We are now in open enrollment on the government (39 states) or state health insurance exchanges (11 states and the District of Columbia)—so this is the time of year when consumers can buy health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. In most states, the enrollment season lasts six weeks—half as long as it used to—and many people are wondering whether the ACA is still viable. Hasn’t the Trump administration taken steps to make it easier for healthy individuals to opt out of ACA and buy cheaper coverage that lacks certain popular consumer protections? Doesn’t the economics of covering pre-existing conditions require that all insurance buyers participate in the overall pool of insurance premiums?
Every year, the U.S. government changes a variety of investment and benefits thresholds based on the inflation rate. But since inflation has been pretty tame, most of the changes have been modest these past ten years.
That changes this coming year.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to worry, then October has given you plenty of stimulus. After yesterday’s 3.1 percent drop in the popular S&P 500 index, the index has lost 8.8% in this month alone, wiping out all the gains that we’ve enjoyed this year, putting the index in negative territory. The once-soaring Nasdaq Composite Index of technology companies tumbled 4.4% on the same day.
In times when the markets are dropping, even if they haven’t hit correction territory yet (that would be a 10% drop), the media needs to find a narrative, and you hear all sorts of theories. Corporate earnings have nowhere to go but down. The tariffs are slowing down economic activity. Interest rates are rising.
After a long period of relative calm in the markets, the increased volatility over recent weeks has resulted in renewed anxiety for many investors.
Since February, the US stock market has experienced some ups and downs resulting in many investors wondering what the future holds and if they should make changes to their portfolios. While it may be difficult to remain calm during a volatile stock market, it is important to remember that volatility is a normal part of investing. Additionally, for long-term investors, reacting emotionally to volatile markets may be more detrimental to portfolio performance than the drawdown itself.
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