The RPG  Planner

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We hope that you have enjoyed a nice summer.  In this August newsletter, we share our most recent investment commentary and an interview we did for a popular financial website on the topic of estate planning for minor children.  We also share a US News article on the topic of Medicare and health insurance that we were asked to consult on and some interesting article links covering different financial planning topics.  

Finally, in the "RPG News and Notes" section, you can read about an exciting announcement on the growing RPG family and learn about our upcoming cybersecurity seminar.

Enjoy this month's edition of The RPG Planner.

Plan Right                      

  • Investing in Election Cycles.  Our most recent investment commentary describes facts, fictions, and advice about investing during election years.
  • Can You List Minor Children as IRA Beneficiaries?  RPG's Jason Lina was interviewed and featured in an article on The Dollar Stretcher about the rules, pitfalls, and best advice when naming minors as retirement plan or IRA beneficiaries.

Around the Web


Investment Commentary

In case investors needed more evidence that the stock market is not the same thing as the economy, July provided such evidence.  Stocks around the world produced unusually strong gains and the US stock market (S&P 500) closed at new all-time highs on seven separate trading days in July.  Global stocks (as measured by the MSCI All World Index) finished the month up 5.5% for the calendar year - a sharp rally from the lows of February when the same markets were down more than 7% to start 2016.  

All of these recent gains come in spite of fledgling economic data, terrorist attacks, contentious political debate, the Brexit vote, and the resulting fear and uncertainty stemming from a bunch of scary headlines.  While media outlets and much of the retail investing community focus on headlines such as these and that can drive the stock market in the short run, this summer rally demonstrates again that stocks are driven by different forces.  Specifically, consider the following four key drivers of stock prices:

  • Interest Rates - Current low rates are supportive of stock prices.
  • Corporate Profits - While not stellar, corporate profits have significantly outpaced otherwise sluggish economic growth.
  • Valuation - This most important and yet often overlooked predictor of future returns is historically attractive in the emerging world and Europe.   
  • Sentiment - Market corrections generally follow periods of excessive optimism, not the kind of abundant risk aversion and pessimism we have today. 
Although these factors will not always drive short-term market movements, it is important to remember that they are the less glamorous long-term drivers.  They may also help to explain why the stock market, as demonstrated in these summer months, often zigs when the economic and political headlines zag. 

You can view our monthly market snapshot to see the various market returns and economic data points.  As always, we encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about the markets or your portfolio. 


Fun Stuff and Free Resources

RPG News and Notes 

  • Christian and Randi Mauser have some exciting news to announce but they're letting their dog, Lily, make the announcement for them.  Join us in congratulating Christian and Randi on the news that they're expecting a baby girl in early 2017!
  • It's hard to top that announcement but in other news, RPG will be hosting a cybersecurity education seminar on August 24th at 6pm.  Technology and cybersecurity expert Bill Winterberg will present on the topic "Defending Yourself Against Hacking, Phishing, and Spoofing Attacks."  This timely presentation will help you implement tools and techniques to minimize the chances of becoming a victim of cyber-crime.  We plan to broadcast the presentation online for those of you who are unable to attend and will send out details as the date approaches.
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