With Greece dominating the financial headlines, it occurred to me that Dionysus had been reborn for a third time in the body of Prime Minister George Papandreou. You may recall from Greek Mythology that Dionysus was born twice…once from his mother’s womb and once from the thigh of Zeus. Dionysus was known as a patron of the theater and the god of wine and drunken revelry. He was also a military hero who was not afraid of a fight. Dionysus built a bridge of vines over the Euphrates River during one battle and bravely descended into the Underworld to escort his mother back to Mount Olympus. Prime Minister Papandreou’s recent skirmishes with several European nations over monetary policy seemed to be launched in a drunken or delirious state of mind. He certainly has grabbed the spotlight and caused havoc in worldwide financial markets. Despite the drama and uncertainty abroad, October was the best month for our equity markets since the 1974.
October is a month best known for crashes…but not this year. A double digit gain of 10.7% on the S&P 500 Index turned a negative year-to-date into a positive one. The last double-digit positive month was December 1991 and the last October to surpass this year’s return was October 1974 when the S&P 500 was up 16.3% and closed at 73.90. Last Friday, November 4th, the S&P closed at 1253. The best sectors this year through Friday’s close have been Utilities +11.2%, Healthcare +5.3%, Consumer Staples +5.1%, and Info Technology +4.8%.
“Wait for the wisest of all counselors…Time.” Pericles, 5th Century BC
IRA fees and RMDs are due soon. The $35 annual fee can be paid by check or directly from your account. This is the only external charge to you and a once-a-year custodial cost for all retirement accounts with National Securities. Unlike the banks that keep finding new ways to collect fees, you have never received an increase in your management fees from us! If you are over 70 ½, then your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) must be paid by December 31st. Your calculated amount should appear on the first page of your monthly investment statement. You can also call us for your distribution amount and the necessary forms.
The contribution limits for IRA are unchanged in 2012 at $5,000 for under age 50 and $6,000 for over age 50. The 401K elective deferral maximum has increased from $16,500 to $17,000 and the new Simple and Profit Sharing upper limit contribution is $50,000. Maximizing the contribution to your retirement account should always serve you well…especially if there is company matching. For those of you holding retirement accounts in other companies, please feel free to send us a statement, and we will run your investments through our financial Morningstar system of performance analysis. Would you like to set up monthly automatic deposits to your retirement plan? Please get in touch and we will make it easy for you.
More American women today are living without a spouse than with one, according to the latest Census results. Are men that bad? Actually, the trend stems more from women delaying marriage, widows living longer, and divorcees choosing not to remarry. Famous single ladies include Cameron Diaz, Tyra Banks, Rachel McAdams, Charlize Theron, Oprah, Madonna, Cheryl Crow, and Jennifer Anniston.
The Journal of Investigative Dermatology recently published an article that explored how dolphins heal from shark bites that would be fatal to many other species, including humans. Author Michael Zasloff, a professor of immunology at Georgetown University, theorized from a decade of study that dolphins are actually able to produce cells that regenerate tissue. In this process of regeneration, dolphins have survived huge shark bites without bleeding to death or falling victim to infection. A pain relieving “morphine-like” substance is also part of the dolphin’s amazing recovery process. Zaslow’s hope is that researchers will soon find “novel antimicrobial agents or potent analgesic compounds” to help humans heal faster. It is no surprise that our dolphin logo can now be associated with new discoveries and healing. In 1985, when Pacific Sun Financial was incorporated, the dolphin logo was born. Why? Dolphins are highly evolved, family-oriented, communicative, protective, fast, playful, and intelligent. All the attributes we admire…and strive to be for you.
Every so often, while driving with music, I wonder what Mozart would say if he was sitting in my car. He would be absolutely dumbfounded about the source of the tunes…and I’m not sure that I could give him a plausible explanation about the orchestra not really playing under the hood. Could you? So, how can you explain that 200 point moves on the DOW are now commonplace? You might begin with the enormous advances in technology that provide us with instant global news. We now have computerized trading and modeling, so hedge funds and mutual funds can make lightning fast moves in large quantities. Perhaps it is just a matter of size? When the DOW was 776 in 1982, a 2% swing was 15 points. Today, the same 2% move on a DOW at 11,983 is 240 points. No matter the explanation, we should get used to these 200 point days…and try to profit from them.
“We must free ourselves from the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.” Aristotle Socrates Onassis, Greek shipping magnate
Today’s the day.
National Asset Management, Inc. (NAM) is a Registered Investment Advisor with the SEC. NAM provides fundamental investment management services. The views expressed contain certain forward-looking statements. NAM believes these forward-looking statements to be reasonable, although they are forecasts and actual results may be meaningfully different. Actual events may cause adjustments in portfolio management strategies. This material represents an assessment of the market at a particular time and is not a guarantee of future results. This information should not be relied upon as research or investment advice regarding any security. One cannot directly invest in an index. Index performance returns do not reflect any management fees, transaction cost or expenses. Indices are unmanaged. S&P 500 Index is an unmanaged index of 500 common stocks chosen to reflect the industries in the US economy. The DOW Jones Industrial Index is an index that shows how 30 large, publicly owned companies based in the United States have traded during a standard trading session in the stock market. Securities offered through National Securities Corporation, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory Services offered through National Asset Management, Inc SEC Registered Advisor and affiliate of National Securities Corporation. NAM or Pacific Sun Financial does not offer any legal or tax advice. One should consider consulting with a legal or tax professional before implementing investm
 About.com/Ancient Greek Myths,  Value Line 10/31/11, Standard & Poor’s 10/31/11, Standard & Poor’s 11/1/11,  JKlasser.com 10/31/11,  MSN Nightly News 11/2/11,  Mother Jones 7/29/11