It is hard to believe that we have been dealing with COVID-19 for over a year now. Remember where we were at the end of the first quarter of 2020? The longest bull market run in history had ended, we experienced the fastest bear market in history, and we were all searching for toilet paper. Since that time, we have received timely and sizable amounts of stimulus, in the forms of fiscal and monetary policy.
What is OPERS?
OPERS stands for The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. This is a retirement pension system offered to public Ohio employees that replaces the standard Social Security system. As an employee, you contribute 10% of your annual salary towards your OPERS retirement and your employer contributes another 14% of your annual salary.
For anyone that has ridden a rollercoaster, you understand both the thrills and stomach-churning feelings that come with the experience. For investors, these were likely similar feelings you had throughout the year as well. Consider this: in 2020, we had the fastest bear market in history followed by the fastest recovery, all brought on by the Coronavirus, impacting global businesses, large and small.
There are two types of funds you may be looking to invest in: actively managed and passively managed. First, a fund is an investment tool that takes your investment capital and divides it between selected stocks and bonds, all bundled within one fund. While the two can invest your money in the same bundle, there are key differences.
Last month, Ryan Bayonnet, CFP®, MSF was interviewed by Veronica Dagher, a senior wealth management reporter for The Wall Street Journal. In the interview, Ryan discussed with Veronica how to handle family money disagreements that arose from the COVID-19 Pandemic and subsequent economic downturn.
There has been much talk about the upcoming election. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of prognostications taking place on how the markets will fare with several potential scenarios (Republican/Democrat as President, Republicans/Democrats in charge of the Senate/House).
You hear it all the time: you should make sure your retirement savings at least keep pace with inflation. But what is inflation and how does it really affect your retirement savings? Let’s explore.
If we think about the markets and economy as a puzzle that was in scattered pieces from a sharp decline in the first quarter, the second quarter was spent trying to put those pieces back together. Looking back to April, we saw unemployment jump to 14.7%, the highest level recorded since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) started recording the data in 1948 (source: www.wsj.com). What made this increase so surprising was the speed with which it happened. In February 2020, the unemployment rate was the lowest it had been in 50 years (3.5%).
Last week, Ryan Bayonnet, CFP®, MSF was featured in MarketWatch's article How Economic Slumps Inflict Permanent ‘Scars’ on Spending and Saving. Read more here.
As we sit down to write this piece in early April 2020, we think it is important to acknowledge a few things. First, we are hoping you and your families are safe and well. Second, we understand that there is a lot of anxiety about the crisis itself as well as the downstream repercussions, both from a human and economic perspective. Third, the virus is moving across the globe, and events are changing rapidly. There may be some new information that makes this quarterly review obsolete by the time you read it, but we are going to move on with what we know now. Hopefully, you have been able to use this time to do some activities you don’t normally have the time to enjoy.