May Day has just passed. Does anyone still celebrate this holiday by putting flowers on their neighbor’s doorstep, ringing the bell, and running away before they open the door? On the same day that some were celebrating this ancient northern hemisphere spring festival and traditional spring holiday, I attended a Webinar set very much in our present-day world. Estate plans for a person’s digital presence was the topic of discussion. The presenters, current practicing lawyers with numerous accolades, started the session by asking if we felt our digital assets were under our own control. They defined a digital asset as any electronic record in which a person has a right or interest. I was surprised to learn that this blog is considered a form of intellectual property.
In our financial planning meetings, we often remind our clients to update their will and review their estate plan after any life changing event. But what about digital assets? While there is no federal law, many states have digital estate planning laws. Everplan has information on state-by-state digital estate planning laws. In those states which have specific, separate digital estate law, you can assign a digital executor who will be responsible for following your written wishes regarding non-financial assets. Digital Assets in our Will has a small list of items for review. I did notice, after reviewing the list, that my frequent flyer miles were not listed – I am sure one of my family members would want those!
While we are touching base on life changing events, you might have noticed that for the first time in more than four years, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield touched 3% during the month of April. The headlines across many platforms stated that we have economic growth around the world – and yet as the year progresses we get rolled around in the market. Rick Rieder, a Chief Investment Officer for BlackRock, in his mid-April perspective discussed how cyclical turning points may create market friction. The U.S. is now at a turning point where inflation could become too high and/or the rate hikes by the Fed will not be in tune with the economy. Hence, worry and market volatility. The team of Sonders, Sorensen and Kleintop at Schwab in their April 27th perspective wrote that they felt the U.S. equity market remains in a secular bull market. But they also wrote that the market could retest the lows seen earlier this year. They too address several reasons that have possibly contributed to market uncertainty.
Volatility isn’t only in our domestic market, but worldwide. Russel Investments, in their 2018 Global Market Outlook – Q2 Update, addressed the increasing threat of trade-wars although they felt a full blown trade war was unlikely. Their central view was that markets could push higher but headwinds may develop as we progress further in the 2018 year. We recently listened to a blog by Franklin Templeton Investments, Michael Hasenstab, PH.D. in which he addressed the global shift of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. How ESG factors will play out in the future will be viewed on a scoring system. And as we all should remember, per the bottom of Franklin Templeton’s web page, one should always consider their investment goals, risks, charges and expenses before investing.
The month of April seemed to bring in the showers with a tiny ray of sun. The blue-chip barometer (the DowTR)* creeped ahead with a positive 0.34%. The S&P 500 (SPYTR)* followed suit with a positive 0.38% for the month. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* stayed in the race but came in last at 0.08%. On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, the Dow Jones Indices released the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller report showing that the national core home price index momentum is continuing. The 20-city composite February Home Price Index reported a 6.8% year-over-year gain; up from the previous month’s gain of 6.4%. Before seasonal adjustments, month-over-month data had the month of February posting a 0.7% gain over the prior month of January for the 20-city composite index.
Regards and Thank you,
The Team at White Raven Financial
*Indexes are unmanaged and do not reflect service fees, commissions, or taxes. You cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Returns for the DOW, S&P500 and the NASDAQ is the total return (price only) provided by Morning star Inc. as of 2018April30. Diversification and asset allocation does not assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment loss.
Advisory services are offered through White Raven Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of Washington.