The month of September often sees lower returns, and it may follow its pattern this year. Wall Street dropped Friday, and the S&P 500 finished its worst day since June in the wake of North Korea’s largest nuclear test and uncertainties about potential interest rate hikes and the November election. For the week, the Dow fell 2.15 percent to close at 18,085.45. The S&P lost 2.36 percent to finish at 2,127.81, and the NASDAQ dropped 2.36 percent to end the week at 5,125.91.
Just one in seven workers surveyed (14 percent) has accumulated retirement assets of at least $250,000, not counting the value of their primary residence or the present value of any pension plan they have (source: EBRI, BTN Research).
Chasing Last Year's Winners –
An equal investment taken at the end of the trading day on Dec. 31, 2015, in the 10 best performing individual stocks within the S&P 500 from calendar year 2015 is down 2.3 percent YTD through Aug. 31 (source: BTN Research).
Quack, Quack -
Between June 30, 2015, and June 30, 2016, average home prices increased in 49 of 50 U.S. states. Oregon’s 11.7 percent average home price gain led the nation (source: Federal Housing Finance Agency, BTN Research).
WEEKLY FOCUS – Protecting Your College Student and Yourself
If you have a child or grandchild in college or heading there soon, discussion and preparation in the following areas can reduce future risks and concerns.
Credit. Credit card companies now give students who are under 21 accounts without parental co-signatures – and then sue parents for unpaid balances. A recent Sallie Mae survey on how college students managed their finances found almost half of those who had a credit card had three or more; four out of 10 students sometimes bought things on credit without knowing whether they’d be able to pay for them; and a quarter of the students feared their credit card debt was out of control. If you haven’t done so, help your student create a budget. Discuss expectations and the extended damage improper use of credit cards could do to their credit rating.
Insurance. According to the College Board, the average cost for room and board at public four-year universities was $10,138 for the 2015-2016 school year. Like tuition, these rates have increased much faster than inflation. Upper classmen who are eligible to live off-campus can often realize substantial savings living independently. But they should choose their roommates carefully to avoid property damages and potential liabilities to the student and parents if parties are held in the student’s residence. It’s also imperative to have adequate renters’ insurance that includes liability for personal injuries. Students with cars should not rent them to other students since automobile insurance often has exclusions for using vehicles for commercial purposes.
Important documents. While it may be difficult to think about a possible accident or illness, it’s best to be prepared. Having certain documents in place can enable parents to provide immediate help. Even if a child is enrolled on the family’s insurance plan, parents are not entitled to their medical information unless the student signs a HIPAA medical release at the treating facility. A health-care proxy allows parents to make medical decisions for a child who is unable to do so themselves. And a durable power of attorney authorizes parents to sign documents for their child, access bank accounts and manage their accounts. If you have financial questions about a student’s move to college, please feel free to call our office. We’re happy to help with money issues affecting multiple generations of your family.
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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