Market Commentary January 13, 2020

Market Commentary January 13, 2020

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

January 13, 2020

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

It was a nerve-wracking week.
Iran fired 22 ballistic missiles at the Ain Al Asad air base near western Iraq and a second base in northern Iraq following last week’s U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian military commander. Newsweek reported the bases suffered minimal damage and there were no casualties from the attack. However, Iran mistakenly downed a commercial airliner, killing all on board, reported CBS News.

U.S. stock prices faltered after the initial attack, but recovered quickly when both sides, “…step[ped] back from further violent escalation…,” reported Barron’s.

U.S. Treasury bond yields dropped sharply last week before rebounding. Financial Times reported the possibility of war caused global investors to seek out investments perceived to be safe havens. Record amounts of cash moved into bond investments, particularly U.S. Treasuries, during the week ended last Wednesday.

Australia was ravaged by wildfires. Citing the Insurance Council of Australia, NPR reported, “The wildfires have killed more than two dozen people, more than a billion animals. They’ve destroyed more than 1,800 houses, an untold number of commercial buildings and thousands of acres of prime farmland…” At the end of last week, 130 fires were burning and 50 were uncontained, according to the BBC. The damage could mark the end Australia’s nearly 30-year economic expansion.

Puerto Rico was shaken by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake. The quake followed a magnitude 6.4 quake that hit the same region four days earlier, reported the Associated Press. Since December 28, the region has been hit by, “…more than 1,280 earthquakes, of which more than 100 were felt and more than 70 were of magnitude 3.5 or greater.”

On Friday, a tepid U.S. employment report cooled U.S. stock returns. However, Barron’s reported all three major U.S. indices closed, “within a half-percentage point of their highest-ever closes.”

More milestones of the past decade. As we mentioned last week, the period from 2010 through 2020 was filled with memorable events. We covered a few in last week’s commentary. Here are some more:

  • Gangnam Style. In 2012, Korean pop music went viral with Gangnam Style. Its online video became the first to be viewed one billion times.
  • Total solar eclipse. For the first time since June 1918, a solar eclipse was visible across the entire United States in August 2017. We won’t have to wait so long for the next one. Good Housekeeping reported it will happen in 2024.
  • Economic confidence increased. In January 2010, Gallup reported just 9 percent of Americans said it was a good time to find a quality job. By the end of 2019, the number had increased to 66 percent.
  • Bionic men, women, and children. Bionic people are no longer limited to the realm of science fiction. Prosthetics “…are morphing into mind-controlled extensions of the human body that let their wearers feel what they’re touching,” reported CNET.

 Trillion-dollar stock valuations. Late in the decade, three companies in the technology sector saw their stock valuations reach thirteen digits. Not all have remained at that level.

  • Global middle class expansion. At the end of last year, about one-half of the world belonged to the middle class, according to the World Data Lab. Middle class means different things in different countries. Middle class income ranged from $3,872 a year to $38,720 a year.

 The U.S. wealth gap. The St. Louis Federal Reserve explained the gap like this: The ‘income pie’ in the United States grew from $7 trillion in 1989 to almost $12.9 trillion in 2016. The share of pie going to the top 10 percent of earners increased from 42 percent to 50 percent. Lower earners’ shares shrank.

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge, and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”
–The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Best regards,

John F. Reutemann, Jr., CLU, CFP®

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this email with their email address and we will ask for their permission to be added.

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* 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.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

Sources:
https://www.newsweek.com/military-aircraft-runway-among-damage-iraqi-base-struck-iran-missiles-1481129
https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/iran-plane-military-unintentionally-shot-down-jetliner-2020-01-11/
https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-dow-jones-industrial-average-rises-189-points-for-the-week-despite-mideast-tensions-51578705947?mod=hp_DAY_4 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-13-20_Barrons-The_Dow_Rises_189_Points_for_the_Week_Despite_Mideast_Tensions-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/market-data?mod=BOL_TOPNAV (Overview chart) (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-13-20_Barrons-Overview_Market_Data-Footnote_4.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/market-data?mod=BOL_TOPNAV (Bonds chart) (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-13-20_Barrons-Bonds_Market_Data-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.ft.com/content/3eaf8fe8-3334-11ea-9703-eea0cae3f0de (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-13-20_FinancialTimes-Bond_Funds_had_Record_Inflow_as_Iran_Crisis_Spiralled-Footnote_6.pdf)
https://www.npr.org/2020/01/12/795235653/australias-massive-fires-threaten-to-slow-decades-long-economic-boom
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-50951043
https://apnews.com/fd6b234395379a876bddc74e1b882d43
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangnam_Style
https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/g29729623/things-you-forgot-happened-this-decade-2010-to-2019/?slide=25
https://news.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/273377/gallup-decade-review-2010-2019.aspx
https://www.cnet.com/news/prosthetic-hands-get-a-sense-of-touch/
https://www.barrons.com/articles/amazon-stock-parts-1-trillion-market-cap-51570474138
https://worlddata.io/blog/emerging-trends-in-the-global-middle-class-a-private-conversation-with-dr-homi-kharas
https://www.stlouisfed.org/open-vault/2019/august/wealth-inequality-in-america-facts-figures
https://www.instagram.com/p/B7EaGS_Jpb9/?hl=en (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-13-20_Instagram_Post-Duke_and_Duchess_of_Sussex_Announcement-Footnote_17.pdf)

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

Market Commentary January 13, 2020

Market Commentary – January 6, 2020

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

January 6, 2020

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

About face!
2019 was a remarkable year for investors with many asset classes delivering positive performance. Both the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, a gauge of U.S. stock market performance, and the Dow Jones Global (ex U.S.) Index delivered double-digit increases (see the below table). Bonds and gold rallied, too, delivering positive returns for the year.

Possibly the most important factor contributing to asset performance in 2019 was an ‘about face’ by the United States Federal Reserve. Axios reported:  “The Fed’s 180-degree turn was the story of 2019, asset managers and market analysts say…Chairman Jerome Powell and the U.S. central bank went from raising interest rates for a fourth time at the close of 2018 and giving market watchers the explicit expectation this would continue in 2019, to doing the opposite. The Fed cut rates thrice and even began re-padding its balance sheet in the last quarter of the year, bringing it back above $4 trillion.”

The Fed’s policy decision gave investment markets a boost, however, it did little to quell investors’ worries about potential recession and the impact of the U.S.-China trade war, reported The Wall Street Journal. As a result, investors moved money from U.S. stock markets into bonds and other investments they perceived to be safer throughout the year.

During the fourth quarter of 2019, U.S. markets delivered positive returns despite uncertainty about the strength of the U.S. economy created by inconsistent economic data. For example, the last jobs report of the year indicated unemployment remained near a 50-year low. Yet, in 2019, workers experienced the highest number of layoffs in a decade.

Many layoffs during the year were the result of corporate bankruptcies, especially in the retail sector. Investors who took time to evaluate the juxtaposition of unemployment levels and layoffs may have recognized disruptions in the retail sector has potential to create opportunities for investors.

A closely watched indicator during 2019 was manufacturing. In December, Fox News reported, “The ISM Manufacturing Index fell for the fifth month in a row to 47.2 in December, down from November’s reading of 48.1. That’s the weakest reading since June 2009, when it hit 46.3, and well below the 49 reading that economists surveyed by Reuters expected.”

One of the reasons for weakness in manufacturing is the U.S.-China trade war. Late in the fourth quarter, concerns about trade subsided after the announcement of a phase one trade deal. The agreement is scheduled to be signed on January 15, 2020.

Continued progress in resolving the trade war could help boost economic growth in the United States. At the end of 2019, United States gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced in the country, was expected to remain slow and steady during 2020. However, forecasters at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia expected the economies of nine states to contract during the first six months of the new year.

From a geopolitical perspective, the 2020s are beginning just like the last decade did, with all eyes on Iran.

In 2009 and 2010, the Iranian Green Revolution captured the world’s attention as social media provided insight to post-election turbulence and unrest in Iran. Last week, the first of the new decade, all eyes were again on the Middle East as tensions between the United States and Iran flared after the death of a top Iranian military leader targeted by the United States.

After rallying on the first day of the new decade, some major U.S. stock markets declined on news of heightened tensions in the Middle East and concerns about the potential consequences, such as the disruption of oil supplies.

What a decade! While some have called the 2010s a ‘lost decade’ because there was little economic growth, we disagree with the assessment. The decade was filled with remarkable events in politics, sports, science, pop culture, and other areas of interest. Here are a few memorable events from the past decade:

  • NASA’s Voyager 1 probe left the solar system. Launched in 1977 to explore planets including Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, the probe left our solar system in 2013. It will continue to send data until 2025.
  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law. The controversial law, which Encyclopedia Britannica reported, “required most individuals to secure health insurance or pay fines, made coverage easier and less costly to obtain, cracked down on abusive insurance practices, and attempted to rein in the rising costs of health care,” remains under challenge in American courts.
  • eSports became an industry. To the delight of people who would prefer to spend their time gaming, online games became a recognized form of sports competition, complete with news coverage and multimillion-dollar prize money.
  • Civil and social movements changed thinking. There were pro-democracy protests in the Middle East (Arab Spring), and social movements in the United States (Occupy, Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, and MeToo, among others). MIT explained, “…a successful movement can change how we think and talk about key social issues.”
  • The Higgs Boson particle was found. Any fan of the television show, The Big Bang Theory, will know exactly how much this meant to Sheldon Cooper. The television show’s popularity was also a phenomenon of the last decade.
  • Carli Lloyd scored the fastest hat trick in World Cup soccer. Carli Lloyd scored a hat trick – three goals – in 13 minutes for the U.S. women’s national team during the World Cup final against Japan in 2015. She also played on the team that won the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
  • Hurricanes, earthquakes, and storms wrought destruction. Countries around the world were pummeled by storms during the decade. Hurricanes and tropical storms like Irene, Sandy, Harvey, Irma, Michael, Dorian, and Maria did significant damage in the United States and its territories. One of the most memorable was the Great Japanese earthquake and tsunami that preceded the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.
  • The Chicago Cubs broke the curse. Advised by their manager to go out there and, “Try not to suck,” the Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908.
  • Entertainment took a turn toward streaming. Deadline Hollywood reported, “It is impossible to find a corner of the industry that has not been reshaped by streaming, from the pay TV ecosystem and movie exhibition to labor negotiations and talent deals.”

 The 2010s provided disruptions and delights. Let’s hope the events of the coming decade will make the world a better place.

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But, that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But, if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
–Mahatma Gandhi, Lawyer, politician, social activist

Best regards,

John F. Reutemann, Jr., CLU, CFP®

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this email with their email address and we will ask for their permission to be added.

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods. 
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

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* 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.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

Sources:
https://www.axios.com/jerome-powell-interest-rates-2019-73b78462-04f8-4f77-8aff-eee25f35f803.html
https://www.wsj.com/articles/investors-bail-on-stock-market-rally-fleeing-funds-at-record-pace-11575801002 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-06-20_WSJ-Investors_Bail_on_Stock_Market_Rally_Fleeing_Funds_at_Record_Pace-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.philadelphiafed.org/-/media/research-and-data/regional-economy/indexes/leading/2019/leadingindexes1119.pdf?la=en
https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/us-manufacturing-sector-contracts-for-sixth-month-in-a-row
https://www.lawfareblog.com/us-and-china-strike-phase-one-trade-agreement-washington-steps-efforts-block-chinese-tech-amidst
https://www.axios.com/growing-economic-divide-between-two-americas-d1d94b84-f1fb-4a37-9444-76aab1ad8ad9.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter_Revolution
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-security-soleimani-insight/inside-the-plot-by-irans-soleimani-to-attack-us-forces-in-iraq-idUSKBN1Z301Z
https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-finds-reason-to-drop-after-u-s-air-strike-on-iran-51578105152?mod=hp_DAY_6 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-06-20_Barrons-The_Dow_was_Waiting_for_a_Reason_to_Drop_The_US_Air_Strike_Supplied_It-Footnote_9.pdf)
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-14536235
https://www.livescience.com/biggest-science-of-the-decade.html
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Patient-Protection-and-Affordable-Care-Act
https://www.espn.com/esports/story/_/id/28240009/2019-espn-esports-awards
https://www.history.com/topics/middle-east/arab-spring
https://civic.mit.edu/2019/10/02/whose-deaths-matter-new-research-on-black-lives-matter-and-media-attention/
https://www.vulture.com/2014/05/big-bang-theory-ratings.html
https://thesefootballtimes.co/2018/11/26/carli-lloyd-and-the-unforgettable-13-minute-world-cup-final-hat-trick/
https://time.com/5620124/team-usa-womens-world-cup-final/
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/12/02/hurricanes-2010-recap-dorian-irma-looking-ahead-2020/2586653001/
https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/fukushima-accident.aspx
https://www.si.com/mlb/2016/11/02/joe-maddon-chicago-cubs-world-series-maddonisms-best-quotes
https://deadline.com/2019/12/streaming-hollywood-disruptor-decade-netflix-amazon-disney-2020-outlook-1202817648/
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/make-a-difference

Market Commentary January 13, 2020

Market Commentary – December 30, 2019

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

December 30, 2019

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

2019 will be a hard act to follow.
Investors may find themselves reluctant to ring out the old and ring in the new this week. During 2019, stock and bond markets delivered exceptional returns.

Ben Levisohn of Barron’s reported the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 23 percent at the end of last week, the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index had gained 29 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 36 percent.  The S&P 500 and Dow both closed at all-time highs.

Bond indices showed gains in the United States and around the world. The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Total Return Index was up 8.87 percent at the end of last week. Its global counterpart, the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Total Return Index, was up 6.63 percent for the same period.

After a year like 2019, when stock indices delivered exceptional returns, investors’ perceptions about their appetite for risk can change. Great market performance has a way of persuading people their tolerance for risk is higher than it has been in the past. The phenomenon has something to do with recency bias, which is a tendency to remember and weight recent events more heavily than past events.

In other words, during bull markets some people tend to forget about bear markets.

2019 was a wonderful year, but not every year will be like 2019. At the end of last week, the average annual return for the S&P 500 Index over the last 60 years, with dividends reinvested, was about 9.5 percent.

The fact that 2020 may not be like 2019 does not mean it’s time to sell. Successful financial plans and investment strategies should include well-diversified portfolios that are grounded in the investor’s life and financial goals. Every strategy and portfolio should be reviewed periodically and modified when goals have changed, a major life event has occurred, or the investor’s risk tolerance has changed.

If you would like to talk about your strategy and review your portfolio allocations, give us a call. We’d like to hear from you.

The holidays are almost over.
Ahh, the season of good cheer and regifting is coming to an end. Before we head into 2020, the Ohio Department of Transportation deserves a holiday salute for promoting safe driving with holiday humor. About 130 highway message boards across the state offered communications like these:

  • Life is fra-gee-lay. Drive safe.
  • Stay to the right. Santa needs the left lane tonight.
  • If your relatives make you drink, don’t drive.
  • Can I refill your eggnog, Eddie?  — Clark
  • Deck the halls/ No phone calls/ Fa la la la la
  • Drop the phone. We triple dog dare you.

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and, more importantly, you’re doing something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work, or family, or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
–Neil Gaiman, Author

 

Best regards,
John F. Reutemann, Jr., CLU, CFP®

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this email with their email address and we will ask for their permission to be added.

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods. 
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

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The Decade in Review

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2010-2019: The Decade in Review Every January, we send our clients a letter titled The Year in Review, where together we look back at the year that was. What...

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Breaking down the SECURE Act

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What You Need To Know About The SECURE Act In December, Congress passed a new bill called the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, aka the...

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* 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.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-closes-at-record-high-good-luck-next-year-51577491993?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-30-19_Barrons-The_Dow_is_Closing_Out_2019_with_a_Bang-Good_Luck_in_2020-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/LBUSTRUU:IND (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-30-19_Bloomberg-US_Aggregate_Total_Return_Value_Unhedged_USD-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/LEGATRUU:IND (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-30-19_Bloomberg-Global_Aggregate_Total_Return_Index_Value_Unhedged_USD-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/tomorrows-market-probably-wont-look-anything-like-today/
https://dqydj.com/sp-500-historical-return-calculator/ (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-30-19_DQYDJ-S_and_P_500_Historical_Return_Results-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/state/santa-needs-the-left-lane-tonight-odot-promotes-safe-driving-with-holiday-inspired-signs
http://www.dot.state.oh.us/news/Pages/Christmas-2019-Messages.aspx
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/new-year

How Do You Celebrate the New Year?

How Do You Celebrate the New Year?

How Do You Celebrate the New Year?

From early Babylonians to present-day Americans, people have been celebrating the beginning of every New Year for almost four thousand years!1 Here are a few ways people celebrate the holiday in the United States:2

  • 61 percent of American adults say a prayer on New Year’s Eve
  • 44 percent plan to kiss someone at midnight
  • 22 percent fall asleep before the New Year arrives
  • 45 percent make resolutions to lose weight, spend less, save more, etc.
  • 73 percent keep their resolutions for less than two days

One million people gather in Times Square and 2,000 pounds of confetti fall on their heads. One billion people around the world watch festivities on television. Ushering in the New Year is a momentous event.2

If you have any momentous events in your life – marriage, birth, death, divorce, or something else – please let us know. We want you to be secure financially as momentous changes can alter financial plans.

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Market Commentary January 13, 2020

Market Commentary – December 23, 2019

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

December 23, 2019

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

Let’s hear it for 2019!
Major stock indices in the United States and overseas are poised to deliver double-digit gains for the year. Even with uncertainty about Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU), the FTSE 100 boasted a gain of more than 10 percent at the end of last week. That’s not bad for a year which included (in the United States) an inverted yield curve, an earnings recession, and a contentious trade war.

The strong stock market performance of 2019 owes a lot to central banks, and so does the performance of the bond market. Reuters reported,  “…the screeching change of direction by the world’s top central banks, led by the Federal Reserve, which cut U.S. interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis more than a decade earlier…fired bond markets up like a rocket. U.S. Treasuries, the world’s benchmark government IOU, have made a whopping 9.4 percent after yields plunged as much as 120 basis points…German Bunds – Europe’s safest asset – have had their best year in five years, making roughly 5.5% in euro terms as the European Central Bank has reversed course too.”

So, what lessons should we take from 2019?
Perhaps, we should try to come to terms with loss aversion. When you make an investment decision, it’s important to consider the impact of loss aversion on your thinking. The pain from a loss carries twice the impact of the pleasure from a gain. As a result, fear of loss may affect investment decision making.

2019 offered a great example. During a year of exceptional returns, investors pulled money out of stocks at a record pace because they were worried about recession and other issues. Axios reported,  “Data from the Investment Company Institute shows money has been pulled out of [stock investments] in every month this year except January. In total, more than $130 billion has been drawn from [stock investments] in 2019, making it already the largest year of outflows on record.”

When it comes to investing, uncertainty is normal. It is part of investing. Tolerating uncertainty may help investors earn attractive returns. As a result, our advice is to stay invested even when uncertainty makes you nervous, even when markets are falling.

If you have a diversified portfolio built to help you reach your goals, stay with it, unless you risk tolerance has changed. In 2019, pulling money out of stocks meant some investors missed out on some exceptional returns.

Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods. 
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

The secure act may affect your retirement and your legacy planning
Last week, reports indicated the ‘Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement’ (SECURE) Act was attached to the federal spending bill President Trump signed into law on Friday.

The SECURE Act is intended to expand retirement savings opportunities. Many of its provisions make it easier for Americans to save more for retirement and, also, to convert their savings into income for retirement. The Act will change IRA rules in some significant ways. For instance, Drinker Biddle and Barron’s reported:

  • Contribute to IRA accounts at any age. In the past, Americans had to stop contributing to IRAs at age 70 ½.
  • Begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) at age 72. The age for RMDs was pushed to 72 from age 70 ½.

The Act also changes post-death IRA distribution rules, eliminating stretch IRA estate planning strategies. Barron’s explained, “Under the bill, beneficiaries of an IRA would need to draw down the account – and pay income tax on the money – over a decade, rather than a lifetime.” This will affect some legacy planning strategies and necessitate the adoption of alternative solutions.

Workplace plans may change, too. Part-time workers are now eligible to participate in defined contribution plans as long as certain criteria are met. The Act also made it easier for defined contribution plans of all sizes to add lifetime income options to plan investment lineups.

In addition, the incentive for smaller business owners to establish workplace retirement plans increased. Tax credits, of up to $5,000 for three years, can be claimed to offset plan start-up costs. Additional tax credits are possible when new plans include automatic enrollment features or existing plans add automatic enrollment features.

If you would like to discuss how the SECURE Act may affect your retirement, business, or legacy plans, please give us a call.

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“I feel that one of the most important lessons that can be learned is that what we ‘see’ may be different than what is actually in front of us.”
–Mark Singer, Journalist [8]

Best regards,

John F. Reutemann, Jr., CLU, CFP®

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this email with their email address and we will ask for their permission to be added.

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

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* 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.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.
Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/market-data?mod=BOL_HAMNAV (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-23-19_Barrons_Market_Data.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-s-p-heading-for-best-year-since-2013-what-fueled-the-rally-51576891986?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-23-19_The_S%26P_Is_Heading_for_Its_Best_Year_Since_2013.pdf )
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-markets-2019-graphic/the-best-year-financial-markets-have-ever-had-idUSKBN1YO266
https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/loss-aversion
https://www.axios.com/2019-record-cash-pulled-out-stocks-5d4763a9-5724-4c64-be23-356c4fcbd002.html
https://www.drinkerbiddle.com/insights/publications/2019/12/congress-finally-passes-the-secure-act
https://www.barrons.com/articles/navigating-the-secure-act-what-retirement-savers-need-to-know-to-optimize-their-401-k-s-and-iras-51576886142?mod=hp_LEAD_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-23-19_Navigating_the_Secure_Act_What_Retirement_Savers_Need_To_Know_To_Otimize_Their_401ks_And_IRAS.pdf)
https://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2014/08/31/5-retirement-quotes-to-make-you-a-smarter-investor.aspx

Market Commentary January 13, 2020

Market Commentary – December 16, 2019

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

December 16, 2019

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

So, what comes next?
Last week was a good week for investors. Ben Levisohn of Barron’s explained:  

“The Federal Reserve and European Central Bank both pledged to do what they could to underpin their respective economies. The United Kingdom gave Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party a landslide victory, virtually guaranteeing that the Brexit saga will end, finally.”

‘Get Brexit done’ was the slogan of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s conservative party and British voters confirmed that’s what they want. As a result, Parliament is likely to accept the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement. Under current deadlines, the United Kingdom will begin to transition out of the European Union (EU) at the end of January, reported The Economist.

Prime Minister Johnson promised to complete the transition by December 2020 despite skepticism about whether trade agreements can be negotiated and ratified in such a short time. The Economist reported, “…unless Mr. Johnson is ready to ask for an extension, the risk of Britain leaving the EU with no trade deal in place at the end of next year will be significant. The result would be high barriers to exports and severe disruption to trade.”

There was another important event last week. The United States government announced, “…a phase-one deal with China had been completed and that negotiations on phase two would begin immediately. Details were lacking, but it was surely good news,” reported Levisohn.

The Wall Street Journal reported the deal has been agreed to in principle, although nothing has been signed, and neither the United States nor the Chinese government released the text of the agreement or a detailed summary.

The information released indicates the United States cancelled tariffs scheduled to take effect last Sunday and reduced current tariffs on $120 million of Chinese goods. In return, China agreed to increase purchases of agricultural goods over the next two years. The agreement is scheduled to be signed in January.

Let’s hope they ink the deal!

life begins at 40. In 1932, psychologist Walter Pitkin published a self-help book called ‘Life Begins at Forty.’ The Economist summarized his findings like this, “The theory goes that years of hard work are rewarded with less stress and better pay; children begin to fly the nest; and with luck, a decent period of good health remains.”

At the time, the book was something of a revelation. After all, throughout much of the 1800s, life expectancy at birth was about 40. When Pitkin wrote his book, newborn Americans were expected to reach age 60, on average.

It turns out Pitkin was on to something.

The Economist reviewed the findings of the 2019 World Happiness Report, which uses data from the Gallup World Poll. It found people in the United States and around the world generally are happy in their teens and early 20s. By the time they reach their 30s, however, happiness levels have dropped. People begin to recover a more positive state of mind at age 40. For many, by age 70, self-reported happiness is higher than it was in their teens and 20s.

There are differences in self-reported happiness from country to country. For instance, happiness in former Soviet states tends to decline with age. In addition, overall, self-reported happiness in India has declined during the past several years.

So, who are happiest people in the world? American women age 70 and older!

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be…Far too many people misunderstand what ‘putting away childish things’ means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup. When I’m with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up, then I don’t ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child’s awareness and joy, and be fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup.”
–Madeleine L’Engle, Author and poet

Best regards,

John F. Reutemann, Jr., CLU, CFP®

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this email with their email address and we will ask for their permission to be added.

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods. 
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

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What You Need To Know About The SECURE Act In December, Congress passed a new bill called the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, aka the...

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* 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.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/lots-went-right-for-investors-this-week-the-dow-still-ended-friday-on-a-flat-note-51576282633?mod=hp_DAY_4 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-16-19_Barrons-Lots_Went_Right_for_Investors_this_Week-The_Dow_Still_Ended_Friday_on_a_Flat_Note-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.economist.com/britain/2019/12/13/boris-johnsons-big-win?cid1=cust/ednew/n/bl/n/2019/12/13n/owned/n/n/nwl/n/n/NA/360436/n (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-16-19_TheEconomist-Boris_Johnsons_Big_Win-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.wsj.com/articles/us-china-confirm-reaching-phase-one-trade-deal-11576234325 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-16-19_WSJ-US_China_Agree_to_Limited_Deal_to_Halt_Trade_War-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.amazon.com/Life-Begins-Forty-Walter-Pitkin/dp/B00085JNB4
https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/04/12/do-people-become-happier-after-40 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-16-19_TheEconomist-Do_People_Become_Happier_After_40-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.infoplease.com/us/mortality/life-expectancy-age-1850-2011
https://www.thecut.com/2014/09/25-famous-women-on-aging.html

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