Weekly Market Notes – February 18, 2020

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of February 18, 2020

The Markets

At Friday’s close, stocks were mixed. A rising number of coronavirus cases weighed on investors; a report the White House is considering tax incentives to encourage stock purchases encouraged them. Stocks still posted back-to-back weekly gains. For the week, the Dow rose 1.17 percent to close at 29,398.08. The S&P gained 1.65 percent to finish at 3,380.16, and the NASDAQ climbed 2.21 percent to end at 9,731.18.

Returns Through 2/14/20 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) 1.17 3.34 18.34 15.46 13.01
NASDAQ Composite (PR) 2.21 8.45 31.03 18.96 14.74
S&P 500 (TR) 1.65 4.87 25.57 15.35 12.29
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) 0.03 1.88 9.55 4.61 3.26
MSCI EAFE (TR) -0.02 -0.30 14.20 8.29 4.84

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.

 

Got a New Car — Americans purchased 17 million new vehicles (cars and light trucks) in 2019, down from a record 17.5 million in 2016, but well ahead of the 10.4 million vehicle sales in 2009. American car buyers also purchased 40.4 million used cars in 2019, an all-time record for the United States (source: Statista, BTN Research).

Looking Ahead — 41 percent of 1,903 young adults surveyed in January 2020 (adults between the ages 24-41) have less than $15,000 saved for their future retirement, while 24 percent of those surveyed have more than $100,000 saved for retirement (source: Bank of America Better Money Habits Millennial Report, BTN Research).

Half of All Taxpayers — 50 percent of American taxpayers reported less than $41,740 of adjusted gross income for tax year 2017. 143.3 million tax returns were filed for the 2017 tax year (source: Internal Revenue Service, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – Who Will You Trust to Be Your Trustee?

A trust is a valuable tool that can protect your estate long after you’re gone, but it’s critical to choose the right trustee to carry out the plans outlined in the trust.

For many people, the first choice to take on this important responsibility is a trusted relative or friend, who has the best understanding of family dynamics and, in most cases, won’t charge a fee. They should have a basic understanding of investing and be financially responsible themselves. It’s important to be aware of any resentment that may occur if one family member or friend is chosen over another.

You may also consider naming an attorney, accountant, bank or trust company to serve as your trustee.  These types of professionals add structure and oversight to the process, and they cannot legally play favorites with distributions. However, they will cost significantly more than a family member.

When choosing a trust company, be aware there are different types, each offering different types of services. A bank trust company provides services, such as trust accounting, administration and executor services, and may invest the true assets. Advisor-friendly trusts also provide accounting and administration but will delegate the responsibility of choosing an investment advisor to a beneficiary or grantor.

Whether you choose a family member, friend or an outside entity, decide who will be most qualified to manage your trust by considering several questions, such as:

  • Will this person put aside their personal feelings and interests and exercise sound judgement?
  • Will they treat all beneficiaries impartially?
  • Will they take undue risk?
  • Will they have the time to dedicate to their responsibilities?

In some cases, it may be best to name multiple trustees or a trustee board made up of trust professionals and family members to serve as co-trustees who will carry out specific responsibilities. If you need help reviewing your estate decisions, please call our office. Although we cannot provide legal or tax advice, we are happy to work with your attorney or accountant.

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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 February 2020. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI#2956320.1

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