Published: Wed, 05 Aug 2020 15:58:23 +0000
Market Blog This isn’t like any recession we’ve ever seen, as it was sparked by a horrible pandemic and happened because people were told to stay inside. The impact was the worst contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) last quarter … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 05 Aug 2020 15:26:10 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stocks opened higher. US stock markets opened in the green, with the Nasdaq reaching its 30th new record high of 2020. Investors are focusing on positive earnings reports, developments on the COVID-19 relief bill, vaccine progress, and jobs … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 04 Aug 2020 15:57:52 +0000
Economic Blog The 10-year Treasury yield is historically low, so low that it could climb a full 1% before the end of the year and still be the lowest year-end yield on record, with room to spare. Historically low rates … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 04 Aug 2020 14:58:57 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stocks opened slightly lower. The S&P 500 Index is down slightly in early trading on a quiet day for economic data. Tuesday, market participants will focus on stimulus talks in Washington, United States and China tensions, earnings season, … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:58:17 +0000
Market Blog 2020 has been historic and devastating in many ways, from the fastest bear market ever, to one of the greatest stock market recoveries ever. Not to mention a historic drop in the economy in the second quarter, with … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 03 Aug 2020 14:58:40 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stocks start the week on a positive note. The S&P 500 Index is set to open higher this morning to kick off August, a month that historically has been one of its weakest, after a strong 5.5% gain … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 31 Jul 2020 20:01:15 +0000
Market Blog Index Performance S&P 500 Index: 1.7% Dow Jones Industrial Average: -.2% Nasdaq Composite: 3.7% Equities This week was another mixed week for the markets, as large cap growth earnings powered tech behemoths and the Nasdaq to more than … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 31 Jul 2020 15:57:58 +0000
Market Blog Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. These five stocks have helped spawn a number of acronyms as they try to capture the rise of mega-cap tech stocks that have led the market higher for much of the past … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 31 Jul 2020 14:58:13 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Tech stocks fuel gains to end week. The S&P 500 Index is marginally higher in early trading, as large cap growth stocks fuel gains in the technology, consumer discretionary, and communication services sectors. Asian markets were mostly lower, … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 30 Jul 2020 17:45:13 +0000
Economic Blog The best thing we can say about today’s US gross domestic product (GDP) report for the second quarter is that it’s behind us. GDP contracted at a 32.9% annualized rate during the quarter, the largest decline on record. … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 30 Jul 2020 15:58:17 +0000
Economic Blog The Federal Reserve (Fed) completed its latest two-day policy meeting Wednesday, July 29, and the primary message coming from the world’s most important central bank was a continued commitment to supporting the economy as long as it’s needed—and … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 30 Jul 2020 14:59:52 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stocks opened lower on big news day. Futures were already lower ahead of the historic gross domestic product (GDP) report and jobless claims data and those data points didn’t change the picture much. Asian markets were modestly lower … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 29 Jul 2020 15:56:41 +0000
Market Blog “An object in motion tends to remain in motion along a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.” Sir Isaac Newton Last September, we noted that gold had many structural reasons to soar. Well, soar it … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 29 Jul 2020 15:03:11 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Markets showing resilience. After finishing near their lowest trading levels Tuesday, US markets opened higher this morning. Investors are gauging the wide differences between Republicans and Democrats on the next fiscal stimulus package given the present economic climate. … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 28 Jul 2020 15:57:37 +0000
Economic Blog After carving out the first part of a “V-shaped” recovery, the US economy has leveled off somewhat in response to the latest wave of COVID-19 infections. In this week’s Weekly Market Commentary: Stalling Economic Recovery May Slow Stock … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 28 Jul 2020 15:00:09 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS S&P 500 slightly lower with stimulus, virus in focus. The S&P 500 Index is slightly lower early today as market participants continue to assess stimulus progress, COVID-19 case growth, and earnings. The S&P 500 climbed 0.7% Monday as … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 27 Jul 2020 15:57:36 +0000
Market Blog “That’s not a knife … that’s a knife!” Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee There is growing talk that growth stocks and specifically technology stocks are in a bubble. But as Paul Hogan showed is in the classic 1986 … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 27 Jul 2020 14:57:53 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stocks opened higher. After ending last week on a down note and seeing its three-week win streak snapped, the S&P 500 Index is in the green in early trading this morning. Markets are awaiting the release of the … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 20:02:13 +0000
Market Blog Index Performance S&P 500 Index: -0.3% Dow Jones Industrial Average: -0.8% Nasdaq Composite: -1.3% Equities Large cap US equities pulled back modestly this week, as technology-oriented stocks paused for the second consecutive week. The Nasdaq fell more than … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 15:58:22 +0000
Leading economic indicators continued to rebound in June, albeit at a slightly slower pace than in May. Yesterday, The Conference Board released its June report detailing the latest reading for its Leading Economic Index (LEI), a composite of data series … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 14:59:02 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Down again. US stocks opened lower following Thursday’s broad weakness. Caution is in the air, as China retaliated by shutting down the US consulate in Chengdu. Asian markets were down significantly on the news. European markets are firmly … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 23 Jul 2020 16:00:01 +0000
Economic Blog The US dollar was remarkably strong during the first quarter of 2020, benefitting from the flight to safety and rallying to nearly a 10% year-to-date gain at the stock market’s low point on March 23. However, as equity … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 23 Jul 2020 14:59:17 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stocks opened little changed. The S&P 500 Index is trying for its sixth straight positive session as mostly well-received earnings results and optimism that the next big stimulus package out of Washington, DC, will soon be secured are … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 22 Jul 2020 17:57:47 +0000
Market Blog LPL Research released our Midyear Outlook 2020 last week, discussing the path of the eventual economic and market recovery. What makes this year so incredible is, as of July 21, the S&P 500 Index moved positive for the … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 22 Jul 2020 14:59:15 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Mixed markets. US stocks opened mixed, as Tuesday the S&P 500 Index moved to its highest level since February. Caution is in the air as the United States ordered China to close its consulate in Houston, fueling potential … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 21 Jul 2020 15:58:12 +0000
Economic Blog While the 10-year Treasury yield has traded in a narrow range since early April, the equivalent real yield, represented by the yield on 10-year Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS), has continued to fall and could go lower. Real yields … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 21 Jul 2020 15:02:04 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stimulus, vaccine optimism supporting gains in global stocks. Most major international indexes extended Monday’s US gains overnight as investors digest Europe’s approximately $850 billion fiscal stimulus package and continued positive news on vaccine progress. Tech-related stocks led yesterday’s … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 20 Jul 2020 14:57:05 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS US stocks opened little changed. The S&P 500 Index, which ended last week fractionally shy of positive territory year to date, will try to continue its three-week win streak as markets focus on flattening the COVID-19 curve, vaccine … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 17 Jul 2020 20:01:35 +0000
Market Blog Index Performance S&P 500 Index: 1.3 % Dow Jones Industrial Average: 2.3 % Nasdaq Composite: -1.1 % Equities US equities delivered modest gains this week, with indexes representing both the midcap and small cap spaces faring best. Both the S&P … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 17 Jul 2020 16:00:25 +0000
Economic Blog Retail sales data for June was reported on Thursday, handily beating expectations for the second consecutive month. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, June saw a 7.5% increase month over month, compared with Bloomberg’s consensus … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 17 Jul 2020 14:56:45 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stocks steady heading into weekend. US stocks are near flat in early trading, as investors continue to digest earnings, including a poorly received report from Netflix, which is down nearly 10%. Major US indexes are tracking toward modest … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 16 Jul 2020 15:59:45 +0000
Economic Blog The gradual reopening of the US economy has started to lift Main Street sentiment from depressed levels, according to the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) Beige Book. Despite growing concerns about rising COVID-19 cases in several pockets of the country, … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 16 Jul 2020 15:58:41 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS US stocks opened lower. Markets are giving back some of Wednesday’s rally this morning following losses in China overnight and amid ongoing concerns about COVID-19 hotspots. In the United States, markets will watch earnings reports, retail sales, and … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 15 Jul 2020 15:57:51 +0000
Economic Blog We check in again today on some of the real-time economic data that LPL Research is monitoring to provide insight into how the latest increase in COVID-19 cases and the rollback of certain reopening measures are affecting the … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 15 Jul 2020 14:56:03 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS US markets rallying on positive vaccine buzz. The S&P 500 Index is set to add to Tuesday’s solid gains after positive early-phase trial results for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine took some of the sting out of the recent surge … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 15 Jul 2020 14:27:21 +0000
Market Blog Based on the latest polling data, there’s growing consensus that former Vice President Joe Biden potentially may win the election and Democrats possibly may sweep Congress. Some might think this could be a negative for stocks, as a … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 14 Jul 2020 19:32:32 +0000
Economic Blog After pulling back in the first quarter of 2020, flows into bond mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) dominated stocks in the second quarter. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the second quarter is consistent … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 14 Jul 2020 14:59:09 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS US stocks look to rebound from Monday’s up and down day. US markets are near flat early as market participants weigh the significance of the economy likely turning the corner over the second half of the year against … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 13 Jul 2020 16:47:24 +0000
Market Blog Here at the midpoint of 2020, we recognize that’s it’s been a very challenging year so far in the United States and around the world. Our team is here to help you navigate this environment. LPL Research’s Midyear … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 13 Jul 2020 15:01:30 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS U.S. stocks opened higher. US stocks continue to shrug off rising COVID-19 cases as markets focus on the strength in stay-at-home stocks (mostly technology), optimism around virus treatments, and Americans’ will to avoid locking down again. The S&P … Continue reading →
At your death, you leave behind the people that you love and all your worldly goods. Without advance planning, you have no say about who gets what, and more of your property may go to others, like the federal government, instead of your loved ones. If you care about (1) how and to whom your property is distributed, and (2) ensuring that your property is preserved for your loved ones, you need to know more about estate planning.
There are five estate planning documents you may need, regardless of your age, health, or wealth:
A durable power of attorney (DPOA) can help protect your property in the event you become physically unable or mentally incompetent to handle financial matters. If no one is ready to look after your financial affairs when you can't, your property may be wasted, abused, or lost.
A DPOA allows you to authorize someone else to act on your behalf, so he or she can do things like pay everyday expenses, collect benefits, watch over your investments, and file taxes.
There are two types of DPOAs: (1) an immediate DPOA, which is effective immediately (this may be appropriate, for example, if you face a serious operation or illness), and (2) a springing DPOA, which is not effective unless you have become incapacitated.
Caution: A springing DPOA is not permitted in some states, so you'll want to check with an attorney.
Advance medical directives let others know what medical treatment you would want, or allows someone to make medical decisions for you, in the event you can't express your wishes yourself. If you don't have an advance medical directive, medical care providers must prolong your life using artificial means, if necessary. With today's technology, physicians can sustain you for days and weeks (if not months or even years).
There are three types of advance medical directives. Each state allows only a certain type (or types). You may find that one, two, or all three types are necessary to carry out all of your wishes for medical treatment. (Just make sure all documents are consistent.)
First, a living will allows you to approve or decline certain types of medical care, even if you will die as a result of that choice. In most states, living wills take effect only under certain circumstances , such as terminal injury or illness. Generally, one can be used only to decline medical treatment that "serves only to postpone the moment of death." In those states that do not allow living wills, you may still want to have one to serve as evidence of your wishes.
Second, a durable power of attorney for health care (known as a health-care proxy in some states) allows you to appoint a representative to make medical decisions for you. You decide how much power your representative will or won't have.
Finally, a Do Not Resuscitate order (DNR) is a doctor's order that tells medical personnel not to perform CPR if you go into cardiac arrest. There are two types of DNRs. One is effective only while you are hospitalized. The other is used while you are outside the hospital.
A will is often said to be the cornerstone of any estate plan. The main purpose of a will is to disburse property to heirs after your death. If you don't leave a will, disbursements will be made according to state law, which might not be what you would want.
There are two other equally important aspects of a will:
Keep in mind that a will is a legal document, and the courts are very reluctant to overturn any provisions within it. Therefore, it's crucial that your will be well written and articulated, and properly executed under your state's laws. It's also important to keep your will up-to-date.
A letter of instruction (also called a testamentary letter or side letter) is an informal, non-legal document that generally accompanies your will and is used to express your personal thoughts and directions regarding what is in the will (or about other things, such as your burial wishes or where to locate other documents) . This can be the most helpful document you leave for your family members and your executor.
Unlike your will , a letter of instruction remains private. Therefore, it is an opportunity to say the things you would rather not make public.
A letter of instruction is not a substitute for a will. Any directions you include in the letter are only suggestions and are not binding. The people to whom you address the letter may follow or disregard any instructions.
A living trust (also known as a revocable or inter vivas trust) is a separate legal entity you create to own property, such as your home or investments . The trust is called a living trust because it's meant to function while you're alive. You control the property in the trust, and, whenever you wish, you can change the trust terms, transfer property in and out of the trust, or end the trust altogether.
Not everyone needs a living trust , but it can be used to accomplish various purposes. The primary function is typically to avoid probate. This is possible because property in a living trust is not included in the probate estate.
Depending on your situation and your state's laws, the probate process can be simple, easy, and inexpensive, or it can be relatively complex, resulting in delay and expense. This may be the case, for instance, if you own property in more than one state or in a foreign country , or have heirs that live overseas.
Further, probate takes time, and your property generally won't be distributed until the process is completed. A small family allowance is sometimes paid, but it may be insufficient to provide for a family's ongoing needs. Transferring property through a living trust provides for a quicker, almost immediate transfer of property to those who need it.
Probate can also interfere with the management of property like a closely held business or stock portfolio. Although your executor is responsible for managing the property until probate is completed, he or she may not have the expertise or authority to make significant management decisions, and the property may lose value. Transferring the property with a living trust can result in a smoother transition in management.
Finally, avoiding probate may be desirable if you're concerned about privacy. Probated documents (e.g., will, inventory) become a matter of public record. Generally, a trust document does not.
Caution: Although a living trust transfers property like a will, you should still also have a will because the trust will be unable to accomplish certain things that only a will can, such as naming an executor or a guardian for minor children.
Tip: There are other ways to avoid the probate process besides creating a living trust, such as titling property jointly.
Caution: Living trusts do not generally minimize estate taxes or protect property from future creditors or ex-spouses.
VyStar Investment Services can help you achieve your estate planning needs and help you seek professional help from an attorney or financial advisor will help you understand the strategies that are available to formulate and implement your estate plan.
Call us today at (904) 908-2495 to schedule a no cost, no obligation consultation or send us an email VISMarketing@vystarcu.org.
Check the background of investment professionals associated with this site on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.