Issues High Net Worth Christians Face

Issues High Net Worth Christians Face

As a committed Christian living in today’s world, it can be a daily challenge to navigate the social, career and financial aspects of your life. Particularly when it comes to finances, the world teaches that money offers success and contentment, but the Bible paints a different picture.

We know from experience that money doesn’t buy happiness. We live in the wealthiest country in the world, yet many Americans suffer from financial fear and discontentment. Still, we are bombarded every day with messages that tempt us to buy more things, purchase more experiences, and pile up more debt.

Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and potency of Hurricane Irma Dominated Hearts and Minds, But There Were Some Diversions

The Markets

Last week, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and potency of Hurricane Irma dominated hearts and minds, but there were some diversions and some welcome news, too.

The NFL kicked off its 2017 season with the Chiefs’ win over the Patriots. The men’s U.S. soccer team tied Honduras to stay in the running for a World Cup spot. And, Sloane Stephens made the jump from 957th best on the women’s tennis tour to U.S. Open Champion.

 

Also, last week, President Trump signed a bipartisan bill authorizing relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey. The damage from Harvey has been estimated at about $50 billion, reported Yahoo! Finance, and the damage from Hurricane Irma may be even greater.

The signed bill also raised the debt ceiling, avoided a U.S. Treasury default, and funded the government for three months. These aspects of the legislation may have been more important to stock markets, according to a source cited by Barron’s:

Millennials are Leading a Viewing Revolution

The Markets

MILLENIALS ARE KILLING IT! A recent article in Buzzfeed listed headlines announcing the various things Millennials have “killed” or are “killing.” The list included Big Oil, the NFL, the workday, the cereal industry, and bar soap.

Here’s another industry that is being undermined by millennials’ preferences: cable and satellite television. Millennials are leading a viewing revolution. They are unwilling to ante up for cable and satellite subscriptions, preferring less expensive Internet and streaming services that provide content via the World Wide Web.

A 2017 survey from Videology found more than half of millennial men (ages 18 to 34) have stopped paying for cable, and Forbes reported:

Markets Around the World Appear to be Benefitting From Global Economic Recovery

The Markets

Here, there, and everywhere… 

Markets around the world appear to be benefitting from global economic recovery. 

After pointing out the United States’ economy is the heart of the global financial system, Barron’sreported:

“The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has tirelessly amassed 30 record closes this year, but is up just 1.2 percent since March 1. Meanwhile, nearly every foreign stock market has sprinted ahead…We wrote on March 25 about how a global recovery should goose smaller, fresher bull markets abroad. By now, it is firmly becoming the consensus view – metals are rallying, with copper up 18 percent this year; the MSCI All Worlds Index has risen for eight straight months.”

North Korea May be a Little Country, But It Can Churn Up Big Trouble

North Korea may be a little country, but it can churn up big trouble.

The possibility that verbal hostilities between the United States and North Korea could trigger geopolitical conflict had investors on the run last week. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell by 1.4 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.1 percent, and the NASDAQ Composite finished 1.5 percent lower.

Financial Times explained:  “The sell-off came as U.S. President Donald Trump escalated the war of words against the North Korean regime’s accelerated [program] of nuclear testing.

Who's Been Buying Shares of Company Stock?

The Markets

There was some good news and some bad news last week.Do we have central banks to thank?

First, the good news: Thanks to consumer spending and an upturn in federal government spending, the U.S. economy grew faster from April through June this year. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.6 percent during the period, according to the advance estimate for economic growth. This was an improvement over growth from January through March, when GDP increased by 1.2 percent.

Now, the bad news: Personal income did not grow as fast from April through June as it did from January through March. Wages and salaries grew at a slower pace, as did government social benefits and other sources of income. The New York Times wrote:

“Wage growth, however, decelerated despite an unemployment rate that averaged 4.4 percent in the second quarter.

Good News, Bad News...

The Markets

There was some good news and some bad news last week.Do we have central banks to thank?

First, the good news: Thanks to consumer spending and an upturn in federal government spending, the U.S. economy grew faster from April through June this year. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.6 percent during the period, according to the advance estimate for economic growth. This was an improvement over growth from January through March, when GDP increased by 1.2 percent.

Now, the bad news: Personal income did not grow as fast from April through June as it did from January through March. Wages and salaries grew at a slower pace, as did government social benefits and other sources of income. The New York Times wrote:

“Wage growth, however, decelerated despite an unemployment rate that averaged 4.4 percent in the second quarter.

U.S. Monetary Policy Isn’t the Only Phenomenon Investors May Want to Keep an Eye On

Do we have central banks to thank?

 

Low interest rates, accommodative monetary policy, and improving economic growth have helped stock markets around the world reach record highs, reports Barron’s:

“…a look around the globe shows the surge of the U.S. market to new peaks to be anything but unique. Major [markets] in Europe and Asia also have been setting records.

...Trends That May Really Stir Things Up During the Next Few Decades...

MERRIAM WEBSTER DEFINES ‘DISRUPT’ AS ‘TO BREAK APART,’ AND ‘TO THROW INTO DISORDER.’ While disruption doesn’t sound like something anyone would enjoy much, it has the potential to create investment opportunities for those who share a vision and are willing to take risks. 

Morgan Stanley recently wrote, “It’s hard to think of an industry that won’t be touched in some way by technological disruption over the next decade.” Here are a few of the trends that may really stir things up during the next few decades:

AFFORDABLE Car Crisis in the United States?

It doesn’t appear to be common knowledge but there may be an affordable car crisis in the United States. The latest Bankrate.com Car Affordability Study found:

“…typical households in most of America’s larger cities don’t earn enough to afford the average new vehicle, under a common budgeting rule for buyers… The ‘20/4/10’ rule says you should aim to put down at least 20 percent of a vehicle’s purchase price, take out a car loan for no longer than four years, and devote no more than 10 percent of your annual income to car payments, interest, and insurance. If you can’t stay within those lines, you can’t afford the car.”

Measuring "Happiness" or "Satisfaction with Life"...

It has been a very good year, so far.
Through the end of last week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted 24 record highs and delivered returns in the high single digits. The
MSCI World ex USA Index was up more than 11 percent, and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained more than 17 percent.
After reading those numbers, many people would assume bond markets are down for the year. After all, stock and bond markets tend to
move in different directions. Zacks explained,
“Stock and bond prices usually move in opposite directions. When the stock market is not doing well and becomes risky for investors,
investors withdraw their money and put it into bonds, which they consider safer. This increased demand raises bond prices. When stocks
rally and the risk seems justified, investors may move out of bonds and into stocks, driving stock prices up further.”
That hasn’t been the case recently. Bonds have been delivering attractive returns, too.

Dallas Shooting: The Other Painful Cost of a Police Officer’s Death

As America absorbed the news of five murdered Dallas police officers, Frederick Frazier grimly signed $2,000 checks, one after another. They were for the families of the slain.

“So many people are calling and want to donate food, travel, but the biggest thing in the world for the families of these officers is that their means of finance is gone,” said Frazier, chairman of the Assist the Officer Foundation and a Dallas cop for 21 years.

8 Financial Mistakes Wealthy People Make

Achieving a high net worth is a great accomplishment. However, the skills required to produce wealth are very different from the skills required to keep and grow wealth. The world of the affluent is cluttered with business owners and celebrities who earned high incomes only to lose it all at some point. At Chessman Wealth Strategies, we believe that everyone can learn from the mistakes made by the “once wealthy.” 

On the Same Page: A Meeting of the Minds, A Gathering of Key Information

In this third article, the focus turns to an earlier time, a time when a certain amount of preventive forethought can make a tremendous difference when illness, physical or mental disability, or death eventually does strike. As a trusted financial advisor, I have learned the importance of having my clients spend a little time now to get their financial and legal houses in order, rather than trying to do so some day in the future when it will be much more difficult to locate crucial information and physical items. There will be plenty to have to deal with when an emergency, a disabling medical event, or death itself strikes, so why not take a few simple steps now to help substantially ease your burdens later on?