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01Feb
Feeling Money Pressure and Stress?
Economy

The American Psychological Association
published a study called “Paying with Our Health”.

 

I found it to be especially informative; it also raised my awareness about the impact of financial stress in the lives of women.  It further increased my concern for women and money as I read about the relationship between financial stress and physical health.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

Year after year, women’s experiences with stress continue to be troubling. They consistently report higher stress levels than men do, and they appear to have a hard time coping.1 These patterns also emerge when it comes to their relationship with money and finances.

  • Women report higher levels of stress about money than men (5.0 vs. 4.3 on a 10-point scale) and are more likely than men to say they feel stress about money all or most of the time (30 percent vs. 21 percent).
  • Women who say their stress about money is high (8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale) are more likely than women who say they have low stress about money (1, 2 or 3 on a 10-point scale) than to say they engage in sedentary or unhealthy behaviors to manage their stress, such as watching television/movies for more than two hours per day (55 percent vs. 38 percent), surfing the Internet (57 percent vs. 34 percent), napping/sleeping (41 percent vs. 23 percent), eating (40 percent vs. 19 percent), drinking alcohol (21 percent vs. 9 percent) or smoking (19 percent vs. 7 percent).
  • Women who say their stress about money is high are significantly more likely than women who say they have low stress about money to rate their health as fair or poor (34 percent vs. 13 percent).

1:  Men n=1204; Women n=1864.

Does any of this fit for you or someone you care about?

If so, please know that the Resonate team considers it both our privilege and responsibility to hold the conversation about “Money and Stress”.  We have prepared multiple resources designed to create alternatives and fresh ideas designed to reduce financial stress.

We are comfortable engaging in these emotional conversations and recognize the importance of them.

We welcome hearing your concerns about money and are committed to sharing stress-relieving ideas designed especially for you.

Please contact us for a complimentary conversation.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.

(513) 605-2500

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23Jan
Thoughts on the U.S. and International Bond Market for 2017
Economy

(The source of the following is BNY Mellon Weekly Fixed Income Market Commentary December 7, 2016, Investing Haven “Bond Market Outlook for 2017”: “Investment Outlook” Bill Gross, Janus Capital Group.)

There are currently two key drivers of the market.  One is the election of Donald Trump, and the other is central banks.  The banks are significant, because they are the largest holders in the debt market.

From the U.S.:  Interest rates increased one-quarter of one percent to 0.75% in December 2016.

From Europe: We expect the ECB to extend the current Quantitative Easing buying program.  (The ECB is currently buying 80 billion euros per month.  The expiration date is March, 2017.)

Why is this important?  It is important because increasing interest rates impact stocks, gold, commodities, and currencies.  Based on recent signs, rising rates have a negative impact on gold and a positive influence on the dollar and financial stocks.

As we work to define the impact in 2017, we will be watching the 20 year bond market (TLT) and what happens to other sectors when the TLT reaches amounts around the $120 level.   TLT is an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) that tracks the 20 year Treasury.

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11Jan
Money… From Source of Stress to Valued Resource
Intergenerational Planning

Money… for many of us….is a complex, controversial and sometimes competitive topic.  While each generation has its distinct challenges, money can also be the number one stressor for individuals, couples, and families.

In this blog, I explain how each generation relates to money, how money stresses the generations, and offer solutions to the crushing stress factor.

Let’s begin with the World War II Generation or those born between the years of 1925 and 1942.

For many in this generation, also called “The Silent Generation”, money was associated with the deep scars of scarcity created by the Great Depression.  Therefore, the emphasis was on saving and always spending less than they earned.  This generation was largely content with keeping one house for as long as possible and keeping cars and other possessions until they wore out.  The primary money motivator for the WW II Generation was to replace scarcity with “having enough” or sufficiency.

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27Dec
The Trump Election and Interest Rates: What to Do Now
Economy

(Credit goes to Michelle Borre CFA, Oppenheimer Funds; “Will Trumponomics Bring a New Interest Rate Regime?” and Scott Page CFA and Craig Russ Co-Directors of Bank Loans at Eaton Vance “Fed Delivers Continued Tailwind for Floating Rate Loan Investors”.)

None of the information below is to be considered a recommendation to buy, hold or sell any particular position.

The following stated goals from President Elect Trump could bring sweeping change to some long-held market views on interest rates:

  1. Fiscal stimulus in the form of corporate and individual tax cuts;
  2. Incentives to bring offshore cash back on shore;
  3. Increased infrastructure spending;
  4. Tariffs or taxes on imported goods which still cause these goods to be more expensive to purchase.
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22Dec
Investing to Make a Difference
Investing

As Resonate re-branded itself is 2015, we found these things to be of primary importance to us:

“Encouraging our clients to clearly define what is most important to them about life and money” and then “Aligning our clients’ money with their life and purpose to express social, political and environmental values which lead to creating meaningful outcomes.”

This has led us to consider the following in offering investment choices to our clients:

  • “Investing in businesses which pass certain ethical practice screens;
  • “Considering social, political or environmental impact as important in investment decisions;
  • “Providing values’ based investing.”

What does it mean to invest in businesses that pass certain ethical practice screens?

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09Nov
Election Results
Economy

flickr-donkeyhotey-democratic-republican-partyNow that the election results are clear, this is what we expect to happen.

Until President-Elect Trump begins to reveal who he will select as Cabinet members and close advisors, the market may react negatively.  This is because the market typically does not like uncertainty.  This uncertainty extends from domestic policy to global trade and how other world leaders will respond to our election results.

Of course, no one knows how long this may last.

Hopefully, like the response to the unexpected Brexit vote, this, too, will be short-lived.

What we have done in anticipation of this:

For those of you who take cash distributions for living expenses, we already have between 6 and 12 months of your cash need escrowed.  Therefore, we will not be selling positions to raise cash in the near term.

Our investment philosophy is that we stay invested for the long term; we do not try to time the market based on daily events.

With that said, please remember that we have diversified your portfolio and that no Resonate client is 100% invested in the U.S. stock market at this time. Most Resonate clients are closer to a 60-70% equity position.  While we expect to see a drop in share price, there is no indication that any large U.S. companies will stop paying dividends due to election results.

Some of you will see this as an opportunity to buy quality companies “on sale”.

Also remember that many of you own annuities with guaranteed protected values which convert into guaranteed lifetime income.

Summary:

In the near term, expect volatility; if you find it agitating, listen to as little of the news as possible.

As always, reach out to us if you want to talk.

Until next time, live your purpose!

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.

(513) 605-2500

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17Oct
Investing for Women
Investing

investing-for-womenThe August-September issue of the Morningstar Magazine for professional advisors has an interesting interview with Sylvia Kwan.  Sylvia is the chief financial officer of Ellevest – a company that specializes in investing for women.

Here are some of their positions with which your Resonate team agrees:

  1. “Investing shouldn’t be unisex.” Women’s investment preferences and goals are often different from men’s.  These preferences need to be heard, acknowledged, and factored into the investment portfolios.

  2. “Women working outside the home experiences more wage losses than male counterparts.”  This is due to taking career breaks to honor family commitments and due to the ongoing gender pay gap. Couple this with women’s actuarially longer lifespans and there is an obvious need for custom planning for women.

  3. “Life changes are a certainty.”  While we may not yet know what will change (health, issues with aging parents, divorce, special needs of children), we are committed to continually building our relationship so that we are there when you need us to again listen and provide appropriate (although different) recommendations.

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04Oct
Resonate’s Enhanced Services
Intergenerational Planning

Richness of Life

 

 

As a natural result of our clients’ busy lives, it is becoming increasingly clear that planning to meet their life and financial goals is rapidly becoming more complex.

Therefore, to act on our dedication and commitment to our clients, I am pleased to share that we have enhanced our services to include the following:

  1. Tax strategies designed to optimized the tax efficiency of a retirement portfolio both current and in the future.
  2. An annual Medicare check-up.  Whether you are currently covered with Medicare or you know someone who is, here are items that need to be updated each year:
  • A change in prescription medications;
  • Gradual increases in the Medicare gap filler or Part D premiums;
  • If a current carrier has discontinued the Medicare Part C or D plan;
  • A change in legal name;
  • A change of residence.
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22Sep
Rise of the Robo-Advisor
Blogs / Articles

robo-advisors I am increasingly reading about the “Rise of the Robo-Advisor” and thought some recent information might interest you as it did me.

For those of you who might not be familiar with the concept, Robo-Advisors are computers programmed to create investment portfolios.  They tend to be most popular with younger investors.

Did you know that, a “decision to protect its investors by Betterment, (a large Robo-advisor) resulted in Betterment temporarily suspending trading the morning after the Brexit vote?  “This decision, made on only a 2% drop in the market, disappointed and surprised many Betterment users. “

(Source: “Betterment’s Brexit Shock” by Suleman Din Techzone Financial Planning August 2016)

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20Sep
And the Scams Continue
Economy

Wells Fargo  is the latest recipient of a massive fine ($185 million) for fraudulent activity impacting thousands of their customers.  The employees who opened thousands of accounts without the knowledge of their clients, say that the corporate imposed sales quotas were simply impossible to reach consistently.  So they chose to break the law to reach their goals. (The source for this information is the Wall Street Journal September 14. “Wells Boss Says Staff At Fault For Scams” and “Wells Fargo Isn’t Sorry Enough”)

Quotas and sale goals are common throughout the entire banking and large wire-house industry.  Conflicts of interest can be a natural outcome any time there are shareholders to satisfy.

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