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Even with last weekend’s government shutdown, no agreed-upon budget and yet another debt ceiling increase needed, the major U.S. indexes continued to set record highs. While Mr. Market’s ongoing calm mood may seem paradoxical given what’s happening inside of the Beltway, one...

“‘Melt Up’ Rally Propels Dow Above 26,000 as Fear Turns to Greed” proclaimed The Wall Street Journal this morning. The headline comes as optimism in our weekly sentiment survey is staying at an unusually high level. Even outside of the office, more people have been bringing...

For all of the chatter coming out of the financial industry about building wealth, I continue to believe that two of the best methods for individual investors are process and automation. The likelihood of success is enhanced when a good process is put in place and automation is...

Let’s start this week’s commentary with a hypothetical scenario: A person you trust says they have two stock picks for you. Both stocks are expected to rise in price. The charts for each stock are showing similar formations and the recent news seems equally positive. You only...

Special notes: First, on behalf of everyone at AAII, have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Both the U.S. financial markets and our offices will be closed on Monday, January 1, in observance of New Year’s Day. Finally, we are in the process of updating our Tax Guide to...

This week notwithstanding, optimism about the short-term direction of the stock market has been below average for 40 out of 50 weeks this year in our AAII Sentiment Survey. Given this trend, I was curious as to how 2017 compares to the 30 previous years tracked by our survey....

In rock ’n’ roll, turning up the volume is not only welcome, but is often outright called for. While headbangers may want the volume cranked up, investors may prefer to have the volume set on low instead. High volume signifies a large amount of interest among investors. Interest...

As I write this, the full Senate is considering the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). One provision in the Senate’s version of the TCJA impacts the treatment of capital gains. Specifically, the provision would eliminate your ability to specify which lot you sold if you purchased shares...

In his TED Talk, David Steindl-Rast makes the case for happiness being directly tied to gratitude. The monk and interfaith scholar says people who are more grateful tend to also be happier people. I’m referring to it not only because it is a great talk (to be fair, I’m a fan...

I spent yesterday at Schwab’s IMPACT Conference. The annual conference is oriented toward independent financial advisers. Nearly 5,000 people attended this year’s conference. I’ll share some of my notes at the end of this week’s commentary, but first I want to focus on a...