21 Investing Resolutions for 2019


Special notes: Our offices will be closed on both Monday, December 31, and Tuesday, January 1. The U.S. bond market will close early (2:00 p.m. Eastern Time) on Monday but the stock exchanges will operate on normal hours. All U.S. financial markets will be closed on Tuesday. On behalf of everyone at AAII, have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Eat some black-eyed peas on Tuesday for good luck!

Long-term readers know that I like to share my list of investing resolutions near the start of each year. The list started in 2012 and has grown since. This year, I’ve added two new resolutions.

The first one (#8) is to automate basic transactions such as saving and taking required minimum distributions (RMDs). It’s easier to stay disciplined when routine decisions and actions don’t continuously need to be made. As behavioral finance expert Daniel Crosby will explain in the January 2019 AAII Journal, “[Imagine] if you could lock in every January 1—when you’re feeling motivated—the way that you were going to eat and exercise for the rest of the year, those things would just happen if you did nothing. We’d all be in great shape, right?”

The second one relates to values-based investing, such as environmental, social and governance (ESG), as well as giving back to family and society (#19). It was inspired by a magnet my wife keeps on our refrigerator. The magnet quotes Hillel the Elder, a rabbi who lived approximately 2,100 years ago, as decreeing, “You have a solemn obligation to take care of yourself, because you never know when the world will need you.” In terms of investing, one of the ways you can help further the causes you care most about is to put yourself into a position where you are able to act—whether it be financially or through time and effort.

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Highlights from this month’s AAII Journal

AAII Sentiment Survey

Pessimism is above 50% for the first time since 2013, while neutral sentiment is at an eight-year low. Both readings are highly unusual. Plus, this week’s special question asked AAII members whether the Federal Reserve should continue to raise interest rates. More about this week’s results.

This week’s results:
  • Bullish: 31.5%, up 6.7 points
  • Neutral: 18.2%, down 9.7 points
  • Bearish: 50.3%, up 3.0 points
Historical averages:
  • Bullish: 38.5%
  • Neutral: 31.0%
  • Bearish: 30.5%

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The Week Ahead

As noted above, the bond market will close early on Monday (2:00 p.m. Eastern Time), but not the stock market. The U.S. financial markets and banks will be closed on Tuesday in observance of New Year’s Day. Our offices will be closed on both Monday and Tuesday.

Just one S&P 500 member is scheduled to report next week: Lamb Weston Holdings Inc. (LW) on Friday.

The week’s first economic reports will be the December ADP employment report and the December Purchasing Managers’ Manufacturing Index (PMI). Both will be released on Wednesday. Thursday will feature December motor vehicle sales, the December Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing index and November construction spending. December employment data, including the changes in nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate, will be released on Friday.

Two Federal Reserve officials will make public appearances: chairman Jerome Powell on Friday and Atlanta president Raphael Bostic on Friday and Saturday.

Local Chapter Meetings

AAII Local Chapter Meetings offer you a variety of presentations from expert speakers who will give you their view on the world of investing. A bonus of attending a Chapter Meeting near you is the opportunity to meet other AAII members who share your interest and enthusiasm for investing. You can even share the Chapter experience with your family and friends by inviting them to attend Chapter Meetings with you!

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