January 26th, 2019: Are We Seeing Dents in the Armor?

As a firm that specializes in Retirement Planning, our two goals for you are:

  1. For you to have Financial Peace of Mind and
  2. For Your Money to Last As Long As You Do.

Our investment philosophy of Buy, Hold, and PROTECT! is designed to give us Unlimited Upside with a Tolerable Downside.

  • The World Economy Is Slowing Faster Than Expected.
  • US Existing Home Sales Are Slowing Faster Than Economists Can Explain.
  • We Are Still Out of Equities, and Happily So.

The World Economy Is Slowing Faster Than Expected.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde said, “After two years of solid expansion, the world economy is growing more slowly than expected, and risks are rising. But even as the economy continues to move ahead, it is facing significantly higher risks.”

We have been chronicling this concern for several months now.  The Global debt is a large drag on growth, and we see it getting worse as governments continue to borrow at record levels with no appearance of concern for the consequences.

All of this continues to play into the narrative that we may be in a bear market that has yet to come into full bloom.

Look at the chart below: What do you think is going to happen next?

All we can say is that we are so glad we had our Buy, Hold, & PROTECT! Strategy in place.

Our strategy enabled us to participate in the upside as long as it lasted, and it got us out of equities with tolerable losses when the trend changed.

US Existing Home Sales Are Slowing Faster Than Economists Can Explain.

In December 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAAR), sales of existing homes fell a larger-than-expected 6.4% from the previous month. A Reuters survey of economists projected home sales to decline by a modest 1% in December.

On a year-over-year basis, the decline was even more attention-getting. From December 2017 to December 2018, existing home sales fell over 10%, according to the NAAR.

Home sales are important because they come with so much tangential business.  New homeowners decorate, buy furniture, remodel, buy appliances, etc., and this represents a significant part of our economy, which is slowing rapidly.

Economists are at a loss to explain this according to Fortune. Consumers have jobs and high confidence, and the offerings are abundant, yet sales are down.

We attribute it to a feeling of unease that something is not right. In our view, the drop in the stock market probably caused it.

If you are not a client of Money Matters, we want to visit with you!  Let us worry about all this so that you don’t have to.

Over 50? Schedule a free retirement consultation with one of our financial advisors. We will help you to make the important financial decisions needed to create your personalized retirement plan.

  • Do you know if you have enough money to retire?
  • Do you have a plan for what to do when the next market crash comes?
  • What are 5 strategies that you can use to reduce your income taxes?
  • How do you plan for your retirement cashflow?
  • What should you do to maximize your Social Security benefits?
  • Are you diversified the way you should be?

We would love to review your retirement plan with you and see if we can help you. If we can help you, that’s terrific, if not that’s fine too. Either way, there is no charge or obligation, and we will part friends!

I would like to invite you to come to one of our seminars. They are designed for those of you who are retired or retiring soon, and they are free.

At the free retirement seminar we will answer these burning questions:

  • How do I protect my retirement from a market crash?
  • How do I avoid three basic “pitfalls” of retirement distribution planning?
  • Am I on track to be able to retire?
  • When should I take Social Security? 62? 66? 70?
  • Am I diversified the way I should be?
  • How much can I afford to spend during my retirement?
  • How can I fight inflation?
  • How do I determine how much risk is appropriate for me?
  • Do I take my pension or a lump?
  • How do I avoid having 85% of my social security taxed?
  • Should I rollover my 401(k)?
  • How do I reduce my income taxes in the future?

Click here to reserve your spot at the next free retirement planning seminar.

Click here to listen to this week’s podcast and hear the following topics:

  1. Are We On The Verge Of Another 2008?
  2. The Magic Number: How Much Do You Need To Retire?
  3. Social Security Questions
  4. Would You Rather Lose 5% Every 2 Years Or 20% Every 5 Years?
  5. Estate Tip: Give IRA Money To Charity Tax-Free!

It is our singular goal to keep our clients from becoming poor. Preserving the wealth that they have built is job number one for us. I encourage you to join the Money Matters family!

I believe that avoiding large losses is the single most important thing that we should be concerned about as investors.

Perhaps you were given a package by your employer. Perhaps you sold an asset and want to know how to properly invest the proceeds. Perhaps you inherited money and want to keep it safe and grow it if you can. Perhaps you just want a second opinion. These are all reasons for you to take advantage of all the resources that we at Money Matters have to offer you.

We want to help you achieve your retirement goals.

Thank you for subscribing to this newsletter. I hope it finds you and yours in good health and spirits.


Ken Moraif, CFP®, MBA