Stocks Take a Ride
In This Issue
Volatility was back in full force last week. The three major domestic indexes posted several days of losses before experiencing wide swings on Friday. By week's end, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), which investors use to help measure fear in the markets, had increased by approximately 70%. The VIX also reached its highest point since February. [1]
Despite a number of equities posting last-minute gains on Friday, all three domestic indexes had sizable losses for the week. In fact, they posted their worst weekly performance since March. [2]  The S&P 500 dropped 4.10%, the Dow declined 4.19%, and the NASDAQ gave back 3.74%. [3] International stocks in the MSCI EAFE also lost ground, decreasing 3.96%. [4] 

What drove market performance last week? 
As is typically the case, a number of details affected investor sentiment and behavior. The following topics were among the perspectives impacting performance:  
  • Rising interest rates: In addition to the Fed's interest rate increases, 10-year Treasury yields are on many investors' minds. At one point last week, the 10-year reached its highest yields since 2011.[5]  As interest from banks and bonds rise, some investors exit the markets in search of more predictable returns. These moves can cause stock prices to drop.[6]  However, we want to remind you of what we wrote about last week: Rising rates may bring their own risks, but they are a sign that the economy is growing.[7] 
  • Falling tech prices: Technology companies have been the best market performers in 2018. However, the sector just experienced its worst weekly results since this spring.[8]  With this shift in industry performance, some market participants have begun searching for different ways to invest their money.[9]
  • Ongoing trade tension: While many analysts believe interest rates and tech prices drove last week's losses, some feel that our trade renegotiation with China is to blame.[10]  We do not yet know how this skirmish will resolve, but tariffs do have the possibility to slow economic growth and increase prices for consumers.[11] 

These concerns and perspectives are important, but they do not give a complete understanding of our current economic conditions. Consumer sentiment remains high, and the latest corporate earnings season is likely to show strong, double-digit earnings growth for companies.[12] 


We know that volatility can feel uncomfortable, but it is normal. In the past 38 years, the markets have averaged a 13.8% intra-year decline - yet 29 of those years had positive returns.[13] 


As always, we are continuing to monitor economic fundamentals and investor perspectives to find a clear view of where we are today, and what may be ahead. If you have any questions, we are here for you.

Monday: Retail Sales
Tuesday: Industrial Production, Housing Market Index
Wednesday: Housing Starts
Thursday: Jobless Claims
Friday: Existing Home Sales

 Blattel News
Fall Client Breakfast Seminar

Thank you to everyone who braved the chilly temperatures and attended our semi-annual client breakfast this past Saturday. We had two speakers this time - one that gave an overview of today's markets and the other talked about retirement beyond the numbers.
Matt Potter, CFA, SEI Director of Investment Services, presented a brief look at what the markets and economy have been doing in 2018. He went over what SEI thought would happen versus what actually has happened in areas such as economic growth, inflation, and geopolitical risk. Matt also gave an overview on market performance for different asset classes so far this year. He then spoke about what experts think we might be able to expect for the end of the year. Like most years, there is good news and bad news in the outlook. For example, the good forward momentum of the U.S. economy is good news. However, the trade war between the U.S. and China may get worse, which could be bad news. Finally, Matt ended his presentation by discussing how last week's volatility is within the realm of normal and a reminder on how near impossible it is to time markets. Please email us if you are interested in learning more about his presentation.
Following Matt's informative talk, Gary Scott, of Blattel & Associates, presented, "Retire on Purpose." He discussed the unsung challenges of retirement. Please refer to the article below for more information on this presentation.
At the end of the morning, we highlighted a few of the upcoming client events. First, we will be holding our Holiday Magic Toy Drive during the month of November. It will wrap up at our Holiday Open House, which will be held on November 30th this year at our new office. (Invitations will be mailed in early November.) Also, we will be holding our spring client breakfast early next year. We are planning a special Tax-Focused presentation (and breakfast) on February 9, 2019. We are very excited about this special topic and scheduled it so that you can come with more knowledge about the new tax laws and their effects on your investments prior to next year's tax deadline. Save the date!

Retire on Purpose
By Gary Scott

We have all heard the phrase 'money isn't everything'. Yet, since the beginning of the financial service industry, the message to investors has always revolved around growth, risk and markets. The principle concept driving this message was simple: the more money you have, the happier your life will be. The problem is, this principle focuses only on retiring, which is a singular event, rather than retirement, which is a whole new phase of life that hopefully lasts you a lifetime. Bob, Scott and I have spent our careers trying to help our clients realize that money is only a piece of the puzzle. To highlight this belief, I presented an overview of areas to give true thought to in order to 'Retire on Purpose' at this fall's client breakfast. To take it a step farther, we will be hosting a series of workshops in our office designed to help our clients, their friends, and families to 'Retire on Purpose.'
Purpose, and therefore Retiring on Purpose, means something different to everyone. It stems from the people we associate with, the places we live and the passions that drive us. A happy retirement is not about staying busy. It is about living your days with a plan. It is about creating goals and accomplishing them. In our workshops, you will improve your retirement by enriching your days.
If you, a friend, or family member seems to be drifting towards or through retirement, then email us today and we will schedule you for our next workshop. For those of you who expressed interest at the client breakfast, you will be contacted with information on the next Retire on Purpose workshop.

RMD Reminder
All clients who have IRAs and who are 70.5 or older must take Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). We are currently verifying that all of our eligible clients have taken, or are scheduled to take, their RMDs. Please contact our office if you think we need to double check your status. Please remember that, if you have an IRA account that doesn't have Bob or Scott as the advisor, you will need to ensure the proper amount has been taken out.


October 16 & 23: Passport to Retirement class
Bob is scheduled to teach the Passport to Retirement courses at St. Charles Community College this fall. Today's the last day to tell your friends and family about this informative class!
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 22 & 23: Office Closed
Our office will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
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.
December 24 & 25: Office Closed
Our office will be closed for the Christmas holiday.
February 9, 2019: Client Breakfast Seminar: Special Tax Edition
Save the date! We are booking a special tax knowledgeable speaker to talk to our clients about the 2018 tax law changes.

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
-  Winston Churchill

Pumpkin Bread
Serves 10 - 12

  • 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cover an 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan with a light coat of grease.
  3. Lay parchment in the bottom of the pan. Leave at least 1 inch overhanging on both of the longer sides.
  4. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl.
  5. Put butter in a second bowl and microwave it for 1 minute to melt.
  6. Add sugar, pumpkin, eggs, milk, and vanilla in the bowl with the butter. Whisk it all together. Then add and mix the flour mixture from the first bowl.
  7. Pour that mixture into the loaf pan and bake, 45-50 minutes. Test to see if the bread is done by sticking a wooden toothpick into its center. If the toothpick comes out clean, it's ready.
  8. Let the pan cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  9. Use the overhanging parchment paper to remove the bread from the pan to allow it to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping [14]

IRS Provides Helpful Tools*

Filing your taxes shouldn't be stressful and confusing. The IRS provides online tools and resources to help make taxes less taxing.

Here are the agency's most popular:
Other details may apply, and you can find more information on the IRS website.

* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.

Tip adapted from[15]
Take a Walk to Get Healthy

"But the beauty is in the walking - we are betrayed by destinations." Gwyn Thomas, an ailing Welsh writer, may not have himself walked that much in his lifetime, but you get the idea.

Scholars, for centuries, have raved about walking's benefits: physical, intellectual, and even philosophical. Some health care experts even assert that walking is superior to running; you avoid the potential for heel and joint injuries with low-impact walking.

The litany of walking's benefits is long:

  • Walking lowers your body mass index. According to one study, those who walked 1,500 steps a day tended to fall in the normal, healthy BMI range.
  • One study showed regular walking led to a 7% reduced risk for high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • Regular walking leads to a 12% lower risk of type 2 diabetes, according to the same study.
  • You're going to stay focused and have a better memory, according to a Japanese study on walking by older adults.
  • You're going to have less stress and be in a better mood.
  • Walking will help you live longer. Several studies showed that people who walked about three hours a week had an 11% reduced risk of premature death compared to their sedentary neighbors.
The deep thinkers are correct: Walking is good. But how do you get more "steps" into your busy routine?

Here are five tips from exercise researchers:
  1. Walk, walk, walk. Walk as much as you can.
  2. Pick up the pace. Brisk walking provides greater benefits.
  3. Break it up. You don't have to do all your walking at once. You can take many short walks throughout your day.
  4. Do intervals. That's short walking sprints. Experts say that's the best way to reduce waist size.
  5. Up, up, and away. Walk uphill. You get double the benefit.

Tips adapted from Consumer Reports[17 ]
Share the Wealth of Knowledge!
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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.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

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.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative, Broker dealer or Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.

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