Wall Street ended flat Friday. But thanks to big gains earlier in the week, the major indexes posted their best week of the year. For the week, the Dow rose 2.75 percent to close at 16,391.99. The S&P gained 2.91 percent to finish at 1,917.78, and the NASDAQ climbed 3.85 percent to end the week at 4,504.43.
Near Record –
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.66 percent on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, down from 2.27 percent as of Dec. 31, 2015. The all-time low yield for the 10-year note was 1.39 percent on July 24, 2012 (source: Treasury Department, BTN Research).
Faux Reduction –
The fiscal year 2017 White House budget proposal claims to “achieve $2.9 trillion of deficit reduction over 10 years.” In reality, the White House plan would reduce (on paper) $9.753 trillion of projected deficits over the next decade to $6.845 trillion of projected deficits over the next decade (source: White House, BTN Research).
Stocks vs. Ticket Prices -
Over the past 49 years (i.e., 1967-2015, or from the time of Super Bowl 1 in January 1967 to the end of last year), the S&P 500 stock index has gained 10.1 percent per year on a total return basis (source: BTN Research).
WEEKLY FOCUS – America Saves Week
February 22 - 27 is America Saves Week, when more than 1,000 non-profit, government and corporate groups promote good savings behavior. In the spirit of this educational campaign, here are some tips to share with children or grandchildren, who are on their own or have disposable income, to help them establish good financial habits.
Plan ahead. Create some quantifiable, time-sensitive financial goals. If you don’t have a monthly budget, create one. Resolve to save extra income gained with future raises or tax refunds. Use grocery ads to create a weekly menu and a list of ingredients you’ll need. Stick to the list while shopping and to the menu when you’re tempted to eat out frequently. Compare prices from one grocery store to another.
Delay gratification. Before putting an item in your shopping cart (in person or online), pause for 10 seconds and ask yourself if you really need it. For larger purchases, wait several weeks to evaluate your decision. From time to time, go on a month-long financial fast, only buying items that are absolutely necessary.
Time purchases. Trying to time the stock market rarely works, but many purchases are another story. You’ll usually save by buying food in season and clothing out of season and by making travel arrangements in September or October, when demand is low. Shop for mattresses in May, computers in April, televisions in November and home appliances in December. Look for last year’s car models between September and December, when most new models come out. Or take advantage of annual quota deadlines during the last two weeks in December – when dealers may knock up to $3,000 off to achieve their year’s sales bonuses. On a smaller scale, monthly and quarterly quotas make the end of the month another good time to shop.
Negotiate well. You wouldn’t dream of paying sticker price for your next car. There are countless other items you can also try to negotiate, including furniture and appliances; mortgage or credit card rates and fees; college scholarships; auto insurance; rent; attorney and Realtor fees; medical bills; home service bids; and cable, Internet and cell phone bills.
America Saves Week is a great time to assess financial wellness, and we’re happy to help your loved ones look at their situation. Just call our office to arrange a conversation with your family members on the importance of saving and investing.
The Dorion-Gray Team
Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisory Firm. Dorion-Gray Retirement Planning is a trade name of Dorion-Gray Financial Services, Inc. located at 2602 IL Route 176, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. Dorion-Gray and the Securities America companies are separate, unaffiliated entities.
Diversification seeks to reduce the volatility of a portfolio by investing in a variety of asset classes. Neither asset allocation nor diversification guarantee against market loss or greater or more consistent returns.
© 2013. Dorion-Gray Financial Services, Inc.