Despite May’s weak jobs report and revised, lower jobs numbers for March and April, all three major indexes closed at records Friday. Technology and industrial stock gains led the increase. For the week, the Dow rose 0.69 to close at 21,206.29. The S&P gained 1.01 percent to finish at 2,439.07, and the NASDAQ climbed 1.54 percent to end the week at 6,305.80.
They Are Not Done Yet – Between now and the end of 2018, the Federal Reserve has 13 scheduled meetings. The median estimate of Federal Open Market Committee policymakers suggests five separate rate hikes of 0.25 percent each will occur by Dec. 31, 2018. The next Fed meeting is June 13-14 (source: Federal Reserve, BTN Research).
Breakeven – The three summer months (June, July and August) have produced an average loss of 0.1 percent (total return) for the S&P 500 stock index over the last 25 years, i.e., 1992-2016 (source: BTN Research).
Don’t let money problems ruin a vacation designed to be relaxing and rejuvenating. Ensure your next trip is a positive getaway by minimizing financial risks or issues with these simple steps:
Plan ahead. Pay your bills in advance or set up automatic payments while you’re away. Bring at least two credit cards; make sure they don’t expire soon. Notify your card issuers of upcoming travel – especially outside the country. Unless you’re sure your bank has ATMs at your destination, determine the minimal amount of cash you may need to carry.
Limit loss. Pay for travel costs with a credit card that has built-in protections, such as auto rental collision coverage, purchase protection, trip cancellation insurance and lost luggage insurance. Make duplicate copies of your passport, credit cards, tickets and itinerary. Leave one set with a friend or relative at home and keep one set separate from originals while traveling. Don’t keep all of your cash and credit cards in the same place. Place a sheet of paper with your basic contact information inside your suitcase and document contents by taking a photo in case it is lost or stolen. If possible, stay in a hotel with room safes and hallway security cameras. But realize hotel safes are not foolproof. In fact, there are locking devices available online to make them more secure.
Guard your identity. Ask the post office to hold mail to eliminate a tell-tale sign you’re away and keep sensitive information more secure. If you make luggage tags, be careful what information you include. Avoid using a home phone number, which allows criminals to do a reverse lookup to get your street address. Instead, use a work phone number or a separate email address dedicated for travel. Turn on text or email alerts notifying you of every credit card transaction. If you need to access banking information, use an Ethernet cable in your hotel room or log in via a cellular network, which is safer than a Wi-Fi connection. Keep your phone with you and secure it with a password, auto-lock and remote tracking or disabling.
Has anything changed in your life that could affect your financial well-being? Call our office for a comprehensive review that includes identifying potential risks and evaluates how to protect against them.
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.
© 2017. Dorion-Gray Financial Services, Inc.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all dividends. Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. investment-grade, fixed-rate bond market securities, including government, government agency, corporate and mortgage-backed securities between one and 10 years. Written by Securities America, Copyright June 2017. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI#1812832.1