Our Future – Education

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Autumn has arrived and with it the start of school. Education has been on our minds lately, the value of which is important to all of us at White Raven Financial. As Benjamin Franklin once said “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Whether it’s learning more about markets and investment options, or tax saving or college saving options, we are constantly absorbing and integrating new information into our daily practice. To that end, every year I take more than the requirement of CE credits. I try not to let the standard requirement be my guide as there is always more to learn in this changing world.

And our education comes in so many forms these days. Whether we’re learning in a formal classroom setting, from a book, listening to a podcast, or participating in an online forum, we’re able to choose the way learning works for us. In his delightfully personal TED talk, author John Greene talks about the community of learners that he found in the conversations connected to online video.

Education, in its most formal sense, is also important to you, our clients. Many of you are saving for your kids’ and grandkids’ college education through a 529 Plan. And even with those savings, the expense of future higher education can seem daunting. We’ve heard people say that a college education is unaffordable, but we can only reply that the future is what you make of it. We would rather not fulfil someone’s low expectations but would rather prove them wrong! Besides saving, scholarships abound: on source to start with is College Rank’s page on The Best Scholarship Websites to Find Your Funding.

And on the subject of saving, Americans are once again being tagged for the lack of higher growth in the United States because apparently we are saving too much out of the hard earned cash we take home each month. In a Business Insider article, Myles Udland addressed how consumers are foiling economists and creating a lack of aggregate demand for goods and services. As we all know, there are two sides to every coin. Rick Rieder, a BlackRock Chief Investment Officer, explained why he thought that the economy is ready for a liftoff.  The Fed speculated interest rate rise or lack thereof caused a bit of market stress did (and probably will again this month). With September questions behind us, we are now looking at some of the very same questions in October: How much will Chinese slowing growth impact the U.S. and the rest of the world? When will the Fed consider a rate increase? Is our economy advancing or retreating. Blackrock’s Chief Investment Officer Strategist, Russ Koesterich, CFA, commented on the possibility of slowing growth and the sense of déjà vu that investors may be feeling. He reiterated that they still don’t believe a U.S. recession is on the horizon.

The beginning of October starts the earning season for the fourth quarter and companies will be telling us how they did in the last quarter. Worldwide, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) again trimmed world economic growth on October the 6th. This comes almost two weeks after the FOMC expressed its concerns about world economic growth. The key approach of many investment managers is staying diversified as it can capture returns from different markets and thus limit risk from any one particular market as there is no way to know with certainty which will be the best performers.

September markets lived up to predictions of volatility. The blue-chip barometer (the DowTR)* dropped back -1.25 percent for the month. The S&P 500 Index (SPXTR)* lost ground and reported a -2.47 percent back-peddle. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* lost its shine by recording a -3.21 percent decrease for the month. The S&P Case-Shiller 20-city composite Home Price Index showed that home prices continued to rise nationally. The month of July reported a 5.0% increase on a year-over-year basis. Month-over-month data increased slightly with the month of July 0.6% reporting over the month of June 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 and the S&P500 are total returns from Pershing Netx360. Return for the NASDAQ is the NAV total return provided by Morning Star as of 2015September30