Blog

Blog

Market Update – March 4, 2021

It’s now been over a year since COVID-19 first hit American shores. While the pandemic has affected everyone to varying degrees, we can all agree that everyone’s life is different today than it was a year ago. It’s difficult to remember what normal looks like at this point.

Now that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has been approved, we have three vaccines available in the United States—and some semblance of normal is fast approaching. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have dropped significantly over the past two months. More businesses have reopened. Kids are going back to school. More diners are headed to restaurants. Air travel has picked up.

The US economy—though not back to normal yet—is poised to potentially recover all of its lost output from last year’s recession during the first half of this year. Shoppers are doing their part as retail sales jumped 5.3% in January—the strongest month-over-month increase in seven months. Consumers’ coffers were replenished by the federal government’s roughly $900 billion stimulus package passed in December 2020. US household savings are now $1.4 trillion above last year’s levels, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which should provide fuel for more pent-up spending after restrictions are lifted.

The bridge policymakers began to build a year ago to the end of the pandemic is getting even stronger. Congress is expected to pass another fiscal stimulus package in mid-March, potentially worth over $1.5 trillion and including more direct aid to consumers and supplemental unemployment insurance. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continues to provide unwavering support for the economy. Our economy’s resilience, coupled with this significant fiscal and monetary support, has enabled stocks to do even better than normal—and early in bull markets, normal is pretty good.

Some fear the economy has too much support. A healing labor market with about 10 million fewer jobs than a year ago suggests that more help is needed. But, as the economy fully opens, we will have to watch inflation closely for signs of overheating. The Federal Reserve may have to pump the brakes sooner than anticipated.

Normal is approaching—or at least the post-pandemic version of normal—and it’s looking pretty good. Stocks and bonds are both telling us we have a lot to look forward to as the economy moves closer to a full reopening. COVID-19 still presents risks of course, and stocks may be due for a pause after such a strong run. But ultimately, we believe the backdrop of improving economic growth, supportive fiscal and monetary policy, rebounding corporate profits, and improving COVID-19 trends will be a favorable one for stocks over the balance of the year.

 

 

 

Important Information

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of March 4, 2021.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy

Strategic Retirement Partners Named a 2021 Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers by InvestmentNews

Shorewood, IL March 1, 2021— Strategic Retirement Partners has been recognized as a 2021 Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers as announced by InvestmentNews today.

 

Strategic Retirement Partners was chosen as one of this year’s top-75 based on employer and employee surveys delving into everything from company culture, benefits, career paths and more.

 

“This award means a ton to us since it is feedback from our employees. Our employees are our culture and without them SRP wouldn’t be where it is today,” SRP’s Managing Partner, Jeff Cullen stated. “In this very unusual year, we were well-positioned to stepped up to support and protect employees’ physical and emotional health, while continuing to keep the focus on clients’ needs.”

 

InvestmentNews partnered with Best Companies Group, an independent research firm specializing in identifying great places to work, to compile the survey and recognition program.

 

“We’ve all seen the value of a great work culture over the past year, and InvestmentNews is excited to once again recognize those firms that are taking a lead in providing great financial advice and being a great place to work,” said George Moriarty, Chief Content Officer, InvestmentNews. “These firms are leading the industry in developing best-in-class human resource practices.”

 

To learn more about the InvestmentNews 2021 75 Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers, please go to Bestplacesforadvisers.com.

 

About Strategic Retirement Partners

Strategic Retirement Partners is a nationwide independent retirement plan consulting services firm dedicated to providing guidance in decision-making and problem solving to employers and sponsors of retirement plans. With 21 offices from coast to coast, Strategic Retirement Partners currently consults on over 820 corporate and non-profit plans and over $14.3 billion in assets as of January 1, 2021.

 

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Global Retirement Partners, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Global Retirement Partners and Strategic Retirement Partners (SRP) are separate entities from LPL Financial.

 

Global Retirement Partners employs (or contracts with) individuals who may be (1) registered representatives of LPL Financial and investment adviser representatives of Global Retirement Partners; or (2) solely investment adviser representatives of Global Retirement Partners. Although all personnel operate their businesses under the name Strategic Retirement Partners (SRP), they are each possibly subject to differing obligations and limitations and may be able to provide differing products or services.

 

 

 

Market Update – February 4, 2021

“In the short-term, the market is a popularity contest. In the long-term, the market is a weighing machine.” Warren Buffett

2021 is under way, as our nation and the rest of the world look to begin to put the global pandemic behind us. The path forward for the US economy, as well as that of the global economy, will continue to depend heavily on the success of combatting the virus.

While many of the risks presented by the outbreak of COVID-19 persist, it appears we may be in the later innings of the pandemic. Following increased restrictions to quell the holiday surge, new daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have peaked, and are down significantly the past few weeks (source: COVID Tracking Project). Reopening is taking place as well, highlighted by New York City’s plans to bring back indoor dining by Valentine’s Day. Meanwhile, the distribution of currently approved vaccines is well underway—and accelerating. The United States has added over 1 million shots per day over the past week (source: CDC) and 1.5 million per day is quite possible soon. Adding to this optimistic trend, new vaccine candidates from Johnson & Johnson and Novavax have also shown efficacy in combatting the effects of the virus and new mutations. If these two candidates are authorized for use as most experts expect, the boost in supply will be a welcome development in the US and abroad.

Despite the positive trends in COVID-19 data, volatility began to return to the stock market in the final days of January, as retail traders set their eyes on GameStop (GME) stock and other heavily shorted securities, captivating the nation’s imagination. As Warren Buffett explained above, while many of these securities may be popular now, the real winners will likely be investors with longer-term horizons. While these developments could be another sign of excessive optimism in certain segments of the equity markets, we do not believe they represent a sign of a broader market bubble or indicate a major correction is forthcoming.

After the powerful snapback of economic growth seen in the third quarter, the economy continued to grow at a solid 4% in the fourth quarter despite the holiday surge in COVID-19 cases. This improving economic backdrop has provided tailwinds to corporate profits, which should help stocks grow into their elevated valuations. S&P 500 Index earnings for the fourth quarter are impressively tracking 9 percentage points ahead of consensus expectations, while more than 80% of companies have beaten earnings estimates (source: FactSet). Meanwhile, housing remains extremely strong nationally and manufacturing data continues to show an economy that is firmly on the mend.

The improving economic backdrop, along with US government and Federal Reserve policies designed to boost the economy, suggest the environment for risk assets may remain favorable in 2021. Don’t get complacent though; after the S&P 500 Index rallied more than 70% since the March 2020 lows, some volatility would be perfectly warranted. Remember, they say that the stock market is the only place where things go on sale, yet people run out of the store screaming. Have a plan in place to be ready to take advantage when the sales come, and don’t run out screaming.

 

Important Information
This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

SRP 1st Quarter Participant Webinar

SAFER ONLINE

Identity theft and cybercrime increased drastically during the pandemic. There has been a significant increase in this type of criminal activity in recent years.

With our partners from Invesco, we will discuss “Financial” and “Non-Financial” Identity theft and its impact on all generations of the family, including children and Senior Citizens, who are most at risk.

Learn practical tips for staying safer online!

All retirement plan participants and eligible employees are welcome!

Please join us on Tuesday, February 9th (1:00pm EST / 12:00pm CST / 10:00am PST) for this live Participant Education event!

REGISTER HERE:    https://srpretire.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AAkN5Q6fT8ODXR3gBGBlBQ

Limited space available so register today!

This session will be recorded.

 

Strategic Retirement Partners and its associates do not provide tax advice.  Accordingly, any discussions of U.S. tax matters contained herein (including any attachments) is not intended for written to be used, and cannot be used, in connection with the promotion, marketing or recommendation by anyone unaffiliated with Strategic Retirement Partners of any of the matters addressed herein or for the purpose of avoiding U.S. tax-related penalties.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Global Retirement Partners, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Global Retirement Partners and Strategic Retirement Partners (SRP) are separate entities from LPL Financial. Global Retirement Partners, Strategic Retirement Partners, and LPL Financial are not affiliated with Invesco.

Global Retirement Partners employs (or contracts with) individuals who may be (1) registered representatives of LPL Financial and investment advisor representatives of Global Retirement Partners; or (2) solely investment advisor representatives of Global Retirement Partners.  Although all personnel operate their business under the name Strategic Retirement Partners (SRP) they are each possibly subject to differing obligations and limitations and may be able to provide differing products or services.

The Saver’s Tax Credit

The Saver’s Tax Credit can give an added boost to those saving for retirement.

You may be eligible for a tax credit, which could reduce your federal income tax liability, for contributing to your 401(k), 403(b), 457 or IRA plan. If you qualify, you may receive a Saver’s Tax Credit of up to $1,000 ($2,000 for married couples). The deduction is claimed in the form of a non-refundable tax credit, ranging from 10% to 50% of your annual contribution.

Remember, when you contribute a portion of each paycheck into your retirement plan on a pre-tax basis, you are reducing the amount of your income subject to federal taxation. And, those assets grow tax-deferred until you receive a distribution. If you qualify for the Saver’s Tax Credit, you may even further reduce your taxes.

Eligibility depends on your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), your tax filing status, and your retirement plan contributions. To qualify for the credit, you must be age 18 or older and cannot be a full-time student or claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return. You generally must also subtract the amount of distributions from the contributions you made.

Use this chart to calculate your credit for the tax year 2021. First, determine your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) – your total income minus all qualified deductions. Then refer to the chart below to see how much you can claim as a tax credit if you qualify.

The credit is applied to your contribution up to $2,000, or $2,000 each if married filing jointly.

For example:
• A single employee whose AGI is $20,000 defers $2,000 to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan will qualify for a tax credit equal to 20% of their total contribution. That’s a tax savings of $400.
• A married couple, filing jointly, with a combined AGI of $35,000 each contributes $2,000 to their workplace retirement plans or IRAs. They will receive a 50% credit on both of their contributions, resulting in tax savings of $2,000.
With the Saver’s Tax Credit, you may owe less in federal taxes the next time you file. To claim the credit, use IRS Form 8880, “Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions.”

 

 

 

This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal or investment advice. If you are seeking investment advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.

Strategic Retirement Partners, Global Retirement Partners, LPL Financial and their associates do not provide tax advice. Accordingly, any discussions of U.S. tax matters contained herein (including any attachments) is not intended for written to be used, and cannot be used, in connection with the promotion, marketing or recommendation by anyone unaffiliated with Strategic Retirement Partners of any of the matters addressed herein or for the purpose of avoiding U.S. tax-related penalties.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Global Retirement Partners, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Global Retirement Partners and Strategic Retirement Partners (SRP) are separate entities from LPL Financial.

Global Retirement Partners employs (or contracts with) individuals who may be (1) registered representatives of LPL Financial and investment advisor representatives of Global Retirement Partners; or (2) solely investment advisor representatives of Global Retirement Partners. Although all personnel operate their business under the name Strategic Retirement Partners (SRP) they are each possibly subject to differing obligations and limitations and may be able to provide differing products or services.

Market Update – January 6, 2021

A new year offers a welcomed turn of the calendar and a fresh start. However, it’s difficult to put 2020 completely behind us just yet because the COVID-19 pandemic still presents a significant threat. Healthcare workers continue to perform heroically, while the rest of us must continue to make sacrifices until vaccines are widely distributed.

Despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19, it’s important to remember the tremendous progress the US economy has made in its recovery so far:

• The US economy has created more than 12 million jobs since April 2020—more than half the number of jobs lost during the spring lockdown—and has brought down the unemployment rate from 14.7% in April to 6.7% in November.

• Holiday shopping was up a better-than-expected 3% year over year according to MasterCard data. And it shouldn’t be a surprise that a 49% increase in online sales was the big driver. This growth is impressive when we remember how different the world looked in late 2019 when businesses were fully open without restrictions, shoppers freely visited brick-and-mortar stores, and unemployment was near record lows.

• The manufacturing sector has staged a strong recovery. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing index in December tied for its second highest reading in 15 years and has registered above 50—the dividing line between expansion and contraction—for seven straight months.

The economy lost some momentum as 2020 ended with more rapid COVID-19 spread and renewed restrictions. Still, the US economy appears poised to grow through the end of the pandemic, bolstered by the new $900 billion fiscal stimulus package passed December 27, 2020, which provides much-needed aid for small businesses, consumers, schools, and the healthcare system. US gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 4.6% annualized in the fourth quarter of 2020, followed by 2.5% in the first quarter of 2021 (source: Bloomberg).

A better economic backdrop may mean better corporate earnings. Analysts’ consensus estimates for S&P 500 Index company profits have been rising steadily in recent months (source: FactSet) amid the improving economic outlook. S&P 500 companies are expected to return to 2019 profit levels in 2021—a remarkable achievement if realized.

Thanks to the remarkable work of medical researchers and doctors, the end of the pandemic is approaching, and the outlook for the economy and stock market appears promising. But the road ahead may not be smooth. The vaccine rollout is still in its early stages and has significant logistical challenges. US-China tensions aren’t going away any time soon. Higher interest rates and a pickup in inflation could put pressure on stock market valuations at some point. Divisiveness in America is at an extreme. And following the Georgia Senate elections, tax increases may be likely—probably in 2022.

One thing 2020 has taught us as investors is the importance of sticking to a long-term investment plan. That may be easier said than done when volatility arrives—and we had our fair share of that in 2020. Investors who stayed with their plans in 2020 benefited as volatility presented opportunities.

Important Information
This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of January 6, 2021.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Market Update – December 2, 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, we are already looking forward to a new year—and to a world very different from the one we’re leaving behind. Areas of the economy have been damaged and may never fully recover, but other areas will adapt, reinvent, and help reinvigorate growth.

December also brings LPL Research’s annual market outlook Outlook 2021: Powering Forward, which reviews what happened in 2020 and what to expect in 2021. It covers stocks and bonds, the economy, and a post-election policy environment built on new challenges, new opportunities, and new politics.

2021 is primed to deliver advances to further limit the impact of COVID-19, and the goal remains keeping the economy as open as possible while keeping people safe. Continued progress in the response to COVID-19, including further stimulus measures by the government, will be key to sustaining the economic recovery. As the pandemic subsides, restrictions are lifted, and consumers’ daily lives return to something close to normal, the pace of the recovery most likely will pick up speed—probably in the middle of 2021.

Another major milestone will be moving past the market uncertainty caused by presidential elections. Historically, the post-election environment has been positive for the stock market. S&P 500 Index returns have been strongest with a divided Congress—one party controlling the House of Representatives and the other party controlling the Senate. A split Congress with President-elect Joe Biden in the White House could be viewed as friendly to the markets.

The makeup of the Senate will have significant policy implications. A fifth COVID-19 relief bill may be the first priority for the new administration, but to be approved by a Republican-controlled Senate, it most likely will need to be smaller than previously discussed. With an effective vaccine coming soon, Republican Senators may balk at another trillion dollar package. That would leave the Federal Reserve potentially as the only other policy support in Washington, DC, if COVID-19 causes further financial and economic stress.

Biden’s proposed corporate tax changes would potentially cut S&P 500 earnings by 10% or more in 2021, but a divided government most likely would take those proposals off the table. Smaller, targeted tax increases might still be possible to fund a scaled-down version of Biden’s green energy and infrastructure investment programs, something that has bipartisan support.
Also, Biden’s administration might reduce or eliminate tariffs, which could grease the wheels of global trade and provide a boost to corporate earnings. Greater clarity on trade may make it easier for some companies to do business, but there’s the potential of a more challenging regulatory environment as well.

Looking back, one constant in this difficult year has been the value of personal and professional relationships. Sound financial advice charted a long-term path for many investors that kept them from getting off course in a turbulent 2020. There still will be risks to navigate in 2021, but it’s important to remain focused on long-term investing goals, stay on course, and power forward.

 

 

Important Information
This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of December 2, 2020.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Tarheel Advisor Joins National Retirement Plan Focused Firm, SRP

A highly sought after North Carolina retirement focused advisor, Jonathon Schultheiss, and his team have joined Strategic Retirement Partners (SRP), a leading national aggregator of top advisory talent. Jonathon has established himself as a passionate advocate for saving for retirement is also well known for authoring two books, national speaking engagements, and for his captivating TV interviews.

When asked why he and his team made the move to SRP, Jonathon said, “Gate City was a great place to be for 10 plus years, but as I continue to focus on retirement plans and their unique needs, partnering with a firm like SRP just makes sense. SRP can offer my team and my clients a purpose-built back office, technology solutions, and processes deeply entrenched in serving retirement plan sponsors and participants.”

This 2020 partnership expands SRP’s footprint into the key market in the southeast and brings their offices to 21 nationwide with over 800 retirement plans and $12.7 billion in assets under management.

“Jonathon has such passion for this industry and drive to help people achieve their desired retirement outcomes. This, along with his depth and breadth of expertise, make him an excellent fit for SRP,” shared SRP’s Managing Partner Jeff Cullen.

Market Update – October 1, 2020

Autumn has arrived, with students back in school, baseball playoffs beginning, and football in full swing. Life is trying to get back to as normal as possible despite the ongoing impact from COVID-19. While the number of new daily cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19 has steadied in the United States, cases in Western Europe are increasing again, and many are concerned the United States could follow Europe with another spike higher.

Although there are still reasons to worry, a number of positives are on the horizon. A major vaccine breakthrough possibly could be here by the end of the year. The US government has plans to ship 100 million Abbott Labs 15-minute COVID-19 tests over the next several weeks to help accelerate reopening of the economy. Meanwhile, Pfizer’s clinical trial is expected to produce conclusive results later this month, with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization potentially coming soon thereafter. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is in the final stages of testing, and promising vaccines from AstraZeneca and Moderna are in the pipeline as well. All of these point to the potential for an improving global economy in 2021.

In another sign of strength, the S&P 500 Index rallied 60% off its March 23 bottom through early September, although it has pulled back some over the past several weeks. After such a strong rally, a 10% correction is perfectly normal and to be expected. Add to this seasonal weakness—the historically poor stock market performance typical of September and October—and investors’ pre-election jitters, and this pullback could be viewed as an opportunity for suitable investors to consider adding to longer-term holdings.

Technology stocks have shown strength during the pandemic, but this group also has pulled back lately, causing many to claim this might be another “tech bubble” similar to the late 1990s. This seems unlikely, as the technology sector has experienced explosive growth, with tech earnings estimates above their pre-pandemic levels, justifying the valuations.

While the economy is showing signs of improvement, it also continues to reflect areas of concern. Initial jobless claims have remained stubbornly high. Dave and Buster’s reported revenue in the second quarter was down 85%, and Live Nation’s revenue was down 98%, as no one was seeing live shows. On the other hand, existing and new home sales both recently hit 14-year highs, and manufacturing has increased for four consecutive months, suggesting the recession is likely over. Amazon has announced it will hire 33,000 new employees at an average salary of $150,000. Certain industries may be years away from fully recovering, while others are moving along like nothing is wrong.

The contrasts in Washington are evident as well, with the presidential election only one month away, but all isn’t lost. There’s growing optimism that a new coronavirus relief package may still be possible before the end of the year. The Federal Reserve also is doing what it can to help spur confidence and liquidity in the markets. November’s winner will inherit an improving economy and one that will likely see strong growth in 2021, as multiple vaccines and therapeutics help spur the economy to open up more fully.

These signs of market and economic strength tell us that better times likely are coming in 2021. Stay safe these final months of what’s been a very challenging year.

 

Important Information
This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of September 30, 2020.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.