Following a post-election rally, Wall Street ended lower Friday, led by a decline in healthcare stocks. Despite Friday’s slip, the three major indexes closed higher for the second week. For the week, the Dow rose 0.26 percent to close at 18,867.93. The S&P gained 0.89 percent to finish at 2,181.90, and the NASDAQ climbed 1.61 percent to end the week at 5,321.51.
Increase For Everyone – Individual income taxes paid by American taxpayers would have to increase by 38 percent to eliminate the $587 billion deficit from fiscal year 2016 (source: Treasury Department, BTN Research).
For the first time, consumers are expected to spend as much online this holiday season as they will in stores according to the 2016 Deloitte holiday shopping survey. There are obvious reasons. More and more in-store Black Friday deals are showing up online from the same retailers – often on Thanksgiving Day. Online “stores” are open 24-7 and frequently offer greater selection with no crowds or parking issues.
Ninety-three percent of online shoppers surveyed by the National Retail Federation (NRF) will take advantage of free shipping – offered with minimum purchases on many sites. This year, you can get free shipping on all orders through Jan.1 from Target, Dec. 24 from Best Buy and Nov. 30 from Samsung. The NRF survey also notes 47 percent of those shopping online will take advantage of free in-store pickups or ship-to-store offers. Of course, gift cards eliminate shipping costs. And they’re likely to be appreciated, as the first choice of 61 percent of those surveyed by NRF, followed by clothing and accessories (54 percent).
There are many other ways to save online. Cash-back sites, such as Ebates.com and GivingAssistant.org, work similarly to many cash-back credit card offers. Instead of going directly to an online retailer’s site to shop, you go to the cash-back site of your choice and click on the retailer’s link to purchase products. Once your purchases equal a minimum amount, you’ll be eligible for money back. Before signing up, compare percentages on different sites, google the name of the site and “complaints” or “reviews,” and make sure the site is secure by looking for a padlock icon and the “s” following the http in the URL.
Popular coupon sites include: BeFrugal.com, CouponSherpa.com, MoneySavingMom.com and TechBargains.com. A variety of deal-finding apps are available, too. For instance, you can sign up for WikiBuy, a price comparison engine that automatically scours the web for the best deal on the product you’re looking at, or check RetailMeNot for a discount or coupon before submitting your order. If you venture out to shop, ShopSavvy will let you search for the lowest price among local stores and websites when you scan a product bar code.
Even with great discounts and deals,it’s important to create a disciplined budget for gift giving. From holiday spending to college funding and retirement planning, our office can be a resource for your financial needs. Call us for assistance when you need to create or update a plan for achieving your financial goals.
The Dorion-Gray Team
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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.