What Happened in February?
Dow Jones S&P 500
Feb.1 34,053 4,179
Feb. 28 32,261 3,951
Change -5.3% -5.5%
And although the Dow is slightly under the January 1 date, the S&P is over. Unemployment remains low even with the various announced layoffs. The “R” word (recession) seems to linger as does the “I” reality (inflation). Some prognosticators are talking of a recovery in the second half of the year, but we still need to get through debt ceiling discussion. Nothing like a political argument to bring calm and clarity to the stock market (NOT!).
In other news, people are announcing their run for President, 21 months prior to the election. Supported by other countries who fear letting Russia win in a land grab, Ukraine continues to hold on as we pass the one-year mark of the conflict. In our own Napa Valley, we are getting a LOT of rain and just recently snow in the hills surrounding us.
Here at Harvest Financial, the team continues to get stronger. Sam is taking on more responsibility as he studies for his various certifications and Lidia is doing great. For those of you who have come by the office, you will notice her handiwork in re-arranging the front office and seasonally spicing up the place. Current theme has green shamrocks abounding. She is also reaching out to book appointments. As a reminder, you don’t have to come into the office. We offer phone and zoom appointment and Lidia sends information out prior to your appointment so you can see how your investments are doing (and there is always AdviceWorks).
So, what do we recommend? Well, there is no one formula to answer that question, you all have a variety of situations. In general, if you have 10 years until retirement, we recommend you visit your budget and see if you can boost your savings in the ‘on sale’ reality of the stock market. And if you have a ROTH Option to save to, consider putting money there. If you are within five years to retirement, start to get your ‘ducks in a row’. Make sure you understand your budget and what retirement is going to cost you (health care with no paycheck and what activities will you fill the 40-50 hours per week). Maybe look at cost for long term care, the older we get the higher the likelihood of needing some care. Finally, what is a retiree to do? The days of ‘clipping bond coupons’ are gone, even with higher bond yields. Social Security was established when the average lifespan ended around age 65. My father-in-law is 99, lives at home and drives. I don’t think FDR saw that coming. Some clients in their 80s and 90s love the stock market, some are much more cautious. Therefore, we offer alternative portfolios and the ability to make changes.
We are here to offer custom solutions for your circumstance. And when you call in with a question and we are otherwise occupied, the team will offer a phone appointment and we promise to call when the clock strikes.
It’s cold but we will miss this when the 100s come in August.