For the week of December 1, 2008
Wall Street continued its rally on Friday, with the Dow and S&P marking their largest five-day percentage
gains since 1932 and 1933, respectively. The rally, which began Nov. 21, has seen the Dow rise 16.9
percent, the S&P 19.1 percent and the NASDAQ 16.7 percent. The announcement of President-elect
Obama’s economic team, the government assistance to Citigroup and the Federal Reserve decision to
purchase large amounts of mortgage-backed securities helped boost the market. For the week, the Dow
ended up 9.82 percent to 8,829.04, the S&P rose 12.09 percent to close the week at 896.24 and the
NASDAQ gained 10.92 percent to finish the week at 1,384.35.
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.
The Range – In the one year following the low point from each of the nine bear markets that have
occurred since 1957 (not counting the current 10th bear market), the S&P 500 has experienced a double-
digit return. The best of the nine produced a 58.3 percent return. The worst of the nine was up 23.2
percent. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered
representative of the U.S. stock market (Source: BTN Research).
Bond, James Bond – In 1964, a movie ticket to see Goldfinger, starring Sean Connery as James
Bond, cost an average of $1. If you see the movie Quantum of Solace today, starring Daniel Craig as
007, the average cost for a movie ticket will be $7.08. This doesn’t include your popcorn, soda and other
Consumer Confidence – The Conference Board Consumer Confidence IndexTM improved moderately
in November from an all-time low in October. The Index, which is released on the last Tuesday of each
month, showed the Index now stands at 44.9, up from October’s 38.8 reading. The Consumer
Confidence SurveyTM is based on a sampling of 5,000 individuals, and gauges the public’s optimism or
pessimism with regards to the U.S. economy.
Giving – Legislation added to the $700 billion rescue plan signed by President Bush on Oct. 3, 2008,
extended a tax benefit that had originally expired on Dec. 31, 2007. Americans at least age 70½ now
have until the end of next year (i.e., Dec. 31, 2009) to make direct gifts from an IRA to a tax-qualified
charity. Without this extension, an individual would have to take a withdrawal from his/her IRA, pay taxes
on the distribution, and then make a contribution to a charity. This limited-time exception allows for a tax-
free IRA distribution of up to $100,000 to be transferred directly to a charity (Source: Kiplinger’s
Retirement Report, BTN Research).
WEEKLY FOCUS – The Gift of Financial Preparedness
As the holiday season rapidly approaches, thoughts turn
to gifts – and budgets, year-end tax preparations and
goals for the coming year. Regardless of upbringing,
income, marital or parenthood status, you and your
loved ones can always benefit from the gift of financial
knowledge and preparedness.
For individuals who have little or no experience in
managing money, taking small steps can prevent
feeling overwhelmed. Reading websites, magazines
and books about financial topics or taking a community
college course can provide a great foundation.
Professional financial advisors can help as well.
Having a team of advisors – a financial advisor, accountant, attorney and insurance professional – can
help during difficult times when emotions may cloud financial judgment and make anyone susceptible to
scams that target the newly divorced or widowed. A crisis like divorce or death is not the time to be
looking for a credible professional in any field.
A solid understanding of financial issues and the household’s financial picture, along with a team of
trusted advisors, can provide the confidence needed to make life’s financial decisions. Make sure the
people you care about have the knowledge they need.
To schedule an appointment for yourself or to refer a loved one, please contact our office. You can count
on us to always be available to answer your questions or to speak with someone you know that could
benefit from our financial experience and knowledge.
* 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# 290610
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