Save the date! Sunday, December the 7th – Annual wreath making at the Stump Farm.
It is with deep regret and sadness that we inform you that our dog, and unofficial White Raven Financial greeter, has passed away. We feel honored to have had Mosby’s love and respect throughout his long and full life – 13 years and 7 months – well beyond the life expectancy for a Wiemaraner.
We would all like to be as blessed as Mosby with a fulfilling life long past the age predicted for our demise. But we also worry about being able to support ourselves (and our loved ones). We don?t want to run out of money before the end which is where good financial planning can really pay off.
The Society of Actuaries just released new mortality predictions for Americans: the average 65-year-old woman is expected to live 88.8 years; the average 65-year-old man is expected to live 86.6 years. It’s worth noting that those figures differ from other mortality estimates. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that the average 65-year-old man would live to be 82.9 years old, while the average 65-year-old woman would live to be 85.5 years old. And of course, none of us is average. But many of us will live longer than our parents did and it is important that we plan for such an eventuality.
Enough about the future. In the now, according to economic news at the very end of October, apparently we are not out there spending what they thought we should. The commerce Department reported that consumer spending unexpectedly declined last month, the first month-over-month drop since January. Meanwhile, personal incomes (as many of you are aware) are rising at a slower-than-expected clip. We may be in for another month of volatility. Lis Sonders, Chief Investment Strategist at Charles Schwab, is still bullish. In a recent interview with Investment News, Sonders stated that she believed we were shifting into a growth phase that was more investment driven with more business capital spending. Russ Koesterich, chief Investment Strategist at Blackrock is also positive on U.S. growth prospects. Mr Koesterich stated that “For now, we continue to expect a world in which U.S. growth overshadows that of other developed countries, resulting in a strong dollar and weaker commodity prices. However, this situation could lead to extraordinary stimulus measures by other central banks which, in turn, could benefit their stock markets.” It appears from his comments that we have a bit of a rosy picture for now. To provide a contrarian view, Financial Times chief economics commentator Martin Wolf stated in a recent interview that more turmoil is “more or less inevitable” because “nothing profoundly changed,” since 2008. He did not predict another financial crisis but it was a very good reminder to stay diversified.
The market for October was a definite roller-coaster ride. After a large dip, the ride to the finish was up. For the month of October, the blue-chip barometer (the DowTR)* showed a 2.26 percent gain from the prior month. The S&P 500 Index (SPXTR)* surpassed the Dow and showed a 2.44 percent gain for October. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* led the way with a 3.15 percent advance for the month. Home price gains are still slowing. The S&P Case-Shiller 20-city composite Home Price Index reported 5.6% for the month of August on a year-over-year basis; well below the double digit increases stated in 2013 and early 2014. Monthly data for the month of August over the month of July increased 0.2%.
*Indexes are unmanaged and do not reflect service fees, commissions, or taxes. You cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Returns for the DOW and the S&P500 are total returns from Pershing Netx360. Return for the NASDAQ is the NAV total return provided by Morning Star as of 2014October31