Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 9/14/20

Earnings releases of note this week: Dell Technologies, Lennar, Adobe, FedEx, WageWorks (not a recommendation to buy/sell/hold any of these securities) Market recap:  Last week, US Large Growth pulled back again with the Russell 1000 Growth down 3.49%.  Value stocks ...

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Payroll Tax “Cut” Update

              “Caveat emptor” – aka buyer beware (or taxpayer beware, in this case). You may have heard about Trump’s recent executive order, signed August 8th, regarding a payroll tax cut. It was his original ...

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Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 9/8/20

Earnings releases of note this week: Slack, Oracle, Kroger, Gamestop, Peloton (not a recommendation to buy/sell/hold any of these securities) Market recap:  Last week, US Large Growth began to pull back significantly on Wednesday ending the week down 3.41%.  ...

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Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 8/24/20

Earnings releases of note this week: Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target, Lowes, NVIDIA, Palo Alto Networks. (not a recommendation to buy/sell/hold any of these securities) Market recap: Last week, US Large Growth returned to its relative outperforming ways over ...

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Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 7/20/20

Earnings releases of note this week: Coca-Cola, IBM, Synchrony Financial, Capital One, United Airlines, American Airlines, Microsoft, Tesla, Union Pacific, W.W. Grainger, American Express (not a recommendation to buy/sell/hold any of these securities) Market recap:  Markets generally ...

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Safety Protocol at Aspen Wealth Strategies

Office Environments Ensure a minimum of 6 feet of space between all desks/work spaces, and discourage shared spaces. Conduct office cleaning with increased frequency and supplement with high-frequency sanitation of high-touch areas (e.g. doors, stairwell handles, books, light switches, ...

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Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 6/22/20

Market recap:  For the most part, stocks and bonds rallied last week on mostly positive data (more on that below).  The lone exception was the REIT space which has been, well – interesting, to watch this year.  From the February highs ...

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Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 6/15/20

Rally on pause: Stocks pulled back the most in three months (see table below) in what appears to have been some short-term profit taking in my opinion.  There is some concern of the pandemic worsening in some specific areas like ...

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Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 6/1/20

Rally caps are on – still:  Last week, most stock markets rallied mainly again with the Russell 1000 rallying 3.11%.  Almost all other indicies followed suit; even International Markets (EAFE up 5.11%) and Emerging Markets (up 2.86%). Value stocks once again beat Growth with Value ...

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Planning Opportunities in Today’s Environment

As you’ve heard us say multiple times at this point, we are in the midst of an unprecedented time – economically, financially, medically, personally. But for purposes of this post, we’re going to focus on the financial aspects. We’...

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Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 5/26/20

Rally caps are on – for now:  Last week, most stock markets rallied mainly on the optimism around the potential of having a COVID-19 vaccine sooner than most had anticipated.  The Russell 1000 rallied 3.55% and most other indicies followed suite with the ...

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Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 5/11/20

US Unemployment: On Friday, it was announced the unemployment rate in the US reach ed 14.7%.  This is the highest number the US has seen since it began collecting the data in 1948.  It is estimated that the rate hit approximately 25% during ...

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Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 4/27/20

Coronavirus: Some states are beginning to reopen their economies, mostly in limited areas and spaces.  For example, hair and nail salons have reopened in Georgia, but Pennsylvania has eased some delivery and pickup restrictions.  For the most part, the rest ...

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Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 2/24/20

Coronavirus: In the January 27th version of this missive I wrote that, “the major concern at this point (about the Coronavirus) is disruption of global supply chains”.  Over the weekend, it seems that concerns have leap frogged past supply chain ...

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Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 2/10/20

Coronavirus: Still challenging markets.  We are about 75% through earnings season and for S&P 500 stocks, earnings are up about 4% year over year.  Coronavirus has now killed more people than SARS did 18 years ago, but the mortality rate is far ...

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Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 1/27/20

Coronavirus: Markets appear to be selling off today due to concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak.  Most of the known cases are in China, specifically the Wuhan province but the virus is quickly spreading.  The major concern at ...

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Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 1/21/20

Trade: Last week, the US and China signed the “Phase 1” part of their trade deal.  Aside from just making general progress to a larger and in my opinion more important deal (technology and intellectual property protections are not part of ...

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Joel’s Weekly Talking Points – 1/23/20

Geopolitics: The US-Iran standoff seems to have dissipated to the point that markets are ready to move on. I do not believe we have heard and seen the last of this Iranian-based volatility but it’s something that markets have ...

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Q&A Conference Call with Joel & MFS

Q&A Video (please start at 2:53) This Q&A features Scott T. Edgecomb, CFA who is a portfolio manager with MFS.

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CARES Act – Details for Individuals & Families

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was signed into law to provide relief to individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19. Below are some of individual taxpayer-focused provisions of the CARES Act.   Recovery Rebates (i.e. stimulus checks) Considered as ...

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CARES Act – Details for Small Businesses

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was signed into law to provide relief to individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19. Below are some of small business-focused provisions of the CARES Act, including details and application instructions. Furthermore, we have also ...

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Getting Cabin Fever? Your Aspen Team Has Some Ideas

For those of you who may be getting cabin fever, Aspen’s compiled a list of ideas to keep you and your family mentally and physically active – while still maintaining a safe, social distance! Activity Ideas for Grown-Ups Binge some ...

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The End of the Bull

Being prepared is not just something we say. It is something we live by. We have been talking about a slowdown in the economy and a possible recession for over a year. We have drawn on the whiteboard, showed slides ...

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Coronavirus Update from Andy

I know Joel has been giving you very consistent and timely updates on the markets and actions we have taken to try to protect your portfolios in the past two months.  I also wanted to pass along some thoughts and ...

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Forbes Again Names Aspen Wealth Strategies’ Andy McClaflin One of Nation’s Best-in-State Wealth Advisors

For the second year in a row, Aspen Wealth Strategies’ Founder and Chairman, Andy McClaflin, has been named to the Forbes list of America’s Best-in-State Wealth Advisors, which recognizes advisors from national, regional, and independent firms. (To view the ...

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What the Griswolds Can Teach Us About Our Finances

The holidays can be an exciting and joyous occasion, or they can be filled with stress and anxiety, depending on how you prepare for them. But, using the Griswold’s situation in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” as a learning ...

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Should You Utilize a Partial Roth Conversion Strategy?

Aspen Wealth Strategies’ Founder and Chairman, Andy McClaflin, has been named to the 2019 Forbes list of America’s Best-in-State Wealth Advisors, which recognizes advisors from national, regional, and independent firms. Andy debuted at No. 23 in Colorado! (To view the entire ...

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Ideas for Your Tax Refund

Tax filing season is never fun, but for many Americans, the silver lining is the refund they’ll receive when it’s over. If you’re one of the individuals who received, or expect to receive, money back from Uncle ...

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Forbes Names Aspen Wealth Strategies’ Andy McClaflin One of The Nation’s Best-in-State Wealth Advisors

Aspen Wealth Strategies’ Founder and Chairman, Andy McClaflin, has been named to the 2019 Forbes list of America’s Best-in-State Wealth Advisors, which recognizes advisors from national, regional, and independent firms. Andy debuted at No. 23 in Colorado! (To view the entire ...

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Envisioning Your Perfect Retirement… Then Planning For It

Do you have a specific date marked on your calendar? Are you counting down the days until your retirement? You’ve planned for this moment for a long time now, but it’s just as important to plan for what’...

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A letter from Andy

 Most of you know that 11 years ago my wife Gina was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Gina fought hard through six months of chemotherapy, multiple surgeries and five years of hormone therapy. Even though her diagnosis was a life changing ...

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Weekly Talking Points

The S&P 500 ground out a positive 0.66% last week while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up 1.48% on a softening of the “trade war” talk between the US and China.   International markets continued sell off with political ...

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Weekly Talking Points

The S&P 500 ground out a positive 0.80% last week while the Dow Jones industrial Average was essentially flat (up 0.05%). International markets however took a breather as both developed (MSCI EAFE) and emerging (MSCI EM) declined 1.45% and 1.66% respectively. Personal income ...

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Determining Your Safe Withdrawal Rate

Sequence of return risk What is it? | The risk that an investor’s portfolio returns will be low or negative early in a withdrawal period. Given the same starting principal and average return, individuals who incur low or negative ...

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Forbes Names Aspen Wealth Strategies’ Andy McClaflin One of The Nation’s Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisors

Aspen Wealth Strategies’ Founder and Chairman, Andy McClaflin, has been named to the 2018 Forbes list of America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors, which recognizes advisors from national, regional, and independent firms. Andy debuted at No. 233 nationally and No. 3 in Colorado. (...

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Financial Planning for Special Needs Individuals

Caring for a special needs individual can easily deplete a family’s time and resources. Without knowing the available opportunities and potential pitfalls, you could jeopardize this individual’s financial future and miss out on significant benefits and opportunities.  &...

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Navigating Healthcare & Medicare Expenses in Retirement

Preparing for healthcare expenses in retirement can be a daunting task but educating yourself and having your financial plan stress-tested are critical first steps and ones that we want to help you with. While these expenses can no doubt be ...

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Weekly Talking Points

The S&P 500 was essentially flat last week returning just 0.04%, however there were some sizable moves throughout the week. Some of the biggest movers included United Continental Holdings (up 12.22%) and Netflix (down 8.78%). If anyone is looking for a reason ...

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Weekly Talking Points

The S&P 500 ended the week up 1.56% as data is finally starting to win over headline fear. The S&P is now up 4.25% YTD, while the Dow lags at 0.82% up for the year. The big gainers continue to ...

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Weekly Talking Points

The S&P 500 ended the week down 1.31%, mainly on continued worries over tariffs and the threat thereof. Interestingly President Trump, during his rally in North Dakota, stated rather adamantly that the “trade disputes will ultimately be worked out.” Once (...

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Aspen Wealth Strategies Q3 Market Commentary

“It’s the end of the world as we know it…and I feel fine” R.E.M. (1997) – American Alternative/Indie band “It’s the end of the world as we know it…” Many of you may best remember this ...

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Recent Tax Law Changes & How You May Be Impacted

Below is a condensed summary of some of the most important changes from the recent tax reform bill.  New Marginal Tax Brackets & Expanded Thresholds Who is affected? All taxpayers What changed? The seven old marginal brackets ...

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Social Security Claiming Considerations

According to the Social Security Administration, nearly three-quarters of Americans choose to begin benefits prior to their full retirement age (FRA). Whether or not this is the right choice depends on a myriad of different factors which we will discuss ...

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Weekly Investment & Economic Talking Points

I may be dating myself a little here, but all I could think about last week when President Trump floated his tariff plan was the movie “Ferris Buellers Day Off”. There was a scene in that movie where a rather ...

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Investment & Economic Talking points

Equity markets continue to rally into this New Year with nearly all equity indicies being positive (all numbers are YTD): S&P 500 4.28%; Dow Jones 30: 4.44%; Russell 2000: 3.70%; MSCI EAFE: 3.68%; MSCO EM: 4.32%; NASDAQ: 5.21%. If early meetings are any indication, the most common ...

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Weekly Investment & Economic Talking Points

Equity markets continue to rally into this New Year with nearly all equity indicies being positive (all numbers are YTD): S&P 500 4.28%; Dow Jones 30: 4.44%; Russell 2000: 3.70%; MSCI EAFE: 3.68%; MSCO EM: 4.32%; NASDAQ: 5.21%. If early meetings are any indication, the most common ...

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