Following a month of global market turbulence, Wall Street saw a sharp turnaround last week. A robust rally in energy and materials stocks caused stock indexes to jump over 1 percent on Friday. For the week, the Dow rose 0.99 percent to close at 16,472.37. The S&P gained 1.10 percent to finish at 1,951.36, and the NASDAQ climbed 0.45 percent to end the week at 4,707.78.
Long-Term vs Short-Term –
The all-time closing high for the S&P 500 was 2,131 on May 21, 2015. The average return for the index for the three years ending May 31, 2015, was 19.7 percent per year (total return), twice as large as the 9.9 percent per year average for the index over the last 50 years (1965-2014) (Source: BTN Research).
Right Before It Turned –
Before beginning a bull market run that started in March 2009, the S&P 500 closed at a bear market low of 677 on March 9, 2009. The average return for the index for the two years ending Feb. 28, 2009, (just nine days before the bottom) was a loss of 26.1 percent per year (total return) (source: BTN Research).
The U.S. stock market was worth $24.7 trillion as of June 30, 2015. The S&P 500 made up 78 percent of the total U.S. stock market capitalization as of June 30, 2015, equal to $19.2 trillion (source: BTN Research).
WEEKLY FOCUS – Creating a Digital Estate Plan
As National Estate Planning Awareness Week (Oct. 19-25) approaches, it’s a good time to ensure your estate plan is current and comprehensive. Although it is often overlooked, including a digital estate plan that addresses financial and social digital assets is becoming increasingly important.
To get started, compile a list of important files and photos you have on your phone, desktop, laptop or flash drives; in a cloud; or on backup CDs or DVDs. Sketch out the folders where they are kept. Then create an inventory of any bank, brokerage, retirement plan, credit card, loan or insurance accounts you access online. Include information on how to access any financial software you use. If you have any intellectual property, an online store or valuable domain names, remember to delineate what you want done with them.
Even though many states do not recognize digital executors, you can still name a trusted individual (perhaps a son or daughter who is particularly adept with technology) to follow your wishes or at least help your traditional executor. Make a comprehensive list of essential passwords and PIN numbers for that individual. For security sake, store the list in a safety deposit box or use an online storage service created for this purpose, such as Everplans. Do not include passwords in your will, since it will become a public document when you die.
Next, make a to-do list outlining how you want your online social assets handled. You may choose to have your Facebook profile deleted or memorialized after your death. If you prefer to keep it active, you can designate a “legacy contact” to manage it. Google’s Inactive Account Manager lets you tell the company what to do with your Gmail, Blogger, YouTube and other accounts when you depart.
If you want to leave some sort of digital message after your death, you might ask someone to post a photo album chronicling your life on Flickr or a personal video to your YouTube channel. You can write final letters to family and friends on sites like Afterwords and My Goodbye Message. To Loved Ones allows users to schedule messages to be sent on birthdays, anniversaries or other special occasions.
We can work closely with your tax and estate professionals to make sure your estate plan addresses a changing landscape. Call our office to schedule a meeting of your advisor team.
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.
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