20Feb
The Market is Not the Economy
Economy

To understand this blog, you need to know what “VIX” stands for. VIX is the ticker symbol for the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) volatility index, which shows the market’s expectation of 30- day volatility.

As you know, your Resonate team consistently works hard to continue to earn your confidence and your business. Based on recent market volatility, I have been reading even more extensively than usual. I found this article by Trent Houston, product strategist at Lord Abbett to be particularly informative.
I hope that you do as well.

Read More
14Feb
Market Volatility – 4 Important Perspectives
Economy

I found this article to be interesting – hope you do too!

Market Volatility

Read More
13Feb
Resonate Receives Better Business Bureau Award
uncategorized

ResonateCincinnati, Ohio – Resonate Inc. is recognized for 25 years of BBB® Accreditation. Barb Culver, President, accepts an award from BBB celebrating the company’s longstanding commitments to the standards of Better Business Bureau Accreditation.

Read Press Release

Read More
06Feb
Market Volatility
Economy

At times like this, we are especially grateful for professional partnerships such as the one we offer clients through The Optimized Portfolio System (TOPS®).

In terms of recent market volatility, Click Here for the insights from Michael McClary, MBA – Chief Investment Officer and the TOPS® Portfolio Management Team at ValMark Securities, Inc.

I hope that this is helpful information to each of you.

As always, we are here to talk if you’d like.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

Read More
30Jan
Do You Know the Real Impact of the New Tax Reform?
Economy

While many of us are enjoying significant gains in investment portfolios, partly due to tax reform law, there is more to the story. Sadly, is seems, that once again a decision was made to create a positive short-term impact with little to no regard for the long-term impact,

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the income tax cuts will boost the current federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years. The current national debt already tops $20 trillion. It is 74% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP)!

The 2018 federal budget includes interest payments on the debt of $332 billion! Now add into the mix that the new federal reserve chair, Jerome Rhoads, has already stated there will probably be three interest rate increases in 2018 and the $332 billion escalated even higher.

Think about this legislation in terms of the financial future for our children/grandchildren/loved ones under the age of 50. Couple this with the uncertainty of Social Security, the ever-increasing cost in health care and higher education; it seems we are creating a future financial tsunami.

I believe that the combination of the worldwide stock performance along with new legislation which increases debt provides an opportunity for many of us to consider doing something for those we love most in the world.

Would those of us who were fortunate to be invested in equities in 2017 think about creating some financial security for others? Would we be willing to share a small piece of our abundance to create a brighter and more secure future for others?

If this is something you would like to know more about, please contact me. Let’s share a conversation in which we create new meaning and purpose for some of your money as we celebrate new-found abundance.

(The source for this information is the editorial opinion in the January 8-12, 2018 issue of Investment News.)

 

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

Read More
12Jan
The Psychology of Change
Issues of Aging

Credit for many of the ideas shared in this blog goes to Whitney Johnson. Johnson was interviewed for the January 2018 Insurance NewsNet Magazine. Her thoughts appear in an article called “The Success Curve of Disruption.”

Johnson states that one of the reasons it’s so hard for people to deal with disruption/change is because it seems very unpredictable at a very basic level. Johnson sites work done by Everett Rogers in 1962. Rogers created “the S-curve” to gauge how quickly an innovation would be adopted. Johnson believes that S-curve is valid today and has pointed out seven steps that anyone can take to deal successfully with change in our lives.

Here’s a brief comment on each of the seven steps:

  1. Take the right risks: This is an essential and fundamental step to mastering change.
  2. Play to your distinctive strengths: focus most of your time and energy on what you naturally do well that other people around you do not do well.
  3. Embrace constraints: people are successful not despite, but because of, their constraints. The law of physics says that we need friction. We must have friction to climb a mountain, to drive a car, and to climb the “S-Curve of Change”.
  4. Battle entitlement: rather than getting too comfortable with our current situation, a key question to ask ourselves is, “what could I be doing differently?” By doing, we choose to create necessary and desirable change in our lives.
  5. Step back to grow: Johnson suggests that “a way to get ourselves to step back to grow is to recognize that there really is no such thing as standing still. If we’re not moving forward, we’re actually moving backward.”
  6. Give failure its due: we must get rid of the shame that we sometimes feel when things don’t work out, because when we allow a mistake to become a referendum on us, our identity-the core of who we are-that’s when we lose. It’s the feeling of shame that limits change. Johnson suggests that “it’s shame that limits moving forward; it’s actually not failure.”
  7. Be discovery driven: this is the willingness to take a step forward, gather feedback, and adapt.

Now, for the good news… Johnson says that we do not need to master each one of these seven steps to be successful. Rather, she says discover which of the seven attributes/attitudes you do naturally and well. Then, “lean into using them when it comes to change.”

If you would enjoy knowing more about this topic, please consider Whitney Johnson’s book, Disrupt Yourself.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

Read More
04Jan
How Long Can the Tech Rally Last?
Economy

Of course, no one can definitively answer this question.  Recently, the Wall Street Journal shared a very encouraging article on this topic.

Much of the tech. rally and the overall success of the economy is linked to the global technology sector. Names that continue to dominate the headlines are Apple Inc., International Business Machines Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, and Tencent Holdings Limited – the Chinese internet company.

Paul Markham, a global equities portfolio manager at Newton investment management, states: “The narrow nature of this rally has to be seen as something of a concern, but these are cash-generative companies who are being seen as the bedrock of the new economy.

Read More
26Dec
Inflation Risk & Impact on Retirement Assets – Part 2 of 2
Economy

This is the second part of a two-part blog on inflation. May I encourage you to read Part One if you have not yet done so?

What is the Primary Risk of Inflation?

The primary risk in inflation is that you lose purchasing power over time.  Therefore, this is a topic we choose to emphasize and thoroughly explain to clients and their families.

Here are some examples I hope you will find interesting:

Year   What $1 buys                                          Money Supply*

1907     1 pair patent leather shoes                       $7 Billion

1913      1 Woman’s house dress                            $13 Billion

1930     16 Cans of Campbell’s Soup                    $46 Billion

1940     20 Bottles of Coca Cola                            $55 Billion

1960     2 Movie Tickets                                       $211 Billion

1987     1 Bottle Heinz Ketchup                             $1,560 Billion

2000    1 Wendy’s Hamburger                              $4,917 Billion

2010     1 Song on iTunes                                 $13,291 Billion

 

* the total amount of money in circulation or in existence in the U.S.

(Source: Jeff Desjardins Visual Capitalist 4-9-2017)

Retirement assets need to increase in value beyond inflation levels.  Those retirement assets need to last 18.8 years for a 65-year old male and 21.2 years for a 65-year old female.  (Source:superlike.com)

Of course, these are average life spans…. What does this mean for the person or couple who live into their 90’s?

Planning for longevity and the increased cost of health care is critical.  The assumptions made for inflation and portfolio return have a huge impact on planning outcomes.  If you do not yet have a retirement plan in place, please make it a priority.  The peace of mind and sense of security a plan provides is priceless.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

Read More
15Dec
Inflation Ahead: Beware! – Part 1 of 2
Economy

One of the observations I have from creating projections for funding future goals such as college or retirement is that it is often very hard for clients to understand the impact of inflation. So, I decided to write a two-part blog about inflation. Part One covers the causes of/and multiple definitions for inflation. Part Two discusses the risk and impact of inflation, because we are living longer.

What causes inflation?

There are several possible answers.  The recent damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and California wild fires results in higher prices because there is a temporary shortage of goods.  Therefore, prices are bid up as people compete to obtain what they need.  Fortunately, these situations are temporary.  Inflation is also caused when businesses purposefully restrict supply thereby artificially raising prices.  This happened in the 1970’s when OPEC agreed to limit oil production in an effort to increase oil prices.

The primary cause of inflation is an increase in the money supply.  You have probably heard the phrase, “Too much money chasing too few goods and services increases prices.”

What is the difference between inflation and the Consumer Price Index (CPI)?

The CPI is an index… or “a number used to measure change”.  It measures the change in prices paid by consumers for goods and services.  It reflects the spending patterns of urban wage earners, consumers and clerical workers.  Interestingly, the CPI does not include the spending habits of people living in rural (non-metropolitan) areas, people in the Armed Forces, and anyone incarcerated or a patient in a mental institution. (Source:InflationData.com)

Price Inflation (what we simply call inflation) is the “percentage increase in the price of the basket of goods and services over a specific period of time”.

The key to this definition is knowing what is in the “basket” that is being measured.

Interestingly, it is “all items less food and energy”.  This means the basket includes goods and services such as transportation, medical care, vehicles, clothing, and housing.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

Read More
06Dec
Why Is There So Much Excitement About International Stocks?
Economy

BlackRock’s Chief Equity Strategist Kate Moore notes the following:

While BlackRock prefers stocks over bonds, they are neutral on U.S. stocks and overweighting internationals – specifically Europe, Japan, and emerging markets.

The preference in the U.S. is for technology and financial stocks – especially those companies that are committed to growing their dividend.

In Europe, BlackRock expects the euro to continue to strengthen slightly before stabilizing.

BlackRock is also overweight in emerging markets – namely China, India, and Mexico.

We would be happy to discuss any of these topics in more detail with any of you who are interested in learning more.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

Read More