The post-election rally continued last week, thanks to gains in consumer staples and technology stocks. The three main indexes closed higher for the third week in a row before the stock markets closed early Friday. For the week, the Dow rose 1.51 percent to close at 19,152.14. The S&P gained 1.45 percent to finish at 2,213.35, and the NASDAQ climbed 1.45 percent to end the week at 5,398.92.
Less Than Half the Average – The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage over the past 45 years is 8.26 percent. The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage as of Nov. 17 was 3.94 percent (source: Freddie Mac, BTN Research).
To keep your holidays joyous, it’s wise to take extra safety measures. Home burglaries increase during this time, so keep doors and windows locked and your garage shut, even when you’re home. Avoid leaving gifts in plain view from a window. Connect indoor and outdoor lights to a timer, so your home is lit even when you’re out. Don’t feel obligated to open your door to strangers; criminals may pose as delivery couriers or volunteers soliciting charitable donations. If you haven’t done so, get to know your neighbors. Watch each other’s homes, particularly when someone is traveling. Before leaving on vacation, ask someone to pick up your mail.
Thieves are emboldened by crowds of distracted shoppers, so it’s important to stay alert and cautious when shopping. Limit the amount of cash you carry; use a credit card or write a check when possible. Keep a list of your credit card numbers and company contact information in a secure place at home in case cards are lost or stolen. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and wear shoes that allow you to move quickly if needed.
Keep your billfold in a front pocket, inside your coat or in a purse close to your body. Never set a purse down or turn away from one in a shopping cart. To keep a potential thief from shoulder surfing to get your account information, don’t get your credit card out until you are ready to pay. Save all receipts and file them once you get home.
Try to go with someone if you must shop at night. If that’s not possible, consider asking mall or store security for an escort to your car. Park in a well-lit area. Avoid parking next to vans, trucks or vehicles with tinted glass. Keep track of where you park. Lock your vehicle and keep purchases out of sight. Don’t buy more than you can easily carry. Have your keys ready as you approach your vehicle, and be aware of your surroundings. If someone approaches you or appears to be loitering near your car, go back inside. Look inside your vehicle before getting in, and lock the doors immediately.
Lock your billfold in your car while filling your gas tank. If you must use an ATM, choose one in a well-lit, busy area, preferably indoors. Look at the machine for a false front over the card slot or a small camera above the keypad. Don’t type your PIN number if anyone is too close; shield the keypad when you do. Check ATM receipts against your bank statements.
Protecting your financial well-being is important to us. Call our office for a comprehensive review that includes identifying potential risks and evaluating 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.