Cybersecurity: How to Lock Down Passwords and Protect Your Digital Life

Your username and passwords are under seige.  And the bad guys are getting really good.  Don't believe me?  Ask the Democratic National Committee about its email accounts, large companies, or government agencies. They've learned the hard way.  Massive security breaches are wide spread and taking place daily.  When these major entities are at risk, don't think that the username and the same password that you use for multiple sites are safe!  The US Securities and Exchange Commission says that cybersecurity is the biggest risk facing the financial system.  Security experts estimate that hundreds of millions of hacked usernames and passwords for email accounts and other websites are being traded by the criminal underworld.  This means that you may be exposed to cybercrimes either now or in the future.

After listening to the hosts of the popular podcast Reply All (episode #91 The Russian Passenger) investigate how their boss's Uber account was compromised, I'd like to provide you with quick actionable tips that you can implement immediately to protect yourself.       

Five Reasons The Bull Market Is Likely to Go Even Higher

There's been a lot of chatter recently.  The "fat, ugly, bubble."  Is the "bull running out of steam?"  Goldman strategists "are becoming more cautious about stock markets."

At Runnymede, we are neither perma-bulls nor perma-bears.  Rather our perspectives on the financial markets are based upon research, and our market outlook is reflected in the positioning of our clients' portfolios.  In fact, we have been bullish on the market since July 2016.  So where do we stand right now with the bull market having recently celebrated its eighth birthday?  After much thought and careful reflection, here are five reasons why the bull market is likely to go higher.

Benchmark Your 401(k) Plan

Runnymede has increasingly been serving as a fiduciary advisor to companies' 401(k) plans so I will be writing a series of articles on how to tune up your retirement plan.  The intended audience is the company and its trustees that sponsor the plan but participants are also advocating for better plans.  It is our hope to help employers optimize and better manage their retirement plan. In doing so, we seek to help employees achieve their goal of successfully preparing themselves for retirement.

Happy Birthday! Bull market in stocks turns 8.

The bull market in stocks celebrates its eighth birthday today.  As it turns out, it's also my birthday. This got me thinking about what was happening in the world when I turned 8.  In 1980, the Pac-Man arcade game was released.  Camcorders and fax machines were cutting edge technology.  A whole lot of people were watching TV to find out Who Shot JR? on the popular soap Dallas.  The yearly inflation rate in the U.S. was 13.6%.  The average cost of a new house was $68,700.  The average cost of a new car was $13,650.  I'll also mention that a (government subsidized) hot school lunch cost $0.65 and milk was $0.05.  Okay, enough about me.

Sweeping changes coming to the Fed

yellen trump.jpgSince the Great Recession, market participants have had to hang on to every word coming out of the Fed and its governors. Central bankers became the driving force behind the bull market. It is no surprise that we have written far too many blog posts on Central Banks and their influence. Thankfully since May 2016, we haven't written anything on the Fed because they were essentially on hold. Furthermore, the economy has been gaining momentum and fundamentals are now the driving force behind the stock market hitting new highs.

How the fiduciary standard protects you

You may have heard media reports about a new fiduciary rule for retirement accounts that the Trump administration is trying to rescind. Understandably, you have questions about how this might impact to your accounts. The rule was designed to ensure recommendations made by financial advisors to their clients regarding their retirement accounts are always made in the best interests of the client without any conflicts of interest. This rule was set to go into effect in April, but that is being delayed by 180 days and may be killed entirely.

Wall Street's biggest bull turns bearish

tom lee.jpgFor years, Tom Lee has been known as Wall Street's eternal bull. His S&P targets were virtually always the most bullish on the street. When I reviewed what other strategists were predicting this year and Tom Lee hadn't released his numbers, I just assumed he would be the most bullish on the street, again. Perhaps we should check to see if Tom Lee has been abducted by aliens and replaced by a clone because Tom Lee is the most bearish strategist on the street with a S&P target of just 2275.

Why Not Now? Realizing Your Goal Starts With Action Today.

post-it-trans-action.pngLast night before going to bed my wife asked me, "Can you turn on the humidifer?"  "Sure," I said burying my head back into my laptop to finish some work.

This morning the first thing I heard was, "How come you didn't turn the humidifier on?"  Oops.  After completing what I had been working on, I put the laptop down and quickly fell asleep.

And so, today, I write about ACTION always beats INTENTION.

How to Find an Old 401(k)? A Comprehensive Guide to Help You Find Your Money.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American has held 11.7 jobs from age 18 to 48.  When switching jobs, 401(k) money doesn't automatically switch with you.  In fact, by some estimates, more than 900,000 workers lose track of their 401(k) plans each year!  This leaves many people at some point working hard to track down an old 401(k) account or accounts.  The good news is that the money should stay in your account.  Here are some tips to help you track down your old retirement account.

Will the stock market boom or bust in 2017?

As we near a close to 2016, it is time to look forward to 2017. We have done this in 2014, 2015, and 2016 so it is becoming a tradition to see which strategists did well and which missed the mark. What do the experts think will happen in 2017 and should we even care?medium_728933695

Perhaps you are familiar with Philip Telock's landmark UC Berkeley study that looked at 82,000 predictions over 25 years by 300 leading economists. It turned out that their so called expert views were no better than random guesses, and worse, the more famous, the less accurate the prediction.

Last year, the strategists predicted a bull market for 2016 and they almost hit the number right on the mark. Their average forecast was for a 7.2% gain in the S&P 500 to 2215. They should get a round of applause as the S&P finished at 2239. Well done. Deutsche Bank's David Bianco gets the highest grade with a forecast of 2250, only missing by 11 points. Barclays' Jonathan Glionna should also be given a trophy as he was within 2% for the past couple of years. Let's look at the numbers.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Runnymede Capital Management, Inc.), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Runnymede Capital Management, Inc. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Runnymede Capital Management, Inc. is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of Runnymede Capital Management, Inc.’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.