The Fed’s Corporate Bond-Buying Programs: FAQs
HEROES Act DOA in Senate: Compromise Coming?
The House sent their version of the next relief package over to the Senate, where it was met with total disinterest. There will need to be give and take on both sides to get an additional stimulus package through Congress.
What Is Wrong With the Rebound?
Cyclicals typically lead the market higher when stocks rebound from a bear market and recession—but not this time.
Schwab Sector Views: On the Field Without a Playbook
Current market drivers have no modern-day precedent.
Your frequently asked questions about volatility
Your questions about volatility
- I’m retiring earlier than I’d planned. How will early retirement affect my Social Security benefits?
You should be aware of two things:
First, you must wait until at least age 62 to start collecting Social Security, unless you fall under a very limited set of exceptions.
Second, your final benefits may be less than the estimates provided by the Social Security Administration throughout your working life. Those estimates are based on projected lifetime earnings, and assume you will continue working right up until you start collecting Social Security benefits. If you stop working early—say, at age 58—with the expectation that you can hold out until your benefits kick in at age 62, your lifetime earnings will be smaller than projected, which will reduce your Social Security benefits in turn.
There’s no “correct” claiming age for everybody. If you are 62 and can afford to wait, delaying Social Security generally entitles you to larger benefits. That said, these are difficult economic times and waiting may not be an option for everyone. Just make sure you have a realistic idea of how much Social Security will provide.
Read here for more information on how your retirement age affects your benefits.
- Will the Federal Reserve and government stimulus spending eventually lead to inflation?
Schwab’s view is that the greater near-term threat is deflation, not inflation, and that the risk of inflation in the next few years is limited.
To produce inflation, money has to be loaned and/or spent, and must drive up demand relative to supply—as the adage goes, inflation is “too much money chasing too few goods.” If money sits on the balance sheets of banks or is saved by consumers, then prices for goods and services don’t necessarily rise.
Right now, demand is down sharply as consumers remain at home. Consumers are also spending less as unemployment continues to rise.
For other reasons why we don’t think inflation is likely—the “output gap,” consumer psychology, the strength of the dollar, and workforce demographics, to name a few—.
- How can I take advantage of market volatility as a trading opportunity?
First, make sure you're mentally prepared to manage the risks involved with trading in volatile markets and firm up your trading plan.
Then, focus on stocks trending with the market. Watch for stocks that are breaking through their usual resistance level--when prices are moving rapidly, an upside breakout can be followed by an immediate and substantial run to higher prices. At the same time, a reversal from a false breakout can come very quickly, so consider a stop-loss order to potentially limit your loss in case the price falls a certain distance below the breakout point. (Stop-loss orders can only potentially limit losses because there are no guarantees that stop orders will be executed at or near the stop price.)
Last, consider shorter-term strategies to exit trades quickly--since profits in volatile markets can vanish and turn into losses faster than you expect. For more details on all these strategies, read .
- I'm retired. Can I skip taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) this year?
Yes. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, recently passed into law, includes a provision that allows retirees to forgo taking RMDs from IRAs or 401(k)-type plans this year.
For more frequently asked questions about coronavirus-related changes to RMD rules, read Can You Forgo Taking RMDs in 2020?
- Where can I hold my cash when markets are volatile?
It depends on how you plan to use the cash. There are two primary categories: (1) everyday cash and (2) savings and investment cash.
- Everyday cash is money that is needed for day-to-day expenses, paying bills and quickly placing trades. Typically ease of access is of top importance. You can consider holding this money in a checking account or in the uninvested part of a brokerage account.
- Savings and investment cash is money that is needed for an emergency fund (3 to 6 months-worth of expenses), short-term goals and/or as a long-term investment in a diversified portfolio. A competitive return (yield) may be more important than cash management features or immediate access. Options include a high-yield savings account, purchased money funds or certificates of deposit (CDs).
For more information, read Where Should You Hold Your Cash?
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