Ken's 4th Quarter 2023 Update

January 09, 2024

Let’s just start off with the personal update because...well…this video was pretty well done and I wanted to share it with folks who may not have had the chance to see it yet.  I feel a bit like Lesley & I are tooting our own horn, but it definitely captures some things that I think, from what other people tell me, are emotions???

See for yourself:
A Members 1st Adoption Story

*Disclaimer here – this is not a recommendation for use of any product, merely illustrating a unique way to use a HELOC.  In our situation, Lesley and I didn’t want to sit on cash for who knows how long until we got “The Call” and then need liquid cash tomorrow, so we used a HELOC to provide for that potential liquidity need. 

Members 1st FCU is not affiliated with or endorsed by Jones Financial Group or LPL Financial.

Business update:

My focus for 2024 during scheduled meetings with clients is to make sure we update and link power of attorney documents.  With all 3 of our parents hospitalized in 2023 (everybody is home and recovered/recovering) this hit home a bit more.

It’s a major relief when we as advisors are faced with a situation where a POA needs to act and we look up the account(s) and see that the POA is already on file.  We can then take instructions immediately.  It’s quite the opposite reaction when we look up the account(s) we see a blank spot where the “Trading Authorization” is supposed to be and it can throw an unwanted wrench in the mix and result in significant delays accessing needed funds.

Another item I am going to get in front of in the 1st quarter is to automate as many Required Minimum Distributions as we can so that we’re working proactively to get these out versus fretting about the calendar come December.  We’ll look to set as many of these as we can up with monthly or quarterly payments to clients and send them straight to the bank if that is the preferred delivery method.  If you have a Beneficiary IRA or are 73 or older with a pre-tax retirement account, we’ll be reaching out shortly!

The team:
Jon is settling into Selinsgrove nicely and has met many of the local clients.  He’s currently studying for exam number 3 of 4 – the Series 7 – and we’re hoping to launch him as a new financial advisor late in the 1st quarter or early 2nd quarter.  Jon, Laird and several local friends have become regulars at Thursday Night Trivia in town.  I may have to start working late on Thursday’s instead of Monday’s…

Nathan is our intern working in Selinsgrove – he’s a 3rd year at Susquehanna University.  Once back from Christmas break, we are going to dive into some additional analysis on how correlated some of our investment portfolios are.  I’m typically a champion of diversification and this will put some numbers to how well our models accomplish this.

While Nathan is home on break, McKenna is also on break but home in Selinsgrove from her first semester at UPenn and has been working on getting some more of the annuity, life insurance and long term care policies reassigned to my supervision that we were slowly picking away at in 2023.  If you have such a policy you may be getting a letter with the form to sign to complete the request.  She’s been a big help in this area and is also getting the RMD numbers lined up for us.

4th Quarter Stock Market Snapshot:

During the holiday season it’s easy to find the Home Alone movies on network channels or streaming platforms.  A particular scene in Home Alone 2, Lost in New York comes to mind as an analogy to 4th quarter market performance.  Upon conquering the doorknob stapler by kicking in the front door, Marv states “Harry, I’ve reached the top” and takes a step inside the house and immediately plunges face first into the basement.  Upon rearranging his neck and recovering a bit, he stares back up at what happened and proclaims “Wow.  What a hole!”

As it relates to stock markets in Q4, 2023: “Wow.  What a quarter!”

Ok maybe this is a stretch, but I love Home Alone and shoehorned this in.  My mind often thinks in terms of movie quotes or references, and I even thought about trying to draw more parallels to Marv falling and Q3 2023 actually being a down quarter, but then I remembered I’m a little weird and gave up.

Back to reality.  For reference, the S&P 500 Index (the index I most closely track) all time high was on January 3rd, 2022 of 4,796.56.  So not quite back there but knocking on the door.  Other indices have recently set new all time highs.

Index:                                   Close 9/29/23      Close 12/29/23      Q4 2023 +/-            2023 +/-         

Dow Jones Industrial Avg      33,507.50             37,689.54             12.48%               13.71%           

S&P 500                                   4,288.05              4,769.83              11.23%               23.89%

NASDAQ                               13,219.32             15,011.35             13.56%               43.26%

(Source – Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. – Quarterly Market Review: Jan 2023 – Dec 2023.  Copyright 2023, 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.

5 Things I’m Watching in the 1st Quarter:

1 – When does the Fed cut the federal funds target rate?
2 – We have an Incumbent President seeking re-election – it is typically in the President’s best interest to boost the economy prior to heading to the polls in November.
3 – Counterpoint to #2 is we have a House majority which doesn’t want the Incumbent President re-elected, so will they actually do their jobs or continue the trend of blocking, stalling or kicking the can down the road on just about everything?
4 – With stock markets at or near all-time highs, do we get a pause before climbing higher or a meaningful pullback?  A pause or small pullback is typically healthy and helps the bull run to continue.
5 – When does spring training start again?


Lastly some self-promotion.  In addition to folks who have questions similar to what I am already working with you on, there are 4 other types of clients I’m looking for.  I’ll highlight one per quarter moving forward. 

Small Business Retirement Plans
Many small businesses think they are too small to open a retirement plan for their employees or even for themselves.  When thinking about a standard 401(k) plan in particular, many times this thought holds true as there are fees and reporting requirements to the IRS that makes it onerous to create and maintain for small companies.

However there are several other lesser known types of retirement plans including Simple IRA’s and Solo 401(k)’s that don’t carry such hefty startup and maintenance costs and can make sense for businesses with less than 100 employees or sole proprietors.  Having a retirement plan for your employees is a useful tool in helping to retain talent and can also generate tax deductions for the business and/or the owner(s), depending on the situation.

If you or someone you know is a small business owner and thinks they are too small for a retirement plan, I’ll happily discuss these options with them!

Social Media:
Connect with me for some timely posts and event news.  I’ve sent out a few Facebook invites to clients recently so if you get one don’t think I’ve been hacked.  Maybe I’m not smart enough but the only way I can figure out how to ask you to follow my business FB page is to be personal friends first.  As a side bonus that is a good way to sneak some pics of the girls now and again!

X (Twitter) - @KenLoganCFP
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Happy New Year to all of you and looking forward to serving you in 2024!


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.

Members 1st FCU is not affiliated with or endorsed by Jones Financial Group or LPL Financial.