These days you’re probably thinking about the beach, the mountains, or a road trip with the family. But summer, when life may be a little slower and your mind a little less cluttered, is actually a good time to do a quick midyear financial reality check.

A midyear checkup can accomplish several things. You can stop and think about your financial goals, such as saving for retirement, a house, a child’s education, or a financial cushion, and then make sure that you are investing appropriately for those goals. And while you are looking at your accounts, take care of “housekeeping” items too, like checking beneficiaries, which isn’t complicated but can have serious consequences if neglected.

Here are 5 things to do in a midyear review:

  1. Review your financial goals
  2. Check your investemnets
  3. Get a tax break
  4. Protect what’s yours
  5. Review important paperwork

Click here to read more

Fidelity Viewpoints

Loans can be a convenient source of financing when you don’t have cash to spare. If you’re in your 20s or early 30s, odds are you may be juggling several different types of loans.

According to a 2016 Gallup poll:

35% of millennials have student loan debt

30% are paying down a car loan

23% have a personal loan

47% are carrying credit card debt

If you fall into any of these categories and are conflicted about whether you are managing your debt effectively, there’s no need to panic. Here are two practical ways to manage your debt so that you can build a brighter financial future.

Click here to read more

America was highly attuned to the U.S. political backdrop last week as Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the nation’s 45th president. Investors are betting that President Trump will deliver on some of his pro-growth policies.  He is focused on several things, taxes being at the top of that list.  Still, financial markets were rattled (only slightly) by his comments that some parts of the tax plan are “too complicated” and the U.S. dollar is “too strong.”  Nevertheless, 8 of the 11 sectors in the S&P 500 Index traded higher last week.

Click here to read more

Heading into the holiday weekend, stocks rose slightly on Friday amid low volume, the Dow managed its seventh consecutive weekly gain. Only three days of trading remain in 2016 and investors are optimistic for a solid finish without sizeable deterioration.  In recent weeks, however, the market has moved into what we call a bullish pennant formation. This setup usually resolves in prices moving higher but our medium-term indicators are overbought and seem to be flashing a sign of caution.  A pause or pullback should not be ruled out at this point.  Perhaps the most asked question is what is driving this market?

Click here to read more

Stocks had one of their best performances in years, with increases of 5.4% for the Dow, and 3.8% for both the Nasdaq and S&P 500, following the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President. Widespread pre-election forecasts from investment banks were nearly universal for sizeable losses following a Trump victory; built on the premise that tariffs and scrapped trade deals would hurt the U.S. economy. While futures sold off hard during the election and into the early hours of the following day, losses were quickly erased. Pundits from everywhere were puzzled by the outcome and the so-called “Trump Trade”. Nevertheless, the surprise Republican sweep as well as toned-down rhetoric on the part of both candidates, appeared to be behind the market’s bullish tone. Perhaps the largest disappointment among investors is the unevenness of sector participation.

Click here to read more

Last week brought a steady stream of news. Corporate earnings were mostly positive and economic data pointed to better than expected conditions in the United States. Lest we forget, the bar for comparison is pretty low. Nonetheless, third-quarter earnings started strong and seem to be maintaining a consistent theme. These improvements could mark the end of the earnings recession. Two weeks ago, we wrote that Hillary Clinton will likely win the presidency and the House remains in GOP hands. However, unexpected developments on Friday will certainly have some effect on voters.

Click here to read more

A recent Fidelity nationwide survey finds 74% of investors think which party controls the government has an impact on the stock market—but perhaps not the way you think. A slim 14% believe whoever sits in the Oval Office has the biggest impact, 28% say control of Congress is key, 33% say it’s a combination, while 26% say political control has no impact at all.

Click here to read more

Fidelity Viewpoints

You’ve likely spent a good deal of time thinking about investment risk. But have you stopped to think about more personal security issues, such as the safety of your online financial transactions and information stored on your computers? While most people recognize that online fraud or cybercrime is a potential threat, few know how or why they may be at risk. Cybercrime can take many forms, and understanding who the enemies are and how they commit crimes, may allow you to better defend yourself.

Click here to read more

Fidelity Viewpoints

 

After several lackluster years, gold bullion and gold miners have gleamed through the storm clouds.

On June 23, the U.K. voted to leave the European Union—a move commonly referred to as “Brexit”—and global markets reacted violently. The next day, the S&P Global 1200 plummeted roughly 5%.1

Meanwhile, “safe-haven” assets, like government bonds, the U.S. dollar, and Japanese yen rallied. But gold was a standout, hitting a two-year high amid the biggest two-day surge in seven years, as nervous investors sought out the precious metal. Gold futures gained 5% on June 24, then added another 0.75% on June 271 (see the chart below).

Click here to read more

Fidelity Viewpoints

 

Three Fidelity pros on how the vote changed the outlook for the economy, investments, and European Union.

The referendum vote by the United Kingdom (U.K.) to exit the European Union (EU), or “Brexit,” reverberated throughout global markets. As markets began to consider the implications of the vote, a panel of Fidelity investment leaders met to discuss the decision and its implications for investors. Brian Leite, Head of Institutional Portfolio Management, moderated the discussion.

 

 

 

Click here to read more

Fidelity Viewpoints