Our Thoughts on the Dow and 20K

Stock Market - newspaper business conceptYou’ve likely heard noise in the media recently about the potential of the Dow hitting 20,000. We recently wrote about the history of the Dow and want to remind you that the media has a tendency to add hype where it is not warranted. In our reading over the weekend we found an article that illustrates our feelings about the Dow and the recent hype around it quite well.

In the article, Why Dow 20k doesn’t matter, published in the Chicago Tribune, author Jill Schlesinger said, “I think the Dow is perhaps the least meaningful U.S. stock index available. Sure, it’s got history on its side — it was created by Charles Dow in 1896 in order to provide investors with a snapshot of how the overall stock market was doing. But it includes only 30 large companies, and considering that Amazon, Google and Facebook are not part of the Dow, it is hard to make the case that it reflects the broader market.” (source)

The full article can be read here and we think it is a worthwhile read.

 

Dow 20,000 and the History of the Dow’s Milestones

The Dow is within “striking distance” of reaching 20,000, a milestone that many investors may feel as though they have been waiting forever for (source). As we are potentially days away from the arrival of the Dow 20,000, and while this is merely just a number – a big, round number – we consider the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the time it took to reach some of its past milestones.

Historically, the index has struggled reaching major milestones. The Dow first reached 100 in 1906, but after many fluctuations, it wasn’t until the mid-1920s before it convincingly traded higher than that level, and it permanently broke above it in 1942 (source).

This was the case for the Dow 1,000 as well. It initially hit the 1,000 mark intraday in 1966 but did not close above that mark until November 1972. It wasn’t until 1982, 16 years after initially reaching 1,000, that the Dow finally traded above that mark for good (source). It took roughly 15 years from first closing above 1,000 in 1972 for the Dow to progress another 1,000 points to the 2,000 milestone, yet only four years to go from 2,000 to 3,000 points.

The Dow first hit 10,000 in 1999, but the average fell below that level for 11 years, until 2010 when it took residence above that milestone. Now, seven short years later, the Dow is about to hit 20,000.

The chart below shows the important Dow milestones and additional key dates that defined what the Dow is today:

shj_sharkey_howes_javer_important_dow_milestones

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Retirement Plans for Small Businesses

shj_small_business_retirement_plans_blog_imageSmall business owners have several options for choosing the right retirement plan. When deciding which plan is best, factors you should consider are how many employees you have and how are they paid? How much do you want to contribute to the plan for yourself or your partners, as business owners, as well as for your employees? Do you want to use the plan to attract future employees or for its tax advantages? Three retirement plans to consider are a SEP IRA, Simple IRA, and 401(k). Continue reading

What Data is Telling Us About Investors and Investing

business, investing, investors, who invests

We all make assumptions about investors, but what does the data actually say? Today we take a look at recent studies and publications to get more insight into the mind of investors.

Increase in Social Responsibility
Big investment firms and banks are embracing corporate social responsibility, both in their own organization and in their investing. Since the United Nations supported the Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative, there has been a growing network of international investors fighting to practice responsible investing. This new network represents $59 trillion in assets. (source) Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of Owning Stock Where You Work

SHJ082916_Owning_Stock_Where_You_Work_Blog_ImageMany companies offer stock options and stock bonuses to their employees, but is owning stock where you work a good idea? The short answer: it depends. Below are our thoughts on the pros and cons of owning stock where you work.

PROS
One ‘pro’ to owning stock in the company where you work is the added motivation you have for the company to succeed. As an ‘owner’ in the company, your success is tied to their success. This holds true for the employees you manage as well.

More than the incentive to work hard, owning stock in the company you work for can pay off quickly. Often companies offer their stock at discounted prices to employees. Buying stock at a discount can pay off if the company does well. In general, you may want to limit your company stock exposure to 10% of your net worth (or less) to maintain diversification.

CONS
Your paycheck is already tied to your employer and tying more of your investment portfolio to the company where you work could significantly increase your risk. While being motivated to help the company grow can positively benefit your investment, it doesn’t mean the company is destined to be successful. Their downfall can mean a big financial loss for you. Remember General Motors, Enron and Lehman Brothers?

THE BOTTOMLINE
Owning stock in the company you work for can be a beneficial part of your financial plan. Talking to your financial advisor before making a decision to invest where you work is a good idea. Call 303-639-5100 for a complimentary consultation.

Mortgage Payoff: Is it a Priority?

Calendar Mortgage Payoff Is It A Priority?The peace of mind in owning a debt-free home can be very attractive. Tear up the mortgage statements, let go of the burden, and never worry about missing a payment again.

However, before you put your financial focus on paying off your mortgage, you may want to see what kind of trade-off you are making. Here are a couple questions to ask yourself first: Continue reading

Inside the Economy with SH&J: July 18, 2016

As the frenzy surrounding the Brexit vote calms down, we shift our focus to the U.S. economy where we are rapidly approaching full employment and continue to be perceived as an attractive investment. While a third of the world has negative sovereign debt rates, the U.S. offers better yields, a sense of security and liquidity to domestic and foreign investors. Inflation remains low and we are starting to see real estate slow down to historical trends in many regions. This week, we also touch on the progress of Abenomics along with a possible constitutional change in Japan – listen in to hear what that change may be!