MARKET COMMENTARY

January 21, 2020

The Markets

The new trade deals are here!

The United States and China signed a preliminary trade deal last week. The next day, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was approved by the Senate.

The phase-one deal between the United States and China has been analyzed, applauded, disparaged, and questioned. Here is a sampling of what’s being said:

“The eight-part deal includes protections for trade secrets and intellectual property, mechanisms for enforceability, and commitments by Beijing to increase purchases of U.S. goods and services by $200 billion over the next two years. It also broadens U.S. companies’ access to China’s markets…”
-- Barron’s

“While the deal isn’t insignificant – China has promised $200 billion in purchases…The sweeping U.S. goals to change the way China’s economy functions, from shrinking state-funded industries to strengthening intellectual property laws, are either absent from the deal or described in vague terms.”
-- Foreign Policy

“A truly grand pact between the two countries is some way off – and indeed, may never arrive. But this modest trade agreement shows how much the status quo has changed. Tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars…of imports into both countries remain in place, with an ever-present threat of more. This is not trade peace, but rather a trade truce – and a tense one at that.”
-- The Economist

“Moreover, some countries are worried that $200bn of Chinese purchases of US goods that are part of the agreement will enshrine ‘managed trade’ between the world’s two largest economies, possibly flouting market forces, discriminating against their companies and violating WTO commitments.”
-- Financial Times

“One aspect that most have not addressed is that this is only a two-year agreement. What happens at the end of the two years is not defined…China has pledged to purchase $36.5 billion in ag products in 2020 and $43.5 billion in 2021. But the issues are no one believes either side will keep up their end of the bargain.”
-- AgWeek

Despite a diversity of opinion about the deal, investors were happy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 29,000 for the first time and was up 2.8 percent for the year through last Friday, reported Barron’s.

CULINARY TRENDS OF THE 2010s…The way we eat changed during the past 10 years. The Auguste Escoffier School of the Culinary Arts pointed out sales of American cheese have fallen because younger generations prefer artisanal cheeses. Unprocessed cheese isn’t the only food trending last decade.

• Shoot it while it’s hot! Social media has delayed a few meals. More than one-in-four people told Influence.com they had been asked to delay a meal so someone could take a perfect shot to whet followers’ appetites.

• Look at all the rainbows and unicorns. People indulged in rainbow bagels smeared with birthday cake frosting and rainbow grilled cheese sandwiches. If cupcakes, toast, or coffee was sparkly, bright, or shaped – it may have had ‘unicorn’ before its name. Why, you ask? Scientific studies suggest people perceive bright and/or sparkly food to be tastier and less boring than naturally colored food.

• Avocado toast persisted. From simple avocado mashed on crunchy bread to 20-plus ingredient gourmet extravaganzas, avocado toast became a social media sensation. There are even competing origin stories. Was the first avocado (a.k.a. alligator pear) toast created and consumed in Australia? California? Mexico?

• Meatless meat. Vegetables are delicious. They’re versatile, and now they’re masquerading as meat. America has become passionate about plant-based meat products. There is a catch. Vox reported, “…nutritionists who have conducted analyses have largely found that the meatless meat burgers are, well, fine – not any better for you than a beef burger but not worse, with the specific details depending on which health priorities you have.”

What is your favorite food trend from the last decade? Putting an egg on top? Meal kits? Kale? Macarons? Fermentation?

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“There's a rebel lying deep in my soul. Anytime anybody tells me the trend is such and such, I go the opposite direction. I hate the idea of trends. I hate imitation; I have a reverence for individuality.”
? Clint Eastwood, Actor

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative, the Representative’s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.agriculture.com/news/business/as-senate-passes-usmca-trump-tells-farmers-to-remember-the-trade-war-money
https://www.barrons.com/articles/china-trade-deal-looks-like-a-modest-positive-but-uncertainties-remain-51579303201 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-21-20_Barrons_China_Trade_Deal_Looks_Like_A_Modest_Positive_But_Uncertainties_Remain2.pdf )
https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/15/phase-one-us-china-trade-deal-hypothetical-trump-liu-he/
https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2020/01/16/the-new-us-china-trade-deal-marks-an-uneasy-truce (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-21-20_Economist-The_New_US_China_Trade_Deal_Hypothetical_Trump_Lie_He3.pdf )
https://www.ft.com/content/6a6b5548-3877-11ea-a6d3-9a26f8c3cba4 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-21-20_FinancialTimes-Content_5.pdf )
https://www.agweek.com/business/markets/4701408-reports-trade-deal-are-let-downs-markets
https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-dow-jones-industrial-average-is-headed-for-30-000-51579311984?mod=hp_HERO (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-21-20_Barrons_The_Dow_Jones_Industrial_Average_Is_Headed_For_30_000_7.pdf )
https://www.escoffier.edu/blog/culinary-arts/a-look-back-at-the-food-trends-of-the-2010s/
https://influence.co/go/content/social-media-etiquette
https://www.eater.com/2016/4/27/11516910/rainbow-food-trend-science-bagels
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/19/style/unicorn-food-starbucks.html
https://www.tastecooking.com/really-invented-avocado-toast/
https://food52.com/blog/24876-top-food-trends-2010s
https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/10/7/20880318/meatless-meat-mainstream-backlash-impossible-burger
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/trends

January 13, 2020

The Markets

It was a nerve-wracking week.

Iran fired 22 ballistic missiles at the Ain Al Asad air base near western Iraq and a second base in northern Iraq following last week?s U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian military commander. Newsweek reported the bases suffered minimal damage and there were no casualties from the attack. However, Iran mistakenly downed a commercial airliner, killing all on board, reported CBS News.

U.S. stock prices faltered after the initial attack, but recovered quickly when both sides, ??step[ped] back from further violent escalation?,? reported Barron?s.

U.S. Treasury bond yields dropped sharply last week before rebounding. Financial Times reported the possibility of war caused global investors to seek out investments perceived to be safe havens. Record amounts of cash moved into bond investments, particularly U.S. Treasuries, during the week ended last Wednesday.

Australia was ravaged by wildfires. Citing the Insurance Council of Australia, NPR reported, ?The wildfires have killed more than two dozen people, more than a billion animals. They've destroyed more than 1,800 houses, an untold number of commercial buildings and thousands of acres of prime farmland?? At the end of last week, 130 fires were burning and 50 were uncontained, according to the BBC. The damage could mark the end Australia?s nearly 30-year economic expansion.

Puerto Rico was shaken by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake. The quake followed a magnitude 6.4 quake that hit the same region four days earlier, reported the Associated Press. Since December 28, the region has been hit by, ??more than 1,280 earthquakes, of which more than 100 were felt and more than 70 were of magnitude 3.5 or greater.?

On Friday, a tepid U.S. employment report cooled U.S. stock returns. However, Barron?s reported all three major U.S. indices closed, ?within a half-percentage point of their highest-ever closes.?

MORE MILESTONES OF THE PAST DECADE. As we mentioned last week, the period from 2010 through 2020 was filled with memorable events. We covered a few in last week?s commentary. Here are some more:

? Gangnam Style. In 2012, Korean pop music went viral with Gangnam Style. Its online video became the first to be viewed one billion times.

? Total solar eclipse. For the first time since June 1918, a solar eclipse was visible across the entire United States in August 2017. We won?t have to wait so long for the next one. Good Housekeeping reported it will happen in 2024.

? Economic confidence increased. In January 2010, Gallup reported just 9 percent of Americans said it was a good time to find a quality job. By the end of 2019, the number had increased to 66 percent.

? Bionic men, women, and children. Bionic people are no longer limited to the realm of science fiction. Prosthetics ??are morphing into mind-controlled extensions of the human body that let their wearers feel what they're touching,? reported CNET.

? Trillion-dollar stock valuations. Late in the decade, three companies in the technology sector saw their stock valuations reach thirteen digits. Not all have remained at that level.

? Global middle class expansion. At the end of last year, about one-half of the world belonged to the middle class, according to the World Data Lab. Middle class means different things in different countries. Middle class income ranged from $3,872 a year to $38,720 a year.

? The U.S. wealth gap. The St. Louis Federal Reserve explained the gap like this: The ?income pie? in the United States grew from $7 trillion in 1989 to almost $12.9 trillion in 2016. The share of pie going to the top 10 percent of earners increased from 42 percent to 50 percent. Lower earners? shares shrank.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ?senior? members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge, and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.?
--The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative, the Representative?s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client?s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ?The Dow,? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.newsweek.com/military-aircraft-runway-among-damage-iraqi-base-struck-iran-missiles-1481129
https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/iran-plane-military-unintentionally-shot-down-jetliner-2020-01-11/
https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-dow-jones-industrial-average-rises-189-points-for-the-week-despite-mideast-tensions-51578705947?mod=hp_DAY_4 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-13-20_Barrons-The_Dow_Rises_189_Points_for_the_Week_Despite_Mideast_Tensions-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/market-data?mod=BOL_TOPNAV (Overview chart) (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-13-20_Barrons-Overview_Market_Data-Footnote_4.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/market-data?mod=BOL_TOPNAV (Bonds chart) (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-13-20_Barrons-Bonds_Market_Data-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.ft.com/content/3eaf8fe8-3334-11ea-9703-eea0cae3f0de (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-13-20_FinancialTimes-Bond_Funds_had_Record_Inflow_as_Iran_Crisis_Spiralled-Footnote_6.pdf)
https://www.npr.org/2020/01/12/795235653/australias-massive-fires-threaten-to-slow-decades-long-economic-boom
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-50951043
https://apnews.com/fd6b234395379a876bddc74e1b882d43
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangnam_Style
https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/g29729623/things-you-forgot-happened-this-decade-2010-to-2019/?slide=25
https://news.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/273377/gallup-decade-review-2010-2019.aspx
https://www.cnet.com/news/prosthetic-hands-get-a-sense-of-touch/
https://www.barrons.com/articles/amazon-stock-parts-1-trillion-market-cap-51570474138
https://worlddata.io/blog/emerging-trends-in-the-global-middle-class-a-private-conversation-with-dr-homi-kharas
https://www.stlouisfed.org/open-vault/2019/august/wealth-inequality-in-america-facts-figures
https://www.instagram.com/p/B7EaGS_Jpb9/?hl=en (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-13-20_Instagram_Post-Duke_and_Duchess_of_Sussex_Announcement-Footnote_17.pdf)

January 6, 2020

The Markets

About face!

2019 was a remarkable year for investors with many asset classes delivering positive performance. Both the Standard & Poor?s 500 Index, a gauge of U.S. stock market performance, and the Dow Jones Global (ex U.S.) Index delivered double-digit increases (see the below table). Bonds and gold rallied, too, delivering positive returns for the year.

Possibly the most important factor contributing to asset performance in 2019 was an ?about face? by the United States Federal Reserve. Axios reported:

?The Fed?s 180-degree turn was the story of 2019, asset managers and market analysts say?Chairman Jerome Powell and the U.S. central bank went from raising interest rates for a fourth time at the close of 2018 and giving market watchers the explicit expectation this would continue in 2019, to doing the opposite. The Fed cut rates thrice and even began re-padding its balance sheet in the last quarter of the year, bringing it back above $4 trillion.?

The Fed?s policy decision gave investment markets a boost, however, it did little to quell investors? worries about potential recession and the impact of the U.S.-China trade war, reported The Wall Street Journal. As a result, investors moved money from U.S. stock markets into bonds and other investments they perceived to be safer throughout the year.

During the fourth quarter of 2019, U.S. markets delivered positive returns despite uncertainty about the strength of the U.S. economy created by inconsistent economic data. For example, the last jobs report of the year indicated unemployment remained near a 50-year low. Yet, in 2019, workers experienced the highest number of layoffs in a decade.

Many layoffs during the year were the result of corporate bankruptcies, especially in the retail sector. Investors who took time to evaluate the juxtaposition of unemployment levels and layoffs may have recognized disruptions in the retail sector has potential to create opportunities for investors.

A closely watched indicator during 2019 was manufacturing. In December, Fox News reported, ?The ISM Manufacturing Index fell for the fifth month in a row to 47.2 in December, down from November's reading of 48.1. That's the weakest reading since June 2009, when it hit 46.3, and well below the 49 reading that economists surveyed by Reuters expected.?

One of the reasons for weakness in manufacturing is the U.S.-China trade war. Late in the fourth quarter, concerns about trade subsided after the announcement of a phase one trade deal. The agreement is scheduled to be signed on January 15, 2020.

Continued progress in resolving the trade war could help boost economic growth in the United States. At the end of 2019, United States gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced in the country, was expected to remain slow and steady during 2020. However, forecasters at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia expected the economies of nine states to contract during the first six months of the new year.

From a geopolitical perspective, the 2020s are beginning just like the last decade did, with all eyes on Iran.

In 2009 and 2010, the Iranian Green Revolution captured the world?s attention as social media provided insight to post-election turbulence and unrest in Iran. Last week, the first of the new decade, all eyes were again on the Middle East as tensions between the United States and Iran flared after the death of a top Iranian military leader targeted by the United States.

After rallying on the first day of the new decade, some major U.S. stock markets declined on news of heightened tensions in the Middle East and concerns about the potential consequences, such as the disruption of oil supplies.

WHAT A DECADE! While some have called the 2010s a ?lost decade? because there was little economic growth, we disagree with the assessment. The decade was filled with remarkable events in politics, sports, science, pop culture, and other areas of interest. Here are a few memorable events from the past decade:

? NASA?s Voyager 1 probe left the solar system. Launched in 1977 to explore planets including Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, the probe left our solar system in 2013. It will continue to send data until 2025.

? The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law. The controversial law, which Encyclopedia Britannica reported, ?required most individuals to secure health insurance or pay fines, made coverage easier and less costly to obtain, cracked down on abusive insurance practices, and attempted to rein in the rising costs of health care,? remains under challenge in American courts.

? eSports became an industry. To the delight of people who would prefer to spend their time gaming, online games became a recognized form of sports competition, complete with news coverage and multimillion-dollar prize money.

? Civil and social movements changed thinking. There were pro-democracy protests in the Middle East (Arab Spring), and social movements in the United States (Occupy, Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, and MeToo, among others). MIT explained, ??a successful movement can change how we think and talk about key social issues.?

? The Higgs Boson particle was found. Any fan of the television show, The Big Bang Theory, will know exactly how much this meant to Sheldon Cooper. The television show?s popularity was also a phenomenon of the last decade.

? Carli Lloyd scored the fastest hat trick in World Cup soccer. Carli Lloyd scored a hat trick ? three goals ? in 13 minutes for the U.S. women?s national team during the World Cup final against Japan in 2015. She also played on the team that won the 2019 Women?s World Cup.

? Hurricanes, earthquakes, and storms wrought destruction. Countries around the world were pummeled by storms during the decade. Hurricanes and tropical storms like Irene, Sandy, Harvey, Irma, Michael, Dorian, and Maria did significant damage in the United States and its territories. One of the most memorable was the Great Japanese earthquake and tsunami that preceded the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

? The Chicago Cubs broke the curse. Advised by their manager to go out there and, ?Try not to suck,? the Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908.

? Entertainment took a turn toward streaming. Deadline Hollywood reported, ?It is impossible to find a corner of the industry that has not been reshaped by streaming, from the pay TV ecosystem and movie exhibition to labor negotiations and talent deals.?

The 2010s provided disruptions and delights. Let?s hope the events of the coming decade will make the world a better place.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But, that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But, if you do nothing, there will be no result.?
--Mahatma Gandhi, Lawyer, politician, social activist

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative, the Representative?s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client?s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ?The Dow,? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.axios.com/jerome-powell-interest-rates-2019-73b78462-04f8-4f77-8aff-eee25f35f803.html
https://www.wsj.com/articles/investors-bail-on-stock-market-rally-fleeing-funds-at-record-pace-11575801002 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-06-20_WSJ-Investors_Bail_on_Stock_Market_Rally_Fleeing_Funds_at_Record_Pace-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.philadelphiafed.org/-/media/research-and-data/regional-economy/indexes/leading/2019/leadingindexes1119.pdf?la=en
https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/us-manufacturing-sector-contracts-for-sixth-month-in-a-row
https://www.lawfareblog.com/us-and-china-strike-phase-one-trade-agreement-washington-steps-efforts-block-chinese-tech-amidst
https://www.axios.com/growing-economic-divide-between-two-americas-d1d94b84-f1fb-4a37-9444-76aab1ad8ad9.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter_Revolution
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-security-soleimani-insight/inside-the-plot-by-irans-soleimani-to-attack-us-forces-in-iraq-idUSKBN1Z301Z
https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-finds-reason-to-drop-after-u-s-air-strike-on-iran-51578105152?mod=hp_DAY_6 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-06-20_Barrons-The_Dow_was_Waiting_for_a_Reason_to_Drop_The_US_Air_Strike_Supplied_It-Footnote_9.pdf)
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-14536235
https://www.livescience.com/biggest-science-of-the-decade.html
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Patient-Protection-and-Affordable-Care-Act
https://www.espn.com/esports/story/_/id/28240009/2019-espn-esports-awards
https://www.history.com/topics/middle-east/arab-spring
https://civic.mit.edu/2019/10/02/whose-deaths-matter-new-research-on-black-lives-matter-and-media-attention/
https://www.vulture.com/2014/05/big-bang-theory-ratings.html
https://thesefootballtimes.co/2018/11/26/carli-lloyd-and-the-unforgettable-13-minute-world-cup-final-hat-trick/
https://time.com/5620124/team-usa-womens-world-cup-final/
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/12/02/hurricanes-2010-recap-dorian-irma-looking-ahead-2020/2586653001/
https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/fukushima-accident.aspx
https://www.si.com/mlb/2016/11/02/joe-maddon-chicago-cubs-world-series-maddonisms-best-quotes
https://deadline.com/2019/12/streaming-hollywood-disruptor-decade-netflix-amazon-disney-2020-outlook-1202817648/
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/make-a-difference

December 30, 2019

The Markets

2019 will be a hard act to follow.

Investors may find themselves reluctant to ring out the old and ring in the new this week. During 2019, stock and bond markets delivered exceptional returns.

Ben Levisohn of Barron???s reported the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 23 percent at the end of last week, the Standard & Poor???s (S&P) 500 Index had gained 29 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 36 percent. The S&P 500 and Dow both closed at all-time highs.

Bond indices showed gains in the United States and around the world. The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Total Return Index was up 8.87 percent at the end of last week. Its global counterpart, the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Total Return Index, was up 6.63 percent for the same period.

After a year like 2019, when stock indices delivered exceptional returns, investors??? perceptions about their appetite for risk can change. Great market performance has a way of persuading people their tolerance for risk is higher than it has been in the past. The phenomenon has something to do with recency bias, which is a tendency to remember and weight recent events more heavily than past events.

In other words, during bull markets some people tend to forget about bear markets.

2019 was a wonderful year, but not every year will be like 2019. At the end of last week, the average annual return for the S&P 500 Index over the last 60 years, with dividends reinvested, was about 9.5 percent.

The fact that 2020 may not be like 2019 does not mean it???s time to sell. Successful financial plans and investment strategies should include well-diversified portfolios that are grounded in the investor???s life and financial goals. Every strategy and portfolio should be reviewed periodically and modified when goals have changed, a major life event has occurred, or the investor???s risk tolerance has changed.

If you would like to talk about your strategy and review your portfolio allocations, give us a call. We???d like to hear from you.

??

THE HOLIDAYS ARE ALMOST OVER. Ahh, the season of good cheer and regifting is coming to an end. Before we head into 2020, the Ohio Department of Transportation deserves a holiday salute for promoting safe driving with holiday humor. About 130 highway message boards across the state offered communications like these:

??? Life is fra-gee-lay. Drive safe.
??? Stay to the right. Santa needs the left lane tonight.
??? If your relatives make you drink, don???t drive.
??? Can I refill your eggnog, Eddie? -- Clark
??? Deck the halls/ No phone calls/ Fa la la la la
??? Drop the phone. We triple dog dare you.

Weekly Focus ??? Think About It

???I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and, more importantly, you're doing something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work, or family, or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.???
--Neil Gaiman, Author

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative, the Representative???s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client???s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ???The Dow,??? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-closes-at-record-high-good-luck-next-year-51577491993?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-30-19_Barrons-The_Dow_is_Closing_Out_2019_with_a_Bang-Good_Luck_in_2020-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/LBUSTRUU:IND (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-30-19_Bloomberg-US_Aggregate_Total_Return_Value_Unhedged_USD-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/LEGATRUU:IND (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-30-19_Bloomberg-Global_Aggregate_Total_Return_Index_Value_Unhedged_USD-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/tomorrows-market-probably-wont-look-anything-like-today/
https://dqydj.com/sp-500-historical-return-calculator/ (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-30-19_DQYDJ-S_and_P_500_Historical_Return_Results-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/state/santa-needs-the-left-lane-tonight-odot-promotes-safe-driving-with-holiday-inspired-signs
http://www.dot.state.oh.us/news/Pages/Christmas-2019-Messages.aspx
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/new-year

December 16, 2019

The Markets

So, what comes next?

Last week was a good week for investors. Ben Levisohn of Barron???s explained:

???The Federal Reserve and European Central Bank both pledged to do what they could to underpin their respective economies. The United Kingdom gave Boris Johnson???s Conservative Party a landslide victory, virtually guaranteeing that the Brexit saga will end, finally.???

???Get Brexit done??? was the slogan of Prime Minister Boris Johnson???s conservative party and British voters confirmed that???s what they want. As a result, Parliament is likely to accept the Prime Minister???s withdrawal agreement. Under current deadlines, the United Kingdom will begin to transition out of the European Union (EU) at the end of January, reported The Economist.

Prime Minister Johnson promised to complete the transition by December 2020 despite skepticism about whether trade agreements can be negotiated and ratified in such a short time. The Economist reported, ??????unless Mr. Johnson is ready to ask for an extension, the risk of Britain leaving the EU with no trade deal in place at the end of next year will be significant. The result would be high barriers to exports and severe disruption to trade.???

There was another important event last week. The United States government announced, ??????a phase-one deal with China had been completed and that negotiations on phase two would begin immediately. Details were lacking, but it was surely good news,??? reported Levisohn.

The Wall Street Journal reported the deal has been agreed to in principle, although nothing has been signed, and neither the United States nor the Chinese government released the text of the agreement or a detailed summary.

The information released indicates the United States cancelled tariffs scheduled to take effect last Sunday and reduced current tariffs on $120 million of Chinese goods. In return, China agreed to increase purchases of agricultural goods over the next two years. The agreement is scheduled to be signed in January.

Let???s hope they ink the deal!

??

LIFE BEGINS AT 40. In 1932, psychologist Walter Pitkin published a self-help book called ???Life Begins at Forty.??? The Economist summarized his findings like this, ???The theory goes that years of hard work are rewarded with less stress and better pay; children begin to fly the nest; and with luck, a decent period of good health remains.???

At the time, the book was something of a revelation. After all, throughout much of the 1800s, life expectancy at birth was about 40. When Pitkin wrote his book, newborn Americans were expected to reach age 60, on average.

It turns out Pitkin was on to something.

The Economist reviewed the findings of the 2019 World Happiness Report, which uses data from the Gallup World Poll. It found people in the United States and around the world generally are happy in their teens and early 20s. By the time they reach their 30s, however, happiness levels have dropped. People begin to recover a more positive state of mind at age 40. For many, by age 70, self-reported happiness is higher than it was in their teens and 20s.

There are differences in self-reported happiness from country to country. For instance, happiness in former Soviet states tends to decline with age. In addition, overall, self-reported happiness in India has declined during the past several years.

So, who are happiest people in the world? American women age 70 and older!

Weekly Focus ??? Think About It

???I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be???Far too many people misunderstand what ???putting away childish things??? means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup. When I???m with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up, then I don???t ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child???s awareness and joy, and be fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup.???
--Madeleine L???Engle, Author and poet

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative, the Representative???s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client???s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ???The Dow,??? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/lots-went-right-for-investors-this-week-the-dow-still-ended-friday-on-a-flat-note-51576282633?mod=hp_DAY_4 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-16-19_Barrons-Lots_Went_Right_for_Investors_this_Week-The_Dow_Still_Ended_Friday_on_a_Flat_Note-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.economist.com/britain/2019/12/13/boris-johnsons-big-win?cid1=cust/ednew/n/bl/n/2019/12/13n/owned/n/n/nwl/n/n/NA/360436/n (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-16-19_TheEconomist-Boris_Johnsons_Big_Win-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.wsj.com/articles/us-china-confirm-reaching-phase-one-trade-deal-11576234325 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-16-19_WSJ-US_China_Agree_to_Limited_Deal_to_Halt_Trade_War-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.amazon.com/Life-Begins-Forty-Walter-Pitkin/dp/B00085JNB4
https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/04/12/do-people-become-happier-after-40 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-16-19_TheEconomist-Do_People_Become_Happier_After_40-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.infoplease.com/us/mortality/life-expectancy-age-1850-2011
https://www.thecut.com/2014/09/25-famous-women-on-aging.html

December 9, 2019

The Markets

Ahh, the power of distraction.

On Friday, the unemployment report flashed its numbers like a hair model in a shampoo commercial. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 266,000 new jobs were created in November. That was better than expected even after deducting the 40,000-plus General Motors employees returning to work, reported CNBC.

The sign of economic strength helped major U.S. stock indices recover from losses suffered earlier in the week ??? mostly.

The week got off to a rough start when President Trump indicated there was little urgency to resolving the trade dispute with China. The statement upset expectations a phase one trade deal would be completed before December 15. That???s the date the United States is scheduled to put additional tariffs on Chinese consumer goods. New tariffs could inspire additional actions by the Chinese government that affect economic growth in the United States.

To date, U.S. economic growth has slowed from 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019 to 1.9 percent in the third quarter.

The slowdown was caused, in part, by Chinese tariffs on American products. Tariffs have had a negative effect on manufacturing and agriculture, as well as other sectors of the market. Trade uncertainty also has led to a decline in business investment. When business investment drops so does the economy???s growth potential. The main engine behind U.S. economic growth has been and remains the American people. Consumer spending accounted for 68 percent of U.S. economic growth in the third quarter.

The Standard & Poor???s 500 Index finished the week in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite finished down 0.1 percent.

THE EVOLVING ETIQUETTE OF SOCIAL MEDIA. Social media etiquette makes remembering when to use the little fork on the right ??? you know, the one next to the two knives and spoon (the oyster fork) ??? seem like a snap.

When social media platforms were gaining popularity, they offered an opportunity to reconnect and stay in touch with friends and family. During the past decade, many people joined platforms and built networks. They also started to engage in some unwelcome behaviors. Sometimes, social media is a place where people:

??????can say mean things without showing their face, discriminate with little consequence, and spill details nobody truly wants to hear,??? explained Influence.co. ??????it???s vital for people to remember that social media is meant to bring people together and that our online behavior can quickly come between us.???

To make it easier to understand which behaviors these are, the organization conducted a survey. The top digital don???ts included:

1. Bullying others in comments (91.1 percent)
2. Sharing discriminatory content (89.2 percent)
3. Posting fake news (88.8 percent)
4. Making passive-aggressive posts (78.5 percent)
5. Oversharing personal details (77.4 percent)
6. Complaining about a partner (75.8 percent)
7. Giving medical advice (48.3 percent)
8. Excessive hashtag use (33.8 percent)

It???s also a poor idea to post content about another person without their permission. One in 10 respondents had ended a friendship over it. Finally, many people find it irritating when asked to delay eating a meal so a dinner companion can photograph it.

It???s food for thought.

Weekly Focus ??? Think About It

???One of the big no-no???s in cyberspace is that you do not go into a social activity, a chat group, or something like that, and start advertising or selling things. This etiquette rule is an attempt to separate one's social life, which should be pure enjoyment and relaxation, from the pressures of work.???
--Judith Martin, a.k.a. Miss Manners, Etiquette authority

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative, the Representative???s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client???s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ???The Dow,??? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/06/us-nonfarm-payrolls-november-2019.html
https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-ends-week-lower-despite-strong-jobs-report-51575684786?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-09-19_Barrons-The_Jobs_Numbers_were_Great-The_Dow_Still_Finished_Down_for_the_Week-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/did-trump-talk-bluster-or-was-he-hinting-that-china-talks-collapse-either-way-stock-futures-slump-2019-12-03
https://apps.bea.gov/scb/2019/11-november/pdf/1119-gdp-economy.pdf
https://www.bea.gov/news/2019/gross-domestic-product-1st-quarter-2019-advance-estimate
https://www.npr.org/2019/12/06/785280703/how-hard-are-tariffs-hitting-the-economy-it-depends-on-who-you-ask
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/W790RC1Q027SBEA
https://www3.nd.edu/~cwilber/econ504/504book/outln11b.html
https://emilypost.com/advice/formal-place-setting/
https://influence.co/go/content/social-media-etiquette.htm
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/judith_martin_581570?src=t_etiquette

December 2, 2019

The Markets

It?s a shopping revolution!

Sometime, probably not so long ago, comedian Dave Barry wrote, ?Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.?

Not so much anymore.

On Black Friday 2019, many shoppers didn?t venture any farther than their favorite digital device. CNBC reported, ?The pullback in brick-and-mortar stores mirrored a surge in Black Friday online shopping, which hit $7.4 billion, an all-time record for the day, according to Adobe Analytics.? There was some good news for brick-and-mortar stores. In-store sales on Thanksgiving Day were up 2.3 percent from a year ago.

Despite relatively strong retail sales, overall, major stock indices in the United States dipped on Friday for reasons unrelated to evolving business models in the retail industry. Indices trended lower for the same reason they have on numerous occasions this year: Investors were worried about a setback in U.S.-China trade talks. Barron?s explained:

?The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 index, and the Nasdaq Composite dipped on the final day of a boffo November. U.S. legislation supporting Hong Kong?s pro-democracy protesters, to which Beijing reacted furiously, dampened hopes that the highly anticipated phase-one trade deal with China would be inked soon.?

Despite losses on Friday, major U.S. indices were up for the week and the month, reported The Wall Street Journal. In November, U.S. stocks posted the strongest monthly performance since June.

U.S. government bonds have been delivering positive returns, too. Interest rates on 30-year Treasuries have fallen over the course of the year and were down again last week. When bond rates fall, bond prices move higher. When bond rates begin to move higher, prices will fall.

It?s remarkable when stock and bond markets move in the same direction at the same time. Often, strong performance in one market is accompanied by weaker performance in the other.

?

WHAT MAKES A BILLIONAIRE A BILLIONAIRE? During the five years through the end of 2018, the population of billionaires around the globe increased by 350 people to 2,101. The wealth of billionaires grew, too. After a 4.3 percent loss overall in 2018, billionaires? wealth increased by 34.5 percent during the past five years.

According to The Billionaire Effect, which was released by UBS and PWC last month, three specific personality traits explain the success of many billionaires. It seems the typical exceptionally rich person is a smart risk-taker, focused on business, and determined to succeed. If that describes someone you know who has not yet reached billionaire status, perhaps it?s the industry. The only field where billionaire wealth increased during 2018 was Technology.

Women are becoming billionaires at a faster rate than men (46 percent versus 39 percent during the past five years), although there are still significantly fewer women (233) among the superrich.

Most of these exceptionally wealthy folks are found in Asia and the Americas:

? There are 754 billionaires in the Asia Pacific region with 436 in China.
? There are 749 in the Americas with 652 in North America.
? There are 598 in Emerging Markets, the Middle East, and Africa with 397 in Western Europe and 151 in Eastern Europe.

While personality traits may influence success, what really makes billionaires is the success of their companies. The report stated:

?Over the 15 years to the end of 2018, billionaire-controlled companies listed on the equity market returned 17.8 percent versus the 9.1 percent of the MSCI [All Country World Index (ACWI)], almost twice the annualized average performance of the market. Their companies are also more profitable, earning an average return on equity of 16.6 percent over the last 10 years, compared to the 11.3 percent of the MSCI ACWI.?

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness. People are just people, and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with a basic goodness.?
--Anne Frank, Diarist

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative, the Representative?s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client?s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ?The Dow,? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.davebarry.com/misccol/christmas.htm
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/30/black-friday-shopping-at-brick-and-mortar-stores-dropped-by-6percent.html
https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-next-best-stocks-to-buy-could-be-small-caps-51575071290?mod=hp_DAY_1 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-02-19_Barrons-The_Stock_Markets_Next_Breakout_Stars-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.wsj.com/articles/stocks-edge-down-ahead-of-start-to-u-s-shopping-season-11575023295 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-02-19_WSJ-US_Stocks_Notch_Best_Month_Since_June-Footnote_4.pdf)
https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/bond/tmubmusd30y?countrycode=bx&mod=md_bond_overview_quote (Choose 5-year and YTD time periods at top of chart)
https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/why-interest-rates-have-inverse-relationship-bond-prices/
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/26/in-a-rare-occurrence-both-stock-and-bonds-are-having-a-great-year.html
https://www.ubs.com/global/en/wealth-management/uhnw/billionaires-report.html (For the number of billionaires, click on ?By year? and choose 2014 and 2018. For the quote, click on download report and go to page 6) (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-02-19_UBS-Billionaires_Insights-Footnote_8.pdf)
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/anne_frank_752405?src=t_wealth

November 25, 2019

The Markets

Thanksgiving is in the air!

On Thursday, U.S. investors may find themselves giving thanks for the bull market.

Year-to-date, the Standard & Poor?s 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite have all gained more than 20 percent with dividends reinvested. The MSCI World Index also is up 20 percent year-to-date.

Bond markets have rallied, too. U.S. government bond yields have dropped since January, and prices have risen. Not all asset classes have packed an oomph, but investors are feeling optimistic, reported Michael Mackenzie of the Financial Times.

Ben Levisohn of Barron?s expressed some skepticism about the current level of optimism.

?If you believe the current narrative, everything is right with the world. By cutting interest rates three times, the Federal Reserve has averted a recession. And with the U.S. and China slowly making progress on a trade deal, capital spending could revive and boost the economy. And right on time, the S&P 500 index hit a new all-time high, seemingly confirming this rosy narrative?Strangely, market sentiment appears to be getting better even as the economic data appear to be getting worse.?

He?s not wrong. Economic data suggest U.S. and Chinese economies have begun to experience negative effects related to the two-year-old trade war. Reuters reported economic growth in China has slowed to a 30-year low. Growth in the United States has slowed, too.

While many remain optimistic about progress in resolving the U.S.-China trade dispute, Barron?s Nicholas Jasinski spoke with the chief investment officer of an international wealth management firm, who commented, ?Our view of U.S. and China is that it?s a competition that?s going to go on for a generation economically, diplomatically, militarily.?

Last week, major U.S. indices finished lower on concerns about trade talk progress.

Happy Thanksgiving! We?re thankful for you.

WHY DO PRESIDENTS PARDON TURKEYS? A turkey may not be on the Great Seal of the United States, as Ben Franklin would have preferred, but the bird has a surprisingly robust history at the White House.

From the 1870s until 1913, turkeys were provided to the White House for holiday meals primarily by Rhode Island poultry producer Horace Vose. After his death, it was a free for all. The White House Historical Association wrote,

?By 1914, the opportunity to give a turkey to a President was open to everyone, and poultry gifts were frequently touched with patriotism, partisanship, and glee. In 1921, an American Legion post furnished bunting for the crate of a gobbler en route from Mississippi to Washington, while a Harding Girls Club in Chicago outfitted a turkey as a flying ace, complete with goggles. First Lady Grace Coolidge accepted a turkey from a Vermont Girl Scout in 1925. The turkey gifts had become established as a national symbol of good cheer.?

The first time a turkey was granted clemency was in 1863. President Abraham Lincoln instructed the White House staff to spare a bird which had become a favorite of his son, reported the Constitution Daily.

Some say President Truman pardoned a turkey or two, but the Truman Library does not agree.

Records indicate it was 1963 before another President spared a turkey destined for the White House kitchen. While both President Lincoln and President John F. Kennedy showed mercy, neither officially pardoned their birds. President Ronald Reagan joked about a pardon, but the first official Presidential turkey pardon was issued by President George H.W. Bush in 1989.

So, why do Presidents pardon turkeys? We?re not really sure. We know where pardoned turkeys go, though.

For many years, like Super-Bowl-winning quarterbacks, they went to amusement parks in Florida and California. The turkeys helped lead Thanksgiving Day Parades. More recently, ??the spared turkeys are sent to an enclosure at Virginia Tech called ?Gobbler?s Rest?? where they get to frolic with other free turkeys,? reported The Independent.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It
You may have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There's another day you might want to know about: Giving Tuesday. The idea is pretty straightforward. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, shoppers take a break from their gift-buying and donate what they can to charity.?
-- Bill Gates, Business magnate and philanthropist

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative, the Representative?s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client?s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ?The Dow,? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-snaps-four-week-winning-streak-51574469902?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/11-25-19_Barrons-The_Dows-Winning-Streak-Ended-With-a-Whimper-as-Trade-Worries-Return-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.ft.com/content/0d445fe2-0c60-11ea-b2d6-9bf4d1957a67 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/11-25-19_FinancialTimes-Investment-Outlooks-Hinge-on-Deciphering-Conflicting-Signals-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/18/the-bond-phenomenon-of-2019-isnt-over-yet-says-trader.html (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/11-25-19_Barrons-The-Bull-Market-Could-Still-End-in-2020-Here's-How-to-Prepare-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/prepare-for-the-end-of-the-bull-market-51574439667?mod=hp_LEAD_3
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-markets-themes/take-five-a-spanner-in-the-global-economic-works-idUSKBN1XW1PB
https://www.history.com/news/did-benjamin-franklin-propose-the-turkey-as-the-national-symbol
https://www.whitehousehistory.org/pardoning-the-thanksgiving-turkey
https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/the-real-story-behind-the-presidential-turkey-pardon
https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/education/trivia/did-truman-pardon-turkey
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Thanksgiving_Turkey_Presentation
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/turkey-pardon-where-do-they-go-president-donald-trump-white-house-peas-and-carrots-a8643626.html
https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/thanksgiving-quotes

November 18, 2019

The Markets

The longest bull market in history showed no signs of slowing last week.

U.S. stock markets climbed higher for the sixth week straight ? the longest rally in U.S. markets in two years ? and the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 28,000 for the very first time, reported Bloomberg.

The Economist reported, ?It has been a year of mood swings in financial markets. In the spring and summer, anxious investors piled into the safety of government bonds, driving yields down sharply. Yields have recovered in recent weeks?Equity prices in America have reached a new peak. But what is more striking is the performance of cyclical stocks relative to defensive ones. Within America?s market the prices of industrial stocks, which do well in business-cycle upswings, have risen relative to the prices of utility stocks, a safer bet in hard times.??

Last week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell confirmed the United States appears to be in good economic shape. The U.S. economic outlook remains favorable despite weakening business investment, which has slowed because of sluggish global growth and uncertainty surrounding trade. The unemployment rate remains low and more people are returning to the workforce, which is a positive development. Overall, Powell and his colleagues believe economic expansion is likely to continue.

A similar phenomenon has occurred in European markets.

Randall Forsyth of Barron?s cited a source who stated, ??the global economic backdrop has, for the first time in 18 months, begun to improve.? Forsyth went on to explain, ?It?s not just because of prospects of a trade deal. Recession risks have, well, receded. Growth may slow to a 1 percent annual rate in the current quarter, but odds of falling into an outright recession have slid.??

Whenever investors are happy and markets are moving higher, contrarians begin to ask questions. For example, a leading contrarian indicator is the Investors Intelligence Sentiment Survey. The survey queries investors and investment professionals about whether they are feeling bullish or bearish. When the ratio of bulls to bears is above 1.0, the market may be overly bullish. When it is less than 1.0, it may be too bearish.?

Yardeni Research reported the ratio stood at 3.22 last week; 57 percent bulls and 18 percent bears.?

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, THE WINNER WAS #435. For the last five years, Katmai National Park and Preserve in Western Alaska has hosted ?Fat Bear Week? to celebrate bears as they prepare for hibernation. The participants are coastal brown bears who live along Alaska?s Brooks River.?

The event helps people better understand hibernation. You may not have realized it, but bears spend the summer fattening up because they lose about one-third of their body weight during the winter. It?s an interesting scientific phenomenon.? The Katmai National Park Service website explained:

?Hibernation is a state of dormancy that allows animals to avoid periods of famine. It takes many forms in mammals but is particularly remarkable in bears?After a summer and fall spent gorging on food, a bear?s physiology and metabolism shifts in rather incredible ways to help them survive several months without food or water.?

In Katmai, conservancy media rangers select twelve participants from among the park?s 2,000 bears and post before-and-after photos on social media to showcase the effects of summer feasting. People near and far can participate by watching bear cams. There is even an ursine madness bracket where voters choose the fat bear that wins each pairing, and the crowd favorite moves on to the next match-up.?

This year, the Fat Bear Week champion was number 435, a.k.a. Holly. The Katmai announcement touting 435?s win stated, ?All hail Holly whose healthy heft will help her hibernate until the spring. Long live the Queen of Corpulence!??

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.?
--Anne Bradstreet, Poet?

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative, the Representative?s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor?s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client?s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ?The Dow,? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-15/stocks-breeze-to-records-as-trade-hopes-cover-up-economic-gloom?srnd=markets-vp
https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2019/11/14/the-improved-mood-in-financial-markets (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/11-18-19_TheEconomist-The_Improved_Mood_in_Financial_Markets-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/powell20191113a.htm
https://www.barrons.com/articles/next-stop-dow-30-000-it-could-happen-51573871667?mod=hp_DAY_1 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/11-18-19_Barrons-Next_Stop-Dow_30000-It_Could_Happen-Footnote_4.pdf)
https://investinganswers.com/dictionary/b/bullbear-ratio
https://www.yardeni.com/pub/stmktbullbear.pdf (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/11-18-19_Yardeni-Stock_Market_Indicators-Bull_Bear_Ratios-Footnote_6.pdf)
https://www.npr.org/2019/10/06/767384374/its-fat-bear-week-in-alaska-s-katmai-national-park-time-to-fill-out-your-bracket
https://www.npr.org/2019/10/09/768475870/stuffed-with-sockeye-salmon-holly-wins-fat-bear-week-heavyweight-title
https://www.nps.gov/katm/blogs/bear-hibernation.htm
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/winter

November 11, 2019

The Markets

Last week, major United States stock indices finished at historic highs.

According to a source cited by Barron?s, U.S. stock markets are responsible for creating $6 trillion in paper wealth this year. ?Paper? wealth is when an asset is estimated to be worth a specific amount. The wealth becomes ?real? when the asset is sold.

If you?re having difficulty comprehending $6 trillion, imagine this: 3,786 miles of stacked $100 bills. That?s about 15 times higher than the space station. It?s roughly the distance of a drive from the East Coast to the West Coast of the United States and about halfway back again.

To date, 2019 has been an exceptional year for U.S. stocks. At the end of last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 18.7 percent year-to-date, the S&P 500 had gained 23.4 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite had risen 27.7 percent.

Returns like these sometimes inspire investors to ignore their risk tolerance and increase allocations to U.S. stocks. That may not be a wise move. In an article titled, ?How not to understand money,? Financial Times explained:

?One of the first things to know about equity investing is that stocks go up as well as down, and even the most successful ones never go up in a straight skyward trajectory.?

There is a theory which holds that, over time, returns revert to the mean. Investopedia describes the phenomenon like this:

?A reversion to the mean involves retracing any condition back to a previous state. In cases of mean reversion, the thought is that any price that strays far from the long-term norm will again return, reverting to its understood state.?

Since the current U.S. bull market in stocks has delivered above average returns for more than a decade, some analysts anticipate future returns may be less robust as returns revert to the mean.

Suffice it to say, it?s not a good idea to be lured into holding more stocks because recent returns have been exceptional. Those returns are, after all, in the past.

?

THE NEWEST NEW MATH. If you learned ?old? math, you may find ?new? math bewildering, and that can make helping with homework really challenging. It?s possible we?ll soon have an even newer math curriculum.

Many Americans learned old math: addition and subtraction, multiplication tables, and long division. Some may have absorbed linear equations in algebra and isosceles triangles in geometry. The new math entails a similar but different skill set. For instance, new math requires students to:

? Solve 12 times 37 using box multiplication
? Answer 10 minus 7 using a 10-frame
? Solve 57 minus 14 using base ten subtraction
? Explain how to decompose numbers
? Solve word problems using an open number line

If you are familiar with any of these new problem-solving methods, congratulations! You are ahead of the curve.

Unfortunately, the new math hasn?t been improving Americans? performance on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a standardized test administered in 70 countries. In 2018, the U.S. placed 39th in math.

Jo Boaler, the Nomellini-Olivier Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University, and Steven Levitt, an economist and author, think we need to change what we?re teaching. In an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times, they wrote:

?What we propose is as obvious as it is radical: to put data and its analysis at the center of high school mathematics. Every high school student should graduate with an understanding of data, spreadsheets, and the difference between correlation and causality. Moreover, teaching students to make data-based arguments will endow them with many of the same critical-thinking skills they are learning today through algebraic proofs, but also give them more practical skills for navigating our newly data-rich world.?

Get ready for 21st century math!

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?Instead of being like a circus where the trainer uses his stick to make animals do stunts to serve the interest of the audience, the system of education should be like an orchestra where the conductor waves his stick to orchestrate the music already within the musicians? hearts in the most beautiful manner. The teacher should be like the conductor in the orchestra, not the trainer in the circus.?
--Abhijit Naskar, Neuroscientist and author

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative, the Representative?s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client?s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ?The Dow,? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stocks-keep-hitting-record-highs-where-to-find-values-now-51573261145?mod=hp_DAY_1 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/11-11-19_Barrons-Stocks_Keep_Hitting_Record_Highs-Where_to_Find_Values_Now-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/valuation/paper-wealth/
https://www.thecalculatorsite.com/articles/finance/how-much-is-a-trillion.php
https://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/usstates/uslandst.htm
https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2019/11/07/1573161957000/How--not-to-understand-money-/ (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/11-11-19_FinancialTimes-How_Not_to_Understand_Money-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/meanreversion.asp
https://www.investopedia.com/why-morgan-stanley-says-the-60-40-portfolio-is-doomed-4775352
http://theconversation.com/the-common-core-is-todays-new-math-which-is-actually-a-good-thing-46585
https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/learning-at-home/homework-study-skills/9-new-math-problems-and-methods
http://factsmaps.com/pisa-worldwide-ranking-average-score-of-math-science-reading/
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-10-23/math-high-school-algebra-data-statistics
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/education-reform

November 4, 2019

The Markets

They did it.

The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates last week, as expected. There were no enthusiastic fans singing the Baby Shark song, but the Federal Open Market Committee?s decision was well received.

Reuters reported, ?Gaps between market expectations and the Fed?s own outlook have been wide at times this year, a source of concern for policymakers who don?t want to kowtow to markets, but also don?t want to surprise or disrupt them. But, the two are now roughly in line with the idea that the Fed is on hold and the economy continuing to chug along, a fact highlighted by data showing 128,000 jobs were created in October??

Last week?s unemployment report was full of good news. It reported job gains and moderate pay increases, according to Barron?s, but there was a counterintuitive twist. The unemployment rate increased even though the economy added new jobs. That was good news, too, because it meant more people are returning to the workforce.

The only bad news was found in manufacturing. The October ISM manufacturing index ticked higher, but remains in contraction territory. CNBC reported, ?Manufacturing has been at the heart of the economy?s sluggishness, with a drop in business investment a big reason for the third quarter?s sluggish 1.9 percent [economic] growth pace.?

Barron?s attributed softness in manufacturing to the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.

By the end of the day on Friday, the Standard & Poor?s 500 Index had closed at a record high three times in five days. The Nasdaq Composite also reached a record high.

WHAT WILL WE DO WITH PARKING GARAGES? As the popularity of ride-sharing services and personal transportation options (like scooters and bicycles) grows, the need for cars in urban areas may diminish.

The arrival of autonomous vehicles could reduce demand even further.

Pew Research explained, ?By 2030, 15 percent of new cars sold will be totally autonomous, according to one estimate. One in 10 will be shared. And, as it becomes easier for people to summon shared or autonomous cars when they need them, fewer people will want to own their own vehicle, meaning fewer cars overall.?

So, what?s going to happen to all of the parking garages?

There are a lot of interesting ideas about how parking garages might be repurposed. Some companies plan to reserve the spaces for autonomous vehicles. Others are remodeling garages to accommodate businesses and services.

For example, one company is buying properties with the intention of turning them into ?commercial kitchens for delivery-only restaurants and other consumer services.? Other possibilities include:

? Recreational areas
? Gyms
? Movie theaters
? E-commerce distribution centers
? Flood protection areas
? Urban farms
? Apartment buildings

The co-CEO of an architecture and design firm told Axios News, ?An obvious and functional challenge we face is that these structures were not originally designed for human habitation. These spaces often require us to raise the floor height, level the floors between ramps and incorporate design techniques that bring natural light into the space.?

Redeveloping parking garages may be challenging and costly, but it could create opportunities for investors.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.?
--Arthur C. Clarke, Science fiction writer and futurist

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative, the Representative?s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client?s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ?The Dow,? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed/after-year-long-bumpy-ride-fed-appears-to-make-soft-landing-idUSKBN1XB4DD
https://www.barrons.com/articles/what-the-perfect-jobs-report-means-51572627916 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/11-04-19_Barrons-This_Perfect_Jobs_Report_Looks_Like_a_Game-Changer-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/31/jobs-numbers-out-friday-but-another-report-could-be-more-important.html
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-stocks/sp-500-nasdaq-set-records-on-jobs-data-trade-headway-idUSKBN1XB3ZD
https://www.axios.com/the-future-of-parking-near-and-far-2c91eec1-32ef-4347-bd6a-fe1c91aad657.html
https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2017/12/12/why-downtown-parking-garages-may-be-headed-for-extinction
https://www.axios.com/newsletters/axios-cities-3c36bdfc-2b64-4926-85c9-a58a4369058f.html
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/technology

October 28, 2019

The Markets

More money managers are feeling less bullish, but you sure couldn?t tell by the performance of U.S. stock markets last week.

So far, 2019 has been a tremendous year for U.S. stocks. Through the end of last week, the Standard & Poor?s 500 Index had gained more than 20 percent year-to-date, the Dow Jones Industrial Index was up more than 15 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite had risen more than 24 percent.

All three indices finished last week in positive territory. Lawrence Strauss of Barron?s reported signs that global markets are stabilizing supported investors? optimism. In addition, yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes increased, which suggested ?investors are more optimistic about growth and overall economic prospects.?

Despite strength in U.S. markets year-to-date, Barron?s most recent Big Money Poll found fewer money managers are bullish than just one year ago when 56 percent anticipated gains in the months ahead. When 134 money managers across the United States were asked about their outlook for the next 12 months:

? 27 percent were bullish
? 42 percent were neutral
? 31 percent were bearish

That?s the lowest level of bullishness in 20 years and the highest level of bearishness since the mid-1990s.

Barron?s reported there could be a variety of reasons for the change in attitude, including high valuations, an uncertain economic outlook, or the divisive political environment.

One money manager commented, ?There are so many different headlines to watch right now?Brexit, trade, the economy, elections. Trying to predict them all correctly is like trying to predict what the weather will be like in November 2020. We might get things directionally correct, but getting them exactly right is a matter of luck more than skill.?

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH? In 1986, Fortune magazine asked Warren Buffett his thoughts on inheritance. He responded children should receive, ??enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.?

It?s an important question, even though relatively few Americans may need to grapple with it. According to the Federal Reserve:

? 55 percent of inheritances are less than $50,000
? 85 percent of inheritances are less than $250,000
? 93 percent of inheritances are less than $500,000
? 98 percent of inheritances are less than $1 million
? 2 percent of inheritances are more than $1 million

A 2015 survey conducted by Merrill Lynch?s Private Banking and Investment Group found, ?a majority (91 percent) of people plan to leave the lion?s share of their wealth to family members, motivated by a desire to positively influence the lives of loved ones. Yet the results indicate that many see significant risk in passing on wealth without context, conversation, guidance, or accountability.?

So, how much is too much? Is there an amount of inheritance that will sap your children?s motivation and undermine their work ethic? The answer may depend on the source of the wealth, reported The Atlantic:

?Perspectives on what constitutes ?too much? seem to vary depending in part on whether parents inherited their wealth or earned the majority of it themselves. When significant wealth gets passed down through multiple generations, inheritors can get the sense that ?they?re just the caretakers of it?, which means they might be more inclined to keep up the family tradition and will it to their own children?Self-made rich people can have a different relationship to their fortune, because they have firsthand knowledge of what was required to amass it. As such, they might be more interested in bequeathing not just money to their children, but a good work ethic as well.?

If you would like to discuss your legacy and its potential impact on your heirs, give us a call.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?We should not forget that it will be just as important to our descendants to be prosperous in their time as it is to us to be prosperous in our time.?
--Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative, the Representative?s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client?s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ?The Dow,? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/barrons-big-money-poll-why-wall-street-is-scared-of-washington-51572045878?mod=hp_HERO (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/10-28-19_Barrons-Big_Money_Poll-Why_Wall_Street_is_Scared_of_Washington-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/market-data?mod=BOL_HAMNAV
https://www.barrons.com/articles/s-p-500-closes-the-week-with-a-record-just-out-of-reach-51572062633?refsec=the-trader (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/10-28-19_Barrons-The_SandP_Closed_Out_the_Week_Strong_but_Not_Strong_Enough-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1986/09/29/68098/index.htm
https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/notes/feds-notes/how-does-intergenerational-wealth-transmission-affect-wealth-concentration-accessible-20180601.htm
https://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/press-releases/global-wealth-and-investment-management/study-finds-parents-worry-large-inheritance
https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/10/big-inheritances-how-much-to-leave/600703/
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/inheritance

October 21, 2019

The Markets

Last week was like an overstuffed suitcase that busts open on the baggage carousel. A lot was unpacked in a surprising and disorderly fashion.

There was some positive news for investors who prioritize fundamentals. Third quarter?s earnings season ? the period of time when companies let investors know how they performed during the previous quarter ? got off to a strong start.

Fifteen percent of companies in the Standard & Poor?s 500 Index have reported so far and 84 percent had earnings that beat analysts? expectations. FactSet said better than expected earnings from companies in the Healthcare and Financials sectors balanced the weaker performance of companies in the Energy sector.

There was some negative economic news, too.

In the United States, retail sales declined in September. It was the first monthly decline since February, reported MarketWatch, and analysts had expected an increase.

In China, gross domestic product growth was 6 percent year-over-year, the slowest growth rate since the 1990s, reported Reuters.

On the geopolitical front, The Wall Street Journal reported U.S. and European investors were cheered by news that Britain and the European Union (EU) had reached an agreement under which Britain could amicably exit the EU. That optimism was dashed on Saturday when Parliament withheld approval of the deal until all supporting legislation has been passed, reported The Washington Post.

The world was also rocked by Turkey?s invasion of Syria.

At the end of the week, the Standard & Poor?s 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite had held onto gains while the Dow Jones Industrials finished lower.

?

IT?S THAT TIME AGAIN. During the past few weeks, Nobel Prize winners have been announced as well as Ig Nobel Prize winners. The Igs are awarded for improbable research that makes people laugh and then think. A lucky few have won both Ig Nobel and Nobel prizes.

The honorees at the Ig Nobel ceremony received their awards from ?a group of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel Laureates, in Harvard?s historic and largest theater.? This year?s winners included:

? Medicine: Cancer researcher Silvano Gallus and associates researched and wrote the paper, Does Pizza Protect Against Cancer? They received the Ig Nobel for ?collecting evidence that pizza might protect against illness and death, if the pizza is made and eaten in Italy.?

? Biology: A group of researchers from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore were recognized for ?discovering that dead magnetized cockroaches behave differently than living magnetized cockroaches.?

? Engineering: Iman Farahbakhsh of Iran was recognized for patenting an infant diaper changer and washer. The patent explained, ??once the infant is placed inside the apparatus, various steps may in some cases be carried out automatically without needing the operator to touch the infant or interact manually with the diaper or infant during the changing process??

? Economics: Father and son, Timothy and Andreas Voss, and their associates received an Ig Nobel for ?testing which country?s paper money is best at transmitting dangerous bacteria.?

Other winners explored the pleasure of scratching an itch (Peace Prize), the volume of saliva produced daily by a five-year-old child (Chemistry Prize), and whether holding a pen in your mouth increases happiness (Psychology Prize).

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.?
--Charles Dickens, English author

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative?s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ?The Dow,? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://insight.factset.com/sp-500-earnings-season-update-october-18-2019 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/10-21-19_FactSet-S_and_P_500_Earnings_Season_Update_October_18_2019-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-retail-sales-snap-6-month-winning-streak-in-september-as-receipts-fall-03-2019-10-16
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-gdp/chinas-gdp-growth-grinds-to-near-30-year-low-as-tariffs-hit-production-idUSKBN1WX05A
https://www.wsj.com/articles/pound-dips-as-brexit-talks-hit-a-roadblock-11571303767 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/10-21-19_WSJ-Stocks_Climb_on_Strong_Earnings_Brexit_Deal-Footnote_4.pdf)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/boris-johnson-faces-historic-brexit-vote-in-parliament/2019/10/19/dba7cc70-f1a8-11e9-bb7e-d2026ee0c199_story.html
https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-ends-week-lower-as-boeing-ibm-bruise-benchmark-51571443912?mod=hp_DAY_4 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/10-21-19_Barrons-The_Dow_Found_a_Way_to_Waste_a_Perfectly_Good_Week-Footnote_6.pdf)
https://www.improbable.com/whatis/
https://www.improbable.com/ig-about/2019-ceremony/
https://www.improbable.com/ig-about/winners/#ig2019
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ijc.11382
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-23005-1
https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/e1/ed/d0/6cb8dd7a5c6a96/US20170143168A1.pdf (In the Summary 0006)
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/laughter

October 14, 2019

The Markets

The world breathed a sigh of relief last week when the United States and China took a step toward a trade-war truce.

Financial Times reported the United States agreed to not increase tariffs from 25 percent to 30 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports next week. (Current tariffs remain in place, and it is possible new tariffs will be imposed on additional Chinese goods ? electronics, apparel, and other consumer items ? in mid-December.)

In return, China agreed to purchase $40 to $50 billion of agricultural goods, including soybeans and pork, although no time frame was established for the purchases. It remained unclear what progress was made on intellectual-property protection and rules to prevent currency manipulation, reported The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

U.S. stock markets responded enthusiastically to news about one of the great uncertainties hanging over economic growth, namely the trade war between the United States and China, might be resolved. However, after the details of the deal were announced, markets gave back some gains.

?The tentative truce underwhelmed some international businesses that had been hoping the United States and China would finish up a deal that cemented more sweeping structural changes in China?s economy, eliminated additional tariffs scheduled to go into place in December, and even rolled back existing tariffs both sides have added to imports from each country,? reported WSJ.

Derek Scissors, an American Enterprise Institute trade expert and White House advisor told WSJ, ?If this turns out to be all there is, we could have achieved these results a year ago or more.?

Yields on U.S. Treasury bonds moved higher during the week, and the yield curve righted itself, reported MarketWatch. The change reflected optimism about trade negotiations. Bond markets also embraced a Federal Reserve announcement it will resume buying Treasuries each month to ensure the banking system has sufficient reserves.

The United States and China hope to have a written draft of the phase-one agreement finalized during the next few weeks.

?

THE NICEST PLACE IN AMERICA. There are some people who scorn being nice (a.k.a. amiable, agreeable, pleasant). They equate it with being uninteresting or boring. What they fail to understand is being nice is often more challenging than the alternative.

Years ago, Marilyn Zeilinski penned a Chicago Tribune article entitled, ?Being Nice Is Hugely Underrated.? In it, she explained:

?Eventually I discovered that being nice is hard work. It is strong enough to shovel the elderly neighbor's driveway and as brave as a child inviting, ?Come play with me!? to another child exiled by unpopularity?Niceness is not weakness, as I once thought. Niceness stands up for itself, though politely, if someone cuts in line. Most of all, niceness is not safe. Safety is keeping your head down, minding your own business. Niceness reaches out, and that is riskier than a cocoon of self-interest. But it is worth it.?

Residents of Columbiana, Ohio, have chosen to embrace ?nice.? That?s why Reader?s Digest (RD) recently named the town 2019 Nicest Place In America.

How nice is Columbiana?

Good News Network reported the town has, ?A baker who donates freely to support causes of every kind, the real-estate developer who offers a year rent-free to promising entrepreneurs who may not have the resources to get started on their own, the local philanthropist who returned to his hometown to donate $500,000 to rebuild the town?s beloved Firestone Park.?

Columbiana isn?t the only nice place in America. There are a lot of places where people work hard and help make each other?s lives better. In 2019, RD recognized a place or town in every state.

Nice can be inspiring.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.?
--Roy T. Bennett, Author

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative?s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ?The Dow,? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.ft.com/content/28cc18f0-ec61-11e9-a240-3b065ef5fc55 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/10-14-19_FinancialTimes-US_Agrees_Limited_Trade_Deal_with_China-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-strikes-upbeat-notes-on-trade-talks-11570804097 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/10-14-19_WSJ-US_and_China_Move_Forward_on_Trade-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/treasury-yields-climb-on-signs-of-progress-towards-us-china-trade-deal-2019-10-11
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-says-it-will-start-to-buy-treasury-bills-next-week-to-ease-money-market-pressure-2019-10-11-1191242
https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1993-02-14-9303181691-story.html
https://www.rd.com/nicest-places-contest/
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/nicest-place-in-america-2019-is-columbiana/
https://www.rd.com/true-stories/inspiring/america-nicest-places/
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/kindness

September 23, 2019

The Markets

There?s a new theory in town.

Renowned economist Robert Shiller?s new book suggests investors may be able to predict and prepare for economic events by tracking popular stories.

Applying the theory might have been a challenge last week. There were so many stories with potential to move markets and affect the economy it was difficult to guess which would be the most influential.

In the end, on-again-off-again trade negotiations provided the spark that drove markets lower. Barron?s explained:

?The S&P 500 would have finished flat for the week ? except it decided to drop 0.5 percent after reports that China had canceled a visit to Montana hit the newswires?That?s not what we would have expected, given all of the week?s excitement. Saudi Arabia?s oil infrastructure was attacked. The Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a quarter-point. U.S. money markets went crazy and forced the Fed to intervene, setting off comparisons to the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. And, yet, a Montana junket was the ultimate determinant of whether the market finished up or down.?

On Saturday, reports from U.S. trade representatives and China?s state-run news agency emphasized trade discussions were ?constructive? and ?productive? and would continue in October, reported The New York Times.

Last week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell mentioned trade wars 20 times in his news conference, reported The Wall Street Journal. ?Other geopolitical risks figured less prominently or not at all. Mr. Powell mentioned Brexit once, and tensions in Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia didn?t come up.?

The Fed chair emphasized the Fed is using the tools at its disposal to support demand and counteract economic weakness. However, it has no way to resolve trade issues. He pointed out uncertainty about trade has reduced business investment across the United States and could hurt economic growth.

Until an agreement is reached, stories told about U.S.-China trade issues are likely to remain influential.

WHAT?S YOUR GIG? In a 2018 issue of the Harvard Business Review, an independent consultant compared working in the gig economy (a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs) to being a trapeze artist. Independent work requires concentration and discipline. There is a stomach-dropping void between assignments and exhilaration when a new assignment is landed.

When you consider the risks of gig work, it?s remarkable so many people work independently. About 20 to 30 percent of the working population in the United States and Western Europe are gig workers, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.

People work independently for a variety of reasons. Forty-four percent derive their primary income from gig work (although 14 percent of these people would prefer traditional employment). Fifty-six percent earn supplemental income from independent work (16 percent of these people are financially strapped).

The most popular gigs, according to appjobs, are:

? Delivery work
? Freelance work (editing, translating, photography, art, copywriting, design, and consulting)
? Pet sitting
? Cleaning
? Driving

The most lucrative gigs include:

? Massage therapy
? Freelance work
? Home cooking
? Teaching
? Delivery work

The gig economy is growing. However, there are issues that make it less attractive, such as lack of benefits, income insecurity, and lack of training and credentialing. These issues may create opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go??
--Dr. Seuss, American children?s author

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative?s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ?The Dow,? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.amazon.com/Narrative-Economics-Stories-Economic-Events/dp/0691182299/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=shiller&qid=1569084112&sr=8-1
https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-dow-jones-industrial-average-falls-for-week-despite-interest-rate-cut-51569026025?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/09-23-19_Barrons-The_Dow_Falls_as_Markets_Try_to_Figure_Out_What_Really_Matters-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/21/business/united-states-china-trade.html
https://www.wsj.com/articles/analysis-powells-subtle-messaging-to-trump-on-trade-fight-11568971800 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/09-23-19_WSJ-Analysis-Powells_Subtle_Messaging_to_Trump_on_Trade_Fight-Footnote_4.pdf)
https://hbr.org/2018/03/thriving-in-the-gig-economy
https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/employment-and-growth/independent-work-choice-necessity-and-the-gig-economy
https://www.appjobs.com/blog/the-rise-of-gig-economy-the-top-side-hustles-in-the-us?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosmarkets&stream=business
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/22842-you-have-brains-in-your-head-you-have-feet-in

September 16, 2019

The Markets

Where?s inflation?

If you enjoy searching for Waldo, the visual nemesis in a red-striped sweater and cap, you may appreciate the quandary of central bankers in many wealthy nations. For almost a decade, they?ve been they?ve been trying to find inflation.

Last week, there were reports of a sighting in the United States.

The core U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures changes in the prices Americans pay for goods. The Index rose 0.3 percent from July to August. It was up 2.4 percent year-to-year, reflecting the fastest annual growth rate since July 2018, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Rising healthcare costs were one reason for inflation gains, reported CNBC. In addition, Axios reported:

?The costs of the U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports clearly made an impact on the [inflation] reading, but wages also picked up notably last month as seen in the government's jobs report. The reading may indicate that inflation is making a sustained comeback.?

Central banks don?t want inflation to be too high, as it has been in Argentina (22.4 percent year-to-date). They also don?t want it to be too low, because low inflation can be a sign of economic weakness.

The Federal Reserve (Fed), which is our central bank, considers 2 percent inflation to be consistent with a healthy economy, reported The Wall Street Journal.

If you were reading carefully, you may have noted the CPI was above 2 percent. While the CPI measures inflation, it?s not the Fed?s favorite inflation gauge. Fed officials prefer the Personal Consumption and Expenditures Price Index (PCE), which estimated inflation at 1.4 percent in July. The PCE was up 0.2 percent for the month.

U.S. stocks moved higher again last week on solid retail sales and positive trade news.

?

WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE? Americans spend a lot of time at work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics? 2018 American Time Use Survey reported people employed full-time worked 8-1/2 hours on weekdays, on average, and almost 5-1/2 hours on weekend days (when they worked on weekends).

If you estimate 8 hours of sleep a night and two weeks of vacation, at least one-third of awake-time is spent at work. That may explain why some people have strong opinions about dress codes and workspaces. How would you answer these questions?

If your employer gave you the choice, would you prefer to wear casual clothes to the office or receive a $5,000 salary bump?

Dress casual has become the new norm in many workplaces. A significant percentage of employees participating in a recent Randstad US survey (33 percent) like it so much, they would sacrifice a $5,000 salary increase to keep it that way.

Imagine that. One-third of workers would give up $25,000, assuming they stayed with their employer for five years, to avoid pantyhose and neckties.

In the same survey, one-third of participants said they would turn down a job offer or quit, if the employer insisted on a conservative dress code.

Interestingly, some psychology studies have found more formal clothing may affect: 1) the way others perceive you, 2) how you perceive yourself, and 3) how you make decisions.

If you were given the choice, would you opt for a totally open, a totally private, or a shared workspace?

Four-of-10 American workers get to choose where they work within their offices. Preferences vary significantly. The top choices for 2019, according to a Western Office survey were:

? 28 percent: Mostly open space, just a few walls and private space available on-demand.

? 23 percent: Mostly private space, an agglomeration of shared offices and team rooms.-++

? 20 percent: Somewhat open, a combination of offices and cubicles.

The survey suggested having a workspace that suits employees? preferences can improve efficiency, making companies more productive and profitable.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish?You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed, I get mad with anger.?
--Simone de Beauvoir, writer and philosopher

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative?s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ?The Dow,? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://econofact.org/whats-the-problem-with-low-inflation
https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-consumer-prices-rose-0-1-in-august-11568292160 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/09-16-19_WSJ-Weak_Energy_Prices_Held_Down_Overall_Inflation_in_August-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/13/consumer-price-index-july-2019.html
https://www.axios.com/inflation-cpi-federal-reserve-interest-rates-321171db-ae71-4587-b482-14d90e640a44.html
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-argentina-data-inflation/argentina-inflation-cools-for-third-straight-month-in-june-idUSKCN1UB2FL
https://www.bea.gov/news/2019/personal-income-and-outlays-july-2019
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-and-sp-500-on-the-brink-of-fresh-all-time-highs-ahead-of-retail-sales-other-data-2019-09-13
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/atus.pdf
https://rlc.randstadusa.com/press-room/press-releases/randstad-us-survey-finds-casual-dress-is-almost-always-in-fashion-in-todays-workplace?hs_ungate__cos_renderer_combine_all_css_disable=true&hs_ungate__cos_renderer_coverage_css_enable=false&hsVerifyCssCombining=false
http://www.columbia.edu/~ms4992/Publications/2015_Slepian-Ferber-Gold-Rutchick_Clothing-Formality_SPPS.pdf
https://www.westernoffice.com/files/gensler-us-workplace-survey-2019_15776.pdf
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/work

September 9, 2019

The Markets

Remember the movie Groundhog Day?

Bill Murray???s character is a crotchety newsman who lives the same day over and over again. After exhausting other options, he chooses self-improvement and eventually escapes the cycle.

The movie came to mind last week when the United States and China headed to the negotiating table. Again.

Global stocks rallied on the news. Again.

The U.S.-China trade war has had a significant impact on stock market performance during the past two years. Since the trade war began, U.S. stock markets have rallied when trade talks are announced and retreated when trade talks fail. In 2018, MarketWatch reported:

???Trade issues have been at the center of Wall Street???s concerns because they have the potential to ripple into every other issue that has been besieging investors, if [the trade war] escalates. That includes the growth outlook for U.S. corporations, an economic slowdown in China, the pace of rate hikes, and the health of the U.S. economy and stock market??????

Last week, Fox News pointed out U.S. companies and consumers are feeling the effects of tariffs and that could be detrimental to U.S. economic growth, especially if consumer spending slows.

Regardless, major U.S. indices posted gains last week after the United States and China agreed to a new round of trade talks. Ben Levisohn of Barron???s explained:

???Why did the market soar? Not because of the economic data, which still paints the picture of a decelerating U.S. economy. August???s payrolls report came in light, and would have been even worse if not for a big boost from census hiring. The Institute for Supply Management???s manufacturing index fell below 50, signaling a full-blown contraction in industrial activity. But the United States and China finally set a date to go back to the bargaining table on trade ??? and that was more than enough good news to last the week.???

Maybe, this time around, trade talks will deliver a trade agreement.

If not, be prepared for more possible volatility.

??

GROUP OUTINGS? GIFT REQUESTS? LET???S TALK MONEY ETIQUETTE. If you???re of the generation that believes money is a taboo topic, stop reading. If you???ve encountered some perplexing money issues and want to learn more about money-related social etiquette, read on.

Issue: The bride and groom would prefer cash to gifts. Is it okay to request cash?

Answer: It is not okay to ask invited guests to give you cash, writes Carolyn Hax of The Washington Post. ???There???s no polite way to bill guests for liking you, pat their pockets for loose change, or coerce them into paying your bills. So, please don???t try. Thank you.???

Issue: You???re organizing a group gift, outing, or trip. How do you avoid money conflicts?

Answer: BuzzFeed Finance recommends avoiding group texts, which ??????are a breeding ground for peer pressure and anxiety. Suddenly, everyone agrees that $50 is a reasonable birthday amount, while one person had budgeted to spend around $20 and now feels too awkward to speak up. If you're the person organizing a joint gift, it's worth reaching out to people separately to gauge interest and a reasonable dollar amount.???

Issue: You???re raising money for several charities. How often can you ask the same person for a donation?

Answer: It depends, say the editors at Real Simple. It???s okay to approach immediate family for every cause, but limit requests to distant relatives, friends, and acquaintances to a couple of times a year. ???You'll get better results ??? and keep more friends ??? by targeting your solicitations, rather than blasting your entire address book.???

Issue: Your girlfriend broke up with you on a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment app. All your friends saw it.

Answer: The default setting for most P2P payment apps is ???public.??? As a result, people you know ??? and anyone else using the platform ??? can see who you paid, when you paid, and (sometimes) what you purchased. Consumer Reports suggests, ???Make all your P2P settings the most private possible to ensure the least sharing of your personal data.???

When it comes to money, every generation faces unique challenges.

Weekly Focus ??? Think About It

???Etiquette is all human social behavior. If you're a hermit on a mountain, you don't have to worry about etiquette; if somebody comes up the mountain, then you've got a problem. It matters because we want to live in reasonably harmonious communities.???
--Judith Martin (a.k.a. Miss Manners)

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative???s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ???The Dow,??? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/06/business/us-china-trade-war-talks/index.html
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-chart-shows-why-trade-war-fears-are-the-biggest-catalyst-for-the-stock-market-2018-11-02
https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/us-china-trade-war-economy-recession-impact
https://www.barrons.com/articles/s-p-500-notches-second-week-of-gains-and-sets-itself-up-for-more-51567817597?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/09-09-19_Barrons-The_S_and_P_500_Finally_Busts_Out_and_Sets_Itself_Up_for_More_Gains-Footnote_4.pdf)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/carolyn-hax-wedding-etiquette-advice-on-gift-requests-family-dramas/2013/01/29/6c21c966-64db-11e2-b84d-21c7b65985ee_story.html
https://www.buzzfeed.com/gyanyankovich/money-etiquette-rules-for-2018
https://www.realsimple.com/work-life/money/money-etiquette-advice
https://www.consumerreports.org/digital-payments/p2p-payment-etiquette/
https://www.thespruce.com/quotes-about-good-manners-1216528

September 3, 2019

The Markets

What, me worry?

About this time last year, Time Magazine reported on anxiety in America. Almost 40 percent of Americans reported being more anxious than they were the previous year.

The performance of stock and bond markets this summer may have pushed those numbers higher.

Last week finally brought some relief. It was the best week for major U.S. stock indices since June. The Standard & Poor???s 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite all gained between 2 and 3 percent, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron???s.

How can investors cope if volatility continues?

Barron???s Randall Forsyth offered a recommendation, ???When the stock market is this crazy, you should just invest lazy.??? It???s important to note that Forsyth???s definition of ???managing lazy??? is building a diversified portfolio aimed at achieving your financial goals and leaving it alone.

Marketplace???s Andie Corban and Kai Ryssdal offered a pretty good argument for lazy investing, too. In the audio report, Ryssdal discussed trading algorithms with Joe Gits of Social Market Analytics:

???Gits: So these [algorithms] are reading the president???s tweet using natural language processing [NLP], and our current president???s tweets are pretty easy to read with NLP, and they are either going long or going short.

Ryssdal: I???m going to ask you to make a value judgment here, then. Entirely apart from making money, are these algorithms ??? and the outsized effect that they have on movement of the markets ??? are they a good thing or a bad thing?

Gits: I think they???re a bad thing in general, because I think the volatility causes a lot of panic by buying and selling and I think the average investor gets hurt.???

Staying calm in the face of volatility isn???t easy, but it???s an important skill for investors to hone. If it helps, remember volatility can be computer-driven.

??

IMAGINE MONEY WITH AN EXPIRATION DATE. At the turn of the 19th century, some economists thought negative interest rates made sense, according to The Economist.

In 1916, Silvio Gesell published The Natural Economic Order, a pamphlet promoting the idea of negative interest rates. A self-taught economist, Gesell lost faith in money after living through a financial crash in Argentina during the 1890s.

Planet Money reported:

???The problem, Gesell believed, was that money served two roles that often came into conflict: It was a way for people to store wealth, and it was the thing everybody needed to conduct business. The fact that money could store wealth meant its holders had a reason to cling to it, especially in crises like the one he saw in Argentina, when opportunities to safely put that money elsewhere looked grim. It was a typical story. When people got scared, they hoarded cash and brought business to a standstill.???

Gesell suggested a solution: negative interest rates on money. If money continuously lost value, people would not hoard it. They would, in fact, have an incentive to spend it.

How do you make money lose value?

Gesell proposed a tax. Every year, money would expire and lose all value unless the money holder purchased a stamp. The stamp wouldn???t be free, reported Financial Times. There would be a fee for the stamp.

For example, if a person held a $100 bill and paid a $1 fee after holding it for a year, the after-stamp value of the money would be $99. After five years of paying fees, $100 would be worth $95.

Gesell believed people would, in effect, earn negative interest rates if they held onto money. As a result, they would be eager to spend, and that would keep the economy healthy, and possibly help prevent future depressions and improve prosperity.

It???s a thought-provoking theory that earned Gesell a number of nicknames, some flattering and some not.

Weekly Focus ??? Think About It

???The ultimate purpose of economics, of course, is to understand and promote the enhancement of well-being.???
--Ben Bernanke, Former Chair U.S. Federal Reserve

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative???s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ???The Dow,??? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://time.com/5269371/americans-anxiety-poll/
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stocks-rally-3-ending-a-bad-month-on-a-good-note-51567212639?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/09-03-19_Barrons-Stocks_Rally_3_Percent_Ending_a_Bad_Month_on_a_Good_Note-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/when-the-stock-market-is-this-crazy-you-should-just-invest-lazy-51567213413?mod=hp_DAY_1 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/09-03-19_Barrons-When_the_Stock_Market_is_This_Crazy_You_Should_Just_Invest_Lazy-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.marketplace.org/2019/08/29/meet-the-algorithms-connecting-trump-tweets-and-the-stock-market/
https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2019/08/27/754323652/the-strange-unduly-neglected-prophet (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/09-03-19_NPR-Planet_Money-The_Strange_Unduly_Neglected_Prophet-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2018/02/03/why-sub-zero-interest-rates-are-neither-unfair-nor-unnatural (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/09-03-19_TheEconomist-Why_Sub-Zero_Interest_Rates_are_Neither_Unfair_Nor_Unnatural-Footnote_6.pdf)
http://ftalphaville.ft.com/2015/02/02/2103032/negative-rates-and-gesell-taxes-how-low-are-we-talking-here/ (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/09-03-19_FinancialTimes-Negative_Rates_and_Gesell_Taxes-How_Low_are_We_Talking_Here-Footnote_7.pdf)
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/ben_bernanke_704771??

August 26, 2019

The Markets

Have you ever watched a lake in a thunderstorm?

Heavy rain pummels the surface. Dark clouds drop the sky closer to the water. Gusty winds crash waves ashore. Up top, on land, damage may occur. Underneath, in the deeper water, things often remain pretty much the same.

Last week???s stock market volatility was like a thunderstorm on a lake. Markets were doing well until the squall brewed up on Friday. Ben Levisohn of Barron???s described it like this:

???The fun started on Friday morning, when China announced new tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. goods and a resumption of penalties on U.S. cars. Surprisingly, the market handled it pretty well. U.S. futures markets dipped into the red, but only a bit, and the market appeared ready to shrug off the news, particularly after [Federal Reserve Chair] Powell stuck to his message: The Fed will ???act as appropriate to sustain the expansion??????That wasn???t enough for the president???he turned his wrath on China and ???ordered??? U.S. companies to ???immediately start looking for an alternative to China.??? Now that???s escalation ??? even if it???s unclear whether the president can legally do that.???

Unsettled, stock markets seethed and stormed. By the end of the day, major U.S. stock indices were lower, and that???s how they finished the week.

The U.S. economy, which is the deep water under the U.S. stock market, continued along as usual. On Friday, The Economist reported, ??????economic data do not suggest that America is sliding into recession. Although inflation remains low and manufacturing activity is weakening, consumers keep spending and there is little sign that unemployment is about to rise.???

The economy isn???t moving fast, but it???s moving steady. Stock markets, on the other hand, are suffering the storms of investor sentiment and anxiety.

??

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! You???ve probably been hearing and reading a lot about Woodstock, the iconic 1969 music festival. Americans have been celebrating the event???s 50th anniversary. In August 1969, Woodstock staged 32 acts, attracted 400,000 attendees (without social media), and featured intermittent downpours.

Rain-soaked performers, including The Who, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joe Cocker, Sly and the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, braved ??????the danger of electrical shocks and general backstage anarchy,??? wrote Rolling Stone Magazine.

Woodstock made Rolling Stone???s 2004 list of 50 Moments That Changed Rock and Roll, along with the evolution of Chess Records, the death of John Lennon, and the invention of the iPod.

Since 1969, music festivals have become a staple of summertime entertainment. Planet Money reported about 100 events will have been scheduled in the United States this year. Most will have production standards far superior to those at Woodstock.

They also cost a lot more.

If festival ticket prices increased with inflation, they would cost about five times what they did in the late 70s, reported The Economist. Instead, tickets cost about 50 times more.

Attendees are getting a lot more for their money. A festival organizer in Britain said arranging a music festival is akin to setting up a small town with scaffolding and a crew to build it. Festival goers need water, food, drinks, Wi-Fi, security, and bathrooms.

Oh! And music.

The economics of the music industry have changed dramatically. At one time, performers made most of their money selling records and would tour to promote newly released songs. Today, artists make most of their money going on tour and new releases are a way to attract fans to a show.

Today, succeeding in the music industry is all about making the fan experience worth the price.

Weekly Focus ??? Think About It

???We feared that the music which had given us sustenance was in danger of spiritual starvation. We feared it losing its sense of purpose, we feared it falling into fattened hands, we feared it floundering in a mire of spectacle, finance, and vapid technical complexity. We would call forth in our minds the image of Paul Revere, riding through the American night, petitioning the people to wake up, to take up arms. We, too, would take up arms, the arms of our generation, the electric guitar and the microphone.???
--Patti Smith, Singer and songwriter

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative???s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ???The Dow,??? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-drops-as-donald-trump-tweets-spook-market-51566607558?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/08-26-19_Barrons-The_Dows_Week_Turned_Ugly_After_Trump_Sparred_with_China_and_Powell-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2019/08/23/now-donald-trump-calls-the-feds-chairman-an-enemy (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/08-26-19_TheEconomist-Now_Donald_Trump_Calls_the_Feds_Chairman_an_Enemy-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/08/22/this-month-people-are-remembering-woodstock-long-forgotten-music-festival-had-more-impact/?noredirect=on
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodstock
https://web.archive.org/web/20070209163601/http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6085488/woodstock_in_1969
https://www.today.com/news/greatest-moments-rock-n-roll-history-wbna5156694
https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=753506457
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMfkO3Pv4VQ (Timestamp 0:35 through 2:18 minutes)
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/rock-and-roll

August 19, 2019

The Markets

Don???t let volatility get you down.

Last week was the 40th anniversary of BusinessWeek???s infamous cover headline: ???The Death of Equities: How inflation is destroying the stock market.??? The publication???s current iteration, Bloomberg Businessweek, reported it is still getting grief over the headline and subsequent bull market. In its defense, stocks trended lower for about three years after the magazine hit newsstands.

Since its 1982 low point, ???The total return on the Standard & Poor???s 500-stock index???with dividends reinvested has been nearly 7,000 percent. Not bad for a corpse.???

Investors worried back in 1979, just as they do today.

At that time, the Federal Reserve was waging a war against inflation. Late in the summer of 1979, the annual average inflation rate in the United States was 10 percent. Homebuyers were locking in mortgage rates of 11.1 percent on 30-year fixed mortgages and feeling good about it as mortgage rates rose to 18.5 percent by October 1981.

Today, investors aren???t worried about inflation. They are concerned about the U.S.- China trade war, the pace of global economic growth, the influence of monetary policy, negative interest rates???the list goes on.

Recent stock market volatility reflects those concerns.

It???s possible we???re nearing the end of the longest bull market for U.S. stocks. Further inversion of the yield curve last week suggested recession could be ahead. However, it???s unlikely to arrive immediately.

If a recession does arrive, remember economic downturns are temporary and are relatively short. The Great Recession lasted 18 months and it was the longest since WWII. Typically, a recession averages six to 16 months, according to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve.

Right now, there is reason to believe the U.S. economy still has some oomph. Barron???s reported, ???The economy is obviously slowing, but not necessarily heading for recession. That means it is time for caution, not panic.???

??

UPCYCLING IS MODERN DAY ALCHEMY. When people take items that have been discarded and turn them into something of greater value, it???s known as upcycling. Repurposing objects is appealing to people who want to live sustainably, people who embrace creativity, and/or people who like to make things???it???s got a lot of appeal for a lot of people.

Here are a few interesting upcycling projects you may encounter as you travel:

Bird Calls Phone. A Maryland city wanted an interactive public art exhibit. The artist took a mint-condition payphone and wired it to play calls of local birds when dialed. (Takoma Park, MD)

People???s Bike Library of Portland. It???s an iconic sculpture that is a tribute to the popularity of cycling, as well as a bike rack and a bike ???lending library.??? (Portland, OR)

Carhenge. It???s built to resemble Stonehenge, but there is no mystery surrounding Carhenge in western Nebraska. The arrangement of repurposed vintage autos was built in the memory of the designer???s father. (Alliance, NE)

The Heidelberg Project. This project isn???t a single piece of art; it???s an open air urban art environment. The artist and children from the neighborhood decorate vacant houses. Heidelberg Houses have included: Doors of Opportunity, The Taxi House, The Clock House, Obstruction of Justice, and others. (Detroit, MI)

City Museum. A 10-story, 100-year-old shoe factory in St. Louis was transformed into an urban playground using salvaged materials. It features, ???a sky-high jungle gym making use of two repurposed airplanes, two towering 10-story slides???a rooftop Ferris wheel,??? and more. (St. Louis, MO)

It has been said that art is in the eye of the beholder. It???s also in the portfolios of some investors. The 2018 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth?? survey found, ??????financially driven collectors are increasingly incorporating art into their long-term wealth plans.???

Weekly Focus ??? Think About It

???Art is something that makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness.???
--Anni Albers, Textile artist

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative???s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ???The Dow,??? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

??Sources:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-13/it-s-been-40-years-since-our-cover-story-declared-the-death-of-equities
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Personal consumption expenditures excluding food and energy [DPCCRC1M027SBEA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, August 18, 2019: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DPCCRC1M027SBEA (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/08-19-19_FRED-Personal_Consumption_Expenditures_Excluding_Food_and_Energy-Footnote_2.pdf)
Freddie Mac, 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average in the United States [MORTGAGE30US], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, August 17, 2019: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MORTGAGE30US (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/08-19-19_FRED-30-Year_Fixed_Rate_Mortgage_Average_in_the_United_States-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-economy-centralbanks-analysis/going-negative-as-trade-war-rages-central-banks-ponder-radical-steps-idUSKCN1V328N
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stocks-swing-wildly-as-yield-curve-flips-51566002682?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/08-19-19_Barrons-Stocks_Swing_Wildly_as_Yield_Curve_Flips-Is_There_a_Recession_Out_There-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/08/cause-of-recession.asp
https://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications/special-studies/recession-in-perspective
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upcycle
https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2019/08/16/Maryland-phone-makes-bird-calls-not-phone-calls/6231565970936/
https://thedyrt.com/magazine/lifestyle/5-recycled-art-installations-and-where-to-camp-nearby/
https://thesavvyage.com/heidelberg-project-perseveres/
https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/06/city-museum/
https://www.privatebank.bankofamerica.com/articles/insights-on-wealth-and-worth-art-collectors-2018.html
https://www.healing-power-of-art.org/art-and-quotes-by-famous-artists/

August 12, 2019

The Markets

Global selloff. Quick comeback.

Investors boomeranged from stocks to safe havens and back as trade tensions between the United States and China intensified last week. The Economist reported:

???On August 1st President Donald Trump warned that he would soon impose a 10 percent levy on roughly $300bn-worth of Chinese goods that have not already been hit by the trade war. Four days later China responded by giving its exchange rate unaccustomed freedom to fall. The yuan weakened past seven to the dollar, an important psychological threshold, for the first time in over a decade. And stock prices in America duly fell...???

Asia Times explained, ???Beijing has signaled that it is prepared to endure a long and debilitating trade war with the United States???A reported directive to Chinese companies to refrain from buying U.S. farm products seems an in-your-face challenge to the U.S. president.???

The possibility of a prolonged trade war triggered worries about global recession and set off a selloff. Global stock markets experienced the biggest one-day decline since February 2018, according to Bloomberg, and U.S. stocks delivered the worst one-day performance of 2019, reported MarketWatch.

Stocks staged an impressive recovery on Tuesday. Then, central banks in India, Thailand, and New Zealand announced unexpected rate cuts. The moves incited concern about the health of the global economy and stocks dropped again ??? and recovered again. By the end of the week, nearly all losses in U.S. stock markets had been erased.

If recent volatility has triggered a desire to change your investments, please get in touch with us before you do.

??

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? The global bond market deserves a spot in a believe-it-or-not museum, right next to the bathythermograph, radioactive vodka (brewed with Chernobyl grain), and 526 extra teeth recently removed from a youngster???s jaw.

Here???s why: Approximately one-fourth of all bonds issued by governments and companies around the globe are trading at negative yields, according to an index cited by The Economist.

Just imagine. You want to borrow money. An acquaintance agrees to lend you the money and then offers to pay you for borrowing it.

It sounds like a Monty Python skit, right?

It???s not. All over the world, bonds issued by governments and companies are offering negative interest rates. Investors who purchase the bonds are paying governments and companies to borrow their money. For instance, in Germany, investors are paying one-half of a percentage point annually for the assurance their money will be returned when the bond matures.

Why are so many bond yields in negative territory?

Strangely enough, retirement and longevity may play a role. Joachim Fels of PIMCO theorized a ???savings glut??? could be the reason for low and negative yields. He explained:

??????it can be argued that in affluent societies where people can expect to live ever longer and thus spend a significant amount of their lifetimes in retirement, more and more people demonstrate negative time preference, meaning they value future consumption during their retirement more than today???s consumption???they are thus willing to accept a negative interest rate and bring it about through their saving behavior.???

We live in interesting times.

Weekly Focus ??? Think About It

???Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.???
--Sir Terence David John Pratchett, English author

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative???s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ???The Dow,??? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2019/08/05/why-a-weakening-yuan-is-rattling-markets (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/08-12-19_TheEconomist-Why_a_Weakening_Yuan_is_Rattling_Markets-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/08/article/trade-wars-part-two-the-empire-strikes-back/
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-06/asia-stocks-to-start-mixed-u-s-shares-climb-markets-wrap
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-a-falling-chinese-yuan-means-for-the-stock-market-and-the-trade-war-2019-08-05
https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-whipsawed-by-trade-tensions-finishes-week-down-modestly-51565396072?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/08-12-19_Barrons-The_Dow_Whipsawed_by_Trade_Tensions_Finishes_the_Week_Down_Modestly-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.ripleys.com
https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2019/08/08/as-yields-turn-negative-investors-are-having-to-pay-for-safety (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/08-12-19_TheEconomist-As_Yields_Turn_Negative_Investors_are_Having_to_Pay_for_Safety-Footnote_7.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/how-this-market-will-end-51565369599?mod=hp_DAY_1 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/08-12-19_Barrons-How_This_Bull_Market_Will_End-Footnote_8.pdf)
https://blog.pimco.com/en/2019/08/interest-rates-naturally-negative
https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/1654.Terry_Pratchett

August 5, 2019

The Markets

Tariffs strike again.

The Federal Open Market Committee completed what it called ???a mid-cycle adjustment??? with a quarter-point rate cut last week. Some investors were unhappy when Fed officials implied there would not be another reduction this year. They???d been hoping for at least one, reported Barron???s.

Despite the disappointment, investors settled and U.S. stock markets rallied on Thursday.

Then, like a movie villain that just won???t die, U.S. import taxes ??? a.k.a. tariffs ??? reared their ugly heads and wiped out the week???s gains. Barron???s explained:

???By midday on Thursday, the stock market had all but recouped its losses in the wake of the Federal Reserve???s policy meeting the previous day. That???s when President Donald Trump announced that he will impose a 10 percent levy on an additional $300 billion of Chinese goods on September 1. The shock sent stocks underwater and resulted in this year???s worst week for the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite, which slid 3.1 percent and 3.92 percent, respectively. The Dow got off with just a 2.6 percent nick. For the broad U.S. stock market, the paper loss was about $1.1 trillion, according to Wilshire Associates.???

Tariffs have pummeled U.S. and Chinese economies for months. Early estimates suggest imports from China to the United States fell by 12.6 percent from June 2018 to June 2019, while exports from the United States to China fell by 16.8 percent during the same period, according to a source cited by Barron???s.

Bond investors were jolted by the tariff announcement, too. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes dropped from 2.1 percent last week to 1.9 percent, reported MarketWatch. In Germany, all maturities of government bonds are offering negative yields.

In the face-off between rate cuts and tariffs, tariffs may prove to have a greater impact.

??

DOES FLYING TRIGGER YOUR LIZARD BRAIN? Flight attendants and frequent fliers have some crazy stories to tell. Lets Fly Cheaper, Business Insider, and Point Me To The Plane reported on some of the strange things flight attendants have experienced, including:

??? Medicated sleep zombies. Passengers sometimes take sleep aids to slumber while flying. In one instance, a passenger sleep-streaked to first class.
??? Emotional support animals (ESAs). In an effort to remain calm while flying, some people bring pets for emotional support. These have included a turkey, a pig, a monkey, and a kangaroo.
??? Impatient passengers. In 2014, a passenger deployed the emergency slide because he wanted to disembark more quickly.
??? Strange requests. Flight attendants report passengers have asked how to roll down plane windows, if they could stop at the Sky Mall, and whether they could borrow a screwdriver to take a seat apart.

A flight attendant told NPR, ???When people get on a plane, they revert to a lizard brain where they forget all social decencies and common sense???Flying takes away everybody's sense of control. So people tend to grasp at whatever kind of control they can have??????

There may be a scientific explanation for passengers??? odd plane behavior. NPR reported that low air pressure reduces the oxygen in passengers??? blood, making them more emotional and more prone to poor decision-making.

Weekly Focus ??? Think About It

???The lizard brain is not merely a concept. It's real, and it's living on the top of your spine, fighting for your survival. But, of course, survival and success are not the same thing.???
--Seth Godin, American author

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative???s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ???The Dow,??? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/s-p-500-suffers-worst-week-of-2019-as-trump-reignites-trade-war-51564792500?mod=hp_DAY_4 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/08-05-19_Barrons-The_SandP_500_Suffered_Its_Worst_Week_of_2019_and_It_Might_Not_Be_Finished_Falling-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/new-tariff-threat-bites-investors-51564794880?mod=hp_DAY_1 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/08-05-19_Barrons-New_Tariff_Threat_Bites_Investors-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/%5ETNX/history?p=%5ETNX
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/global-bond-markets-extend-rally-as-trade-tensions-spurs-haven-inflows-2019-08-02
https://pointmetotheplane.boardingarea.com/confessions-of-a-fed-up-flight-attendant-1-attack-of-the-ambien-zombies/
https://www.letsflycheaper.com/blog/weird-esas/
https://www.businessinsider.com/weirdest-things-flight-attendants-have-seen-2017-4#strange-item-requests-8
https://pointmetotheplane.boardingarea.com/say-what-overheard-on-the-plane-edition-28-crazy-things-passengers-say-to-flight-attendants/
https://www.npr.org/2019/07/14/741619152/cool-your-jets-science-might-explain-your-weird-and-emotional-airplane-behavior
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/304213-the-lizard-brain-is-hungry-scared-angry-and-horny-the

July 29, 2019

The Markets

It has been said there are two sides to every story. Just look at world financial markets. Stock markets and bond markets are telling very different stories.

In the United States, stock markets were blue ribbon winners last week.

The Standard & Poor???s 500 Index rebounded to a record high. The Nasdaq Composite also set a new record. Barron???s reported U.S. stock markets were supported by abundant optimism inspired by expectations for solid earnings growth and a Federal Reserve rate cut in July.

Optimism pushed stocks higher in Europe last week, too. CNBC reported investors were receptive to news suggesting the European Central Bank would ease monetary policy to support the European economy. A significant number of national stock indices in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia finished last week higher, according to Barron???s.

Bond markets have been telling a less optimistic story.

In many regions of the world, bond yields have sunk below zero, and bond buyers have been locking in losses by investing in bonds with negative yields.

In the United States, the 10-year Treasury yield remains positive, but it has dropped from 3.2 percent in November 2018 to 2.1 percent at the end of last week.

So, what are bond markets saying? Barron???s suggested some possibilities:

??????bond buyers locking in subzero yields aren???t doing it, of course, for love of losses. They might think that the certainty of small losses will prove a better deal in the years ahead than whatever stocks provide???There???s something else that negative yields could be telling us. Investors need bonds for things like diversification and setting aside money at known rates to offset known liabilities. For an investor who must buy bonds, a purchase here with negative yields isn???t necessarily a bet against stocks. It could just be a wager that bond yields won???t get much better ??? that slow growth and meager inflation will loom for many years.???

Time will tell.

MUSIC, EARWORMS, AND DATA STORAGE. Anyone who has ever suffered an earworm (known in scientific circles as Involuntary Musical Imagery) understands the power of music. Some tunes that repeatedly pop into people???s heads may include:

??? It???s a Small World (Disney)
??? Don???t Stop Believing (Journey)
??? Who Let the Dogs Out? (Baha Men)
??? Silver Bells (Bing Crosby)
??? We are the Champions (Queen)

Let???s face it. Music can be potent. In The Power of Music, Elena Mannes writes, ??????science today is showing that music is in fact encoded in our bodies and brains.??? She discusses research suggesting music may be able to help people heal, change behavior, and treat neurological disorders.

It may be used in other ways, too. Soon, you may experience a new music phenomenon called Imperceptible Audio Communication. That???s when data is secretly coded into music. You won???t be able to hear it, but your smartphone and other devices will.

At the 44th IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing, a pair of doctoral students shared their work, which focuses on storing data in music.

Imagine, someday you may be:

??? Walking through an airport, not really listening to the piped-in sounds, when your phone picks up a data feed from the music and lets you know your flight is delayed.
??? Pushing your cart down a grocery aisle and Muzak?? advises your smartphone cauliflower is on sale.
??? Checking into a hotel and having the lobby music send the Wi-Fi password and other check-in data directly to your smartphone.
??? Dancing in a club and having your smartphone flash a drink special.

The times ??? they are changing.

Weekly Focus ??? Think About It

???Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.???
--Arthur C. Clarke, British writer and inventor

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative???s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as ???The Dow,??? is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/why-some-investors-are-buying-bonds-that-lose-money-51564179385?mod=hp_DAY_2 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/07-29-19_Barrons-Why_Some_Investors_are_Buying_Bonds_that_Lose_Money-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-s-p-500-hit-a-new-high-because-the-market-still-expects-the-federal-reserve-to-cut-interest-rates-51564195482?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/07-29-19_Barrons_The_S_and_P_Hit_a_New_High_Because_the_Market_Still_Expects_the_Federal_Reserve_to_Cut_Interest_Rates-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/26/europe-stock-markets-ecb-holds-interest-rates-and-earnings-in-focus.html
https://www.barrons.com/market-data/stocks/emea?mod=md_usstk_view_emea (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/07-29-19_Barrons-UK_FTSE_100_Stock_Index-Footnote_4.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/market-data/stocks/asia?mod=md_emeastk_view_asia (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/07-29-19_Barrons-Hong_Kong_Hang_Seng_Stock_Index-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/%5ETNX/history?p=%5ETNX
https://www.amazon.com/Poamazon%20Power%20of%20Musicwer-Music-Pioneering-Discoveries-Science/dp/0802719961/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Elena+Mannes+POwer+of&qid=1564244240&s=dmusic&sr=8-1 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/07-29-19_Book_Excerpt-The_Power_of_Music-Footnote_7.pdf)
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190709122014.htm
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/technology