MONTH-2-MONTH is intended to provide you with updates on AFP and timely financial planning and investment information on a variety of topics. 

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Recharging Your Emotional Battery
Life is filled with stressful moments and when it feels like too much is happening at once, it can leave you emotionally and physically drained. You may not even notice how drained you are until it begins to impact your work, your social life, or your relationships. So it’s important that you regularly take the time to recharge.

An easy way is to get some exercise; anything from taking a walk or doing yoga to sweating it out in the gym. Aside from the benefits exercising has on your physical health, even minor exercise has positive effects on emotional health. Another option is to start taking more frequent naps. A 15 minute nap at some point during the day, in addition to being rejuvenating, can also help improve your memory. However, the best way to recharge may just be to take some time for yourself and get out of your routine for a bit. Whether it’s going on vacation, trying a new activity, or just relaxing at home, treating yourself to some time away may be exactly what you need.

  • Covid Policy Update We are currently conducting most meetings via Zoom. If you are fully vaccinated with a booster shot and would prefer to meet in person, please let us know. We'll do our best to accommodate your needs.

  • Office Update – We have recently signed a lease with the new owner of our office building. Our plan is to stay at our current location through at least May of 2023. We will provide updates if this changes.

  • 25 Years – Our firm is in its 25th year of providing advisory services and we wouldn't exist without our remarkable clients. Thank you all! Stay tuned for news about a 25th anniversary celebration later this year.

  • Mail Issues – Recently our local post office has been short staffed. As a result, our mail delivery has been spotty at best. So please be advised that if you send us something via mail, it may take extra time for us to receive it.

  • Monthly Webinar Series – In case you missed our email blast, AFP is going to begin hosting a monthly webinar series. Our first webinar will be held next Friday at noon (February 25th) and we will be covering Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). Webinars will be hosted using Zoom and due to the limited size of Zoom meetings, the webinar links will only be sent to those who confirm their attendance ahead of time. These links will be sent out on Thursday, February 24th. If you would like to attend, please either reply to this newsletter or to the webinar email you were sent previously. If you know anyone who would like to attend or could benefit from this information, we encourage you to pass along this newsletter or the webinar email to them.

  • Gain/Loss Reports – For Orion users who have taxable accounts, the 2021Gain/Loss Report was uploaded to your Orion portal in January. This report has been completed to the best of our knowledge and should match the information found on TD Ameritrade’s 2021 Consolidated Form 1099(s) if we held the account for all of 2021. For those clients without Orion access, your gain/loss information is a part of your TD Ameritrade’s 2021 Consolidated Form 1099(s). This Form is now available online and has been mailed out to those who prefer mail correspondence. It is also possible that corrections to this report may be made up to April 14th.

  • Orion Portal Reminder – If you cannot access your Orion Portal, contact Tracey to request a password reset. The Orion Portal requires a password reset every 4 months (120 days) and becomes Inactive after 8 months (240 days).
Click below to read our February 2022 Blog edition.

We would enjoy receiving your feedback on our Blog. Please share any comments or suggestions for future topics with us via email.

+ Teri's World
This month has zoomed by! Gene and I saw the musical “Come From Away” at the Ohio Theater. It was so well done and such an uplifting experience. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it! We had a small family get together to celebrate one of my grandson’s birthday – a big 4. I am hoping the weather behaves so we can go hiking this coming weekend. It has been too icy to hike trails so we’ve been road walking at some Metro Parks instead. 
+ What About Bob
We are glad to see February coming to a close! I have had to use my snow blower more this month alone than I have in the last 3 years combined. It seems like the snow and ice have stuck around much longer than in the past. I’m finding that the older I get, the less I like Ohio weather. Other than the weather, February has been a good month. 

My mom is starting to acclimate to her new normal. She has her moments, but is doing very well. My brothers and I are keeping a close watch on her to make sure she is well taken care of.

Our grandson Logan celebrated his 3rd birthday on the 11th. We are hosting his party this coming Saturday. It’ll be a blast!! Brittany and baby Worch are both doing very well. 

Ashley had a big blowout for Lowell’s first birthday party. We all gave Ashley a bit of grief for the tiny piece of cake she gave him. She claimed that he hasn’t been exposed to that much sugar before. Our response was “What’s your point? First birthdays are all about the first time sugar buzz!” Besides Lowell, the hit of the party was the lady who made balloon animals. She was very talented.

Layla’s basketball season has ended, she played on 2 different teams. Club volleyball is in full swing. It was a bit rough when they both were going on at the same time.
+ Tracey's Time
We were able to try out our new skis at Snow Trails near Mansfield earlier this month. We made a pot of soup and packed our equipment into the RV for an evening outing. We love our skis and the slope conditions were decent (for Ohio). We left the resort tired after several hours of fun.

We are turning our attention to spring and summer travel plans. With gas prices high, we like the idea of staying in the eastern United States. 

Cayleigh has great interest in history and is excited to visit several National Park sites related to the civil war. We will travel the Natchez Trace Parkway with a detour to Vicksburg National Battlefield on the way to the Big Easy. Summer plans will take us to Gettysburg, PA and points south along the mid-Atlantic coast. If you know of any “must see” places in these areas, please share. 

Over the past several years, we have been on a quest to visit as many National Parks as possible. Cayleigh enjoys earning the Junior Ranger badges at the parks. We have found many National Parks aren’t pet friendly, meaning pets are not permitted on trails. We have discovered that there are some pet friendly National Park sites and they have a program where pets can become “BARK Rangers”. The program is designed for dogs but cats too can become BARK Rangers. Other species may also be included. Visit to learn more. 
+ Erik's Exploits
February, while not a bad month, has been full of inconveniences. Earlier this month our washing machine started acting up and ended up dying a few days later. We’ve since purchased a replacement, but it’s still money we would’ve preferred not to spend.

My dog’s allergies have been acting up as well and manifested in the form of an ear infection. Being awoken in the middle of the night to give ear scritches gets old pretty quickly. However, we were able to get some medication from the vet to treat her ear. So it should be cleared up soon.
Current Economic and Investment Information
BIG SHOES – There are 505 individual stocks in the S&P 500. The 41 largest capitalized stocks in the index as of the close of trading last Friday 2/11/2022 had a larger collective market cap than the remaining 464 stocks. Since the S&P 500 is a cap-weighted index, the largest capitalized stocks carry a disproportionate impact on the index’s performance calculation. The S&P 500, consisting of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity and industry group representation, was used as the stock measurement. It is a market value weighted index with each stock's weight in the index proportionate to its market value (source: BTN Research).

INTREST RATES RISING – Between 12/14/2016 and 12/19/2018 (a 2-year period), the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates 8 times, with each hike increasing rates 0.25 percentage points (an overall increase of 2 percentage points). Over the same 2-year period, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose from 2.54% to 2.77% (source: Treasury Department).

FINALLY BACK IN THE BLACK The US government ran a $119 billion surplus in January 2022, breaking a streak of 27 consecutive months of deficits, and its first surplus month during the pandemic (source: BTN Research).

SURPRISE! – When the government reported on 2/04/2022 the jobs number from January (a gain of +467,000 new jobs), they also revised November’s job gains (from +249,000 to +647,000) and December’s job gains (from +199,000 to +510,000), resulting in +709,000 “new” jobs from the 2 months (source: Department of Labor).

DREAM HOME – Ground was broken in the United States on the construction of 111,600 single-family homes in June 2021, the largest monthly total nationwide since September 2006. The 1.12 million housing starts in all of calendar year 2021 was the largest US total reported since 2006 (source: Census Bureau).

HOW WE LIVE – Of the 8.8 million US households created in the 5 years ending 12/31/2021, 90% were “owner” households while 10% were “renter” households, i.e., “owner” households grew by +7.9 million to 83.5 million, while “renter” households grew by +914,000 to 44.0 million (source: Census Bureau).

NO GASOLINE NEEDED Electric vehicle sales globally increased by +112% in calendar year 2021, rising from 3.0 million to 6.3 million worldwide (source: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence).

ARE YOU REALLY HUNGRY? A “food price index” that measures the change in food prices internationally was up +19.6% on a year-over-year basis as of 1/31/2022 (source: Food and Agricultural Org. of the U.N.).

A LOT MORE IN THAN OUT For every $1 of goods that US companies exported to Chinese buyers in 2021, American consumers imported $3.35 of goods from Chinese manufacturers (source: Department of Commerce).

FORTY YEARS Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, was up +7.48% year-over-year as of 1/31/2022, the highest annual rate recorded in the US since February 1982 when year-over-year inflation was up +7.62%. Just 1-year ago (1/31/2021), year-over-year inflation was up +1.40% (source: Department of Labor).

CREDIT TECHNOLOGY – An average American worker has increased his/her productivity by +52% in the last 22 years, i.e., an average worker can complete in 1 hour, 58 minutes as of 12/31/2021 the same amount of work that it took him/her 3 hours to finish as of 12/31/1999 (source: Department of Labor).

STATE-BY-STATE The unemployment rate in 12 of the 50 US states dropped to their lowest levels ever in December 2021 based on statewide data tracked since January 1976. The 2 states with the lowest jobless rate were Nebraska (1.7%) and Utah (1.9%). California’s 6.5% jobless rate is the highest in the nation as of December 2021 (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Financial Strategies for Couples
The Best Ways for Couples to Manage Finances
We asked financial experts—and readers—how they handle money in their own relationships.
There are valuable lessons here for everybody.

By Christina Lourosa-Ricardo
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Money can be one of the most contentious aspects of a relationship or marriage. One in five couples identifies money as their greatest relationship challenge, according to a 2021 Fidelity Investments survey of individuals ages 25 years and older in a married or long-term committed relationship.

Sometimes the challenge is about who spends too much or who doesn’t save enough. But perhaps the most difficult issue is more basic than that. It’s about how to combine finances, if at all. Is it better to keep everything separate? And if you do join forces, who keeps track of the spending and saving, and how do you do it?

Of course, there is no single right or wrong way for couples to divvy up their finances and financial duties. How tasks and decision-making are split can depend on a partner’s existing financial know-how, interest or willingness. Some people want a 50/50 split of duties; some defer all tasks to one partner. Others, meanwhile, have each partner focus on their individual strengths: One person may be a good at the nitty-gritty of budgets and bills while the other is a big-picture thinker when it comes to money.

Click here to continue reading this article.
New Tax Rules for Payment Apps
Keep Track of Your Venmo, PayPal and Other Payment App Transactions in Case the IRS Asks
You are going to have to report revenue on goods and services of more than $600 per year

By Michelle Singletary
Source: The Washington Post
A new income tax reporting rule is causing users of various payment apps a lot of anxiety.

Starting this year, all third-party payment processors in the United States are required to report payments received for goods and services of more than $600 a year. The change was made to capture income made by gig workers and entrepreneurs with a side hustle. In the past, companies were only required to send an IRS Form 1099-K for gross payments exceeding $20,000 and more than 200 transactions within a calendar year.

This new rule won’t affect 2021 federal tax returns, but now is the time to get ready for next year. If you’re sending or receiving money through one of these apps, you need to be proactive in making sure you aren’t mistakenly sent a 1099-K.

Click here to continue reading this article.

“If your compassion does not include yourself,
it is incomplete.”

- Jack Kornfield
Alexander Financial Planning
1621 W. First Avenue
Grandview Heights, OH 43212

Registered Investment Advisor
This material is distributed by Alexander Financial Planning, Inc., (AFPI) and is for information purposes only. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy. It is provided with the understanding that no fiduciary relationship exists because of this report. Opinions expressed in this report are not necessarily the opinions of AFPI and are subject to change without notice. AFPI assumes no liability for the interpretation or use of this report. Financial planning, investment conclusions, and strategies suggested in this report may not be suitable for all investors and consultation with a qualified advisor is recommended prior to executing any investment strategy. No portion of this writing should be construed as legal or accounting advice. All rights reserved.