November 2015 Investment Commentary – Paying for College, S&P 500 Earnings and Target Date Retirement Funds

Index Returns*1-Year
Annualized %
Annualized %
Annualized %
S&P 500 (US Large)2.7%14.4%7.5%
Russell 2500 (US Mid-Small)2.6%12.9%8.0%
MSCI EAFE (Foreign Developed)-2.5%6.0%4.1%
MSCI Emerging -16.7%-2.7%4.8%
Barclays Aggregate Bond1.0%3.1%4.7%
Treasury Bill - 3 month0.0%0.1%1.2%
As of November, 30 2015
*Includes reinvested dividends

Red ink swept across the major asset classes in November, with one exception: US equities.  The markets patiently wait this month to see whether the federal reserve will raise rates at their December meeting for the first time in many years. We’ve included below three entertaining and different reads this month.  Enjoy:


Paying for College

Many families simply earn too much for their child to qualify for need-based college aid, but they fail to realize that there are potential tax strategies to lower the overall cost of college.   The article, Paying for College: Wipe Out $28,000 in Capital Gains In Your Kid’s UTMA Account one particular strategy, but there are multiple options available for families.


S&P 500 Earnings

Profits from S&P 500 companies have fallen by about $25 billion in the first three quarter of the year, and a further drop is expected by the end of 2015 as energy companies battle with lower oil prices and the rise of the dollar has hit exporters.  The article, S&P 500 Profits Fall $25 Billion in First Three Quarters of 2015 discusses this topic in greater detail along with the chart below.

us corporate profit growth turns negative

Image via


Target Date Retirement Funds

Provide a low cost asset allocation solution in one fund; however, one should be aware of Target Date fund’s glide path and how that inter-plays with what initial withdrawal rate a retiree should be taking from their portfolio.  In the article, Beware of Target Date Funds – Their Aim May be Way Off the author discusses whether retirees are playing Russian roulette with their retirement given the potential issues of target date funds.

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