For the week of September 1, 2008
After mixed results on Tuesday and sizable gains on Wednesday and Thursday, the major markets
dropped Friday on light trading in advance of the holiday weekend. The Commerce Department reported
that personal incomes fell 0.7 percent in July, higher than the 0.1 percent economists expected. The Dow
ended the week down 0.70 percent to 11,543.55. The S&P dropped 0.69 percent to close the week at
2,367.52, and the NASDAQ lost 1.95 percent to finish the week at 1,282.83.
Source: Morningstar.com. * Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and
cannot be invested into directly. Three and five-year returns are annualized. The S&P, excluding “1 Week”
returns, is a reflection of return to an investor, by reinvesting dividends after the deduction of withholding tax.
Greater GDP – The Commerce Department last week revised the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP)
for second quarter 2008 upward to 3.3 percent from a previously reported 1.9 percent. The GDP
measures growth of the nation’s economy. Export figures were also revised from a 9.2 percent annual
growth rate, as previously reported, to 13.2 percent.
High Jump – July orders for durable goods, which include big ticket items like factory equipment and
automobiles, rose to an unexpectedly high of 1.3 percent, far outpacing the 0.1 percent analysts had
predicted. Demand for commercial aircraft rose 28 percent in July, overcoming a 21.3 percent decline in
By The Decade – The cost of living (as measured by the consumer price index) in the U.S. increased
24 percent in the decade of the ’50s, 28 percent in the ’60s, 103 percent in the ’70s, 64 percent in the ’
80s and 33 percent in the ’90s. For the first 8 years of the current decade (2000-07), the cost of living
nationwide has increased 25 percent. The consumer price index is a measure of inflation compiled by
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Studies (Source: Department of Labor, BTN Research).
One Way To Solve The Problem – The age at which an American can receive full Social Security
retirement benefits is a function of an individual’s date of birth and can be no higher than 67 years old
under current law. In response to the program’s long-term projected financial problems, the American
Academy of Actuaries has proposed increasing the maximum age to receive full retirement benefits to
70, an age that would be phased in over an 18-year period (Source: American Academy of Actuaries,
A Quiet Period – The next Fed meeting is scheduled for Sept. 16, 2008, or just seven weeks prior to the
Nov. 04, 2008, presidential election. The nation’s central bank has raised or lowered interest rates
during the period from mid-September through election day only one time in the last 20 years (Source:
Federal Reserve, BTN Research).
WEEKLY FOCUS – Financial Planning for Nontraditional Families
Television in the 1950s and ’60s gave us plenty of
images of the “traditional” family – a married man and
woman with biological children. Even back then, real
life wasn’t quite that clean cut, but U.S. laws typically
assumed that model of a nuclear family.
Whether more prevalent or simply more public,
nontraditional families have come further into the
mainstream and may often find that the rules – from
tax treatment to employee benefits to estate issues –
do not exactly fit their needs. Even traditional families
may find that subsequent generations create
situations – through marriage, divorce, co-habitation
or having children – that call for special estate
While a family may have a nontraditional structure, its financial needs will most likely be similar to those
of traditional families – saving for college, planning for retirement, managing risk and transferring assets
at death. The path to attaining those goals, however, may require creative thinking and a deeper level of
knowledge about available tools.
For example, for a married couple, a spouse typically has health care and financial powers if the other
spouse becomes ill. That’s not the case for a non-married couple, which can create problems when
hospitals or banks must follow privacy regulations and withhold information from the partner. An
advanced health care directive and a financial power of attorney must be in place to ensure the
competent spouse can continue to make decisions.
Our office can work with other professionals in accounting, legal and insurance to create financial plans
and other important documents that fulfill the needs of nontraditional families. Call our office to schedule
an appointment for you or your loved one.
* 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 Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded
blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter
common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The
Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely
recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies
representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all
dividends. Written by Securities America. SAI# 286421
Copyright © 2010 The Money Alert.com. All rights reserved.
All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to
participate in any particular trading strategy. The Money Alert does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any
information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to this web site or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility. All such information is provided solely for
convenience purposes only. The Money Alert is not affiliated with any of the firms or entities listed unless specifically stated. The Money Alert does not provide investment, tax or legal
advice. Please consult the appropriate professional regarding your personal situation.