BCGS Newsletter 04/2012

Download Full Version here: News from BCG Securities April 2012

Market Commentary

February saw markets continue to inch upward because of a temporary resolution to the Greek debt crisis. A second bailout was approved by European leaders, pending a bond swap in which private creditors are expected to accept a write-off that would significantly reduce Greece’s sovereign debt. Also important was a reduction in Chinese bank reserve requirements, sending a message that the Chinese government is willing to do whatever it takes to prevent their economy from slowing too much. In the U.S., the disconnect between corporate earnings growth and economic growth continued to widen, as year-over-year GDP growth was relatively stable over the past year, while the S&P 500 year-over-year earnings growth decelerated throughout 2011.

The Price of Education

While it is often stated that a college education is priceless, the reality is that costs continue to rise each year. The good news is that many sources of financial aid are available to students and their families. For example, during the 2010–2011 academic year, $227.2 billion in financial aid was distributed to undergraduate and graduate students in the form of grants from all different sources (see footnote). Moreover, there are plenty of savings vehicles that can be utilized.

Investing in Bond Funds

If you don’t want to invest all your assets in the stock market, you may need to consider either cash or bonds for your portfolio. While cash is relatively safe, returns are likely to be less than 1% given the low interest-rate environment. Bond funds are an alternative but most people don’t have a good understanding of what to expect. You may want to consider buying a bond fund to give your portfolio stability or help generate income.

What Is a Credit Score?

Ever wondered why your application for a credit card was declined? How the interest rates on your loans were determined? Or what those advertisements about getting your free credit report mean? All of these are related to one’s credit score.

Download Full Version here: News from BCG Securities April 2012

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