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The Retired Investor: Wealth Effect Cuts Both Ways
By Bill Schmick,
04:54PM / Thursday, May 26, 2022
Economists know that consumers spend more when their wealth increases, even if their income remains the same. However, if wealth decreases, the opposite occurs.     The concept, known as the wealth effect, has spurred the economy for well more than a decade as savers' 401(k) and other retirement accounts increased year after year. At the same time, real estate values have also risen. Of course, most of the time these gains are only paper profits unless you sell your house or withdraw money from your portfolios.   Nonetheless, there is a behavioral element to this concept. People tend to spend more when stocks and housing prices continue to climb

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The Retired Investor: Interest-Only mortgages Risky In Rising Rate Environment.
By Bill Schmick,
10:06AM / Saturday, May 21, 2022
Over the past decade, as interest rates declined, some home buyers gravitated towards interest-only loans. However, times are changing, and borrowers should be careful in considering this kind of mortgage loan.   During the past two years, many financial lenders have tightened credit standards across most loan types. The combination of the coronavirus pandemic, supply shortages, inflation and the impact of the Ukraine war has created a drag on the U.S. economy. A slowing economy increases the risks of lending, thus tighter standards emerge.   Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored enterprises that back most mortgages exclude interest-only

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@theMarket: Look Out for a Bounce in the Stock Market
By Bill Schmick,
03:37PM / Friday, May 13, 2022
The bears are prowling the corroders of Wall Street. No one questions that, but rallies in downtrends can be breath-taking. Look for one of those short covering relief rallies in the coming week.   Do I know that will happen? Of course not, but when we get as oversold as we are now, the chances are high. If we do bounce in a relief rally it would trace out the first up to the center of my "W" pattern. The bounce won't last long, maybe for a few days or, at best, next week. And then down again. For those readers who may be hoping that at some point we will resume the bull markets of the last decade, give up that notion.   I fully expect another low

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The Retired Investor: Roe v. Wade Versus Corporate America
By Bill Schmick,
04:21PM / Thursday, May 12, 2022
The impending Supreme Court decision to strike down Roe v. Wade will have enormous ramifications for American corporations. Legal issues, user data privacy practices, and workforce challenges will prove impossible to ignore.   Businesses of all kinds face the following facts: most Americans (53 percent), according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, believe the Supreme Court is wrong and that the court should uphold the landmark ruling that established a constitutional right to abortion. Only 28 percent believe it should be overturned.   Nonetheless, if the Supreme Court hands down its expected decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, 13 states have trigger laws

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@theMarket: Investors Grapple with Tightening Monetary Policy
By Bill Schmick,
06:06PM / Friday, May 06, 2022
Market participants heard from members of the Federal Reserve Bank this week. Their intention is clear: bringing down inflation will take precedence over everything else in the economy. The message went over like a lead balloon.   You would think that most investors would have received that message by now.  I know that I have been warning readers of this outcome since last year. But for most market participants this seems to be a shock given the positioning in the stock market this week. It was nothing short of tumultuous.   We started the week by retesting the lows we put in for the year. The S&P 500 Index hit 4,062 on Monday, May 2, just 10 points

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