Market Insights

House Panel Passes Social Security Online Tools Act

The bill requires the Social Security commissioner to make publicly available online tools allowing individuals that are eligible for disability benefits “to assess the impact of earnings on the individual’s eligibility for, and amount of, benefits received through federal and state benefit programs.”

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Embedded thumbnail for Investment & Economic Strategy Update: July 12, 2018

Investment & Economic Strategy Update: July 12, 2018

July 13, 2018
  • Overall, markets are slightly up halfway through the year

  • Less volatility than we saw in the 1st quarter of 2018 & will continue to see normal volatility

  • The trade imbalance has been an issue for decades, Trump aims to resolve this to strengthen the US economy

  • Expect to see growth of the economy of over 3% on an average annual basis

  • We have reallocated our portfolios for increased growth in the 2nd half of the year

  • After trimming bond exposure, we are holding more cash in conservative accounts, waiting for the next opportunity

  • Like what we see in the US economy and Emerging Markets, & have exited positions in Developed Markets like Europe

Embedded thumbnail for Question: "Tariffs . . . Good or Bad?"

Question: "Tariffs . . . Good or Bad?"

July 13, 2018
  • Don’t believe trade wars will come to fruition

  • Too many investors are making emotional decisions based on tariff hype from the media

  • Reposition portfolios from being too conservative to more growth oriented

  • Emerging Markets & US Economy present great opportunities while Europe experiences issues

  • Holding cash is a great opportunity for conservative investors who are over-allocated in bonds

Trump Creates Task Force to Police Elder, Cyber Frauds

  • The Trump administration task force will build on the task force set up “in the wake of the financial crisis” under the Obama administration, “which is now a decade passed and [which] focused on specific financial crimes and frauds.” – Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio

  • The task force “is a broader effort looking at other areas of consumer fraud and market integrity, such as elder fraud and the growing problem of cybercrime.” - Panuccio

  • Cyber threats “present some of the greatest risks confronting today’s financial markets,” with bad actors using “new technology to perpetrate old frauds, including securities offering frauds.” – SEC Chairman Jay Clayton

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SEC Fines Morgan Stanley $3.6M for Failing to Protect Client Funds

  • The SEC finds that they failed to have reasonably designed policies and procedures in place to prevent its advisory representatives from misusing or misappropriating funds from client accounts.

  • Approximately $7 million was misused or misappropriated out of 4 advisory clients’ accounts in approximately 110 unauthorized transactions occurring over a period of nearly a year.
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Wells Fargo Agrees to $5M SEC Settlement

  • The SEC found that Wells Fargo “generated large fees by improperly encouraging retail customers to actively trade the products.”

  • The SEC concluded that the bank’s representatives “did not reasonably investigate or understand the significant costs of the recommendations.”

  • “It is important that brokers do their homework before they recommend that their retail customers buy or sell complex structured products” – Daniel Michael, Chief of SEC Enforcement Division’s Complex Financial Instruments Unit

 

How the Social Security COLA Fails Seniors

  • According to The Senior Citizens League, Social Security benefits lost 34% of their buying power between 2000 and 2018

  • "When costs climb more rapidly than benefits, retirees must spend down retirement savings more quickly than expected and those without savings or other retirement income are either going into debt, or going without" – Johnson, Social Security policy analyst

  • “For every $100 worth of groceries a retiree household could afford in 2000 they can only buy $66 worth today.” - Johnson

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Now All Investors, Pre-Retirees and Retirees, Unfortunately, Will Be Taken to the Proverbial Woodshed by So-Called Advisors

  • 5th Circuit Issues Order to Kill DOL Fiduciary Rule

  • Is your wealth safe? CLICK HERE to learn more!

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Embedded thumbnail for Investment & Economic Strategy Update: June 20, 2018

Investment & Economic Strategy Update: June 20, 2018

June 20, 2018
  • Fed raised interest rates & is likely to do so 1 or 2 more times in 2018

  • Tariffs will eventually be worked out in America’s favor

  • European investments are experiencing slow growth stemming from economic policies and oversaturation

  • Emerging Markets are doing well with reasonable valuations

  • We plan to fine tune our portfolio in the near future to minimize risk from bond exposure

  • Expect normal volatility to continue, which can provide the opportunity to make a realistic return if invested properly

  • Economy appears strong with a healthy job market

  • We see a slight increase of recessionary risk, very slight, as always we continue to monitor

Embedded thumbnail for Question: “Traded REITs . . . Good or Bad?”

Question: “Traded REITs . . . Good or Bad?”

June 20, 2018
  • Should not be owned at this time due to rising rates

  • Poor performance last year & are struggling in 2018

  • Could lose 10% – 30% of your investment if rates continue to rise

  • Don’t fall victim to yield chasing traps to stretch your returns

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