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Understanding Recent Market Volatility

by Sergio Mariaca on Feb 9, 2018 3:10:42 PM |Share:

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The markets started 2018 with the wind in their sails, and investors watched as indexes continued their nearly straight-up trajectory from 2017.

Then, after the S&P 500’s best January performance since 1997, stocks took a dive at the beginning of February. 1 On Monday, February 5, the Dow and S&P 500 each lost more than 4%, and the NASDAQ’s drop was nearly as significant.2 The next day, all 3 indexes posted positive returns.3

We understand how unnerving these fluctuations can feel—especially as headlines shout fear-inducing statistics. Our goal is to help you better understand where the markets stand today and how to apply this knowledge to your own financial life.  

 

Putting Performance Into Perspective

When markets post dramatic losses or whipsaw back and forth, many people wonder what causes the turbulence—and may assume negative financial data is to blame. However, the recent selloff and volatility don’t have the culprits you might expect.  

No negative economic update or geopolitical drama emerged to spur the selloff February 5–6. Instead, emotion-driven investing may have combined with computer-generated trading to fuel the decline. In particular, after the latest labor report showed wage growth picking up more than expected, some investors began to worry about increasing inflation.4 Higher wages can mean companies have to raise their prices to support their labor costs, a cycle that can cause inflation to grow.5

While concerns about inflation and interest rates may be to blame for the market fluctuations, it may not be the only detail to focus on. Another key point is important to remember as an investor: Volatility is normal.

 

Volatility Facts

Average Intra-Year Declines: Since 1980, the S&P 500 has experienced an average correction each year of approximately 14%. But in 2017, the markets were unusually calm, fluctuating only 3%.6 Before this recent decline, the S&P had gone more than 400 days without losing over 5%—its longest span since the 1950s.7

Takeaway: Markets fluctuate, and the recent lack of volatility is what’s truly unusual.

Percentages vs. Points: Many news articles mention that the Dow’s 1175-point drop on February 6 was its highest decline in history.8 While this statement may be true, it leaves out a key detail: The higher an index goes, the smaller a percentage of its total that each point represents. In other words, 1175 points doesn’t have the same impact at 25,000 that it does at 10,000.

Takeaway: Focus on percentages not points to gain a clearer view of market performance.

Recovery From Bad Days:  The S&P 500 fell 4.1% on February 5, but within one day, the index regained 1.7%.This performance surpasses historical data. If you analyze the S&P 500’s 15 worst days—where the index lost an average of 8.16%—stocks were still in negative territory 1 day later. But, in 13 instances, stocks were back up within a year by about 21%; they were always in positive territory 5 years later.10

Takeaway: Even when stocks lose more ground than they just did, they recover and positive performance returns.

Remembering the Last Market Correction

In August 2011, the S&P 500 lost 6.66% in one day. At that time, the European debt crisis was in full swing, the U.S. had lost its AAA credit rating, and the financial sector was reeling. Volatility measures indicated that many investors were becoming worried.11

Facing that situation, impulses to leave the market and avoid further losses could have arisen. As is so often the case, however, staying invested paid off.

Only a year later, the S&P 500 had gained over 25%.12

 

Knowing Where to Go From Here

Over  short periods of time, the market trades on fear, anxiety, greed, and emotion. Over the long term, however, economic fundamentals drive the markets.

Thankfully, a variety of data indicate that the economy continues to grow:

Labor Market: The economy added 200,000 new jobs in January and beat expectations. Average hourly wages also increased, bringing 2.9% growth in the past 12 months—the largest rise since 2008–2009.13

Corporate Earnings: The majority of S&P 500 companies who have reported their 4th quarter results have beaten their earnings estimates.14

Service Sector: The latest reading of the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (which tracks performance and expectations for service-sector businesses) hit its best level since 2005.15

Consumers: The most recent data indicates that personal income and spending are on the rise.16

 

As investors try to determine whether inflation is on the rise and higher interest rates are imminent, volatility could continue. After last year’s smooth sailing in the markets, these fluctuations may feel harder to withstand. The reality is that equities don’t move in a straight line.

Even if volatility is here to stay, we know that price changes can provide new market opportunities. We agree with the economists at First Trust who assert that, “More economic growth will ultimately be a tailwind for equities, not a headwind.”17

We encourage you to focus on your long-term goals, rather than short-term fluctuations. As you do, avoid allowing emotions to derail your plans. We also want you to feel comfortable in your financial journey.

As always, we are here to provide you with clarity, perspective, and support during every market environment. Thank you for the confidence you place in our abilities. We consider it a privilege to be good stewards of the assets you entrust to our care.

[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-02/stocks-in-rate-wringer-with-rout-raising-existential-questions

[1] http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/05/investing/stock-market-today-dow-jones/index.html

[2] https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/06/us-stock-futures-dow-data-earnings-market-sell-off-and-politics-on-the-agenda.html

[3] https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/05/why-the-stock-market-plunged-today.html?recirc=taboolainternal

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/02/us-bond-market-rout-fears-trigger-wall-street-sell-off

[5] First Trust, Staying the Course, 12/31/17

[6] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-markets-volatility/explainer-investors-burned-as-bets-on-low-market-volatility-implode-idUSKBN1FQ2GL

[7] http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/06/us/five-things-february-6-trnd/index.html

[8] https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/05/fidelity-says-it-saw-no-panic-among-its-customers-and-more-buying-than-selling-during-the-plunge.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/06/us-stock-futures-dow-data-earnings-market-sell-off-and-politics-on-the-agenda.html

[9] First Trust, S&P 500 Performance After Its Worst Days, 6/17

[10] First Trust, S&P 500 Performance After Its Worst Days, 6/17

http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/10/markets/markets_newyork/index.htm?iid=EL

[11] First Trust, S&P 500 Performance After Its Worst Days, 6/17

[12] https://www.ftportfolios.com/Commentary/EconomicResearch/2018/2/2/nonfarm-payrolls-rose-200,000-in-january

[13] https://insight.factset.com/sp-500-earnings-season-update-february-2

[14] https://www.ftportfolios.com/Commentary/EconomicResearch/2018/2/5/the-ism-non-manufacturing-index-rose-to-59.9-in-january

[15] https://www.ftportfolios.com/Commentary/EconomicResearch/2018/1/29/personal-income-rose-0.4percent-in-december

[16] https://www.ftportfolios.com/Commentary/EconomicResearch/2018/2/5/new-policies,-new-path

[17] https://www.ftportfolios.com/Commentary/EconomicResearch/2018/2/5/new-policies,-new-path

Ten Steps to 401k Success

by Sergio Mariaca on Jan 23, 2018 11:38:47 AM |Share:

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The 401(k) plan is becoming the single largest source of retirement savings for a majority of American workers. According to the Society of Professional Administrators and Recordkeepers (SPARK), over 55 million people participate in 401(k) plans.  If you participate in a 401(k) plan, the good news is that you have more control over your retirement money.  The bad news is that you have more control over your retirement money.

For people who do not have the time or the financial knowledge, properly managing your 401(k) plan can be a daunting task. Moreover, if you do not manage it properly, the 401(k) can become, at best, a savings account and, at worst, a high-risk gamble with your retirement money.

Mariaca Wealth Management, LLC, a 401(k) advice and asset management company, recommends ten steps that have helped thousands of corporate employees succeed with their 401(k). If you lack the time or inclination to manage your own account, they will actively manage it for you. However, if you are the do-it-yourself type, these ten steps will help.

  1. Participate

The dollars in your 401(k) plan may represent 20-80% of your income at retirement. The government, and by extension, your employer, are giving you the opportunity to take advantage of two very powerful financial concepts: the ability to save money on a pre-tax basis, and the tax-deferred, compounded growth of those dollars. A 401(k) enables you to build a better nest egg than anything else you can do on your own because of that tax-deferred growth. Saving money before it is included in your taxable income reduces your annual tax bill. In addition, the earnings can grow on a tax-deferred basis, meaning you can earn money on your earnings!  If your company offers a 401(k) plan, you need to be contributing, as soon as you can, and as much as you can. It is the first step in taking charge of your financial future.

In order to help you increase the size of your nest egg, as well as to encourage reluctant employees to save for retirement, many employers offer matching funds.  The average employer offers a match of 50% of the amount you contribute up to 6% of your eligible salary. In the complex world of finances, we call this free money. If your employer is willing to give you money, you need to take it!

The only catch is that you must contribute some of your own money in order to receive the company match. If your employer matches up to 6%, you should be contributing at least 6%.  The goal is to capture the entire company match (and then keep working there until you’re fully vested).

  1. Determine your investor profile

Investor, know thyself! Every investor is different and knowing yourself is the first step to allocating your investments appropriately. Before you can determine your asset allocation strategy, you must first be able to clearly define your goals. Remember, 401(k) money is retirement money and everybody has different dreams about what their retirement will entail – traveling, boating, etc. Also, you may have some pre-retirement goals for which you need to save some money. Each goal may represent a separate pool of money and there are different investment options available to you to help fund each goal. Second, determine the time horizon for retirement. Is it more than 10 years away? In general, the longer you have until you need the money, the more heavily weighted you should be in stocks. You’ll have more time to recover any losses incurred during a market downturn. The third consideration concerns how psychologically comfortable you are with those market downturns. Will you really be able to tolerate the inevitable ups and downs that the stock market delivers?

  1. Allocate appropriately

Asset allocation is the principle of deciding how to spread your investments across various asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and cash. There are subcategories within each class, such as small, medium and large cap stocks. The idea is to diversify your holdings in order to potentially increase returns while diminishing risk. A variety of factors determines the appropriate allocation for each individual – When you need the money (not automatically dictated by your retirement age), how much money you have now and expect to need later, what kind of risks you’re willing to take, and what other assets you have invested outside of your 401(k). Perhaps the most important factor is your time horizon – the more time you have, the more aggressive you can be.

  1. Limit exposure to company stock

Company stock can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, as a loyal employee who understands the business, you want to participate in the growth of the company by being a shareholder. On the other hand, it is risky to have too much of your portfolio in one stock. Having too much money in a single stock issue creates a non-diversified portfolio.  Most investors are able to reduce volatility significantly by having a diversified portfolio. Besides, do you really want the fortunes of one company to control your salary, benefits, pension and your 401(k)?

  1. Reallocate tactically

While it is not advisable to move your money around daily (market timing in general has not proven to be an effective strategy over the long haul), it is advisable to look at what your investments are doing from time to time. If one segment of the market has outperformed other segments significantly, then your portfolio is likely to be significantly out of balance.  In other words, if you wanted to have 70% of your money in stocks, and it has grown to represent 80% of your portfolio, you need to rebalance your portfolio. You may also need to consider other strategic moves if your mutual fund suffers from style drift, there’s a change in management, or if a similar fund with lower expenses becomes available.  Take a disciplined approach to monitoring your investment portfolio.

  1. Do not panic

Listening to the evening news, and hearing about the market changes on a daily basis, can cause even the most stalwart of investors to get nervous occasionally. Stocks fluctuate in value, it’s the nature of the beast. Just remember that you are investing in your 401(k) for the long term.  Although there are no guarantees that this will continue in the future, the direction of the stock market over the long term has been up.  There will continue to be downward dips and swings, which is why knowing how you’ll react to those swings is a factor to consider in your overall asset allocation. Selling when your investments are down is the best way to lock in your losses. Try to remember that patience is a virtue. Unless you believe that the investment cannot recover, it is usually better to hold on for the ride. In fact, it might be a good opportunity to buy more!

  1. Know your plan features

Every 401(k) plan has unique characteristics. To maximize your plan you need to know all your options. Your plan documents, distributed by your benefits department, will outline options such hardship withdrawals, loans, vesting schedule, limitations to moving money, and in-service withdrawals. Read this document carefully or have a financial advisor review it with you.

Most plans allow for hardship withdrawals. There are several tax and penalty issues associated with hardship withdrawals, so make sure you read your plan documents carefully and seek professional guidance.  If you use the option for hardship withdrawal, you may be suspended from the plan for a specified period.

The vesting schedule refers to the years of employment before the company match money becomes yours. Vesting schedules either are graded, meaning you get a percentage of the money in successive years of employment; or cliff, meaning you get all the money at once after no more than five years. Keep the vesting schedule in mind if you are thinking about quitting your job.

If the plan does not meet your investment needs, and it allows for in-service withdrawals, you can move some of the money into other vehicles, such as an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). An IRA gives you many options for investing your money, thereby enhancing your diversification abilities.

  1. Borrow judiciously – if at all

Early 401(k) plans had no provision for loans.  Providers added most loan provisions as an incentive to encourage greater participation – participants would be more likely to save for retirement if they could access the money before they retired.  This does not make loans an attractive feature!  Many people believe (often erroneously) that if the interest rate on the 401(k) loan is less than they would have to pay elsewhere, the 401(k) loan is a good deal.  That may be, but it does not take into consideration the real cost of the loan – the lost opportunity cost.  The money in your plan cannot grow if it is not there! If the investments in your plan are growing by 12%, that is what borrowing from the plan costs you, plus growth on that growth.  Another consideration needs to be the tax consequences of borrowing from your plan.  While you do not pay any taxes on the money when you borrow it, you do pay the loan back with after-tax dollars. Then, when you begin to take withdrawals at retirement, you pay taxes on those dollars again – you are paying taxes twice. If you do some calculations, you may find that borrowing from your plan is an extremely expensive option.  Borrow only if you must.

  1. Consider tax consequences of your actions

Most of the things we do in our financial lives have tax consequences.  In the case of the 401(k), you can avoid several negative tax consequences.  If you leave your current employer and want to take your 401(k) money with you, be sure to roll it over directly to an IRA or to another employer’s plan. You may leave it in your former employer's plan only if you have more than $5000 in your account. If you take a full distribution, you will pay federal and state taxes on the entire amount. If you are not yet 59 ½, you also will pay a 10% penalty. This could reduce your lump sum distribution to almost half its original value. It will not help your retirement nest egg. Do not take a lump sum at retirement, unless you need all the money at once. Take out only what you need, so the bulk of the portfolio can continue to grow tax-deferred. If you are over 70 ½, you must follow the Required Minimum Distribution rules. Rolling your money from your 401(k) to an IRA may make sense for a variety of reasons, and fortunately, an IRA rollover is not a taxable event.

  1. At retirement, balance your needs for income and growth

Most people should disregard the notion that when you retire you should move all your money into bonds and stay clear of the stock market. Inflation, even when it is under control, has a nasty way of ensuring that a dollar in the future will not buy what a dollar does today.  You must ensure that your investment holdings have the potential to outpace inflation, so that the income you receive from your investments can have the same purchasing power when you’re 85 as it does when you’re 65.  This means you should have a portion of your money in investments that have the potential to outpace inflation, such as stocks, regardless of your age.

The Importance of a 401k

by Sergio Mariaca on Jan 16, 2018 11:54:12 AM |Share:

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The 401(k) plan has become the single largest source of retirement savings for a majority of American workers.  The dollars in your 401(k) savings plan may represent a substantial portion of your income during retirement.

While the volatile markets have many people questioning the value of their 401(k), it is still one of the best ways to prepare successfully for retirement.

The government, and by extension, your employer, are giving you the opportunity to take advantage of two very powerful financial concepts: the ability to save money on a pre-tax basis, and the tax-deferred, compounded growth of those dollars. A 401(k) enables you to potentially build a significant nest egg because of that tax-deferred growth.

Saving money before it is included in your taxable income reduces your annual tax bill. In addition, the earnings can grow on a tax-deferred basis, meaning you can earn money on your earnings!  You need to join the plan, as soon as you can, and save as much as you can. It is the first step in taking charge of your financial future.

The Importance of the Right Allocation

The first step in the 401(k) process is to allocate your money among the investment options available within your 401(k) plan. If you do not allocate it properly, the 401(k) can become, at best, a savings account and, at worst, a high-risk gamble with your retirement money.

Asset allocation is the principle of deciding how to spread your investments across various asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and cash. The idea is to diversify your holdings in order to potentially increase returns while diminishing risk. Many factors determine the appropriate allocation for each individual – when you need the money (not automatically dictated by your retirement age), how much money you have now and expect to need later, what kind of risks you’re willing to take, and what other assets you have invested outside of your 401(k).

While it is not advisable to move your money around daily (market timing has not proven to be an effective strategy over the long haul), it is advisable to look at what your investments are doing on a regular basis. If one segment of the market has outperformed other segments significantly, then your portfolio may be out of balance.  If you wanted to have 70% of your money in stocks, and it has grown to represent 80% of your portfolio, you need to rebalance. You may also need to consider other strategic moves if your investment suffers from style drift, there’s a change in management, or if similar investments with lower expenses become available. 

Footnotes, disclosures, and sources:

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative, Broker dealer or Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker Dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.
We have not independently verified the information available through the following links. The links are provided to you as a matter of interest. We make no claim as to their accuracy or reliability.
Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

5 Mistakes Business Owners Make

by Sergio Mariaca on Jun 14, 2017 2:45:09 PM |Share:

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Small-business owners are an essential component of keeping America’s economy churning. In the United States, small businesses with 500 or fewer employees make up 99.7% of companies and are collectively worth more than $10 trillion.1

Too often, however, small-business owners spend so much time and energy building their companies, they neglect their personal financial futures. They might consider their companies to be their retirement plans, but don’t create the structure or strategy necessary for turning financial success into a meaningful retirement.

Mistake No. 1: Not Creating a Retirement Road Map

Building, running, and growing a company is tough. Business owners have countless responsibilities, and too few hours in the day. Often, in the midst of fulfilling your professional priorities, you end up putting your personal financial life on the back burner.

If you have not planned for your retirement, you are not alone. Many entrepreneurs think growing a business is all they need to retire. However, simply having a business does not automatically mean you have a retirement strategy in place. Without a documented road map—one that goes beyond the hope to sell your business or to pass it to family—you could end up pushing back your ability to retire. In one survey, 28% of respondents said they would delay retirement if they could not sell their businesses or receive the money they needed.3

Delaying retirement is not always an option, though. Life often brings surprises and challenges, and you cannot always control when you retire. In 2016, 55% of people who retired early did so because of challenges, such as health problems or disability.4 To help ensure you can experience retirement on your terms—rather than reacting to what life or the business world throws your way—you need to proactively address these items…today.

What to do now:

  • Define your ideal retirement. Clarify when you want to retire and what lifestyle you hope to enjoy.
  • Build strategies to address your retirement. Determine the actions you need to take to fill the gaps between your current assets and the income you will need to support your desired retirement.
  • Hold yourself accountable. Do not let the busy life of business ownership keep you from staying on track toward the retirement you desire.

 

Mistake No. 2: Not Having an Exit Strategy                                     

For many business owners, the idea of selling their companies for top dollar or passing them down to future generations is a retirement dream. Many entrepreneurs, though, are not doing the work necessary to turn this dream into a reality.

In the United States, 60% of small-business owners are baby boomers who plan to retire in 10 to 15 years. However, only 1 in 8 has a business succession plan—regardless of the company’s success.6 In fact, a survey of business owners with more than $3 million of investable assets found that 64% of respondents ages 50 and older did not have a formal succession plan.7

No matter how long you want to work and how much you love your business, a clear exit strategy is necessary to help foster the company’s longevity and preserve your financial health. If you want to be able to retire when and how you would like—and have your business last beyond your career—you need an exit strategy for accomplishing that goal.

What to do now:

  • Define your ideal exit strategy. Do you want to sell your business? Pass it to the next generation? Find an outside successor?
  • Determine the real value of your business. Hire a qualified professional to provide a clear valuation of your company as it is today. Depending on how far you are from retirement or exiting, you might need to revisit this valuation in the future.
  • Create a strategy—and stick to it. Your exit strategy might require you to hire new people, adjust your services, or implement a number of other changes.

 

Mistake No. 3: Not Having Separate Retirement Savings

Trying to build retirement savings while you foster your business can be challenging. With only so many dollars to go around, and an endless list of professional expenses, you might rather reinvest in your company. However, even if you are ready to sell your business at retirement, you need to have savings that are completely separate from your business.

The reality is that solely relying on the value of your business to carry you into retirement is a risky approach that can easily backfire. Not only can industries change and companies falter, but only 20% of businesses listed to sell actually do.9 Would you and your family be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement without your current income or profits from selling your business? If the answer is no, now is the time to start building your savings.

What to do now:

  • Balance your personal and professional finances. When deciding how to invest your available assets or what salary to draw, make sure you focus on addressing both sides of your financial life.
  • Explore available retirement-savings tools. From SEP IRAs to 401(k)s and beyond, small-business owners have access to a variety of vehicles for building retirement savings.
  • Review your budget, and create a disciplined savings approach. Identify ways you might be able to trim your current expenses or save on your tax liabilities. Also, establish a habit of regularly contributing to your personal retirement savings.

 

Mistake No. 4: Not Having Sufficient Life Insurance Coverage  

Most people are familiar with life insurance, but the role this product plays for small-business owners often is more complex than for the typical individual. Of course, sufficient life insurance can help protect your family’s financial security if you were to pass away. A business owner, though, could have an extra liability: business collateral. If you take out loans to support your business and you pass away, your family members are on the hook for that debt, which could jeopardize their financial standing. However, with the protection of life insurance, your loved ones are covered.11

In addition, life insurance can be a tool for supporting your company’s longevity.12 Luckily, the coverage you need might cost significantly less than you expect because people often overestimate the cost of life insurance. In fact, the median guess for the cost of $250,000 term life insurance was more than twice the actual price.13

*Guaranteed interest rates are based on the claims-paying ability of the underlying insurance company. Additional benefits and riders may increase the cost of the premium or reduce the interest rate earned. Applicants are subject to underwriting, which may include medical history and current health.

What to do now:

  • Analyze your current life insurance coverage. Do you have the right tools? Do you have unrecognized gaps?
  • Address your family’s life insurance needs. Calculate your total debts and expenses to find the amount your family would need if you were to pass away prematurely.
  • Uncover your business life insurance opportunities. Work with a professional to determine how life insurance might be able to help support both your business needs and your retirement goals.

 

Mistake No. 5: Not Hiring Outside Support

Running a successful small business requires a number of skills—from delivering your product or service to managing employees and growth. Accustomed to shouldering a vast number of responsibilities, many business owners seem to forget they do not have to go it alone.

Hiring outside help not only gives you access to experienced professionals who can apply their expertise to your specific needs, but it can also save you significant time. In a 2016 survey of almost 1,700 growth-oriented small businesses, almost 60% expressed challenges with understanding and managing laws and government regulations.15 They spent an average of 4 hours a week just dealing with regulation and tax compliance.16

So, business owners have both personal and professional financial strategy needs on top of regulatory and tax burdens, thus increasing their need for professional support. Unfortunately, 36% of entrepreneurs seek advice from the Internet instead.17

What to do now:

  • Determine what professional support you need. You likely should consider hiring a tax professional, attorney, and financial representative. Your unique circumstances might require additional support.
  • Ask your professionals to work together. Aligning your financial life requires an understanding of its many facets. Make sure your support team has a clear picture of how your various
    pieces intertwine.
  • Embrace the benefit of outside expertise. Your financial representative and other professionals are there to help support your needs with professional guidance. Let them provide the insight you need and take the weight off your shoulders.

Launching and growing a small business is a challenging, time-consuming endeavor that is not for the faint of heart. In times of economic fluctuations and changing regulations, we believe it is critical to seek guidance from a financial representative. The tips in this report are a helpful overview of what you might need to address for your own retirement, but your complete answers are as unique as you are. From our experience, small-business owners who recognize and avoid these common mistakes—and take proactive steps to plan for the future—are better able to enjoy the lives they desire.

 

Footnotes, disclosures, and sources:

Opinions, estimates, forecasts, and statements of financial market trends that are based on current market conditions constitute our judgment and are subject to change without notice.

This material is for information purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security.

Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

Opinions expressed are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative or named broker/dealer, and they should not be construed as investment advice.

[1]“17 Small Business Statistics You Need to Be Well Aware Of.” Fundera Ledger. https://www.fundera.com/blog/small-business-statistics [Accessed Feb. 24, 2017]

“Business Owner’s Retirement Planning.” ESOP Plus. http://esopplus.com/business-owners-retirement-planning/ [Accessed Feb. 24, 2017]

2“New Survey Finds Small Business Owners Uncertain about Retirement Plan, Finances.” TD Bank. https://mediaroom.tdbank.com/2015-05-04-New-Survey-Finds-Small-Business-Owners-Uncertain-About-Retirement-Plan-Finances [Accessed Feb. 24, 2017]

3“5 Retirement Planning Tips for Small Business Owners.” Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2016/12/08/5-retirement-planning-tips-for-small-business-owners/#313cc3ad3f3f [Accessed Feb. 24, 2017]

4“The 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey: Worker Confidence Stable, Retiree Confidence Continues to Increase.” Employee Benefit Research Institute. https://www.ebri.org/pdf/briefspdf/EBRI_IB_422.Mar16.RCS.pdf [Accessed Feb. 24, 2017]

5“Business Owner’s Retirement Planning.” ESOP Plus. http://esopplus.com/business-owners-retirement-planning/ [Accessed Feb. 24, 2017]

6“Business Owner’s Retirement Planning.” ESOP Plus. http://esopplus.com/business-owners-retirement-planning/ [Accessed Feb. 24, 2017]

7“If You Do This, You're Smarter Than Most Millionaires.” CNBC.com.

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/23/most-millionaire-business-owners-have-no-succession-plan.html [Accessed Feb. 24, 2017]

8“5 Retirement Planning Tips for Small Business Owners.” Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2016/12/08/5-retirement-planning-tips-for-small-business-owners/#313cc3ad3f3f [Accessed Feb. 24, 2017]

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11“Why Small Business Owners Need Life Insurance.” PolicyGenius. https://www.policygenius.com/blog/small-business-owners-term-life-insurance-protection/ [Accessed Feb. 24, 2017]

12Pence, Ralph. “Six Ways Business Owners May Utilize Life Insurance.” LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/six-ways-business-owners-may-utilize-life-insurance-ralph-pence-clu [Accessed Feb. 24, 2017]

13Hawks, Curtis. “Use These Stats during Life Insurance Awareness Month.” LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/use-stats-during-life-insurance-awareness-month-curtis [Accessed Feb. 24, 2017]

14“New Survey Finds Small Business Owners Uncertain about Retirement Plan, Finances.” TD Bank. https://mediaroom.tdbank.com/2015-05-04-New-Survey-Finds-Small-Business-Owners-Uncertain-About-Retirement-Plan-Finances [Accessed Feb. 24, 2017]

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17“New Survey Finds Small Business Owners Uncertain about Retirement Plan, Finances.” TD Bank. https://mediaroom.tdbank.com/2015-05-04-New-Survey-Finds-Small-Business-Owners-Uncertain-About-Retirement-Plan-Finances [Accessed Feb. 24, 2017]

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