Market Digest – Week Ending 6/26
It was another quiet week for stocks. The S&P 500 gained on Monday and then sold off modestly slowly over the remainder of the week, finishing with a loss of 0.4%. Greece was again the main headline, and once again no conclusion was reached. Hope now lies in a Saturday meeting of finance ministers. With a significant payment due to the IMF at the end of the month, something of consequence is likely to finally happen soon. On Friday, the Shanghai composite fell 7.4%. It is down nearly 20% from its peak and dragged down Emerging Markets related investments this week even though the major US investor funds don’t yet have direct exposure to stocks traded in Shanghai.
S&P 500: 2,101 (-0.4%)
FTSE All-World ex-US: (-0.0%)
US 10 Year Treasury Yield: 2.47% (+0.21%)
Gold: $1,175 (-2.1%)
USD/EUR: $1.117 (-1.5%)
• Monday – The EU extended sanctions on Russia through January, 2016 to assess if the country is complying with a February ceasefire and peace agreement.
• Tuesday –Uber received an investment from Chinese fund Hillhouse Capital Group said to be in the $1 billion range.
• Tuesday – EBay announced it will ban sales of Confederate flags and related merchandise.
• Thursday – The Supreme Court ruled the government can subsidize health insurance, likely saving the Affordable Care Act and paving the way for consolidation in the insurance industry.
• Friday – The Supreme Court ruled same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, sweeping away state bans.
On Monday, Personal Capital released Retirement Planner as a core feature of our Financial Dashboard. For our clients, we’ve already been using the underlying engine and technology to help design and maintain optimal portfolio strategies tailored to each specific situation. Now, we’re excited to make it available on the Dashboard. I think it is the best retirement calculator and financial planning tool available for two main reasons:
1. It is based on aggregated data so it is accurate and keeps up with you in real time. Now, you always have a plan. Using aggregated data means you can base projections on actual asset allocation and have a better idea of actual spending and savings patterns.
2. The methodology is sophisticated, but the tool is intuitive and takes just minutes to set up. Monte Carlo projection provides for a range of outcomes, which is critical in an uncertain world. Retirement Planner allows for unlimited cash flows, including Social Security, college expenses, inheritance, home downsize/purchase or anything else. But it is designed to highlight and quickly see the impact of changes to the most important variables – asset allocation, spending, saving and retirement age.
It is important for everyone to know where they stand for retirement and what can be done to drive improvement. It is personally important to me to have been a part of making this functionality widely and easily available, and I think it will help a lot of people.
Craig Birk, CFP®
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