As we ring in 2018, the stock bull market that started in 2009 continues. The extended length of this bull market (close to historic levels) has caused some people to become concerned about a correction, which leads to considering moving more of their portfolio into bonds. Generally, bonds can be a good diversifier and lower the volatility of a portfolio when added to the asset allocation.
As we have discussed in previous blog posts, we are in an historically long bull market. The current market recovery started roughly March of 2009 and now continues into a 98th month. Given that the average bull market lasts somewhere around 48-60 months, this one is well above the norm for length. Does this mean that a bear market is imminent? Not really.
I don’t spend a lot of time offering specific market commentary at Financial Planning Fort Collins. I think there are a lot of places and a lot of personalities that can offer plenty of very fine commentary for you to enjoy, if that's your thing. But when bigger picture things happen, I will try to put them into context, as much as possible.
Which segues into interest rates, and bonds. Interest rates have recently made a sharp move higher. In early May the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was at a yield of 1.66%, near the all-time lows hit in July of 2012. The difference between this year and last is that in just over a month the yield on that 10-year T-note has snapped up to around 2.20%. On a relative basis, that's a big move for the bond market - yields moved up by nearly 1/3rd in around 30 days.1
It's been a little while since we visited the topic of alternative investments. In the last piece, published in January, we tried to wrap our arms around what the term 'alternative' really means. Today we're going to look at how alternatives are actually used. While the focus is on the asset side of the equation (as opposed to the strategy side), this snapshot can give you an idea of how real world investors position alternatives in their portfolios.
One thing I wanted to point out is that there are some alternatives that can not or should not be used in certain parts of your portfolio. For example, collectibles are generally an outright no-no in your IRA. Also, while limited partnerships are allowed, they are fraught with peril in IRAs due to a tax term called Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI), which could subject the IRA to current taxation.
We're just a month away from the mid-year point, believe it or not. As a half-time refresher of sorts, I wanted to share some information on all things IRA. The following infographic from Max Retire Rules covers the high-points on the four types of IRA - Roth, Traditional, Simple, and SEP
The nice thing about this piece is that in addition to covering the basics of how each IRA functions, there is also updated limit information for 2013. This can come in handy as you contemplate your contributions now or in the future for the 2013 tax year.