Market Insights: Politics

Canada and US Reach Trade Deal to Replace NAFTA

  • U.S. and Canada have agreed to a deal deemed the USMCA – United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, according to a senior U.S. administration official.

  • U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the agreement "will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home."

  • The plan is for the leaders of the three North American countries to sign before the end of November, after which it would be submitted to Congress.

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House Passes Bill Requiring Annual Counseling for Student Loan Borrowers

  • “Students and parents enrolled in federal loan programs will receive yearly counseling tailored to their needs,” Paul Ryan, House Speaker

  • “…with a complex federal financial aid system that provides little guidance to students, it’s often out of reach or leads to high student debt” – Ryan

  • The legislation is designed to improve “the timing, frequency and content of financial counseling,” - Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore

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SEC's Clayton Says Sales Contests Must Die

“Main Street investors have no tolerance for certain questionable sales practices such as high-pressure, product-based sales contests . . . I do not believe it is possible for an investment professional to say with credibility that the investment professional is not putting his or her own interests ahead of the interests of the customer." – Jay Clayton, SEC Chairman

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5 Facts You Might Not Know About Social Security

  1. Social Security pays benefits to children.

  2. Social Security can pay benefits to parents

  3. Widows’ and widowers’ payments can continue if remarriage occurs after age 60

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If You're Worried about Social Security, Do These 4 Things Instead

  • Social Security is facing an impending revenue shortage that will cause it to most likely deplete its trust funds by 2034 and will only manage to pay about 79% of its scheduled benefits unless Congress steps in and comes up with a fix

  • If you're an older worker who's concerned about Social Security, you may want to

    • Build a Stronger Nest Egg
    • Work Longer
    • Plan to Work Part-time as a Senior
    • Reduce Your Senior Living Costs
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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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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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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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