Market Watch 2018 Q2 - Mosaic’s Quarterly Market Commentary

Kevin Gahagan / Jul 24, 2018 / Investments / Market Watch

The markets have been noticeably more volatile in recent months as the economic recovery approaches its limits. Between trade wars with China, continued uncertainty on the Korean Peninsula and with Russia, and a tightened monetary policy by the United States Federal Reserve—recently joined by the European Central Bank—we are seeing the beginning of a slowdown to one of the longest economic recoveries in history. 

The new issue of Market Watch is out now. 

More insights are inside the issue, including a breakdown of current economic factors influencing the markets.

 
Click here for the full issue.
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Total Return: A Modern Approach to Retirement Income

Geoff Zimmerman / Jul 19, 2018 / Retirement Planning / Investments

A common goal expressed by clients phasing into retirement is a desire to invest to generate income to live on while leaving their principal intact. Why? They probably saw it used successfully in the past.

When many of our parents invested, they lived off the interest and dividends from their portfolios, replacing bonds as they matured and leaving their stock holdings untouched.

Why is this approach, often referred to as investing for income, or income-only investing, not necessarily the best idea for modern-day portfolios? 

Why might your advisor suggest a different tactic, and what should you keep in mind when it comes to generating retirement income?

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Liquid Alternatives Outlook Panel [VIDEO]

Mosaic / May 23, 2018 / Mosaic News / Investments

Our own Principal and Chief Investment Officer Kevin Gahagan participated in a moderated panel for Asset TV on liquid alternatives. As liquid alternatives have saturated the marketplace, Kevin offered his expert point of view to illuminate what investors need to know.

It’s incumbent upon us to continue to provide that education, because the last thing we want is an investor making an uninformed decision.

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All about Asset Allocation

Norm Boone / May 17, 2018 / Investments

If your mother warned you against putting all your eggs in one basket, she grasped the basic concept of asset allocation in financial planning.

A well-balanced mix of asset types can help insulate your portfolio against severe market fluctuations that might disproportionately affect any one type of asset.

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Market Watch 2018 Q1 - Mosaic’s Quarterly Market Commentary

Kevin Gahagan / Apr 17, 2018 / Investments / Market Watch

This is a tale of two market environments.

As clients can see in their quarterly reports, the one-year numbers show strongly positive returns with very few exceptions.

In contrast, the first quarter of 2018 was a different story. First quarter numbers were negative in a majority of investment asset classes.

It remains to be seen whether this represents the beginning cracks in the long growth run we’ve enjoyed since the end of the great recession in early 2009.

After experiencing relatively calm markets in 2017, volatility returned in the first quarter of 2018. Bond prices fell as interest rates rose, while US and international stocks declined. With tensions heating up between the US and leading communist countries (including potential trade wars with China, nuclear tension on the Korean Peninsula, and the expulsion of Russian diplomats), there is a great deal of uncertainty on the global stage, which all contributed to a weak first quarter.

The outcomes weren’t terrible, but all of this is a change from the positive growth trends we’ve enjoyed recently.

Our new issue of Market Watch is out now.

 

More insights are inside the issue, including a breakdown of current economic factors influencing the markets.

Read our quarterly market commentary today to get a better idea of our investment approach.

Click here for the full issue.

 

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Market Watch 2017 Q4 - Mosaic’s Quarterly Market Commentary

Kevin Gahagan / Jan 17, 2018 / Investments / Market Watch

2017 marked a year of widespread data breaches, the beginning of the Trump presidency, devastating hurricanes, wildfires that raged throughout California, and a cryptocurrency frenzy reminiscent of the Dot.com bubble. However, through it all, 2017 saw a long, steady rise in the stock markets.

It was a year of record highs as we saw the NASDAQ surpass the 7,000 mark and the Dow Jones Industrial Average roar past the 25,000 mark. US large cap returns reached 21.8%, pushed by the technology sector’s rise of 35.4%. Although small cap stock returns were lower in comparison, they still returned a very positive 14.7%. As strong as US market returns were, international markets performed even better.

All of the encouraging economic trends seen in 2017 makes us optimistic about the prospects for 2018. We are currently in the second longest economic recovery in US history.

With this in mind, many argue a recession must be imminent.

But positive economic data in the US and in most countries globally gives us a less pessimistic outlook. Labor markets are strong, economies are growing around the world, and consumer and investor confidence is high.

In addition, consistently low inflation, falling unemployment, and rising standards of living around the world all offer reason for optimism about the year ahead.

 

Our new issue of Market Watch is out now.

More insights are inside the issue, including a breakdown of current economic factors influencing the markets. Read our quarterly market commentary today to get a better idea of our investment approach.

Click here for the full issue.

 

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Circle Roundup: The Smart Guide to Charitable Giving Policies

Mary Ballin / Dec 21, 2017 / Investments / Women's Events

Tis the season of giving… and in our fourth-quarter Women’s Circles, aptly titled “A path to giving,” we discussed aligning our desire for giving to charity with our core values, covering ways to clarify which charities to choose, and ways to give that are a little better for everyone involved than just giving cash.

Read on for some great tips and interesting research rounded up from our recent Circle into a handy guide—and you’ll learn how to craft a charitable giving policy that you can rely on.

 

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Market Watch 2017 Q3 - Mosaic’s Quarterly Market Commentary

Kevin Gahagan / Oct 27, 2017 / Investments / Market Watch

There was solid economic growth and rising values in markets around the globe in the third quarter. 

This trend held for all major asset classes—both equity and fixed income. In the US, both large and small company stocks generated solid returns for the quarter. This continued the trend seen so far this year and throughout 2016.

Given the more recent decline in the value of the US dollar, international equity returns have been even more robust than those in US over this period.

 

Further summary:
  • Domestic stocks performed well year-to-date. The S&P 500 Index (US large companies) and the Russell 2000 (small US stocks) rose 14.2% and 10.9% respectively.
  • Equities in the developed countries overseas enjoyed substantial gains with the MSCI EAFE Index (large companies) returning 20.5% while the EAFE Small Cap Index rose 25.8%.
  • Emerging market stocks have risen 28.1% over the last twelve months (MSCI Emerging Markets Index).
  • Domestic bond market returns faced a headwind of rising interest rates in 2017, yet still delivered modestly positive returns in most categories.
  • Economists expect moderate inflation in 2018. The Fed can be expected to continue raising interest rates while it also seeks to reduce its balance sheet. We believe they’ll do both gradually with care to limit  economic impacts.

 

More inside the issue, including a breakdown of current economic factors influencing the markets:

Click here for the full issue.

 

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Effective Financial Strategies: The Q3 2017 Edition is out now

Mosaic / Oct 19, 2017 / Mosaic News / Investments / Financial Planning
What's Inside:
  • Learn about currency's fluctuating impact on global stock performance;
  • Find out actionable ways to teach kids about money management, including investing, with a little behavioral finance thrown in; 
  • Find out how an intrepid teenager taught himself about money and entrepreneurship through a hobby;
  • Read about tips to keep top of mind when it comes to property insurance and rising home value;
  • Get reacquainted with financial planner Steve Branton and his why
  • Read about upcoming Women’s Circles and other events;
  • Stay up to date on Mosaic advisors: their speeches given, conferences attended, and books read, with takeaways from each.

To read the new issue of Effective Financial Strategies, please click here


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Teaching your child money habits for life

Mosaic / Sep 28, 2017 / Retirement Planning / Investments / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management

Teaching children about money and what it can do helps build crucial 21st century skills. Most education curriculum falls short in teaching kids about the basics, and sadly many parents don’t seem to have the time or skills necessary to address this crucial topic.

Still, without basic financial expertise and behavioral understanding, children run the risk of getting trapped on a hamster-wheel of debt that our consumer-oriented culture seems to conspire to enslave us.

Here’s how to give kids the edge they need to successfully navigate modern money culture.

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Data Breach Protection: Credit Freezing, Credit Locking, and Other Tips to Monitor Your Credit

Norm Boone / Sep 19, 2017 / Investments / Life Balance / Financial Planning
NEXT STEPS AFTER THE EQUIFAX BREACH

The widely-reported Equifax data breach affected 143 million United States consumers. The breach exposed names, Social Security numbers, addresses, birth dates, and driver’s license numbers—all critical pieces of information used by identity thieves to impersonate people and conduct fraud.

Let’s break down what you can do to keep a close eye on your information, now and moving forward.

 

Initiate a Credit Freeze

If you have been the victim of a stolen identity, you know that the onus is on you to proactively prove that you are not responsible for the things that someone else did in your name. It is an arduous and painstaking process.

In light of the recently reported Equifax data breach, one action we recommend is to consider freezing your credit at each of the three major credit reporting companies. Taking this step will make it much more difficult for identity thieves to obtain new credit in your name. Here’s how.

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Circle Roundup: Investment Risk & the “Sleep at Night” Factor

Mary Ballin / Aug 25, 2017 / Investments / Women's Events

Another successful Women’s Circle rounded out our financial understanding. This time, the Circle focused on tackling investment risk in a way that is optimal to reach long-term goals while still feeling comfortable with your everyday choices.

Market volatility can feel hard to experience emotionally, even potentially keeping you up worrying at night.

This can be overwhelming.

Risk is taken every time an investment is made, but what is the right level of risk for you, as an individual?

This post rounds up a few key tools, terms, and takeaways shared by Circle participants that can help bring you clarity.

 

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Market Watch: Our Take on the Second Quarter of 2017

Mosaic / Jul 27, 2017 / Investments / Market Watch

Stocks have been doing very well, especially US markets, emerging markets, and the worlds developed economies. But what about interest rates and bond returns? And whats in store for the US economy?

Summary

Stocks enjoyed strong positive returns over the last 12 months, in both the US and overseas.

US markets, as represented by the S&P 500 Index, rose 17.9% in the last 12 months. Small US stocks were even better at 24.6% (Russell 2000).

The world’s developed economies, as represented by MSCI EAFE, rose 20.8% over the last year while small overseas companies were up 23.6%.

Emerging market stocks rose 24.2% year-to-date (MSCI Emerging Markets Index).

With interest rates rising, bond market returns over the past year have been impacted and most bond indexes were slightly negative.

Economists believe that inflation will remain benign for the immediate future, and that interest rate increases from the Fed will likely be implemented slowly, with careful consideration.

Given the variety of alternative strategies we hold, inevitably some performed better than others during this period. The category as a whole was comfortably positive. Among the leaders were timber and business development companies.

More inside the issue, including a breakdown of current economic factors influencing the markets:

Click here for the full issue.

 

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Effective Financial Strategies: The Q2 2017 Edition is out now

Mosaic / Jun 14, 2017 / Mosaic News / Investments / Financial Planning
What's Inside:
  • Learn how combining investing strategies can be beneficial to your portfolio;
  • Hear our “origin story” - how Mosaic came to be, and how we became a fiduciary
  • Find out how to express your preferences and values in your estate planning;
  • Read about tips to keep top of mind when it comes to evaluating earthquake insurance;
  • Get to know new financial planner Stephen Kepler and his why
  • Read about upcoming Women’s Circles and other events;
  • Stay up to date on Mosaic advisors: their speeches given, conferences attended, and books read, with takeaways from each.

To read the new issue of Effective Financial Strategies, please click here


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Growth vs. Value: Two Approaches to Stock Investing

Kevin Gahagan / May 4, 2017 / Investments

In the world of investing, stocks and stock mutual funds are often classified into one of two fundamental styles: value stocks or growth stocks.

Growth investors seek companies that offer the promise of strong future earnings growth, while value investors seek stocks that appear to be undervalued in the marketplace.

Because the two styles have different investment characteristics and performance, employing both approaches to stock investing can help add positive diversification to your portfolio when used together.

Let’s look at their individual characteristics, and then discuss the objectives of combining the two styles. 

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