The Stock Market is supposed to be a forward looking indicator of how the economy will be performing at some point in the future, typically six months to a year. So, is the strong move upward, so far this year, indicating the economy will continue to expand or is it just a bounce off of the recent correction to end 2018?


If the indications are a continuing expansion, I believe the Market is suggesting the Fed will be on hold in 2019, the China negotiation will end with a beneficial agreement, and Brexit will not be an impediment.


Reports from the China issue are indicating progress is being made on the Tariff and deficit part of the issue, however not on the guarding of our Intellectual Property issue which is equally, if not more important, in my opinion. I can’t help to feel skepticism on the potential outcome; however I certainly am hoping the agreement will be one that will not impede the current expansion.


Government Shutdown


Interestingly, the Government Shutdown which is entering month 2 has not fazed the Stock Market thus far.   At this point, there seems to be little willingness to negotiate the funds President Trump is requesting for border protection. I certainly hope this is settled sooner than later because we have enough other serious issues to work through.


The Markets


Another positive week in the Markets with the Dow leading the way, up 3.01%. The S&P500 rose 2.90%, the Nasdaq Composite 2.66% and the Russell 2000 moving north 2.44%.


Over the pond, the MSCI International Index rose 1.08% and the MSCI Emerging Market Stock Index up 1.69%.


Bonds, as measured by the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index fell (.19%).


So far, the limited Corporate Earnings Reports have been mostly positive; however the avalanche of reports will begin over the next few weeks.




2018 IRA Contributions: If you qualify, you still have time to make contributions for 2018 for either a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. If you’re over age 50, you may be able to contribute up to $6500 per person.


Estate Planning Documents: Is your Will, Power of Attorney and Healthcare Directives up to date? I talk with so many people who put off making sure their documents are a true reflection of their desires. If not up to date, set a deadline to accomplish this important task early this year. You will feel a sense of relief upon completion.


Turning Age 64 or older in 2019? If so, are you aware of Medicare enrollment periods and the optional coverage selections? This is an area that mistakes can be extremely costly. For information on our upcoming Medicare Workshop, please click Medicare Workshop information.


Question of the Week


Medicare is “made up” of 4 basic parts; Part A, B, C, and D. The answers below lists what each letter represents. Which of the 4 answers has the order correct?

a) Medicare Advantage, Hospitalization, Prescription Drugs and Medical Services

b) Hospitalization, Prescription Drug, Medical Services and Medicare Advantage

c) Prescription Drug, Medical Services, Medicare Advantage and Hospitalization

d) Hospitalization, Medical Services, Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug


Answer to Last Week’s Question


The Initial Enrollment Period for Medicare lasts a total of how many months?

a) 1 month

b) 3 months

c) 6 months

d) 7 months


Answer is –

d) 7 months 

The initial enrollment period begins 3 months prior to the month you turn age 65 and extends 3 months after the month you turn 65, it also includes your birthday month of when you turn 65, for a total of 7 months. The best time to enroll, if this is your designated enrollment period, is 3 months prior to your birthday month.  This way, your Medicare benefits will begin the 1st of the month, you turn age 65.






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