Keidan Financial Consultants, LLC

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400 South Fifth Street, Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43215

Phone:

614-469-5003

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614-469-4723

Bob's Blasts

October, 2018

Markets

After hitting new highs in September, US equity markets experienced a sharp decline to start the month of October. An 831-point drop for the Dow Jones on October 10 was followed up by a 545-point decline the following day. International equities continue to struggle in the face of a rising dollar and trade disputes.  Fixed income markets remain challenged as the 10-year treasury moved back above 3% and the Federal Reserve has indicated continued rate increases moving forward. 

As volatility picks up, we expect to start seeing more negative headlines on the end of the bull market and start of a bear market.  While we understand the current risks, there’s still much to be positive about.  Corporate earnings season is beginning with year-over-year growth estimates around 21%. Business and consumer confidence remain high.  Initial jobless claims are at their lowest levels since the late 1960s and the unemployment rate fell to 3.7% - the lowest level since December 1969.

With all that’s positive, markets may remain volatile as mid-term elections approach, trade disputes remain and positive economic data could push interest rates even higher.  We continue to monitor risks to the market; however, we aren’t currently making any major portfolio changes as a result of recent declines. 

 

Education

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) for the 2019-2020 school year was made available October 1st. This is something we encourage anyone with a child attending college or about to begin college to complete annually.  According to estimates, over 1 million students leave money on the table for which they would have been otherwise eligible.  Remember to file the FASFA every academic year, as eligibility for student aid does not carry over from one year to the next.  Also, just because you may not have been eligible for aid one year doesn’t mean you won’t be eligible the next. 

 

Medicare/Taxes

For anyone approaching eligibility for Medicare or currently on Medicare, be mindful of your taxes. Medicare Part B and D premiums are based on your tax return from 2 years ago (2019 premiums based on 2017 income).   Premiums are based on income ranges and increase once you cross into the new range even if only by $1. This is one of the reasons we request and review your tax returns, as we try to help keep your premiums as low as possible.     

Anyone who is married and files separate returns should be aware that you immediately jump from the lowest premium band to the highest once your income is above the lowest limits. ($85,000 or less for 2018).   For this reason, you may want to consider filing a joint return two years prior to filing for Medicare benefits and while receiving them. (Consult a tax professional for your specific situation) Medicare.gov is the official US government site for Medicare and a great resource for finding information. 

 

Car buying

For many of us, purchasing a new car can often times be a stressful and unpleasant experience. Everything from leasing versus buying, loan terms and conditions, extra-cost additions and trading in your current car can become quite overwhelming.  Fortunately, technology has helped make the process a little easier and give the consumer some advantages. Websites such as Truecar.com and Carvana.com help remove the haggling process and wondering how much below sticker you could be paying.  Consumers can enter the make and model of a new car and immediately be given a price, often times below sticker along with offers from multiple dealerships. This gives you a maximum purchase price before arriving at the dealership, helping to avoid the haggling back and forth.  These websites can also help in finding used cars and fair value for a trade in.  We encourage anyone looking for a new car to do a little online research first, as opposed to just walking blindly into a dealership giving them the upper hand. 

 

Moving forward

Always keep us in mind with any financial question or decision.  Reach out with anything on your mind, no matter how trivial you think it may be.  If the issue is important enough to give you concern, then it’s important enough to discuss.  Keep us updated with any 2019 cash needs, so we can ensure this money is ready when needed. Take care of any pending 2018 issues, since 2019 will be here before we know it.   

 

This material is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only.  Views expressed in this newsletter may not reflect the views of Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.  It is our goal to help investors by identifying changing market conditions.  However, investors should be aware that no financial advisor can accurately predict all of the changes that may occur in the market.   This material should not be relied upon as investment advice.  Investors should note that there are risks inherent in all investments, such as fluctuations in investment principal.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  International investing involves special risks including greater economic and political instability, as well as currency fluctuation risks, which may be even greater in emerging markets. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will outperform a non-diversified portfolio in any given market environment. This article contains forward looking statements and projections. 

 

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