Weekly Market Notes – November 11, 2019

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of November 11, 2019

The Markets

Stocks closed higher Friday despite losses earlier in the day after President Trump told reporters he had not agreed to reduce tariffs on Chinese imports. All three major indexes still closed at record highs and ended higher for the week. For the week, the Dow rose 1.37 percent to close at 27,681.24. The S&P gained 0.93 percent to finish at 3,093.08, and the NASDAQ climbed 1.06 percent to end the week at 8,475.31.

Returns Through 11/08/19 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) 1.37 21.15 8.29 17.47 12.23
NASDAQ Composite (PR) 1.06 27.73 12.54 17.73 12.84
S&P 500 (TR) 0.93 25.52 12.48 15.36 11.03
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) -0.87 7.74 10.60 2.98 3.01
MSCI EAFE (TR) 0.53 18.15 9.70 9.15 4.75

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.

 

Three in a Row — The Fed lowered short-term interest rates on Wednesday, Oct. 30, its third consecutive meeting that has resulted in a rate cut. That’s the first time the Fed has reduced rates over three straight meetings since Dec. 16, 2008 (source: Federal Reserve, BTN Research).

Procrastinate — 37 percent of 2,003 Americans surveyed in the first quarter of 2019 had less than $5,000 accumulated in pretax retirement accounts (source: Northwestern Mutual Planning & Progress Study, BTN Research).

Owners and Renters — The 111.2 million households in the United States on Sept. 30, 2009, were split 68/32 between 75.2 million owners and 36.0 million renters. The 122.7 million households in the United States on Sept. 30, 2019, were split 65/35 between 79.5 million owners and 43.2 million renters (source: Census Bureau, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – November Is National Caregivers Month

With the graying of the baby boomers, more adult children juggle with new and unexpected responsibilities as caregivers for one or more of their aging parents. Boston College research has found that about 17 percent of adult children now provide some level of care for a parent and spend an average 77 hours each month looking after relatives. And an AARP study, “Family Caregiving and Out-of-Pocket Costs,” revealed 78 percent of family caregivers spent an average $6,954 (20 percent of their income) on care-related expenses in 2016.

In caring for a loved one, caregivers face social, emotional, medical and financial challenges. The following tips could guide you through some of the financial challenges you may face when caring for an aging loved one.

  1. Pick a point of contact. One sibling or other close relative should be in charge of communicating with doctors, with health care power of attorney.
  2. Find a family-friendly primary doctor. Your loved one may receive care from multiple specialists. Choose one to serve as a primary medical resource. If you’re caring from a distance, consider asking their doctor if they are willing to communicate via email.
  3. Create a central storage place for vital documents, including medical records, Social Security numbers and health insurance policy information. You don’t want to dig through decades of old files to find what you need in a hurry. Make duplicates of hard copy documents and store them in at least two fireproof and waterproof locations. Digital imaging and storage services are a convenient way to access files remotely.
  4. Talk to your parent about long-term care insurance. Nursing home costs continue to rise faster than inflation and can quickly deplete savings. If your loved one is healthy enough to qualify, paying premiums for them could help safeguard your savings from their future healthcare expenses.
  5. Discuss finances. The point-of-contact relative or another relative equipped to deal with financial matters should have financial power of attorney. They should know the location of key accounts and policies, and the names and phone numbers for key advisors.

Call our office today. We can help you prepare for the responsibilities of caring for your loved one and ensure your financial plans are ready if, or when, needed.

Weekly_Market_Notes

* 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 2019. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI# 2819607.1

 

Weekly Market Notes – November 4, 2019

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of November 4, 2019

The Markets

Stocks rose sharply during November’s first session. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ surged to new records after a reassuring jobs report. The Labor Department estimated the U.S. added 128,000 new jobs in October and raised its estimate of employment growth for September and August. For the week, the Dow rose 1.44 percent to close at 27,347.36. The S&P gained 1.49 percent to finish at 3,066.91, and the NASDAQ climbed 1.74 percent to end the week at 8,386.40.

Returns Through 11/01/19 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) 1.44 19.51 10.38 17.64 12.18
NASDAQ Composite (PR) 1.74 26.39 12.81 17.62 12.61
S&P 500 (TR) 1.49 24.36 14.23 15.54 10.99
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) 0.47 8.68 11.25 3.22 3.21
MSCI EAFE (TR) 1.18 17.53 10.99 8.70 4.43

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.

 

It Doesn’t Last Long — A study involving 2,500 wealthy families over decades of wealth transfers across generations found, on average, only 30 percent of the original family fortune remained at the end of the second generation, and only 10 percent remained at the end of the third generation (source: Williams Group, BTN Research).

No Work — 37 percent of American seniors report they retired earlier than planned as a result of health problems, buyout packages, layoffs, grandchildren or caring for an aging parent (source: Health and Retirement Study, BTN Research).

Live Within Your Means — 41 percent of American households make less than $50,000 of adjusted gross income (AGI) per year. Only 8 percent of American households make at least $200,000 of AGI (source: Census Bureau, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – November Is Long-Term Care Awareness Month

Although the cost of long-term care is a huge concern for retirees, sales of traditional long-term care (LTC) insurance policies have fallen dramatically since the early 2000s. For several reasons. Amid longer lifespans and rising healthcare costs, many insurers have shortened the period of benefits, reduced the daily amount they will pay and/or cut their inflation-protection benefit.

Some companies now offer policies that require a co-pay for LTC services, and one is adding a co-pay option to existing policies. But the least popular change insurers have made is raising existing customers’ policy premiums – by as much as 100 percent.

Even if traditional LTC insurance is less popular than it once was, it’s important to prepare financially for the likelihood that future care will be needed. Here are some additional avenues to consider:

Life insurance with an accelerated death benefit rider that can be used for LTC or with a LTC rider. Unlike traditional LTC insurance, if you don’t use it, you will still leave a tax-deferred death benefit to your heirs. (These options aren’t usually available on term policies.)

Some annuity products, designed for accumulation or income, may also carry some LTC benefits.

Self-funding future LTC. This method requires discipline and time to build wealth. Maximizing yearly contributions to HSA and IRA accounts and letting them grow tax-deferred throughout your career is a good start. Other possible sources could be your Social Security payments, selling your home or getting a reverse mortgage if a spouse is still living in the home.

Here’s what NOT to do: rely on the government. With a few exceptions, Medicare primarily pays for short-term nursing home care following hospitalization. Medicaid only pays for LTC after nearly all your assets have been depleted – and limits the assets a spouse can retain. If you rely on Medicaid, you will probably not have access to a private room and will have fewer facilities to choose from. Many states do not pay for in-home, assisted living or adult day care.

While it’s great to hope you never need long-term care, it’s best to plan for the unplanned. I would be happy to meet with you to review your plan for long-term care funding and discuss changes you might consider to better prepare for this possibility.

 

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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 2019. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI#2810044.1

Weekly Market Notes – October 28, 2019

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of October 28, 2019

The Markets

Optimism on trade talks and encouraging signs in corporate earnings propelled stocks Friday. Encouraging news included better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and a report that Washington was close to finalizing parts of a trade pact with Beijing. The S&P achieved its biggest weekly percentage gain in seven weeks, and the NASDAQ posted its biggest in eight weeks. For the week, the Dow rose 0.70 percent to close at 26,958.06. The S&P gained 1.23 percent to finish at 3,022.55, and the NASDAQ climbed 1.90 percent to end the week at 8,243.12.

Returns Through 10/25/19 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) 0.70 17.81 10.53 16.79 12.63
NASDAQ Composite (PR) 1.90 24.23 12.64 15.98 12.95
S&P 500 (TR) 1.23 22.54 14.02 14.41 11.26
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) -0.15 8.17 10.59 2.96 3.07
MSCI EAFE (TR) 1.26 16.15 12.31 8.16 4.64

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.

 

They’ll Be Running the Show — By the year 2025, more than 50 percent of the U.S. workforce will be millennials or younger. Millennials were born between 1981-97 and will be ages 28-44 in 2025 (source: Inc. Magazine, BTN Research).

Equity — The average loan-to-value ratio in the U.S. housing market as of June 30, 2008, was 55 percent, (i.e., the average homeowner had home equity of 45 percent). The average loan-to-value ratio in the U.S. housing market as of June 30, 2019, was 36 percent, (i.e., the average homeowner had home equity of 64 percent). (source: Federal Reserve, BTN Research).

Will You Be Financially Ready? — 49 percent of 5,923 workers surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2018 believe they will live to at least age 80. 14 percent of the workers surveyed believe they will live to at least age 100 (source: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – It Pays to Be Wary of Holiday Scams

Bogus charity solicitations, copycat websites and fake shipping offers – thieves often take advantage of the gift-giving season to line their own pockets. But with a few precautions, you can avoid falling victim to these common scams.

Bogus Charities: If you receive an email, postal mail piece or phone call from a charity soliciting donations, before you give, look up the charity on a website that reviews charitable organizations, such as CharityWatch.org or CharityNavigator.org. If you receive a request to donate to a crowdfunding site, such as GoFundMe.com, do not donate to anyone you don’t know, no matter how compelling their story is.

Copycat Websites and Phishing Email: Each year, more and more people buy their gifts online. But be wary of amazing deals you’ll find on social media, in your emails or through web searches. Many websites appear to be legitimate and offer great savings on popular products but are just set up to get your information. Misspellings and typos are telltale signs of fraudulent marketing materials.

In email, always hover your cursor over the sender’s web address to reveal the actual URL. Also type the URL directly into your browser rather than clicking on it and make sure all payment pages have an “s” after http in the URL to ensure the page is secure.

Shipping Scams: To avoid falling victim to shipping scams, always go directly to the shipping company’s website to track your orders. Do not trust emails or postal mail pieces claiming there is a problem with your shipment and requesting a credit card number to ensure your package is delivered. And remember, legitimate delivery people will never come to your door and request payment or a credit card number to ensure delivery of a package.

If you’re ever in doubt about any offer, it’s best to talk to someone you trust or search for product reviews, warnings and related scams online. Also, consider how you pay for goods and services. Credit cards typically have built-in fraud protection. You can also sign up to receive regular alerts about scams at ftc.gov/scams. To report a scam, go to ftc.gov/complaint.

To learn more ways to protect your personal and financial information from scams and fraudulent activities, call our office today to set up 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 October 2019. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI# 2799629.1

Weekly Market Notes – October 21, 2019

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of October 21, 2019

The Markets

Stocks fell Friday; the Dow fell nearly 200 points. Several negative factors contributed to investor pessimism. Boeing and Johnson & Johnson experienced steep losses. A report showed China’s economy slowed to 6 percent in the third quarter – the slowest pace since the early 1990s. The Conference Board think tank reported the U.S. economy grew more slowly in September.  For the week, the Dow rose 1.08 percent to close at 26,770.20. The S&P gained 1.66 percent to finish at 2,986.20, and the NASDAQ climbed 1.75 percent to end at 8,089.54.

Returns Through 10/18/19 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) 1.08 16.99 8.08 16.57 13.06
NASDAQ Composite (PR) 1.75 21.92 8.07 15.56 13.70
S&P 500 (TR) 1.66 21.05 10.07 14.03 11.90
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) -0.25 8.34 10.89 3.01 3.04
MSCI EAFE (TR) 3.11 14.70 6.83 7.66 4.88

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.

 

A Shrinking Total — The number of publicly traded companies in the United States peaked at more than 8,000 in 1996 but has fallen to approximately 4,400 today (source: JPMorgan Asset Management, BTN Research).

Health Insurance — The average annual cost for health insurance coverage for a family plan in 2019 is $20,576, with the employer paying 71 percent of the total ($14,561) and the employee paying 29 percent ($6,015). Ten years ago, the average cost was $13,375, and the employer/employee split was 74/26 (source: Kaiser FF, BTN Research).

Most Ever — Fueled by historically low worldwide interest rates, more corporate bonds (by dollar amount) were issued globally ($434 billion) in September 2019 than in any month in history (source: Dealogic, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – How to Retire Well

With longer lifespans and rising healthcare costs, many Americans are concerned about running out of money in retirement. But retiring well is still achievable. Here are a few tips to consider:

Start saving early. There’s a reason Albert Einstein said compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. Imagine a 20-year-old who puts $100 a month into a retirement fund and averages 8 percent returns. By 65, they will have around $500,000. But investments need time to grow. If a person waits until they’re 40 to start saving $100 a month with the same return, they’ll only have around $100,000 by age 65. If you didn’t start young, it’s important to make up for lost time. Catch-up provisions, which let those 50 and older contribute more to pre-tax accounts, can help.

Maximize your earnings. It’s easier to save more if you make more. If you’re not getting regular raises, ask for them or consider changing jobs every few years. Research indicates you’ll probably earn a higher income by changing jobs regularly than by getting standard raises in your current firm. You could also add income with a side gig.

Automate your savings. Have money taken out of your check before you’re tempted to spend it. Don’t leave money on the table. Make sure you contribute the full amount your employer matches to your 401(k). Why not take it a step farther and sign up for 401(k) payroll deductions that automatically increase over time?

Invest wisely. In today’s low-interest rate environment, money in savings or CDs has less potential to build wealth than investments with some risk – like stocks. The percentage allocated to stocks often varies with age, but even retirees can include some stocks to keep up with inflation. A financial advisor can help you decide what’s right for your situation.

Work longer. Staying on the job a few extra years provides multiple benefits: greater earnings, fewer years to live on your nest egg, access to an employer health plan and increasing Social Security by delaying benefits. After working a couple additional years, consider transitioning to part-time work instead of total retirement.

Whatever your age, there are always ways to improve your situation. If you’d like help creating or reviewing a written strategy for retirement saving, investing or distribution, contact our office today.

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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 October 2019. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI# 2786242.1

 

Weekly Market Notes – October 14, 2019

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of October 14, 2019

The Markets

Stocks ended higher Friday but lower than their session highs. On Thursday, President Trump announced a partial trade deal between China and the U.S. The positive news helped the S&P break a three-week losing streak. For the week, the Dow rose 2.37 percent to close at 26,816.59. The S&P gained 2.10 percent to finish at 2,970.27, and the NASDAQ climbed 2.35 percent to end the week at 8,057.04.

Returns Through 10/11/19 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) 2.37 17.14 9.65 16.69 12.87
NASDAQ Composite (PR) 2.35 21.43 9.93 15.38 13.51
S&P 500 (TR) 2.10 20.38 11.12 13.88 11.55
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) -0.91 8.23 10.50 3.04 3.12
MSCI EAFE (TR) 2.75 13.30 5.59 7.14 4.48

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.

 

Health Insurance — The average annual cost for health insurance coverage for a family plan in 2019 is $20,576, with the employer paying 71 percent of the total ($14,561) and the employee paying 29 percent ($6,015). Ten years ago, the average cost was $13,375, and the employer/ employee split was 74/26 (source: Kaiser FF, BTN Research).

Counting All Stocks — Through the close of trading on Sept. 30, the market capitalization of all U.S. stocks was $32.3 trillion. At the start of the current bull market for stocks (an advance that began on March 10, 2009), the market capitalization of all U.S. stocks was $7.6 trillion (source: Wilshire, BTN Research).

Final Quarter of the Year — Over the last 25 years, the S&P 500 stock index has gained an average of 4.3 percent (total return) over the final three months of the year. Nineteen of the last 25 fourth quarters (76 percent) have produced a positive total return gain (Source: BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – Things to Know About Medicare Open Enrollment

If you’re 65 or older and eligible for Medicare, now is the time to do your homework. Open Enrollment, Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, is the time to enroll, correct mistakes made previously on Medicare elections or upgrade your 2020 coverage. The following tips can help.

Medicare doesn’t cover everything. It also has sizeable deductibles and copayments and doesn’t cover services you expect from many insurance plans. You can supplement your coverage with a Medicare Supplement Plan (also known as a Medigap Plan) that pays for deductibles and copayments on the original Medicare plan. You could also choose to upgrade to Medicare Advantage, which provides managed, integrated healthcare. Both have advantages and disadvantages, so it pays to research which is the best option for you.

If you were diagnosed in 2019 with a serious illness and prescribed new, expensive drugs, you might want to compare your Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan to some alternatives. You should also compare Medicare Prescription Drug Plans if you already take more than one prescription drug and watch for medications your plan may have dropped.

If you’re already in or are considering a Medicare Advantage Plan, take new health conditions into consideration. Make sure your plan’s network includes the type of specialists you need. Also, if you’ve been accepted into an assisted living facility, there are Medicare Advantage plans specifically designed for residents of these facilities.

If you were enrolled in either a Medicare Advantage Plan or Supplement plan in 2019 and the plan makes changes to the 2020 coverage, they must let you know about them in writing. Read any mail your provider sends carefully to see if copayments have increased or coverage has been reduced. Plans can also drop doctors, so make sure your current physicians are still covered.

It pays to do your homework before enrolling in a Medicare Plan. It’s also a good idea to review your financial situation. Call our office today. We can help you evaluate and make any changes to your financial plans and Medicare options to ensure the future you deserve.

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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 October 2019. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI#2773493.1

Weekly Market Notes – October 7, 2019

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of October 7, 2019

The Markets

Stocks rose Friday following a September jobs report that hit the sweet spot. The Bureau of Labor reported 136,000 jobs were added – enough to dampen recession fears but not enough to diminish expectations of a rate cut when the Federal Reserve meets later this month. The Dow and S&P still fell for their third straight week. For the week, the Dow fell 0.88 percent to close at 26,573.72. The S&P lost 0.30 percent to finish at 2,952.01, and the NASDAQ climbed 0.54 percent to end the week at 7,982.47.

Returns Through 10/04/19 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) -0.88 16.06 2.23 16.25 12.04
NASDAQ Composite (PR) 0.54 20.30 1.31 14.70 12.27
S&P 500 (TR) -0.30 19.59 3.83 13.39 10.70
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) 0.81 9.35 12.00 3.30 3.46
MSCI EAFE (TR) -2.16 10.74 -1.57 5.76 3.50

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.

Planning Ahead — 77 percent of private sector workers had access to and participated in employer-provided retirement benefits in March 2019. 91 percent of public sector workers, i.e., government workers, had access to and participated in employer-provided retirement benefits in March 2019 (source: Department of Labor, BTN Research).

Did You Know? — The Social Security retirement benefit of the lower paid spouse in a couple where both spouses worked is equal to the greater of the retirement benefit based upon the lower paid spouse’s work history or 50 percent of the higher paid spouse’s retirement benefit (source: Social Security, BTN Research).

It’s Time to Review — Medicare covers 59.9 million Americans, equal to two out of every 11 Americans. Medicare’s annual open-enrollment period starts Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, allowing participants to make changes to their Medicare coverage. Plan options are available online on the medicare.gov website beginning Oct. 1 (source: Medicare, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – October Is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

We take our internet-based devices with us wherever we go. This constant connection has transformed our lives, but it also creates opportunities for cybersecurity threats that can compromise our important personal information. Since October is designated National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, here are a few steps to protect your identity:

Use Wi-Fi wisely. Change your home Wi-Fi password occasionally. If you need to share your Wi-Fi with guests, provide guest network access instead of sharing your password. Before using public Wi-Fi, verify the network name and exact login procedures, and avoid sensitive activities that require passwords or credit cards.

Don’t trust strangers. In public spaces, beware of individuals listening to conversations or viewing your screens. Don’t share specific personal information on social media – like your full name, address, birthday, mother’s maiden name or vacation plans. Disable location services that let anyone see where you are. Only shop secure sites that begin with https://.

Trust your suspicions. If an email doesn’t feel right – even if it says it’s from someone you know or a business you deal with – don’t respond and don’t click any links or attachments. When in doubt, contact the sender directly and ask if they sent it. NEVER click on an email link to reset a password.

Stay current. Google your name and delete old, unused accounts that come up. Use the latest security software, web browser and operating systems – sign up for automatic updates when you can. Back up data to the cloud or an external hard drive in case your device is stolen or compromised.

Keep tabs on your apps. Only download apps from trusted sources. Set your mobile device permissions to “rule of least privilege.”

Beef up your logins. Consider using a password phrase including spaces that’s unique to you. You might use the same phrase on different sites but add different symbols and numbers at the end. Consider adding two-factor identification.

To discuss more ways to secure your financial and personal information, call our office. We can help you develop a strategy to keep your information, and your finances, as secure as possible.

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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 October 2019. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI#2763443.1

Weekly Market Notes – September 30, 2019

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of September 30, 2019

The Markets

The three major indexes slipped at the end of a tumultuous week, closing out their second week of losses. Negative sentiment stemmed from continued concern over the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies and a whistleblower complaint that has led to an impeachment investigation of President Trump. For the week, the Dow fell 0.43 percent to close at 26,820.25. The S&P lost 0.98 percent to finish at 2,961.79, and the NASDAQ dropped 2.19 percent to end the week at 7,939.63.

Returns Through 9/27/19 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) -0.43 17.08 3.91 16.47 12.11
NASDAQ Composite (PR) -2.19 19.66 -1.27 14.38 11.97
S&P 500 (TR) -0.98 19.94 3.73 13.36 10.61
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) 0.37 8.47 10.27 2.84 3.38
MSCI EAFE (TR) -0.66 13.18 -1.62 6.70 3.23

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.

 

Plan for Price Increases — As of Aug. 31, the consumer price index (CPI) was up 19 percent over the last 10 years, up 54 percent over the last 20 years, and up 106 percent over the last 30 years. The CPI is a measure of inflation compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Studies (source: Department of Labor, BTN Research).

Really Long — In an effort to lock in historically low interest rates, the Treasury Department stated on Sept. 12 it is considering issuing a 50-year Treasury bond in 2020 (source: Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, BTN Research).

No Clear Consensus — As of Sept. 18, 35 percent of investors surveyed are bullish on the prospects for U.S. stocks over the next six months, 37 percent are neutral on stocks, and the remaining 28 percent are negative on stocks (source: American Association of Individual Investors, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – Without Umbrella Coverage, Your Assets Could Be at Risk

You’ve worked hard to build up your nest egg. But what would happen if you were in an accident that left you liable for an amount above the limits of your homeowner’s or auto insurance? All your hard-earned assets could be gone over night.

To protect your savings, you may want to consider adding umbrella insurance to your homeowner’s and auto coverage. Also known as excess personal liability insurance, umbrella insurance provides an extra layer of security that will pay for a judgement or settlement if you’re found responsible and will cover your defense expenses, even if you’re not at fault. In addition to providing extra coverage for property damage and injuries, an umbrella policy may also protect you if you’re sued for libel, vandalism, slander or invasion of privacy.

If you own property or items that could cause an injury to someone else, such as a pool, a dog, a trampoline, a boat or a snowmobile, you should consider purchasing umbrella insurance. If you’re a landlord, serve on the board of a nonprofit, coach kids’ sports or volunteer, you could also benefit from the protection offered by an umbrella policy.

Umbrella insurance is typically sold in increments of $1 million. The price of a policy will vary by risk. Because the insurance only pays if a claim exceeds the liability limit of your homeowner’s or auto insurance, coverage is generally affordable. You could expect to pay around $200 per year for $1 million of coverage and another $100 for the next $1 million. For an additional $100 to $200, you can add excess uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage that covers you if you’re injured by another driver who doesn’t have enough coverage. For about $1,000 a year, you can tack on an endorsement that will provide additional protection from lawsuits if you serve as a volunteer on a nonprofit board.

To keep premiums low, it’s best to purchase your umbrella insurance from the same provider you purchase your home and auto insurance from. It’s common for an insurance carrier to require you to have $150,000-$250,000 in auto insurance and $250,000-$300,000 of homeowner’s coverage before you can purchase an umbrella plan.

If you would like to learn more about umbrella insurance and other ways you can protect your finances, call us today 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 September 2019. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI#2750346.1