Banking Trends

In its recent 2018 Banking Industry Outlook report, Deloitte identified six key themes that are driving trends for financial institutions today:1 Redefining what makes for a positive customer experience Managing a myriad of technology platforms Mitigating cyber risk Adjusting to competition from fintech (financial technology) companies Aligning business strategy with regulatory compliance Reimagining the workforce…

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Inflation: Expectations for 2018

It seems as if inflation has been biding its time. Since the financial crisis a decade ago, growth in prices and wages has been muted.1 However, many financial analysts believe that’s about to change. A jobs report from early March revealed continued hiring and a moderate increase in wages. The stock markets welcomed the news, responding…

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Investment Themes for This Year

In the investment community, all eyes are on inflation this year. Economic analysts at Merrill Lynch anticipate further tightening in the labor market, to the tune of 3.9 percent unemployment by the end of 2018. Along with the tightened labor situation, they also expect personal consumption expenditure (PCE) inflation rising to 1.8 percent by year…

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Balancing Investor Euphoria with Market Reality

Many social media users share nearly all aspects of their lives, from photos of cute kids and pets to their political views. And now, we even are seeing posts from exuberant investors bragging about their investment returns. For example, consider this social media post:1 “I strived to become a 401(k) millionaire someday, and this week,…

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Financial Strategies in 2018

One philosophy of investing, as opined by Warren Buffett, is to be “fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”1 The nation’s eight-year bull market, however, has tested that philosophy. Most market analysts would agree that it was more important to be in the market and taking advantage of gains than to be…

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Keep an Eye on Interest Rates

Optimism often predates good news. Such was the case last year when, just before the end of the year, Congress passed legislation that significantly reduced the corporate tax rate. The anticipation of this fulfillment of one of President Trump’s pro-business campaign promises helped drive up stock prices in the latter half of the year —…

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