Trending Now-2021-S&P Hits 4000

Trending Now-2021-S&P Hits 4000

milestone (noun)1

  1. a stone functioning as a milepost
    2. a significant event or stage in the life, progress, development, or the like of a person, nation, etc. The S&P 500 closed above 4,000 on Thursday, April 1, marking a major post-recession milestone.

Perhaps you’ve heard by now that the S&P 500 recently topped 4,000 for the first time ever.1  It took sixty-four years to get there – the index as we know it today began on March 4, 1957 – and we’ve had to weather market bubbles, bear markets, and recessions to see it.  Frankly, it’s astonishing that it happened this soon.  After all, it was just over a year ago that the markets crashed due to the onset of the pandemic.

But what is the significance of 4,000?  To be honest, not much.  The number is mainly psychological. It’s large, it’s round, it stands alone. But the market isn’t really any different at 4,000 than at, say, 3,827. That’s why the number is less important than the way we respond to it.

You see, the markets are driven by many things, but foremost is confidence. The funny thing about confidence is that the more you have, the more you’re likely to gain. Confidence begets confidence, just as fear breeds fear. We see evidence of that every time the market surges, or every time it drops. So, if the S&P reached 4,000 because of increasing investor confidence, it’s very possible it’ll rise higher – at least in the short term – because those same investors will see the number and think, “Things are great! We made it!”

The question we need to ask ourselves, is “Made it where?” Look at the definition at the top of the page again. If we consider 4,000 as a milestone, then we must remember that this is just a stage. A marker. 4,000 is not a destination. It’s just one more step on a long road to your financial goals.

What we must consider is the ground on which our road is laid. Is it sturdy or shaky?  After all, there are certainly things to feel wary about. New variants of the coronavirus, rising inflation – the list goes on. But there’s lots of good news, too.  Hitting 4,000 may be just a milestone, but it’s a promising one. It’s an event in a series of events that suggests we’re heading in the right direction.  If this were just a unique, out-of-the-blue number, we’d all dismiss it out of hand. But it’s a part of the steady improvement we’ve been seeing since last spring. Unemployment is lower.2  Federal stimulus is driving more economic activity. Over 55 million Americans have been fully vaccinated. President Biden’s goal of distributing 100 million vaccines in his first 100 days in office was accomplished 42 days early.3  (Biden has now set a goal of distributing 200 million by the end of April.3 )  Combine all those factors, and you can see why consumer confidence levels are at their highest since the pandemic started.4 So, there are reasons for optimism.

But the most important thing to remember is the opportunity this news presents. The opportunity to demonstrate sound principles. While some people might see 4,000 and throw caution to the winds, we’re going to emphasize the basics of successful investing.  We’ll keep following our long-term strategy, making decisions based on what’s right for you instead of chasing rabbits or overreacting to headlines. Continued progress toward your dreams is always our goal. Rational thinking is always our guide. Not the ups and downs of the market.

So, as you listen to the pundits on TV, or read their commentary in the newspaper, remember: 4,000 is a milestone. No more, no less. Like all milestones, it shows how far we’ve come…but it’s up to us to remember the road that still lies ahead.

If you have any questions about the markets, or if you just want to chat, please feel free to give our office a call at 301-294-7500. We always love to hear from you!

1 Julia Horowitz, “The S&P 500 shoots above 4,000 points for the first time ever,” CNN Business, April 1, 2021. https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/01/investing/sp-500-4000-points/index.html
2 Jeff Cox, “Weekly jobless claims tumble to lowest level in more than a year,” CNBC, March 25, 2021. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/25/weekly-jobless-claims.html
3 “Tracking the Coronavirus,” NPR, updated April 1, 2021. https://www.npr.org/sections/healthshots/2021/01/28/960901166/how-is-the-covid-19-vaccination-campaign-going-in-your-state
4 Xavier Fontdegloria, “U.S. Consumer Confidence Hits Highest Point Since Pandemic Started,” The Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2021. https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-consumer-confidence-hits-highest-point-since-pandemic-started-11617118100

Trending Now-2021-S&P Hits 4000

Stimulus Bill Analysis

The New Stimulus Bill

President Biden just signed another stimulus bill, aimed to help those affected by the virus (and to deal with a few other matters found in the 5,593 pages of legislation).

So discerning investors might ask two questions: (1) What’s in it? and (2) What’s in it for me?

What’s in It?

Totaling $1.9 trillion, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 features jobless help, child tax credits, stimulus checks, vaccine-distribution money, healthcare subsidies, and aid for struggling restaurants.

A Mountain of Money Is on Its Way

As of March 29, 2021, the IRS and the Department of the Treasury have sent out 127 million checks for $1400 each. And 30 million more checks are on their way.[1] These checks will hit the mailboxes or bank accounts of adults, children, and adult dependents such as college students and elders. Adult dependents didn’t receive checks the last time around, so that’s good news for some college students and elders.

What’s in It for Me?

So who’s scooping up all these checks?

An individual filer who earns $75,000 or less — or joint filers earning $150,000 or less — plus members of their household will receive a check for $1400 each.[2]

Also, those who file as heads of households may earn up to $112,500 and still receive a full payment.

But the money disappears quickly: an individual who earns $80,000 or a couple who earn $160,000 will find their mailboxes empty.[3]

What Income Numbers Does the IRS Use?

The key number is your adjusted gross income. If you’ve already filed your taxes for 2020, the IRS will use that number. If you haven’t filed yet, then your 2019 adjusted gross income will govern.

But the true governing number is your adjusted gross income this year. Thus, if you’ll earn less this year than last, and this year’s total puts you under the limits, you’ll be able to claim missing payments on next year’s tax return.[4]

Adjusting Your Adjusted Gross Income

Some legal ways can help you slide just under the $75,000 and $150,000 limits. You can contribute more to certain tax-favored retirement or health savings accounts and lower your adjusted gross income. Or if you’re thinking of selling stock or other taxable asset at profit this year, you can wait until next year. Then, using this year’s adjusted gross income, you can zero in on that “missing payments” bonanza.

Other Goodies

The new stimulus law extends enhanced unemployment benefits through September 6. Thus, those who claim jobless benefits will get $300 each week in addition to the payments they get from the state.[5]

Also, under the new law, some unemployment income now escapes taxation. An individual earning less than $150,000 can shield $10,200 in unemployment benefits. Married couples who both received unemployment can shield $20,400. But the $150,000 limit still applies.[6]

Upping the Child Tax Credit

The child tax credits go up for one year under the new law. Children under 6 — $3600. Between 6 and 17 — $3000. One-half of the credit is available as advance monthly payments the IRS will start sending to families this coming July.[7]

Phaseouts for this benefit begin at $75,000 of single filers, at $112,500 for heads of households, and at $150,000 for joint filers. But phased-out individuals who earn less than $200,000 ($400,000 for married couples) can still claim the customary $2000 child credit.[8]

Health Costs Drop

The cost of health insurance will drop on health exchanges. Under current rules, if you buy health insurance on the federal exchange or on state marketplaces (for two years), your cost is limited to 9.78% of your income. Now that percentage drops to 8.5%. Your costs will thus go down.[9]

Complexities Galore

An already complex tax code continues to get, as Alice would say, “curiouser and curiouser.” Many rules have changes. Uncertainty swirls around the heads of millions of tax experts and CPAs. The IRS will have to step forward and issue guidance on many of the gray areas.

Of course, all of this takes place while bill drafters on Capitol Hill prepare a slew of suggested tax hikes. Meanwhile, the economy doesn’t know which way to go. Optimistic estimates predict an economy that grows 6.5% this year. If that happens, then IRS coffers will overflow — even though federal spending will far exceed tax receipts. If the good times do roll, tax increasers will be licking their chops.

So now, quite obviously, is a good time to start planning ahead.

Give Me a Call

Although we don’t pretend to be tax experts and although we don’t give out tax advice, we always stand ready to guide you with your investments. Sales of stock or sales of other appreciated assets will affect tax exposure now and in the future. We can certainly help guide you in these decisions on holding or selling various assets.

My cell phone stands ready — 240-401-2355.

Always feel free to call me personally.

Sincerely,

Jack Reutemann, Jr. CLU, CFP®​

Trending Now-2021-S&P Hits 4000

End Of Week Market Update

End Of Week Market Update

One year.  It seems incredible, but it’s been one year since COVID-19 struck our shores.  One year since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic.  One year since the markets crashed and the schools closed and we realized just how much we take toilet paper for granted. 

Since then, the markets have recovered and risen to new heights.  The economy, meanwhile, has recovered more slowly.  Now, a quarter of the way through 2021, we have a new president, several new vaccines, and a completely different world than the one we knew before all this started.  We’ve also seen some renewed volatility in recent weeks.  This has many of my clients asking, “Where are the markets going next?  What should we expect for the rest of 2021?” 

I’ll address those questions in this letter.

As you know, there are two types of long-term market situations: Bull markets and bear markets.  But the whole “bull vs bear” concept can also be used to describe two types of investor sentiment.  Bulls are investors who have a positive, or “bullish”, view of where the markets are headed.  Bears, meanwhile, generally have negative, or “bearish” expectations.  So, in this letter, I’m going to let both animals debate each other, each presenting their case for why the markets will have a positive year or a negative one.  We’ll start with the Bull, move onto the Bear, and then give the Bull a chance for a short rebuttal.  Finally, as your financial advisor, I’ll give you my view. 

The Bullish View

Last year’s market crash was sudden, swift, and deep.  But in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t last very long.  In fact, it took only six months for the markets to recover.  (By contrast, it took the markets almost six years to recover after the Great Recession.)  Since then, the markets have risen to new highs. 

Three things propelled the markets to this remarkable turnaround: Low interest rates, federal stimulus, and the expectation of a major economic recovery.  Let’s start with the first one.  To help juice up the economy, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to a historic degree.  Low interest rates promote more borrowing and spending, two pillars our economy is based on.  They also help people buy homes and encourage businesses to invest more in themselves.  (Including hiring more workers.) 

Congress, meanwhile, has passed three major stimulus packages in the last year.  The most recent bill was signed by President Biden on March 11.  The America Rescue Plan Act of 2021, as it’s called, provides $1.9 trillion in aid for both businesses and consumers.1  Among other things, the Act extends COVID unemployment benefits through Labor Day, provides $1,400 direct payments to individuals, expands certain tax credits, and grants billions to small businesses to help meet payroll and retain workers.1  The first two stimulus packages had a positive impact on things like retail sales and consumer spending, and it’s widely expected that this one will, too. 

This combination of low interest rates and government stimulus have helped the economy tread water while we deal with the virus.  But much of the market’s rise is due to something else: Expectation.  Specifically, expectation that the pandemic will end, and the economy will hit the accelerator. As more people are vaccinated and case numbers fall, the thinking goes, more and more of society will re-open, releasing a flood of pent-up demand.  Demand to travel, to eat out, to catch a movie in theaters, you name it.  Add the latest round of stimulus to the mix, and suddenly Americans have both extra money in their pocket and the means to spend it.  In other words, all the ingredients are there for a major economic comeback, the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades. 

Now, we seem closer than ever to that expectation becoming reality.  As of this writing, there are three approved vaccines in the U.S., with more than 115 million doses administered.2  (40 million people are currently considered fully vaccinated, approximately 12.3% of the total population. 2)  Currently, our nation is averaging over 2 million shots each day.2  It’s no surprise, then, that cases in the U.S. have been falling for weeks.  In fact, as of March 19, cases are down over 14% over the last two weeks.3 

We’re not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot.  Masks and social distancing will continue to be a part of our lives for some time yet, and of course there are relatively new variants of the coronavirus to deal with.  But if we can maintain this trajectory, increasing the number of people vaccinated and reducing the number of people sick, that could do wonders for our economy.  It could lead to more of society re-opening, leading in turn to more jobs, more consumer spending, and greater company earnings.  Greater earnings, of course, usually lead to higher stock prices. 

The Bearish View

So, in light of all this, how can anyone have a negative view of where the markets are headed?  It all comes down to a single word:  Inflation.

Inflation.  It’s a scary-sounding word that conjures up images of German children stacking useless money in the 1920s, or gas rationing in the 1970s.  For decades, economists have monitored it relentlessly.  The Federal Reserve considers managing inflation to be a core aspect of its mission.  That’s partly why our nation’s inflation rate has been relatively stable over the last twenty years. 

But recently, some analysts and investors have begun stressing over inflation again.  They don’t deny that the economy is poised to grow.  They just worry that it will grow too much, too fast.  There’s a word for this, too.  Economists call it overheating.

When an economy overheats, it essentially no longer has the capacity to meet all the demand it faces from consumers.  Some producers will simply not be able to supply all the goods their customers want.  Other producers, to keep up with that demand, will be forced to raise prices.  It’s a classic example of the Law of Supply and Demand.  (When the demand for something outpaces its supply, the price goes up.)  For example, if everyone suddenly decides to fly to that vacation spot they’ve been putting off for a year, the cost of air travel would skyrocket.

If the economy were to grow too quickly, prices would rise across the board – and the value of our currency would drop.  This, essentially, is inflation: When the general price level rises, a dollar simply pays for less than it used to.  That makes it much harder for people to buy the goods and services they need.  Or to pay off their debts.  It makes it harder for businesses to hire new workers or pay the workers they already have.  The upshot?  When inflation gets too high, consumer spending plummets, unemployment jumps, and economic booms turn into economic busts. 

Some experts worry this is what’s in store in 2021.  They see the economy as a garden hose that’s been tied up into a knot.  Untie the knot – or re-open the economy too quickly – and the water will burst out with sudden, savage force. 

So, here’s what this has to do with the stock market.  Normally, the Federal Reserve combats inflation by raising interest rates.  Higher interest rates tend to cool off the economy, because they prompt people to save their money instead of spending or borrowing it.  A cooler economy decreases inflation, and gradually things go back to normal.  The problem is the stock market has become accustomed to the Fed’s low interest, “easy money” policies.  Low interest rates mean that many types of investments, most notably bonds, simply don’t provide the same return on investment as they would in a high-interest rate environment.  That drives more and more investors into the stock market to get the returns they need.  But what happens when interest rates go up?  Consumers and businesses could cut back on spending, which in turn could cause earnings to fall and stock prices to drop. 

Fear of inflation, and fear of higher interest rates.  That’s the bearish view in a nutshell. 

Rebuttal

I promised the Bull would have the opportunity for a short rebuttal, so here it is.  There are two main reasons for thinking this fear of high interest rates are overblown.  The first is that, even if inflation does go up – which it likely will – we have a lot of room to work with before it becomes a problem.  In 2020, the inflation rate was only 1.2%.4  That’s well below the 2% mark the Fed generally aims for, and nowhere close to the mindboggling numbers we saw in the late 70s and early 80s.  (In 1979, for example, the inflation rate was 13.3%.4

The other reason is that there’s no reason to assume the Federal Reserve will automatically raise interest rates just because inflation goes up.  Why?  Because the Fed itself has said that it won’t!5  Currently, the Fed sees stimulating the economy and boosting employment to be far bigger priorities than tamping down on inflation, and recently, the Fed Chairman suggested interest rates would remain low at least until 2022. 

My View

I’ve told you what the Bulls and Bears think.  So, here’s what think. 

Here at Research Financial Strategies, we don’t focus on guessing what the Fed will do, or anyone else.  We don’t have a crystal ball.  No one does!  That is why we base our strategy on technical analysis instead of macroeconomics.  We analyze – and take advantage – of market trends, relying on the Law of Supply and Demand rather than fighting it. 

Historically, an improving economy leads to a stronger stock market.  If that happens in 2021, wonderful!  But if interest rate fears worsen and volatility goes up, we are ready to play defense and move to cash.  Remember, we don’t need to “buy and hold” even when there’s a Bear roaring in our face.  If there’s a general rise in prices and inflation skyrockets above what the Fed can handle, we don’t have to ride out another market crash like so many investors do.  We’ll obey the rules of our strategy and do what the trend dictates.  If our technical signals indicate major volatility on the horizon, we’ll be prepared. 

It’s been a year since the pandemic began.  A year since some of the worst market turmoil in a long time.  We got through that by being flexible, disciplined, and diligent, and we’ve been rewarded.  So, that’s what we’ll continue to do. 

If you have any questions or concerns about the market, please feel free to contact me.  In the meantime, enjoy the upcoming spring season!       

Sincerely,

Jack Reutemann, Jr. CLU, CFP®​
240-401-2355

SOURCES:
1 “The American Rescue Plan Act Greatly Expands Benefits through the Tax Code in 2021,” Tax Foundation, March 12, 2021.  https://taxfoundation.org/american-rescue-plan-covid-relief/
2 “How is the COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign Going In Your State?” NPR, March 19, 2021.  https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/01/28/960901166/how-is-the-covid-19-vaccination-campaign-going-in-your-state
3 “How Severe is Your State’s Coronavirus Outbreak?” NPR, March 19, 2021.  https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/09/01/816707182/map-tracking-the-spread-of-the-coronavirus-in-the-u-s
4 “US Inflation Rate by Year,” The Balance, March 1, 2021. https://www.thebalance.com/u-s-inflation-rate-history-by-year-and-forecast-3306093
5 “Powell Confirms Fed to Maintain Easy Money Policies, The Wall Street Journal, March 4, 2021.  https://www.wsj.com/articles/feds-powell-to-take-questions-on-job-market-interest-rates-bond-yields-11614872817

Trending Now-2021-S&P Hits 4000

Don’t forget about your 2020 IRA contributions!

There’s still time to contribute to your IRA!

If you haven’t already contributed to an IRA (Individual Retirement Account), there’s still time to do so. Many people don’t know that the 2020 contribution deadline is actually April 15, 2021.1  However, if you do decide to contribute, you must designate the year you are contributing for. (In this case, 2020.) Your tax preparer should be able to help you fill out the necessary forms, but please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need help.

For 2020, the maximum amount you can contribute is $6,000, or $7,000 if you’re over the age of 50.2  This applies to both traditional and Roth IRAs. If you’re unsure whether to contribute, remember: 
· Contributions to traditional IRAs are often tax-deductible. And while distributions from IRAs are taxed as income, your tax-rate after retirement could possibly be lower than it is now, lessening the impact. 
· Contributions to a Roth IRA, on the other hand, are made with after-tax assets. However, the advantage of a Roth IRA is that withdrawals are usually tax-free. 
· Whichever type you use, IRAs provide a great, tax-advantaged way to save for retirement.

If you or your spouse is covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan and your income exceeds certain levels, you may not be able to deduct your entire contribution.  You may qualify to contribute to an IRA for a spouse without taxable compensation. There are also income limitations to be able to make contributions to a Roth IRA.  The rules are tricky and there can be penalties for contributing to either a traditional IRA or Roth IRA when over income limits. Consult your tax advisor to be sure you are making the right contribution choices.

If you have yet to set up an IRA for 2020, you can still do that. The deadline to establish an IRA is also April 15th. In other words, if you want to take advantage of the benefits an IRA has to offer, there’s still time to do so, either by contributing to an existing account or by establishing a new one.

If you have any questions about IRAs – whether one is right for you, how it should be managed, or anything else – please give me a call at 240-401-2355.  I’d be happy to help you. 

Jack Reutemann
Research Financial Strategies

 

​1 “IRA Year-End Reminders,” IRS, https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/ira-year-end-reminders
2 “IRA Contribution Limits,” IRS, https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-ira-contribution-limits

Special Edition from Jack – the 45 DAY REPORT!

Special Edition from Jack – the 45 DAY REPORT!

Special Edition from Jack – the 45 DAY REPORT!

Friends and Clients, 

Hard to believe, isn’t it?

The first quarter is half over. The year is 45 days old. It’s 1/8th over with!

The stock market bull rally continues, and hopes for President Biden and his COVID stimulus package are high. Looks as if it’ll pass. The president is also promising an infrastructure bill, which will create jobs and fuel several sectors that we are thinking about adding to our aggressive growth model: the industrials, building materials, trains, planes, cement, steel, tractors, heavy machinery, etc.

If the infrastructure bill passes, we’re looking at two ETFs. Click here for details on the holdings in XLI and XLB. Lots of infrastructure companies.

Interest rates continue to remain very low, and residential real-estate sales, as well as new construction, remain high. One of my close friends and clients, a broker in Ocean City, Maryland, said that while he was in church on Sunday, from 9:00 to 10:30 AM, he missed 17 calls from buyers wanting to see properties. I hear similar stories all day long from my network.

Here’s How We’re Doing

Our 45-day returns look like this:

Our Growth Model

·         The AG model is + 9.15% so far in 2021.

·         The S&P 500 equity benchmark is +4.5972%.

·         So our performance is almost exactly twice the performance of the S&P.

Our Bond Model

·         The bond model (“fixed income”) is + 5.16% YTD.

·         AGG, the Barclays fixed income benchmark is negative 1.362%.

·         So we’re miles ahead of the benchmark.

Both models are on track to match or beat our record setting returns of 2020!

Defense When Necessary

As always, I am prepared to take decisive and speedy defensive action if market conditions turn against us. We will not let your wealth suffer in a market plunge.

Thank you … for your trust and confidence.

Sincerely,

Jack

Call me on my cell 240 401 2355
Please share my number with family, friends, clients, and colleagues.

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Valentine’s Day Message

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How Are Your Investments Doing Lately?  Receive A Free, No-Obligation 2nd Opinion On Your Investment Portfolio >

Little Drummer Girl

On this Valentine’s Day, we often find the feeling of this special day in relationships between people so different you’d never imagine a relationship ever forming.

This is one of those stories you often receive in emails with the admonition:

      ​Must watch!

Many of those can make your day. We hope this one helps to send a Valentine’s message to you from all of us at RFS..

Ten-year-old Nandi Bushell hails from Ipswich, England—half a world away from her idol, Dave Grohl, world-famous drummer for the band Nirvana and the one he founded, Foo Fighters.

Sold-out concerts, hit records, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame—these make Dave’s resume shine. Nandi plays in her basement.

If you haven’t noticed, kids these days think Rock & Roll belongs only to those Old Boomers, a generation whose time has come. But don’t tell that to little Nandi. Rock & Roll is her life.

The pandemic cooped her up. But she worked and worked at her drumming craft and began to post videos of herself and her drum on YouTube. One day she recorded her “cover” of Dave Grohl’s biggest hit, a song called Everlong, first released in 1997, long before Nandi was born.

As the video began, she twirled her stick, stared straight into the camera, and issued her challenge:

      ​“Dave Grohl, I challenge you to a drum off!”

Asked why she challenged an icon, Nandi’s logic was refreshingly simple:

      “He’s a drummer, he thrashes the kit really hard, which I like, so why not? My dream is to one day jam with Dave Grohl.”

When the video started to go viral, Dave Grohl’s phone blew up with texts.

      “You’ve been called out by a 10-year old, Dave. What are you going to do about it?”

Most famous Hollywood types would smile, pat themselves on the back, and go on with their glimmering lives.

But not Dave. He went about recording his own video, where he said:

      “Nandi, I’ve gotten at least 100 texts from people all around the world saying, ‘This girl is challenging you to a drum-off.’

      ​You’re an incredible drummer! I’m really flattered that you’ve picked some of my songs to do for your videos, and you’ve done them all            perfectly. So today, I’m going to give you something you may never have heard before. This is my response to your challenge—so now          the ball is in your court!”

​Nandi watched the video, listened to Grohl’s song—and two days later, recorded her own rendition of it, saying:

      ​“Dave Grohl, that was epic! It’s an honor to battle you!”

A friendship then blossomed. Dave and Nandi started meeting on Zoom. He then told her he was writing a new song just for her:

      ​“She’s got the power / She’s got the sound / Nandi on the drums makes the world go round!”

Not to be outdone, Nandi wrote her own song, titled “Rock and Grohl”:

      ​“Rock n’ roll’s my love / Rock n’ roll’s my soul / Rock n’ Grohl will help me change the world!”

Whatever kind of music you listen to, it’s impossible not to smile when you see these two very different people—with kindred souls—come together over the instrument they love. Their videos have now been watched by millions of people, and the two have made plans for Nandi to realize her dream and play with the Foo Fighters onstage as soon as the pandemic is over.

According to Grohl:

      ​“There’s something about seeing the joy and energy of a kid in love with an instrument, She’s a force of nature. But [she’ll have to play]           at the end of [our concert] because she’s going to steal the show!”

A force of nature, indeed.

Here’s the Little Drummer Girl. Watch and enjoy. So far, 3,901,493 people already have.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRvHI8tgx8A

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

With best wishes,

Research Financial Strategies

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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.
* This newsletter and commentary expressed should not be construed as investment advice.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.  However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

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