If yesterday was the first time you have paid attention to investment markets in a while, you are probably not alone. When the Dow Jones plummets over 800 points in a day its rather challenging to find refuge from the horrifying headlines.
November is popular for the Movember movement. The whole month is dedicated to foolish men (myself included) growing facial hair for men’s health issues such as prostate/testicular cancer and suicide. Wade Boggs, Borat, and our own Tom Ferkinhoff all immediately become my mustache idols for November. Their mustaches could be described just like excellent Scotches are: full-bodied, dignified and balanced. They are sooooo manly, they appear to have peat in them. I look more like Larry Bird or Justin Bieber.
On to the Movember related must do’s…
Growing up, Halloween was a time of care free fun. Scary movies, sleepovers, finding that perfect costume, and of course who could forget the candy! The only thing that made Halloween better was when it fell on a Friday or Saturday night!
As adults its important to remember that the only danger isn’t just in the movies on TV.Your own little horror story could break out at any moment without the proper insurance to cover yourself.
October is scary! Mainly because it means another year is almost done. This is also a good time to reflect on your spending over the past year. With Halloween just around the corner…let’s find some scary financial things to do. BOO!!
Review your credit report
Review your spending for the last year
Review your homeowner’s insurance
It is not every day that I come across a financial article that I feel is worthy of sharing with others. These days they are often steeped in fear tactics meant to confuse one about their investments or litter someone’s political agenda. Sometimes the meat of an article is pretty good but let’s just say they are a bit over seasoned.
Thankfully today is not like every day, and when I was checking some financial news on Marketwatch this morning I found something that I thought you all might like.
Well, 2018’s second quarter earnings season is history. It was pretty much a repeat of the first quarter. Once again, if you were to read the headlines, you would be led to believe the end-of-times was near. Reporter anxiety continues to run high and, at times almost hysterical. The continuing trade spat between the U.S. and China (and other countries), the threats from North Korea and Iran, the geopolitical risk from a populist Italy and a messy Brexit, or any one of several Trump tweets all ensured the fear-based media operated in full-on mode. Of course, this in turn has fed market volatility, which has risen considerably in 2018.
While that approach may be good at grabbing attention, it does little to convey the current situation of our global economy. The headlines are all bark, no bite. The reality, at least at this early juncture, is that the tariffs have yet to have any impact on the U.S. economy. Small business sentiment continues to run high and, producers are in growth mode. And, more importantly, broad based consumer confidence continues to run high as well. 75% of our GDP is created through consumer spending and, make no mistake, the consumer is spending!! Unemployment is at record lows, wages are rising, and the public feels confident in their financial position.
I was reviewing one of my favorite sites that lists when things are on deepest discount. They showed their September deals and a funny item appeared on the list: Blu-Ray Player. Those are still a thing?Anyway, going to keep it simple for September.
Pay quarterly taxes
Review your benefits
Find a financial book to read
The 2nd quarter increase in real GDP reflected increases in consumer spending, exports, business investment, and government spending. The only decreases were in business inventory investment and housing investment. The increase in consumer spending reflected increases in services and both durable and nondurable goods. The unemployment rate is low, wages are increasing and people, in general, feel good about their financial situation. The increase in exports reflected increases in exports of goods. Clearly a result of foreign companies purchasing supplies prior to tariff rate increases going into effect.
Concerns, however remain. Last quarter we noted the possibility of the economy overheating. We now believe this is less likely because of the potential impact of a global trade war. Business activity appears to be slowing as companies weigh the odds of there being a trade war or not. As is, the tariff increases that have been implemented are small relative to global trade. The real danger continues to be the uncertainty about what happens next. If trade tensions sap business confidence, causing executives to put off capital spending and other investment decisions, then the damage could get serious. Time will tell.
August 4th is Coast Guard Day. Alexander Hamilton, along with the help of US congress, authorized the building of a fleet of Revenue Service Cutters. The August to do’s all relate to keeping yourself safe and limiting your exposure to harm much like the Coast Guard does with boaters every day.
Protect your home
Protect your kids
Protect your financial accounts
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” – Mark Twain
Financial crises have hit the global markets on a regular basis throughout history. And it appears financial crises will continue to pop up at regular intervals into the future. The first recorded speculative bubble was Tulip Mania in 1637, a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which the prices for fashionable tulip bulbs reached extraordinarily high levels only to dramatically collapse. Today, we view stocks, bonds and commodities as our investments of choice and, as always, current events continue to cause the financial markets to fluctuate, sometimes dramatically.