With 2013 now over many Americans will open up year-end brokerage and 401(k) statements to find out just how they did last year when it came to their investments. For many, trying to decode that statement may make you feel like Homer Simpson – Burns Electric Soars! If this clip describes you, it might be worth having someone else looking out for you and helping you make smarter financial decisions. That’s why for the first time ever, and for the month of January only, we are offering a special 20% discount on financial planning services for every new client. So if you already know 2014 is the year you want to get organized and have a plan for the future, be sure to get in touch with us by January 31.
The Prior Month
Stocks continued their near daily assault on all-time highs in December. In fact, December 31 saw the highest close of the year- 16,577 for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and 1849 for the S&P 500. Not even a mid-month surprise announcement by the Federal Reserve that they would begin “tapering” their asset purchase program by 10 billion dollars per month could derail things. Indeed, that day the S&P 500 closed 1.7% higher. It seems traders must have been good this year because Santa showed up on Wall St. in a big way!
The last week of December and first few days of January are often a slow period for the market. Many traders take time off to be with their families and focus on “the important things” in life, leaving trading desks to be manned by the second string. But now with the first full week of the year upon us the “A-Team” is back at work and not a moment too soon. Fourth quarter and year-end earnings reports will begin streaming in fast and heavy starting next week. Considering the fantastic year the equities markets had last year, one might wonder what the next year might typically bring. Luckily for us, Sam Stovall, Chief Equity Strategist over at S&P Capital IQ wondered the same thing and took the time to find out. Stovall notes in the 21 instances since 1945 of the S&P gaining more than 20% in a year, the following year averaged gains of 10%. Not too shabby. As Colonel Hannibal Smith would say, I love it when a plan comes together!
Stock Market Lesson
We just can’t get enough of Mr. T this month. That’s why our market lesson for January will focus on what’s know as “The Mr. T Gold Indicator.” Originally developed by Kevin DePew, it correlates the price of gold to the popularity of Mr. T. The more popular and in the news Mr. T is, the higher the price of gold marches. Heard any rumblings out of Mr. T lately? Me neither. See gold at multi-year lows? Yep. To learn more about this amazing correlation, click here: Do You Pity the Fool?
Had enough Mr. T yet? Me neither. Turns out Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tureaud. And he gave up virtually all his gold after helping with the Hurricane Katrina cleanup. Tureaud said, “As a Christian, when I saw other people lose their lives and lose their land and property… I felt that it would be a sin before God for me to continue wearing my gold. I felt it would be insensitive and disrespectful to the people who lost everything, so I stopped wearing my gold.”
Calendar of Events
On Saturday, February 22 I will be taking part in the Colorado Special Olympics “Polar Plunge.” Thanks to an invite from one of our clients, I will be jumping into freezing cold Ferril Lake in City Park Denver. The things we do… If you’d like to help a great cause, I’d be honored if you would support me and the Colorado Special Olympics by making a donation here: Polar Plunge Donation Website
Have a great January,
Steve Zakelj, CFP®
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