6 Year Old Bull Market
The market has been pretty much treading water during the first quarter of the year, but it is important to remember that the US stock market is up 264% or 24%/year from the market bottom in 2009 (Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF VTI). What is even more impressive is that the US stock market has not done too shabbily since the market high before the Great Recession in October 2007 – it is up 62% or 7.1%/year. No one could have timed the market high or for that matter the low, so it is essential for us to take our emotions out of investing and periodically rebalance our portfolios to do the incremental “selling high” at the market peaks and “buying low” during the market troughs.
Finally got around to having a professional revamp my website (a great improvement from previous attempts). Check it out when you get a chance at www.MadeyskiFP.com. Not only does it have some fun African animal and bird photos taken by my brother in law, Grant Heimann, the website has direct links to the Confidential Questionnaire and Box.com for secure file sharing of confidential personal information, the Firm Brochure disclosure and an archive of past Newsletters. The website is also designed for convenient viewing on your mobile devices.
New Rules on Floating Money Market Fund Valuations
You may have seen some news that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will be forcing money market fund valuations to float from the current fixed $1. Don’t worry, this will not affect the money market funds that you own – it will only apply to large institutional investors. The new rules are being imposed on huge institutional investors to try and prevent substantial withdrawals like those that occurred during the 2008 market panic.
7 Things the Middle Class Can’t Afford Anymore?
Recently, Erika Rawes of the CheatSeet.com wrote that the middle class is having trouble affording to pay for the following items, listed in order of affordability and necessity:
2. New Vehicles
3. Pay off Debt
4. Emergency Savings
5. Retirement Savings
6. Medical Care
7. Dental Work
I strongly encourage all of my clients to establish an emergency fund (3 to 6 months of regular expenses for pre-retirees), so that unexpected expenses like medical and dental care can be taken care of. These savings will prevent the emergencies from causing you to depend on high interest rate debt. Once emergencies are taken care of, save for retirement as soon as you are able. Then, we can start thinking about those sparkly new wheels and fun vacations. The important thing is to get started establishing your goals, even if it as a small amount every pay period. Automate your savings, so that you “pay yourself first”. As in life, investing has bumps in the road, but keep at it, and you will achieve your financial and retirement goals.
It has been a busy quarter travel-wise. In January, my Tri-Level tennis team qualified for Sectionals in Tucson. After a final nail-biting match against El Paso we won and became eligible for Nationals. February saw Roberta and I enjoying part of the enormous east coast of Australia, catching up with cousins, long last seen in South Africa. We even tried our hand (or legs) at paddle boarding under Stephen’s friend, Dave’s expert tutelage. The Australian birdlife is truly spectacular. Got back in time to attend the Tri-Level Tennis Nationals at Indian Wells, during the BNP Paribas Open. We came 2nd in our flight, so missed qualifying for the semi-finals. Had a lot of fun and enjoyed watching the pro’s duke it out on Center Court!
Contact me for a review meeting if needed. Please plan early for setting up an appointment. Feel free to pass this newsletter on to whoever may be interested, or encourage them to sign up directly on the website.
Is there a topic you would like to see covered in a future newsletter? If so, drop me a line.