September 2017 – Data Breach & Market Commentary

September 2017 – Data Breach & Market Commentary

Disclaimer:  These are the views of Summit Financial Consulting and should not be construed as investment advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. 

Data Breach and Market Commentary

Last month we performed well in our TD Ameritrade portfolios, but first, let’s address the topic that is on top of everyone’s mind:  The Equifax data breach.  Over 143 million American consumers had their personal information stolen.  The information that was taken was unfortunately very comprehensive, such as names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some instances, driver’s license numbers.  To find out if your information was exposed, visit and click on the “Potential Impact” tab.

Whether or not your information was exposed, US Consumers can get a year of credit monitoring and other services for free.  The site will give you a date when you can come back to enroll.  If you want to be more pro-active, you can consider purchasing a program that scans for identity theft through a company like Lifelock. is their website or 844-993-1307 by phone.  They are currently offering a 10% discount and 30 days risk free if you use the code ORGRFP.  For liability purposes, we cannot officially recommend any company, but we have had some clients have a positive experience with Lifelock.

If you have any additional questions or concerns about the Equifax data breach, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (586) 226-2100.

On to better news, the market commentary! Our TD Ameritrade managed portfolios performed very well in August, especially when you compare their performance to the stock markets.  The stock markets were overall flat, or down in August.  Our portfolios that we manage in-house were up 1%-2% depending upon your risk tolerance because of our active management.

Some additional good news is that our top research company has recently declared that the short-term indicator that we have been discussing for the past six months has finally turned to green.  That brings all three of their indicators into green territory.  While the past is no indicator of future performance (disclaimer), historically when all three indicators are green it has meant the stock market has performed quite well.  The stock market has been hitting all-time highs recently, so we’re being patient to see if the market has a small drop that can be used as a buying opportunity, but in general, this is an environment that has historically been good for stocks.

This is a perfect time to mention again that we now offer a service to help you manage your 401(k), 403(b), TSP, TSA, other employer based retirement plans.  We will provide you specific recommendations on how much of your hard-earned money should be allocated to each fund.  The cost is only $25 per month, but we believe it is well worth it to potentially help protect one of, if not your largest asset during your working years.

We’ll continue to review your TD Ameritrade managed portfolio holdings daily.  If you are a client and disagree with any of the moves inside your portfolio, if you would like to update us on your risk tolerance preferences, or if you have had a dramatic change to your income or financial situation, please contact us to discuss it.

Please feel free to forward this commentary to a friend, family member, or co-worker.  If they would like to be added to our free commentary, please send us an e-mail at at your earliest convenience. 

Interesting Points

In America, a single person only has to consider nine different scenarios when claiming retirement benefits. For married couples, the available options for filing strategies grows to 81. – CNBC, June 6, 2017

In the United States, there is a record number of job openings- around 6 million. That is about one job opening for every officially unemployed person in the country. –, August 31, 2017

Americans ages 18 to 34 are now the largest group of homebuyers. Millennials made up 42% of homebuyers last year. –, August 22, 2017

Forty years after Elvis Presley’s death, his Graceland home in Memphis remains the second-most-visited house in the U.S., after the White House. More than 600,000 people visit Graceland every year. –, August 16, 2017

Some 83% of households in California do not carry earthquake insurance – Harvard Business Review, July 17, 2017

U.S. crude output rose from 5.5 million barrels per day in 2010 to 9.2 million barrels per day at the beginning of 2016- about the same amount as the Saudis produce. – The Week, August 13, 2017

Since the financial crises, banks have closed over 10,000 branches. In the first half of 2017 alone, a net 869 brick-and-mortar entities shut their doors. – The Economist, July 27, 2017

“At best, most college presidents are running something that is somewhere between a faltering corporation and a hotel.” – Leon Botstein


Summit Financial Consulting LLC

43409 Schoenherr Road, Sterling Heights, MI 48313
Phone: 586-226-2100 Fax: 586-226-3584 E-mail:
Securities offered through Gradient Securities, LLC (Arden Hills, MN (866)991-1539) Member FINRA/SIPC
Summit Financial Consulting LLC is independent and is not an affiliate of Gradient Securities, LLC. Investment advisory
services offered through Summit Financial Consulting LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Michigan.

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Attention Clients with Employer Retirement Plans

Attention Clients with Employer Retirement Plans

Disclaimer:  These are the views of Summit Financial Consulting and should not be construed as investment advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. 

Attention Clients with Employer Retirement Plans – 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s, etc..

Summit Financial Consulting is pleased to announce that starting this September we will be launching a new investment management service for clients with 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s and other employer retirement plans.

For years we have assisted clients in selecting their 401(k) investment options, however, we have not had a disciplined system in place to help assure investment allocations remain in line and up-to-date throughout the year and longer-term. We have also upgraded our research process and that has the potential to improve the recommendations. This is extremely important because we have found that keeping retirement plan investment options up-to-date can potentially increase returns in the long term.

By hiring additional staff and investing in new research and technology we are now able to dedicate the time and resources necessary to ensure our clients retirement plans remain invested appropriately and according to their risk tolerance on an ongoing basis. The nuts and bolts of the new service are as follows:

1. Summit will gather information about the available investment options within your qualified retirement plan.

2. After cross referencing independent research, a list of recommendations will be provided with the name and percentage for each holding, at least quarterly.

3. If we believe it is warranted, you may be contacted on any given day with an update.

read more…

July 2017 – Market Commentary

July 2017 – Market Commentary

Disclaimer:  These are the views of Summit Financial Consulting and should not be construed as investment advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. 

Solid first Half of the Year, but is there a Tech Bubble?

Overall, the first half of the year was very solid for our portfolios, especially in the 2nd quarter. Up until last week, the Nasdaq was nearly doubling the performance year to date of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 (Source: However, the Nasdaq lost about 2% last week while the other indexes held their own a bit better. Some investors are worried that the sky-high valuations of large technology firms are a tech bubble that is getting ready to burst at any moment.

read more…

June 2017 – Market Commentary

June 2017 – Market Commentary

Disclaimer:  These are the views of Summit Financial Consulting and should not be construed as investment advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. 

UK Election, Impeachment, and Terrorism

It seems like the current political, economic, and military situation is very unique, and concerning. The UK has a leadership problem after the election last week and this is only a couple weeks before formal BREXIT talks are set to begin. President Trump has had his hands full with a number of situations that have prevented him from advancing his healthcare and tax cut agenda. And lastly, the terrorism that has occurred the past few months is truly startling, and could be a concern that this is a new normal. To provide context, we went back and looked through our previous market commentaries to see what issues were concerning in the past few years, and how they compared to today. After our review, there is one common conclusion: This too shall pass.

As we have mentioned previously, we are constantly updating our research lineup to attempt to create the best outcome for our client portfolios as possible. The upgrades we made last December to our research platforms have continued to bear fruit. Most of our TD portfolios have made money every single month since then, despite some rather large fluctuations in the stock and bond markets. Our short-term indicator for the stock market has changed to red. This means that in the next few weeks to months, there is a higher probability that the stock market heads south for a while. Similarly, after a nice run since the election, the bond market is starting to show signs of stress again. Because of this, within our TD Ameritrade portfolios, we have made some adjustments to reduce exposure to certain areas of the markets that are concerning to us. In summary, we’re trying to sell high and buy low whenever possible. read more…

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Contact Us

Phone: 586-226-2100
Fax: 586-226-3584


We are located at:
43409 Schoenherr Road
Sterling Heights, MI 48313
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Summit Financial

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Securities services offered through Gradient Securities, LLC (Arden Hills, MN 866-991-1539).   Member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment advisory services are offered through Summit Financial Consulting, LLC, a MI registered investment advisor.  Gradient Securities, LLC and its representatives do not render tax, legal, or accounting advice.  Insurance products and services are offered through Summit Financial Consulting, LLC.  Summit Financial Consulting, LLC is not affiliated with Gradient Securities, LLC.

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