|Editor’s note: Read the latest on how the coronavirus is rattling the markets and what investors can do to navigate it.|
My three juniors in high school (yes, you read that right, there are three of them) didn’t spend last summer doing any of the things they expected to do. Like hanging out with friends at Six Flags. Visiting colleges they might want to attend. Going to band camp. Getting their first jobs.
No, the Dziubinski triplets spent the pandemic summer of 2020 hunkered down at home. They decided to use some of their spare time to get a jump on the next school year by taking their required Consumer Education class online.
In just a few short weeks, my kids got a crash course about the economy, taxes, banking, budgeting, credit, retirement accounts, and many other money matters. They were lucky–not because they had to spend the summer cooped up with their parents, but because they were introduced to important money matters in high school. According to a recent study, only 21 states require high school students to take a course integrating personal finance content.
Financial education is an important part of what we do at Morningstar, and April is Financial Literacy Month. We’re therefore publishing a lot of educational content this month spanning a variety of money matters. We talk about how to get started investing and the difference between mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. We explain how various retirement vehicles like 401(k)s and IRAs work. We walk through how to set goals and build an emergency fund. We map out strategies for saving for college, covering healthcare costs, and planning for retirement.
Check out our Financial Literacy Guide–-you may find a topic that you’re not as in-the-know about as you could be. And consider passing a link to the guide along to anyone you know who might benefit from its contents: friends, kids, colleagues–even your favorite high school students.
After 2020’s Market Crash, How Should Investors Prepare?
What the shortest market crash in history can teach us about weathering volatility.
The Dark Side of Thematic Funds
Funds with compelling stories don’t always make sound investments.
10 Solid Dividend-Paying Stocks on Sale
We think the payouts on these names are sustainable.
Is Your Portfolio Fighting or Fueling Deforestation?
It’s more than just the companies running the bulldozers, and some big investors are taking action.
Value Funds Post Best Quarter vs. Growth in 20 Years
The long-term return gap between the two remains wide.
Financial Literacy Month 2021
We break down the basics of building a portfolio, preparing for emergencies, caring for others, and planning for retirement.
Portfolio Planning and Personal Finance With Christine Benz
The Best Inflation-Fighting Investments for Retirees
In-retirement portfolios should include a blend of inflation hedges and inflation beaters.
Which Bonds Provide the Biggest Diversification Benefits?
Investors rely on bonds as ballast for their stock allocations, but their levels of effectiveness can vary greatly.
Is it the Right Time for Annuities?
Why investors should consider guaranteed income as part of their retirement strategy.
Is Emerging-Markets Investing Worth the Risk?
With hazards that are bigger and more numerous, these markets highlight the importance of diversification.
Manager Question of the Month: How Active Fund Managers Cope With Index Concentration
Managers from T. Rowe Price, Wellington, American Century, and others discuss the trade-offs.
Climate Change Creates Immediate Opportunity in Salt
Compass Minerals will benefit from higher prices and lower costs.
2 Favorite Dividend Stocks Among Top Managers
Comcast and Bank of America possess wide economic moats.
2 Wide-Moat Stocks to Buy on a Dip
Amazon.com and ServiceNow are looking increasingly attractive.
What We Expect for the Automotive Industry After COVID-19
A look at the automakers and suppliers that are best positioned to benefit from the industry’s recovery.
Stock Analyst Updates
Microsoft Bolsters Healthcare Offerings With Nuance
We are maintaining our fair value estimate after Microsoft announced the acquisition of Nuance Communications, a leader in conversational artificial intelligence.
J&J’s COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Rare Events,Now Paused
We expect the pause to be temporary because of the rarity of the adverse events–six cases among the more than 6.8 million doses administered in the U.S.
Fee Income Continues Strong Growth for JPMorgan
We are increasing our fair value estimate for the wide-moat bank after an excellent first quarter.
Wells Fargo Releases Reserves in Q1
We’re maintaining our fair value estimate of $52 per share.
Solid Quarter for BlackRock, Boosting Our FVE
Annualized organic AUM growth of 6.8% was well above our long-term target of 3%-5% annually for the wide-moat company.
Schwab Benefits From High Trading Activity in Q1
We don’t plan on making a change to the wide-moat company’s fair value estimate.
Pepsi Keeps Up Impressive Streak
We think shares are overvalued but would be buyers on a pullback.
Better Revenue Outlook, Reserve Releases Help Citigroup
We’re increasing our fair value estimate to $76 per share from $74.
Spin-Off Will Benefit Dell and VMWare
We’re maintaining our fair value estimates for both firms.
Three Takeaways From the Archegos Disaster
Drawing public lessons from a private fund’s problems.
For a Tax Season Unlike Any Other, Check These Items Before Your Clients File
The American Rescue Plan includes some significant changes that can affect 2020 tax returns and planning for future years.
A Tax-Preparation Checklist for the Self-Employed
Here are seven boxes to check.
How and When to Take Your RMD
There is no one best time to take the required minimum distribution.
The Long View Podcast
Joe Davis: ‘We Will See China-Like Growth for a Time in the United States’
Vanguard’s chief economist discusses his team’s latest research, how the pandemic has changed the economy, and the future of work.
Not All Sustainable Funds Are Equally Sustainable
Morningstar’s ESG metrics reveal the standout funds in the space.
Financial Security of American Households During the Pandemic
How different groups’ household finances fared–and what we can do to improve.