You're invited to our Holiday Open House this Friday!
BI-WEEKLY UPDATE - NOVEMBER 26, 2018
|Last week was a tough one for markets. The S&P 500 dropped 3.79% and experienced its worst results during a Thanksgiving week since 1939. While the index officially entered correction territory on Friday, it closed 10.2% below its most recent record high. Meanwhile, the Dow and NASDAQ continued the downward trend, losing 4.44%, and 4.26%, respectively. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE also declined, posting a 1.12% loss.
|Reading these results may feel quite unpleasant and elicit concerns about what is ahead. As is often the case, the story behind the numbers can help us understand the complexity and what this performance means.
Why did stocks drop?
Plummeting oil prices were one of the biggest drivers behind the market's losses, as investors worried that too much oil is available. These concerns have contributed to oil experiencing seven weeks of losses in a row and dropping more than 20% so far this month.
While oil was a key focus last week, many other details were also on investors' minds. Major tech companies continued to struggle and posted sizable losses for the week. In addition, the markets still don't know how the Brexit deal, political challenges in Europe, and ongoing trade tension will all work out.
Examined together, these challenges can create questions about the strength of global growth.
Will the market losses continue?
No one can predict the future, but a few data points and perspectives can help deepen understanding of the current environment. We believe the following two details are important for you to know:
1. Trading was light last week: The days before and after Thanksgiving had trading volume that was much lighter than normal, which often happens during this time period.
 This lower volume can exacerbate pricing trends, such as the declines we saw with oil.
 As a result, Friday's performance may be less significant than it seems on the surface.
In the coming weeks, we will gain a clearer understanding of many market influences. President Trump and Chinese President Xi are scheduled to meet this week at the G20 summit to discuss trade. Right now, the markets may be assuming these talks won't solve the trade tension and that an economic slowdown could be ahead. Investors may also doubt whether oil-producing countries can slow production fast enough to counter reduced demand.
2. Black Friday shopping was strong: Brick-and-mortar stores had people lined up for discounted buys, and online purchases were 28.6% higher than in 2017. The holiday season is very important for retailers, and these initial results indicate consumer spending may remain strong through year's end.
Other experts believe we are experiencing a disconnect between what investors are feeling and what is truly happening in the economy. As a result, a so-called "Santa Claus" rally could occur as consumer spending continues during the holiday season.
But these perspectives are opinions, not a crystal ball. No one can say for sure how these complex scenarios will play out. Rather than rely on guesswork or headlines, we'll continue to look for clear trends and insight that support your long-term goals. If you have questions or want to talk about your current investments and strategy, we are here for you.
Consumer Confidence, FHFA House Price Index
GDP, New Home Sales
Pending Home Sales Index, Jobless Claims
You're invited to our Holiday Open House
We welcome all of our clients to stop by our office
for some good conversation and light refreshments as we kick off the holiday season.
Join us between 3:30 pm and 6:30 pm for some holiday cheer on Friday, November 30th, at our office located on 1258 Jungermann Road.
Please consider bringing a toy to donate to our annual Holiday Magic Toy Drive.
- Allow for extra time. Please remember that the holiday season will affect timing on withdrawals and other transactions. Please allow for extra time to process your requests from now until the end of the year. Also, be aware that there are typically deadlines ahead of December 31 for certain activities to be reported for the 2018 tax year.
- Contributions to IRAS & Roth IRAs. In 2018, you can contribute a maximum of $5,500 or $6,500 if you are age 50 or over. Remember, you have to have taxable income to contribute to an IRA, but if you are married and filing jointly, you can each make contributions even if only one of you is working. Speak to a tax advisor to learn about how your deductions will be affected by an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
- Take your RMD. If you are at least age 70½, you are required to take minimum distributions from your traditional IRA - but not your Roth. You are generally required to take RMDs by December 31, though you have until April 15, 2019 if you turned 70½ in 2018. Please make sure to verify that you have taken your RMD from any IRA accounts that are not managed by us.
- Report your QCD. This is an early reminder that, if you took a qualified charitable distribution in 2018, you are responsible for reporting that amount to your accountant.
LAST WEEK TO DONATE!
November 1 - November 30: Holiday Magic Toy Drive
Please consider donating a toy to a needy child during our annual Holiday Magic Toy Drive.
November 30: Holiday Open House
We will once again open our doors for an open house to celebrate the holiday season with refreshments, Christmas cookies and good conversation. Join us from 3:30 until 6:30 pm.
December 14: Office Closes Early
Our office will close at 11:45 am so that we can treat our staff to a holiday celebration.
December 24 & 25: Office Closed
Our office will be closed for the Christmas holiday.
Please note that we will have limited staff the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.
January 1: Office Closed
Our office will be closed for New Year's Day.
February 9, 2019: Client Breakfast Seminar: Special Tax Edition
Save the date! We have booked a special tax knowledgeable speaker to talk to our clients about the 2018 tax law changes.
"Believe you can, and you're halfway there."
- Theodore Roosevelt
- 2 pounds boneless beef bottom round, trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 4 medium shallots, quartered
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 2-inch piece ginger, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 3 star anise pods
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 12 ounces medium carrots (about 3), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 12 ounces medium parsnips (about 3), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 small purple-topped turnips, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 large bunch spinach, thick stems discarded
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Cilantro and thinly sliced red chile, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Season the beef with a ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- In a large, thick-walled cooking pot (Dutch oven), heat 1 tablespoon oil on medium heat.
- Cook the beef in batches, 6-8 minutes, until browned. Then put in a bowl.
- Mix ½ cup broth into the pot, scraping out browned bits, 1 minute. Pour juices into the bowl with the beef.
- Turn down the heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pot with the shallots. Cook while occasionally stirring, until it is golden brown, 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in garlic, ginger, five-spice powder, star anise, and cinnamon. Cook, 2 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste. Cook, 1 minute.
- Put the beef and the juices in the pot with carrots, parsnips, turnips, tomatoes, and the rest of the broth (3½ cups). Boil then cover; bake until the beef is tender, 1½-2 hours.
- Take out of the oven. Throw away the star anise and cinnamon. Mix in spinach, fish sauce, and lime juice.
- Top with cilantro and chile. Serve.
Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping
No Time for Working Out? Here's How to Make Time
Busy. Busy. Busy. And no time to work out.
You know exercise is good for you, but your schedule is packed. You simply can't find the time to do it.
There's hope. Fitting exercise into your busy schedule is a little easier than you might think.
First up, exercise's little secret: A short burst of exercise can deliver big dividends. (A warning: If you're a man over 45, a woman over 55, or have health problems, consult a doctor first before proceeding on an exercise program.)
Here are some easy exercises to get you started:
- The exercise ball is great - and easy - for building strong thighs. Put the ball between your lower back and a wall with your feet in front of you and shoulder-length apart. While keeping your body straight, lower your body as if you were sitting down, then raise yourself back up. Do 10 repetitions.
- You can do squats without a ball. Bend your legs and lower yourself as if you were sitting down. Keep your knees over your ankles, but don't allow your knees to go too far forward. Do 10.
- The lunge involves you taking a long step forward with one leg, then lowering your body toward the floor. Keep your front knee aligned with your ankle. Step back and then do the other leg. Do 10 repetitions with each leg.
- The deadlift with a barbell or free weights is as easy as bowing. Stand straight while holding the bar at your waist. Bend over with your legs straight but without locking your knees. Do 10.
- The pushup is fantastic for your upper body. Make sure you have the correct form with your toes on the floor and both hands about shoulder width apart. Do 10.
- The bent-over row builds strong upper back muscles and your biceps. Do the exercise in a bent-over position with your back flat. Place your knee and your hand on a bench for support while the other lifts a dumbbell or free weight. Do 10 times.
You can do other simple exercises to get in shape. Make sure you maintain proper form and fluid motion.
Tips adapted from WebMD
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Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.
Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.
International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.
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 average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.
The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.
The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.
The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
Past performance does not guarantee future results.
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Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.
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