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%).
In April, we experienced something we probably never thought we would, negative oil prices. While some of this was a technicality stemming from how oil trades on futures markets, it was emblematic of both a stalled global economy and a glut of oil with nowhere to store it.
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.
In response to the unfolding COVID-19 global pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act was unanimously passed by the Senate on March 25, 2020. The next day it was passed in the House via voice vote and signed into law by the President.
The legislation was the largest-ever economic stimulus package, amounting to 10% of U.S. gross domestic product. The main points and key takeaways from the bill are listed below:
Last week, Ryan Bayonnet, CFP®, MSF was featured in U.S. News & World Report's article titled 5 Tips for Newlyweds Merging Bank Accounts and LendingTree's article titled Tips for Getting out of Business Debt. Take a look at the articles below as well as a picture from Ryan's recent speaking engagement at the Ohio State University.
The Fed Lowers Rates, Then Hits Pause
The Federal Reserve continued to make headlines in the fourth quarter of 2019. Their first meeting of the period occurred in late October when they lowered rates for the third time by 0.25%, highlighting their concerns about global growth, low inflation, and uncertain trade policy as the main rationale behind the decision.
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act is a bipartisan bill designed to address Americans' difficulty in saving and investing for retirement. The bill passed the House of Representatives in a 417-3 vote in July and the Senate in a 71-23 vote in December. The President signed the SECURE Act into law last Friday as part of the government’s overall spending bill. The bill seeks to put into place provisions to strengthen retirement security across the country. Listed below are some of the major changes and how they may affect your retirement plan.
Each year, US Medical Specialties, Inc., an international medical consulting firm, helps physicians and other healthcare professionals find community based, doctor friendly financial advisors. For the third year in a row, Ryan M. Bayonnet, CFP®, MSF has been recognized by MD Preferred for his service to physicians.
Central Banks Take Center Stage
The Federal Reserve was two-for-two in their meetings during the third quarter, lowering rates by 25 bps at each, with global growth weakness, low inflation, and trade uncertainty (i.e. US/China) considered important factors in their decisions.
Beginning today, TD Ameritrade will be ending commissions for online trading in U.S. stocks, exchange-traded funds and options.