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The Ricks Report 

September 5, 2017

Fixed Indexed Annuities used in the appropriate way can be wonderful additions to a well-rounded retirement plan. These tools give their owners opportunity to capture positive gains in market indexes while having protection from market downturns. I am including in this email a brochure for such a product from Nationwide to give you all a better understanding on how these contracts work. I want to show you these brochures because I believe they clearly display the power of a Fixed Indexed Annuity, when compared to the old “buy and hold” style of investing in the market, during great and terrible periods. I want to be clear in that I am not recommending this specific annuity to the reader, as an in-depth conversation is needed to determine what type of portfolio setup is appropriate for each individual client, but this should give you all a good starting point to understand the basics of how an annuity may benefit your retirement planning. Please give my office a call if you are interested in learning more about how these tools work and how one may benefit you.

 https://financialplannerinneworleans.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Nationwide-Mozaic-II-Index-Brochure-7-17-17.pdf

 https://financialplannerinneworleans.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Nationwide-New-Heights-Brochure-7-17-17.pdf

 

Numbers of $ignificance

  •  THE GULF WAS A MAJOR SOURCE – The Gulf of Mexico was the source of 18% of US oil production in calendar year 2016, approximately 6 million barrels a day (source: Department of Energy).
  • SWEET SIXTEEN – The nation’s 3% unemployment rate from July 2017 is the lowest that the United States has reported since February 2001. The country’s jobless rate was 4.1% or lower during all 12 months of calendar year 2000.  The jobless rate increased to 4.4% in August 2017 (source: Department of Labor).
  • TWICE AS MUCH IN SEVEN DECADES – Rainfall in Houston from Hurricane Harvey on Sunday 8/27/17 totaled 07 inches, nearly double the city’s previous record for a single day of 8.32 inches that was set in 1945 or 72 years ago (source: National Weather Service Houston).

Winning at Life with Gregory Ricks

Tune in every weeknight from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm and every Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm!  We are now on News Talk 99.5 WRNO and News Talk 104.9 WBUV, as well as Facebook LIVE, Periscope (GregoryRicks) and the iHeart app.  Gregory Ricks and James Parker will be live in studio talking about some great current events and financial solutions. This week’s guest will be Dwell NOLA Realty, a member of the Total Wealth Authority. Remember, you can listen from any smartphone or computer through iHeartRadio.

 The Markets

When it comes to economic growth, the government doesn’t measure twice. It measures three times.

Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its initial estimate that the gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all goods and services produced by a country or region, grew by 2.6 percent during the second quarter of 2017. The second estimate indicated the economy grew by 3.0 percent from April through June. The third and final GDP estimate for the second quarter will become available near the end of September.

The New York Times reported:

“If the economy were to sustain the current pace of expansion, it would be a significant uptick from the 2 percent annual growth rate that has mostly prevailed since the recovery began. A difference of a single percentage point may not sound like much, but the stakes are huge in a $19 trillion economy. The acceleration could also help lift wage growth, which has been frustratingly slow for years despite steady hiring, a surging stock market, and rising home prices.”

While second quarter’s growth spurt was welcome news, it was overshadowed by the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and across a swath of the Gulf Coast. Initial estimates of the property damage inflicted by the storm stand between $30 and $40 billion, reported Yahoo! Finance.

Historically, hurricanes have impacted U.S. economic growth and Harvey is likely to be no different. An economist from Goldman Sachs explained the usual progression of economic consequences to Yahoo! Finance:

“…major hurricanes in the past have been associated with a temporary slowdown in retail sales, construction spending, and industrial production, as well as a pickup in jobless claims…However, GDP effects are ambiguous, as the level of economic activity typically returns to its previous trend – or even somewhat above – reflecting a boost from rebuilding efforts and a catch-up in economic activity displaced during the hurricane.”

We send our thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

 

Data as of 9/1/17 1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks) 1.4% 10.6% 14.1% 7.3% 12.0% 5.2%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. 0.7 17.4 16.0 0.6 5.5 -0.5
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 2.2 NA 1.6 2.4 1.6 4.6
Gold (per ounce) 2.7 13.9 0.8 0.9 -4.8 7.0
Bloomberg Commodity Index 2.0 -2.9 3.5 -12.1 -10.3 -6.5
DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index 0.7 7.0 2.2 8.5 9.7 6.5

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

 

If you don’t live near your parents and older family members, you may want to learn more about Social Security’s Representative Payment Program (RPP). The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRRBC) published a brief in August that provided some insight into the need for the program:

“Many older individuals with cognitive impairment, including the vast majority of people with dementia, need help managing their finances. For retirees receiving Social Security benefits, the Representative Payee Program can serve as one source of this help. In the Representative Payee Program, a retiree’s benefit is sent to another person (often a relative) who spends it on the retiree’s behalf and submits records to Social Security documenting that the expenditures were in the beneficiary’s best interest.”

Currently, not many people take advantage of the program. More than 10 percent of people who are age 65 or older have dementia, but just 9 percent of that group has a payee.

That doesn’t mean retirees aren’t getting the help they need. Most are, according to CRRBC. Ninety-five percent of people with dementia have someone to help – an unimpaired spouse, nursing home staff, or adult children. Two-thirds have assigned power of attorney to a trusted party.

If your parents are older and you haven’t talked with them about how to handle issues related to finances and aging, it may be a good time to open a dialogue. Daily Caring suggests you, “Approach the conversation around the most important considerations for older adults: safety, freedom, peace of mind, social connection, and being able to make choices.”

 Weekly Focus – Think About It

“Best thing about being in your 90s is you’re spoiled rotten. Everybody spoils you like mad and they treat you with such respect because you’re old. Little do they know, you haven’t changed. You haven’t changed in [the brain]. You’re just 90 every place else…Now that I’m 91, as opposed to being 90, I’m much wiser. I’m much more aware and I’m much sexier.”

–Betty White, American actor and comedienne

 

 Best regards,

Gregory Ricks

 

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this email with their email address and we will ask for their permission to be added.

Gregory Ricks & Associates is a Registered Investment Advisor which offers services and charges fees as set forth in Form ADV, a copy of which you should obtain prior to investment. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies.  Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed.  Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results.

* You cannot invest directly in an index

Sources:

https://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/30/business/economy/gdp.html?WT.mc_id=SmartBriefs-Newsletter&WT.mc_ev=click&ad-keywords=smartbriefsnl

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/heres-economists-saying-hurricane-harveys-impact-154106784.html

https://www.ssa.gov/payee/index.htm

http://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/IB_17-15.pdf (Pages 1 and 3)

http://dailycaring.com/how-to-talk-with-parents-about-aging-conversation-starters/

https://www.thecut.com/2014/09/25-famous-women-on-aging.html