Author Archive for Alex Calvert

Weekly Economic Update 1-14-19

In this week’s recap: the CPI decreases, a service sector activity index takes a fall, oil’s rebound continues, and equities advance.

 

FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE MARCH, INFLATION RETREATS

December brought a 0.1% decline in the Consumer Price Index, the first in nine months. As in November, cheaper gasoline was a factor: gas prices took a 7.5% monthly fall. The CPI advanced 1.9% across 2018. The core CPI, which excludes food and energy costs, rose 0.2% in December for a third consecutive month and gained 2.2% for the year. In short, yearly inflation is back in the vicinity of the Federal Reserve’s 2.0% target.1

 

SERVICE SECTOR GROWTH RATE SLOWS

The Institute for Supply Management said that its purchasing manager index service, tracking industry activity, descended to 57.6 in December, paralleling the dip of its factory sector PMI. While the decrease of 3.1 points was a disappointment, the new orders sub-index did rise slightly to 62.7, and the service sector expanded for the 107th straight month.2

 

OIL RECORDS ITS LONGEST DAILY WINNING STREAK IN 9 YEARS

Crude oil futures are no longer scraping near 52-week lows. WTI crude settled at $51.59 on the New York Mercantile Exchange at Friday’s close, up 7.6% for the week. A down day on Friday broke a 9-session streak of advances for the commodity, the longest seen since January 2010.3

 

BENCHMARKS RISE ON THE EVE OF EARNINGS SEASON

Investors were encouraged by hints of progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations last week and seemed unruffled by the ongoing shutdown of parts of the federal government. Across five trading days, all three major Wall Street equity indices rose 2.4% or more, and both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average exited correction territory with the fourth-quarter reporting season just ahead. (See the table within this Weekly Economic Update for their Friday closes as well as weekly and YTD performances.)4

 

 

T I P   O F   T H E   W E E K


Many people sign up for credit cards without looking at their interest rates and terms. Be sure to read the fine print when applying for a card.

 

THIS WEEK

A new earnings season starts Monday as Citigroup presents Q4 results. | JPMorgan Chase, UnitedHealth Group, and Wells Fargo report earnings on Tuesday, and the December Producer Price Index also emerges. | Wednesday, Alcoa, Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Blackrock, Comerica, CSX, Goldman Sachs, PNC Financial Services Group, and U.S. Bancorp announce earnings, the Federal Reserve publishes a new Beige Book, and data on December retail sales arrives. | Thursday, earnings roll in from American Express, BB&T, KeyCorp, and Netflix; in addition, investors will consider a Census Bureau report on December housing starts and the latest initial jobless claims figures. | Regions Financial, Schlumberger, and SunTrust Bank offer earnings Friday, which is also when the University of Michigan provides its preliminary January consumer sentiment index.

 

 

Q U O T E   O F   T H E   W E E K

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”

Steve Jobs

 

Sources: wsj.com, treasury.gov – 1/11/195,6,7

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. Weekly and year-to-date market index returns are expressed as percentages. 10-year Treasury note yield = projected return on investment, expressed as a percentage, on the U.S. government’s 10-year bond. Weekly and year-to-date 10-year Treasury note yield differences are expressed in basis points.

 

 

T H E   W E E K L Y   R I D D L E

What speaks, also listens, and has ten digits yet no hands?

 

LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: Bryn’s mother and father have three kids. One is Kenzie, the second one is Carrie, who is the third?

ANSWER: Bryn.

 

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

Know someone who could use information like this?
Please feel free to send us their contact information via phone or email. (Don’t worry – we’ll request their permission before adding them to our mailing list.)

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.  

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs, or expenses. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

CITATIONS:

1 – cnbc.com/2019/01/10/consumer-price-index-december-2018.html [1/11/19]

2 – dailyfx.com/forex/market_alert/2019/01/07/ISM-Services-Index-Dec-2018.html [1/7/19]

3 – marketwatch.com/story/us-oil-prices-end-lower-to-snap-9-session-streak-of-gains-2019-01-11 [1/11/19]

4 – marketwatch.com/story/stock-market-ends-session-flat-but-books-weekly-gains-as-government-shutdown-approaches-a-record-2019-01-11 [1/11/19]

5 – markets.wsj.com/ [1/11/19]

6 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yield [1/11/19]

7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yieldAll [1/11/19]

 

Weekly Economic Update 1-7-19

In this week’s recap: an impressive jobs report, a disappointing factory activity index, a slight recovery for oil, and some tailwinds on Wall Street.

 

2018 Ended with a hiring surge

The latest Department of Labor jobs report suggests an economy with plenty of forward momentum. Employers added 312,000 net new jobs in December, the most in ten months. The main jobless rate rose 0.2% to 3.9% as more Americans entered the labor force; the U-6 rate, measuring underemployment, held at 7.6%. Last month, wages were improving at a rate of 3.2% per year, an increase of 0.1% from the prior report. November’s job gain was revised up to 176,000 from the previously reported 155,000.1

 

KEY MANUFACTURING INDEX DECLINES

In December, the Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing manager index, tracking business activity among the nation’s factories, dipped to 54.1. This reading indicates healthy expansion for the sector; on the other hand, this was the index’s lowest level in 25 months. It was at 59.3 in November.2

 

OIL HAD A WINNING WEEK

WTI crude just snapped a 3-week losing streak. Futures settled at $47.96 per barrel on the NYMEX, rising 5.8% in four trading days. Some analysts credited the advance to reduced worries about a recession, citing the excellent December hiring numbers and the renewed U.S.-China trade negotiations.3

 

STOCKS START 2019 IN THE GREEN

Three encouraging developments brought out the bulls at the end of the week. The federal government’s December employment report was one pleasant surprise. Another came when Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said that the central bank was amenable to adjusting monetary policy and would be patient about raising rates this year. Lastly, China announced plans to cut taxes and inject money into its banking system, and additionally, discussions on trade issues with the U.S. would resume this week. Friday, the S&P 500 climbed 3.43% to advance 1.00% on the new year to 2,531.94. The Nasdaq added 1.56% for the week to reach 6,738.86 at Friday’s close; the Dow Industrials, 0.45%, to settle at 23,433.16.4,5

 

 

T I P   O F   T H E   W E E K


Some business owners put off buying insurance because they believe the coverage will be too costly. Having some insurance is better than none. A small business can insure itself with coverage at relatively low limits to start, and then, increase them as time passes.

 

 

THIS WEEK

U.S. and Chinese diplomats sit down for further trade discussions in Beijing on Monday; stateside, ISM releases its December non-manufacturing PMI. | On Tuesday, U.S.-China trade meetings conclude, with Wall Street hoping for progress. | The Federal Reserve presents the minutes from its December policy meeting Wednesday; in addition, Bed Bath & Beyond, Constellation Brands, KB Home, and Lennar host earnings calls. | Fed chair Jerome Powell reflects on the economy and monetary policy at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., on Thursday afternoon, and Fed vice chair Richard Clarida delivers a speech on the same topics in New York City Thursday night. | Friday brings December inflation data from the federal government and quarterly results from Infosys.

 

 

Q U O T E   O F   T H E   W E E K

Defer not till tomorrow to be wise, tomorrow’s sun to thee may never rise.”

William Congreve

 

Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 1/4/195,6,7,8

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS yield = projected return on investment, expressed as a percentage, on the U.S. government’s 10-year bond.

 

 

T H E   W E E K L Y   R I D D L E

Bryn’s mother and father have three kids. One is Kenzie; the second one is Carrie. Who is the third?

 

 

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

Know someone who could use information like this?
Please feel free to send us their contact information via phone or email. (Don’t worry – we’ll request their permission before adding them to our mailing list.)

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.  

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs, or expenses. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

CITATIONS:

1 – reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-instant-view/instant-view-us-december-payrolls-surprise-big-to-the-upside-idUSKCN1OY18F [1/4/19]

2 – instituteforsupplymanagement.org/ismreport/mfgrob.cfm?SSO=1 [1/3/19]

3 – marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-headed-for-5th-straight-advance-2019-01-04 [1/4/19]

4 – foxbusiness.com/markets/stocks-climb-on-big-jobs-report-beat-positive-news-on-chinas-economy [1/4/19]

5 – markets.wsj.com/ [1/4/19]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=1%2F4%2F18&x=0&y=0 [1/4/19]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=1%2F4%2F18&x=0&y=0 [1/4/19]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=1%2F4%2F18&x=0&y=0 [1/4/19]

7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yield [1/4/19]
8 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yieldAll [1/4/19]

 

 

Why You Want a Retirement Plan in Writing

Setting a strategy down may help you define just what you need to do.

 

Many people save and invest vaguely for the future.

They know they need to accumulate money for retirement, but when it comes to how much they will need or how they will do it, they are not quite sure. They will “wing it,” hope for the best, and see how it goes. How do they know they are really contributing enough to their retirement accounts? Would they feel less anxious about the future if they had a written plan?

Make no mistake, a written retirement plan sharpens your focus.

It can refine dreams into goals and express a strategy to pursue them. According to a Charles Schwab study, just 24% of Americans plan their financial futures according to a written strategy. Here is why you should join their ranks, if you are not yet among them.1,2

You can figure out the “when” of retirement planning.

When do you think you will retire and start drawing income from your taxable and tax-advantaged accounts? At what age do you anticipate you will start to collect Social Security? How long do you think you will live? No, you cannot precisely know the answers to these questions at this point – but you can make reasonable assumptions. Your assumptions may be altered, it is true – but a good retirement plan is an evolving document, one that can be revised with changing times.  

You can set a target monthly or annual savings rate.

Once you have considered some of the “whens,” you can move on to “how.” Assuming a conservative rate of return on your invested assets, you can specify how much to defer into retirement accounts.

You can decide on a risk tolerance and an investment mix that agrees with it.

Ultimately, you will invest in a way that a) makes sense for your objectives and b) makes you comfortable. The investment mix that you decide on today may not be the one you will favor ten years from now or even three years from now. Regular portfolio reviews should complement the stated investment approach.

You can think about ways to get more retirement income instead of less.

Tax reduction should be part of your retirement strategy. Think about the possibility of part of your Social Security income being taxed. Think about tax on your Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from your IRAs and employee retirement plan. What could you do to manage, or even minimize, the income and capital gains taxes ahead of you?

You can tackle the medical expense question.

That is, how will you fund the medical care that you will inevitably need to greater or lesser degree someday? Should you assign part of your savings to a special account or form of insurance for that purpose? Retiring before 65 may mean paying for some private health insurance in the years before Medicare eligibility.

You can think about your legacy.

While a retirement plan should not be equated with an estate plan, the very fact of planning for your later years does make you think about some things: where you want your money to go when you are gone; your endgame for your company or professional practice; whether part of your accumulated wealth should go to causes or charities.

A written plan promotes confidence and a degree of control.

A 2017 Wells Fargo/Gallup survey determined that those with written retirement plans were nearly twice as confident of having sufficient retirement income in the future, compared to those with no written plan.3

 

If you lack a written retirement plan, talk to the financial professional you know and trust about one. Writing it all down may make a difference in planning for your second act.

“With today’s technology and tools to better achieve retirement success, please take the time to remove the speculation of what your retirement will look like. It all starts with a single click.” – Gregg

 

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

 

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.    

 

Citations.

1 – kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T023-C032-S014-do-you-have-a-written-financial-plan.html [10/25/17]

2 – aboutschwab.com/images/uploads/inline/Charles_Schwab-Modern_Wealth_Index-findings_deck.pdf [6/17]

3 – time.com/money/4860595/how-to-retire-wealthy/ [7/18/17]

Weekly Economic Update 12-31-18

In this week’s recap: A look back at 2018.

 

Year-End Special Edition: A Look Back at 2018

The close of the year provides an opportunity for investors to step back and consider the wider financial landscape. This week, we’re reviewing some key issues that defined 2018, as well as some factors that may influence financial markets in the coming year.

 

Year in Review

Wall Street began 2018 in rally mode, as enthusiasm for the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act spilled over into the New Year. Strong economic news encouraged investors, who put aside fears that rising inflation may lead to higher interest rates. What Wall Street did not see coming were the spring and summer trade disputes with China, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. Fear of a global economic slowdown contributed to a sharp decline in stock prices in October. U.S. economic growth forecasts were tempered in November for 2019, with bulls and bears engaged in a fierce tug-of-war as the year came to a close.1

 

Economic Growth

After expanding at a middling 2.2% pace in the first quarter, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose 4.2% in Q2 and 3.5% in Q3. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta forecast a 2.8% increase for Q4, which will be released on January 30, 2019 by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Congressional Budget Office expects GDP growth in 2019 to slow to 2.4% “as growth in business investment and government purchases slows.”2,3,4,5

 

Interest Rates

At the close of its September 2018 meeting, the Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate to 2.25%, a full percentage point higher than it was a year earlier. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell appeared to change his stance on monetary policy, saying interest rates were “just below” a neutral level. Prior to that, he indicated rates were a “long way” from neutral.6

 

Consumer Prices and Wage Growth

The number of future interest rate hikes by the Fed may largely depend on its reading of inflation. An uptick in consumer prices or an increase in wage growth may prompt the Fed to consider additional hikes in 2019.6

 

Trade Talk Progress

Tariffs were a highlight of 2018 news. On July 10, the Trump administration announced a list of tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods. The escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China is an enormous overhang on the financial markets. The continuing impasse may affect economic growth and push consumer prices higher.7

2018 also was a year in which a major trade pact started to come together. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was approved in principle in October. However, the agreement must be approved by Congress and the legislative bodies of Mexico and Canada before it can take effect.8

 

U.S. Dollar

Rising interest rates and robust domestic growth in 2018 lead to a strengthening of the U.S. dollar. A strong U.S. dollar may negatively affect profits of U.S.-based multinational companies, since it may make their products more expensive to overseas buyers. This will also be something to watch in the coming year.1,2,3

 

Real Estate

The trend of higher interest rates in 2018 was also felt in the real estate market. The average rate on a 30-year conventional home loan stood at 3.95% in January 2018. At year’s end, it was hovering near 5% according to Freddie Mac.9

 

We hope you enjoyed this special edition newsletter! Next week, we’ll be back to covering the market numbers. Best wishes to you for a prosperous New Year.

 

T H E   W E E K L Y   R I D D L E

The Weekly Riddle returns next week.

LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: It is known for its aggressive styling and performance, yet its name contains the name of a gentle mammal. What make of car is it?

ANSWER: Lamborghini.

 

 

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

 

Know someone who could use information like this?
Please feel free to send us their contact information via phone or email. (Don’t worry – we’ll request their permission before adding them to our mailing list.)

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.   

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs, or expenses. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize and are subject to revision without notice.

CITATIONS:

1 – cnbc.com/2018/11/20/jp-morgan-sees-a-slowdown-coming-with-economy-growing-at-less-than-2-percent-in-2019.html [11/20/18]

2 – tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-growth [11/6/18]
3 – frbatlanta.org/cqer/research/gdpnow.aspx [12/3/18]

4 – bea.gov/news/schedule [2018]

5 – cnbc.com/2018/08/14/us-economy-seen-strong-in-2018-to-slow-in-2019-cbo.html [8/14/18]

6 – marketwatch.com/story/seemingly-dovish-powell-says-interest-rates-are-just-below-level-where-they-wont-stimulate-economy-2018-11-28 [11/28/18]
7 – cnbc.com/2018/07/10/white-house-releases-list-of-goods-hit-by-200-billion-in-tariffs.html [7/10/18]

8 – businessinsider.com/us-canada-mexico-trade-deal-usmca-nafta-congress-vote-block-2018-10 [10/2/18]

9 – freddiemac.com/pmms/archive.html [11/7/18]

 

 

Your Year-End Financial Checklist

Seven aspects of your financial life to review as the year draws to a close.

The end of a year makes us think about last-minute things we need to address and good habits we want to start keeping. To that end, here are seven aspects of your financial life to think about as this year leads into the next…

 

Your investments. Review your approach to investing and make sure it suits your objectives. Look over your portfolio positions and revisit your asset allocation.

  

Your retirement planning strategy. Does it seem as practical as it did a few years ago? Are you able to max out contributions to IRAs and workplace retirement plans like 401(k)s? Is it time to make catch-up contributions? Finally, consider Roth IRA conversion scenarios, and whether the potential tax-free retirement distributions tomorrow seem worth the taxes you may incur today. If you are at the age when a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) is required from your traditional IRA(s), be sure to take your RMD by December 31. If you don’t, the IRS will assess a penalty of 50% of the RMD amount on top of the taxes you will already pay on that income. (While you can postpone your very first IRA RMD until April 1, 2019, that forces you into taking two RMDs next year, which positions you to face greater income tax.)1

   

Your tax situation. How many potential credits and/or deductions can you and your tax professional find before the year ends? Examine accelerated depreciation, R&D credits, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, incentive stock options and certain types of tax-advantaged investments. Your odds of owing Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) may be reduced in 2018 thanks to the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. If you do owe AMT during 2018-25, you probably will have to pay less of it (possibly much less) than you would if the TCJA had not been passed.2

 

Review any sales of appreciated property and both realized and unrealized losses and gains. Look back at last year’s loss carry-forwards. If you’ve sold securities, gather up cost-basis information. Look for any transactions that could potentially enhance your circumstances.

 

Your charitable gifting goals. Plan charitable contributions or contributions to education accounts; make any desired cash gifts to family members. The annual federal gift tax exclusion is $15,000 per individual for 2018, meaning you can gift as much as $15,000 to as many individuals as you like this year tax-free. (The limit will stay at $15,000 in 2019.) Married spouses can each make $15,000 gifts. So long as these gifts are within the annual exclusion amount (that is, $15,000 or less), they do not count against the lifetime estate tax exemption amount, which is $11.4 million per individual (and $22.8 million per married couple) in 2019.3

You could also gift appreciated securities to a charity. If you have owned them for more than a year, you can deduct 100% of their fair market value and legally avoid capital gains tax you would normally incur from selling them.

Besides outright gifts, you can explore creating and funding trusts on behalf of your family. The end of the year is also a good time to review any trusts you have in place.

 

Your life insurance coverage. Are your policies and beneficiaries up-to-date? Review premium costs and beneficiaries and think about whether your insurance needs have changed.

 

Life events. Did you happen to get married or divorced in 2018? Did you move or change jobs? Buy a home or business? Did you lose a family member, or see a severe illness or ailment affect a loved one? Did you reach the point at which Mom or Dad needed assisted living? Was there a new addition to your family this year? Did you receive an inheritance or a gift? All these circumstances can have a financial impact on your life, and even the way you invest and plan for retirement and wind down your career or business. They are worth discussing with the financial or tax professional you know and trust.

 

Lastly, did you reach any of these financially important ages in 2018? If so, act accordingly.

 

Did you turn 70½ this year? If so, you must now take Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from your IRA(s).

Did you turn 65 this year? If so, you are likely now eligible to apply for Medicare.

Did you turn 62 this year? If so, you can choose to apply for Social Security benefits.

Did you turn 59½ this year? If so, you may take IRA distributions without a 10% early withdrawal tax penalty.

Did you turn 55 this year? If so, you may be allowed to take distributions from your 401(k) without penalty, provided you “separate from service” from your employer (i.e., no longer work at that job).

Did you turn 50 this year? If so, you can make “catch-up” contributions to IRAs (and certain other qualified retirement plans).1,5,6

 

The end of the year is a key time to review your financial “health” and well-being. If you feel you need to address any of the items above, please feel free to email me or give me a call.

 

“As you approach year end, and think about your new year resolutions here are a few tips to give thought before moving into 2019” – Gregg

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.   

Citations.

1 – kiplinger.com/tool/retirement/T045-S001-when-do-i-have-to-take-my-first-rmd/index.php [7/18]

2 – marketwatch.com/story/meet-the-new-friendlier-alternative-minimum-tax-2018-02-26 [2/26/18]

3 – forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2018/11/15/irs-announces-higher-2019-estate-and-gift-tax-limits/ [11/15/18]

4 – kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T055-C000-S004-smart-strategies-for-giving-to-charity.html [9/26/18]

5 – fool.com/retirement/2018/02/12/5-financial-facts-every-early-retiree-should-know.aspx [2/12/18]

6 – irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-catch-up-contributions [11/5/18]

 

Weekly Economic Update 12-17-18

In this week’s recap: inflation moderates, oil prices head south, and equities have a tough week.

 

AS FUEL GROWS CHEAPER, INFLATION BECOMES TAMER

Last week, the latest Consumer Price Index arrived, showing no move for headline inflation in November and a 0.2% core inflation increase. That precisely matched the consensus forecast of economists polled by Reuters. What held the headline CPI in check last month? You can credit a sudden drop in gas prices, which fell 4.2%. Annualized inflation declined to 2.2%. Overall producer prices only rose 0.1% last month, compared to an October ascent of 0.6%.1,2

 

A MIDDLING ADVANCE FOR RETAIL SALES

During October, American households boosted their retail spending by 1.1% (originally reported by the Department of Commerce as a gain of 0.8%), but November presented a different story. Sales rose last month, but only by 0.2%. The gain remained at 0.2% with auto buying removed.2

 

OIL HEADS 2.6% LOWER

That was the weekly loss for light sweet crude, influenced by two factors: increasing dollar strength and concerning economic data from China, which made traders wonder if the P.R.C.’s demand for crude could lessen. Oil settled at $51.20 Friday on the NYMEX.3

 

STOCKS HEAD LOWER

Bothered by anxieties about global growth, bulls lost some of their appetite for risk last week. Across five trading days, the S&P 500 ceded 1.26%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1.18%; the Nasdaq Composite, 0.84%. That left them at the following settlements on Friday: S&P, 2,599.95; DJIA, 24,100.51; COMP, 6,910.66. The small-cap Russell 2000 index had it worse, falling 2.57% to 1,410.81 over five days. While all this happened, volatility actually declined, at least according to the CBOE VIX; the leading gauge of Wall Street instability retreated 6.89% for the week to 21.63.4

 

T I P   O F   T H E   W E E K
A simple tip to keep credit card spending under control: only use a card for purchases you know you can pay off within one month.

 

 

THIS WEEK

Oracle and Red Hat share quarterly results on Monday. | On Tuesday, the Census Bureau offers a snapshot of November residential construction activity, and Darden Restaurants, FedEx, Jabil, Micron Technology, Navistar, Steelcase, and Worthington Industries present earnings. | Wednesday, the Federal Reserve releases its latest policy statement, followed by a press conference with Fed chair Jerome Powell; in addition, investors will consider October existing home sales numbers and earnings from General Mills, Paychex, Rite Aid, and Winnebago. | On Thursday, earnings roll in from Accenture, BlackBerry, Conagra Brands, Nike, and Walgreens Boots Alliance, and the Department of Labor issues a new initial claims report. | Friday, Wall Street reviews November consumer spending and capital goods orders data, the federal government’s third estimate of Q3 growth, and earnings from CarMax.

 

 

Q U O T E   O F   T H E   W E E K

Laughter is an instant vacation.”

MILTON BERLE

 

Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 12/14/184,5,6,7

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

 

 

T H E   W E E K L Y   R I D D L E

Dave says that the small city he lives in has a municipal building with more than a hundred stories. What building is this?

 

LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: Take a word with four letters. Take away one, and what remains will be better … better than zero, anyway. What word is this?

ANSWER: Gone.

 

 

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

Know someone who could use information like this?
Please feel free to send us their contact information via phone or email. (Don’t worry – we’ll request their permission before adding them to our mailing list.)

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.  

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs, or expenses. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

CITATIONS:

1 – cnbc.com/2018/12/12/us-consumer-price-index-november-2018.html [12/12/18]

2 – briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/2018/12/10-14 [12/14/18]

3 – marketwatch.com/story/oil-falls-as-stock-weakness-and-dollar-strength-dull-impact-of-bullish-supply-data-2018-12-14 [12/14/18]

4 – markets.wsj.com/ [12/14/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F14%2F17&x=0&y=0 [12/14/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F14%2F17&x=0&y=0 [12/14/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F14%2F17&x=0&y=0 [12/14/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F13%2F13&x=0&y=0 [12/14/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F13%2F13&x=0&y=0 [12/14/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F13%2F13&x=0&y=0 [12/14/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F15%2F08&x=0&y=0 [12/14/18]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F15%2F08&x=0&y=0 [12/14/18]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F15%2F08&x=0&y=0 [12/14/18]
6 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [12/14/18]

7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [12/14/18]  

 

Why Do You Need a Will?

It may not sound enticing but creating a will puts power in your hands.

 

“Estate planning is such a crucial step to achieving one financial goals. A properly drafted document will give peace of mind to you that your goals will be carried out as you wish regardless of your cognitive ability or an untimely death.” – Gregg

 

According to the global analytics firm Gallup, only about 44% of Americans have created a will. This finding may not surprise you. After all, no one wants to be reminded of their mortality or dwell on what might happen upon their death, so writing a last will and testament is seldom prioritized on the to-do list of a Millennial or Gen Xer. What may surprise you, though, is the statistic cited by personal finance website The Balance: around 35% of Americans aged 65 and older lack wills.1,2

 

A will is an instrument of power. By creating one, you gain control over the distribution of your assets. If you die without one, the state decides what becomes of your property, with no regard to your priorities.

 

A will is a legal document by which an individual or a couple (known as “testator”) identifies their wishes regarding the distribution of their assets after death. A will can typically be broken down into four parts:

 

*Executors: Most wills begin by naming an executor. Executors are responsible for carrying out the wishes outlined in a will. This involves assessing the value of the estate, gathering the assets, paying inheritance tax and other debts (if necessary), and distributing assets among beneficiaries. It is recommended that you name an alternate executor in case your first choice is unable to fulfill the obligation. Some families name multiple children as co-executors, with the intention of thwarting sibling discord, but this can introduce a logistical headache, as all the executors must act unanimously.2,3

 

*Guardians: A will allows you to designate a guardian for your minor children. The designated guardian you appoint must be able to assume the responsibility. For many people, this is the most important part of a will. If you die without naming a guardian, the courts will decide who takes care of your children.

 

*Gifts: This section enables you to identify people or organizations to whom you wish to give gifts of money or specific possessions, such as jewelry or a car. You can also specify conditional gifts, such as a sum of money to a young daughter, but only when she reaches a certain age.

 

*Estate: Your estate encompasses everything you own, including real property, financial investments, cash, and personal possessions. Once you have identified specific gifts you would like to distribute, you can apportion the rest of your estate in equal shares among your heirs, or you can split it into percentages. For example, you may decide to give 45% each to two children and the remaining 10% to your sibling.

 

A do-it-yourself will may be acceptable, but it may not be advisable. The law does not require a will to be drawn up by a professional, so you could create your own will, with or without using a template. If you make a mistake, however, you will not be around to correct it. When you draft a will, consider enlisting the help of a legal, tax, or financial professional who could offer you additional insight, especially if you have a large estate or a complex family situation.

 

Remember, a will puts power in your hands. You have worked hard to create a legacy for your loved ones. You deserve to decide how that legacy is sustained.

 

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

 

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.  

Citations.

1 – https://news.gallup.com/poll/191651/majority-not.aspx [4/24/18]

2 – https://www.thebalance.com/wills-4073967 [4/24/18]

3 – https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/naming-more-one-executor.html [12/3/18]

 

 

Weekly Economic Update 10-12-18

In this week’s recap: the pace of job creation slows, the factory & service sectors expand, OPEC signs off on an output cut, and Wall Street copes with turbulence.

 

HIRING PACE SLOWS

In November, U.S. employers added a net 155,000 hires to their payrolls. That compares with a (revised) gain of 237,000 recorded by the federal government for October. The Department of Labor’s latest jobs report showed the main unemployment rate holding steady at just 3.7%, and the U-6 rate (unemployed and underemployed) rising 0.2% to 7.6%. Annualized wage growth was at 3.1%. Will this middling job growth make the Federal Reserve think twice about a year-end rate move? Perhaps not: Friday, the CME Group’s Fed Watch tool put the chances of a 0.25% December rate hike at 76.6%.1

 

SERVICE & FACTORY SECTORS CONTINUE TO HUM

Early each month, investors and economists alike look at the Institute for Supply Management’s twin purchasing manager indices tracking expansion and contraction in manufacturing and service industries. The latest data is quite good. ISM’s November service sector PMI improved to 60.7, up 0.4 points from October; its factory sector PMI also rose, ascending 1.6 points on the month to an impressive 59.3.2

 

OPEC ADDRESSES IMBALANCE OF OIL SUPPLY, OIL DEMAND

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other key foreign producers agreed on Friday to cut production by a total of 1.2 million barrels per day for at least six months. That brought some relief to stateside oil investors, who watched WTI crude jump about 5% Friday; the commodity ended the week at $52.34 on the NYMEX.3,4

 

FOUR DAYS OF UPS AND DOWNS

Volatility reigned on Wall Street during an abbreviated market week. (U.S. financial markets were closed Wednesday in observance of the national day of mourning for President George H.W. Bush.) Institutional investors found plenty of motivation to sell, partly due to a dimming outlook for a truce in the U.S.-China trade war. During the worst week for shares in nine months, the Dow Industrials fell 4.50% to 24,388.95; the S&P 500, 4.60% to 2,633.08; the Nasdaq Composite, 4.93% to 6,969.25.5,6

 

T I P   O F   T H E   W E E K
Is your home a showcase for fine art, collectibles, or antiques? If your collection has significant value, it may not be adequately insured by a standard homeowner policy. You may want to consider specialized property coverage.

 

 

THIS WEEK

Casey’s General Stores announces quarterly results on Monday. | A new Producer Price Index arrives Tuesday, plus earnings from American Eagle Outfitters and DSW. | On Wednesday, investors will consider the November Consumer Price Index. | Thursday offers earnings from Adobe, Costco, and Fred’s, along with the Department of Labor’s latest initial claims numbers. | Federal government reports on November retail sales and industrial output appear Friday.

 

Q U O T E   O F   T H E   W E E K

“Make up your mind to act decidedly and take the consequences. No good is ever done in this world by hesitation.

THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY

 

 

Sources: ft.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 12/7/187,8,9,10

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

 

 

T H E   W E E K L Y   R I D D L E

Take a word with four letters. Take away one, and what remains will be better – better than zero, anyway. What word is this?

 

LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: It can be open, closed, empty, or full. Sometimes you see one, sometimes two. It can be bare, but never a bear. What is it?

ANSWER: A hand.

 

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

Know someone who could use information like this?
Please feel free to send us their contact information via phone or email. (Don’t worry – we’ll request their permission before adding them to our mailing list.)

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.  

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs, or expenses. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

CITATIONS:

1 – tinyurl.com/y93zzeuv [12/7/18]

2 – instituteforsupplymanagement.org/ISMReport/NonMfgROB.cfm?SSO=1 [12/6/18]

3 – cnn.com/2018/12/07/investing/opec-oil-prices/index.html [12/7/18]

4 – money.cnn.com/data/commodities/ [12/7/18]

5 – markets.ft.com/data/world [12/7/18]

6 – bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-06/asia-signals-mixed-start-for-stocks-yields-drop-markets-wrap [12/7/18]

7 – markets.wsj.com/us [12/7/18]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F7%2F17&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F7%2F17&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F7%2F17&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F6%2F13&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F6%2F13&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F6%2F13&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F8%2F08&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F8%2F08&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F8%2F08&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

9 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [12/7/18]

10 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [12/7/18]

Some Changes Are Coming for 401(k)s

Take note of them for 2019.

 

The 2018 Tax Cut & Jobs Act gives employees more reasons to think before they take early withdrawals from their 401(k). Please consider your options carefully, your retirement is at stake.” -Gregg

 

Some notable developments are about to impact 401(k) plans. They follow a major change that became effective in 2018. Thanks to the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, workers who borrow from 401(k) accounts and leave their jobs now have until October of the following year to repay plan loans.1

 

The Internal Revenue Service has eased the rules on 401(k) hardship distributions. Plan participants who arranged such withdrawals in 2018 (and years prior) paid an opportunity cost. The Internal Revenue Code barred these employees from making periodic contributions to their 401(k) accounts for six months after the withdrawal, and it also prevented them from exercising any stock options for that length of time.2

In 2019, some flexibility enters the picture. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (passed in February) allows plan sponsors to remove both of those restrictions in 2019, if they wish.2 

Some fine print worth noting: the BBA also permits plan sponsors to give employees more sources for hardship withdrawals. In 2019, plan participants may take hardship distributions from their 401(k) account earnings, qualified non-elective employer contributions (QNECs), and qualified matching contributions (QMACs) in addition to elective deferral contributions, discretionary employer profit-sharing contributions, regular matching contributions, and earnings on contributions made before December 31, 1988.

In 2018 and years prior, a plan participant could only take a hardship distribution after taking a loan from his or her 401(k) account. Next year, plan sponsors can waive this requirement, if they choose, and let their employees take hardship withdrawals from 401(k)s without a loan first.2

In addition, plan sponsors may let victims of California wildfires make special hardship withdrawals. An individual who suffered economic losses due to the massive fires in the Golden State (and whose principal residence is in a California wildfire disaster area) may take qualified wildfire distributions of up to $100,000 from a 401(k) through December 31, 2018. The money withdrawn is fully taxable, but the withdrawal is not subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty. The amount withdrawn can also be recontributed to the plan within three years of the distribution. This type of hardship withdrawal may be permitted immediately; the plan sponsor has until the last day of the first plan year, beginning on or after January 1, 2019, to revise the plan documents to denote the new terms.2

 

What do these rule changes mean for companies sponsoring 401(k) plans? The message is clear. Review your plan documents and hardship withdrawal guidelines before 2019 begins and decide whether you want to include these provisions.

    

Lastly, annual contribution limits for 401(k) accounts are rising. An employee can put up to $19,000 into a 401(k) in 2019, up from $18,500 in 2018. The annual limit on “catch-up” contributions, allowed for plan participants aged 50 or older, remains at $6,000.3

 

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

 

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.  

Citations.

1 – forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2018/01/16/new-tax-law-liberalizes-401k-loan-repayment-rules/ [1/16/18]

2 – pillsburylaw.com/en/news-and-insights/recent-and-upcoming-changes-to-401k-plans.html [3/8/18]

3 – nytimes.com/2018/11/09/your-money/401k-contribution-limits-raised-irs.html [11/9/18]

 

 

Weekly Economic Update 12-3-18

In this week’s recap: stocks soar, the USMCA is signed, households spend more, and two housing market indicators fall short.

 

COMMENTS FROM JEROME POWELL INSPIRE A RALLY

Wall Street liked what it heard from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell last week. While speaking Wednesday to an audience in New York, Powell stated that interest rates “remain just below the broad range of estimates of the level that would be neutral for the economy – that is, neither speeding up nor slowing down growth.” He also noted there was “no preset policy path” for raising interest rates in the near term. These dovish signals helped to send all three major U.S. stock indices 2.3-3.0% higher for the day, and their weekly performances were stellar: across five trading sessions, the Nasdaq Composite gained 5.64%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 5.16%; the S&P 500, 4.85%. They settled Friday as follows: Nasdaq, 7,330.54; Dow, 25,538.46; S&P, 2,760.16.1,2

 

NAFTA REPLACEMENT DEAL TAKES ANOTHER STEP FORWARD

Friday, President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto formally signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) at the 2018 G20 summit in Buenos Aires. The legislatures of each nation must now vote to approve the accord. The USMCA may face significant resistance in Congress.3

 

CONSUMER SPENDING PACE ACCELERATES; CONFIDENCE GAUGE STILL HIGH

In October, personal spending rose 0.6%, while incomes improved 0.5%. (In noting this, the Department of Commerce revised the 0.4% personal spending gain of September down to 0.2%.) The monthly consumer confidence index, maintained by the Conference Board, declined 2.2 points in November to 135.7; that still exceeded the 135.5 consensus forecast from analysts polled by Briefing.com.4

 

NEW HOME SALES AND PENDING HOME SALES DECLINE

Demand for new homes has faded in the last 12 months. The Census Bureau said that sales slipped 8.9% in October, leaving the annualized sales pace 12.0% below where it was in October 2017. Housing contract activity also waned in October: the National Association of Realtors announced a 2.6% dip for pending home sales, which had increased 0.7% during September.4,5

 

 

T I P   O F   T H E   W E E K


When you write a will, you must name an executor: either a friend or relative, or a financial or legal professional. A financial or legal professional who serves as your executor will probably be paid with assets from your estate.

 

 

THIS WEEK

The Institute for Supply Management presents its November manufacturing PMI on Monday. | Tuesday brings some earnings: AutoZone, Bank of Montreal, Dollar General, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Restoration Hardware, and Toll Brothers. | On Wednesday, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell testifies on the U.S. economic outlook in the Senate; the Fed also releases its latest Beige Book, ADP unveils its November employment change report, ISM offers its November service sector PMI, and American Eagle Outfitters, H&R Block, Five Below, Hudson’s Bay Co., Korn/Ferry, Land’s End, and Lululemon Athletica all share earnings news. | The latest Challenger job-cut numbers are out Thursday, along with a new initial jobless claims report and earnings from Broadcom, Hovnanian Enterprises, Kroger, Michaels Companies, Thor Industries, Toro, and Ulta Beauty. | Friday, the Department of Labor’s newest employment report takes center stage.

 

 

Q U O T E   O F   T H E   W E E K

“Resolve to be thyself: and know, that he who finds himself, loses his misery.”

Matthew Arnold

 

Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 11/30/182,6,7,8

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

 

 

T H E   W E E K L Y   R I D D L E

It can be open, closed, empty, or full. Sometimes you see one, sometimes two. It can be bare, but never a bear. What is it?

 

LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: What two things will you never eat for dinner?

ANSWER: Breakfast and lunch.

 

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

 

 

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Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs, or expenses. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

CITATIONS:

1 – investors.com/news/economy/fed-chairman-jerome-powell-fed-rates-neutral-dow-jones/ [11/28/18]

2 – markets.wsj.com/us [11/30/18]

3 – businessinsider.com/g20-summit-trump-signs-usmca-nafta-update-mexico-canada-2018-11 [11/30/18]

4 – briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/2018/11/26-30 [11/30/18]

5 – cnbc.com/2018/11/28/new-home-sales-october.html [11/28/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F30%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F30%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F30%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F29%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F29%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F29%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F1%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F1%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F1%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]
7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [11/30/18]
8 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [11/30/18]  

 

In observation of Martin Luther King Day, all Banking Centers will be closed on Monday, January 21, 2019