Most recently, you may have read that Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell announced a change in how the Fed views inflation. In the past, the Fed said it would consider adjusting bond market short-term rates when inflation approached 2 percent. But in light of 2020’s many challenges, the Fed’s new policy may allow inflation to run above 2 percent for a period of time before any shift in monetary policy is considered.1
For many, bonds are a critical component of their overall investment strategy. So any change in Fed policy regarding inflation may influence a portfolio. That’s why it’s so important to understand that the market value of a bond will fluctuate with changes in interest rates. In other words, when interest rates rise, the value of existing bonds will typically fall.2
There’s no doubt this will be a subtle change for many. But for bond investors, the policy shift may indicate that the Fed has given itself more flexibility in the future.
But, what does that mean for the outlook for the bond market as a whole? It’s unclear. However, lower levels of unemployment in recent years have not led to higher inflation. This new phenomenon runs counter to the Phillips curve, a concept which states that inflation and unemployment have a stable and inverse relationship. With this data in mind and the changes announced by Chairman Powell, it could be argued that the Fed believes the relationship between unemployment and inflation has changed.3
In earlier videos, financial advisor Ed Doughty mentions the relationship between the Fed and the economy, as well as elaborates on the age-old expression “Don’t Fight the Fed”.
Keep in mind that if an investor sells a bond before maturity, it may be worth more or less than the initial purchase price. By holding a bond to maturity, an investor will receive the interest payments due plus your original principal, barring default by the issuer. Investments seeking to achieve higher yields also involve a higher degree of risk.
Applications for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are now open for the academic year 2021-22. Applying for the FAFSA allows you to qualify for grants, scholarships, and other federally-sourced aid, such as work-study or student loans. The applications opened on October 1, 2020, and will be accepted until the deadline, June 30, … Continue reading “FAFSA Applications Open”
America’s debt is now nearly as large as its economy. On September 2, the Congressional Budget Office announced that by the end of the 2020 fiscal year (September 30), the federal government is projected to owe debt equaling 98% of the nation’s gross domestic product.
It should come as no surprise to hear the economy is the top issue for voters in the 2020 election. Nearly 8 in ten voters say that the economy will be very important to them when they cast their votes at the ballot box in just over two weeks.
When training to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®, much of our course work centers on the six critical areas of creating a financial strategy. Some recognize October as Financial Planning Month, so it’s an excellent opportunity to review those six personal finance areas.
With one year ending and a new one on the cusp of starting, many people will consider their resolutions—not their estate planning strategy. But the end of the year is a great time to sit down and review your preparations, especially when you’re spending more time with your loved ones; even more important if you … Continue reading “Estate Planning Strategies for Year-End”
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