TIP 1 Disappearing Wealth
According to the Federal Reserve, the top 10% of Americans have lost over $8 trillion in stock market wealth this year. As nerve-racking as it may be, if you have a long-term time horizon it is important to realize that when owning stock, you own a stake in the company. The lost wealth is meaningful because the current amount anyone is willing to pay for those stocks has diminished, but the stake in those companies (amount of the company that the investor owns) is the same.
The sharp drop after the pandemic hit, followed by one of the fastest recoveries of the stock market, followed by the steep drop in 2022 is enough to make anyone’s head spin. At Garden State Trust Company, we understand that different investors need different strategies. Their time horizon plays a big part, as does their risk for appetite, and how hands-on they’d like to be. If your portfolio is making you anxious, let us provide a second opinion.
TIP 2 Celebrity Estates
No matter how much Garden State Trust company preaches the merits of having an estate plan, we know there will be some who haven’t heard our message. There will be others that heard it, but didn’t pay enough attention. There will also be those that heard it, paid attention, and did well with it but we never found out because they went to someone else (we are still very happy they did).
We do find out about some of the people that we wish we had a chance to talk to about their estates in the news, and can pass on some missed lessons to our readers. The recently settled estates of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman and Prince are two examples. Read more in “Celebrity Estate Takeaways”.
TIP 3 Inflation Averages
Inflation measures are used by the federal government in a variety of contexts, from Social Security benefits to income tax brackets. For these purposes, one number must be used for everything.
But personal inflation varies, both geographically and demographically. We don’t all use an average amount of gas every month, for example. Those that are working from home or retired may have considerably less gas usage. Wallethub put together some data on inflation in cities across the country, and Pennsylvania and New Jersey figures are much higher than we’d like. But we can be thankful that they aren’t as high as Scottsdale Arizona (at a whopping 13%).
Inflation becomes more important when approaching retirement. A financial plan for the retirement years should account for possible lifestyle changes. Incorporating planning for inflation into a portfolio is something that Garden State Trust Company would be pleased to provide a consultation on.
TIP 4 Halloween Costumes
The National Retail Federation estimates that we’ll have a new Halloween spending record this year of $10.6 billion dollars. About one third of that spending is on costumes, and not just children’s costumes either. In fact, more is spent on adult costumes ($1.7 billion projected) than kids costumes ($1.2 billion), and $700 million will be spent on pet costumes as well!
If you’re considering costume ideas for this Halloween, Reader’s Digest has put together a list of 102 costumes with pictures and links to materials that can get your DIY costume on its way. They aren’t all adding up to that huge price tag either, with ideas such as a little gauze and bandage to dress up like Vincent Van Gogh.
Happy Halloween everyone!