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 THE MARKETS

 



Comments from a Federal Reserve Chair nominee, who said it was too early to end the current stimulus, helped the Dow and the S&P 500 reach new highs on Friday for a sixth straight week of gains. For the week, the Dow rose 1.37 percent to close at 15,961.70. The S&P gained 1.61 percent to finish at 1,798.18 and the NASDAQ climbed 1.70 percent to end the week at 3,985.97.

Last week was a very strong week for all three stock indices. Am I happy?? Sure. Do I believe this upward move will continue? I am skeptical. This is why you diversify.

 





 

 Estate Taxes – The maximum amount that a deceased individual may pass onto his or her heirs federally estate-tax free (with proper planning) rises to $5.34 million in 2014, up from $5.25 million in 2013. The limit was $325,000 in 1984 or 30 years ago (source: Internal Revenue Service, BTN Research).

 

Avoiding The Dreaded Dip – As of Nov. 10, 2013, the S&P 500 has gone 769 calendar days without a 10 percent or greater drop in the index, the fifth longest stretch without a double-digit pullback in the past 50 years. The longest stretch without a double-digit loss in the past 50 years was the 2,553 calendar days which ran from Oct. 11, 1990, to Oct. 7, 1997 (source: BTN Research).

 

Skill Set – If the 3.88 million job openings in the U.S. were filled, the number of unemployed Americans would drop from 11.272 million to 7.389 million, and the jobless rate would fall from 7.3 percent to 4.8 percent (source: Department of Labor, BTN Research).



WEEKLY FOCUS – Good Relationships Rely On Good Communication

 

Satisfaction within a relationship depends largely on communication that sets expectations and fosters trust. The familiarity that comes with long-term relationships often leads to shortcuts in communication through assumptions, one way to sabotage a relationship.

 

We want to foster our long-term relationship with you by ensuring we don’t resort to shortcuts and assumptions. One way we do that is by setting client service standards that establish expectations for the services we provide, the way we provide them and the steps you can take to help us do the best job possible.

 

Making us aware of changes in your life, both big and small, ranks at the top of that list of steps. Between current contact information and major events like marriage, birth of a child and a death in the family, lie those life happenings you may not think to share. These may include loss of a key account at your business or employer, damage to your home or the gradual decline of a parent’s health.

 

Because we tend to let lesser events slip by in our busy lives or we become accustomed to gradual changes, it’s important for us to meet face to face periodically to talk about your life and your finances. We recommend meeting at least annually, but your individual circumstances may require more frequent meetings, perhaps just until a situation has resolved itself.

 

We find these meetings most productive when you share with us your full financial information. Clients sometimes think of us only in terms of asset management and growth. To provide the best service, we benefit from understanding your financial obligations and current risk management tools as well as your assets and wage earnings. We can work with your other professional advisors, such as an attorney or CPA, to make sure everyone’s on the same page.

 

Call our office today to schedule a time when we can catch up over coffee or perform a more comprehensive year-end portfolio review.

Steve

 

Diversification does not guarantee a profit or protection from losses in a declining market. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. 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. Written by Securities America.

 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Have a new college graduate? Give your loved one the gift of financial readiness. The time of year is here when budding college graduates go out into the world to make their career dreams and goals a reality. Yet despite their new...

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Navigating complex terms when managing your finances is an ongoing responsibility. Yet, with all the information to process, understanding the plethora of jargon and industry-specific terms can be cumbersome. We’re continuing our...

 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

When retirees have policies such as annuities, they receive distributions from these investments that can provide them with income. As such, when you hold annuities, you can typically elect different ways to receive this money, and...

 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

When you are planning for retirement, creating a strategy to receive ongoing income is an important way to help ensure you can maintain the quality of life you desire. Annuities can be a helpful tool for many investors, due to the...

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

With the spring season budding, now is a great time to ensure your financial accounts are up to date and secure. Just like the dust that can collect in your house, so too can your financial accounts grow stale. No one wants to add...

 

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Know The Difference Between Qualified and Nonqualified Annuities For many investors looking to secure their cash flow in retirement, annuities are a common way to receive the guaranteed income they need in the future.1 Different...

 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Paying for healthcare in retirement is no small task. With costs escalating and coverage growing more complex, you can take steps today to help ensure you’re not struggling tomorrow. As your explore your own retirement planning and...

 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Maintain Your Standard of Living in Retirement Saving for retirement, and working to maintain your standard of living, is an ongoing responsibility so you don’t see your quality of life drop in your later years. Unfortunately, for...

 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Last week, all four of the indexes we discuss in these market updates saw their performance stumble. The S&P 500 lost 1.44%, the Dow was down 1.52%, the NASDAQ gave back 1.22%, and the MSCI EAFE declined 0.07%. 1 On Tuesday, March 21,...

 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Being a small business owner is a unique life experience that can provide many personal and professional rewards, such as being in control of your career. But, this also brings specific financial challenges when creating a path to...

 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Before you retired, you spent time creating strategies that could help you reach your goals in retirement. You might have invested for the income you need, minimized your debt, or protected yourself with long-term-care insurance,...

 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Life insurance policies and annuities can be a helpful tool for providing extra protection and income for yourself and your family. But, you can also receive deeper benefits thanks to certain tax advantages that each investment offers...

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Financial fraud is, unfortunately, a common practice in America that costs individuals and businesses billions of dollars each year. And research shows that people underreport financial fraud, which can also be difficult to...

 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Losing a spouse is never easy — and a difficult topic for many to think about. But when you become a widow or widower, moving beyond the grief to address important financial items in your life is essential. Whether you recently lost...

 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Financial lives are inherently complex and require thoughtful perspectives and strategies for yourself and your loved ones. And you have even more financial nuances to organize if your family has two or more adult generations living in...

 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Enjoying a comfortable retirement depends on how well you prepared ahead of time to support your desired lifestyle — and how well you keep a pulse on your financial wellbeing after your retire. You may need to periodically check in and...

 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Life insurance and annuities can bring protection and retirement income that is essential for many people’s financial needs and goals. And when you purchase these items, you gain the opportunity to name beneficiaries who will receive...

 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

When preparing for retirement, imagining the new lifestyle you’ll embark on can be exciting. From travel to family time to relaxation, a fulfilling retirement looks different to each individual. But preparing for the quality of life...

 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The financial world is filled with confusing industry jargon and lingo. So, to help you get a hold of common terms you should know, we’ve put together a quick guide for your reference. From life insurance to annuities, use this...

 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

For most of your adult life, you’ve had the protection of life insurance to help safeguard you and your family. But as your life evolves, your family's needs and financial goals will inevitably change, too. With every transition and...

 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

For most of your adult life, you’ve protected yourself and your family with life insurance. Having a back-up tool in place to help replace income for your family should you pass away is part of a sound wealth-preservation plan. For...

 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

For many Americans, preparing to retire takes decades of investing and careful saving so you have the income you need to support your lifestyle. And once that retirement begins, you have to start collecting on your investments into...

 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Thanksgiving flew by, and now here we are, deep in the holiday season. And if you’re a grandparent, finding the perfect gift for your grandchildren can be challenging. While the hottest new toys and gadgets offer an exciting present...

 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Your Beneficiary Planning — Life Insurance and Annuities Investing brings with it a world of planning complexities to navigate as you pursue your unique financial goals. And your beneficiary planning when you have life insurance and...

 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

No matter what life stage you’re in, making sure you have the income you need for retirement is an ongoing planning need. However, fewer than half of Americans are prepared to afford at least 80% of retirement expenses1. Retirees have...

 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Managing your family’s financial needs requires daily, ongoing oversight and planning if you want to uphold lifelong wellness. And for families who have loved ones with disabilities, the planning needs become even more intricate. You...

 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Owning a small business can be an incredibly rewarding experience. But, when you’re your own boss, you also control your business’ destiny — which can directly affect your own life outside of being a business owner. And in order to...

 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

So, you’re looking to save more money to support the income you need in retirement and are considering or want to revisit your annuities. As a retirement-income investment, annuities can help you grow tax-deferred savings until you’re...

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Growing older in America today isn’t what it used to be. Twenty years ago, the average person’s life expectancy was 76 years1. Fast forward to 2016, and a woman turning 65 today can expect to live until 87 years old and a man can...

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Life with grandchildren means getting to spend your later years doting on your favorite little ones. For some, it also means a new chapter of raising a family in a “second parenthood.” In fact, across the U.S., 2.7 million people are...

 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Retiring in America is how many people look to their futures. Saying goodbye to your working years and entering a stage of enjoying your life in new ways — often in ways you’ve dreamed of — is a rite of passage for most Americans. Of...

 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

So, you’ve saved with your 401(k) and maxed out your IRA contributions and other traditional retirement-savings strategies. And you still have taxable money that should be helping you develop lasting retirement income, rather than...

 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

We all know that life isn’t static. A constant ebb and flow of events like family developments, career changes, and retirement inevitably bring changes to your financial needs and lifestyle. When these events occur, they can often...

 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

For most people, life insurance is an essential tool for protecting your estate and loved ones should anything happen to you. When you take out a permanent life insurance policy — whole, universal, or variable — you gain another...

 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sending a child or grandchild to college comes with new insurance responsibilities. Whether they’re already in college or still have a few years to go, your family’s insurance needs change when your children go off to school....

 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Starting in August 2016, Social Security is adding a new step to protect your privacy as a my Social Security user. This new requirement is the result of an executive order for federal agencies to provide more secure authentication...

 
 

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