Ty J. Young Inc.’s Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions

Ty J. Young Inc.’s Top 5 New Year’s Resolution Recommendations!

As 2017 fades into memory, and 2018 is upon us, it’s time to take stock and consider what our New Year’s resolutions should be.  They range from the classic “lose some weight” to the more ambitious “learn how to race like Richard Petty.”

Each week we try to bring you some of the more important political and economic issues of the day, and how they can affect your money.  This week, the most important ways to talk about taking care of your finances is to look at what you can do personally to plan and prepare for the future.  They are simple, and not new … the question is will you have the willpower and the discipline to do them?

Perhaps, more importantly, are resolutions which impact our long-term financial picture.  It’s been an unprecedented year for the economy and the stock market, and that has presented numerous opportunities to reflect and take charge of our financial future, making decisions that best impact our financial standing.

Here are our Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for 2018!

  1. Save more money! Wages are up, and there is no time like the present!  Saving money is critical for short-term emergencies and long-term financial health.  Creating a budget and living within your means can help you save some on the margins.  And in turn, those savings should go right into the bank.
  2. Reduce your spending. This may seem obvious, but refinance your house payment into a lower interest rate, choose to eat out one time less a month, get creative on discretionary spending, move that thermostat two degrees either direction depending on the season … these cost-saving moves and more can help you put more away under number one!
  3. Pay off/down your debt. Another “Master of the Obvious” moment …get out of high-interest rate credit cards by paying them off … be disciplined by using cash over cards when shopping … as you pay off cards, cut them up – put them into permanent retirement … the less debt, the less interest you are paying, the more money available to save!
  4. Create an emergency fund. Very few Americans have adequate savings for retirement, much less an emergency fund.  But this is the best way to start, figure out some worst case, big-ticket items that would set you back if they went south at the wrong time – air conditioner, refrigerator, car brakes – add them up and create a savings account just for these items.  Saving for the “rainy day” fund will help you focus on specific amounts that would be needed, and that focus can help you broaden your savings objectives.
  5. Put more money away into your retirement account. With the savings created from the actions taken in numbers 1-4, it’s time to put more money into your retirement portfolio.  But not just the acts of discipline – the Republicans just delivered a HUGE Christmas gift with their Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  Middle-income families should receive a tax break of approximately $800 in 2018 … savings should be seen in your paycheck in February … reduced taxes business taxes will lower the costs of goods and services that you buy … medical expended can be deducted at a higher amount … it increases the size of the standard deduction you can claim … it increases the child care tax credit … the amount of money you will be saving and returning to your pocketbook will be unprecedented this upcoming year.  Take advantage of those savings – put some of that money into your retirement account.  If you don’t have one, start one.

2017 – a year of unprecedented financial and economic success here in the US:  soaring stock market … increased GDP … lower unemployment … imports up … exports up … it was almost too good to be true.  2017 – we will miss you!

Makes you want to think about protecting some of those hard-earned gains, right?

2018 is an opportunity to save what you’ve earned … and one of the investment strategies which services such a “protection” investment plan is a principal protection vehicle.  You can find out more about how to take those savings and protect them from market fluctuation by calling us now! 877-912-1919

Merry Christmas America!

America celebrates Christmas in 2017 with unprecedented joy and optimism for the future!

Yes, that is right, we live in the greatest country in the world, in what can be the greatest time in history, and we are Americans with a capital “A”!

Why the unbridled excitement, you ask?  There is the Mueller Russia investigation … the constant assault on the public from an ever-intrusive government … the risk of nuclear war with North Korea … lots of scary stuff for sure.  But the 2017 Christmas season is a time to celebrate with giving and with thanks, and if you focus on the positive, and turn off the mainstream news, this Christmas season can be one of inspiration and joy!

Merry Christmas America!

 

Top 5 Reasons (in no particular order) that it is Truly a Merry Christmas in 2017!

  1. ISIS Defeated in Iraq. It is rare the U.S. wins a war and few people know about it.  ISIS became the next evolution of Al Qaeda, even more brutal and depraved than the original Bin Laden and Zarqawi versions.  In 2014, they took over large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and formed their own country, as well as declaring a Muslim Caliphate.   They terrorized Christian groups throughout the region.  The previous administration had derisively called them “the JV team” and did little to protect minority groups or US citizens caught up in the ISIS movement.  But thanks to significant investments in U.S. air power, a sustained and increased bombing campaign, as well as tactical and special forces support of Iraqi troops on the ground, ISIS has been defeated.  While the long war on terrorism will continue, this round of the “War on ISIS” is over … and we won!
  2. Tax reform is here. The House and Senate passed fundamental Tax Reform and President Trump will sign it into law next week.  Make no mistake, there are better plans they could have implemented.   And without overall governmental reform, we may not see deficit reduction necessary to put a dent in our growing debt problems.  As Reagan famously quipped:  “We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.”  But, any reduction in tax rates is welcome, as it returns the money to the people who earned it.  We also could see deficit reduction through improved economic growth creating more tax revenue.  All in all, this is a WIN for the American people and a nice little gift this Christmas season.
  3. The Stock Market at all-time highs. Just consider these numbers – on 11/22 the Dow hit 19,000 … and since then?

1/25                       –              Dow 20,000

3/1                         –              Dow 21,000

8/2                         –              Dow 22,000

10/18                     –              Dow 23,000

11/30                     –              Dow 24,000

 

And as of this writing we are heading towards Dow 25,000!  Your portfolio has benefitted, the economy has benefitted, and America is back in business!

  1. Economy roaring with GDP now at 3+%.  Another monster quarter could give us the best annual GDP number in a decade.  The removal of hundreds of burdensome regulations, the expectation of meaningful tax reduction, and the belief that free market capitalism will be practiced by the current administration has apparently unleashed those animal spirits held back over the last 8+ years.  This is good for your retirement plan, it is good for employment, and it is good for America!
  2. It’s a Merry Christmas because you can finally say ‘Merry Christmas’. America was founded as a Christian nation by those fleeing religious wars and state-religion in Europe.  If the state was Catholic, so were you.  The beauty of America is that all faiths, and those who do not have a religious faith, are free to live as they choose.  It is called FREEDOM.  But that everyone is free does not change the nature of the holiday – it is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Christ!  Political correctness run amok had led to the previous administration and the broader public afraid to use the term “Merry Christmas” and instead replacing it with “Happy Holidays.”  As ludicrous as political correctness has become, it is a breath of fresh air to see and hear people more openly referring to the holiday by its actual name.

So, some great news stories that fueled a great run-up to Christmas 2017!  But the true importance of Christmas is not a time to receive gifts, but a time to give gifts.  It should not be just a commercial enterprise of exchanging gifts with family members, but also the giving to those in need, those who need food, shelter, and clothing.  Let us all pray for our nation, to heal those who are hurting this holiday season, and to find a way to help those that are less fortunate.  That is the true meaning and spirit of Christmas.

As the New Year approaches, it may also be time to give yourself a gift.  Get a free financial review from your Ty J. Young advisor by calling today.  Make sure that while you are enjoying an epic run in your portfolio, you are also protecting those hard-earned gains from any future correction.  Call now! 877-912-1919

Bitcoin Tulip Mania

Bitcoin Tulip Mania

Bitcoin has been dominating the headlines in the news. You may have seen the following in the media recently:

–              “Bitcoin mining ‘is using so much energy that it is causing electricity blackouts’ amid fears it will consume more power than the world by 2020”

–              “Experts say Bitcoin mining is consuming more power than used by 159 countries”

 –              “It is creating a ‘colossal’ carbon footprint as the value of one-coin surges to more than $18,000 amid violent swings in the cryptocurrency market”

 The words alone sound like a science fiction novel: Bitcoincryptocurrencyelectricity blackouts.

What is Bitcoin?

How is it impacting the financial markets today?

And what is its impact on the future market of tomorrow?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, which means it is used in the digital realm as a form of currency online.  It has value:  it is being traded under futures contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade, and, you can use it as a method of payment in many stores such as the clothing retailer the Gap and the satellite provider DISH Network.  It is the quintessential “future is now” online curiosity – a unit of exchange where the transaction does not include a U.S. dollar or some other form of national, physical currency.  It’s price-to-dollars has surged in the last year, and it has become more and more prominent with the online market and those sophisticated in the digital sphere.

However, can a currency not sanctioned by state truly compete with the dollar, euro, gold, or more traditional forms of exchange in the marketplace?  And is this price surge a market reality, or the classic case of the “bubble” asset.

Bitcoin Tulip Mania

Coindesk.com Bitcoin Valuation July 2010 to 12/12/2017

Is Bitcoin the Currency of the Future?

  1. Huge price run-up in 2017 suggests avid interest. From 2010 to 2013, Bitcoin was valued in a range of $100 U.S. dollars.  There was a surge in 2013 to a valuation range in $900 U.S. dollars.  As of January,  the price of one Bitcoin has surged all the way to over $17,000 U.S. dollars.  For a currency you cannot hold, or touch, but can only use on a digital screen, this has been a unique surge in value, with global implications.
  2. It works without a central bank and a printing press – this seems like the ‘future is now’. Bitcoin is the world’s first digital currency, and the one most commonly used as of this date.  It works as a “peer-to-peer” transaction.  There is no bank to store the money in, no need for a governmental central bank to manage and print the currency.  You mine for bitcoins online, you transact business using a bitcoin software program and it is recorded in a non-governmental system of storage known as a blockchain.  It can sound technical, but for those familiar with the digital landscape, it is a fairly simple system to use.   No central bank makes it a favorite among many who want less of the government involved in economic transactions.
  3. Futures trading, GDAX trading, and old line Wall Street is all the way in.: Perhaps not all the way in – the NYSE has rejected trading Bitcoin futures because of “wild price discrepancies” making it difficult to create an equitable marketplace.  Nonetheless, the Chicago Board of Trade has opened futures contracts on Bitcoin, and it has been firmly established in the global currency exchange.

 

Bitcoin is a Classic “Bubble” Investment.

  1. 1800% increase in value … in one year??? You go from a digital currency that can be purchased in $900 U.S. dollars to over $17,000 … and that’s not a bubble?  Investors have made money, and you can make money betting on futures, but it is payment mechanism that will be in direct competition with the U.S. dollar as backed by the U.S. government – historically, competing in the Feds space has not been a long-term strategy for success.
  2. No price transparency. Bitcoin is traded on several exchanges, and the price valuation is widely divergent from one exchange to the other.  This was the principal reason the New York Stock Exchange hesitated on allowing futures contracts on Bitcoin from being traded on the market.  You cannot get an accurate bid with such price discrepancy.  Furthermore, despite its digital nature, the attempts to “mine” for the bitcoin – find it on the internet grid – makes it a not very liquid currency.  For these reasons, the price appreciation looks more like speculation and risk than sound investment strategy.  Most notably, the price of Bitcoin has seen an 80% correction 5 times in the last 4 years – hardly the model of a stable price climb.  For many analysts, all of this makes it a bubble.
  3. Governments will not accept currency competition they don’t control. Couldn’t governments simply ban digital currency?  Yes, and China already has for transactions involving start-up businesses.  Many analysts celebrate the attempts at banning, saying that the digital currency would simply move to an open market – and that is the beauty and greatness of free markets and capitalism!  But that assumes that more governments, and the biggest one of all – the U.S. – won’t follow suit and attempt to regulate and/or ban competing currencies such as Bitcoin in the future.  Because the U.S., and most countries, will not allow any competition to their currency, there will naturally be a limitation built into the system regarding Bitcoin’s market cap and potential growth.

Bitcoin has had a huge run-up in value.  But even as we go to press, it is well off it’s highs.  It is a tradeable asset in the marketplace:  it can be held as a store of wealth, it can be used as a digital payment source, and it can serve as a hedge like gold or government bonds. But the crypto-asset, the crypto-currency, is not a competition to national currencies.  Like anything else in the stock market, it can go up, and therefore, it can go down.

“Tulip-mania” – which occurred in the Dutch Republic in the 17th century – was the original “bubble asset” having a huge run-up in value on tulips and then a complete collapse in 1637.  It was memorialized in a famous 19th-century book by author Charles Mackay – the title speaks for itself: “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”

Whether Bitcoin is a bubble or not, it certainly will go up and down in the market. How can you avoid those potential losses and that roller coaster ride?  Call your Ty J. Young Inc. advisor today and learn how you can have your money completely protected from stock market losses and growing at the same time! 877-912-1919.