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Your phone is ringing. Should you answer it?

I would hazard a guess that for many of us, answering the phone has become an exercise in frustration.  If you are like me, regardless of the efforts I have taken to place my number on the DoNotCall registry and to use my caller id to prescreen before answering, I am still bombarded with scam calls each and every day.  What makes it worse is that the robo-callers and scammers are now using a technique called “spoofing” where they can disguise their identity on caller id and make it appear that a legitimate business is calling.  This spoofing technique has resulted in innocent individuals picking up the phone believing that the IRS or Social Security is calling and ultimately being strong-armed into releasing personal information to the callers.  A recent article by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) discusses this issue and provides the following tips to avoid becoming the victim of a call scam: Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize. If the caller is not who you were expecting, hang up immediately. Never give out personal information such Read on! →

The View at the Top of the Year

Almost two years ago to the month, I penned a commentary on my grandmother’s quilting after what had been at the time, a seemingly volatile period in the markets that resulted in almost a 10% drop in the S&P 500 index.  The date was February 1, 2016.  Fast forward to 2018 and we are again experiencing very volatile markets with some indexes seeing corrective (10%) or bear market (20%) declines from earlier peaks.  Before revisiting that archived missive, here are some past and present figures to consider. 2018 Recap[1] In 2018, the only asset class with positive returns was Cash. All other categories were negative for the year, with the exception of fixed income, which was flat. For more details, see 12/31/18 Quilt Chart below. December was one of the worst months on record and 2018 one of the worst years in a decade. Federal Reserve (FED) raised rates 4 times and lowered expectations for real gross domestic product (GDP) growth and inflation. FED has lowered 2019 rate hike expectations from 3 in September to 2 at the December meeting. Read on! →

The View!

A recap of the week ended October 26th. One of my favorite songs growing up was Elton John’s Crocodile Rock (Side A).  Released in 1973 on a 45 rpm, it was paired with Elderberry Wine (Side B).  Crocodile Rock went to #1 while Elderberry Wine was panned by most critics, forever banished to the Side B junkyard.  Last week, every big story peaked like a #1 hit record capturing the attention of media and public alike.  Meanwhile, over on Side B,  those in the investment community who subscribe to a diversified approach to investing, probably finished the week scratched, unbroken and ready for another spin around the turntable. The A-side During the course of any given week, I try to focus on what seems most important as it relates to the work I, and everyone at Clearview Wealth Management, do for clients.  This typically means tuning in to a few key economic data points, some global geopolitical news and, as a little diversion, a few sports’ stories.  My view being, short term market and news cycles will always be with Read on! →

Retiring to Charlotte?

Cheryl Sherrard was quoted in a recent Financial Advisor magazine article entitled, “Retiring in Charlotte is all about location, location, location“.  The article mentions that Charlotte is ranked near the top of the 50 best metro areas for retirement, according to MagnifyMoney and Bankrate, but the specific area within Charlotte will determine whether you face sticker shock or a pleasant surprise.