In our world of investment management and financial planning, uncertainty begets questions: sometimes the best reply to any of them is It Depends.

This week we examine several current issues where It Depends.  When will the Fed hike rates?  It depends.  What will the conflict in Iraq mean for the economy and investors—it depends.  Will your retirement be all it’s cracked up to be—it depends?

Yellen in No Hurry to Hike Rates.  The timing and extent of eventual hikes in short-term interest rates “depends” on the assessment of the economy, according to comments made by Fed Chair Janet Yellen.  “It depends” on how the Fed sizes up how the economy is doing.  “The message the market took away is the Yellen Fed will maintain its accommodative stance until it sees the labor market has recovered to its satisfaction and so long as inflation remains within its bounds.”

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Conflict in Iraq:  What Rising Oil Prices mean for the Economy & Investors.  Oil prices recently have spiked as violence in Iraq has escalated.  “While a short-term spike in oil prices due to declining production in northern Iraq is not a major threat, a prolonged price rise would put additional pressure on the global economy, including on U.S. consumers, who are still operating in a mode of caution…there may be longer-term implications and potentially significant changes to international borders.  Under this scenario, energy prices may remain elevated for a prolonged period of time, which could add additional pressure to several major economies.”

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Redefining the “Ideal” Retirement.  The ideal retirement is different for everyone.  An older model of retiring completely at age 65 no longer is working.   Baby Boomers now view retirement as their next chapter, not an event.  There is no “best retirement.”  The new vision of retirement has some common threads: Financial freedom, purpose, good health, close relationships, and giving back.  Money helps, but it’s not all about the money.

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And in case you missed itclick here to read last week’s blog post  which discusses global growth gaining momentum.

We hope you enjoy reading these articles along with us and hope you find them informative.  Please forward this to your family and friends.

J. Mark Nickell &  Co.

Disclosure – The articles mentioned in This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. are for information and educational purposes only. They represent a sample of the numerous articles that the firm reads each week to stay current on financial and economic topics. The articles are linked to websites separate from the J. Mark Nickell & Co. website. The opinions expressed in these articles are the opinions of the author and not J. Mark Nickell & Co. This is not an offer to buy or sell any security.  J. Mark Nickell & Co. is under no obligation to update any of the information in these articles. We cannot attest to the accuracy of the data in the articles.