Ken's 1st Quarter Recap 2021

April 16, 2021

Ken’s 1st Quarter 2021 Recap


Outline
-On the Personal side
-Theme for 2021
-US Stock Market snapshot & update
-Jones Financial Group update
-Three things I’m thinking about moving forward

 

On the Personal side:

The days are long but the weeks fly by is the adage I’ve heard most regarding parenting and it definitely holds true.  I don’t know how it’s April 13th already and I’m just now getting around to writing the 1st Quarter update.  The family is good and the girls are delighted to be outside more with the nicer weather and longer daylight.  Lenny really loves her shovel and digging in the planters and Aggie really loves cleaning up after Lenny.  Win!

Busy is good though and now that I’ve got a lawn that needs mowed every 5 days my time is even more stretched.  That said it could be worse - I have been able to unplug in the evenings and I’ve been watching Fear the Walking Dead and playing a bunch of MarioKart 8 on the Nintendo Switch recently.  The "girls got me” the Switch for my 40th birthday.  I would have never bought it for myself, but now that I have it I hear the latest Zelda game is sweet…

Speaking of my birthday, Lesley and I took the leap and got on an airplane to New Orleans about a month ago for the celebration itself, meeting a friend of mine and his fiancé there while also getting in an overdue visit with my sister and brother-in-law.  We pretty much crisscrossed the city as a pack of 6 and though Bourbon Street was ridiculous (not sure why we thought it would be a good idea to walk down Bourbon versus a street one block in either direction), all in all it was pretty easy to stay safe and enjoy ourselves.  I did not enjoy flying with a mask on, but on the way home that may have also had something to do with the now 40 year old body recovering from 3 nights of fun.

The light at the end of the tunnel is getting bigger – Lesley is vaccinated and I’m on the schedule to get stuck twice in the triceps over the next 4 weeks.  Hopefully I don’t curl into a ball for a day after #2 as I’ve heard is the case for some.  Wish me luck!

 

Theme for 2021:

Risk management

  • Life Insurance

You may have seen a campaign that I’m finishing up on Social Media designed to dispel the myths that Life Insurance is a pain in the rear to acquire.  Admittedly not every application goes perfectly but I have had a policy ready to be delivered to a client after one business day from submitting the application, and a couple more that were less than a week, all of which did not require a paramedical exam.  If you think you may need to take a look at your situation let me do the heavy lifting and figure out your needs.

  •  Annuities

Annuities sometimes get a bad rap, mostly because of the higher fees.  What most fail to understand is that these fees are typically paid in exchange for certain promises or guarantees.  Whether it’s a death benefit, a guaranteed income stream or protection from principal loss – these are promises that cannot be made with most investments, only through contracts with Insurance companies.  I have made this a theme for 2021 because markets are at all time highs and if your circumstances call for it, this could be a good time to look at “locking in” gains you may have accrued to date. 

*Annuities are not without risk.  All guarantees are based on the financial strength and claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company.*

Keep on the lookout for more information on my 2021 Theme.

 

1st Quarter Stock Market Snapshot:

Index:                                    Close 12/31/20   Close 3/31/21            1st Qtr 2021 +/-     2020 +/-

Dow Jones Industrial Avg       30,606.48              32,981.55              7.76%                   7.25%

S&P 500                                   3,756.07                3,972.89              5.77%                  16.26%

NASDAQ                                12,888.28             13,246.87               2.78%                  43.64%

 

Another good quarter for stocks.

More record highs but a bit of a sector rotation occurred in the first quarter – after two years of leading the markets the tech heavy NASDAQ had the weakest growth - but still growth! - of the 3 major indices early in 2021.  Companies that had been either beat up a bit or stagnant in 2020 fared better as the market anticipates the “new normal” – whatever that will like.  The thought is that collectively we’ll be doing more of the things we did a few years ago and there are companies that stand to benefit from that.  Personally I think we won’t go back to something resembling 2019 society until we’re in 2022, but this year we’ll start heading in that direction.

One other thing worth mentioning is that treasury yields have risen.  The supply of money has increased and when that is the case traditionally inflation isn’t be too far behind.  Remember, a moderate amount of inflation is not necessarily a bad thing.  Rates have been so low for so long that many have grown to think of inflation as a four letter word.  In reality, higher yields will offer new/different opportunities for investment and it’s important to work with your advisor to make sure you’re on staying up to date with your strategy.

(Source – Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. – Quarterly Market Review: Jan 2020-Mar 2021.  Copyright 2021, Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc., All rights reserved.)

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

 

Jones Financial Group Update:

Office – We are meeting with folks in person at the office when it’s easiest or needed but many have stuck to online / zoom meetings for the convenience factor.  We’re happy to do whatever works best for you

Team – I had a great day with a local high school student for a job shadow last week and he is interested in a summer or fall internship – so I could be welcoming on my 3rd intern should everything work out with our schedules.

Macquarie/LPL acquisition – The big news!
Jones Financial Group has now officially signed on to change our broker/dealer from Waddell & Reed to LPL.  The transition will take place in July.  We’re getting a few questions about it and it probably will help to see the Macquarie/LPL/Waddell & Reed/Ivy Investments relationship.  Remember the deal is not yet final but below is the anticipated outcome:


Current:

Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. is the parent company of Waddell & Reed, Inc. and of IVY INVESTMENTS 
Jones Financial Group is an independent advisor team that chooses Waddell & Reed, Inc. as its Broker Dealer

Transition:

LPL Holdings, Inc. and Macquarie Management Holdings, Inc. announced an agreement whereby LPL would acquire the wealth management business of Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (Waddell & Reed, Inc.)

After transition complete:

Jones Financial Group will have chosen to transition to LPL Financial Holdings, Inc. as Broker Dealer
                                                   

Couple quick bullet points here as well:

  • Jones Financial Group is an independent group of advisors and we choose which broker/dealer we want to affiliate with. After learning of the sale of Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc., we at JFG retained the option to change to any broker/dealer we feel will best serve our clients.  After weighing our options, we chose to move forward with LPL.

  • IVY INVESTMENTS™ will continue to be available under the new relationship and most importantly from my perspective, as LPL advisors we will still have the same level of access to the products and services that Waddell & Reed advisors have enjoyed.

  • Most existing client accounts will transfer automatically from Waddell & Reed to LPL in July.  If you have an account that will not directly transfer you will be hearing from me before the transition to complete any necessary actions.

  • If you have any questions on the mailings you receive as the sale/transition occurs, please call! 717-210-5720.


IVY INVESTMENTS refers to investment management and investment management advisory services offered by Ivy Investment Management Company, the financial services offered by Ivy Distributors, Inc, a FINRA member broker dealer and distributor of the IVY FUNDS® mutual funds, IVY VARIABLE INSURANCE PORTFOLIOS®, and the financial services offered by their affiliates.


Three things I’m keeping an eye on moving forward:

*Disclaimer - Don’t despair that all three of the things I discuss below are risks.  The intent of this section is to focus on possible headwinds to the extended bull run that stocks have been on.  The contrarian point then is if any or all of these three things fail to materialize, markets could continue to rally.

In no particular order:

1 – Inflation

This was something I was looking at in January as well and I also mentioned it above in the Market Snapshot.  Similar to January, we’re watching inflation and thinking it could be a headwind to stock prices down the road, but unless we see significant inflation rates above historical averages I’m not too concerned about an outright market decline.  Remember inflation has been below historical averages for quite a while now.

2 – Taxes

We’ve seen the “trial balloon” of the new administration’s tax plan.  I wouldn’t say that balloon was filled with lead, but it wasn’t pure helium either.  That is to say I think there will be a lot of negotiations between now and when a bill gets taken to a vote.  In the early analysis some experts whom I read have projected that the markets will be able to live with the compromises needed to get a tax bill passed.  Taxes will go up for some, but likely not to crippling levels is the early consensus.  We’ll see what transpires.

3 – Geopolitics

I’m certainly not Nostradamus, but I worry that at least one of the tensions between Russia/Ukraine, China/Taiwan, Israel/Iran, Afghanistan/Taliban/US or North Korea/well..anybody…could turn into a bigger problem.  While I’m not thinking World War III, I’m certainly keeping an eye out for these situations and how they might spill into stock markets if any of them were to ignite.

Signing off for Quarter 1 – have a great spring everybody!

Ken

 

This is meant for educational purposes only.  It should not be considered investment advice, nor does it constitute a recommendation to take a particular course of action. Please consult with a financial professional regarding your personal situation prior to making any financial related decisions.

Jones Financial Group, Waddell & Reed., LPL Financial Holdings, Inc. and Macquarie Management Holdings, Inc. are unaffiliated entities.