market declines

What Causes Sudden Market Declines?

What causes sudden market declines like we saw this week, seemingly out of nowhere? There often isn’t a concrete reason. It’s important to remember that stocks trade in a market like any other good: when there are more buyers than sellers, prices move higher; when buyers dry up, this can reverse quickly.


The Impact of a Biden Presidency?

What would be the impact of a Biden Presidential election win, potentially including a Democratic takeover of the Senate? The impact of a potential new President on stock market returns is always a key question in the weeks prior to a general election. It’s important to keep in mind that, despite frequent worries around this time of year, and that financial markets may react in the shorter-term term to poll results and election outcomes (especially surprises), the longer-term effects of any administration’s policies appear to be disconnected from financial market results. Instead, stocks especially tend to follow earnings, which follow economic growth trends.

Economic recovery

The Shape of Economic Recovery

On June 8, 2020, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), which has official responsibility for determining U.S. business cycles, announced that February 2020 marked the end of an expansion that began in 2009 and the beginning of a recession.1 This was no great surprise considering widespread business closures due to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting spike in unemployment, but it was an unusually quick official announcement.

Oregon PERS

Oregon PERS – Senate Bill 1049

In 2019, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 1049 (SB1049). The bill makes some changes to the Oregon PERS calculations in their quest to help keep the PERS system funded for current and future beneficiaries. While the bill was passed in 2019, components of the bill take effect at various times throughout 2020. For the most part, it is active PERS members who will be impacted by these changes.  It’s important, if you are an active PERS member, to understand how these changes may impact you.

2019 IRA Contribution Deadline

2019 IRA Contribution Deadline Extension

Due to the coronavirus tax filing extension, there’s still time to make a regular IRA contribution for 2019. You have until your tax return due date (not including extensions) to contribute up to $6,000 for 2019 ($7,000 if you were age 50 or older on December 31, 2019). For most taxpayers, the contribution deadline for 2019 is July 15, 2020.