“It’s hard to be a contrarian for very long these days because the consensus seems to change so quickly,” opined Ed Yardeni via LinkedIn last week.
We’ve certainly seen a shift in investors’ preferences during the first few weeks of this year. Despite widespread expectations that markets would move lower early in 2023, major U.S. stock indices have trended higher. Year-to-date through January 20, 2023:
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which is comprised of 500 of the largest publicly traded companies in the United States, was up 3.5 percent.
The Nasdaq Composite, which is comprised of stocks listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange and includes a significant number of technology stocks, was up 6.4 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is comprised of 30 large U.S. stocks, was up 0.69 percent.
The year-to-date gains reflected stock investors’ optimism about where the economy may be headed, reported Nicholas Jasinski of Barron’s.
“Stocks have embraced the concept of a soft landing so far in 2023…The communication-services and consumer-discretionary sectors of the S&P 500 are trouncing the market, each up at least 5% year to date. Defensive consumer-staples, utilities, and healthcare stocks, on the other hand, have declined more than 2%. If stock investors were worried about a recession, shares of companies that sell electricity, toilet paper, and [cereal] should be doing better than riskier firms in more discretionary areas. They’re not.”
That’s a significant change from last year when the communication services and consumer discretionary sectors were the worst performers in the S&P 500, and energy and utilities were the top performers.
It’s quite possible we will see another shift in investors’ expectations so be prepared for a bumpy ride.
Major U.S. stock indices delivered mixed performance last week. The S&P 500 and Dow moved lower over the five-day period, while the Nasdaq moved higher. Yields on most longer-dated U.S. Treasuries finished the week lower.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU TALKED WITH YOUR PARENTS/KIDS ABOUT MONEY? It still surprises many people that the oldest millennials are in their mid-40s, but it’s true. Millennials have been rapidly moving into sandwich generation territory – where they may need to provide care for older parents and school-age children at the same time.
Caring for aging parents can be an expensive responsibility. One often overlooked cost is that adult children may have to work fewer hours or take leave from work to care for a loved one. On average, the cost of lost work time for caregivers is more than $10,000 a year, according to AARP Research. Take this brief quiz to learn more about the costs typically associated with caregiving.
1. About 48 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult family member or a friend in 2021. In addition to the emotional costs of caregiving and lost income, most (8/10) caregivers spent a significant amount of money on caregiving costs such as home modifications, medical bills and parents’ rent or mortgage payments. On average, annual caregiving costs more than:
2. In a recent survey, 70 percent of respondents said their parents were financially prepared for the future. How many of the survey’s respondents had actually talked with their parents about whether the parents were financially prepared for the future?
a. 31 percent
b. 42 percent
c. 65 percent
d. All of them
3. Sometimes, care may be needed for a significant period of time. The average life expectancy at birth in the United States is 76.1 years, but life expectancy changes as people age. What is average life expectancy at age 70?
a. 6.5 years
b. 8.7 years
c. 12.1 years
d. 14.8 years
4. Talking about money with parents can be difficult. In a recent survey, many participants said they would rather not do it. In fact, they would rather:
a. Discuss their parents’ funeral plans than their parents’ finances.
b. Inherit less rather than deal with their parents’ finances.
c. Deal with a parent’s estate after death rather than talk about it while the parent was alive.
d. All of the above.
Whether caregiving is in your future or not, it’s important for adult children to understand their parents’ current finances and the plans they have for future. If you would like to have some help getting the ball rolling, just let us know. We can guide and facilitate these important financial conversations.
Weekly Focus – Think About It
“I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.”
—Phyllis Diller, comedian
Answers: 1) b ; 2) b; 3) d; 4) d