After two consecutive weeks of losses and the prospect of a decline for the month of April, stocks staged a rebound last week despite continuing worries both here and overseas. While larger company stocks gained a fraction of a percent on average, mid- and small-cap stocks rallied strongly with gains of over 2%, enough to push the beleaguered small cap stocks back into positive territory for the year so far.
Two European elections will be closely watched by the investment community. Sunday’s results in France will lead to a runoff between center-left candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. This result was expected. A likely runoff victory by Macron will reassure investors that France will not leave the EU and will support the Euro. Nevertheless, for the first time in French history, no candidate from the party establishment will be in the runoff proving that dissatisfaction with the government establishment is spreading. The second election taking place in the UK in June is expected to bolster Prime Minister Theresa May’s parliamentary majority, reducing any opposition to leaving the European Union. Why, one might ask, should U.S. investors fret about upheaval in Europe? Europe is a vital trading partner with the U.S. and severe disruption in the European economy could greatly harm U.S. investment markets.
Corporate earnings reports for the first quarter continue to shine and expectations are for more good news as earnings season peaks over the next few weeks.
An “ethical will” is a way for someone to share personal information to family members. Ethical wills are often written by people at turning points and transitions in their lives or as part of later life estate planning. There is no prescribed content to an ethical will, but some topics that might be considered include:
You may want to specify who should and should not read the ethical will and may choose to prepare different versions for different family members. The contents of an ethical will, which have no legal standing, are often shared with loved ones before death, or the writer may prefer that it be read posthumously. If you prepare an ethical will that is intended to be read after death, be sure to make family members aware of its location, perhaps as a part of a letter of instruction. Our “Lifetime Financial Organizer” includes a section with suggestions and space for completing an ethical will. Visit www.mylifetimefinancialorganizer.com.
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