Scott Carlson

Q1 2019 Market Commentary

The long, painful market decline in the last month of 2018 seemed to promise more of the same for the new year of 2019, but at the end of the first quarter, the results couldn’t have been more different.  The U.S. market, measured by a variety of indices, po [...]

Scott Carlson

Q4 2018 Market Commentary

This was the year the long, seemingly endless bull market came to a halt and U.S. investors finally, for the first time since 2008, experienced the normal definition of a bear market (down 20% from the S&P 500’s all-time high on September 20).  The major [...]

Scott Carlson

Q3 2018 Market Commentary

If you believe that the trend is your friend, then perhaps the U.S. stock market is in for an excellent fourth quarter. U.S. equity markets suffered small losses in the first quarter, followed by decent single-digit gains in the second quarter. Now that the third q [...]

Scott Carlson

Q2 2018 Market Commentary

The U.S. equity markets suffered a small setback in the first quarter, but the second quarter brought us back into positive territory. There appear to be several forces fighting for control over the investment markets.  The current bull market started in March of [...]

Scott Carlson

Q1 2018 Market Commentary

For the first time in nine calendar quarters, the U.S. investment markets delivered a negative overall return.  It was only a slight decline, but the decline reminds us that markets can and do go down from time to time. The first quarter saw the first correction [...]

Scott Carlson

Q4 2017 Market Commentary

The bull market continued for another year, causing market indices to soar to new heights over and over again and—ominously—also pushing valuations further beyond the long-term averages. This was a year when investors ignored the dire headlines, North Korean mi [...]

Scott Carlson

Q3 2017 Market Commentary

The last few years of a bull market are always a bit of a mystery to professional investors; the market rose faster than it did in the early, cautious years when nobody believed there WAS a bull market, even though there appear to have been fewer fundamental or eco [...]

Scott Carlson

Q2 2017 Market Commentary

The U.S. stock market has more than tripled in value during the run-up that started in March 2009, and the most recent quarter somehow managed to accelerate the upward trend.  We have just experienced the third-best first half, in terms of U.S. market returns, of [...]

Scott Carlson

Q1 2017 Market Commentary

The first quarter of 2017 provided the highest returns for U.S. large-cap stocks since the last three months of 2013. The Nasdaq index has booked its 21st record close of the year so far, and the indices have recorded a 30% rise over the past six quarters, marking [...]

Aaron Henderson

Special Needs Planning

What is it? Children with special needs, whether they be cognitive, physical, or mental, require different levels of care. Additionally, parents of children with special needs have to plan their finances, not just for their lifetimes, but for the lifetime of their [...]