Weekly Market Notes – December 11, 2017

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of December 11, 2017

The Markets

A positive November jobs report boosted the major indexes Friday. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at record highs. For the week, the Dow rose 0.46 percent to close at 24,329.16. The S&P gained 0.39 percent to finish at 2,651.50, and the NASDAQ fell 0.11 percent to end the week at 6,840.08.

Returns Through 12/8/17 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) 0.46 26.06 27.05 13.71 15.92
NASDAQ Composite (PR) -0.11 27.07 26.26 13.00 18.09
S&P 500 (TR) 0.39 20.72 20.45 11.09 15.74
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) -0.02 3.34 3.48 2.31 2.04
MSCI EAFE (TR) 0.09 22.17 22.90 6.00 7.90

Source: Morningstar.com. *Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three- and five-year returns are annualized. The Dow Jones Industrials, MSCI EAFE, Barclays US Agg Bond and S&P, excluding “1 Week” returns, are based on total return, which is a reflection of return to an investor by reinvesting dividends after the deduction of withholding tax. The NASDAQ is based on price return, which is the capital appreciation of the portfolio, excluding income generated by the assets in the portfolio in the form of interest and dividends. (TR) indicates total return. (PR) indicates price return. MSCI EAFE returns stated in U.S. dollars.

 

Every Day — An estimated 10,100 Americans will turn 65 each day next year (2018). An estimated 11,500 will turn 65 every day in 2029 (source: Government Accountability Office, BTN Research).

 

Colleges — The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act proposes a 1.4 percent levy on the investment income from the endowments of private colleges, earnings that are currently untaxed. For example, Harvard’s $37.1 billion endowment would have owed $39 million on the $2.8 billion it earned in fiscal year 2017 (source: Harvard University, BTN Research).

Long-term Guess — When President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed the Social Security retirement program in 1935, FDR’s financial people projected total Social Security expenditures would reach $1.3 billion in 1980 or 45 years into the future. Actual outlays in 1980 were $149 billion. Thus, the analysts’ 1935 estimate represented less than 1 percent of actual 1980 Social Security expenditures (source: Social Security, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – Aim for a Regret-Free Retirement

We often learn from our mistakes, but it can be hard to recover from mistakes realized in your retirement years. Here are some to avoid before incurring their costly consequences.

Not saving more early on. Many Americans don’t get serious about retirement savings until their 40s and 50s – and miss out on the magic of compounding over time. Imagine you want to have $1 million in assets at age 65. With a 7 percent annual return, Morningstar calculated someone starting at 25 would need to save $381 a month, while a 35-year-old would need to put $820 aside each a month. A 45-year-old and a 55-year-old would need to save $1,920 and $5,778 monthly.

Retiring too young. You may think you can always go back to work later, but mature individuals often find it hard to re-enter the job market, especially at their previous pay. And delaying Social Security benefits really pays off. Begin drawing them at 62 instead of full retirement age, and receive 25 percent less for life. Wait to draw them at 70 and increase your payments by 32 percent.

Not diversifying. If you’re an executive or small business owner, you may be disproportionately invested in your company. But diversification is one of the most common strategies to reduce risk. Most advisors not only recommend investing in different products and companies but also balancing conservative investments with some risk and growth potential. Keep all your money in overly conservative investments, and inflation and taxes may erode your buying power.

Spending too much too soon. Dramatically reducing your portfolio in the early years (when you’re no longer adding to it) decreases its growth potential for years to come.

Underestimating retirement expenses. Even if you have your home paid for, it can require unexpected repairs, and property taxes may continue to grow. Then there’s federal taxes due on pension payments, retirement account distributions and Social Security benefits. Depending on your income, as much as 85 percent of your Social Security could be subject to tax. Many states add their own bills. And while you can tighten your belt in some areas, you should expect to spend more on health costs as you age.

When it comes to retirement, there are no do-overs. With so much at stake, it’s important to get it right. We can review your retirement plan, identify any shortfalls and help you develop a retirement budget to fit your future. Call to schedule an appointment.

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* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all dividends. Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. investment-grade, fixed-rate bond market securities, including government, government agency, corporate and mortgage-backed securities between one and 10 years. Written by Securities America, Copyright December 2017. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI# 1968428.1

Weekly Market Notes – December 4, 2017

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of December 4, 2017

The Markets

Stocks fell Friday following ABC’s report that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would testify he was told to contact Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign. Stocks regained ground after Senator Mitch McConnell told reporters the Senate had enough votes to pass the tax bill. For the week, the Dow rose 3.00 percent to close at 24,231.59. The S&P climbed 1.60 percent to finish at 2,642.22, and the NASDAQ fell 0.60 percent to end the week at 6,847.59.

Returns Through 12/1/17 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) 3.00 25.49 29.34 13.73 16.07
NASDAQ Composite (PR) -0.60 27.20 30.40 13.15 17.87
S&P 500 (TR) 1.60 20.25 23.06 11.09 15.70
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) -0.03 3.36 3.91 2.25 2.04
MSCI EAFE (TR) -0.94 22.06 26.13 5.78 8.06

Source: Morningstar.com. *Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three- and five-year returns are annualized. The Dow Jones Industrials, MSCI EAFE, Barclays US Agg Bond and S&P, excluding “1 Week” returns, are based on total return, which is a reflection of return to an investor by reinvesting dividends after the deduction of withholding tax. The NASDAQ is based on price return, which is the capital appreciation of the portfolio, excluding income generated by the assets in the portfolio in the form of interest and dividends. (TR) indicates total return. (PR) indicates price return. MSCI EAFE returns stated in U.S. dollars.

 

Impacts Just a Few — The House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would limit the deduction of mortgage interest expense to that created by debt of $500,000 or less. Just seven percent of the 7.7 million home mortgages originated in 2016 were for loans that exceeded $500,000 (source: Inside Mortgage Finance, BTN Research).

The Last Time — The last 10 percent correction for the S&P 500 was a 13.3 percent drop over the three months that ended Feb. 11, 2016. The last 20 percent or more bear for the S&P 500 was a 56.8 percent drop over the 17 months that ended March 9, 2009 (source: BTN Research).

Small Range — For the seven years from 2010 to 2016, the S&P 500 experienced 417 trading days in which the index gained or lost at least 1 percent (total return) for the day, an average of 60 per year. YTD through Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, the S&P 500 has produced just nine trading days of 1 percent up-or-down movement (source: BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – Tips to Keep Your Finances Safe While Shopping Online

Has online shopping become part of your holiday norm? You’re not alone. The National Retail Federation predicts online retail will grow 8-12 percent in 2017. That’s up to three times higher than the growth rate of total retail sales. It’s a safe bet to say that where the money is, so are the criminals.

Chances are if you’re a frequent online shopper, you don’t remember from which site you bought a particular gift. Keep records of all transactions. Write down what you bought, when and from what website. If you shop from your computer, make sure it’s secure with up-to-date software (operating system, browsers and any apps). Use a good antivirus. Connect to the internet using a secure connection.

It can be tempting to get some shopping in while you’re waiting in the coffee shop or hotel lobby. But you should never use free public WiFi to buy online.

Using apps can help ensure online safety, but you should download or buy apps only from legitimate retail or app stores. Verify the source before you download.

Only shop at sites that take secure payment methods, such as credit cards or PayPal. Look for the lock icon in your browser address window and for URLs with https rather than http. The “s” stands for secure.

Use a credit card, not a debit card. Credit cards carry securities that debit cards don’t. When possible, use payment technologies like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Android Pay. The seller receives a one-use token, not your actual credit card number.

When deals pop up through social media or email, don’t open attachments or click through links. Phishers want you to click on links to gain information or introduce malware. If you receive spam email, don’t use the Unsubscribe button. A click is still a click. Just mark it as Spam and delete.

Finally, keep as little information on your smart phone and tablet as possible. These devices are far more than just about calling home or reading a book. Unfortunately most of us don’t take the time to secure them. Faux online shops and cybercriminals can infect your smart phone or mobile device to access phone numbers, notes and even app contents.

Cybercrime can compromise not only your shopping but also your long-term financial plans. Call our office today. We can help you protect your finances from cybercriminals.

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*The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all dividends. Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. investment-grade, fixed-rate bond market securities, including government, government agency, corporate and mortgage-backed securities between one and 10 years. Written by Securities America, Copyright December 2017. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI# 1962611.1

December 2017 Monthly Outlook – ‘Most of the Surprises’

‘ In a bull market most of the surprises happen on the upside’.  This is an old stock market axiom that seems to be coming true this year.

Coming into November 2017, I was positive but cautious based on my read of the markets and investor sentiment.  My cautious stanch looked right until 2 of the last 3 trading days of the month (11/28 & 11/30) when the stock market had an upside surprise of 1.77% in the last week of the month.   The global synchronized economic expansion appears to be accelerating as can be seen in the charts below showing the Citi Economic Surprise Index. This fueled the upside move in stocks.

12.5.2017_MONTHLY_OUTLOOK_CHART1

Source: Bespoke Investment Group

The US economy continues to show strength, with the second estimate of 3rd quarter 2017 GDP above 3%.

12.5.2017_MONTHLY_OUTLOOK_CHART2

December has traditionally been a positive month for stocks, with the S&P 500 only having 2 down  years of the last 100 years with an average gain of 1.55%

12.5.2017_MONTHLY_OUTLOOK_CHART3

Source: Bespoke Investment Group

While all of the above is quite positive, I am concerned about a near-term political risk – that being that the US Government will run out of money on December 8th, unless Congress raises the federal debt ceiling and funds the government going forward. It was originally due back on September 8th but was extended for 3 months due to the natural disasters in Texas and Florida.  Another short-term extension is a possibility, but so is a government shutdown if the parties (Republicans and Democrats) can’t reach an agreement.

The other change I am seeing is a rotation out of growth oriented industries like technology, and into more value oriented industries like financials.  I am adjusting portfolios accordingly.

As always, please call me if you have any questions or concerns. lease pass this note on to anyone you feel will benefit from the information.

Special thanks: the best compliment I can receive is a referral from a client or colleague.

I want to extend a special thanks to clients & colleagues who have recently referred me to family and friends:

Marianne H.      Eloise B.

 

December Calendar of Events   (comments and additions for future months are always welcome)

  • December is Universal Human Rights Day.  Let’s pray that all people, regardless of race, religion, gender, or nationality  can learn to treat others as we all wish to be treated.

 

December 10th            Human Rights Day   –  I have cherished the ideal  of a democratic and free society… it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. – Nelson Mandela

December 12 – 20th    Happy Hanukkah  –    May it also be a festival of love, happiness, success, and health in your world now and always.

December 15th            Healthcare open enrollment – for coverage starting Jan 1, 2017 – ENDS!   

December 19th            Christian’s birthday

December 21st                  Winter Solstice    –       The shortest day of the year and the start of winter

December 25th            Merry Christmas – have a wonderful holiday.  Let’s all remember the true significance of this day – the birth of Christ. 

 

Sources: Bespoke Investment Group, Raymond James & Associates, CNBC.com

 

Although information herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable, its accuracy and completeness are not asserted. All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute the judgment of the financial advisor as of the dates indicated and are subject to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security.

Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or a loss. Diversification does not ensure a profit or ensure against a loss. There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful.  Past performance is no assurance of future results.

Please consider the charges, risks, expenses and investment objectives carefully before investing. Please see a prospectus containing this and other information. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.

Information provided should not be construed as legal or tax advice.  You should discuss any tax or legal matter with the appropriate professional.

Weekly Market Notes – November 27, 2017

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of November 27, 2017

The Markets

Wall Street broke several records during Friday’s half session. The S&P closed above 2,600 points for the first time. The NASDAQ ended at a record high and posted its best weekly performance since early September. The Dow also booked its first weekly gain in three weeks. For the week, the Dow rose 0.89 percent to close at 23,557.99. The S&P gained 0.93 percent to finish at 2,602.42, and the NASDAQ climbed 1.57 percent to end the week at 6,889.16.

Returns Through 11/24/17 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) 0.89 21.83 26.44 12.55 15.43
NASDAQ Composite (PR) 1.57 27.98 28.04 13.16 18.35
S&P 500 (TR) 0.93 18.36 20.45 10.23 15.46
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) 0.19 3.39 3.65 2.38 2.10
MSCI EAFE (TR) 1.88 23.22 27.79 6.15 8.52

Source: Morningstar.com. *Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three- and five-year returns are annualized. The Dow Jones Industrials, MSCI EAFE, Barclays US Agg Bond and S&P, excluding “1 Week” returns, are based on total return, which is a reflection of return to an investor by reinvesting dividends after the deduction of withholding tax. The NASDAQ is based on price return, which is the capital appreciation of the portfolio, excluding income generated by the assets in the portfolio in the form of interest and dividends. (TR) indicates total return. (PR) indicates price return. MSCI EAFE returns stated in U.S. dollars.

 

No Federal Income Taxes — Of American taxpayers, 54 percent (49.8 million out of 92.4 million returns) who reported adjusted gross income less than $50,000 during tax year 2015 did not pay any federal income tax (source: Internal Revenue Service, BTN Research).
We Sell, They Buy — U.S. exports of goods and services to China have increased tenfold since 1999, rising from $17 billion in 1999 to $170 billion in 2016 (source: Commerce Department, BTN Research).

 

Standard of Living — China’s economy is the second largest in the world behind the United States, but China’s GDP per person is only $9,377 while the United States’ GDP per person is $61,687 (source: IMF, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – Smart Giving Tips

Whether it’s due to the holiday spirit or taking advantage of tax deductions before it’s too late, one-fourth of all charitable donations are typically made in the last six weeks of the calendar year. That’s why your mailbox is likely filled with pleas from philanthropic organizations. Just as you try to be a mindful shopper who avoids impulse purchases, it’s important to be a careful giver who thoughtfully evaluates those emotion-tugging appeals. The following tips can help.

Plan ahead. You can’t buy gifts for every friend and relative, and you can’t donate to every worthy cause. So rather than waiting for organizations to come to you, consider what areas you’re most passionate about, thoroughly research prospective charities and choose groups who address your concerns most effectively and efficiently.

Check out national organizations on charity rating sites like GuideStar.org, CharityNavigator.org or the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance site, Give.org. Evaluate local nonprofits by reading their annual report, audited financial statement and IRS Form 990. Look for entities that spend 75 percent of their budgets directly on programs. You might even volunteer and observe their programming in action.

Concentrate support. After you’ve identified charities with reputations for performing well, narrow your choices. Although diversification works well when investing in stocks, it’s less effective when investing in charities. Giving more to fewer organizations allows them to spend less on fundraising, keep operating costs low and plan strategically.

Budget for giving. Once you’ve chosen your favorite nonprofits, decide how much you want to give and make room in your budget. See if you can make your gifts go farther by participating in a matching program through your employer or a generous donor.

Be tax smart. You can’t deduct donations unless you itemize your tax return and give to a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity. (To check whether a charity qualifies, visit the IRS webpage, https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/). If you receive something in return for your gift (i.e., a dinner or a book), its value must be subtracted from your donation. A cancelled check or credit card statement is adequate for gifts under $250, but you’ll need a receipt for gifts above that.

For more information on targeting your charitable efforts, give our office a call. We can also work with your tax advisor to help you and your causes get the most benefit from your gifts.

We do not provide tax advice; coordinate with your tax advisor regarding your specific situation.

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*The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all dividends. Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. investment-grade, fixed-rate bond market securities, including government, government agency, corporate and mortgage-backed securities between one and 10 years. Written by Securities America, Copyright November. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI#1956937.1

Weekly Market Notes – November 20, 2017

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of November 20, 2017

The Markets

Although the House of Representatives approved a tax cut package, early reports of resistance in the Senate dampened investors’ outlooks Friday. The S&P 500 and the Dow declined for the second week in a row. The NASDAQ also slipped. For the week, the Dow fell 0.19 percent to close at 23,358.24. The S&P lost 0.06 percent to finish at 2,578.85, and the NASDAQ rose 0.47 percent to end the week at 6,782.79.

Returns Through 11/17/17 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) -0.19 20.76 26.55 12.60 16.01
NASDAQ Composite (PR) 0.47 26.00 27.16 13.24 18.91
S&P 500 (TR) -0.06 17.27 20.33 10.41 16.08
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) 0.24 3.20 2.97 2.40 2.00
MSCI EAFE (TR) -0.59 20.95 24.90 6.05 9.14

Source: Morningstar.com. *Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three- and five-year returns are annualized. The Dow Jones Industrials, MSCI EAFE, Barclays US Agg Bond and S&P, excluding “1 Week” returns, are based on total return, which is a reflection of return to an investor by reinvesting dividends after the deduction of withholding tax. The NASDAQ is based on price return, which is the capital appreciation of the portfolio, excluding income generated by the assets in the portfolio in the form of interest and dividends. (TR) indicates total return. (PR) indicates price return. MSCI EAFE returns stated in U.S. dollars.

 

Supply and Demand — The price of oil closed at $57.35 a barrel on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, its highest close since oil finished at $59.01 a barrel on June 30, 2015, or more than 28 months ago (source: NYMEX, BTN Research).

Complete Cycle — The jobless rate in the United States was 5.0 percent in October 2005, then doubled to 10.0 percent by October 2009, and now has come full circle to 4.1 percent in October 2017. The last time we had an unemployment rate that was lower than 4.1 percent was in December 2000, or almost 17 years ago (source: Department of Labor, BTN Research).

Increase Everyone — Individual income taxes paid by American taxpayers would have to increase by 42 percent to eliminate our $666 billion deficit from fiscal year 2017 (source: Treasury Department, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – November Is Long-Term Care Insurance Awareness Month

More than 50 percent of Americans will require long-term care (LTC) at some point in their lives. If you’re over 65, you stand a 66 percent chance of needing LTC. If you haven’t thought about it before, now is the time to consider preparing for that possibility. Many advisors recommend buying LTC insurance at age 50-65, although some suggest 30-40 to nail down lower premiums. Keep in mind, the older you are when you buy it, the more expensive it will be.

Here are some things to consider when looking at policies:

  • The elimination period, or how many days before your benefits begin after you start receiving care. The longer the elimination period, the lower your annual premium.
  • The benefit period, the length of time the policy continues to pay benefits, also affects the price of the premium.
  • Inflation riders allow an annual increase in the daily benefit to account for the rising cost of inflation. With an increasing elderly population, the costs of LTC could rise by five percent or more annually.
  • Daily benefits represent the amount the insurer pays to cover daily care. Keep in mind, a nursing home can be less expensive than the costs associated with in-home care, depending upon the level of care required.

 

LTC insurance has its drawbacks. The cost is climbing faster than the rate of inflation; not everyone is eligible; and it’s a use-it-or-lose-it product.

Are there alternatives? Yes. If you have enough liquid assets, you could consider cashing in investment products such as stock shares. You could also consider term or permanent life insurance policies with accelerated benefit riders.

Veterans and their spouses can take advantage of the Veterans Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit, which provides up to $1,794 per month to a veteran, $1,153 to a surviving spouse or $2,127 to a couple. The tax-free money can be used for in-home care, an assisted living community or private nursing home.

Call our office today. We can help you explore your options in LTC coverage to provide peace of mind.

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* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all dividends. Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. investment-grade, fixed-rate bond market securities, including government, government agency, corporate and mortgage-backed securities between one and 10 years. Written by Securities America, Copyright November 2017. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI# 1953391.1

Weekly Market Notes – November 13, 2017

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of November 13, 2017

The Markets

As investors worried about the future of corporate tax cuts after Republican lawmakers unveiled dueling tax plans, Wall Street ended lower on Friday with losses in Apple and Intel. For the week, the Dow fell 0.35 percent to close at 23,422.21. The S&P fell 0.14 percent to finish at 2,582.30, and the NASDAQ fell 0.20 percent to end the week at 6,750.94.

Returns Through 11/10/17 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) -0.35 20.99 27.60 12.78 15.67
NASDAQ Composite (PR) -0.20 25.41 29.61 13.22 18.37
S&P 500 (TR) -0.14 17.33 21.57 10.51 15.77
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) -0.40 2.95 2.01 2.36 1.95
MSCI EAFE (TR) -0.40 21.67 24.72 6.17 8.83

Source: Morningstar.com. *Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three- and five-year returns are annualized. The Dow Jones Industrials, MSCI EAFE, Barclays US Agg Bond and S&P, excluding “1 Week” returns, are based on total return, which is a reflection of return to an investor by reinvesting dividends after the deduction of withholding tax. The NASDAQ is based on price return, which is the capital appreciation of the portfolio, excluding income generated by the assets in the portfolio in the form of interest and dividends. (TR) indicates total return. (PR) indicates price return. MSCI EAFE returns stated in U.S. dollars.

More and More Renters — The 111.4 million households that existed in the United States on Sept. 30, 2009 were split between 75.3 million owners and 36.1 million renters. The 119.1 million households in the United States on Sept. 30, 2017 were split between 76.2 million owners and 42.9 million renters (source: Census Bureau, BTN Research).

Long Time Without Work — As of Oct. 31, 2017, 24.8 percent of unemployed Americans have been out-of-work for at least 27 weeks, i.e., jobless for more than six months. On April 30, 2010, or 7.5 years ago, 45.5 percent of unemployed Americans had been out-of-work for at least 27 weeks (source: Department of Labor, BTN Research).

Tight Budget — 34 percent of American households headed by seniors at least age 65 receive 90 percent or more of their annual income from their Social Security retirement benefits (source: Government Accountability Office, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – Honoring and Supporting Caregivers

November has been proclaimed National Family Caregivers Month to honor those who selflessly care for loved ones who need help with daily tasks. Caregivers include millennials helping parents or grandparents, parents supporting disabled children and senior-aged spouses caring for their partners. Twenty-five percent of adults ages 45 to 64 care for a senior adult, a figure sure to grow among our aging population.1 If you aren’t a caregiver now, you may be soon, and you’ll need to balance the demands of the role and your own needs.

Recognize your limits. While caregiving can be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do, it can be costly. In addition to physical and emotional strains, caregivers often leave jobs or reduce their work hours. This results in lost wages, reduced retirement savings and Social Security benefits, and lost employer-provided healthcare benefits. That’s why it is imperative to safeguard your own well-being and future security by carefully determining what you can and can’t do.

Communicate your limits. It’s important to talk frequently, openly and about different possibilities with your loved one. Don’t make promises you may not be able to keep. Meet with other family members to discuss what needs to be done now, what might eventually be needed and the parts everyone can play.

Get help. Caregiving doesn’t have to be all or nothing. There are multiple options to address needs you and other family members may be unable to provide. Perhaps the person to be cared for can retain independence with a visiting nurse, aid or homemaker. If they can’t live alone, they might move in with you but attend an adult day care while you’re at work. If you must travel during the week, you may be able to find a loving adult foster care provider they can stay with and bring them home over the weekends.

There are multiple sites to help you gather information and locate professionals or services to help. Family Caregiver Alliance’s website, caregiver.org, includes a directory of resources by state. The Eldercare locator on eldercare.gov provides a searchable database of services for older adults and families. Elderlawanswers.com provides free explanations of legal issues and government benefits affecting seniors and a search function to find elder law attorneys.

We can work with you to assess the impact of becoming a caregiver and suggest options for easing the burden on your finances. Call our office at any time. We’re ready to help.

1http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/11/18/5-facts-about-family-caregivers/

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* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all dividends. Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. investment-grade, fixed-rate bond market securities, including government, government agency, corporate and mortgage-backed securities between one and 10 years. Written by Securities America, Copyright November 2017. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI#1947869.1

Weekly Market Notes – November 6, 2017

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of November 6, 2017

The Markets

Apple shares helped push major Wall Street indices up Friday while investors also assessed a mixed U.S. labor market report. For the week, the Dow rose 0.45 percent to close at 23,539.19. The S&P gained 0.29 percent to finish at 2,587.84, and the NASDAQ climbed 0.94 percent to end the week at 6,764.44.

Returns Through 11/03/17 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) 0.45 21.42 34.51 13.49 15.28
NASDAQ Composite (PR) 0.94 25.66 33.73 13.40 17.80
S&P 500 (TR) 0.29 17.50 26.43 10.96 15.26
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) 0.44 3.36 1.01 2.48 2.10
MSCI EAFE (TR) 0.92 22.16 24.79 6.63 8.47

Source: Morningstar.com. *Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three- and five-year returns are annualized. The Dow Jones Industrials, MSCI EAFE, Barclays US Agg Bond and S&P, excluding “1 Week” returns, are based on total return, which is a reflection of return to an investor by reinvesting dividends after the deduction of withholding tax. The NASDAQ is based on price return, which is the capital appreciation of the portfolio, excluding income generated by the assets in the portfolio in the form of interest and dividends. (TR) indicates total return. (PR) indicates price return. MSCI EAFE returns stated in U.S. dollars

 

Search for Yield – Today, less than 5% of investment-grade global fixed-income securities have a current yield greater than 4%. Before the 2008 global real estate crisis began, 80% of investment-grade fixed-income securities worldwide had a current yield greater than 4% (source: International Monetary Fund, BTN Research).

Little Experience – Just three members of Congress, i.e., 3 out of 535 House and Senate members, had securities licenses (selling stock and bonds) before their election to Congress (source: CRS, BTN Research).

Jobs for Jobless – In August 2009, the United States had 6.4 out-of-work Americans per job opening. In August 2017, the United States had 1.2 out-of-work Americans per job opening (source: Labor Department, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – For Your Family’s Sake, Put Final Wishes in Writing

In life, rock ‘n’ roll icon Tom Petty reached countless fans with a musical career that spanned four decades. But in many ways, he sent an even more powerful message with his death on Oct. 2.

After the 66-year-old was rushed to a hospital in cardiac arrest, his family had him removed from life support, a request Petty had made in a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order he had shared with his loved ones.

Because Petty had made his wishes known ahead of time, his family was spared from making an agonizing decision. While it may be difficult to face your own mortality, making arrangements for your care in an emergency where you are unable to speak for yourself is critical to your estate planning. If you’re an adult child, you may also need to speak with your parents about their desires should something tragic happen to them.

Because spending in the last year of life averages about $18,000, having a plan in place ahead of time can save your family from having to cover costly medical bills.

Some items you should prepare while you’re still healthy include:

  • A DNR or a do-not-intubate (DNI) order. Both a DNR and a DNI need to be signed by a doctor. A DNR instructs health-care professionals not to perform CPR. A DNI tells them you do not wish to have any tubes inserted into your body.
  • A health-care proxy. Also known as a power of attorney, this legal document allows a family member or friend to make health-care decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself.
  • A living will or advance care directive. This document gives clear and specific instructions to your health care proxy and physicians regarding the use of life support, a feeding tube or intravenous fluids.
  • Funeral plans. By preplanning all the details of your funeral, you can spare your loved ones from having to take care of arrangements during what is sure to be a difficult time for them.

Once you have all your planning documents complete, store them in a safe place where your health-care proxy and family members can easily retrieve them.

While it may seem uncomfortable to make plans regarding the end of your life, by getting your plans down in writing, you can be comforted knowing your loved ones will not be burdened with difficult decisions.

It can be difficult to know where to start building a plan for an unexpected medical emergency. Call us today to discuss how we can help.

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* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all dividends. Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. investment-grade, fixed-rate bond market securities, including government, government agency, corporate and mortgage-backed securities between one and 10 years. Written by Securities America, Copyright November 2017. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI# 1941457.1