ID Theft – Protect Yourself!

Most of us know someone who has had their credit, debt card information stolen, their email hacked and worse!

As technology continues to infiltrate our lives to make everything more convenient and faster, it’s up to each of us to “take the time” to protect our information.

How many times can you recall needing to create a password?  You think it through and often times, use your good old faithful password, the one you can remember.  You know this is a poor idea but you move on.

I’m aware of several clients and others who have had either their credit/debit card information stolen or their emails hacked.

Several years ago, I received an email from a “client” who was requesting us to wire funds to a 3rd party.  The client in the past had requested similar transactions that were legitimate.  The email I received read EXACTLY how the client corresponded with me over 10 plus years.  He even signed the email the same, “please advise, thanks Paul”.  The thief was clever.  They took the time to read the past emails so they knew exactly how to correspond. 

Fortunately, the laws of our industry, advisors are required to verify all money requests verbally.  I called the client to verify and he said his email was hacked.  While he was traveling, he gave someone his business card that contained his email and that opened up a bit of a nightmare, to say the least.

I could fill 5 pages with unfortunate ID theft stories.

Please protect yourself!  I use a credit card and not my debit card when making purchases or dining. I believe there is much more protection, as you have less liability.  If someone obtains your bank account information and drains your account, you may find things more challenging.

For passwords, I understand it’s difficult as we have so many different websites, user ids and passwords.  How about those cartoons and sitcoms when you were a child, a teenager.  My favorite cartoon has as a child has made it much easier. 

Also, it may be a good idea to review Password Manager apps.  A couple years back, we held a webinar with an FBI agent on ID theft.  He recommended an app called “Keeper”, which I use.  Each time I have to create a new user id or password, change my password, it requires me to open the app and do the input.  It’s so much worth the few extra minutes to know I have a responsible password, that I actually don’t have to remember.  When I need to obtain the information, the app is user friendly and fast.

If you would like a copy of the handouts about ID Theft from our past webinar, please email

Markets – May in the books

With 5 months of the years now in the rear view, let’s review where the market indexes stand.

Year to Date, the Dow is up 1.84%, the S&P 500, 9.67%, the Nasdaq Composite, 10.56% and the Russell 2000, 1.57%. 

Foreign stocks are higher by 7.33% and emerging market stocks 3.53%.

Bonds as measured by the Bloomberg US Aggregate Bond index are down (1.95%).

The top sector performers within the S&P 500, Communication Services, rising 19.61%, Technology 15.76%, Utilities 13.14%, Energy 9.7% and Financials 9.5%.  In the negative for the year, Consumer Discretionary (.51%) and Real Estate (5.90%).

Markets – Last Week

On Friday we heard somewhat of a dovish Personal Consumption Report (PCE) however the markets ended the week in the red.

For the week, the Dow dropped (1.76%), the S&P 500 (1.40%), the Nasdaq (1.93%) and the Russell 2000 (.52%). 

Foreign stocks followed the same direction, dropping (.32%) and emerging markets (3.23%).

3 sectors were higher last week, Real Estate up 1.26%, Energy 1.32% and Utilities .72%.  Leading the downside was Technology, losing (2.45%).

This week, the market will trade on May’s job report.  On Tuesday, we’ll hear the JOLTS report, the number of current job openings, then on Friday we’ll hear the May payroll, job creation report. 

Speculation of a slowing economy with continued persistent inflation will continue to be highly debated for the time being.  Historically, the month of June is mostly flattish.  In my opinion, a flattish month would not be a negative, especially with the current level of stock indexes.

Please feel free to share our weekly retirement blog with friends, family and colleagues and as always, thank you for reading!!

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