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Bonds’ place in portfolios gets clearer

By Kyle Tetting
I appreciate a great question we received recently from a podcast listener, a question that resonates with many of the conversations I’ve had with balanced investors. In short, he wanted to know what role bonds should play if, for more than a decade, they’ve offered very little in the way of return. It was an especially relevant question for this listener as he explained he has been taking required minimum distributions recently.

Weathering winter, enjoying green shoots

By Kyle Tetting
While the typical April investing newsletters may point to green shoots for investing in stocks and the economy more broadly, I think it’s fair to say those sprouts emerged months ago. The current climate for investors resembles summer more than spring, with a strong growing season forecast and a steady economic backdrop. Stock prices reflect that optimism.

Changing calendar doesn’t change story

By Kyle Tetting
Simply put, investing isn’t a series of one-year decisions. At least the way we approach it, investing is a long-term view of risk and reward. We weigh the opportunity and try to set a course that maximizes the potential while minimizing the volatility. With that in mind, my annual looks ahead tend to focus less on where we’ll be in 12 months and more on the current conditions and what they mean for investing more broadly.

Stronger tools to be patient, grateful

By Kyle Tetting
In the vein of gratefulness, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how strong of a year it has been for investments. But, perhaps more notably than we’ve seen in a while, it has come in fits and starts.

2023 Investment Outlook Seminar

At the first in-person Investment Outlook Seminar in four years, Bob Landaas provided an overview of recent trends in the financial markets and the global economy. He shared his anticipation of where things are going and related it to long-term investors. Kyle Tetting elaborated on some of Bob’s points. Dave Sandstrom gave updates on retirement account rules. Enjoy the seminar on a Money Talk Video.

2023 Investment Outlook Seminar Quiz

Test your awareness of the 2023 Investment Outlook Seminar. Take a 10-question multiple-choice quiz. You have nothing to lose, and the answers include links to further resources. […]

Skating through the latest uncertainty

By Kyle Tetting
Amid strong returns through July, investors have finally felt weakness in the past couple of months as the looming shutdown returned uncertainty to the economic outlook. Taking a pause in the run-up is healthy, allowing investors to reassess positioning. But it also challenges investors who benefitted from heavier equity exposure earlier in the year.

Implementing data, cultivating outlook

By Kyle Tetting
In a 2021 interview, a John Deere executive disclosed that the farming equipment manufacturer employed more software engineers than mechanical engineers. Fast-forward a couple of years to an Artificial Intelligence revolution, and the 1837 company’s transformation to a technology business makes sense. It’s not that the basics of farming have changed drastically, it’s that we’ve created equipment capable of precisely measuring the minutiae of critical tasks. Learning to employ all that information takes time.

Halfway through 2023, outlook improving

By Kyle Tetting
With half a year in the books, it’s an interesting time to circle back on past prognostications. On the heels of 2022 – one of the worst for balanced portfolios in 100 years – earlier forecasts were decidedly more difficult. Add in a Federal Reserve that was still talking tough and the potential for further economic weakness, and we’d be forgiven for erring on the side of caution. Reasonable caution is always appropriate, but investors too focused on the risks missed out on a lot across the first six months of 2023.

Investor risks of action/inaction

By Kyle Tetting
Despite an incessant focus on the debt ceiling conversation and what appeared to be a surprisingly optimistic response by markets in recent weeks, actual progress on the matter has been slow. As I write this, there remains some time before the likely June 1 deadline. But, as with most market-related observations, by the time you read it, much of it could be dated. As a result, our current dependence on politicians has investors aiming their portfolio away from some risk that we aren’t even sure is out there.

Positive signs amid “wall of worry”

By Kyle Tetting
It’s hard to argue with the year-to-date success of the vast majority of investment categories. As I write this on April 26, broad measures of stocks like the S&P 500 had gained more than 6% with only a few trading days left in April. Similarly, less volatile measures like bonds have added half as much or more. While the gains are encouraging, I am struck by how pessimistic many of the headlines remain. “Markets climb a wall of worry,” the saying goes, and that seems especially true now, though investing from a place of worry is tough.

2023 outlooks not bound by the calendar

By Kyle Tetting
The most common question as we turn to the new year is what to expect in the year to come. That’s a logical question, even more so in the wake of the challenges we faced in 2022. However, any answer to the question comes with a major caveat. For starters, 2022 was exceptional for how closely the calendar year encapsulated the market decline.

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