The markets closed lower Friday. Financial shares led the downturn after an unusually weak jobs report led traders to revise bets the Federal Reserve will raise rates in June or July. For the week, the Dow fell 0.30 percent to close at 17,807.06. The S&P rose 0.04 percent to finish at 2,099.13, and the NASDAQ gained 0.18 percent to end the week at 4,942.52.
Rounding to the nearest dollar, collective earnings of the companies in the S&P 500 index for the last five years have been $87 (2011), $87 (2012), $100 (2013), $102 (2014) and $87 (2015). Earnings results used are “as reported earnings per share” which includes nonrecurring revenues and expenses (source: S&P, BTN Research).
Plan Ahead –
Of American adults surveyed in early May 2016, 44 percent have executed a will. Of American adults at least age 65, 68 percent have executed a will (source: Gallup, BTN Research).
Back to a Trillion -
From an all-time peak level of $1.022 trillion on April 30, 2008, credit card debt in the United States fell to $833 billion on April 30, 2011, but has since bounced back and reached $952 billion on March 31, 2016 (source: Federal Reserve, BTN Research).
WEEKLY FOCUS – The Fastest Growing Crime Just Got Worse
President Obama has called identity theft the fastest growing crime in America. Most Americans recognize the dangers of financial information being compromised. But many aren’t aware of a greater threat: their medical records falling into the wrong hands.
According to the latest study by the Medical Identity Theft Alliance, 2.32 million Americans have been victims of medical identity theft. What makes this so troubling is hospitals typically have low security, and healthcare records often include permanently identifiable information like Social Security numbers and dates of birth. Consequently, they are much more lucrative than credit card numbers on the black market.
Sadly, victims of medical identity theft have considerably fewer protections than individuals whose credit cards have been stolen. Sixty-five percent of the victims surveyed reported paying an average of $13,500 to resolve the crime. Thirty-one percent lost their health insurance, and a fifth saw decreased credit scores.
Once a thief has your personal information, they can get medical care, submit claims, buy prescription drugs and even purchase expensive medical equipment to resell. If that wasn’t bad enough, your health can be jeopardized if a thief’s medical history is entwined with yours. You may be unable to examine your records because of the thief’s health data, which is protected by medical privacy laws. False claims can lead to being turned down for life, disability or long-term care insurance.
Take steps to safeguard your information. Verify a clinic’s email exchange is secure before emailing new patient forms. Remove and shred labels from prescriptions before discarding containers. Keep papers from clinics and insurance companies in a safe place. Avoid giving out your complete Social Security number. Always review Explanations of Benefits for discrepancies. (This becomes even more important if you’re on Medicare since claims require a Social Security number.) Check credit reports for unpaid medical bills, and ask to see your medical records.
Protecting your personal information is important to us. For more information on obtaining and monitoring your accounts and credit history and for tips on protecting your identity, please give our office a call.
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.