For many investors, particularly those invested in the markets over the past 15 years or so, there is certainly some apprehension when the stock market hits new highs. After all, many of these investors experienced the bursting of the dotcom bubble and watched as stocks were chopped in half during the Great Recession - in both cases, after a tremendous stock market run-up. As the market eclipses new highs and investors try to determine whether it's an illusion created by a determined Federal Reserve or grounded in real economic growth, the specter of the last two market debacles seems to be generating a healthy dose of fear. Toss-in rapidly rising interest rates after a 30-year bull market in bonds and it certainly makes for a scary time for investors. On our most recent radio broadcast, ETF Store Sr. Investment Advisor Jason Lank appeared on the show to share some concerns he's hearing from investors regarding the current financial markets and offer some thoughts on whether you need an investment advisor to help navigate them. For investors who have decided to seek professional advice, Jason also gave his take on the key decision points to consider before hiring an advisor - and that begins with understanding whether your "advisor" operates as a broker or registered investment advisor.
In our weekly market update, we discussed the recent fear that seems to be permeating the financial markets and examined some of the potential headwinds that stocks could face. We also explained how focusing on diversification and having a sound investment plan are two simple, but often times ignored, approaches that can help investors sleep better at night. In our ETF Spotlight segment, we delved into the lowest cost international equity fund on the market, the Schwab International Equity ETF (ticker SCHF). It's our belief that international stocks have a place in a well-diversified portfolio and we explained how an ETF such as SCHF compares to an actively managed mutual fund with a very similar investment approach. Learn more about SCHF by visiting www.etfbuzz.com.