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 www.equifaxsecurity2017.com 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.  www.lifelock.org 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 info@summitfc.net 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. – NPR.org, August 31, 2017

Americans ages 18 to 34 are now the largest group of homebuyers. Millennials made up 42% of homebuyers last year. – Bloomberg.com, 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. – Qz.com, 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: info@summitfc.net
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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