in between these two extremes, you may find a fit with midcap stocks, value stocks, and growth stocks. If you closely follow current economic conditions, cyclical stocks may be an appropriate option, just as international stocks may be a good match for an investor who stays attuned to foreign markets and is willing to accept the added risks of foreign investing.
There are several strategies you can adopt to get the most out of your stock investments. These range from very basic strategies appropriate for a novice, to more complex strategies that a sophisticated investor might be inclined to use. Some of the most common strategies available to you include buy low/sell high, buy and hold, and dollar cost averaging.
Contact a VyStar Investment Services Financial Advisor today by phone (904) 908-2495 or email VISMarketing@vystarcu.org.
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