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Gains Go Global

U.S. stocks have been in favor for years now, but in October, foreign markets outpaced those in the U.S. 

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index jumped 4.2%, the S&P Europe 350 Index was up 3.6%, and the MSCI EAFE Index of developed foreign stocks returned 3.4%—all ahead of the S&P 500’s 2.2% gain for the month. The Dow was up 0.6%.

Year-to-date, the S&P 500 remains up more than 20%, and the 12-month numbers are now above average. 

Dealing with uncertainty

Stocks are up and markets are entering their seasonally strongest two-month period of the year, and yet there are still unresolved economic concerns, including slower growth, geopolitical tensions, and trade disputes. 

Rather than trying to guess how this might play out, focus on investing in a way that can help you stay on track through different market and economic cycles. For most investors, that means owning a diversified portfolio that includes stocks for growth and bonds for stability.

Are your accounts on track?

It’s good to keep up with the markets, but you should also carve out some time to keep your accounts on track. 

Start thinking about what you need to do before the end of the year: 

Have you taking your required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA? 

Are there trades you can make now to try to reduce your taxes? 

Are you paying attention to estimated year-end distribution information? There could be some big payouts this year.

If you’re investing for retirement, have you maxed out your contributions?