With few objections, it’s safe to say that 2016 was full of surprises—from Brexit to the U.S. presidential vote. The world lost its confidence in knowing what the future might bring, and “uncertainty” littered conversations throughout the financial industry. But this year was different. This year, macro concerns largely subsided as stability started its slow descent back into the economic landscape.
Our blog allows us to keep a pulse on what matters to the world at large; at a minimum, it provides insight into what matters to you, our readers. Last year’s 10 most-read blog posts primarily centered around macro events. This year? Our most-read blog posts focused heavily on the individual: retirement, cyber security and Social Security—a stark contrast from 2016.
Without further delay, we present our annual countdown of the 10 most-read blog posts of the year.
Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google (the “FANG” stocks) have been responsible for the lion’s share of U.S. market gains over the last several years. In this blog post, and its corresponding podcast, Co-Chief Investment Officer Keith Creveling looks at tech valuations and opportunities beyond the FANGs.
No one likes being taken by surprise where investing is concerned, so it’s natural to ask what’s next. The question Regional Investor Center Manager Brent Hoskins hears a lot is, “How long will the current ‘up’ market last?” Here, he dives into the pitfalls of market timing, giving tips on how investors can prepare themselves for unpredictable market moves.
It can be difficult to get your arms around big numbers and know if they will give you the retirement of your dreams—or just enough to live on. A recent Wall Street Journal article explored perceptions around large, unwieldy figures by posing a simple question: “Would you rather have $1 million or $5,000 monthly in retirement?” While the two amounts are roughly equivalent based on annuity pricing, the discussion illustrates the importance of knowing what your retirement goal really means.
Social Security and retirement seem to go hand-in-hand, an inevitable financial step in everyone’s post-working life. However, the how and when of Social Security are not one-size-fits-all. Some people may be surprised to hear that there are different recipient strategies, but choosing one can be complicated. Learn why that choice should be personal to your situation.
Milestones attract attention. It’s in our nature to notice remarkable occasions, such as an important birthday or a team’s winning streak. In early 2017, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its own milestone: 20,000. It obviously rose significantly from there throughout the year, topping even 24,000. As an investor, what does a milestone number really mean, and what should you do about it?
Data security breaches that made the news, such as the Equifax hack, emphasize the growing importance of cyber security and protecting your personal information (Social Security number, account numbers, etc.). As security incidents occur more frequently and cast a wider net, the greater the chance that a breach will affect you. Because we care about your security and work hard to protect it, we’re sharing ways you can help protect yourself.
In our opinion, changing economic, market and political conditions in early 2017 introduced more uncertainty into markets than in recent years. Given the heightened uncertainty and lack of compelling values in many markets, we repositioned to our neutral weightings on stocks versus bonds for the first time in years.
Debt, taxes and Medicare—do you know what effect they could have on your Social Security benefits? In part two of our Social Security series, we explore three roads that could lead you to “Reduction Junction.”
If you need a GPS to figure out the best path for claiming Social Security, you’re not alone. The Government Accountability Office’s September 2016 review suggests that many individuals do not grasp key details of Social Security rules that can affect their retirement benefits—including ones that can reduce them. American Century’s retirement and Social Security expert, Al Chingren, kicked off the start of this two-part series by reviewing the first four of seven circumstances that could lead to lower benefits, and some potential ways to avoid them, when possible.
Don’t we all love life hacks that can help make things a little bit easier?
No matter how near or far you are from retirement, saving for your future should be a priority. Sadly, many people don’t put that into practice. The good news is that it’s never too late to start saving, or to start saving more. In this blog post, Jay Hummel, American Century’s senior vice president of the company’s direct-to-investor business, shares seven retirement life hacks that may help make it more do-able.
References to specific securities are for illustrative purposes only, and are not intended as recommendations to purchase or sell securities. Opinions and estimates offered constitute our judgment and, along with other portfolio data, are subject to change without notice.
The opinions expressed are those of the authors and are no guarantee of the future performance of any American Century Investments fund.
This material has been prepared for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment, accounting, legal or tax advice.