The Week on Wall Street
Last week saw mixed stocks as worries stretched from Washington D.C., where prospects of a new fiscal stimulus bill dimmed, to Europe, which saw an increase of new COVID-19 cases.
FACT OF THE WEEK
Today is the perfect day to celebrate your neighbors! In 1978, President Jimmy Carter publicly announced September 28 as the official observance of National Good Neighbor Day.
Proclamation 4601—National Good Neighbor Day, 1978
“As our Nation struggles to build friendship among the peoples of this world, we are mindful that the noblest human concern is concern for others. Understanding, love, and respect build cohesive families and communities. The same bonds cement our Nation and the nations of the world. For most of us, this sense of community is nurtured and expressed in our neighborhoods where we give each other an opportunity to share and feel part of a larger family…I call upon the people of the United States and interested groups and organizations to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.75%, while the S&P 500 fell 0.63%. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.11% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slumped 4.20%.
Late Friday Rally Pares Losses
Dwindling chances of a federal fiscal stimulus, pre-election jitters, and worries over a possible second wave of coronavirus infections in Europe weighed heavily on investors.
The weakness in technology persisted following The Department of Justice's proposal for legal protections requiring internet companies to take greater responsibility for content posted to their site.
Energy stocks saw a hard hit over concerns of a slowdown in economic growth, hurting oil demand.
On another note, the week wasn't bare of good news. Investors focused on reports of new progress in developing a vaccine and the House of Representatives' passage of a bipartisan continuing resolution bill to fund the government through December 11th.
Absent any apparent catalyst, stocks rallied in the final days of the week, cutting losses on major indices and powering the NASDAQ Composite to a weekly gain.
Fiscal Stimulus on Life Support
Market hopes for an additional fiscal stimulus bill, which were already fading, suffered another setback as events in Washington, D.C., appeared to make it more unlikely that lawmakers and the president could come together to fashion a compromise spending bill.
Many economists and market observers, along with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, believe that further spending may be needed to maintain the current economic recovery momentum.
FINANCIAL STRATEGY OF THE WEEK
NO CHILDREN, NO ESTATE PLAN? BAD IDEA.
Often, financial planning – especially estate planning – is focused on children and heirs. But if you have no children, your financial planning needs are different from families with children. What have you and your partner potentially overlooked?
Life Insurance. Couples without children or dependents of their own generally need less life insurance than couples with kids. But that's not to say they don't need it at all. A relationship with a lifestyle supported by two incomes, and in the event of an unexpected death, may prove impossible for the surviving partner to maintain their standard of living.
Life insurance needs for those individuals generally decrease with age as savings accumulate; therefore, permanent life insurance policies, such as whole life, are generally less necessary for childless couples.
Long-Term Care. Individuals often rely on younger family members to provide the essential elements of long-term care – household chores, shopping, cooking, and daily living activities. However, in the absence of younger family members, long-term care insurance can be particularly important and can help cover home care costs, assisted living facilities, and hospice care.
More affluent couples without dependents may be willing to pay out of pocket for their long-term care needs. After all, preserving wealth and assets for heirs is not necessarily a priority. However, long-term care can be quite expensive, and it is worth weighing the costs of insurance versus average long-term care expenses before forgoing long-term care insurance.
Estate Planning. As any adored niece or nephew can tell you, a reminder for the couples without children of their own is not without family. And many choose to name family members – or even close friends – heirs to their estate and beneficiaries on their IRA or 401(k) accounts. Others choose to designate an organization to receive those monies when they pass, structuring their estate plans to benefit a charity, alma mater, or other worthy recipients in the event of their passing.
Please contact your financial advisor or our office to discuss your existing estate plan or if you would like us to help structure an estate plan for the benefit of the individual(s) and organization(s) recipients.