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The number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits was at the lowest level in 45 years.
The Markets
Stocks recovered some ground last week and then stumbled over unemployment. 

Major U.S. stock indices faltered Friday after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on a popular ‘lagging’ economic indicator – unemployment. (Remember, lagging indicators describe what has happened in the past.) The BLS reported:1, 2, 3

“The unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in October, and the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 6.1 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declined by 0.4 percentage point and 449,000, respectively.”

Reuters reported the number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits was at the lowest level in 45 years. That’s good news, but it’s old news. Again, unemployment is a lagging indicator and the report reflected what happened in October.4

The stock market, on the other hand, is a ‘leading’ economic indicator. It moves in response to investors’ expectations for the future – and recent gyrations suggest investors aren’t certain what to think. Barron’s Daren Fonda wrote, “The market’s 6.9 percent slide in October and the stock averages’ wild swings are testing everyone’s mettle.”2, 5

Economists are uncertain about what’s to come, too. Kevin L. Kliesen, in an Economic Synopses on the St. Louis Federal Reserve website, wrote, “Historically, a trough in the unemployment rate also tends to be a reliable predictor of a business recession…an economic analyst is nonetheless never sure that a trough has occurred. Indeed, the unemployment rate can move up and down over the expansion.”6

There is one thing many analysts think is likely. They expect the Federal Reserve to increase the Fed funds rate so the U.S. economy does not overheat. Paul Kiernan at The Wall Street Journal reported, “Robust hiring and wage gains last month leave the Federal Reserve all but certain to raise interest rates in December and on course to continue gradually lifting them next year.”7
 
Higher interest rates are expected to keep inflation in check by slowing economic growth.8

Despite Friday’s stumble, major U.S. stock indices finished the week higher.1
HERE’S AN UNEXPECTED RETIREMENT SAVING TRICK. 
If you’re concerned your adult children are not saving enough for retirement, send them a photo of themselves that’s altered so they appear to be older, perhaps age 60 or 70. (You can do this for yourself, too.)9

One reason Americans don’t begin saving early enough, or save as much as they should for retirement, is ‘present bias.’ When asked to choose between two possible rewards, research shows that people tend to choose the one that will be received sooner.10

For instance, imagine you have chocolate and fruit salad. Which will you choose to eat today and which will you choose to eat next week? Researchers found that 83 percent of people chose chocolate today and fruit salad next week.11

Try this one. 

You can watch one movie today and another movie tomorrow. Your choices include ‘Anchorman,’ ‘Clear and Present Danger,’ ‘The Piano,’ and ‘Schindler’s List.’ What movie will you watch today? Which will you watch tomorrow? 

Researchers found a higher percentage of participants chose to watch lighter films on the day they were asked and more intellectually taxing films later.12

When presented with the choice to vacation today or save for retirement, it’s little surprise many people choose the former. The rewards associated with retirement are often far into the future. As a result, until a person is within a decade or so of retirement, it’s easy to rationalize spending on other things and not setting aside money for the future.12

There is a way to overcome present bias. When people ‘get to know’ their older selves by spending time looking at altered photos, they tend to save more for the future.

Weekly Focus – Think About It 
“If we now care little about ourselves in the further future, our future selves are like future generations. We can affect them for the worse, and, because they do not now exist, they cannot defend themselves. Like future generations, future selves have no vote, so their interests need to be specially protected. Reconsider a boy who starts to smoke, knowing and hardly caring that this may cause him to suffer greatly fifty years later. This boy does not identify with his future self.”
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Beating The Winter Blues This Year

Winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is thought to be common. It can affect people of any age, including children.

According to Sue Pavlovich of the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (SADA), these tips could help. "Everyone's affected differently by SAD, so what works for one person won't for another," she says. "But there's usually something that will help, so don't give up if the first remedy you try doesn't work. Just keep trying."

1. Keep active
A daily walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues. Try and get out once a day on your lunch break for a quick stroll to boost your mood.

2. Get outside
Go outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on brighter days. Inside your home, choose pale colors that reflect light from outside, and sit near windows whenever you can .

3. Keep warm
Being cold may make you feel more depressed, so staying warm may reduce the winter blues. Keep warm with hot drinks and hot food. Wear warm clothes and shoes, and aim to keep your home between 64F and 70F degrees.

4. Eat healthy
A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and stop you putting on weight over winter. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

5. See the light
Some people find light therapy effective for seasonal depression. One way to get light therapy at home in winter is to sit in front of a light box for 30 minutes to an hour each day. Light boxes give out very bright light at least 10 times stronger than ordinary home and office lighting. "Some people find that using a dawn simulator [a bedside light, connected to an alarm clock, that mimics a sunrise and wakes you up gradually] as well as a light box can enhance the beneficial effect," says Pavlovich.

6. Take up a new hobby
Keeping your mind active with a new interest seems to ward off symptoms of SAD, says Pavlovich. "It could be anything, such as playing bridge, singing, knitting, joining a gym, keeping a journal, or writing a blog. The important thing is that you have something to look forward to and concentrate on," she adds.

7. See your friends and family
It's been shown that socializing is good for your mental health and helps ward off the winter blues. Make an effort to keep in touch with people you care about and accept any invitations you get to social events, even if you only go for a little while.

8. Talk it through
Talking treatments such as counselling, psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy can help you cope with symptoms. See your GP for information on what's available locally.

9. Join a support group
Think about joining a support group. Sharing your experience with others who know what it's like to have SAD is very therapeutic and can make your symptoms more bearable.
* Securities offered through LPL Financial Member FINRA/SIPC.
* This newsletter was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer. 
You cannot invest directly in this index.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged index. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* 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.
* Gold represents the London afternoon gold price fix as reported by the London Bullion Market Association.
* The DJ Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT TR Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* 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.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
his information in not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.
* The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basked of consumer goods and services.
* Harmonized Indexes of Consumer Prices are measures of consumer price inflation that have been standardized across multiple countries based on European Union definitions. A monthly report compiles HICP trends for 16 economies, alongside conventional Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) as measured by national governments.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line, or write us at 60 Four Mile Drive, Suite 9, Kalispell, MT 59901 

Sources:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/dealing-with-winter-blues-sad/
https://livingnongmo.org/2017/02/23/beating-the-winter-blues-the-non-gmo-way/
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stock-rally-fizzles-in-wake-of-strong-payrolls-repor
t-1541201581?mod=hp_DAY_8 (or go to https://s3-us-west
-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/11-05-18_Barrons-Stock_Rally_Fizzles_in_Wake_of_Strong_Payrolls_Report-Footnote_1.pdf)
2 https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/what-are-leading-lagging-and-coinciden
t-indicators/
3 https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
4 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-unemployment/u-s-labor-market
-tightening-manufacturing-slowing-idUSKCN1N64XA 
5 https://www.barrons.com/articles/stock-market-fear-1541091809?mod=hp_LEAD_3
(or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/11-
05-18_Barrons-How_to_Take_Fear_Out_of_Your_Investing_Decisions-Footnote_5.pdf)
6 https://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/economic-synopses/2018/06/01/recession
-signals-the-yield-curve-vs-unemployment-rate-troughs
7 https://www.wsj.com/articles/fed-will-likely-raise-rates-after-strong-jobs-report
-1541176431 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/11-05-18_WSJ-
Fed-Will_Likely_Raise_Rates_After_Strong_Jobs_Report-Footnote_7.pdf)
8 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy/u-s-job-growth-soars-annual-
wage-gain-largest-since-2009-idUSKCN1N70AJ 
9 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3949005/
10 https://www.behavioraleconomics.com/resources/mini-encyclopedia-of-be/present-bias/
11 https://canvas.harvard.edu/files/2761311/download?download_frd=1 (Pages 10, 14-
16; Course taught by Brigitte C. Madrian, https://scholar.harvard.edu/bmadrian/classes/api-304-behavioral-economics-and-
public-policy)
12 https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/2b03/cdc6119a5578cd284d8fe9de99e1f169a8fb.pdf 
(Pages 262-263, 265)
13 https://books.google.com/books?id=ulhHdvbDRUkC&pg=PA319&lpg=PA319&dq=If+we+now+care+little+about+ourselves
+in+the+further+future,+our+future+selves+are+like+future+generations.+We+can+
affect+them+for+the+worse,+and,+because+they+do+not+now+exist,+they+cannot+
defend+themselves.+Like+future+generations,+future+selves+have+no+vote,+so+their
+interests+need+to+be+specially+protected.&source=bl&ots=lVFartNzpF&sig=LgqL
WOkCgwMIpj5ixgDFIqNMJuw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwil5t3plbbeAhVRmeAKHbX
1AhYQ6AEwAHoECAAQAQ#v=onepage&q=319&f=false (pages 319-320) (or go
to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/11-
05-18_Book_Excerpt-Reasons_and_Persons-Footnote_13.pdf)
http://theconversation.com/gambling-on-the-dollar-time-to-reign-in-forex-trading-21150