2020 has hardly been a year to appreciate. Yet, here we are, on the eve of Thanksgiving. A time to be together, to give thanks, to feast and to watch football and parades. However, the pandemic has shuttered us and caused our world to be turned upside down. Our loved ones are likely to be having turkey and stuffing at their homes, not ours. Surprisingly, the financial markets have pushed through these arduous times to achieve new highs. More on your money in a moment. If we are healthy and fortunate…we can give kindness and thanks to others during this holiday season. Here are just a few ways to contribute: volunteer for food delivery or grocery pickup for a neighbor, do something generous for an essential health care worker, help a friend or child with online learning, write or draw or call or photograph messages of thanks, and give to charity and people in need. “The meaning of life is contribution. If you contribute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true meaning of life.” Dalai Lama
Last week, the DOW nearly broke through 30,000. The S&P 500 rose to 3,626 (+11.9% in 2020) and the NASDAQ at 11,924 has soared 33.2% this year. Incredible! The tug of war between growth and value stocks continues. The best sectors to be in last week were energy, materials and industrials. For the year, however, you would have more gains overall with technology (+32.4%), consumer discretionary (+27.1%), and communications (+17.6%). Small caps have come out of the shade to bask in the sun; the Russell 2000 index shows a 18.5% gain this quarter.1 The unemployment statistics are painful to read, yet the average 30 year fixed mortgage rate is less than 3%. The Core-Logic Case-Shiller Home Price index is up 5.4% this year.2
Pacific Sun Financial continues to grow and surpass our objectives. We have experienced a sharp increase this year in new clients and new assets. Investors today are in quest of more interest and better management. They are looking at their bank CD and asking, “$100 a year in interest for $100,000? Really?” Ryan is thriving with new millennial and influencer clients by using excellent growth strategies. Bobby is providing more operations support for all of us. Judy has upped her already terrific client service. So please, arrange your yearend financial review with her now. Also, the rumor of my retirement is untrue. I am not retiring, period.
A few tax tips for 2020: 1. Maximize your retirement plan contributions, 2. Make estimated tax payments to avoid penalties, 3. Itemize deductions if you have more than the standard $12,400 (single) or $24,800 (married),
1 Weekly Market Recap (jpmorgan.com) 2 https://www.spglobal.com/spdji/en/index-family/indicators/sp-corelogic-case-shiller/sp-corelogic-case-shiller-composite/#indices
4. Consider Home Office tax deductions, 5. Include Tax IDs for your dependents, 6. File electronically and pay on time, 7. Work with a proactive and knowledgeable accountant.3
Karen and I sat down with Alex Trebek for dinner nearly every weeknight. The host of Jeopardy has been educating and entertaining us for 30 years. His pursuit of knowledge, his work ethic, his sense of humor, and the classy way he bowed out while fighting pancreatic cancer were testaments to a life well lived. RIP Alex.
Moderna and Pfizer are currently in production for vaccines to treat the Coronavirus. These two pharmaceutical companies have announced a better than 90% effective rate to fight off COVID 19. Although the shots will not be widely available for months, the end of this horrible pandemic road is in sight. With worldwide cooperation and coordination, our high hopes for a return to health and normalcy will be realized. We are “over this” terrible time and most of us want our lives to go back to “the way we were.”
What is in the cards for 2021? “Making positive predictions about the stock market is usually a safe bet. Equities generally rise more often than they fall. When history looks back at 2020’s stock market performance, positive returns might well mask the level of volatility that pervaded the market. Hopefully, 2021 will not bring the huge surprises that 2020 did. No matter what happens, the key to keeping your sanity is to remember that your long-term strategic vision for investing should not be swayed by short-term moves. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to starting off 2021 on the right foot.” The Motley Fool4
Very best wishes for happy and safe holidays.
Pacific Sun Financial Corp; 95 Argonaut, Suite 105,