Weekly Market Commentary December 27, 2016

Missed it by that much…

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) got within 13 points of 20,000 last Tuesday. It finished the week about 90 points below the vaunted milestone. “The Dow has gained nearly 10 percent since the end of October, more than double its 4.1 percent rise during the first nine months of the year, spurred in part by Donald J. Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” Barron’s reported.

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Weekly Market Commentary December 19, 2016

The Federal Reserve put a hitch in the markets’ giddy-up last week.

It wasn’t the Fed’s second interest rate hike in a decade that caused markets to stumble. December’s rate hike was old news before it happened. In mid-December, Reuters reported Fed funds futures indicated there was a 97 percent probability the Fed would raise rates one-quarter percent at its December Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. In addition, all 120 economists polled by Reuters agreed rates were headed higher.

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Weekly Market Commentary December 5, 2016

Flirting with higher interest rates.

Last week, yields on 10-year Treasury bonds rose to a 17-month high of 2.44 percent, reported The Wall Street Journal, before retreating to finish the week at about 2.4 percent.

As we’ve mentioned previously, some experts suspect the bull market in bonds, which has persisted for more than 30 years, may be headed into bear territory. In part, this is because the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to increase the fed funds rate in December. Last week, CME’s FedWatch Tool indicated there was almost a 99 percent chance the Fed would raise rates in December. Bond yields often reflect the actions of the Fed. If interest rates rise, bond prices move lower, resulting in a higher bond yields.

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Weekly Market Commentary November 21, 2016

This time it’s the end. Really. Possibly.

It seems like experts have been forecasting the end of the bull market in bonds for years – and they have been doing so. In July 2010, bond guru Bill Gross predicted the 28-year bull market in bonds was near an end and, as interest rates moved higher, bond values would move lower. The Federal Reserve’s first round of quantitative easing had ended in March 2010, and he couldn’t know a second round, which would keep interest rates low, would begin in November 2010.

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Components in Pricing Long Term Care Insurance

By GARDNER SHERRILL |Investor’s Column

November 15, 2016

Pricing Long Term Care Insurance

gardner sherrillNovember is National Long-term Care Insurance Awareness month, so in memory of my father who had Alzheimer’s, I thought I’d dedicate an article to this important subject. What is the cost of long term care insurance? As always in any complicated transaction – the answer is always “It depends”. There are four primary determinants that I will address: Which company, What type of policy, the Owner’s personal factors and how much coverage.

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Weekly Market Commentary November 14, 2016

Surprise!

Markets were remarkably sanguine following the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States.

There was a moment of panic. As election results rolled in on Tuesday, Gold prices rose and Treasury yields fell, as investors sought safe havens. Dow Futures, a measure of overnight sentiment, fell by 4 percent, and Standard & Poor’s 500 futures dropped 5 percent. (When index futures trade lower before the market opens, it is an indication investors expect the actual index to trade lower when the market opens.)

The losses triggered market circuit breakers, forcing investors to take a moment. They listened to President-elect Trump’s conciliatory acceptance speech, reassessed the political and economic landscape, and liked what they saw, according to Barron’s. Financial Times offered this assessment:

“Fear and loathing was the overriding sentiment of fund managers and analysts contemplating the market implications of an unlikely Donald Trump presidency…But when confronted by the reality of his election win, stock investors swiftly switched back to their more natural state of optimism, focusing on the prospect of growth-boosting stimulus, tax cuts and tax reform, and the rollback of industry-inhibiting regulation. Simultaneously, bad policies were dismissed as campaign rhetoric.”

Bond markets weren’t enthusiastic about the President-elect’s fiscal stimulus plans. Barron’s reported:

“The 30-year bond climbed 0.3 percentage point to 2.94 percent, resulting in a 6.3 percent decline in price. (Bond prices move inversely to yields.)…It wasn’t just Treasuries. Municipal bonds, corporate bonds, and preferred securities all fell. Bloomberg estimates $1 trillion in the value of bonds evaporated last week after the election.”

There was speculation Mr. Trump’s win would cause the Federal Reserve to delay the next rate hike. However, in a speech on Friday, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fisher said the Fed seems reasonably close to achieving its inflation and employment targets. “Accordingly, the case for removing accommodation gradually is quite strong, keeping in mind that the future is uncertain and that monetary policy is not on a preset course.” It appears rates may move higher in December.


Data as of 11/11/16
1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor's 500 (Domestic Stocks) 3.8% 5.9% 4.3% 6.9% 11.4% 4.6%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. -0.9 -0.6 -2.7 -3.5 1.6 -1.0
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 2.1 NA 2.3 2.8 2.1 4.6
Gold (per ounce) -5.1 16.4 13.9 -1.2 -7.0 -7.1
Bloomberg Commodity Index 0.1 6.1 -0.3 -12.3 -11.0 -6.7
DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index -0.9 2.0 5.5 10.0 11.0 5.0

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.

It’s just not easy to do. Brexit came as a shock to many. So did the outcome of the U.S. election, but let’s face it – whether you’re trying to evaluate the potential of a company or the future of a country – predicting what may be ahead is never easy.

For instance, back in 1901, John Elfreth Watkins conferred with the “the wisest and most careful men in our greatest institutions of science and learning” to determine what might happen during the next 100 years. His predictions weren’t all accurate, but some were quite insightful:

“There will probably be from 350,000,000 to 500,000,000 people in America and its possessions...Nicaragua will ask for admission to our Union after the completion of the great canal. Mexico will be next. Europe, seeking more territory to the south of us, will cause many of the South and Central American republics to be voted into the Union by their own people.

The American will be taller by one to two inches. His increase in stature will result from better health, due to vast reforms in medicine sanitation, food, and athletics. He will live fifty years instead of thirty-five as at present – for he will reside in the suburbs.”

“Hot or cold air will be turned on from spigots to regulate the temperature of a house as we now turn on hot or cold water from spigots to regulate the temperature of the bath…”

“There will be no street cars in our large cities. All hurry traffic will be below or high above ground when brought within city limits...These underground or overhead streets will teem with capacious automobile passenger coaches and freight wagons, with cushioned wheels…Cities, therefore, will be free from all noises.”

Wireless telephone and telegraph circuits will span the world. A husband in the middle of the Atlantic will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago. We will be able to telephone to China quite as readily as we now talk from New York to Brooklyn.”

The future is always ripe with possibility.

Think About It

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”

--Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States

Need some Personalized Advice?

Contact us and we will be happy to point you in the right direction.  No bull.

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.

* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.

* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.

* All indices referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.

* 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.

* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.

* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

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

* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

Sources:

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2016/11/08/stock-futures-pare-losses-as-trump-wins-white-house.html

http://www.barrons.com/articles/trump-agenda-could-promote-economic-growth-1478931198?mod=BOL_hp_highlight_1

http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/146.asp

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/as-stock-futures-plunge-heres-what-it-takes-to-trigger-circuit-breakers-2016-11-09

https://www.ft.com/content/a606181e-a7fb-11e6-8b69-02899e8bd9d1

http://www.barrons.com/articles/moves-to-make-as-the-bond-market-sinks-1478931249

https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/fischer20161111a.htm

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/John_Elfreth_Watkins_Ladies_Home_Journal_Predictions_1900.jpg

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/lyndonbjo103549.html?src=t_positive

Weekly Market Commentary November 7, 2016

Markets hate uncertainty – and that may create opportunities.

Last week, investors experienced another bout of election jitters, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index fell for the ninth straight session.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), a.k.a. the fear gauge, which measures the expected volatility of the S&P 500 during the next 30 days, was up more than 40 percent for the week. The shift in the VIX reflected investors’ concerns about stock market performance after the election. Many think the next four weeks will offer a rough ride.

That may prove to be the case; however, all of the election hoopla and hyperbole has obscured some positive news. So far, the third quarter earnings season has been going well. According to FactSet, 85 percent of companies in the S&P 500 Index have reported earnings and the blended earnings growth rate for the Index is 2.7 percent. That means the S&P 500 Index is on track to experience its first quarter of earnings growth after five quarters of falling earnings.

A savvy portfolio manager or investor might wonder whether any of the companies with improving earnings have seen their share values decline because of election volatility and take time to evaluate whether any of those companies have become more attractive investments as a result.

If you’re too worried about the future of America to think about investment opportunities, it may help to remember the President of the United States doesn’t govern alone. An expert cited by Barron’s offered this insight:

“Regardless of who wins the White House…the new president will probably be playing between “the 40-yard lines” of the political gridiron against a Congress with at least one chamber controlled by the opposition. If both houses are held by the opposing party, the action probably could be stymied between “the 47-yard lines” – likely beyond even field-goal range to score any policy points.”

No matter how moving the election rhetoric, the next President may have a hard time getting much done.


Data as of 11/4/16
1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor's 500 (Domestic Stocks) -1.9% 2.0% -0.8% 5.7% 10.7% 4.2%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. -1.8 0.3 -3.4 -3.5 1.6 -0.9
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 1.8 NA 2.2 2.6 2.1 4.7
Gold (per ounce) 2.3 22.7 16.9 -0.5 -5.7 7.6
Bloomberg Commodity Index -3.1 6.0 -3.7 -12.2 -11.0 -6.9
DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index -2.2 2.9 3.2 8.8 11.1 5.1

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.

Will the U.S. presidential election move the stock market? Elections often produce market volatility because markets hate uncertainty, and there is nothing certain about the outcome of the U.S. election. Election-induced volatility, however, often is relatively short-lived.

Remember, the downturn that followed the British vote to leave the European Union? Globally, markets lost about $3 trillion in two days following the late June vote. By the Fourth of July, many markets had recovered lost ground and made new gains, according to Financial Times.

So, what may happen after U.S. elections? Here are some thoughts:

“In the event of a very narrow Clinton win, it is all but guaranteed that Trump would claim the election had been “rigged” and would challenge the result via the courts. Civil disorder is also possible. Under those circumstances, the infamous 2000 election suggests that the uncertainty could persist for at least a month and could weigh heavily on the stock market during that time. It was not until December 12, more than a month after polling day, that a Supreme Court ruling effectively handed the 2000 election to George W. Bush.”

--Paul Ashworth, Capital Economics, cited by Barron’s

“After the silly season is over on November 8, about half the country will be elated and nearly half will be scared. And, both groups, research shows, are likely to tweak their investments accordingly. That’s when things really get risky. The key to your success this year is understanding that your emotional reaction to the election – not who actually wins it – is what truly matters.”

--Taylor Teppler, Time.com/Money

“Successful investors understand that markets are always moving, and there’s really no way to avoid the volatility that can come from uncertainty – even when it’s caused by a contentious political campaign. The trick is to create a portfolio that includes a diverse mix of assets and is based on your investing time frame and risk tolerance.”

--Schwab Survey: Investors Who Plan Don’t Fear Election Volatility

Markets may get bouncy following the election. That doesn’t change your long-term financial goals. If a portfolio review would help settle your election jitters, you may want to contact your financial professional.

Think About It

The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.”

--Molly Ivins, American newspaper columnist

Need some Personalized Advice?

Contact us and we will be happy to point you in the right direction.  No bull.

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.

* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.

* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.

* All indices referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.

* 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.

* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.

* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

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

* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

Sources:

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/04/us-markets.html

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/v/vix.asp

https://www.factset.com/websitefiles/PDFs/earningsinsight/earningsinsight_11.4.16

http://www.barrons.com/articles/trades-big-role-in-the-presidential-election-1478322668?mod=BOL_hp_we_columns

https://www.ft.com/content/24124fe0-3d2e-11e6-9f2c-36b487ebd80a

https://www.ft.com/content/aa096aa6-7449-32d0-9673-3718b6d439b5

http://blogs.barrons.com/stockstowatchtoday/2016/11/04/that-sinking-feeling-sp-500-drops-for-9th-day-longest-losing-streak-since-1980/

http://time.com/money/page/2016-presidential-election-clinton-trump-affect-finances/

http://www.schwab.com/insights/market-commentary/schwab-survey-investors-who-plan-dont-fear-election-volatility?cmp=em-QYB

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mollyivins390530.html

Weekly Market Commentary October 31, 2016

It’s almost over…

During July 2016, Pew Research reported almost 60 percent of Americans were suffering from election fatigue. They weren’t uninterested in the election. They were just worn out by never-ending news coverage that focused on candidates’ comments, personal lives, and standing in the polls rather than their moral character, experience, and stance on issues.

Last week, U.S. election news overshadowed positive economic data causing U.S. stocks to lose value as investors shifted assets into safe havens. Early on Friday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released gross domestic product data, which reflects the value of all goods and services produced in the United States during the period. Initial estimates suggest the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the third quarter of 2016, an improvement on second quarter’s 1.4 percent growth. Consumer spending continued to be the primary driver of growth in the United States.

Markets moved higher on the news, only to retreat when the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it is looking at new evidence in the Clinton email investigation. Financial Times wrote:

“Mr. Trump, Mrs. Clinton’s Republican challenger, had fallen dramatically in the polls in recent weeks: market strategists said this had eased uncertainty given the real estate businessman’s controversial views on trade and immigration. However, the news of the new probe – just 11 days before the presidential election – has sparked fresh tumult.”

Financial Times indicated the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), a.k.a. the fear index, moved higher on Friday. The index measures the anticipated volatility of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index over the next 30 days. In addition, U.S. Treasury yields, which had been increasing on rumors the European Central Bank might begin to taper its quantitative easing program, dipped lower.

The next few weeks are likely to be bumpy for investors. During times like these, it’s critical to keep your eye on your long-term financial objectives. We’ve weathered volatile times before, and we will get through them again.


Data as of 10/28/16
1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor's 500 (Domestic Stocks) -0.7% 4.0% 1.7% 6.5% 10.6% 4.4%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. -0.6 2.1 -1.5 -3.2 1.0 -0.6
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 1.9 NA 2.1 2.5 2.3 4.7
Gold (per ounce) 0.6 19.8 7.9 -2.2 -6.1 7.7
Bloomberg Commodity Index -0.2 9.4 -2.0 -12.2 -10.7 -6.4
DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index -3.3 5.2 5.4 9.1 11.1 5.0

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.

Ooooh! Some States’ estate taxes are scary! Most Americans aren’t too concerned about federal estate taxes. After all, 99.8 percent won’t have estates large enough to be subject to the tax. For 2016, the estate tax threshold is $5.45 million (double that amount for a married couple) and it is expected to be $5.49 million in 2017 (barring any changes to the tax code).

At the state level, it’s a different story. Kiplinger’s explained:

“However, state estate taxes, which kick in for estates valued at only $1.5 million or less in several states, could take a big bite out of your legacy. Your home and retirement accounts will be counted when your estate is valued for tax purposes, and proceeds from your life insurance could be counted, too, depending on how the policy is owned and who gets the money.”

The Tax Foundation reports, in all, 15 states and the District of Columbia have estate taxes. They included:

  • Connecticut ($2 million exemption and 7.2 percent to 12 percent estate tax rates)

  • Delaware ($5.4 million exemption and 0.8 percent to 16 percent estate tax rates)

  • Hawaii ($5.4 million exemption and 0.8 percent to 16 percent estate tax rates)

  • Illinois ($4 million exemption and 0.8 percent to 16 percent estate tax rates)

  • Maine ($2 million exemption and 8 percent to 12 percent estate tax rates)

  • Maryland ($1.5 million exemption and 16 percent estate tax rate)

  • Massachusetts ($1 million exemption and 0.8 percent to 16 percent estate tax rates)

  • Minnesota ($1.4 million exemption and 9 percent to 16 percent estate tax rates)

  • New Jersey ($675,000 exemption and 0.8 percent to 16 percent estate tax rates)

  • New York ($3.1 million exemption and 3.1 percent to 16 percent estate tax rates)

  • Oregon ($1 million exemption and 0.8 percent to 16 percent estate tax rates)

  • Rhode Island ($1.5 million exemption and 0.8 percent to 16 percent estate tax rates)

  • Tennessee ($5 million exemption and 5.5 percent to 9.5 percent estate tax rates)

  • Vermont ($2.75 million exemption and 0.8 percent to 16 percent estate tax rates)

  • Washington ($2.1 million exemption and 10 percent to 20 percent estate tax rates)

  • Washington DC ($1 million exemption and 0.8 percent to 16 percent estate tax rates)

While not all have estate taxes, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania all have inheritance taxes. If you haven’t given much thought to estate planning, contact your financial professional. They can possibly help you find ways to minimize the taxes your estate and your heirs may owe.

Think About It

Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”

--Winston S. Churchill, Former British Prime Minister

Need some Personalized Advice?

Contact us and we will be happy to point you in the right direction.  No bull.

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.

* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.

* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.

* All indices referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.

* 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.

* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.

* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

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

* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

Sources:

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/14/most-americans-already-feel-election-coverage-fatigue/

https://www.ft.com/content/7e71f0f2-9d3d-11e6-8324-be63473ce146

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

http://www.cboe.com/micro/vix/faq.aspx#3

https://www.ft.com/content/eca532dc-9ce8-11e6-a6e4-8b8e77dd083a

http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2015/04/14/fact-check-estate-tax-hits-fewer-than-1-percent-of-estates

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/frequently-asked-questions-on-estate-taxes?_ga=1.256260876.623466591.1477767498#amirequired

http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/taxes/T021-S003-states-with-the-scariest-death-taxes/index.html

http://taxfoundation.org/blog/does-your-state-have-estate-or-inheritance-tax

http://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/51-quotes-to-inspire-success-in-your-life-and-business.html