SYM News

Recent blog posts

Over the past few weeks, consumers of worldwide media have been bombarded with alarming news from the financial markets in Greece, China and Puerto Rico. If those stories weren’t enough to promote a feeling of uneasiness, the New York Stock Exchange shut down last week for a few hours for what was deemed to be a “technical glitch.”

 
We are left to wonder if these events are just noise, soon to be resolved and forgotten, or if they will culminate in the often-predicted but not yet realized double digit correction that would mark the end of the current bull market.

 
At some point in the near or distant future, traders and investors will decline to buy the next dip, and the market will correct by 10%, 15% or more. When this adjustment will occur and what will trigger it are impossible to predict. It is a key point to remember, however, that many investors could either benefit from or be relatively unaffected by a stock market sell-off. 

 
For example:

  • Anyone with an investment time horizon that extends beyond a few months will be relatively unaffected by a market event. These investors have no immediate need to sell.
  • Anyone who plans to be a net saver in the coming years will be relatively unaffected by and may benefit from an event. These investors will have the opportunity to take advantage of low prices and add to their portfolios.
  • Those who thought in 2012 to wait for a 10% correction before putting more money into the market will be unaffected, but for a different reason. These unwise investors already missed the current rally, so they have no gains to lose.
  • Finally, anyone who is fortunate enough to be holding cash or bonds in their portfolio, AND (this is important) has the requisite courage to buy stocks when no one else is willing and the trajectory for market averages seems to be nowhere but down, will see great opportunity at the time of a market adjustment.

 

Because investors have witnessed two substantial market crashes since the year 2000, many now automatically assume that any market decline will be an agonizing, gut-wrenching experience leading to large and real losses. Rarely do you hear people extol the virtues of a healthy stock market correction. Instead, we are led to associate down markets with calamity and heartache as opposed to an opportunity to buy, or just a passing storm. 

 

Stock market corrections are the environment where successful long term investors make money and unsuccessful investors make permanent mistakes. The current challenges in Greece, China, and Puerto Rico are worrisome, but as they pass new ones will emerge.

 

Everyone invested in stocks will see a decrease in value on their portfolio statements during a market correction. For most, this is a temporary setback and will reverse as the market recovers. For the unlucky few who fall victim to the headlines, losses could become permanent, but only if they sell.

 

The markets have always climbed a wall of worry, but remember this:  Innovation, technology, and the natural growth of a diversified global economy (and a well-diversified portfolio of investments) continually prove, over time, their ability to outmaneuver market corrections.


In light of recent news headlines related to the Anthem cyber-attack, it is important to revisit the critical importance of controlling those things in our financial lives that remain within our control. This includes partnering with companies who have a solid plan for your information security, and understanding the “worst-case scenario” if your personal data is accessed during a cyber attack. 

 

According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft is at the top of the list of consumer complaints.  Despite the best safeguards, it has become clear that we can’t always control the way our personal information is accessed or used. Even the IRS isn’t immune to scammers. The Government Accountability Office reported that $5 billion in erroneous refunds were paid in 2014 as a result of fraudulent filings.   

 

Of the various methods criminals utilize to take advantage of their victims, the most-common wrongdoing is the unauthorized use of existing credit cards. Fortunately, each person has the ability to monitor his or her own credit report. Regularly reviewing personal credit information is a necessity in this day and age where identity theft runs rampant. If you’re not already watching over your personal report, now is the time to begin.

 

As a way to be vigilant and take an active part in protecting against credit fraud, SYM suggests that, at minimum, you check your credit activity on an annual basis. Each of the three main credit reporting agencies allows individuals to request a free credit report once every 12 months. You can access Equifax, Experian and TransUnion reports from one website, www.annualcreditreport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228. To make the request, you will need to provide your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth. For additional safety, please be sure to confirm use of the proper link as there are many “imposter” websites.

 

In addition to completing an annual credit check-up, you can take a more proactive approach by choosing to “freeze” your credit or by purchasing identity theft protection from a specialty company such as LifeLock or Identity Guard.

 

When you implement a “freeze,” the three credit reporting companies are prohibited from releasing your credit report without your consent. Should the time come when you need to “unfreeze” your credit (e.g., in order to apply for a mortgage or purchase a vehicle), you would simply contact the agency and provide a secure personal identification number.

 

If you don’t have the time or ability to monitor your credit, paying for an identity security service may be a prudent measure. Such companies screen various databases and search for illicit use of personal data, fraudulent loan and credit applications and the sale of information related to an individual. Should any of these actions be detected, you would be immediately notified and the company will take steps to ensure that no harm is done. Some companies that offer these services also provide payment for damages that result from illegal use of your data.

 

As always, your SYM advisor is available to discuss any follow up questions you may have.

 

 

 

Tracey Yeager Memorial 5K Run/Walk

"The Finish Line is Just the Beginning"

Memorial Day - May 26th            Race Time 9:30 AM

 

Race Registration

To register online for the race, please click here (there are no additional fees to register online) - https://secure.getmeregistered.com/TraceyYeager5K

 

We are proud to sponsor the 3rdannual Tracey Yeager Memorial 5K Run/Walk (TYM5K). This annual event is held on Memorial Day in scenic Winona Lake Park. This is a family friendly event designed to honor Tracey’s memory while also honoring the brave men and women who died in service to our great nation. 100% of the registration fees and corporate sponsorship dollars for this event go toward the “Tracey’s Trails Fund” at Kosciusko County Community Foundation. This fund is used to aid in the continued development of the bike/walk trails in Kosciusko County.

 

To access and mail a registration form, click here.

To like us on Facebook, please click here - http://facebook.com/TYM5K

 

Since 2009, the stock market has moved higher on an almost regular basis. Success like this can make it hard to believe that two short years ago the global economy was being buffeted by the Arab Spring uprising and the potential exit of Greece from the European Union. One outcome of these events was a 10% correction in the S&P 500 index. Having moved from that point in time to now without a major pullback, some would say a market setback is long overdue. Last week, there was news that could potentially be the trigger for a correction. Lower than expected company profits and concerns about slowing worldwide growth caused the Dow to lose 3.5%. The NASDAQ, an index that measures technology and growth companies, was down 1.7% for the week.

 

As the calendar moves toward the inevitable April 15thtax deadline, this is a good time to consider some of the details related to the process. Whether you use tax software or rely on a tax professional, there are a number of important items to think about prior to filing. Consider whether the following items apply to you before submitting your return: