MARKET COMMENTARY

July 6, 2020

The Markets

What a quarter!

Who could have guessed a global pandemic would produce outsized stock market returns? Near the end of last quarter (March 23), the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 30.75 percent for the year, and it looked like 2020 was going to be a disappointing year for many investors.

Since then, the S&P 500 has gained 39 percent, reported The Economist. It rose 20 percent from March 31 to June 30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also did well, delivering its second best quarterly showing since 1938. The Nasdaq Composite finished the quarter in positive territory.

A variety of factors contributed to the exceptional performance of U.S. stock markets during the quarter:

• The Federal Reserve maintained a supportive monetary policy stance. It has been buying Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities and funding emergency loans.
• The $2 trillion emergency spending package passed by Congress had impact. Stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, and emergency loans plumped personal income and supported businesses through second quarter closures.
• Positive data suggested economic recovery might be underway. In the United States, unemployment numbers improved, although they remained at historically high levels. Factory activity in China hit a three-month high, and the June Purchasing Manager’s Index in the United States came in above expectations.

Supportive central bank policies helped global economies during the second quarter, too. Stock markets in many regions, including Europe, China, and Japan, finished the second quarter higher. Positive economic data, optimism about coronavirus treatments, and hopes for a vaccine helped push markets higher, reported T. Rowe Price.

Consumer confidence also contributed. Callum Keown, Nicholas Jasinski, and Carleton English of Barron’s reported:

“On Tuesday, the Conference Board reported an 11-point rise in the June consumer confidence index, to 98.1 points. Economists’ consensus estimate had been for a 90.6 reading. American households remain more optimistic about the future than their current circumstances: the present situation index component of the survey rose 15.1 points, to 86.2, while the expectations index rose 9.1 points, to 106.”

It is possible consumer confidence in the United States will be dented by the recent upsurge in coronavirus cases. Last week, the spread of COVID-19 was gaining momentum again. Every day, from Wednesday through Saturday, more than more than 50,000 new cases were confirmed.

Many states and cities implemented new measures to slow the spread. One of the most important may be mask wearing. Researchers at Goldman Sachs reported:

“Thus, the upshot of our analysis is that a national face mask mandate could potentially substitute for renewed lockdowns that would otherwise subtract nearly 5 percent from GDP. It is important to recognize that this estimate is quite uncertain because it is based on a number of statistical relationships that are all measured with error. Despite the numerical uncertainty, however, our analysis suggests that the economic benefit from a face mask mandate and increased face mask usage could be sizable.”

  

LET’S ALL GO TO THE DRIVE-IN! Americans’ search for socially-distanced entertainment is leading them to drive-in theaters. Demand has been strong enough that pop up drive-ins are opening in sports venues, arenas, and fairgrounds across the United States, reports Sara Fischer of Axios News.

In the 1950s, there were more than 4,000 drive-in theaters in the United States. By October 2019, the number had dwindled to 305. More than one-third were concentrated in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Indiana, and California, according to the United Drive-In Theater Owners Association.

Outdoor movie theaters tend to operate on razor-thin margins, reported The Washington Post. “…Drive-ins in the 21st century have flourished in more working-class and rural areas where land is cheaper and the venue appeals to families seeking to pile in the car for a night of inexpensive entertainment.”

Now, we’re seeing a resurgence of interest in outdoor movie venues. The sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival has partnered with big box stores. They’ll be bringing “…the big screen to America’s backyard this summer…,” by offering movies in store parking lots.

So, set up the lawn chairs or deck out your cargo space with pillows and blankets, and settle in to watch some movies from a safe social distance in the great outdoors.

Weekly Focus – Think About It 

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”  --Groucho Marx, Comedian

* 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 or 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. 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.
* The risk of loss in trading commodities and futures can be substantial. You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. The high degree of leverage is often obtainable in commodity trading and can work against you as well as for you. The use of leverage can lead to large losses as well as gains.
* 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/market-data?mod=BOL_TOPNAV (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/07-06-20_Barrons-Market_Data-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/07/01/americas-stockmarket-just-had-its-best-quarter-in-20-years (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/07-06-20_TheEconomist-Americas_Stock_Market_Just_had_Its_Best_Quarter_in_20_Years-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/global-stocks-fall-to-end-best-quarter-in-years-51593512666 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/07-06-20_Barrons-Stocks_Close_Higher_as_Best_Quarter_in_Decades_Comes_to_an_End-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.troweprice.com/financial-intermediary/us/en/insights/articles/2020/q3/global-markets-weekly-update.html
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html
https://www.goldmansachs.com/insights/pages/face-masks-and-gdp.html
https://www.axios.com/drive-in-movie-theaters-comeback-coronavirus-2f3d0705-3edb-4f8c-8972-18e478c816cb.html
https://www.uditoa.org/media.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/30/drive-in-theaters-covid-open/ (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/07-06-20_TheWashingtonPost-With_Many_Movie_Theaters_Still_Closed_Drive-ins_Try_to_Show_the_Way-Footnote_9.pdf)
https://tribecafilm.com/drive-in
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/groucho_marx_137218

June 29, 2020

The Markets

Blame it on the coronavirus.

Stock markets in the United States and Europe retreated last week as the number of new COVID-19 cases increased steadily in America. On Thursday, there were more than 44,000 new cases, the highest daily total to date, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.

?The turn has created a new puzzle for investors, many of whom had started focusing on 2021 earnings expectations as the next performance-driver for stocks. The old market gauges, like manufacturing surveys, jobs tallies, and retail sales, feel like lagging indicators. The new leading indicators deal with the disease. Yet tracking its progress is tricky even for epidemiologists who have studied these issues for decades,? reported Avi Salzman of Barron?s.

Another piece of the investment puzzle was reshaped when the Federal Reserve (Fed) released bank stress test results last week. It found most banks were likely to remain well-capitalized if economic growth rebounds relatively quickly. However, in a worst-case economic recovery scenario, banks did not fare as well. Consequently, the Fed suspended share buybacks and capped the dividends banks can pay investors, reported Alexandra Scaggs of Barron?s.

?The Fed?also said future payouts would depend on bank earnings ? and bank earnings will start to look worse as pre-coronavirus quarters drop out and are replaced by COVID-impaired results. Even that decision might not have been a problem if the market believed the spread of COVID was under control. Then the numbers started coming out. Florida?s seven-day average of cases grew 7.8 percent, up from the previous day?s 4.1 percent. Arizona?s jumped to 5.4 percent, from 2.9 percent. In Texas, the positivity rate ? that is, the number of tests divided by positive results ? hit 11.8 percent,? reported Ben Levisohn of Barron?s.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, dispelled the notion this is a second wave of the virus. He told The Wall Street Journal, ?People keep talking about a second wave?We?re still in a first wave.?



COLLEGE SPORTS BUDGET CUTS. College and university campuses across the world are facing serious financial shortfalls. ?Revenues are plummeting as students (particularly international ones) remain home or rethink future plans, and endowment funds implode as stock markets drop,? reported Alexandra Witze in Nature.

One way some schools are trying to balance budgets is by cutting sports programs. Kendall Baker of Axios News reported athletic directors and conference commissioners are brainstorming ways to lower spending, including reducing travel by focusing on regional play and eliminating conference championship tournaments. The sports affected may include:

? Field hockey
? Men's and women's soccer
? Men's and women's tennis
? Women's lacrosse
? Softball
? Baseball

During the past 12 weeks, 43 Division I teams have been eliminated from the NCAA, reported Baker. ?Men's and women's tennis have been hit the hardest, as have Olympic sports like volleyball. That could affect future podiums: 88 percent of American athletes in the Rio Games had played their sport in college.?

Power 5 conferences, which include the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, and Southeastern Conferences have not yet eliminated a sports team. That may change if the highly lucrative football season is cancelled due to COVID and television deals, which account for about a third of revenue, disappear.

A source cited by Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated suggested the accounting may deserve a closer look. So-called ?non-revenue generating? sports often generate income for colleges and universities because many athletes pay tuition:

?While trimming their own budget, athletic directors are often hurting their university?s bursar office. Sure, eliminating a men?s track team might save $1 million a year in the athletic budget, but what is it costing the academic side?A track team could be generating over $1 million to the university side.?

Weekly Focus ? Think About It?

?Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.?
--Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa

* 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 or 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. 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.
* The risk of loss in trading commodities and futures can be substantial. You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. The high degree of leverage is often obtainable in commodity trading and can work against you as well as for you. The use of leverage can lead to large losses as well as gains.
* 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/market-data (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-29-20_Barrons-Market_Data-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html (Scroll down to New Cases by Day chart) (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-29-20_CDC-New_US_Cases_by_Day-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/investors-at-crossroads-as-coronavirus-forces-rethinking-of-reopenings-51593214377?mod=hp_LEAD_2 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-29-20_Barrons-Investors_at_Crossroads_as_Coronavirus_Forces_Rethinking_of_Reopenings-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/bank-stocks-are-falling-because-the-fed-has-capped-their-dividends-and-suspended-buybacks-51593119624?mod=hp_LEAD_2 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-29-20_Barrons-Bank_Stocks_are_Falling_Because_the_Fed_has_Capped_their_Dividends-Suspended_Buybacks-Footnote_4.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-stock-market-just-had-a-very-bad-week-why-it-could-get-worse-51593217141?mod=hp_LEADSUPP_2 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-29-20_Barrons-The_Dow_Just_had_a_Very_Bad_Week-Why_It_Could_Get_Worse-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.wsj.com/articles/fauci-warns-of-coronavirus-resurgence-if-states-dont-adhere-to-safety-guidelines-11592338771 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-29-20_WSJ-Fauci_Warns_of_Coronavirus_Resurgence_if_States_Dont_Adhere_to_Safety_Guidelines-Footnote_6.pdf)
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01518-y
https://www.axios.com/college-sports-coronavirus-budget-cuts-football-b9604edc-cc72-4eec-96bc-7279683188f0.html
https://www.axios.com/college-sports-coronavirus-crisis-f35a8526-7bcf-4364-96d1-eed6704aef58.html
https://www.si.com/college/2020/06/11/college-sports-program-cuts-ncaa-olympics?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiossports&stream=top
https://www.britannica.com/list/nelson-mandela-quotes

June 22, 2020

The Markets?

Could it be the upside surprises?

U.S. stock markets have marched higher despite a pandemic, an economic downturn, and social justice protests ? and a lot of people have wondered why.

Greg Rosalsky of Plant Money spoke with Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller about, ??the mass psychology of a gazillion buyers and sellers, who each are telling themselves their own stories about why they're making the trades they're making.?

Rosalsky and Shiller discussed some narratives that purport to explain recent market performance, including:

? Quarantine boredom. Matt Levine of Bloomberg has postulated ??a lot of individual investors buy stocks mainly because it?s fun, and that the more fun stocks are, and the less fun everything else is, the more they?ll buy stocks. In a pandemic, when people can?t really leave their house and sports are canceled, there is a lot less fun to be had elsewhere?so people buy more stocks.?

? Big, publicly-traded companies are safe. This theory suggests businesses hit hardest by the economic downturn often are not traded on stock exchanges. In a separate article, Rosalsky cited former technology executive Eric Schmidt who wrote, ?Gigantic corporations, which have deep pockets, fancy accountants, huge legal teams, and access to international financial markets, are also better equipped to weather shocks than your local hardware store or small manufacturing company.?

? Don?t fight central banks. ?The Fed is using its unlimited money-printing machine to single-handedly prop up the stock market. ?The Fed is itself an important narrative,? Shiller says. In reality, he says the Fed's magic over the real economy is limited. But its statements clearly move markets, and it has lots of power as a storyteller,? reported Rosalsky.

On Saturday, Lisa Beilfuss of Barron?s offered another narrative. She reported:

??upside economic surprises over the past two weeks ? mortgage applications hit the highest level since 2008, retail sales rose at the fastest pace ever, and U.S. businesses added 2.5 million jobs in May instead of cutting an anticipated eight million, to name a few ? are even better than they look and offer at least some proof that the stock-market rebound was driven by expectations for improving fundamentals?It?s about the magnitude of the surprises versus Wall Street?s expectations.?

We don?t know which narratives were responsible, but major U.S. stock indices moved higher last week.

?

WHAT DO YOU THINK? In recent years, we?ve learned a lot about why investors do the things they do. For instance, we now know investors are not the omniscient, rational decision-makers economists believed them to be. Investors have built-in biases that sometimes cause them make errors in thinking.

One of those biases is known as confirmation bias. Investors (and non-investors) have a tendency to seek data that reinforces their beliefs and ignore data that suggests they?re wrong. Recently, sentiment data has been published that supports diverse ideas about the direction of the economy and stock markets. For example:

? Consumer sentiment was up month-to-month, suggesting Americans were more optimistic about their personal finances and current economic prospects in June than they were in May. However, sentiment remains down year-to-year and below the baseline, which is consumer sentiment in 1966 (the year the survey began).

? Investor sentiment was down week-to-week. Almost one-half of participants (47.8 percent) in the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Sentiment survey were feeling bearish last week, while one-fourth (24.4 percent) were feeling bullish. The bulls were down 9.9 percent week-to-week, and the bears were up 9.7 percent week-to-week. Some investors consider the AAII survey to be a contrarian indicator, meaning they think the survey?s prevailing sentiment is incorrect. In this case, contrarians would be bullish.

? Money managers think the market is overvalued. Bank of America surveyed 212 money managers with $598 billion under management and reported 78 percent think the stock market is pricey. Survey participants indicated the most crowded trades were U.S. technology and growth stocks, reported John Melloy of CNBC.

When data supports varied opinions, how can investors avoid mistakes? One of the best ways is to work with an advisor who has a clearly defined process and who will help you develop a plan to meet your financial goals.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.?
--Warren Buffett, Investor 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 or 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. 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.npr.org/sections/money/2020/06/16/877410547/what-is-the-stock-market-trying-to-tell-us
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-06-09/the-bad-stocks-are-the-most-fun (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-22-20_Bloomberg-The_Bad_Stocks_are_the_Most_Fun_Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2020/05/12/854278576/why-the-crisis-may-make-powerful-corporations-even-more-powerful
https://www.barrons.com/articles/good-omen-for-markets-recent-big-economic-surprises-51592600401?mod=hp_INTERESTS_economy-and-policy&refsec=hp_INTERESTS_economy-and-policy (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-22-20_Barrons-The_Economy_is_Improving_Much_Faster_than_Predicted-Footnote_4.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/market-data (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-22-20_Barrons-Market_Data-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/economic-man.asp
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/confirmation-bias.asp
http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu
http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu/files/chicsr.pdf (Baseline is described on the vertical axis)
https://www.aaii.com/sentimentsurvey? (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-22-20_AAII-AAII_Investor_Sentiment_Survey-Footnote_10.pdf)
https://www.aaii.com/journal/sentimentsurveyarticle
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/16/a-record-number-of-investors-believe-stocks-are-overvalued-according-to-bank-of-america-survey.html
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/warren_buffett_125142

June 15, 2020

The Markets

The Nasdaq Composite dipped its toes into record territory last week before retreating.

Stock indices in the United States rallied early last week on optimism about the reopening of businesses across the country. The Nasdaq Composite rose to 10,000 for the first time ever, before tumbling lower.

Nicholas Jasinski of Barron?s reported, ?What caused the rally to sputter this past week? Nothing particularly new or unexpected. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized the long, slow path back to previous levels of employment and economic activity, in contrast to the market?s lightning-fast recovery. Shocking.?

On Wednesday, the United States Federal Reserve (Fed) economic projections showed U.S. economic growth declining 6.5 percent this year with unemployment receding to 9.3 percent. In 2021, the Fed expects economic growth to improve, increasing by 5 percent, while unemployment ebbs to 6.5 percent.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said:

?The extent of the downturn and the pace of recovery remain extraordinarily uncertain and will depend in large part on our success in containing the virus. We all want to get back to normal, but a full recovery is unlikely to occur until people are confident that it is safe to reengage in a broad range of activities. The severity of the downturn will also depend on the policy actions taken at all levels of government to provide relief and to support the recovery when the public health crisis passes.?

Powell indicated low income workers have been hit hardest in this recession and Congress may need to take additional action to help improve the labor situation in the United States.

News that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had risen in several U.S. states, as well as other countries, coupled with the Fed?s modest outlook for the pace of recovery, appeared to kindle investor anxiety and U.S. stocks sold off sharply on Thursday.

By Friday, major indices had recouped some losses, but finished lower for the week.

?

HOW DOES VOLATILITY IMPACT YOUR CHOICES? When it comes to investing, people tend to have short memories. During bull markets, as stock values push higher, many investors want to increase their exposure to stocks. Why wouldn?t they? When volatility is relatively low, it can be difficult for investors to recall why they limited their exposure to higher risk assets.

Similarly, when a bear market arrives and volatility increases, investors often want to retreat to the safety of more conservative investments. After all, when volatility increases and stock values fluctuate dramatically, it can be difficult for investors to recall why they chose to invest any portion of their portfolios in stocks.

The fact is, investors often fall prey to a phenomenon known as recency bias. People tend to believe what is happening now will continue to occur in the future. It won?t. The economy tends to cycle from expansion to contraction and back to expansion. Stock markets tend to cycle from bull markets to bear markets and back to bull markets. Periods of high volatility tend to be followed by periods of low volatility.

We are all susceptible to recency bias and other behaviors that can undermine investment success. In their research paper, The Behavior of Individual Investors, Brad Barber and Terrance Odean concluded:

?The investors who inhabit the real world and those who populate academic models are distant cousins. In theory, investors hold well diversified portfolios and trade infrequently so as to minimize taxes and other investment costs. In practice, investors behave differently. They trade frequently and have perverse stock selection ability, incurring unnecessary investment costs and return losses. They tend to sell their winners and hold their losers, generating unnecessary tax liabilities. Many hold poorly diversified portfolios, resulting in unnecessarily high levels of diversifiable risk, and many are unduly influenced by media and past experience.?

If recent volatility has caused you to question your investment choices, please get in touch. Together we?ll review your goals, strategy, and portfolio allocation and suggest recommendations which support your goals and risk tolerance.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?The psychology of individuals ? warts and all ? must be a central consideration in the formulation of any practical investing approach. The good news here is that others? misbehavior will consistently and systematically create opportunities for you. The bad news is that you are prone to all of the same quirks and are just as likely, in the absence of strict adherence to the rules, to create the same opportunities for others.?
--Daniel Crosby, Psychologist 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 or 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. 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/the-s-p-500-has-erased-its-2020-losses-the-feds-money-flood-suggests-room-to-run-51591704001 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-15-20_Barrons-The_S_and_P_500_has_Erased_Its_2020_Losses-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/as-the-nasdaq-crossed-10-000-microsoft-and-apple-celebrated-their-1-5-trillion-market-values-51592007219 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-15-20_Barrons-As_Nasdaq_Soared_Past_10000_Apple_and_Microsoft_Celebrated_Their_Own_Unique_Era-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-fell-1505-points-for-the-week-why-investors-shouldnt-fret-51592009424 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-15-20_Barrons-The_Dow_Fell_1505_Points_for_the_Week-Why_Investors_Shouldnt_Fret-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/files/fomcprojtabl20200610.pdf
https://www.federalreserve.gov/mediacenter/files/FOMCpresconf20200610.pdf
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/coronavirus-update-global-case-tally-tops-75-million-as-countries-push-ahead-toward-phased-reopenings-with-mixed-results-2020-06-12
https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/insights/content/is-recency-bias-influencing-your-investing-decisions
https://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=808067068026066075065107003116065091035019070001075003096097087108083009105029006002106039102104013096111073000017065065119101126080022051012091114094066075025041086029079007088098003098076118018069109120064011126101009017027089113111004084122&EXT=pdf
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/behavioral-finance

June 8, 2020

The Markets

The employment report electrified U.S. stock markets last week.

American stock markets responded enthusiastically to the news U.S. unemployment was 13.3 percent in May. If it seems inexplicable double-digit unemployment would thrill investors, there is a reason. The unemployment rate in April was higher at 14.7 percent, and analysts had forecast the rate in May would jump to 19.1 percent. All in all, that makes 13.3 percent look pretty attractive.

There were some caveats.?

First, ?If the workers who were recorded as employed but absent from work due to ?other reasons?? had been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff, the overall unemployment rate would have been about 3 percentage points higher than reported,? explained the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The same would have been true of April?s numbers, so it?s a wash. Month-to-month, the numbers dropped.

Second, there is more than one measure of unemployment. U3 measures people who are unemployed and seeking work. U6 includes unemployed, underemployed (part-time workers who want to be working full-time), and discouraged workers. It?s usually a higher number. The May Employment Summary Report showed U6 unemployment was 21.2 percent, down from 22.8 percent in April. That suggests about one-in-five Americans is not working as much as they would like to be.

The BLS wrote the improvement in unemployment reflected, ??a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it.? The biggest job gains were in leisure and hospitality, construction, education and health services, and retail trade.

The lower month-to-month numbers may be a sign the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) worked:

??give some credit to the government relief efforts, especially the [PPP], for bringing back jobs. The program gave relief to small businesses?through loans that would not have to be paid back if most of the money went to rehire and pay employees. PPP money had to be used right away, and a lot of it started hitting small businesses? bank accounts in late April and early May, which ended up triggering a net gain of 2.5 million jobs in May,? reported Heather Long of The Washington Post.

Eurozone stocks rallied last week, too, after the European Central Bank increased its quantitative easing program and extended support to June 2021, reported Dhara Ranasinghe and Yoruk Bahceli of Reuters.

Major U.S. indices and U.S. Treasury yields finished the week higher.

NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION. The silver lining of the COVID-19 cloud may be innovation. From healthcare to retail, people and companies have been identifying problems and finding ways to solve them:

? How much toilet paper is enough toilet paper? As consumers cleared shelves of toilet paper, a company in Germany developed a toilet paper calculator to help determine how much is enough. ?A person with a stockpile of 10 rolls, who uses the typical amount of paper three times a day, should survive for 53 days?39 days longer than the recommended 14-day quarantine for those with symptoms,? reported Reuters.

? Ingenious respirator solutions. Early in the crisis a dearth of respirators handicapped healthcare workers? ability to support patients with serious cases of COVID-19. Many companies developed alternatives. One company, ??built a simple but effective ventilator from a windshield wiper motor and a pliable [hand-operated resuscitator],? reported Eric Haseltine in Psychology Today.

? Where?s Waldo?s fever? An artificial intelligence firm that creates tools to detect threats of violence revamped its analytics software so thermal cameras can measure the temperature of a person?s forehead and send out an alarm when a fever is detected.

? Gear ?Q? would have loved. A California company held a month-long contest, asking participants to suggest practical devices for a COVID-19 world. Entries ??poured in, including a wrist-mounted disinfectant sprayer, half gloves for knuckle-pushing of buttons and a device that lets you open car doors without touching the handle, aimed at cab users,? reported Reuters.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It?

?A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.?
--Antoine de Saint-Exup?ry, writer 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 or 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. 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/why-the-jobs-report-isnt-quite-as-good-as-it-seems-51591407548?mod=hp_DAY_6 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-08-20_Barrons-Why_the_Jobs_Report_Isnt_Quite_as_Good_as_It_Seems-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/080415/true-unemployment-rate-u6-vs-u3.asp
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/05/unemployment-rate-wrong/ (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-08-20_TheWashingtonPost-Economists_Predicted_20_Percent_Unemployment_in_May-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eurozone-markets-ecb/euro-hits-three-month-high-italys-bonds-rally-as-ecb-ramps-up-stimulus-idUSKBN23B2D6?il=0
https://www.barrons.com/market-data (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-08-20_Barrons-Market_Data-Footnote_7.pdf)
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-germany-toilet-pap/bought-enough-toilet-paper-check-this-online-calculator-idUSKBN21A1YM
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/long-fuse-big-bang/202004/7-great-innovations-responding-the-coronavirus
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-invention-insight/mother-of-invention-the-new-gadgets-dreamt-up-to-fight-coronavirus-idUSKBN21J4BG
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/121975-a-rock-pile-ceases-to-be-a-rock-pile-the

June 1, 2020

The Markets

Are those green shoots?

In economic terms, green shoots are signs of improvement. If you were paying close attention, you might have seen some in economic data released last week.

They weren?t apparent in the Bureau of Labor Statistics report on the United States economy. Gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all goods and services produced in our country, shrank by 5 percent during the first quarter of 2020. The contraction reflected lower spending by Americans and American businesses due to COVID-19. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated:

??from March 21 to March 31, when many social distancing measures were in place, spending may have been down by almost 28 percent as a result of the pandemic; spending on accommodations and restaurants declined by 60 percent to 80 percent; and spending for some goods (such as clothing) dropped by similar amounts.?

Spoiler alert: The numbers for the second quarter are expected to be far worse. However, economic growth is expected to bounce as consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of GDP, resumes.

The green shoots were found in unemployment. As businesses reopened and shelter-in-place orders eased, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 14.5 percent during the week of May 16 from 17.1 percent the previous week, according to the Department of Labor.

Green shoots were also sprouting from the University of Michigan?s May Consumer Sentiment Survey, which reported ??a growing number of consumers expected the economy to improve from its recent standstill?? The Index of Consumer Sentiment ticked higher from April to May.

The United States experienced highs and lows last week. A NASA public-private partnership launched the Dragon capsule into orbit. Its astronauts are headed for the International Space Station. Meanwhile, down on Earth, protests for justice in the death of George Floyd devolved into rioting.

Major U.S. indices finished the week higher.

?

FYI: IT?S JUNE! One side effect of COVID-19 quarantine is losing track of days. When routines are disrupted and recurring activities that distinguish one day from the next are discontinued, it can be difficult to know whether it?s Monday or Thursday.

Fortunately, the United States has enough national holidays to clearly delineate one day from the next. Here is a list of some June holidays to help you keep track of days:

June 1: World Reef Awareness Day
June 2: National Bubba Day
June 3: National Running Day
June 4: National SAFE Day
June 5: National Doughnut Day
June 6: D-Day ? remembering the day Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy
June 7: National Cancer Survivor?s Day
June 8: National Best Friends Day
June 9: National Earl Day
June 10: National Iced Tea Day
June 11: National Making Life Beautiful Day
June 12: National Loving Day
June 13: National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day
June 14: National Flag Day and the Birthday of the U.S. Army
June 15: National Smile Power Day
June 16: National Fudge Day
June 17: National Eat Your Vegetables Day
June 18: National Go Fishing Day
June 19: Juneteenth ? commemorating the end of slavery
June 20: Summer Solstice ? the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere
June 21: Father?s Day ? celebrating dear old dad
June 22: National Chocolate Eclair Day
June 23: National Pink Day
June 24: National Parchment Day
June 25: National Leon Day
June 26: Take Your Dog to Work Day
June 27: National PTSD Awareness Day
June 28: National Logistics Day
June 29: National Waffle Iron Day
June 30: Social Media Day (As if that weren?t every day!)

By the end of June, we should be on our way to a new normal and able to use the coronavirus lockdown as a point of reference for tracking events.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily ? whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence ? whenever we tear at the fabric of life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.?
--Robert Kennedy, Former U.S. Attorney General

* 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.bea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-05/gdp1q20_2nd_0.pdf
https://www.cbo.gov/publication/56368
https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf
http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-01-20_UnivofMich-Consumer_Sentiment_Survey-Footnote_4.pdf)
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-astronauts-launch-from-america-in-historic-test-flight-of-spacex-crew-dragon
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/31/george-floyd-protests-live-updates/
https://www.barrons.com/market-data (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-01-20_Barrons-Market_Data-Footnote_7.pdf)
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/psychology-time-quarantine_l_5e9e2095c5b6b2e5b836de6d
https://nationaldaycalendar.com/june/
https://www.jfklibrary.org/learn/about-jfk/the-kennedy-family/robert-f-kennedy

May 26, 2020

The Markets

It was a good week for stock markets in the United States, but there was trouble in Asia.

U.S. stock markets rallied last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor?s 500 Index, and Nasdaq Composite all gained more than 3 percent, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron?s.

Investors had plenty of fuel for optimism early in the week. On Sunday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell struck a positive tone during his 60 Minutes interview stating, ?The big thing we have to avoid?is a second wave of the virus. But if we do, then the economy can continue to recover. We'll see GDP move back up after the very low numbers of this quarter. We'll see unemployment come down. But I think though it'll be a while before we really feel well recovered.?

On Monday, there was news early testing of a potential vaccine had delivered promising results, and the vaccine company?s stock shot higher. The report was tarnished when top executives sold shares the next day, and a respected medical website indicated the published results meant little, reported John Authers in Bloomberg Opinion.

Positive momentum slowed later in the week when China indicated it will impose national security laws on Hong Kong. Reshma Kapadia of Barron?s reported, ?While the risks have ratcheted higher, it isn?t clear yet whether the new security laws will destroy Hong Kong?s ability to act as a financial center. What that could mean for investors will probably play out over the next couple of months.?

Hong Kong?s Hang Seng index closed down 5.6 percent, reported Financial Times (FT). That was the index?s worst one-day performance in almost five years.

China?s leadership also declined to set a gross domestic product (GDP) target for the first time ever. GDP is the value of all goods and services produced in a nation. The decision led to a decline in mainland China?s CSI 300 index of Shanghai and Shenzhen-listed stocks, reported FT.

?

HOW IMPORTANT ARE SMALL BUSINESSES? In April, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) surveyed U.S. small businesses. It reported, late in 2019, before the coronavirus crisis, 35 percent were healthy, 35 percent were stable, 23 percent were at risk, and 6 percent were in distress.

Having a preponderance of healthy and stable small companies is a positive economic sign because, as Lisa Beilfuss of Barron?s explained, small companies:

? Employ about 50 percent of American workers
? Produce about 50 percent of U.S. GDP
? Generate 40 percent of total business revenue

Simply put, small businesses are an essential part of the American economy.

The FRBNY survey also noted few small businesses had deep cash reserves. In fact, it estimated just one in five healthy small companies could survive a two-month revenue loss. In such circumstances, ?A majority of small businesses would be likely to reduce their workforce and operations, or delay payments. Many firms would rely on personal funds or debt to bridge the gap.?

As you might imagine (and may have experienced), the coronavirus crisis has exacted a heavy toll on small businesses. Forty-three percent were temporarily closed by April 2020, according to a survey conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Others had modified operations to meet social distancing and other COVID-19 safety guidelines.

In an effort to help small businesses, Congress, the President, and the Small Business Administration have passed fiscal stimulus measures. The Federal Reserve is providing monetary stimulus. Despite these efforts, the future of small companies remains uncertain.

Byrne Hobart of The Diff, a newsletter that tracks inflection points in finance and technology, believes diverse outcomes are possible:

?The pessimistic one is front-end corporatization: small businesses just evaporate, their real estate is taken over by big companies, and (some of) their employees find new jobs at these companies?Here?s the good one. Those same local businesses are running down their cash reserves, but lenders are banging down the door with a crazy offer: borrow enough to meet payroll now, pay nothing ? until business starts coming back?[Lenders get] more involved in the borrower?s business ? get them good bookkeeping software and a modern point-of-sale system. Band together a bunch of borrowers and start negotiating with suppliers and landlords. In short, use software economics to give small businesses the same economies of scale that large ones already benefit from.?

It?s possible we could see both situations occur.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?Now the commencement speakers will typically also wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I?ll tell you why. From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice?I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either?Whether I wish these things or not, they?re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.?
--John Roberts, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice

* 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/the-stock-market-just-had-a-great-week-why-its-time-to-worry-51590190696?refsec=the-trader (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/05-26-20_Barrons-The_Stock_Market_Just_had_a_Great_Week-Why_Its_Time_to_Worry-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/full-transcript-fed-chair-jerome-powell-60-minutes-interview-economic-recovery-from-coronavirus-pandemic/
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-05-20/moderna-vaccine-fiasco-shows-power-of-stock-market-narratives
https://www.barrons.com/articles/chinas-hard-line-on-hong-kong-what-it-means-for-u-s-investors-51590166402 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/05-26-20_Barrons-Chinas_Hard_Line_on_Hong_Kong_Could_Mean_Big_Changes_for_Investors-Footnote_4.pdf)
https://www.ft.com/content/39a589dc-0af8-4ee7-ad92-b19df91cb06b (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/05-26-20_FinancialTimes-Stocks_Stumble_as_Investors_Contend_with_Tension_Over_Hong_Kong-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.fedsmallbusiness.org/medialibrary/FedSmallBusiness/files/2020/covid-brief
https://www.barrons.com/articles/americas-small-businesses-are-sputtering-why-that-matters-for-the-economy-51590141602?mod=hp_HERO (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/05-26-20_Barrons-Small_Businesses_are_the_Key_to_Reviving_the_Economy-They_Face_an_Existential_Threat-Footnote_7.pdf)
https://www.nber.org/papers/w26989.pdf (Abstract and page 4)
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/13/coronavirus-update-here-is-everything-the-fed-has-done-to-save-the-economy.html
https://diff.substack.com (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/05-26-20_TheDiff-V-Shaped_Recovery_for_Me_L-Shaped_for_Thee-The_Aftermath-Footnote_10.pdf)
https://time.com/4845150/chief-justice-john-roberts-commencement-speech-transcript/

May 18, 2020

The Markets

America is reopening, state by state.

That?s welcome news for many businesses, but we?re far from business as usual. Last week?s economic news included unemployment hitting an 80-year high, a record drop in retail sales (-16.4 percent), and an unprecedented decline in industrial production (-11.2 percent).

Weak consumer demand is also a concern, according to Matthew Klein of Barron?s. ??The pandemic has lowered consumer demand much more than it has damaged productive capacity. It?s much easier to bring factories back online than it is to get customers back into shops and auto dealerships?Unless consumption rebounds quickly, the world will soon be faced with an unprecedented glut of goods that can?t be sold.?

Some households may be able to sustain or increase consumption because of generous unemployment benefits. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act increased unemployment benefits by $600 per week. The intent was to provide Americans, who were out of work because of the pandemic, with income equal to the national average salary of $970 per week, reported Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux of FiveThirtyEight.

As it turns out, about 68 percent of those filing for unemployment ? teachers, construction workers, medical assistants, food service workers, and others ? are receiving more money through unemployment than they did from employers.

An analysis conducted by economists at the University of Chicago, and cited by FiveThirtyEight, found, ??the estimated median replacement rate ? the share of a worker?s original weekly salary that is being replaced by unemployment benefits ? is 134 percent, or more than one-third above their original wage.?

In recent weeks, the number of unemployed workers has grown to about 36 million, according to CBS News. Unusually high unemployment combined with unusually high unemployment benefits may mean some Americans may have more money to spend than they might have had otherwise. The combination could improve demand for goods. It also could make it more difficult for employers to persuade employees to return to work.

Last week, major U.S. stock indices finished lower.

?

?FFNUNGSDISKUSSIONSORGIEN. The German language boasts many unique words with oddly specific meanings. You may be familiar with some German words that have become part of the English language such as schadenfreude (finding joy in other people?s trouble), wanderlust (an impulse to travel the world), and weltschmerz (sadness about the state of the world).

Amanda Sloat of ForeignPolicy (FP) reported the Germans have invented a new word to describe debates about when and how to reopen the world: ?ffnungsdiskussionsorgien.

The goal of many leaders around the world is to minimize infection, minimize death, and minimize economic hardship. It?s a tall order and there is no ?right? answer. One thing is clear, though. People who have been on lockdown, no matter which country they reside in, have cabin fever. FP reported:

?An American expat in Spain promised her teary tween that for her 12th birthday she could help take the trash 50 yards to a communal receptacle across the courtyard; that special gift was scrapped after a police car parked nearby. To take advantage of exemptions allowing owners to walk their pets, one person in Romania took his fish on a walk, while a young woman put her cat in a bag to justify a trip to the mall.?

In the United States, Buzzfeed and BoredPanda have reported on an abundance of pandemic jokes and memes. Americans have watched Michigan?s Father Tim Pelc use a squirt gun of holy water to bless Easter baskets from a socially safe distance. We?ve also been alerted to the possibility of a baby boom that will yield Quaranteens in 2033 and endless rounds of toilet paper jokes.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.?
--Eleanor Roosevelt, Former First Lady, diplomat, and 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.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/05/15/a-plague-on-jobs (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/05-18-20_TheEconomist-A_Plague_on_Jobs-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/15/us-retail-sales-april-2020.html
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-industrial-output-collapses-in-april-2020-05-15
https://www.barrons.com/articles/trade-wars-are-coming-thanks-to-the-coronavirus-to-fix-it-close-the-wealth-gap-51589575501?mod=hp_DAY_13 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/05-18-20_Barrons-Trade_Wars_are_Coming_Thanks_to_the_Coronavirus-To_Fix_It_Close_the_Wealth_Gap-Footnote_4.pdf)
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/many-americans-are-getting-more-money-from-unemployment-than-they-were-from-their-jobs/
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/unemployment-claims-3-million-jobless-report-last-week/
https://www.barrons.com/market-data (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/05-18-20_Barrons-Market_Data-Footnote_7.pdf)
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/schadenfreude
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wanderlust
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weltschmerz
https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/05/09/coronavirus-pandemic-reopening-economy-life-after-lockdown/
https://www.boredpanda.com/quarantine-coronavirus-jokes/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/olivianiland/priest-water-gun-meme-coronavirus?origin=shp
https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/44566.Eleanor_Roosevelt

May 11, 2020

The Markets

The stock market is not the economy.

It?s an important point to remember when headlines marvel that U.S. stock markets are moving higher while the U.S. economy is contracting. Stock markets are not mindful of the present moment. They are forward-looking, reflecting expectations about what will happen in the months and years to come, explained Mark Hulbert in a MarketWatch opinion piece.

In the present moment, the pandemic-induced recession is producing some brutal economic statistics. Lisa Beilfuss of Barron?s reported the unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent last week. One-in-five Americans was out of work, and household income might be down 10 percent for the first six months of 2020.

No one is expecting great things from the economy in 2020. The Conference Board forecasts the U.S. economy will contract between 3.6 percent and 7.4 percent this year. However, the economy?s poor showing doesn?t mean stock markets will decline. John Rekenthaler of Morningstar explained:

??neither employment statistics nor GDP [Gross Domestic Product] growth directly affect equity prices. The primary drivers are instead two sets of expectations: 1) future earnings and 2) future interest rates, with the latter being used to discount the former.?

Let?s consider earnings. There?s not a lot to celebrate in 2020, but the outlook for 2021 is positive. John Butters of FactSet reported, ?Looking at future quarters, analysts predict a (year-over-year) decline in earnings in the second quarter (-40.6 percent), third quarter (-23.0 percent), and fourth quarter (-11.4 percent) of 2020. However, they also project a return to earnings growth in Q1 2021 (12.2 percent).?

The Federal Reserve is doing all it can to keep interest rates low. However, one of its most potent tools, the fed funds rate, has already been cut to near zero. Rekenthaler wrote:

?Government intervention is the new and updated version of ?The Fed Put?: the idea that the Federal Reserve could always support equity prices, whenever it desired, by cutting short-term interest rates. Those rates are currently at zero, so that game can no longer be played. But the Federal Reserve can continue its newer technique of buying bonds in the open marketplace and flooding the banks with liquidity, and Congress can pass new stimulus bills?Whether such activity will benefit investors more than workers remains to be seen. Thus far, it has.?

Last week, the Standard & Poor?s 500 Index finished up 3.5 percent. The Dow Jones industrial Average gained 2.6 percent. The Nasdaq Composite rose almost 6 percent, putting it in positive territory year-to-date, according to Barron?s.

THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE. In his first inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln urged unity, saying: ?We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.?

During the coronavirus crisis, we have seen remarkable generosity. From first responders manning the front lines, at significant personal risk, to companies and individuals taking actions that help others. Since the virus began to spread, news organizations have been sharing stories about generosity, innovation, and appreciation. Here are a few from Good News Network and The New York Times:

? A grocery chain is paying to process and package raw milk donated by dairy farmers so the milk can be distributed through food banks and community organizations.

? A Brooklyn landlord waived April rent for everyone living in 18 apartment buildings in an effort to ease tenants? financial stress.

? California partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to create ?Great Plates Delivered,? which pays restaurants to deliver meals to eligible seniors.

? The elusive street artist Banksy delivered a piece of art, featuring a new superhero ? a nurse wearing a mask and a cape ? to a British hospital with a thank you note.

? A national hardware store chain bought flowers from nurseries and growers and had them delivered to moms quarantined in nursing homes on Mother?s Day.

? Coronavirus survivors are sharing their blood so the antibodies they?ve developed can be used to save lives.

What acts of kindness and generosity have you seen, read, or heard about?

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.?
--Mark Twain, Writer and humorist

* 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.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-the-one-leading-economic-indicator-stock-investors-should-follow-2020-04-21
https://www.barrons.com/articles/u-s-stocks-could-face-a-reckoning-as-investors-grasp-economic-damage-51588978056?mod=hp_LEAD_2 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/05-11-20_Barrons-Joblessness_is_Soaring-Why_are_Stocks_Rising-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.conference-board.org/data/usforecast.cfm
https://www.morningstar.com/articles/982525/the-stock-market-is-not-the-economy
https://insight.factset.com/sp-500-earnings-season-update-may-8-2020
https://www.barrons.com/market-data (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/05-11-20_Barrons-Market_Data-Footnote_6.pdf)
https://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/lincoln1.asp
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/kroger-buys-and-donates-50000-gallons-of-excess-milk-to-food-banks/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/nyregion/coronavirus-nyc-landlord-mario-salerno.html
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/california-will-start-paying-restaurants-to-deliver-food-to-seniors-in-need/
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/banksy-superhero-nurse-hospital-artwork/
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/lowes-mothers-day-deliveries-in-2020/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/13/learning/what-acts-of-kindness-have-you-heard-about-or-participated-in-during-coronavirus.html
https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/1244.Mark_Twain?page=2

May 4, 2020

The Markets

There are signs COVID-19 may be in retreat.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control reported, overall in the United States, for the week ending April 25 (officially week 17 of the coronavirus), the number of:

? People visiting healthcare providers with COVID-19 symptoms declined.
? Positive tests at public health, clinical, and commercial laboratories declined or remained similar.
? Deaths attributed to pneumonia, influenza, or COVID-19 declined, too, although the percentage remains above normal.

This is good news since some states are beginning to reopen.

Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on the early economic impact of COVID-19 and shelter-in-place orders, which were implemented to prevent healthcare systems from being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. The U.S. economy contracted 4.8 percent during the first quarter of 2020.

The contraction is expected to be more significant for the second quarter. FactSet estimates the U.S. economy will shrink 27.0 percent, quarter-to-quarter, and finish the year down 3.0 percent overall. That suggests a strong rebound in economic growth as the country gets back to work.

Despite the economic contraction, U.S. stocks finished April with the biggest monthly gain since 1987, reported Colby Smith and colleagues at Financial Times (FT). April?s gains were partly the result of fiscal and monetary support, according to FT. The publication cited a global markets strategist who, ??attributed [April?s] rally in part to the U.S. Congress and the Federal Reserve extending enormous support to the economy and financial markets in the form of relief packages and emergency lending measures.?

The Fed isn?t the only central bank providing unusual support in these uncertain times. The European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan also announced significant lending and bond buying programs last week, reported Dion Rabouin of Axios.

?

WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU COMBINE PARENTS, CHILDREN, HOMESCHOOLING, AND REMOTE WORK? Here are some quotes about pandemic life curated from social media by Fast Company, BoredPanda, Buzzfeed, and Today:

? ?If you had asked me what the hardest part of battling a global pandemic would be, I would have never guessed, ?teaching elementary school math.?? ? Simon Holland

? ?Homeschooling update day 9: Today we did maths. If you have three kids, and they are awake roughly 13 hours in the day, and you?re trying to work from home, how many times will you hear the word ?snack?? ? ThreeTimeDaddy

? ?Day 3 of quarantine and distance learning from home: 6-year-old writes biography titled, ?Why I Hate My Family?? ? Z

? ?My coworker suggested I work from his fort.? ? Sam

? ?Boss: I need you to-

[Four kids run by: one on fire, one naked, two in ski masks and capes]

Boss: Never mind? ? Rodney

? ?I know the C-Virus is scary but try working with a 4-year-old dressed like Spiderman perched on the kitchen table behind you whispering, ?Can you hear me breathe??? ? Krista Myers Duzan

? ?The first hour of homeschooling started out strong, with some great reading comprehension exercises, and concluded with an epic tantrum over the fact that she can't watch Frozen 3 because it does not exist.? ? Jeff Kosseff

? ??been homeschooling a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old for one hour and 11 minutes. Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year. Or a week.? ? Shonda

How is your homeschooling and/or remote work experience going?

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?Rule a kingdom as if cooking a small fish,? he once told me. ?If you interfere with it too much while cooking, it will fall apart and be inedible.?
--Solala Towler, Tales from the Tao: The Wisdom of the Taoist Masters

* 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.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/05/02/coronavirus-update-states-easing-restrictions-testing-concerns-may-2/3066973001/
https://www.bea.gov/news/2020/gross-domestic-product-1st-quarter-2020-advance-estimate
https://insight.factset.com/coronavirus-weekly-summary-april27
https://www.ft.com/content/40e763bc-6efe-4c34-a967-455ce406a8ad (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/05-04-20_FinancialTimes-US_Stock_Sell-off_Wipes_Out_Gains_for_the_Week-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.axios.com/central-banks-coronavirus-policy-42c043bc-1575-4108-ac7e-f3117856ed17.html
https://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/funny-distance-learning-tweets-by-parents
https://www.fastcompany.com/90480331/the-hottest-wfh-memes-homeschooled-cabin-fever-edition
https://www.today.com/parents/funniest-posts-parents-about-homeschooling-t176811
https://www.buzzfeed.com/asiawmclain/homeschooling
https://www.boredpanda.com/quarantine-homeschooling-parents-understand-teachers/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/soothing

April 27, 2020

The Markets

We live in interesting times.

There is discussion about whether the saying, ?May you live in interesting times,? is a blessing or a curse. At this point in 2020, we all understand why.

Last week, the world watched in consternation as the price of oil, specifically West Texas Intermediate crude oil, dropped into negative territory. The price moved below zero because a purchase date coincided with a lack of storage space. As a result, the owners of the oil had to pay to have it taken off their hands, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron?s.

Oil prices recovered on Wednesday. Global oil producers have promised to reduce output, which would realign supply and demand, but it has yet to happen, reported Evie Liu of Barron?s. The delay may reflect a hope that coronavirus restrictions will ease, economies will begin to reopen, and demand for oil will increase.

Investors were understandably unsettled by oil prices, and U.S. stocks lost value early in the week. As oil stabilized, U.S. stocks pushed higher. The rebound in stocks stalled on news that trials for a potential COVID-19 treatment had produced disappointing results.

Thursday?s unemployment data showed 4.4 million people filed for unemployment benefits the previous week. That brought the number of unemployed Americans to more than 26 million, according to Jeffry Bartash of MarketWatch.

Earnings, which reflect companies? profits, remained less than robust, as expected. ?The blended (combines actual results for companies that have reported and estimated results for companies that have yet to report) earnings decline for the first quarter is -15.8 percent...? reported John Butters of FactSet.

The energy sector finished the week in positive territory.

STIMULUS CHECKS ARE ARRIVING. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has distributed $157.9 billion through 88 million stimulus payments, according to Andrew Keshner of MarketWatch.

If you have recently lost a job, or you?re having difficulty paying bills, your check may already be spent. However, if you?re still working, or remain financially comfortable, think carefully about how you want to spend your checks. The money could be used to improve your long-term financial outlook or provide support to people in need. For instance, you could:

? Contribute to an emergency fund. It?s a sound idea to have savings equal to three to six months of expenses in a rainy-day fund in case something unexpected happens, such as a coronavirus quarantine.

In 2019, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve reported just 61 percent of adults had enough savings set aside to cover a $400 unexpected expense. The report stated, ?During 2018, one-fifth of adults had major, unexpected medical bills to pay, with the median expense between $1,000 and $4,999. Among those with medical expenses, 4 in 10 have unpaid debt from those bills.?

? Pay off high-interest rate debt. If your income is secure, using your check to reduce high interest rate debt may be a good choice.

In early April, the average interest rate assessed on credit cards accounts with unpaid balances was 16.61 percent. Reducing your balance, could significantly reduce the amount of interest you pay. In addition, if something unexpected happens, having a higher level of available credit could be beneficial.

? Donate the amount. If you are confident you will not need the money, consider making a donation. A donation can take many forms. You could help a loved one pay bills or provide support to a church or charity.

??many charities and nonprofits are still struggling. Donations to some churches have plummeted, and many charities have had to cancel crucial fundraising events such as galas, bike races, and walkathons,? reported the Associated Press.

What are you planning to do with your stimulus check?

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?Do you think you remember a movie in which a knight gallops toward a castle just as its drawbridge is going up, and his white horse jumps the moat in one glorious airborne leap?

?we?re that rider. Chasing us is the dreaded coronavirus. We?re in midair, hoping we make it to the other side, where life will have returned to what we think of as normal. So, what should we do while we?re up there, between now and then? Think of all the things you hope will still be there in that castle of the future when we get across. Then do what you can, now, to ensure the future existence of those things.?
--Margaret Atwood, Time Magazine, April 16, 2020

* 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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_you_live_in_interesting_times
https://www.barrons.com/articles/in-a-stock-market-like-this-anything-could-cause-the-next-panic-heres-what-to-watch-51587776542?mod=hp_HERO (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/04-27-20_Barrons-In_a_Stock_Market_Like_This_Anything_Could_Cause_the_Next_Panic-Heres_What_to_Watch-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-rose-as-oil-prices-came-back-51587591022?refsec=markets (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/04-27-20_Barrons-The_Dow_Rose_457_Points_Because_Oil_Prices_Came_Back-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/jobless-claims-jump-another-44-million-25-million-americans-have-lost-their-jobs-to-the-coronavirus-2020-04-23
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/earnings.asp
https://insight.factset.com/sp-500-earnings-season-update-april-24-2020
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-irs-has-already-paid-out-over-half-the-stimulus-check-money-heres-where-it-went-2020-04-24
https://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/2019-economic-well-being-of-us-households-in-2018-dealing-with-unexpected-expenses.htm
https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g19/current/default.htm
https://apnews.com/0cca8af954b111ef460d823f7cd81a49
https://time.com/collection/finding-hope-coronavirus-pandemic/5820595/margaret-atwood-coronavirus-uncertainty/

April 13, 2020

The Markets

Why is the stock market doing so well when the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to peak?

At the end of last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the United States remains in the acceleration phase of the coronavirus pandemic. This phase ends when new cases of COVID-19 level off. The next phase should be a period of deceleration, and the number of cases should decline.

There are several different models estimating when a peak may occur, and estimates vary from state to state, according to Sean McMinn of NPR. For instance, the model cited by the White House is from The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. It assumes social distancing measures will stay in place through the end of May. In this circumstance:

? New York may have peaked April 9
? California may peak April 15
? Pennsylvania on April 17
? Texas on April 28
? North Dakota on April 30
? Wyoming on May 2

All other states have peaked or are projected to peak on or before May 2, 2020.

Despite estimates suggesting the virus will continue to spread and businesses may not reopen fully until the end of May, U.S. stock markets moved significantly higher last week. Al Root of Barron?s reported:

?The S&P 500 index rose 12 percent?its best week since 1974 ? and finished 25 percent off its March low. The corresponding gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 13 percent, up 27.8 percent from its low. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 10.6 percent, raising it 23 percent off its low.?

Many factors affect U.S. stock market performance, including company fundamentals (how companies perform), investor sentiment (what investors think), consumer sentiment (what consumers think), monetary policy (what the Federal Reserve does), and fiscal policy (what the federal government does). The driver supporting stock market performance last week was Federal Reserve monetary policy. Axios explained:

?The Federal Reserve announced Thursday it will support the coronavirus-hit economy with up to $2.3 trillion in loans to businesses, state and city governments?The slew of new Fed programs comes as economic conditions deteriorate at an unprecedented pace?and another 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits this week.?

There continues to be uncertainty about how the U.S. economy will recover. As a result, we are likely to see markets remain volatile.

?

BOREDOM SPARKS CREATIVITY. Early last year, Time Magazine cited a study that found boredom may trigger creativity. Time explained, ?In the study, people who had gone through a boredom inducing task ? methodically sorting a bowl of beans by color, one by one ? later performed better on an idea-generating task than peers who first created an interesting craft activity.?

Recent social media and news reports are providing anecdotal evidence that supports the idea. For example, people are:

? Creating art galleries for pets. A couple of bored 30-year-olds built a mini art gallery for their pet gerbils while on quarantine. The Good News Network reported, ?The tiny space was furnished with carefully curated rodent-themed takes on classic works of art ? including the ?Mousa Lisa.??
? Playing real-life versions of children?s games. In Wales, a nursing home has seniors practicing social distancing while playing a real-life version of Hungry, Hungry Hippos. ?Instead of using hippo mouths to capture the plastic balls, however, the women brandished baskets on sticks?,? reported Good News Network.
? Transforming their homes. One clever person transformed glass patio doors into stained glass using painters tape and washable markers, reported BoredPanda.
? Cooking together. Quarantine cooking clubs are catching on. For instance, one club, ??assigns a new dish every weekend; a last meal of one of the celebrities who has been a guest on the James Beard Award nominated podcast, Your Last Meal,? reported the MyNorthwest podcast.

If you?re looking for something to do, the J. Paul Getty Museum (The Getty) in Los Angeles recently asked their followers to select a favorite work of art from their collection and re-create it using three everyday household items. The museum?s blog reported on the results so far:

?You?ve re-created Jeff Koons using a pile of socks, restaged Jacques-Louis David with a fleece blanket and duct tape, and MacGyvered costumes out of towels, pillows, scarves, shower caps, coffee filters, bubble wrap, and ? of course ? toilet paper and toilet [paper] rolls.?

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.?
--Gilda Radner, Comedian

* 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.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/summary.html
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/04/07/825479416/new-yorks-coronavirus-deaths-may-level-off-soon-when-might-your-state-s-peak#allstates (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/04-13-20_NPR-Coronavirus_State-By-State_Peak_Projections-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-s-p-500-had-its-best-week-since-1974-next-up-an-economic-coma-51586560230?mod=hp_HERO (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/04-13-20_Barrons-Stocks_Just_had_Their_Best_Week_in_Decades-Get_Ready_for_a_Drop-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.axios.com/the-fed-rescues-wall-street-but-main-street-is-another-story-7a946388-6f0a-4f31-97f6-2e28e249b01a.html
https://www.axios.com/federal-reserve-coronavirus-lending-3616d77e-e69d-42d7-95bf-6612407cc16a.html
https://www.axios.com/stock-market-volatility-coronavirus-recession-787550a9-ba22-42b6-9dc6-bfffa085ea23.html
https://time.com/5480002/benefits-of-boredom/
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/quarantined-couple-makes-art-gallery-for-gerbils/
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/watch-seniors-play-real-life-hungry-hungry-hippos/
https://www.boredpanda.com/creative-quarantine-handmade-things/?media_id=2146779&utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic
https://mynorthwest.com/category/podcast_results/?sid=1148&n=Your%20Last%20Meal%20with%20Rachel%20
https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/getty-artworks-recreated-with-household-items-by-creative-geniuses-the-world-over/
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes?page=13

As we enter another week of market volatility, we wanted to relay some important information to our clients before the market opens today.

As of the close of the stock market last Friday, the S&P 500 has fallen 32% from the high that was reached on February 19th.? To put the 2008-2009 financial crisis in comparison, it took a full year for the market to go down 32%.? That is how swift and brutal this bear market has been.?For very good reasons, this is a government mandated substantial economic downturn.

Expect some very bad headlines this week and more volatility.? The number of Coronavirus cases will increase exponentially as testing becomes more readily available.? Jobless claims will soar when the numbers are released Thursday.? And more dire economic predictions will be coming.? We are not economists, but the aforementioned is just common sense when you see the empty airports, hotels, and restaurants. Most of this bad news is already reflected in the stock market since the stock market looks six months to a year in the future.

?How much further will it go down??.? ?I think everyone wished they had that answer.? The market tends to overshoot to the upside as well as the downside.? It won?t settle until there is some positive news or light at the end of this dark tunnel.? The worst stock market decline since our company started in 1988 was the 2008 recession. From the high to the low, the decline was approximately 50%. That particular recession was severe because of a dramatic real estate bubble which took a long time to unwind. Some significant declines in the market, such as Brexit, have recovered the losses very quickly.

Every new event is historic.? The high inflation and interest rates in the early 80s, The Crash of 1987, 9/11, Financial Crisis of 2008, The European Debt Crisis, and Brexit all incurred significant declines in the stock market. During the 1987 crash, the stock market dropped 22.3% in one single day. The good news is that all of the aforementioned stock market declines were eventually erased.

To all of our clients:
We have always encouraged clients to only invest money that they can part with for a period of five years or longer and have whatever their comfort level of cash on hand that they feel they need to accommodate unanticipated events such as job loss etc.? The only risk-free assets are CDs and short-term Treasury Bills.? Corporate and Municipal?bonds are not risk-free assets.?? The fund that tracks corporate bonds declined 20% in value from March 6th to March 20th.? Municipal bonds fell over 15% during this same time period. The only risk-free assets are short-term US Treasuries and CDs. Longer-term US Treasuries don?t have credit risk, but they do have interest rate risk; meaning if interest rates rise, you could incur substantial declines in the value of the bond.

For our clients that are in retirement:
Companies are still paying dividends, and nothing has changed on your distributions.? If you are able to delay or reduce distributions, we would recommend you do so to reduce the selling of investments at potentially the very worst time. The only time since we have been in business that we can recall any substantial overall reduction in dividends was during the financial crisis in 2008. The primary source of the dividend cuts were due to the severe damage done to banks and real estate. There are no guarantees that there will not be an overall reduction in dividends during this Coronavirus crisis. It depends on each company and how long the government mandated shutdowns continue. Every market decline is different, but they all have one thing in common: they all end in recovery.

This is such a unique event and it?s impossible to predict when the market losses will end, and how long it will take to recover. The longer the shutdowns continue, the more damage will be done to the economy. Remember even though you are retired, you are taking money slowly out of your investments over your lifetime. In the case of a married couple, it is over the joint lifetimes.

For our clients approaching retirement:
Nothing has changed.? The vast majority of your investments should recover by the time you retire.? And remember that retirement is something that can last 20 years or longer.?? If you have more than enough cash on hand, you should consider adding to your investments during this downturn.

For our younger clients:
We can?t stress this enough:? Continue to add to your investments during this downturn if you have the available cash to do so. If you have a 401K or other retirement plan, continue to dollar cost average each month.? You only get 3 or 4 of these opportunities in your lifetime, and adding to investments during these times have always worked out over the long-term.

To end on a positive note.? The vast majority of your investments are in large companies that should be able to navigate these difficult times.? The stock market is looking for some positive news. It is impossible to predict when that positive news will be forthcoming. It could be days, weeks or months. There is no way to even make an educated guess. At some point the economy will recover.? If the economy can restart sooner than later, we might be able to avert a prolonged recovery process.? But the longer the shutdowns of businesses last, the longer it will take to recover.

As always, we are here to navigate our clients through this market downturn.? It is important to not get too caught up in the short-term media attention and react emotionally to your finances.? As always, we are a broken record: you can?t time the stock market, and we encourage clients not to make the mistake of doing so. However, it?s your money. If you want to sell some or all your portfolio, we will follow your instructions whether we agree or not. If you decide to sell, which we do not advise, you will need to instruct us when, and if, you want to get back in the market. You need to be right on both ?guesses.?

Something to ask yourself:? Where will we be 6 months from now? 1 year from now? 2 years from now?? We believe we will be in better shape than we are today.?

March 16, 2020

The Markets

Last week was one for the history books.

Mid-week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus a global pandemic. At the time, there were more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and the death toll exceeded 4,000 people. On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported 46 states and the District of Columbia have been affected, so far. As of Friday, there have been 1,629 confirmed and presumptive cases and 41 deaths.

As the need for containment became clear, daily life underwent rapid change. Major gatherings, from sporting events to Broadway shows to industry conferences, were canceled. Travel was restricted. Schools closed or moved to online classes. Restaurants and bars began serving fewer customers. Many Americans began working remotely or, in some cases, not working at all.

Uncertainty about the economic impact of the virus contributed to stock market volatility. Major American stock indices dropped into bear market territory, last week. Bear markets occur when prices drop by 20 percent or more from recent highs. Peter Wells of Financial Times reported:

??a combination of fears stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, oil price plunge, and a global recession killed off an 11-year bull market. Wall Street?s equities benchmark plunged 9.5 percent on Thursday, its biggest one-day drop since Black Monday in October 1987 and also its fifth-biggest one-day drop since 1928.?

On Friday, President Trump declared the coronavirus a national emergency. Reshma Kapadia of Barron?s reported the declaration freed up $50 billion to support local, state, and federal efforts. It also ??grants new authorities to the Health and Human Services department, and gives doctors and hospitals greater flexibility to respond to the virus and care for patients??

All three major U.S. stock indices rallied after the national emergency declaration, but it wasn?t enough to recover losses from earlier in the week. Chuck Mikolajczak of Reuters reported:

?The indexes were still about 20 percent below record highs hit in mid-February, and each saw declines of at least 8 percent for the week. Since hitting the highs, markets have been besieged with big swings in the market, nearly matching as many days with declines of at least 1 percent as all of 2019. Friday?s surge was the biggest one-day percentage gain for the S&P 500 since October 28, 2008.?

On Saturday, the House passed a bipartisan economic stimulus and relief bill to provide support while the coronavirus is being contained. It is expected to pass the Senate next week, reported Erica Werner, Mike DeBonis, Paul Kane, and Jeff Stein of The Washington Post. The current legislation is separate from the $8.3 billion emergency spending bill passed two weeks ago.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), which is known as Wall Street?s fear gauge, traded above 50 every day last week. At the start of the year, the VIX was trading at 12.47, and it has averaged 22.05 during 2020 to date, reported Macrotrends. A high VIX reading indicates traders anticipate markets will remain volatile.

Recent bouts of volatility appear to have been caused by institutional trading rather than individual investors. Abby Schultz of Penta reported:

??individual investors are largely sitting tight, according to survey data from Spectrem Group in Chicago. About three-quarters of investors with $100,000 to $25 million in investable assets who were surveyed between Wednesday, March 4?and Monday, March 9?did not change their investment portfolios at all in light of the market sell-off?Among those with $5 million to $10 million in investable assets, as well as those with $10 million to $15 million, 31 percent bought stocks in the last 20 days?Among those with $15 million to $25 million, 39 percent bought stocks??

?

READY FOR A LAUGH? One of the most important things any of us can do right now is to stay calm. Sometimes deep breathing can restore calm. Laughter can be soothing, too. The Mayo Clinic says laughter is a solid stress reliever. ?A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn't just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body.? As it turns out, laughing stimulates organs and soothes tension.

In the interest of promoting calm, we offer a few remarkable ways students have answered test questions. Bored Panda explained, ?These bright pupils came up with the funniest test answers harnessing the powers of puns and their creativity.?

Test question: Briefly explain what hard water is.
Answer: Ice

Test question: What is the strongest force on Earth?
Answer: Love

Test question: Expand (a+b)n
Answer: = ( a + b )n

Test question: Choose the right word: The man [hit/fit] the dog.
Answer: Pet. You should not hit dogs.

Test question: Write an example of a risk.
Answer: This.

Test question: Fill in the blank: I earn money at home by _____.
Answer: I don?t. I am a freeloader.

During these stressful times, we hope you find some moments of humor and good cheer.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?Prediction is very difficult, especially if it?s about the future.?
--Niels Bohr, Danish physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics

* 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.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---11-march-2020
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html#2019coronavirus-summary
https://www.fastcompany.com/90476445/school-closures-are-starting-and-theyll-have-far-reaching-economic-impacts
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bearmarket.asp
https://www.ft.com/content/d895a54c-64a4-11ea-a6cd-df28cc3c6a68 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/03-16-20_FinancialTimes-S_and_P_500_Suffers_Its_Quickest_Fall_into_Bear_Market_on_Record-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/coronavirus-playbook-heres-what-governments-need-to-do-51584128183 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/03-16-20_Barrons-What_Governments_Need_to_do_Now_to_Calm_the_Markets-Footnote_6.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stocks-are-soaring-after-president-trump-declares-national-emergency-51584129568 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/03-16-20_Barrons-Stocks_Soar_After_President_Trump_Declared_a_National_Emergency-Footnote_7.pdf)
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-stocks/stocks-stage-furious-rally-late-after-national-emergency-declared-idUSKBN2101KO
https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/03/13/paid-leave-democrats-trump-deal-coronavirus/ (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/03-16-20_TheWashingtonPost-House_Passes_Coronavirus_Economic_Relief_Package_with_Trumps_Support-Footnote_9.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-vix-continues-to-soar-its-holding-at-financial-crisis-levels-51584120341 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/03-16-20_Barrons-Holding_at_Financial_Crisis_Levels-Footnote_10.pdf)
https://www.macrotrends.net/2603/vix-volatility-index-historical-chart (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/03-16-20_Macrotrends-CBOE_Volatility_Index-Historical_Annual_Data-Footnote_11.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/individual-investors-are-sitting-tight-during-market-rout-01584127051 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/03-16-20_Penta-Individual_Investors_are_Sitting_Tight_During_Market_Rout-Footnote_12.pdf)
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456
https://www.boredpanda.com/funny-test-answers-smartass-kids/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/niels_bohr_130288?img=3

March 2, 2020

The Markets

Take a deep breath.

We have experienced downturns before.

Think back to 2018. During the last quarter of the year, major stock indices in the Unites States suffered double-digit losses, much of it during December. What happened next? By the end of 2019, those indices had reached new highs.

The reasons for, and performance following, market downturns varies. The key is not to panic.

Last week, U.S. stock indices lost significant value when the coronavirus spread outside of China, and expectations for companies? performance in 2020 changed. At the start of the week, markets anticipated positive earnings growth (i.e., higher profits) during 2020. By the end of the week, they suspected earnings might be flat for the year.

At the end of last week, FactSet reported 68 companies in the Standard & Poor?s 500 Index had offered negative earnings guidance for the first quarter. In other words, the companies didn?t expect to be as profitable from January through March as analysts anticipated. That?s fewer companies than normal, relative to the five-year average. However, the number could increase. FactSet?s John Butters explained:

??early in the quarter, a number of S&P 500 companies stated they were unable to quantify an impact from the coronavirus or did not include the impact from the coronavirus in their guidance. Thus, there may be an increase in the number of companies issuing negative guidance later in the first quarter as these companies gain clarity on the impact of the coronavirus on their businesses.?

Changing profit expectations are one concern for investors. Another is fear. Investors are afraid the current economic expansion and bull market may end. At this point in the economic cycle, investors often are both hopeful and doubtful. The Economist explained:

?[Investors] hope that the good times will last, so they are reluctant to pull their money out. They also worry that the party may suddenly end. This is the late-cycle mindset. It reacts to occasional growth scares ? about trade wars or corporate debt or some other upset. But it tends not to take them seriously for long.?

Currently, investors are reacting to the coronavirus. They fear it will be the catalyst that sparks recession. While that?s possible, in the past, markets have responded negatively to coronaviruses and then recovered. (Keep in mind, past performance is no indication of future results.) Barron?s cited a private wealth manager who pointed out:

??this isn?t the first time that an epidemic has rocked the stock market. The S&P 500 fell 15 percent after SARS hit the market in 2003 but was up just over 1 percent six months after the outbreak began.?

No matter the reason, it is unnerving to be an investor when stock markets head south. There is nothing comfortable about watching the value of your savings and investments decline. Regardless of the discomfort, selling when markets are falling has rarely proved to be a good idea. Investors who stay the course may have opportunities to regain lost value if the market recovers, as it has before.

Investors also may have opportunities to buy shares of attractive companies at reduced prices. Warren Buffet offered this reminder last week in a Barron?s article:

??[the coronavirus] makes no difference in our investments. There?s always going to be some news, good or bad, every day. If somebody came and told me that the global growth rate was going to be down 1 percent instead of 1/10th of a percent, I?d still buy stocks if I liked the price, and I like the prices better today than I liked them last Friday.?

Until the full effect of the coronavirus is known, markets are likely to remain volatile.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS. The coronavirus is now officially known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19. Last week, it spread to countries outside of China. If there is any good news about the contagious disease, it is COVID-19 may be relatively mild.

In its February 28 briefing, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) stated, ?It also appears that COVID-19 is not as deadly as other coronaviruses including SARS and MERS. More than 80 percent of patients have mild disease and will recover.?

The Director-General identified the symptoms of COVID-19 stating, ??for most people, it starts with a fever and a dry cough, not a runny nose. Most people will have mild disease and get better without needing any special care.?

Currently, more than 20 vaccines are being developed. In the meantime, there are things you can do to protect yourself. They include:

? Washing your hands with soap and water regularly or cleaning them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
? Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
? Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve ? not your hands ? when you cough or sneeze.
? Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
? Staying home and avoiding travel when you are sick.
? Contacting your medical professional when you experience symptoms, which include shortness of breath.

WHO also recommended educating yourself about the coronavirus. Make certain to gather information from reliable sources, such as WHO or the United States? Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and have healthy skepticism when it comes to unknown sources. Misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19 have been spreading almost as quickly as the virus itself.

The Director-General closed last week?s briefing by saying, ?Together, we are powerful?Our greatest enemy right now is not the virus itself. It?s fear, rumors, and stigma. And, our greatest assets are facts, reason, and solidarity.?

If you would like to talk about the potential economic effects, give us a call. We look forward to talking with you.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.?
--Sir John Templeton, Investor, asset manager, 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.cnbc.com/2018/12/31/stock-market-wall-street-stocks-eye-us-china-trade-talks.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/26/us-stocks-year-end-rally.html
https://insight.factset.com/are-analysts-slashing-sp-500-eps-estimates-for-q1-due-to-the-coronavirus
https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-suffers-worst-week-since-2008-recession-watch-begins-51582941142?mod=hp_DAY_1 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/03-02-20_Barrons-This_Downturn_Might_Just_be_Getting_Started-Let_the_Recession_Watch_Begin-Footnote_4.pdf)
https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2020/02/27/markets-wake-up-with-a-jolt-to-the-implications-of-COVID-19 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/03-02-20_TheEconomist-Markets_Wake_Up_with_a_Jolt_to_the_Implications_of_COVID-19-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/cash-rich-stocks-to-buy-amid-the-coronavirus-selloff-51582936062?mod=hp_HERO (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/03-02-20_Barrons-The_Dow_had_Its_Worst_Week_Since_2008-Where_to_Find_Cash-Rich_Stocks_in_the_Coronavirus_Selloff-Footnote_6.pdf)
https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-COVID-2019-outbreak-on-17-february-2020
https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-COVID-19---28-february-2020
https://www.azquotes.com/author/14517-John_Templeton

February 18, 2020

The Markets

Many stock markets around the world moved higher last week.

Investors??? optimism in the face of economic headwinds has confounded some in the financial services industry. Laurence Fletcher and Jennifer Ablan of Financial Times cited several money managers who believe investors have become complacent. One theory is investors??? buy-the-dip mentality has become so firmly ingrained that any price drop is seen as a buying opportunity, regardless of share price valuation.

Another theory is investors remain confident in the face of declining economic growth expectations because they expect central bankers to save the day:

???Key stock markets are hovering close to record highs even while the death count from the China-centered virus rises and travel in, out, and around the country remains heavily restricted, hurting the outlook for domestic and international companies. Regardless, stumbles in stocks are quickly reversed. To some traders, this is proof that investors believe major central banks will pump more stimulus into the financial system.???

Ben Levisohn of Barron???s doesn???t think investors in U.S. stocks are complacent. He wrote:

???Yes, [investors have] decided to stay invested in U.S. stocks, but compare it with the other options. Emerging market stocks near the epicenter of the outbreak? Treasury notes with yields of just 1.59 percent? Cash? But, they haven???t sat idly by, either. They???ve dumped the stocks most exposed to coronavirus and to a slowing economy ??? things like energy, cruise lines, airlines, steel.???

Treasury bond markets are telling a less optimistic story than stock markets. The U.S. treasury bond yield curve has flattened in recent weeks. On Friday, 3-month treasuries were yielding 1.58 percent while 10-year treasuries yielded 1.59 percent. When there is little difference between yields for short- and long-term maturities, the yield curve is considered to be flat.

Historically, the slope of the yield curve ??? a line that shows yields for Treasuries of different maturities ??? is believed to provide insight to what may be ahead for economic growth. Normal yield curves may indicate expansion ahead, while inverted yield curves suggest recession may be looming. Flat yield curves suggest a transition is underway.

WHAT???S YOUR FAVORITE REMEDY FOR A HANGOVER? Consuming too much alcohol comes with an unwelcome side effect: the hangover. Symptoms of a hangover typically include dehydration, fatigue, vertigo, headache, nausea, and muscle aches. If you???ve ever had one you may understand the growing market for hangover treatments.

By one estimate, Americans experience 2.6 billion hangovers each year. That may be why market research analysts think hangover remedies have the potential to become a billion-dollar industry. The Washington Post reported the number of recovery (and ???precovery???) treatments has ballooned during the past three years. So far, the hangover remedy industry has:

??? Offered treatments that include water-soluble tablets, capsules, beverages, and patches.
??? Attracted $10 million of Silicon Valley venture capital.
??? Birthed start-ups that generate strong sales during the first few months of operations.

The hangover market is small potatoes when compared to the market for alcoholic beverages ($1.4 trillion). However, the market for non-alcoholic cocktails is growing, too. In New York City, booze-free bars charge $13 a pop for dry cocktails.

Here???s a question: Are alcohol-free drinks a precovery hangover solution or a beverage?

Weekly Focus ??? Think About It

???A hangover is the wrath of grapes.???
--Dorothy Parker, American 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://markets.ft.com/data/world (Click on ???Global indices??? at the bottom left of the map and choose ???5 day???) (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/02-18-20_FinancialTimes-Global_World_Markets_Indices-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.ft.com/content/8732e814-4e82-11ea-95a0-43d18ec715f5 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/02-18-20_FinancialTimes-Investor_Complacency_Sets_in_While_Coronavirus_Spreads-Footnote_2.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-gained-1-this-week-as-stocks-ignore-the-coronavirus-51581726118?mod=hp_DAY_1 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/02-18-20_Barrons-The_Dow_Jones_Industrial_Average_Gained_1_Percent_this_Week-Let_It_Ride-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/pages/textview.aspx?data=yield
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/y/yieldcurve.asp
https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/7-steps-to-cure-your-hangover-and-ginkgo-biloba-whats-the-verdict
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/12/19/drinking-with-no-consequences-this-was-year-hangover-hack/
https://www.businessinsider.com/bars-no-alcohol-sober-dry-january-nyc-2020-1
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/370656-a-hangover-is-the-wrath-of-grapes

February 10, 2020

The Markets

Last week, major U.S. indices posted strong gains. That?s welcome news, but the drivers behind share price appreciation appear to have little to do with company fundamentals.

Fourth quarter earnings season is underway. During earnings season, companies let investors know how profitable they were during the previous quarter. With 45 percent of companies in the Standard & Poor?s 500 (S&P 500) Index reporting, earnings are slightly down. If the trend continues, this will be the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year earnings declines, according to FactSet.

Falling company profits, in tandem with rising share prices, have made U.S. stocks relatively expensive. The price-to-earnings ratio of the S&P 500 Index was 25.04 on Friday. That?s significantly higher than its long-term average of 15.78.

Expectations for economic growth may have been behind last week?s gains. Axios reported, ?U.S. economic data had been strengthening ahead of the [coronavirus] outbreak ? last month the all-important services sector notched its best reading since September, a private payrolls survey showed the highest job growth in five years, and consumer confidence held at historically high levels.?

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) estimates U.S. economic growth will be 1.7 percent in 2020, although the coronavirus could create issues that slow growth.

Economic growth also could be inhibited by the national debt. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis showed U.S. debt at about 105 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of the third quarter of 2019 (GDP is the value of all goods and services produced by the United States). According to the Council on Foreign Relations, high levels of debt can slow economic growth and divert investment from infrastructure, education, and research.

Ben Levisohn of Barron?s suggested last week?s gains might have been the result of limited supply and high demand for U.S. stocks, ??because the world?s problems might actually make U.S. markets more attractive.? Stock market gains may also owe something to supportive central bank policies.

During the next few weeks, stay calm and expect some volatility.

DO YOU KNOW A FINANCIAL TWO-TIMER? In an online poll conducted by YouGov, CreditCards.com asked people how open and honest they are with their spouses and partners about money. The survey discovered financial infidelity is not uncommon. Respondents cheat financially in a variety of ways, including:

34 percent have spent more than their spouse/partner would approve
12 percent have secret debt
10 percent have secret credit card accounts
9 percent have secret savings accounts
8 percent have secret checking accounts

Respondents had a variety of reasons for secretive financial dealings:

36 percent said privacy and control were important
27 percent said they never felt the need to share
26 percent were embarrassed by the way they handle money (frequently cited by wealthiest respondents.)

Janice Wood of PsychCentral wrote, ?Financial infidelity can take as big a toll on relationships as sexual infidelity and emotional dishonesty?A few things that couples can do to prevent financial infidelity is to talk more, get on the same page regarding both joint and individual goals they might have, and also budget for some occasional indulgences along the way of achieving their long-term financial goals??

If you?re looking for a great Valentine?s Day gift, talking with your spouse or partner about money is a choice that could deliver long-term rewards.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It

?It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.?
--Andre Gide, Author and Nobel Prize winner

* 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-gains-846-points-in-comeback-week-51581124626?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/02-10-20_Barrons-Coronavirus-Slower_Growth-The_Dow_Just_Had_A_Spectacular_Week-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.factset.com/hubfs/Resources%20Section/Research%20Desk/Earnings%20Insight/EarningsInsight_013120.pdf
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/earnings.asp
https://www.multpl.com/s-p-500-pe-ratio
https://www.axios.com/newsletters/axios-markets
https://country.eiu.com/united-states
https://country.eiu.com/article.aspx?articleid=148994798&Country=United%20States&topic=Economy (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/02-10-20_TheEconomist-Fed_Continues_Delicate_Balancing_Act-Footnote_7.pdf)
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GFDEGDQ188S
https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/national-debt-dilemma
https://www.cfr.org/global/global-monetary-policy-tracker/p37726
https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/financial-infidelity-cheating-poll.php
https://psychcentral.com/news/2019/12/31/financial-infidelity-can-take-a-toll-on-relationships/152583.html
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/love

January 27, 2020

The Markets?

Markets hunkered down last week.

News of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China unsettled investors around the world. The respiratory infection is related to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), reported WebMD.

Previous virus outbreaks have affected global economic growth. Research into pandemic preparedness suggests extreme events can reduce global annual income by 0.6 percent per year (including mortality and income loss). Lower income often is equated with slower economic growth.

Viruses can also affect companies and share values. However, not every investment will move in the same direction at the same time, and not every country or industry will be affected in the same way. Barron?s reported:

?SARS infected more than 8,000 people in 2003, killing more than 770. The outbreak occurred between November 2002 and July 2003. Stocks of U.S. airlines ? a proxy for travel-related shares ? dropped more than 30 percent from pre-SARS highs during that outbreak, about twice the decline of the broader S&P 500 index. All stocks, it appears, were impacted by the outbreak. It took about three months for shares to bottom and another three months to achieve previous highs.?

China responded to the outbreak by imposing a transportation lockdown, and that could affect China?s economic growth. S&P Global explained:

?The coronavirus is hitting China during Lunar New Year, a period when households tend to spend more on travel, entertainment, and gifts. Even if the virus is contained fairly quickly, the initial stages of high uncertainty are likely to affect spending.?

In addition, the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began, is a major transportation hub and a center for auto production. It is China?s sixth largest city, home to 11 million people, and responsible for 1.6 percent of the country?s economic growth.

Major stock indices in the United States moved lower last week.

?

A DECADE OF WORDS. Time Magazine puts a ?Person of the Year? on its cover. ESPN awards ESPYs to athletes annually. Nobel and Ig Nobel committees recognize the worthy and the unsuspecting. Merriam Webster selects a ?Word of the Year.? It is the word dictionary users searched for more than they had in previous years. Here are the words of the year from the last decade:

2010: Austerity, noun, ?The quality or state of being austere, a stern and serious quality, a plain and simple quality.?

2011: Pragmatic, adjective, ?Relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual or artistic matters: practical as opposed to idealistic.?

2012: Socialism, noun, ?Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods,? tied with Capitalism.

Capitalism, noun, ?An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.?

2013: Science, noun, ?The state of knowing: knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding.?

2014: Culture, noun, ?The customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group, also the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time.?

2015: -ism, noun suffix, ?Manner of action or behavior characteristic of a (specified) person or thing, or prejudice or discrimination on the basis of a (specified) attribute.? (The most looked up words were socialism, fascism, racism, feminism, communism, capitalism, and terrorism.)

2016: Surreal, adjective, ?Marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream.?

2017: Feminism, noun, ?The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes; organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests.?

2018: Justice, noun, ?The maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments.?

2019: They, pronoun, ?Those ones: those people, animals, or things.? The definition was expanded to, ?Used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary.?

The short-list of words for 2019 included: quid pro quo, impeach, crawdad, egregious, clemency, the, snitty, tergiversation (?evasion of straightforward action or clear-cut statement?), camp, and exculpate.

Weekly Focus ? Think About It?

?We think of English as a fortress to be defended, but a better analogy is to think of English as a child. We love and nurture it into being, and once it gains gross motor skills, it starts going exactly where we don't want it to go: it heads right for the?electrical sockets. We dress it in fancy clothes and tell it to behave, and it comes home with its underwear on its head and wearing someone else's socks. As English grows, it lives its own life, and this is right and healthy. Sometimes English does exactly what we think it should; sometimes it goes places we don't like and thrives there in spite of all our worrying. We can tell it to clean itself up and act more like Latin; we can throw tantrums and start learning French instead. But we will never really be the boss of it. And that's why it flourishes.?
--Kory Stamper, Lexicographer 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-catch-a-cold-after-fed-stops-expanding-its-balance-sheet-51579916069?mod=hp_DAY_1 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-27-20_Barrons-Stocks_Catch_a_Cold_After_Fed_Stops_Expanding_its_Balance_Sheet-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200124/coronavirus-2020-outbreak-latest-updates
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5791779/
https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/149782/economics/effects-of-slower-economic-growth/
https://www.barrons.com/articles/travel-stocks-coronavirus-china-airlines-health-care-51579714639 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/01-27-20_Barrons-Coronavirus_has_Hit_the_Stock_Market-Heres_What_History_Says_Comes_Next-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.spglobal.com/en/research-insights/articles/coronavirus-in-china-early-thoughts-on-the-economic-impact
https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/word-of-the-year
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/austerity
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pragmatic
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capitalism
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/science
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/culture
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/-ism
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/surreal
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/justice
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/they
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/linguistics

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