Bob's Blasts

Bob's Blast
June 2021

Markets
Equity markets continue to hover around all-time highs as economic data improves and corporate earnings have exceeded expectations.   Many of the stay at home/high flyer stocks of 2020 have come back to reality with value stocks leading the way in 2021. Fundamentals have started to become more important as overall equity valuations appear stretched by most historical measures.   

Interest rates remain low as the Federal Reserve has maintained a zero-interest rate policy along with over $100 billion of bond buying each month.  While inflation data came out slightly higher than expected and continues to be one of the biggest risks to the market, the Fed has reiterated their easy money policy and willingness to let inflation data run hotter if needed.    

Even with stretched valuations, market sentiment remains bullish as every recent small dip in the market hasn't lasted more than a few days.   

Estate planning
The past year has given many a wakeup call on how fragile life may be and how quickly things can turn upside down. Most of us have done some planning for the ultimate reality that we will not be around forever but may not have taken the time to answer one of the most important questions:   “If I died, would my loved ones have a clear picture of my finances and what to do next?”   

We advise everyone to prepare an estate plan and are here to help in doing so.  The next step is to put yourself in your family's shoes.  Would they know where to find estate documents?  Would they know where your assets are located?  Would they know who the important people are to contact and how to contact them?  

We recommend a summary or financial map to provide your heirs with direction.  This can be as simple as a one-page summary detailing all important information that your heirs would need to know or completing a detailed survivors guide which we are happy to provide. For anyone that we provided a survivor's guide to in the past, please be sure all information is kept up-to-date.  

Some important details to include are the following.    
•    Contact list:   Provide a list of all important contacts and how to get in touch with them.  This should include your attorney, insurance agent, accountant and financial advisor.  
•    Balance sheet:  Your beneficiary designations, trust or will may spell out who will inherit your assets, but it may not state where those assets are located.  Provide a list of all your financial accounts and liabilities so your heirs are able to easily track down accounts to which they are entitled and any debts which must be paid off.  Be sure to also provide details of any under the radar assets such as a safe deposit box or money hidden under a mattress.   
•    Subscription services:  Make a list of any subscription services you are using such as Netflix, cell phone, cable, newspaper and so on.  Make it easy for your heirs to update or cancel any services that need changed upon your death.
•    Passwords:  Most of us have many online accounts with many different passwords. Consider using a password manager or storing passwords in a safe, ensuring someone is able to access any pertinent accounts at your passing.  
•    Personal Letter:  You may want to consider writing a letter to articulate any last wishes you have or any special message you want your heirs to know.      

While estate planning is not an enjoyable task, it is an important one. Remember that your heirs will be going through a terrible situation and a little preparation will go a long way in making things more manageable for them.

Keidan Financial Meetings  
As of June 2, Ohio ended the statewide requirement for masks in public areas.  While we have remained in our offices during the COVID outbreak, review meetings have typically been done via online screen sharing software and the telephone since March, 2020.  Moving forward, we welcome you back into the office for review meetings if you prefer and are comfortable doing so.  Anyone that is more comfortable or prefers virtual meetings, we will continue to make that option available.  Please let us know which you prefer when we reach out to schedule your next review meeting.  We look forward to meeting in person once again but understand if online/phone reviews are better suited for your needs and comfort level.  

 

 

   

 

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.  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.  Neither Royal Alliance Associates, Inc nor its representatives provide tax or legal advice.