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                    [post_date] => 2022-09-08 12:47:36
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                    [post_content] => Ryan Yamada, CFP®, Senior Wealth Planner

We’ve all heard the conventional wisdom when it comes to claiming Social Security: you should wait as long as you can before claiming benefits. Wait right up to age 70, if possible. After all, that’s when you would get the greatest monthly benefit.

But that may not be the right move for some.

What if I told you that, in some cases, taking your benefit sooner than later was the most ideal thing to do? I know it seems counterintuitive. But there are a few specific scenarios where that is just the advice I would give to clients.

Let’s dig into a few of these scenarios individually.

Scenario #1: For Surviving Spouses

On a few somber occasions, we have had clients who have passed away before getting to fully enjoy their retirement. And while the earliest that someone can claim off of their worker or spousal benefit is at age 62, there is an exception for surviving spouses to claim a widower benefit as early as 60. Like a spousal benefit, the surviving widow is eligible for their deceased spouse’s Full Retirement Age amount. Claiming any earlier than Full Retirement Age reduces this amount. However, one unique strategy is that should the surviving spouse also have their own earnings history, claiming off a widower’s benefit could then allow one to delay their own worker’s benefit. Here’s an example to help illustrate. In this example, by continuing to delay their own worker benefits, the surviving spouse significantly increases their lifetime amounts. Additionally, recognizing the opportunity to claim benefits early using a survivor’s benefit could add extra years of cash flow and tens of thousands of dollars.

Scenario #2: You’re Entering Retirement During a Turbulent Market

You’re ready to retire. You’ve planned well and you have your spending plan all laid out. You’ve even decided to wait before filing for your Social Security benefits – allowing your investments to create an ‘income bridge’ - so that you can maximize your future monthly payment. Like many who are able to retire early, this is an ideal scenario for most retirees and one that we often recommend...in most years. But wait … it’s 2022. The market is down. And your portfolio has dropped 25%. Sometimes life doesn’t quite go according to plan. But that’s okay, it’s not time to panic. After all, the market was built to rebound. We just need to look at other ways to manage until that happens. In this scenario, we might consider taking Social Security earlier than anticipated. Especially for those clients without a cash buffer, access to home equity, or other means of ‘dry powder’, selling investments during a bear market is something we try to avoid. Tapping into your Social Security can provide much needed cash flow and allow your investment portfolio some time to recover. You’ll obviously take a slight hit on your lifetime Social Security benefit, but if that amount is smaller than the potential gain your investments could make over time, it’s a smarter play in the long run.

Scenario #3: You Wouldn’t Break Even by Waiting

When a pre-retiree is looking for advice on when to begin claiming Social Security, one common way to compare strategies is to calculate their “break-even” age. That’s essentially the age that they would need to live to in order to make the delay worthwhile. When waiting until age 70 to begin claiming Social Security, most people would need to live into their late-70s or even their early-80s to hit that point. If you have good reason to believe that longevity is not on your side, and you have no spouse or children who would depend on your benefit, you might want to consider claiming your Social Security sooner rather than later. While we never want to bet against our lives, it’s important to be realistic with your situation.

Talk to a Professional

Remember that a retirement income plan is a mixture of both financial and non-financial components unique to you. When considering any of these scenarios, insist on working with a Fiduciary advisor who specializes in this field. If you need help finding a financial advisor in your area, we can help. Contact us today. H2 subhead

Need Help With Social Security? Give Us a Call

Social Security can be complicated. Talk to a qualified financial advisor today to get professional advice today. Need help finding a financial advisor in your area? Give us a call today so we can match you with an advisor who will put your needs first. This blog is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific legal, tax, or other professional advice. For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor. Ryan Yamada is a non-registered associate of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. [post_title] => Claiming Your Social Security Benefits Early: When It May Not Pay to Wait [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => claiming-your-social-security-benefits-early-when-it-may-not-pay-to-wait [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-09-23 07:45:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-09-23 12:45:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://carsonhub.wpengine.com/?p=65200 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64987 [post_author] => 181803 [post_date] => 2022-08-31 10:21:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-08-31 15:21:25 [post_content] => Scott Budd, CFP® Senior Wealth Planner  Choosing the right Medicare plan is one of the most important decisions seniors are faced with. It’s also one of the most difficult. The health care system isn't user-friendly to begin with. Stack all the Medicare options on top of that and you've got yourself a challenge.  That's why it's a good idea to consult a qualified professional about which plan works best for you. It's tricky terrain and it's something that may be difficult to navigate on your own. I recommend raising the issue with your planner 12 to 18 months in advance of enrolling in Medicare.  Wondering when you need to sign up for Medicare? For most people, the enrollment age is 65. But take note: There's a seven-month enrollment window three months before and four months after your 65th birthday, after which you may be tagged with a late enrollment fee. You can use this handy flowchart to find out exactly when you should enroll. 

What Medicare Plans Cover (and What They Don't)

Medicare, as you will see, is quintessential alphabet soup. Here's what you need to know about the plans – what they cover, what they don't, and how much they cost.  Part A - Pretty much everyone gets Part A. Why? Because the coverage is free for people who paid taxes during their working careers. This covers in-patient hospitalization as well as, in some cases, skilled nursing facility care and hospice and home health care.  Part B. This pays for your outpatient care by a doctor, medical tests, any drugs that are administered in a doctor's office and preventative measures like flu shots. Also included are ambulance services, durable medical equipment and mental health services. The average monthly premium in 2022 is $170.10.1   What's not covered in Part A or Part B: medical services outside the U.S., long term care, dental and optical care, dentures, cosmetic and other elective surgeries, acupuncture, hearing aids and routine foot care. While Medicare pays for care in a skilled nursing facility or rehab center that's preceded by a hospital stay, it does not cover so-called residential nursing home care.  Part C. Commonly known as Medicare Advantage, Part C is an alternative to Part A and Part B. For the record, Part A and Part B are often referred to as "Original Medicare." Medicare Advantage can be a good fit for seniors who are healthy and who don't mind being restricted to a specific network of doctors, health care providers, and hospitals. In the Medicare world, it's the closest equivalent to private insurance.  Depending on the state where you reside, a Medicare Advantage plan can cover traditional costs associated with original Medicare and often throws in extras like dental, vision, hearing, prescription drugs and gym memberships.  The plans, administered by a Medicare-approved private insurer, tend to have lower out-of-pocket costs. The premium itself is paid by Medicare. One hitch: Many regions in the country — rural areas, in particular — have limited or no Medicare Advantage providers. Availability could literally depend on the zip code you live in.  Part D. This helps cover outpatient prescription costs. Part D can also stand for difficult. Sometimes, it's not going to be the cheapest option when it comes to purchasing medications. Discount programs offered through companies like GoodRx and Costco are worth exploring. It's also a good practice to ask for a generic instead of a brand name drug if there's a safe alternative.  The good news? Part D providers issue a "formulary," or list of drugs, each year so you will always know what your plan covers and what it doesn't. The drug list has several cost-sharing tiers. The tier your medication is on will affect how much it costs. The lowest tier, Tier 1, involves generics and has the lowest co-payment. The current average cost of a basic Part D plan premium is $32.08 per month.2  Medicare Supplement Insurance. This insurance, known as Medigap, does precisely what the name implies – it helps to fill in any gaps not covered by original Medicare. Some policies, administered by private companies, even include medical care outside the U.S.  Medigap offers several different plans, with Plan G being the most comprehensive and far-reaching. The only things Medigap Plan G doesn't cover are the Part B deductible and anything related to drugs. The monthly premium for a Plan G policy ranges from $100 to $300. 

Have Medicare Questions? We Can Help

Medicare can be confusing. Talk to a qualified professional today to get professional advice on which Medicare plan is best for your needs. Need help finding a financial advisor in your area? Give us a call today so we can match you with an advisor who will put your needs first.     1 U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “Medicare Costs,” https://www.medicare.gov/basics/costs/medicare-costs 2 U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “CMS Releases Projected 2023 Medicare Basic Part B Average Premium.” July 29, 2022, https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/news-alert/cms-releases-2023-projected-medicare-basic-part-d-average-premium Scott Budd is a non-registered affiliate of Cetera Advisor Networks. [post_title] => Which Medicare Plan Is Best for You? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => which-medicare-plan-is-best-for-you [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-08-31 10:47:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-08-31 15:47:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://carsonhub.wpengine.com/?p=65184 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64970 [post_author] => 182131 [post_date] => 2022-08-25 13:54:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-08-25 18:54:33 [post_content] => By Craig Lemoine, Ph.D., CFP®, Director of Consumer Investment Research
“How much do I need for retirement?” It’s a question I often hear, and one that seems straightforward enough to tackle. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t quite so simple. Your financial needs in retirement can depend on dozens of factors – some known and some unknown. Among these are your longevity, lifestyle, comfort with market performance, sequence of return risk, current health, housing plan, proportion of fixed to variable expenses, proximity to children and so much more. One or two million dollars may seem like a lot of money to have set aside for retirement. But if a retiree faces some rough initial returns and health care costs, they may soon find themselves unable to live their planned retirement.

A Retirement Reality Check

The concept of retirement continues to evolve with the world around us. We’re not likely to have the retirement that our parents or grandparents have had. Fewer Americans will receive a steady pension than in the past.1 We tend to live longer than a generation ago. Housing costs have hit all-time highs.2 And the market has seen unprecedented volatility in the past few years. Inflation continues to eat away at our real spending power, creating new and dynamic retirement challenges. Even with all known and unknown retirement factors answered, “How much I need to retire” last year may be wildly different from “How much do I need to stay retired?” in tougher conditions. Retirement has multiple factors and requires in-depth analysis. Simple heuristics – such as planning on spending 70% of your current income or being able to spend down a fixed percentage of your portfolio annually – fall short when life gets in the way. Answers to questions surrounding “Can I retire on a million dollars?” or “Can I retire with two million dollars?” often fail to consider sequence of return, housing, longevity, health or family risks faced in retirement.

Focus on Your Retirement Plan Rather Than a Magic Number

A better question than “What’s my magic number?” would be “How do I plan for retirement?“ Working with a qualified financial advisor to develop a holistic retirement plan can help prepare you for the road ahead. Your financial advisor can help you plan for challenges you may face in retirement, such as spending, efficient savings, taxes, inflation, debt management, Social Security and Medicare. They can help you determine your risk tolerance and build an investment portfolio you will be more likely to tick with when times get tough. They can also help you balance your savings with your spending and work through the trade-offs that come with retirement. Consider these five steps when developing a customized and meaningful retirement plan: 1.     Create a cash flow statement. A cash flow statement should show dollars in and dollars out of your personal finances. Consider tracking your actual expenses for a few months to get a concrete handle of how you live today. Income should include money earned from your job, interest from a bank, dividends from stocks, coupons from bonds and any gifts or other sources of cash. When tracking expenses consider two categories: fixed and discretionary. Fixed expenses are those you’re required to pay as well as those that provide basic needs, such as where you live, what you eat and how you get around. Examples of fixed expenses include rent or mortgage payments, insurance premiums, groceries, heating and electric bills. Discretionary expenses include money spent on travel, dinners out, savings and retirement plan contributions or occasional future purchases and upgrades. Your expenses will certainly change in retirement but documenting them today will give you an idea of how much your family spends. And spending helps open conversations about the amount needed to comfortably retire. 2.     Build a personal balance sheet. A personal balance sheet should record assets (items you own, use or enjoy) and liabilities (amounts you owe institutions or other people). Consider breaking assets into three columns: cash, investment assets and personal property. Cash includes checking, savings, money market accounts, CDs, physical currency and other banking or credit union products. Investment assets include retirement plans, investment or savings accounts, annuity or insurance cash values, or any other asset you may use towards a financial goal. Personal property would be any asset not previously mentioned such as real estate for personal use, home furnishings, vehicles, and possessions you would not consider using towards a financial goal. Liabilities can be broken into secured and unsecured categories. Secured liabilities are tied to assets (such as car loans and mortgages) while unsecured liabilities are the type of debt you owe but would not result in an immediate asset forfeiture. Unsecured liabilities include credit card debt, student loans or any personal loans. Payment terms should be footnoted on a balance sheet, including number of payments remaining, monthly liability and interest rate information. Your balance sheet helps inform your ability to retire by painting a picture of resources and debt obligations. This sheet will almost always change during retirement but creating it ahead of time will empower you to make wiser decisions. 3.     Get a copy of your Social Security statement. Social Security is a federal retirement plan originally created under the Social Security Act of 1935. Most Americans are covered by Social Security. The amount of estimated Social Security benefits available at different ages can help inform your retirement decisions. To get an estimate of your future retirement benefits, you can visit the Social Security Administration’s website. Social Security planning can be quite sophisticated. Your starting age is a function of types of assets, family longevity, marital status and your current health. At five years from retirement, an estimate of Social Security will help you plan for the next few decades. 4.     Calculate your Medicare premiums. Health care may be one of your largest expenses in retirement. It’s important to understand the costs and plan for how to pay for health care after you retire. Medicare is the health care plan offered to most retirees when they turn 65. Plan ahead by getting an idea of the coverage offered and possible premiums and co-pays you may face. You can check your Medicare eligibility and calculate the potential premiums you might pay on the Medicare website. 5.     Identify your retirement income streams. Taking inventory of future income streams will help inform retirement decisions as you get closer to the big day. Get updated statements of any future pension, defined benefit or annuity payments you will receive in retirement. Benefit amounts may change based on current interest rates, employer investment performance, divorce or other life events.

Talk to a Financial Advisor Today

Meet with a qualified financial planner to develop your plan for retirement. Consider your current level of savings, comfort with investment risk, lifestyle goals and ability to retire before leaving the workplace. A Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) professional or Investment Advisor can work with you to build a plan before you reach retirement. A wealth management team can build your investment and insurance strategy, helping to eliminate any health care and spending gaps before you retire. A professional can help navigate tradeoffs between spending today, safety for tomorrow and bequest motives. They can help develop a housing plan in retirement and work with you to find meaning and purpose in retirement. Creating a financial plan before pulling the retirement lever will boost your confidence and give you a path of savings and spending for the future. If you’re not currently working with a financial advisor, we can help. Contact us today and we’ll help you find a qualified professional in your area.   1 Economic Policy Institute, “The State of American Retirement Savings.” 12/10/2019. https://www.epi.org/publication/the-state-of-american-retirement-savings/ 2 Forbes Advisor, “Housing Market Predictions in 2022: When Will Prices Drop?” 7/1/2022. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/mortgages/real-estate/housing-market-predictions/ Craig Lemoine is not affiliated or registered with Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. Any information provided by Craig Lemoine is in no way related to Cetera Advisor Networks LLC or its registered representatives. [post_title] => How Much Do I Need to Retire? Planning for Your Unique Retirement Needs [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-much-do-i-need-to-retire-planning-for-your-unique-retirement-needs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-08-29 14:30:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-08-29 19:30:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://carsonhub.wpengine.com/?p=65170 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64926 [post_author] => 125924 [post_date] => 2022-08-04 08:27:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-08-04 13:27:06 [post_content] => By Ryan Yamada, Senior Wealth Planner    When putting away for retirement, we often dream about all the things we’ll be able to do with that money – traveling, going out to eat, maybe trying new hobbies.   Of course, there are always the everyday household expenses to account for in your post-retirement budget. But one budget line that doesn’t always get enough attention? Health care.   If you think your health care costs will be similar to what you paid in your pre-retirement years, think again. Fidelity’s annual study found that the average 65-year-old couple retiring in 2022 will need $315,000 saved to cover their health care expenses throughout retirement.1 It’s a number that just keeps rising, too. This estimate is up $15,000 from last year’s study. Oh, and it doesn’t account for things like over-the-counter medications, dental care or long-term care costs.   In other words, health care may be the single biggest purchase you make in retirement.  Whether your retirement is still years away or you’re already retired, there are things you can do now that may help you pay for this major expense. Let’s dig into some ideas. 

Ways to Start Planning Early for Retirement Health Care Costs

Let’s start with the obvious: savings plans. Purpose-specific accounts, such as health savings accounts (HSAs), often have built-in tax incentives that can make them a worthwhile option. In some cases, HSAs can offer a triple tax-advantage –  tax deductions for contributions, tax deferral during the accumulation period and tax-free distributions for qualified health-related expenses. Be sure to check what HSA deductions are available in your state before you jump in.2  Another option is adding insurance coverage that can help pay for some of the more significant health events. Before going down this path, it’s important to ask yourself what you’re trying to protect against. Here are two of the more standard coverage options that people can choose from. 
  • Critical illness coverage. Standalone critical illness policies can provide lump-sum or itemized benefits for things like cancer, heart attacks or strokes. Additionally, some life insurance policies have optional riders that can be added to help cover for these conditions or events. 
  • Extended care or long-term care coverage. Insuring for an extended care event or for long-term care can be done in a number of ways, including standalone policies and policy riders on life insurance or annuity contracts. With insurance companies making regular changes to these policies and how benefits are paid out, it's important to work with a local, independent insurance advisor who can help you find the best options for your situation.
Finally, certain retirement accounts like Roth IRAs and 401(k)s may also have features that allow penalty-free withdrawals for medical expenses. However, depending on how contributions were treated, distributions may still be taxed on the way out.  

What to Do When You’re Nearing Retirement

As you prepare to leave the workforce, it's important to get a handle on all of your expenses – that includes what health insurance options are available to you. Are you eligible for Medicare or do you need to buy coverage in the marketplace? (Hint: Take a look at your most recent paystub and consider your employer's health care subsidy. It might surprise you!) When do you need to sign up for Medicare so you won’t miss out on your open enrollment window and incur penalties? Additionally, have you thought about any procedures you might want to have done while employed? Planning out these expenses could be a great way to reduce costs post-retirement.   If you’re retiring before 65, you probably won’t be eligible for Medicare yet, so you’ll want to figure out how to get coverage in the meantime. Some early retirees are lucky enough to be covered under their previous employer. Others may find part-time employers who will help to subsidize the cost. Other options may include health sharing or co-op plans, self-insuring or even moving abroad.   As you approach Medicare open enrollment, you can start working with a trusted and independent Medicare expert. Be sure to choose someone who's familiar with the plans in your state. If you’re a “snow bird,” be sure to ask them about each of the states you plan to reside in, as coverage needs can change from state to state.  Once you’re enrolled in Medicare, you should decide whether to sign up for a Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan or purchase dental, vision or long-term care coverage. Be sure to look at how all these plans work together to determine your maximum out-of-pocket costs. Then, you can build those costs into your retirement income plan.  

Preparing for the Unknown

Now that you’ve retired, you can only hope that all your careful preparations will meet your needs. But the one constant in life is unpredictability. If a time comes when you need more money than you’ve put away or something arises that you’re not covered for, there are additional strategies to consider.  First, don’t panic. Then, call your financial advisor. They’ll be able to provide professional guidance based on your own specific situation. If you don’t already have an advisor, we can help you find one in your area.    1 “How to plan for rising health care costs,” Fidelity. May 25, 2002. https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/personal-finance/plan-for-rising-health-care-costs 2 The Finance Buff, “California and New Jersey HSA Tax Return Special Considerations.” December 4, 2018. https://thefinancebuff.com/california-new-jersey-hsa-tax-return.html#:~:text=Because%20the%20state%20of%20California%20does%20not%20recognize,gross%20pay%20for%20calculating%20the%20federal%20tax%20withholdings.   [post_title] => Paying for Health Care in Retirement [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => paying-for-health-care-in-retirement [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-08-04 08:32:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-08-04 13:32:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://carsonhub.wpengine.com/?p=65125 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64912 [post_author] => 12175 [post_date] => 2022-08-02 10:06:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-08-02 15:06:37 [post_content] => By Jamie Hopkins, Managing Director, Wealth Services  Sonu Varghese, Director, Investment Platforms; and Ryan Detrick, Chief Market Strategist, contributed to this report.    Senate Democrats have reached a general agreement on a bill to address climate change, taxes, health care, inflation and the deficit, according to a White House statement  This agreement came as a surprise to many after the Build Back Better Act of 2021 was unable to gain enough traction in the Senate. But after months of negotiations, Senate Democrats have released a text of the bill, 725 pages, outlining the new spending and tax revenue provisions.    The bill is not yet finalized, though it appears lawmakers are motivated to take action before the midterm elections. And because Democrats plan to pass the bill through budget reconciliation, it can avoid a filibuster and pass in the Senate with a simple majority.   The Senate plans to address the bill next week before the Senate breaks. The bill would then need to pass through the House before it lands on President Joe Biden’s desk for a signature.  The major provisions of this bill include:  
  • Installing a 15% minimum corporate tax revenue for certain large firms 
  • Medicare and prescription drug reform 
  • Spending to increase IRS enforcement and efficiency to enable more audits of companies and high-income individuals and to cut back on fraud 
  • Closing the carried interest loophole  
  • Lowering drug and health care costs through expansion of the Affordable Care Act 
  • Expansion of Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidies 
  • Tax credits for electric cars and other energy investments 
  • Investments into clean and renewable energy and environmental issues 
Though the bill’s official moniker is the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, how much the bill will directly impact inflation today or in the long run is up for debate.   There are areas of the bill that may help with inflation. For example, the drug pricing provisions are very deflationary – especially for the PCE price index (the Fed's preferred indicator), since medical costs are a big part of that.  In addition, tax increases tend to be deflationary, since they pull money out of the private sector. This also applies to the IRS funding, which provides extra money for increasing compliance, (i.e., raising tax revenue).  On the other end, the spending provisions could be inflationary. If the energy- and climate-related policies raise investment, then that's a productivity boost. That said, the transition from fossil fuels to more carbon-neutral fuels could be rough and inflationary. One item not addressed in the bill is reform to speed up permitting for energy infrastructure, since it can't be passed through budget reconciliation. It's expected to be addressed in separate legislation in the fall.  The budget impact of this bill is expected to raise tax revenue and decrease the deficit over the next 10 years by about $300 billion  It is just as important to talk about what the bill doesn’t do. According to the White House and Senate Democrats, this bill will not raise taxes on any Americans making less than $400,000 a year. Additionally, the bill does not include any expanded child tax credits, capital gains rate hikes, free college or paid leave provisions that were found in the Build Back Better Act.   This bill would represent a revenue increase for the government, potentially reduce the deficit and make significant investments into health care costs and energy sectors. Remember, this is not a final bill and could still see changes or roadblocks ahead.    Jamie Hopkins is not affiliated with Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC [post_title] => Senate Addresses Taxes, Deficit, Inflation, Health Care in Proposed Bill [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => senate-addresses-taxes-deficit-inflation-health-care-in-proposed-bill [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-08-02 10:08:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-08-02 15:08:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://carsonhub.wpengine.com/?p=65118 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 5 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 65004 [post_author] => 125924 [post_date] => 2022-09-08 12:47:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-09-08 17:47:36 [post_content] => Ryan Yamada, CFP®, Senior Wealth Planner We’ve all heard the conventional wisdom when it comes to claiming Social Security: you should wait as long as you can before claiming benefits. Wait right up to age 70, if possible. After all, that’s when you would get the greatest monthly benefit. But that may not be the right move for some. What if I told you that, in some cases, taking your benefit sooner than later was the most ideal thing to do? I know it seems counterintuitive. But there are a few specific scenarios where that is just the advice I would give to clients. Let’s dig into a few of these scenarios individually.

Scenario #1: For Surviving Spouses

On a few somber occasions, we have had clients who have passed away before getting to fully enjoy their retirement. And while the earliest that someone can claim off of their worker or spousal benefit is at age 62, there is an exception for surviving spouses to claim a widower benefit as early as 60. Like a spousal benefit, the surviving widow is eligible for their deceased spouse’s Full Retirement Age amount. Claiming any earlier than Full Retirement Age reduces this amount. However, one unique strategy is that should the surviving spouse also have their own earnings history, claiming off a widower’s benefit could then allow one to delay their own worker’s benefit. Here’s an example to help illustrate. In this example, by continuing to delay their own worker benefits, the surviving spouse significantly increases their lifetime amounts. Additionally, recognizing the opportunity to claim benefits early using a survivor’s benefit could add extra years of cash flow and tens of thousands of dollars.

Scenario #2: You’re Entering Retirement During a Turbulent Market

You’re ready to retire. You’ve planned well and you have your spending plan all laid out. You’ve even decided to wait before filing for your Social Security benefits – allowing your investments to create an ‘income bridge’ - so that you can maximize your future monthly payment. Like many who are able to retire early, this is an ideal scenario for most retirees and one that we often recommend...in most years. But wait … it’s 2022. The market is down. And your portfolio has dropped 25%. Sometimes life doesn’t quite go according to plan. But that’s okay, it’s not time to panic. After all, the market was built to rebound. We just need to look at other ways to manage until that happens. In this scenario, we might consider taking Social Security earlier than anticipated. Especially for those clients without a cash buffer, access to home equity, or other means of ‘dry powder’, selling investments during a bear market is something we try to avoid. Tapping into your Social Security can provide much needed cash flow and allow your investment portfolio some time to recover. You’ll obviously take a slight hit on your lifetime Social Security benefit, but if that amount is smaller than the potential gain your investments could make over time, it’s a smarter play in the long run.

Scenario #3: You Wouldn’t Break Even by Waiting

When a pre-retiree is looking for advice on when to begin claiming Social Security, one common way to compare strategies is to calculate their “break-even” age. That’s essentially the age that they would need to live to in order to make the delay worthwhile. When waiting until age 70 to begin claiming Social Security, most people would need to live into their late-70s or even their early-80s to hit that point. If you have good reason to believe that longevity is not on your side, and you have no spouse or children who would depend on your benefit, you might want to consider claiming your Social Security sooner rather than later. While we never want to bet against our lives, it’s important to be realistic with your situation.

Talk to a Professional

Remember that a retirement income plan is a mixture of both financial and non-financial components unique to you. When considering any of these scenarios, insist on working with a Fiduciary advisor who specializes in this field. If you need help finding a financial advisor in your area, we can help. Contact us today. H2 subhead

Need Help With Social Security? Give Us a Call

Social Security can be complicated. Talk to a qualified financial advisor today to get professional advice today. Need help finding a financial advisor in your area? Give us a call today so we can match you with an advisor who will put your needs first. This blog is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific legal, tax, or other professional advice. For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor. Ryan Yamada is a non-registered associate of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. [post_title] => Claiming Your Social Security Benefits Early: When It May Not Pay to Wait [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => claiming-your-social-security-benefits-early-when-it-may-not-pay-to-wait [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-09-23 07:45:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-09-23 12:45:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://carsonhub.wpengine.com/?p=65200 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 358 [max_num_pages] => 72 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => 1 [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 6b5c18c1252b6c6a9f5f8613c74e0017 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) [tribe_is_event] => [tribe_is_multi_posttype] => [tribe_is_event_category] => [tribe_is_event_venue] => [tribe_is_event_organizer] => [tribe_is_event_query] => [tribe_is_past] => )

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                    [post_content] => By Erin Wood, Senior Vice President, Financial Planning and Advanced Solutions

Just a few years ago, Rose retired with a decent-sized 401(k). With some careful budgeting and a part-time job, her retirement finances were on track. Rose was looking forward to traveling, reigniting her passion for photography and spending time with her son and her grandkids.

The pandemic changed everything. Her son contracted COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic. His health deteriorated quickly and he died at only 35 years old. He didn’t have life insurance. A gig worker without a 401(k), he had very minimal retirement savings.

Rose’s grandchildren, ages 2 and 6, joined the more than 140,000 U.S. children under the age of 18 who lost their primary or secondary caregiver due to the pandemic from April 2020 through June 2021. That’s approximately one out of every 450 children under age 18 in the United States.

Rose’s ex-daughter-in-law battles drug addiction and had lost custody of the kids during the divorce, so Rose became the children’s primary caregiver. She quickly discovered that caring for young children as an older adult is more physically challenging than when she raised her son, so she made the difficult decision to leave her part-time job to have the energy to care for her active grandchildren. She wants to do everything for these kids who have lost so much — but it puts her financial security at risk.

Sadly, she is far from alone.

Read the full article
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                    [post_content] => By: Erin Wood, CFP®, CRPC®, FBS®, Senior Vice President, Financial Planning, Carson Group

 

Laura and Caroline are in their late 50s. Friends since meeting at a playgroup for their toddlers, both were in long-term, seemingly happy marriages. Laura married her high school sweetheart right after they graduated from college and worked as an RN while her husband attended medical school. When their first child was born, Laura decided to become a stay-at-home parent. She just celebrated sending her last child off to college and was looking forward to enjoying an empty nest with her husband.

Already established in her career as an accountant for a large insurance firm, Caroline married a bit later, at 33. Today, she’s a financial controller for the same firm. Her spouse owns his own landscaping business. Caroline is the high-wage earner in the family.

Unfortunately, both women are now surprised to be facing a “gray” divorce: a divorce involving couples in their 50s or older. Each will need to make some tough choices as they deal with the emotional devastation of unraveling a long-term marriage. Although my focus as a financial planner is to help my clients find their financial footing during and after divorce, I also encourage clients to build a strong network of family and friends as well as a therapist or clergy person to offer critical emotional support during this time.

Read full article on Kiplinger.com

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Roth conversions can be a powerful tax and retirement planning technique. The idea behind most Roth conversions is to take money from an IRA and convert it to a Roth IRA. Essentially, you’re paying taxes today instead of paying taxes in the future.

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act lowered taxes for many Americans and with the SECURE Act Roth IRAs became even more powerful as an estate planning vehicle to minimize taxes, so it’s a convenient time to take advantage of Roth conversions. However, Roth conversions can come with some issues. Before you engage in one, be aware of these common problems as it can be hard to undo the transaction.

Conversions After 72

IRAs and Roth IRAs are both retirement accounts. It’s easy to assume Roth Conversions are best suited for retirement, too. However, waiting too long to do conversions can actually make the entire process more challenging. If you own an IRA, it’s subject to required minimum distribution rules once you turn 72, as long as you had not already reached age 70.5 by the end of 2019. The government wants you to start withdrawing money from your IRA each year and pay taxes on the tax-deferred money. However, Roth IRAs aren’t subject to RMDs at age 72. If you don’t need the money from your RMD to support your retirement spending, you might think, “I should convert this to a Roth IRA so it can stay in a tax-deferred account longer.” Unfortunately, that won’t work. You can’t roll over or convert RMDs for a given year. So, if you owe a RMD in 2020, you need to take it and you cannot convert it to a Roth IRA. Despite the fact you can’t convert an RMD, it doesn’t mean you can’t do Roth conversions after age 72. However, you need to make sure you get your RMD out before you do a conversion. Your first distributions from an IRA after 72 will be treated as RMD money first. This means, if you want to convert $10,000 from your IRA, but you also owe an $8,000 RMD for the year, you need to take the full $8,000 out before you do a conversion. Full article on Forbes   [post_title] => 3 Roth Conversion Traps To Avoid After The SECURE Act [post_excerpt] => Roth conversions can be a powerful tax and retirement planning technique. The idea behind most Roth conversions is to take money from an IRA and convert it to a Roth IRA. Essentially, you’re paying taxes today instead of paying taxes in the future. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 3-roth-conversion-traps-to-avoid [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-02-28 16:01:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-02-28 22:01:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://divi-partner-template.carsonwealth.com/?post_type=news&p=53316 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => news [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 51325 [post_author] => 6008 [post_date] => 2019-12-06 10:26:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-06 16:26:33 [post_content] => By Jamie Hopkins People plan on having a good day, a good year, a good retirement and a good life. But why stop there? Why not plan for a good end of life, too? End of life or estate planning is about getting plans in place to manage risks at the end of your life and beyond. And while it might be uncomfortable to discuss or plan for the end, everyone knows that no one will live forever. Estate planning and end of life planning are about taking control of your situation. Death and long-term care later in life might be hard to fathom right now, but we can’t put off planning out of fear of the unknown or because it’s unpleasant. Sometimes it takes a significant event like a health scare to shake us from our procrastination. Don’t wait for life to happen to you, though. Full article on Kiplinger [post_title] => 10 Common Estate Planning Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them) [post_excerpt] => Estate planning and end of life planning are about taking control of your situation. Death and long-term care later in life might be hard to fathom right now, but we can’t put off planning out of fear of the unknown or because it’s unpleasant. Don’t wait for life to happen to you, though. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 10-common-estate-planning-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-02-28 16:02:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-02-28 22:02:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://divi-partner-template.carsonwealth.com/?post_type=news&p=51325 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => news [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 63308 [post_author] => 273 [post_date] => 2019-11-11 16:27:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-11-11 21:27:38 [post_content] => By Jamie Hopkins

Everyone’s heard the stories of celebrities who died without a proper estate plan in place. It’s been a hot topic in the last few years with Prince and Aretha Franklin serving as unfortunate faces of the phenomenon. But it’s not just freewheeling entertainers. Abraham Lincoln – a lawyer by trade – didn’t have one either, which leads me to say something you’ve probably never heard anyone say: don’t be like Abraham Lincoln.

Most people want to plan for a good life and a good retirement, so why not plan for a good end of life, too? Let’s look at four ways you can refine your estate plan, protect your assets and create a level of control and certainty for your loved ones.

1. Review Beneficiary Designations

Many accounts can pass to heirs and loved ones without having to go through the sometimes costly and time-consuming process of probate. For instance, life insurance contracts, 401(k)s and IRAs can be transferred through beneficiary designations – meaning you determine who you want to inherit your accounts after you die by filing out a beneficiary form. You can often name successors or backup beneficiaries, and even split up accounts by dollar amount or percentages between beneficiaries with these forms. Full article on Forbes [post_title] => 4 Ways To Improve Your Estate Plan [post_excerpt] => Most people want to plan for a good life and a good retirement, so why not plan for a good end of life, too? Let’s look at four ways you can refine your estate plan, protect your assets and create a level of control and certainty for your loved ones. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 4-ways-to-improve-your-estate-plan [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-02-28 17:02:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-02-28 22:02:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://washfinwealth1.carsonwealth.com/insights/news/4-ways-to-improve-your-estate-plan/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => news [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 5 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64640 [post_author] => 90034 [post_date] => 2022-05-26 08:18:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-05-26 13:18:44 [post_content] => By Erin Wood, Senior Vice President, Financial Planning and Advanced Solutions Just a few years ago, Rose retired with a decent-sized 401(k). With some careful budgeting and a part-time job, her retirement finances were on track. Rose was looking forward to traveling, reigniting her passion for photography and spending time with her son and her grandkids. The pandemic changed everything. Her son contracted COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic. His health deteriorated quickly and he died at only 35 years old. He didn’t have life insurance. A gig worker without a 401(k), he had very minimal retirement savings. Rose’s grandchildren, ages 2 and 6, joined the more than 140,000 U.S. children under the age of 18 who lost their primary or secondary caregiver due to the pandemic from April 2020 through June 2021. That’s approximately one out of every 450 children under age 18 in the United States. Rose’s ex-daughter-in-law battles drug addiction and had lost custody of the kids during the divorce, so Rose became the children’s primary caregiver. She quickly discovered that caring for young children as an older adult is more physically challenging than when she raised her son, so she made the difficult decision to leave her part-time job to have the energy to care for her active grandchildren. She wants to do everything for these kids who have lost so much — but it puts her financial security at risk. Sadly, she is far from alone. Read the full article [post_title] => COVID’s Financial Toll Isn’t What You Think [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => covids-financial-toll-isnt-what-you-think [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-05-26 08:33:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-05-26 13:33:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://carsonhub.wpengine.com/?post_type=news&p=64940 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => news [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 6 [max_num_pages] => 2 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => 1 [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 8bbea74eca9b0e937ac286f0d22d32a8 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) [tribe_is_event] => [tribe_is_multi_posttype] => [tribe_is_event_category] => [tribe_is_event_venue] => [tribe_is_event_organizer] => [tribe_is_event_query] => [tribe_is_past] => )

In the News

In the News

COVID’s Financial Toll Isn’t What You Think

By Erin Wood, Senior Vice President, Financial Planning and Advanced Solutions Just a few years ago, Rose retired with a decent-sized 401(k). With some careful budgeting and a part-time job, her retirement finances were on track. Rose was looking forward to traveling, reigniting her passion …
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                    [post_date] => 2022-09-19 09:03:21
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                    [post_content] => The popular Green Day song titled “Wake Me When September Ends” feels quite appropriate given the recent market volatility. In fact, the S&P 500 has now dropped at least 3% for three of the past four weeks. As we’ve noted in this commentary, stocks tend to be quite volatile and potentially weak in September, and that is playing out once again in 2022.
  • It’s been another volatile September. We’ve seen this before, and it may not be over yet.
  • We expect there’s more room for interest rates to rise, especially if core inflation remains high.
  • The Fed is likely to raise interest rates by 0.75% in September, but the key will be how far the Fed will go.
  • Economic indicators, including retail sales, manufacturing, and unemployment claims, do not point toward a recession.
It isn’t all bad though. The last three months tend to do quite well in a midterm election year, so we are still optimistic an end-of-year rally is possible. One more positive is just how bad the action was on Tuesday. After the hotter-than-expected inflation data (more on that below), the S&P 500 fell 4.3% for the worst single day for stocks since June 2020. Along the way, less than 1% of the S&P 500 finished higher, one of the lowest readings in recent memory. This is the 20th time since 2000 that less than 1% of S&P 500 stocks closed higher on a single day. But only twice were stocks still down one year later, and the average return was a very solid 19.1%. Not to be outdone, every stock in the Nasdaq 100 closed red on Tuesday, for only the 13th time in history and the first time since March 12, 2020. But looking back at the index one year after this rare event shows the Nasdaq 100 was higher every time and up 21.2% on average. The bottom line is stocks will still be in a seasonally weak period for the next few weeks, so caution could be warranted. But the recent heavy selling is consistent with a market nearing bottom, and a strong year-end rally is still quite possible.

Interest Rates Could Keep Rising If Inflation Stays High

The August CPI report was not pretty. The headline number came in at 0.1%, pulled down by gas prices but higher than an expected -0.1% reading. The problem was core CPI, excluding food and energy, was 0.6%, twice what was expected. Tobacco, new vehicles, vehicle repairs, dental services, and hospital services all came in hotter than expected. Shelter costs continued to remain strong, while pandemic-impacted goods and services, including used/new cars, apparel, airfares, hotels, and furnishings, did not exert as much of a deflationary force as was expected by this time. There were still some positives. For starters, CPI likely peaked in June at more than 9% year-over-year and fell to 8.3% in August. It should continue to trend lower. We have seen huge drops in prices paid in various manufacturing surveys, improvements in time to delivery, and imploding used car prices. All these factors will feed into the official inflation numbers over the next few months. Nevertheless, markets were quick to react, as a hot inflation report led investors to expect the Fed to continue raising rates at a furious pace. Investors currently anticipate the federal funds rate to be raised as high as 4.2%. The white line in the chart below shows investor expectations for the fed funds rate, while the green line shows the median of the dots, which represent each Fed member’s estimate for where the policy rate will be in 2022 and beyond. As you can see, the green line for 2022 is well below the white line (investor expectations). The Fed has a meeting this week, and we will be watching how much higher Fed members move their estimates and whether they match the market’s expectations. Our view is the green line will shift higher, close to 4% or more. That is why we’re still cautious on our outlook for interest rates. We believe there’s room for rates across the spectrum to rise — on the back of higher policy rates. Short-term Treasury interest rates, which are a good approximation of monetary policy, have surged this year and are well above pre-crisis levels. After the August inflation report was released, one-year rates rose from 3.70% to 3.92%, while slightly longer-term five-year rates rose from 3.47% to 3.58%. So, they certainly are closer to where policy rates may get to but not quite there yet.

Still No Sign of Recession

Data last week showed consumer spending remains solid, with retail sales rising 0.3% in August. This was mostly driven by auto sales, although spending was strong in various other sectors, including restaurants and building material and supply stores. The only drag was gasoline station purchases, where sales fell 4%, but that was because gas prices fell. If anything, we’re surprised at the strength of retail sales, which mostly comprise spending on goods, even as the country puts COVID in the rearview mirror. Real retail sales, which are adjusted for prices, rose 0.2% in August and are almost 10% above the pre-crisis trend, with no sign of slowdown yet. Industrial production did slow in August, falling 0.2%. However, this was because of a large pullback in electric power output. The all-important manufacturing sector saw production tick higher by 0.1%, and that overcame a 1.4% decline in motor vehicle and parts production. This is another puzzle for us — supply chains are clearly improving, but vehicle production remains below pre-pandemic levels. This is entirely because auto production is down about 32%, while light vehicle truck production (like SUVs) is back where it was. At the beginning of the year, we expected a pickup in auto production, providing more of a tailwind to the economy. Finally, though certainly not the least important, unemployment claims continue to fall and remain well below pre-crisis levels. That means people getting laid off can find jobs quickly, without having to file for unemployment benefits — a sign of a very strong labor market. The downside is that increases the odds of the Fed continuing to raise interest rates to cool the economy down.   This newsletter was written and produced by CWM, LLC. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of any other named entity and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results. S&P 500 – A capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries. The NASDAQ 100 Index is a stock index of the 100 largest companies by market capitalization traded on NASDAQ Stock Market. The NASDAQ 100 Index includes publicly-traded companies from most sectors in the global economy, the major exception being financial services. Compliance Case # 01489423 [post_title] => Market Commentary: Wake Me When September Ends [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => market-commentary-wake-me-when-september-ends [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-09-19 09:24:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-09-19 14:24:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://carsonhub.wpengine.com/?post_type=market-commentary&p=65232 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => market-commentary [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 65038 [post_author] => 90034 [post_date] => 2022-09-19 09:03:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-09-19 14:03:21 [post_content] => The popular Green Day song titled “Wake Me Up When September Ends” feels quite appropriate given the recent market volatility. In fact, the S&P 500 has now dropped at least 3% for three of the past four weeks. As we’ve noted in this commentary, stocks tend to be quite volatile and potentially weak in September, and that is playing out once again in 2022.
  • It’s been another volatile September. We’ve seen this before, and it may not be over yet.
  • We expect there’s more room for interest rates to rise, especially if core inflation remains high.
  • The Fed is likely to raise interest rates by 0.75% in September, but the key will be how far the Fed will go.
  • Economic indicators, including retail sales, manufacturing, and unemployment claims, do not point toward a recession.
It isn’t all bad though. The last three months tend to do quite well in a midterm election year, so we are still optimistic an end-of-year rally is possible. One more positive is just how bad the action was on Tuesday. After the hotter-than-expected inflation data (more on that below), the S&P 500 fell 4.3% for the worst single day for stocks since June 2020. Along the way, less than 1% of the S&P 500 finished higher, one of the lowest readings in recent memory. This is the 20th time since 2000 that less than 1% of S&P 500 stocks closed higher on a single day. But only twice were stocks still down one year later, and the average return was a very solid 19.1%. Not to be outdone, every stock in the Nasdaq 100 closed red on Tuesday, for only the 13th time in history and the first time since March 12, 2020. But looking back at the index one year after this rare event shows the Nasdaq 100 was higher every time and up 21.2% on average. The bottom line is stocks will still be in a seasonally weak period for the next few weeks, so caution could be warranted. But the recent heavy selling is consistent with a market nearing bottom, and a strong year-end rally is still quite possible.

Interest Rates Could Keep Rising If Inflation Stays High

The August CPI report was not pretty. The headline number came in at 0.1%, pulled down by gas prices but higher than an expected -0.1% reading. The problem was core CPI, excluding food and energy, was 0.6%, twice what was expected. Tobacco, new vehicles, vehicle repairs, dental services, and hospital services all came in hotter than expected. Shelter costs continued to remain strong, while pandemic-impacted goods and services, including used/new cars, apparel, airfares, hotels, and furnishings, did not exert as much of a deflationary force as was expected by this time. There were still some positives. For starters, CPI likely peaked in June at more than 9% year-over-year and fell to 8.3% in August. It should continue to trend lower. We have seen huge drops in prices paid in various manufacturing surveys, improvements in time to delivery, and imploding used car prices. All these factors will feed into the official inflation numbers over the next few months. Nevertheless, markets were quick to react, as a hot inflation report led investors to expect the Fed to continue raising rates at a furious pace. Investors currently anticipate the federal funds rate to be raised as high as 4.2%. The white line in the chart below shows investor expectations for the fed funds rate, while the green line shows the median of the dots, which represent each Fed member’s estimate for where the policy rate will be in 2022 and beyond. As you can see, the green line for 2022 is well below the white line (investor expectations). The Fed has a meeting this week, and we will be watching how much higher Fed members move their estimates and whether they match the market’s expectations. Our view is the green line will shift higher, close to 4% or more. That is why we’re still cautious on our outlook for interest rates. We believe there’s room for rates across the spectrum to rise — on the back of higher policy rates. Short-term Treasury interest rates, which are a good approximation of monetary policy, have surged this year and are well above pre-crisis levels. After the August inflation report was released, one-year rates rose from 3.70% to 3.92%, while slightly longer-term five-year rates rose from 3.47% to 3.58%. So, they certainly are closer to where policy rates may get to but not quite there yet.

Still No Sign of Recession

Data last week showed consumer spending remains solid, with retail sales rising 0.3% in August. This was mostly driven by auto sales, although spending was strong in various other sectors, including restaurants and building material and supply stores. The only drag was gasoline station purchases, where sales fell 4%, but that was because gas prices fell. If anything, we’re surprised at the strength of retail sales, which mostly comprise spending on goods, even as the country puts COVID in the rearview mirror. Real retail sales, which are adjusted for prices, rose 0.2% in August and are almost 10% above the pre-crisis trend, with no sign of slowdown yet. Industrial production did slow in August, falling 0.2%. However, this was because of a large pullback in electric power output. The all-important manufacturing sector saw production tick higher by 0.1%, and that overcame a 1.4% decline in motor vehicle and parts production. This is another puzzle for us — supply chains are clearly improving, but vehicle production remains below pre-pandemic levels. This is entirely because auto production is down about 32%, while light vehicle truck production (like SUVs) is back where it was. At the beginning of the year, we expected a pickup in auto production, providing more of a tailwind to the economy. Finally, though certainly not the least important, unemployment claims continue to fall and remain well below pre-crisis levels. That means people getting laid off can find jobs quickly, without having to file for unemployment benefits — a sign of a very strong labor market. The downside is that increases the odds of the Fed continuing to raise interest rates to cool the economy down.   This newsletter was written and produced by CWM, LLC. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of any other named entity and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results. S&P 500 – A capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries. The NASDAQ 100 Index is a stock index of the 100 largest companies by market capitalization traded on NASDAQ Stock Market. The NASDAQ 100 Index includes publicly-traded companies from most sectors in the global economy, the major exception being financial services. Compliance Case # 01489423 [post_title] => Market Commentary: Wake Me Up When September Ends [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => market-commentary-wake-me-up-when-september-ends [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-09-19 13:05:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-09-19 18:05:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://carsonhub.wpengine.com/?post_type=market-commentary&p=65232 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => market-commentary [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 65014 [post_author] => 181806 [post_date] => 2022-09-12 10:08:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-09-12 15:08:56 [post_content] => It’s hard to believe, but we are less than two months away from midterm elections in early November. Given all the well-known worries this year — from inflation to the war in Ukraine, the economy to the bear market — most investors haven’t started to think about midterms quite yet. But we expect that to change as this important date nears. Key Points for the Week
  • Midterm elections are less than two months away, so expect talk about potential impact to heat up.
  • Midterm election years tend to be rough for stocks, but markets typically improve in the last quarter and into the following year.
  • Consumers are seeing some relief as gas prices fall, which should soften inflation numbers.
  • Unemployment claims data suggest the labor market remains strong.
Weakness is Typical for a Midterm Year Midterm election years are known for big stock market drops and weakness for most of the year, generally until late-year rallies. So far, that sounds a lot like 2022. Since 1950, the S&P 500 has corrected peak-to-trough more than 17% on average during the year. Out of the four-year presidential election cycle, midterm years typically see the largest corrections. Why? During his or her first year in office, a new president mostly enjoys a relatively smooth ride. It isn’t until the next year that bumps arrive. Toss in the uncertainty of the midterm elections (markets hate uncertainty) and conditions are ripe for trouble. As the chart below shows, stocks usually don’t do well under a first-term president in a midterm year. In this scenario, which is one of the weakest, the S&P 500 typically gains just more than 2% for the year. However, stocks typically do quite well the following year. In fact, a year after the midterm-year correction, stocks jump more than 30% on average. We think there’s a good chance June 16 was the lowest point for this calendar year, and that could leave many investors smiling into next year. Source: Carson Investment Research, YCharts 09/09/22 The bottom line is 2022 hasn’t been fun for investors. But it’s important to remember we’ve seen this before and there’s reason to expect better days ahead. How Will the Election Results Impact Markets? Investors often want to know which sectors will do well if one or the other party wins an election. Here’s the truth: It isn’t that simple. After President Donald Trump won in 2016, many investors expected steel, coal, and financials to do well, and technology to struggle. The opposite happened. When President Joe Biden won in 2020, the consensus was renewable energy would do well while coal and refiners would struggle. Again, the opposite happened. While there may be some value in following election results, be careful not to blindly follow the crowd’s expectations. Midterm elections are not typically favorable for the party in power. Since World War II, the controlling party has lost four seats in the Senate and 26 seats in the House on average. This year, Republicans only need five seats to flip the House and most strategists think this is quite possible. The Senate is split 50/50, but the open Senate seats are closely contested and considered a coin flip by many. What does this mean for investors? The best scenario for stocks is a Democratic president and Republican-controlled Congress (this was the case in the late 1990s under President Bill Clinton). A Democratic president with a split Congress has also generated solid returns in the past. Both scenarios suggest post-November, history will be with the bulls. On this subject, we prefer to take a broader view and share another important takeaway for investors. From the date of the midterm election going out one-year, the S&P 500 has been higher every single time since World War II. Not all years were up significantly, but a consistent gain and an average of 14.1% is worth noting. Consumer Confidence is Rising as Gas Prices Fall It’s as simple as that, as the chart below illustrates. Consumer confidence started falling in the summer of 2021 as gas prices climbed. Granted, the economy faced other challenges last summer, such as the spread of the COVID Delta variant. But the nationwide average gas price crossed the $3.0/gallon mark in May 2021 and rose steadily over the remainder of the year. All the while, consumer confidence moved lower, despite COVID fading into the background and economic data improving. Then, at the end of February 2022, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent commodity markets into a frenzy and surging global oil prices pushed gas prices above $4/gallon. March-April saw some relief, but issues with refining capacity in the U.S. sent gas prices to $5.0/gallon by mid-June. That was a 63% increase in one year. No wonder the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index hit a record low of 50.0 in June. That’s lower than the start of the pandemic in March 2020 (72.3) and the depths of the financial crisis in 2008 (55.3). Even the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey, which is typically tied to the strength of the labor market, fell significantly, from 118 in April 2021 to 95 in July. But over the last four to eight weeks, sentiment indicators have picked up again just as gas prices have seen a steep fall, from $5/gallon to about $3.75. Consumer confidence tells us how consumers are feeling about the economy. And this is important because 70% of the U.S. economy is made up of consumer spending. Confident consumers can potentially fuel more spending and economic growth. On the other hand, if consumers are feeling down, they may save rather than spend, especially if they feel that poor economic conditions will eventually impact their personal finances. The Federal Reserve considers consumer sentiment, and especially consumer expectations for inflation, an important indicator. Fed members fear that rising inflation expectations will keep inflation higher for longer. The idea is if consumers expect more inflation, they will ask for higher wage increases, which will result in more spending and put upward pressure on prices, leading to a cycle of “spiraling inflation.” Now, inflation expectations rose over the past year, along with gas prices. But there is some good news as far as the Fed is concerned: Long-term inflation expectations (over the next five years) have fallen to 2.9%, and that is right at the three-decade average for this metric. Moreover, recent unemployment claims data suggest the labor market remains strong. Unemployed workers who are continuing to collect unemployment benefits now make up 1% of the labor force, which is a record low. This is not something we would expect if the economy were in a recession. Combine a strong labor market with easing price pressure, and we believe consumer confidence should continue rising as we head into the fall. This should give the Fed some breathing room as it increases rates to fight inflation, with slightly less risk of pushing the economy into a recession. This newsletter was written and produced by CWM, LLC. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of any other named entity and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Compliance Case #01484392     [post_title] => Market Commentary: The Election is Near [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => market-commentary-the-election-is-near [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-09-12 15:37:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-09-12 20:37:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://carsonhub.wpengine.com/?post_type=market-commentary&p=65212 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => market-commentary [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64990 [post_author] => 90034 [post_date] => 2022-09-06 11:59:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-09-06 16:59:19 [post_content] => It continues to be a challenging year for stocks, but all is not lost. We believe there could be some decisive gains before year-end. Let’s look back at two other midterm years that were similar to 2022 in more ways than one.
  • Historically, similar bad starts to midterm election years have been followed by stock market rallies late in the year.
  • More than 3.5 million jobs have been created over the first eight months of 2022, which is not typical of a recession.
  • September is no doubt a volatile and historically weak month. So, buckle up.
  • Supply chains are improving and gas prices are falling, signs that inflation has likely peaked in the U.S. Consumer confidence is also rising amid falling gas prices.
In 1962, first-term Democratic president John F. Kennedy faced a very tough midterm election, supply chain issues, Russia and the U.S. on the brink of war over a small island, Cuba (Taiwan today?), and a six-month 28% bear market without a recession. Sound familiar? Just for reference, the bear market this year corrected 24% in just more than five months. Stocks bottomed in late June 1962 but went on to nearly retest those lows during the Cuban missile crisis in late October. Stocks then soared 18% through the end of the year once the crisis calmed down. In 1982, the market experienced historically high inflation, another midterm year, low consumer confidence, high gas prices, an aggressive Fed, an economy in a recession, and more challenges with Russia. This time stocks lost 27% in a 21-month bear market. At the lowest point, stocks were down more than 16% for the year in mid-August, but then one of the strongest rallies in stock market history took over. In about four months, stocks made up all the losses from the previous 21 months. What sparked it? It was all about inflation showing signs of peaking and rolling over. Mark Twain said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Looking back at these two midterm years shows one key concept. We’ve had bad times before and stocks have bounced back. A lot of bad news is priced into the market right now, and should there be any good news on inflation, the war in Ukraine, the Fed, or the economy, there could be plenty of room for another late midterm-year rally in 2022.

A Positive Employment Report, In More Ways Than One

Good news did arrive last week in the form of the August employment report. This initially buoyed equities until news that Russia is cutting off gas supplies for Europe rocked markets late Friday — a reminder that global events can cause higher volatility over the short run. The economy created 315,000 jobs in August. Since these numbers can be revised, it’s more useful to look at the average over the last three months — job growth averaged 378,000 each month between June and August. The bigger picture is the economy has created 3.5 million jobs this year, and there are five months left to go. Average annual job growth since 1940 is about 1.5 million; 2.3 million when recessions are excluded. This is a very strong labor market. The August report also showed the unemployment rate rose from 3.5% to 3.7%. In his Jackson Hole speech last week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the Fed is focused on getting inflation down to its 2% target but that will involve bringing pain to households and businesses. So, are we starting to see signs of the pain Powell mentioned? Not really. The unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed persons (those who are looking for a job) by the size of the labor force (employed + unemployed). In August, the ranks of unemployed increased but not because more people were laid off. It was because more people came back into the labor force and started looking for jobs. This is a good sign because it points to a more attractive labor market, certainly not something seen in a recession. The connection between employment and prices is wage growth, at least as the Fed sees it. And there is good reason for this. Inflation can be impacted by several factors, including global oil, food prices, and supply-chain disruptions — as we’re all familiar with at this point. Stripping out the goods impacted by these sorts of factors leaves us with services inflation. This is what the Fed is really concerned about, and historically in the U.S., strong wage growth has led to higher services inflation. But there was good news on this front, too. Average hourly earnings for private sector workers rose about 4% (at an annualized rate) in August, which is slower than the 5% rate it has averaged over the past year. It appears to be moving closer to the pre-crisis wage growth rate of about 3%. Slower wage growth is not great news if you are employed, especially considering the high levels of inflation. Falling gas prices are providing some relief; but from the Fed’s perspective, the best news in the August payroll report was that wage growth slowed. Many economists believe that for wage growth to slow, job openings have to fall — leading to slower employment gains and, ultimately, higher unemployment. So far, that’s not happening. Wage growth has slowed despite job openings remaining extremely elevated. Job openings listed by employers are running twice as high as the number of unemployed workers. Before the pandemic the ratio was about 1.2:1, i.e., 12 jobs listed for every 10 unemployed workers. Now it’s 2:1. Employment gains slowed in August, but it was always unlikely that job growth would continue running at half a million a month. Moreover, layoffs remain at record lows. All this is exactly the opposite of what would be expected. While it’s hard to pinpoint an exact reason, a significant factor may be that the economy is continuing to normalize after two years of massive pandemic-related shifts. The pandemic prompted workers to quit their jobs at a much higher rate. Some termed this the “Great Resignation,” but it was really the “Great Job Switch.” Workers did not quit their jobs to stop work. Instead, they quit to take another job — and, importantly, one with higher pay. Over the 12 months through July, “job switchers” saw wage gains of 6.7% on average, compared to 4.9% for “job stayers.” As the economy normalizes, this trend is reversing. Quits have fallen 7% since November, with most of that decline occurring over the past four months. That may be why wage growth is falling without unemployment rising in a significant way. That would be the ideal case for the Fed and the economy. If wage growth continues to fall, that is a good sign for the services part of inflation. It also means the Fed would not have to increase rates too much further. And if all that happens on the back of fewer quits as opposed to rising unemployment, that would indeed be the best case.   This newsletter was written and produced by CWM, LLC. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of any other named entity and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results. S&P 500 INDEX The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries. MSCI ACWI INDEX The MSCI ACWI captures large- and mid-cap representation across 23 developed markets (DM) and 23 emerging markets (EM) countries*. With 2,480 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the global investable equity opportunity set. Compliance Case #01478809 [post_title] => What Year Is It? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => what-year-is-it [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-09-06 14:01:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-09-06 19:01:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://carsonhub.wpengine.com/?post_type=market-commentary&p=65193 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => market-commentary [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64975 [post_author] => 90034 [post_date] => 2022-08-29 12:29:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-08-29 17:29:08 [post_content] => The S&P 500 recently soared more than 17% off its June 16 lows but found trouble near its 200-day moving average. This is perfectly normal, as stocks might need to catch their breath before the next move higher. That is the good news. The bad news is the calendar is doing no one any favors and more volatility could be in store.
  • September is historically one of the weakest months of the year for stocks, so buckle up.
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that the Fed remains committed to bringing inflation down to its target 2%, which means we are going to see more rate hikes.
  • Market breadth remains quite strong; this could bode well for a continuation of the rally by year-end.
September has been one of the worst months of the year going all the way back to 1950. It is down 0.5% on average, with February the only other month routinely in the red. September has been the worst in the past 20 years and 10 years and is one of the weaker months in a midterm election year. Interestingly, June is the worst in a midterm year, and that sure played out this year. So, why is September so poor for stocks? There are many theories. One is big traders finally get back from the Hamptons after Labor Day and begin to sell. The other is many hedge funds and institutions have their year-end in October, so they sell for tax reasons. Of course, we could ask why they don’t just sell in October, but we’ll leave that for another day. The bottom line is investors need to understand that seasonality plays a part in the overall cycle of the stock market, and this September could be rocky and volatile. But take one more look at the chart above. Some of the best months of the year are coming up, so a little more pain for some nice end-of-year gain might not be so bad. The Fed Will Keep At It Until the Job is Done So said Fed Chair Jerome Powell in his much-awaited Jackson Hole Economic Symposium speech. The “job” in this case refers to getting inflation down to the Fed’s 2% target, which is really about achieving price stability, as Powell and company see it. In their view, without price stability the economy will not be able to achieve a sustained period of strong employment. However, there will be unfortunate costs. Powell admitted that getting inflation back to target will bring pain to households and businesses, which are already struggling with higher interest rates, below-trend economic growth, and softer labor market conditions. But failing to restore price stability would be worse. The Fed lifted interest rates by 200 basis points over just three months, taking it to the 2.25-2.5% range (1 basis point or 1 bps = 0.01%). After the July meeting, Powell said Fed members thought rates had reached a moderately restrictive level. And at the Jackson Hole meeting, Powell added that getting inflation back to target will require sufficiently restrictive policy for quite some time. Translation: The Fed is going to continue raising rates and will keep them there for a while. The pace of interest rate hikes will eventually slow, but the level of rates will stay higher for longer. At the same time, data dependency means markets will parse each data point for clues as to how high they will go and how long they will stay there. Last week the PCE price index report (the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation) showed prices falling 0.1% in July. Core PCE, which strips out more volatile food and energy prices, was also much lower than expected, rising just 0.1%. This is welcome news, but Powell was clear that one month of improvement is not enough. Inflation may continue to ease over the next few months, as pandemic-impacted services, such as airfares and hotel prices, and vehicle prices exert a deflationary force on inflation. If that happens, the question is how much softening would the Fed need to see before backing off its current path? Therein lies the uncertainty. Let’s Leave on Some Good News The Fed, inflation, the economy, and war in Eastern Europe are just a few of the many issues for investors to worry about. But a very strong technical development occurred recently that might bring some calm to the myriad of concerns. Market breadth, defined simply, is how many stocks are going up or down at one time. In a solid bull market, many stocks must participate for the move to have lasting power. Additionally, breadth tends to lead price, so if many stocks are performing well (strong market breadth), then the odds favor the overall indexes to follow suit. Now for the good news. The S&P 500 advance/decline line recently made a new all-time high. An advance/decline line is simply how many stocks are going up versus down each day, which is then tallied up over time. What investors need to know is new highs in breadth can often signal new highs in the overall index. The chart below shows the last seven times this indicator made a new high for the first time after a period (four months) of no new highs. Although some periods of weakness followed initially, after one year stocks were higher every single time, up 15.6% on average. This newsletter was written and produced by CWM, LLC. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of any other named entity and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results. S&P 500 INDEX The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries. MSCI ACWI INDEX The MSCI ACWI captures large- and mid-cap representation across 23 developed markets (DM) and 23 emerging markets (EM) countries*. With 2,480 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the global investable equity opportunity set. Compliance Case # 01472002 [post_title] => Market Commentary: The Worst Month of the Year Is Here [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => market-commentary-the-worst-month-of-the-year-is-here [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-08-30 08:24:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-08-30 13:24:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://carsonhub.wpengine.com/?post_type=market-commentary&p=65179 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => market-commentary [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 5 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 65030 [post_author] => 90034 [post_date] => 2022-09-19 09:03:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-09-19 14:03:21 [post_content] => The popular Green Day song titled “Wake Me When September Ends” feels quite appropriate given the recent market volatility. In fact, the S&P 500 has now dropped at least 3% for three of the past four weeks. As we’ve noted in this commentary, stocks tend to be quite volatile and potentially weak in September, and that is playing out once again in 2022.
  • It’s been another volatile September. We’ve seen this before, and it may not be over yet.
  • We expect there’s more room for interest rates to rise, especially if core inflation remains high.
  • The Fed is likely to raise interest rates by 0.75% in September, but the key will be how far the Fed will go.
  • Economic indicators, including retail sales, manufacturing, and unemployment claims, do not point toward a recession.
It isn’t all bad though. The last three months tend to do quite well in a midterm election year, so we are still optimistic an end-of-year rally is possible. One more positive is just how bad the action was on Tuesday. After the hotter-than-expected inflation data (more on that below), the S&P 500 fell 4.3% for the worst single day for stocks since June 2020. Along the way, less than 1% of the S&P 500 finished higher, one of the lowest readings in recent memory. This is the 20th time since 2000 that less than 1% of S&P 500 stocks closed higher on a single day. But only twice were stocks still down one year later, and the average return was a very solid 19.1%. Not to be outdone, every stock in the Nasdaq 100 closed red on Tuesday, for only the 13th time in history and the first time since March 12, 2020. But looking back at the index one year after this rare event shows the Nasdaq 100 was higher every time and up 21.2% on average. The bottom line is stocks will still be in a seasonally weak period for the next few weeks, so caution could be warranted. But the recent heavy selling is consistent with a market nearing bottom, and a strong year-end rally is still quite possible.

Interest Rates Could Keep Rising If Inflation Stays High

The August CPI report was not pretty. The headline number came in at 0.1%, pulled down by gas prices but higher than an expected -0.1% reading. The problem was core CPI, excluding food and energy, was 0.6%, twice what was expected. Tobacco, new vehicles, vehicle repairs, dental services, and hospital services all came in hotter than expected. Shelter costs continued to remain strong, while pandemic-impacted goods and services, including used/new cars, apparel, airfares, hotels, and furnishings, did not exert as much of a deflationary force as was expected by this time. There were still some positives. For starters, CPI likely peaked in June at more than 9% year-over-year and fell to 8.3% in August. It should continue to trend lower. We have seen huge drops in prices paid in various manufacturing surveys, improvements in time to delivery, and imploding used car prices. All these factors will feed into the official inflation numbers over the next few months. Nevertheless, markets were quick to react, as a hot inflation report led investors to expect the Fed to continue raising rates at a furious pace. Investors currently anticipate the federal funds rate to be raised as high as 4.2%. The white line in the chart below shows investor expectations for the fed funds rate, while the green line shows the median of the dots, which represent each Fed member’s estimate for where the policy rate will be in 2022 and beyond. As you can see, the green line for 2022 is well below the white line (investor expectations). The Fed has a meeting this week, and we will be watching how much higher Fed members move their estimates and whether they match the market’s expectations. Our view is the green line will shift higher, close to 4% or more. That is why we’re still cautious on our outlook for interest rates. We believe there’s room for rates across the spectrum to rise — on the back of higher policy rates. Short-term Treasury interest rates, which are a good approximation of monetary policy, have surged this year and are well above pre-crisis levels. After the August inflation report was released, one-year rates rose from 3.70% to 3.92%, while slightly longer-term five-year rates rose from 3.47% to 3.58%. So, they certainly are closer to where policy rates may get to but not quite there yet.

Still No Sign of Recession

Data last week showed consumer spending remains solid, with retail sales rising 0.3% in August. This was mostly driven by auto sales, although spending was strong in various other sectors, including restaurants and building material and supply stores. The only drag was gasoline station purchases, where sales fell 4%, but that was because gas prices fell. If anything, we’re surprised at the strength of retail sales, which mostly comprise spending on goods, even as the country puts COVID in the rearview mirror. Real retail sales, which are adjusted for prices, rose 0.2% in August and are almost 10% above the pre-crisis trend, with no sign of slowdown yet. Industrial production did slow in August, falling 0.2%. However, this was because of a large pullback in electric power output. The all-important manufacturing sector saw production tick higher by 0.1%, and that overcame a 1.4% decline in motor vehicle and parts production. This is another puzzle for us — supply chains are clearly improving, but vehicle production remains below pre-pandemic levels. This is entirely because auto production is down about 32%, while light vehicle truck production (like SUVs) is back where it was. At the beginning of the year, we expected a pickup in auto production, providing more of a tailwind to the economy. Finally, though certainly not the least important, unemployment claims continue to fall and remain well below pre-crisis levels. That means people getting laid off can find jobs quickly, without having to file for unemployment benefits — a sign of a very strong labor market. The downside is that increases the odds of the Fed continuing to raise interest rates to cool the economy down.   This newsletter was written and produced by CWM, LLC. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of any other named entity and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results. S&P 500 – A capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries. The NASDAQ 100 Index is a stock index of the 100 largest companies by market capitalization traded on NASDAQ Stock Market. The NASDAQ 100 Index includes publicly-traded companies from most sectors in the global economy, the major exception being financial services. Compliance Case # 01489423 [post_title] => Market Commentary: Wake Me When September Ends [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => market-commentary-wake-me-when-september-ends [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-09-19 09:24:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-09-19 14:24:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://carsonhub.wpengine.com/?post_type=market-commentary&p=65232 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => market-commentary [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 124 [max_num_pages] => 25 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => 1 [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 4988683a7012c9995754a9c3eb333ba2 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) [tribe_is_event] => [tribe_is_multi_posttype] => [tribe_is_event_category] => [tribe_is_event_venue] => [tribe_is_event_organizer] => [tribe_is_event_query] => [tribe_is_past] => )

Market Commentary

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Wake Me When September Ends

The popular Green Day song titled “Wake Me When September Ends” feels quite appropriate given the recent market volatility. In fact, the S&P 500 has now dropped at least 3% for three of the past four weeks. As we’ve noted in this commentary, stocks tend to be quite volatile and potentia …
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