October…Traditionally a Volatile Month?

  According to LPL Research, “October 2017 ushers in shorter days and cooler weather, but the global bull market shows few signs of slowing down.” Key takeaways from the most recent Weekly Market Commentary include: October is historically the most volatile month for equities. An election in Japan and interest rate decisions from the BOJ and ECB are on tap this month, only adding to potential movement. Initial third quarter GDP will be released, while third quarter earnings season begins. Read more from LPL Financial’s Ryan Detrick, CMT Senior Market Strategist, and John Lynch, Chief Investment Strategist.

The Bull Market Appears Alive & Kickin’!

September 26, 2017 | posted in: Blog, LPL Weekly Market Commentary, Uncategorized | by

The steady bull market—now the second largest—continues.
According to LPL Research, “The Dow just had its third nine-day win streak of 2017, which hasn’t happened within a single year since 1955. Can the rally continue? Key takeaways indicate that long-term technical indicators on equities continue to look strong. This is currently the second longest streak without a 3% correction for the S&P 500, suggesting volatility could come at any time. However, overall market sentiment continues to suggest that equity prices aren’t near a major peak.” Read more from LPL Financial’s Burt White, Chief Investment Officer, and Ryan Detrick, CMT Senior Market Strategist.

Bruised and Battered, but Not Broken!

September 15, 2017 | posted in: Uncategorized | by

Dear clients and colleagues, Hurricane Irma has been deadly for some, simply devastating for others, and somewhat to quite disruptive for the majority of Floridians. Fortunately for my own office, we fall in the somewhat disruptive category.  As I write this, Minerva is on the road returning from Tennessee; Alex is marooned in Cartagena, Colombia, waiting for the next available flight; Sarah just got in from NYC; and Tanya has just returned from Athens, GA. I chose to ride out the storm in my home in North Dade, and experienced many “interesting” and memorable moments.  I am writing this piece to not only share them with you, but also to preserve my memories of the Hurricane Irma adventure that otherwise would be sure to fade with time. So here, in no particular order, are some of my experiences, thoughts and observations. I’m sure many of you out there have had similar and/or you own interesting experiences to write about. I’d love to hear about yours. As of this writing on Friday, September 15, the majority of the homes in my neighborhood remain without electric power, cable, or Wi-Fi. Most of my neighbors, while uncomfortable in the tropical heat, seem resigned and even upbeat about the frustrating situation (although no one accepted my offer for a dip in our pool!). But some seem to have a dazed look about them and are wandering around aimlessly in a way that reminds one of a scene out of the movie, “Night of the living Dead.” My wife and I do enjoy walking at night in the total darkness with the aid of my cell phone light, coming across neighbors doing the same thing. The lack of certain familiar sounds seems eerie; no hum of AC units, no sudden surges or pops as units turn on and off. The natural darkness reminds us of walks at night on unlit country roads up north, where we spend time during the summers. Yesterday I visited the Whole Foods store in Aventura. It was quite unsettling to find the shelves almost entirely bare. The two days during which the office was down felt like two months to me. Thank you to my loyal clients who not only understood but also exhibited support and good wishes. The local Publix supermarket has become the gathering point for those without electricity (the powerless?). There are clusters of people around each of the store’s electrical outlets charging their personal devices. I sincerely thank the decision-makers of Publix for opting to look the other way and allow this activity to continue. Speaking of my local Publix in Skylake, this particular store is patronized by what seems to be a melting pot of all cultures and income levels. I love the feeling of togetherness that we, who at times seem so different, are experiencing as we help each other find the available water supplies or share our own particular hurricane tales. I am filled with pride as an American as I watch the National Guard men and women directing traffic on the intersections of Ives Dairy Road which still remain without functioning traffic lights. I can only chuckle when I think about the text I received today from AT&T about my increased use of cellular data, “Burning through your data? Try using Wi-Fi.”  Huh? Wi-Fi? Who’s got Wi-Fi? In marketing terms, this is called being “tone-deaf.” I do appreciate the concern expressed by my friends, family, colleagues, vendors and even strangers. This old dog has become much more skilled at new tricks like using personal hotspots, outside hotspots, streaming devices, etc. Living without conventional TV and Wi-Fi has afforded more time to talk and text with family, and to read good old-fashioned books. What can be wrong with that? This past Tuesday, the ACE Hardware on Biscayne Boulevard near our office, having no Wi-Fi or computer service, was accepting cash only. Perhaps before we become a “cashless society” we should reflect upon this. There is a deli/bagel shop here in Aventura that is always the last store to close and the first to open when a storm hits. On Tuesday, when I reached the bagel counter, the attendant barked that, “The only thing we got is egg bagels,” reminiscent of the classic Saturday Night Live Olympia Café “Cheeseburger/No Coke-Pepsi” skit! Without missing a beat I replied, “In that case, give me a dozen of your finest egg bagels.”  I was very happy to have them, and thank you, Aventura deli, for always being open. My beloved grove of mango trees at the office has, by and large, gone to ruin. Not only did the trees become dramatically uprooted, they cracked municipal water pipes in the process, causing a near water disaster (issue now mostly resolved) at the office. Regarding emergencies, a hurricane affords you the opportunity to discover which of your service people are reliable and loyal. I now love Patrick, our plumber, for responding immediately during a very chaotic time for this town, to our broken pipe emergency. I am so grateful to our IT guy for also rushing to our office and getting our technology up and running again. Thank you to our long-time gardener for saving my avocado tree.  Thank you, Robin, for helping supervise and organize the opening of the office again. Thank you to Rich, Cat, Ana, and Tanya for assisting with tasks and client communications from remote locations during the storm, even as they struggled with disruptions in their own homes. My stand up paddleboarding skills came in handy, allowing me to rescue my wayward canoe from across Skylake after the storm. For the past 10 days my dreams at night are hurricane-related. When I wake up from one of those dreams, I grab my cell phone for Irma updates. On the front end and during the storm I was continually checking the weather app for the latest hurricane track… Later I was checking the FPL app for power outage updates. If I begin to feel stressed out about hurricane matters, I remind myself of advice my father, who is turning 92 next month, gave me a few weeks ago when I talked to him about a particularly stressful day I was having. He said, “Son, what you just described to me is what I call living life. As my world gets smaller, and my time on this earth shorter, I miss having to deal with the things you are stressed out about.” I rarely watch news on our local TV networks. But without conventional cable service, the Xfinity streaming app gave me access to our local NBC 6 station. I thought they did a marvelous job of keeping us informed 24/7 of the latest developments of the storm. I was introduced to the talents of weatherman John Morales, who I thought was excellent. I also appreciated and was comforted by cameo appearances from our old Hurricane Andrew stalwarts, Brian Norcross and Max Mayfield. Great job NBC 6!! Last but not least, my new bestie…my generator! I am so glad I bit the bullet and finally went through the prolonged process and expense of installing a gas line-fed generator.  Baby, you’re the greatest! So, that’s all for now.  Please feel free to share your own stories with me.  And here’s hoping that despite the disruption and heartache, all’s well that ends well.

How to Remain Financially Empowered During a Hurricane

September 6, 2017 | posted in: Blog, Uncategorized | by

To remain financially empowered following potential hurricane damage, implement these three planning steps: Review and Update | Gather and Organize | Protect

A Technical Check-In: The Global Bull Market Looks Strong

From LPL Research this week, we learn that “The global equity bull market is alive and well, with very broad participation. Longer-term technicals continue to look very healthy and strong, even as the bull market and economic recovery in the U.S. turns eight years old. A closer look at key indexes suggests the path of least resistance remains higher for stocks, although it likely won’t be an easy ride, as volatility could creep higher during the second half of 2017.” Key takeaways include that longer-term technical indicators on equities continue to look strong; and global equity strength is yet another clue that the current bull market is still alive and well. Click here to read the full analysis from Burt White, Chief Investment Officer; Ryan Detrick, CMT Senior Market Strategist; and Dave Tonaszuck, CMT Technical Strategist, all from LPL Financial.

Congratulations on Your Retirement…Now, Don’t Go Broke!

May 11, 2017 | posted in: Blog, Financial Insights, Uncategorized | by

Being newly retired is definitely a reason to celebrate — and spend — some of the hard-earned money you’ve saved over the years.
Yet with Americans living longer, experts say you need to plan for a retirement that could last 30 years or more. Add in ever-rising medical costs, mostly stagnant Social Security checks and all of a sudden that pile of cash doesn’t look so big. Authors Katie Young and Sharon Epperson lay out some rookie mistakes to avoid so that you don’t run out of money iin retirement. Click here to read the full article and view the video from CNBC.