The Brexit Shakes Global Markets

A worldwide selloff occurs after the United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union. A wave of anxiety hit Wall Street Friday morning. Thursday night, the United Kingdom elected to become the first nation state to leave the European Union. The “Brexit” can potentially be finalized as soon as the summer of 2018.1 Voters in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland were posed a simple question: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union (E.U.) or leave the European Union?” Seventy-two percent of the U.K. electorate went to the polls to answer the question, and in the final tally, Leave beat Remain 51.9% to 48.1%.2,3 The vote shocked investors worldwide. The threat of a Brexit was supposed to have decreased. As late as Thursday, key opinion surveys showed the Remain camp ahead of the Leave camp – but at 10:40 pm EST Thursday, the BBC called the outcome and projected Leave would win.4 Why did Leave triumph? The leaders of the Leave campaign hammered home that E.U. membership was a drag on the U.K. economy. They criticized E.U. regulations that impeded business growth. They felt that the U.K. should no longer contribute billions of pounds per year...
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What Are Catch-Up Contributions Really Worth?

What degree of difference could they make for you in retirement? At a certain age, you are allowed to boost your yearly retirement account contributions. For example, you can direct an extra $1,000 per year into a Roth or traditional IRA starting in the year you turn 50.1 Your initial reaction to that may be: “So what? What will an extra $1,000 a year in retirement savings really do for me?” That reaction is understandable, but consider also that you can contribute an extra $6,000 a year to many workplace retirement plans starting at age 50. As you likely have both types of accounts, the opportunity to save and invest up to $7,000 a year more toward your retirement savings effort may elicit more enthusiasm.1,2 What could regular catch-up contributions from age 50-65 potentially do for you? They could result in an extra $1,000 a month in retirement income, according to the calculations of retirement plan giant Fidelity. To be specific, Fidelity says that an employee who contributes $24,000 instead of $18,000 annually to the typical employer-sponsored plan could see that kind of positive impact.2 To put it another way, how would you like an extra $50,000 or $100,000 in...
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Sometimes the Pundits Get It Wrong

In fact, many predictions about Wall Street have misread the market’s direction. Trying to determine how Wall Street will behave next week, next month, or next year is difficult. Some feel it is impossible. To predict the near-term direction of the market, you may also need to predict upcoming earnings seasons, central bank policy moves, and the direction of both the domestic and global economy. You might as well forecast the future of the world. That is not to say forecasting is useless. You could even argue that it is a necessity. Every month, economists are polled by various news outlets that publish their median forecasts for hiring, inflation, personal spending, and other economic indicators. Those median forecasts are often close to the mark, and sometimes exactly right. Figuring out what lies ahead for equities, however, is often a guessing game. Looking back, some very bold predictions have been made for the market – some way off the mark. Dow 30,000! More than a decade ago, a few analysts boldly forecast that the Dow Jones Industrial Average would climb to astonishing heights – heights the index has yet to reach today. The first was investment manager Harry Dent, who, to...
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