Trending Topics

This Month’s Trending Topics


A recent blog titled “The Cost of Friendship” written by Jacob Schroeder pointed out that the number of close friendships Americans have has been declining over past decades. According to a study from the Survey Center of American Life, the number of Americans who say they have no close friends has risen from 3% in 1990 to 12% in 2021.   The number who say they have 10 or more close friends has dropped from 33% in 1990 to 13% in 2021.   Even as we moved from pay phones and beepers to having communication tools in our pockets and with us at all times, Americans seem to be as lonely as ever.   

A study from Edward Jones and New Wave pointed out a shift in priorities since the pandemic as 77% of retirees now say “having family and friends that care about me” is one of the most essential elements to well-being in retirement, ranking higher than “being financially secure” at 59%.  The study found: “Social isolation is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, dementia and death.  Social isolation can be as deadly to one’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day”.

A study at Harvard spanning 80 years found that the single best predictor of health and happiness was not your wealth or profession status, it was your close relationships.  Friendship has been shown to improve our mental, physical and emotional states.

Longevity researcher Dan Buettner stated in a New York Times article, “I argue that the most powerful thing you can do to add healthy years is to curate your immediate social network.  Your group of friends are better than any drug or anti-aging supplement, and will do more for you than just about anything”.   

With markets dropping and inflation high, many have been looking to cut or reduce expenses. Becoming financially independent is important and every dollar spent should be done with some consideration.   It can be equally as important to identify how you like to joyfully spend your money.   That being said, allowing yourself a little extra freedom to splurge on those closest to you might improve your overall well-being and help you feel better during these turbulent times. As many of you know, we have been touting family get-togethers and trips  

We want to thank all of you for your friendship and the satisfaction we get from the close relationships we have formed with you throughout the years.   

Jamie Dimon (CEO of JPMorgan) caused a stir recently when he spoke about a “hurricane” hitting the US economy and stated “You’d better brace yourself”.   A week later, we had a chance to listen to a presentation from Brian Wesbury of First Trust Advisors who pointed out everything positive with the consumer, corporations and the economy.  He concluded that a hurricane is on the radar, but isn’t ready to hit just yet.  

One of the only things more inaccurate than a meteorologist might be an economic forecaster. How many times have you seen reports of a storm forming that is going to be the “big one”, only to have it pass by with a little rain or miss completely.   The same can be said for economic forecasts, although they tend to be even more unreliable.   A meteorologist at least has radar and may be able to see a storm’s trajectory.  Meanwhile, how could anyone accurately predict what’s going to happen with the economy and markets as each cycle presents obstacles and challenges which have never been seen before.      

While typically inaccurate, we also don’t think you should completely ignore economic forecasts. If you live in the southeast and the weatherman says a hurricane is forming and coming your way, you may want to batten down the hatches, move inland and hold off that deep-sea fishing trip. The same is true for investing. This is why we recommend keeping 3-5 years of income needs out of stocks and investing in an allocation which allows you to sleep at night. This is also why we continue to look for ways to provide more downside protection for your portfolios and investments that could potentially hold up better during a selloff.   

Be prepared, but realize that sometimes the hurricane will hit and you may have to ride out the storm.   The last thing you want to do is jump ship while a category 5 storm is overhead or you are in the middle of a major market selloff.   Just as we clean up and rebuid after major storms of the past, markets always seem to find a way to recover no matter how bad the problem which caused them seems to be.      

Around the Office
•    Bob and Clemy celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary May 29th.  Mitch, Nikki and her husband, Cory, planned a wonderful weekend in New Buffalo, Michigan.  They rented an Airbnb home which housed sixteen siblings, nieces and nephews in total.  You can imagine how moved Bob and Clemy were to share their anniversary with their family, which of course included 16-week old granddaughter, Ruby.
•    Eric and Tiffany have been keeping busy living the country life on their almost 7-acre property which they moved into less than two years ago - quite a change from the Dublin area suburbs.   They are enjoying the privacy and spend many nights sitting on the back porch avoiding TV and electronic devices. Their dogs, Logan and Gia, are also enjoying the wide-open space and all the new wildlife which passes through.  Tiffany recently left her job as an emergency room nurse for a new administrative position.  With so little travel done the past two years, they are planning an anniversary trip to Hawaii later this year which neither has seen.
•    Kim and Don visited her aunt last week in Daytona Beach, FL.  In May, Kim, her sister and cousin flew to Austin, TX for a girl’s weekend where they visited the LBJ Library and Museum as well as kayaking in Lady Bird Lake.

Please keep us up-to-date if anything has changed with your financial situation or if you feel unprepared for a potential market storm so that we may adjust your portfolio accordingly.      


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.   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.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results. .  Neither Royal Alliance Associates, Inc nor its representatives provide tax or legal advice.