Stocks Trade Higher in February as the Rally Broadens Out

  • The S&P 500 Index gained +5.2%, underperforming the Russell 2000 Index’s +5.6% return. All eleven S&P 500 sectors traded higher, with cyclical sectors outperforming.
  • Corporate investment-grade bonds produced a -1.9% total return as Treasury yields rose, while corporate high-yield bonds produced a +0.3% total return.
  • International stocks underperformed U.S. stocks. The MSCI EAFE Index of developed market stocks returned +3.0%, while the MSCI Emerging Market Index gained +4.2%.

Stocks traded higher in February, with the rally broadening after large cap stocks accounted for most of January’s gains. The S&P 500 traded above 5,000 for the first time, setting a new all-time high, and has now returned +21.5% since the start of November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average set a new closing high in February, and the Russell 2000 Index of small cap stocks outperformed the S&P 500 after trailing by -5.5% last month. The Consumer Discretionary, Industrial, and Material sectors outperformed the S&P 500, while the Utility, Consumer Staple, and Real Estate sectors underperformed.

In the credit market, bonds traded lower for a second consecutive month as two themes caused rates to rise. First, the Federal Reserve told investors it wants more confirmation that inflation will return to its 2% target. This statement effectively pushed back the timing of the first interest rate cut. Second, multiple inflation reports were hotter than expected, hinting at sticky inflation. This year’s bond sell-off suggests the market got ahead of itself by forecasting too many rate cuts. Investors now expect three rate cuts this year, a decrease from the forecast for six rate cuts at the start of the year.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index, which tracks a broad group of commodities, currently trades at its lowest level since December 2021. It’s been a volatile two years. Commodity prices spiked in early 2022 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted the energy, metal, and agriculture markets. The sharp rise in commodity prices sent inflation soaring above 9% in June 2022, the highest level in 40 years. Since peaking in mid-2022, commodity prices and inflation have both trended lower. The consumer price index rose by 3.1% year-over-year in January 2024, the slowest since March 2021.

Investors and the Federal Reserve are debating the risk of a second inflation wave. The price declines across commodity markets helped ease inflation pressures, but there are questions about whether the trend can continue. The price of crude oil has risen by +9.2% year-to-date and currently trades at a 3.5-month high, while gas prices have risen by +13.3% this year. With the summer driving season fast approaching, there is concern that gasoline prices could continue to rise. Investors will be watching other commodity markets to see if prices start to rise, as that could delay the Fed’s plan to cut rates.

Important Notices & Disclaimer

Multiple Stock Market Indices Set New All-Time Highs in January

  • The S&P 500 Index gained +1.6% in January, while the Russell 2000 Index traded down by -3.9%. Five of the eleven S&P 500 sectors traded higher. Communication Services, Financials, and Health Care each outperformed the S&P 500, while Real Estate, Consumer Discretionary, and Materials traded lower.
  • Corporate investment-grade bonds produced a -0.4% total return as Treasury yields rose, slightly underperforming corporate high-yield’s +0.1% total return.
  • International stocks traded lower and underperformed U.S. stocks. The MSCI EAFE Index of developed market stocks returned -0.5%, while the MSCI Emerging Market Index traded lower by -4.5%.

Stocks traded higher to start the new year, with the S&P 500, NASDAQ 100, and Dow Jones Industrial Average each setting new all-time highs. In continuation of last year’s trend, the companies with the biggest market caps accounted for a substantial portion of the early-year gains. This leadership can be seen in the January returns of various factors, including the Russell 1000 Growth’s +2.4% return and the NASDAQ 100’s +1.8% return. In contrast, smaller companies traded lower, with the Russell 2000 underperforming the S&P 500 by -5.5%. Bonds produced flat returns after a robust Q4, when Treasury yields fell in anticipation of rate cuts by the Federal Reserve. When could the first interest rate cut arrive? The section below provides an update on monetary policy after the Federal Reserve’s January meeting.

The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at its January meeting and hinted that rate hikes are finished for the current tightening cycle. While both actions were expected, the post-meeting statement confused the market. The central bank stated that it wants further confirmation that inflation will return to the 2% target before cutting interest rates. Investors were surprised by the statement after seeing inflationary pressures ease over the past six months and assuming interest rates didn’t need to stay at current levels. What more does the Fed want to see? Fed Chair Powell wasn’t clear, although he reiterated that inflation is moving in the right direction.

The future path of interest rates remains uncertain after the January meeting and press conference. The Fed’s statement provides it with maximum flexibility to adjust monetary policy as needed, cutting rates if inflation continues lower but keeping rates at current levels if inflation proves stickier than expected. What is clear is the Fed’s desire to cut interest rates this year as a proactive measure to support the economy. It’s simply a question of when and by how much the central bank will cut interest rates. Investors and economists have been anxiously awaiting the Fed’s next steps, but it appears they will be waiting for at least a few more months.

Important Notices & Disclaimer

S&P 500 Registers its Biggest Monthly Gain Since July 2022

  • The S&P 500 Index gained +9.1% in November, slightly underperforming the Russell 2000 Index’s +9.2% return. Ten of the eleven S&P 500 sectors traded higher, with only Energy trading lower as the price of oil declined -6.2%.
  • Corporate investment-grade bonds produced a +7.5% total return as yields declined, outperforming corporate high-yield bonds’ +4.9% total return.
  • International stocks underperformed U.S. stocks for a second consecutive month. The MSCI EAFE Index of developed market stocks gained +8.2% and outperformed the MSCI Emerging Market Index’s +7.8% return.

The big story during November was the decline in Treasury yields. The bond market experienced large moves in interest rates, with the 10-year Treasury yield falling to 4.36% from over 5% in October. For context, the -0.54% decline in the 10-year yield ranks among the biggest 1-month drops since December 2008, when the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by -0.75%. Falling Treasury yields provided relief to bonds, which have traded lower as the Federal Reserve hikes rates. The Bloomberg U.S. Bond Aggregate Index, which tracks a broad index of U.S. bonds, produced a +4.6% total return. It was the index’s first gain in seven months and its biggest gain since 1985.

The decline in yields helped the stock market rebound after trading lower for three consecutive months. The S&P 500 recorded its biggest monthly gain since July 2022 and currently trades less than 5% below its all-time closing high. The NASDAQ 100 Index gained +10.8% as mega-cap growth stocks such as Microsoft, Apple, and NVIDIA traded toward new all-time highs. Technology was the top-performing S&P 500 sector as the rally in growth stocks propelled the sector to a new all-time high. Real Estate followed close behind, benefiting from falling interest rates that provided relief to property owners. Defensive sectors, including Consumer Staples, Utilities, and Health Care, lagged as the market traded higher.

Investors are optimistic as the U.S. economy continues to exceed expectations. Third-quarter GDP growth was recently revised higher to 5.2%, the strongest since Q4 2021. While unemployment sits at a 21-month high of 3.9%, it remains low by historical standards. The pending home sales index recently fell to the lowest level since 2001, but the decline appears to be linked to limited supply rather than weak demand. The S&P 500’s earnings grew year-over-year during the third quarter, the first time since Q3 2022. Inflation pressures have eased significantly, and investors expect multiple interest rate cuts in 2024. There is a growing sense that the Federal Reserve has accomplished its mission of lowering inflation without tipping the economy into a recession. The market will be watching closely to see if the strength carries into 2024.

Important Notices & Disclaimer

The S&P 500’s Concentration Offers a Lesson on Diversification

The odds are high that you have read or heard about artificial intelligence or Chat GPT this year. In the stock market, there is a small group of stocks known as the “7 Tech Titans”, which includes leading technology firms exposed to the AI theme. The group of stocks has significantly outperformed this year due to growing excitement about AI, which has in turn increased its weight in the S&P 500. The five largest companies in the S&P 500, which are all part of the 7 Tech Titans, account for 22% of the entire index’s total market capitalization. These five companies include Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, NVIDIA, and Alphabet (the parent company of Google).

The S&P 500 is now highly concentrated, surpassing the previous record set in December 1999. In that era, Microsoft, General Electric, Cisco, Walmart, and Intel collectively represented around 19% of the S&P 500. How have those five stocks fared since 2000? Figure 1 shows their combined weight in the S&P 500 has declined over time, while the weight of today’s five largest stocks has steadily increased. Figure 2 shows the five stocks have produced an average total return of 216% since 2000, compared to the S&P 500’s return of 349%. At an individual stock level, only one out of the five stocks managed to outperform the S&P 500 over the past two decades.

The two charts highlight the importance of diversification. In both instances, the high concentration resulted from the outperformance of a small group of stocks. However, the return data in Figure 2 shows that today’s winners are not necessarily tomorrow’s winners. Diversifying your stock holdings across different sectors and companies can help manage this risk. It’s also important to diversify across bonds, real estate, and other asset classes, as well as regularly rebalance your portfolio to avoid concentration risk like the S&P 500. Financial markets are constantly changing, and owning a portfolio that is diversified across asset classes can help smooth returns over time and decrease overall portfolio risk. Our goal is to help you create a well-balanced investment portfolio that aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance.

Important Notices & Disclaimer

The information and opinions expressed herein are solely those of PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC (PFG), are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended as recommendations to buy or sell a security, nor as an offer to buy or sell a security. Recipients of the information provided herein should consult with their financial advisor before purchasing or selling a security.

The information and opinions provided herein are provided as general market commentary only, and do not consider the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any one client. The information in this report is not intended to be used as the primary basis of investment decisions, and because of individual client objectives, should not be construed as advice designed to meet the particular investment needs of any investor.

The comments may not be relied upon as recommendations, investment advice or an indication of trading intent. PFG is not soliciting any action based on this document. Investors should consult with their financial adviser before making any investment decisions. There is no guarantee that any future event discussed herein will come to pass. The data used in this publication may have been obtained from a variety of sources including U.S. Federal Reserve, FactSet, Bloomberg, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, iShares, Vanguard and State Street, which we believe to be reliable, but PFG cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of data used herein. Any use of graphs, text or other material from this report by the recipient must acknowledge MarketDesk Research as the source. Past performance does not guarantee or indicate future results.   Investing   involves   risk,   including   the possible loss of principal and fluctuation of value. PFG disclaims responsibility for updating information. In addition, PFG disclaims responsibility for third-party content, including information accessed through hyperlinks.

No mention of a particular security, index, derivative or other instrument in the report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold that or any other security, nor does it constitute an opinion on the suitability of any security, index, or derivative. The report is strictly an information publication and has been prepared without regard to the particular investments and circumstances of the recipient.

READERS   SHOULD   VERIFY   ALL   CLAIMS   AND   COMPLETE    THEIR    OWN RESEARCH AND CONSULT A REGISTERED FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE INVESTING IN ANY INVESTMENTS MENTIONED IN THE PUBLICATION. INVESTING IN SECURITIES AND DERIVATIVES IS SPECULATIVE AND CARRIES A HIGH DEGREE OF RISK, AND READERS MAY LOSE MONEY TRADING AND INVESTING IN SUCH INVESTMENTS.

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment advisor.

Till Debt Do Us Part: Resolving Financial Sources of Tension Between Couples

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Money can’t buy love, but it can certainly start some spicy debates between you and your better half. In this episode, we’re digging into the financial face-offs that make Monopoly fights look like child’s play and exploring some money minefields that can test even the most solid relationships. Listen in as we explore how to resolve some of the most common financial sources of tension between couples.

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Disclaimer:

 

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. The topics and information discussed during this podcast are not intended to provide tax or legal advice. Investments involve risk, and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed on this podcast. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Insurance products and services are offered and sold through individually licensed and appointed insurance agents.

Here is a transcript of today’s episode:

Marc:

Welcome into another edition of the podcast. It’s Retirement Planning Redefined with John and Nick from PFG Private Wealth. Find them online at pfgprivatewealth.com if you’ve got questions or concerns about your retirement strategy or lack thereof.

This week we’re going to be talking about ’til debt do us part, resolving potential financial sources of tension between couples, because let’s be honest, married couples fight, and often it’s about money. That’s usually the number one reason that we get into arguments. So we’ve got five that we want to identify and talk through a little bit and try to hopefully shine some light on some places where we can talk about some of these things and maybe get onto the same page and not have these arguments. Because a lot of times these things happen in front of advisors the very first time.

Guys, not too long ago, I was just chatting with another advisor, who said he was sitting down with a married couple, they were talking, they were going over the stuff, and they were pleasantly surprised about some extra money that they were going to have. The husband says, “Great, we’re going to buy an RV and travel the country,” and the wife looked at him and said, “Since when? You’ve never ever brought this up before.” So it was the first time she had ever heard it. So we want to make sure that that’s not happening. We want to try to have these conversations, ideally with each other before we sit down with an advisor, but certainly that’s going to happen as well, because you guys, as you know, often wind up having to be a little bit of marriage counselors sometimes when it comes to dealing with finance in front of folks. That’s going to be the topic this week. We’re going to get into it.

Nick, how you doing buddy?

Nick:

Doing well. Doing well, thanks.

Marc:

Yeah. You ever run into that situation where a couple said something in front of you and you could tell the other one was completely caught off guard?

Nick:

Oh yeah. Yep. Yep. It’s-

Marc:

Par for the course?

Nick:

Yeah, that’s when the couple’s therapy hat goes on.

Marc:

That’s right.

Nick:

Probably a lot of advisors don’t work in teams like John and I do, oftentimes, and I would say one of the things that it helps with the most is just being able to pick up on the social cues a little bit easier from both people, just because people, depending upon their personality, they may show you a lot with their expression.

Marc:

Yeah. Little tandem action there. John, you’re married. I’m married. Married couples argue, right? And money’s usually the big deal.

John:

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Speak for yourself, Mark. [inaudible 00:02:15] aware of it. It’s all roses over here.

Marc:

Your wife’s listening, that’s right. Make sure you don’t say anything, yeah. But it does happen, right? And money’s the number one argument point. So, let’s talk about these five that we’ve identified here that people tend to run into in y’all’s industry.

Risk tolerance, if I start that first one, risk tolerance in investments. This is pretty simple. If you’re talking about two people, there’s a good chance one feels one way about something and the other one feels the other way, especially when it comes to being married couples. So one person may be more aggressive with the portfolio and one’s not, right? That simple.

John:

Yeah. This does happen quite a bit because everyone has different risk tolerances, personalities, and how they react to the market. What we typically do in this situation is each person will fill out their own risk tolerance questionnaire, and that gives us understanding of how to invest each portfolio. And if it’s a joint account, we usually have a discussion of, “Hey, how does this fit in the overall plan and the strategy?” So, again, hate to sound like a broken record, but we really try to have the plan dictate how much risk we should be taking, and then obviously the risk tolerance comes into play. But what we do in this situation is we take account both risks’ levels, and then we’ll try to incorporate that into the plan and make sure that it’s in line with what we’re showing for numbers.

Marc:

Yeah. This is pretty basic one here, but we want to make sure that both parties are feeling comfortable with the risk that they’re taking. It’s just that simple. So to not have the argument, you don’t want to have the portfolio 90% in the market, for example, just as throwing numbers out there, if the other person’s tolerance is only going to be comfortable with half of that or less than that. So you want to have those conversations. It’s also good to work with an advisor who can help you go through. And this is why another piece of the importance of both parties being involved with the financial planning process, so that they both are getting their needs met, as well as understanding what’s happening and knowing what their plan is. So that’s the first one.

Nick, let’s talk about the second one, retirement age. My wife and I are five years apart, and she jokes all the time, and I don’t think she’s joking, but all the time she’s like, “You’re going to retire five years before me and I don’t think I like that,” because she just doesn’t want to see me goofing off and having fun while she’s going to work. Understandable, but something you got to talk about.

Nick:

Yeah. It’s definitely something that comes up quite a bit. It’s interesting, honestly, it varies quite a bit from couple to couple. I’ve seen it go from anything from one person really enjoys their job more than another and they plan to work longer and they’re comfortable and happy with that. In the last few years, we’ve had people shift to working from home and that has kept them in the job longer. They don’t have to do the commute anymore. We’ve even had clients move maybe a little further out into the burbs because of it and start their adjustment to retirement by being in a quieter area, that sort of thing.

Also, in a funny way, sometimes couples are like, “We need to ease into this whole spending all this extra time together sort of thing. So us doing it at the same time may not be best for us as well.” Then purely from a financial standpoint, there could be a significant age gap or maybe at least three to five years where the cost of health insurance, those sorts of things for the younger one, could make a significantly negative impact on the overall plan if they were to retire early. And so they just do it. They continue to work just for that reason alone.

Marc:

Yeah. So you’ve got to have those conversations to sort that out a little bit so that you don’t have that argument or that fight over what’s going on, things of that nature. Again, this could be an easy one, but it also may not be depending on the age disparity, or even just from the financial standpoint of figuring out the ideal way to do this.

John, let’s go to number three for you here on legacy for the family, for heirs or whatever the case is. I joke with my daughter all the time, we only have the one, but I joke with her, I’m like, “I’m not leaving you anything but a credit card statement.” So she’s expecting to get nadda. She knows that’s not true, but for folks who have multiple kids like yourself, it could be simple, where one party wants to leave them a whole bunch and the other party doesn’t, right? “We worked hard for this. We want to enjoy our retirement with the money that we put together. The kids are doing fine, so I don’t want to leave as much.” And that’s certainly the source of tension between a married couple, if one’s wanting to give a lot and one’s wanting to give a little.

John:

Yeah, this is probably, I would say, my planning career here, the biggest tension one I’ve seen actually, because if you’re setting aside money to leave for a legacy and you’re not spending it, that can make a big impact to what you do in retirement. So, again, the planning does help this out where you start to kind of see it. But this is definitely one where I would say it’s a conversation to have in making sure that everyone is on the same page as far as what is the goal for leaving a legacy to kids or grandkids?

Marc:

Yeah. And the grandkids can certainly be another whole equation in that too. Although the funny thing is, is couples tend to get on the same page about the grandkids. It’s like, “The heck with the kids, just give it all to the grandkids.” But, again, you’ve got to really talk about how you’re going to separate that out.

Nick, do you see that as the biggest one as well? As John’s mentioned, that’s the thing he’s seen the most in his career. Do you see that quite often as well?

Nick:

Yeah, I would agree with him on that. That’s definitely the case for me as well.

Marc:

Yeah. It’s, again, “Let’s leave them as much as we can. No, they’re doing just fine. We’ve given them everything throughout their life. I’m not leaving them that much.” That’s what my wife and I joke about with our kid. We’re like, “I’m not leaving her nothing. We’ve given her tons of stuff. She’s doing well on her own. She doesn’t need any of the stuff that we have. We’re going to enjoy our retirement ourself.” So, we don’t have big fights about it, but you could.

John:

Mark, actually, one thing that I’ve seen at work is a kind of in-between, if this debt does become a sticky point, is I’ve seen some clients that instead of leaving money, it’s, “Hey, let’s do some things that we enjoy with the family.” So instead of just saying, “Hey, we’re going to leave you this nest egg,” maybe it’s, “We go on a vacation and we pay for everybody to come, so we create memories versus just passing away and just leaving them a chunk of money.” So that’s kind of an in-between, where it’s, “Hey, I want to enjoy my retirement. We’ll leave it for the kids. Let’s do both.”

Marc:

Gotcha. That’s a great point. Yeah, for sure. So maybe trying to enjoy that while everybody’s around is a good way of looking at that.

Let’s do number four here, housing and retirement, probably the second biggest one, more than likely. “Do we downsize, do we not? Well, we raised the kids here. I want to stay here and raise the grandkids here,” kind of thing. Like, “Have the grandkids come here for those great memories, but financially it makes more sense to downsize,” or whatever. So there’s a whole plethora of arguments that can pop up around the housing issue, Nick.

Nick:

Yeah, the housing issue, from almost like a hyperlocal standpoint here, has really become quite interesting, and, to a certain extent, in other areas as well. In our area here we’ve had really home values post-COVID double, and then interest rates go up. So there’s this stuck factor, where in theory somebody may look to downsize their home, but for what they would get for the money, the change in taxes, if there was financing involved, it’s one thing if they’d be able to pay cash, but if there’d be financing involved, a lot of times that cuts into any sort of gain that they would get. So unless they’re shifting out to an area that’s substantially less expensive or that sort of thing, people are a little bit more stuck than they had been previously, which we see that from the standpoint and the perspective of low inventory and that sort of thing.

So we’re in an interesting cycle, and it’s going to be pretty interesting to see how that ages in the next few years, because we’ve already had some clients that had looked into downsizing but wanted to stay local, and with the pricing where it’s at, it just didn’t end up making financial sense. The downside of that is that there’s more maintenance and the house is harder to keep up. So instead, they’re spending money on maybe some services related to the home that they hadn’t before. It’s pretty interesting.

Some clients that have relocated from other areas of the country where the housing markets are higher, they’ve been able to have that be a downsize that’s worked out well for them. But that gap used to be much more substantial. What they would sell a house for in maybe the Eastern Seaboard versus what they could buy something for here now, the gap is much smaller than it used to be. Although for some areas it’s still a better value, it’s changed.

Marc:

Yeah, it’s easy enough to get into these arguments about different things, and certainly anything that’s emotionally attached, like leaving money to the kids or raising the grandkid… I keep saying raising, but spending time with the grandkids in the same home where you raised your children can certainly carry a lot of emotional weight to that. But if the finance or the math bears out in a different direction and one party’s leaning towards math and finance and the other one’s leaning toward emotion, can certainly lead to arguments. And also, not having the conversations until you sit down with the advisor, probably not the best way to go about that either. “We’re going to sell the house.” “No, we’re not. We’re going to stay in the house,” and you guys are left sitting there going, “Oh boy, this is going to be fun.” So definitely something you want to have a conversation about.

Then the last one guys, is also a pretty big one as well, which is just retirement lifestyle in general. Again, what do you want to do? I used my wife and I as an example a minute ago, I’m going to retire before she does, and she travels a lot for work. Well, she doesn’t want to travel that much in retirement. She wants to be at home and enjoy her garden and so on and so forth. And I’m like, well, I’m always working from home, especially while she’s traveling now, so I want to get out and do things once we retire. So we’re in two different spaces. We’ve got to find a way to make that work as we get there. And many couples face that same kind of analogy.

John:

Yeah, this happens quite a bit in understanding and getting that aligned. I think with all these topics, I’ll say that just sitting down and starting a financial plan will answer a lot of these questions and making it come to light. And once you see the plan, you’ll really start to determine, “Hey, should we downsize? What can we leave to the kids?” Retirement age, et cetera. And then also, “What are the things we can do in retirement?” It really opens up the conversation.

Just kind of give you scenarios here. I just had a client that, she, herself, her goal was to hike the Appalachian Trail. She just did about half of it, and the husband didn’t want to do that. She did it, and then he would actually meet her at certain spots in the trail and they would hang out and then he’d fly back home. But those are things that she wanted to do, and she’s not the only one. I have some other people like that as well. If it’s that drastically of a difference, some people might do things solo off their bucket list. But the majority of the time, I’ll say, maybe we’ve been fortunate that we’ve worked with people that will actually compromise and work with each other, even if they have different bucket lists in retirement.

Marc:

Yeah. Yeah. Nick, you want to chime in on this one?

Nick:

Yeah, it’s really an interesting dynamic. I see it now more with my parents who both retired during COVID. The caveat with them is that my grandmother lives with them so that puts some restrictions on what they can do. We have a lot of clients who have that same sort of situation, which is also another reason for people to be strategic about the things that they want to do, and be able to plan around that sort of thing.

As an example, for my parents, I have an uncle that’s going to fly down and stay with my grandmother for a week, and they’re going to go travel a little bit, go out west for a wedding, and be able to enjoy that time. So, people that tend to be homebodies too, I think I’ve seen maybe struggle a little bit more than others. I would just say that any sort of engagement, hobbies, things to get you out of the house, all those sorts of things, we’ve seen have a very positive impact on people’s energy levels and how much they’re able to actually enjoy retirement.

Marc:

Yeah. Well, and again, these are five big places where we can certainly argue about money when it comes to our finances, sources of tension. Whether it’s arguing over how aggressive or not we are with our portfolio, whether it’s what kind of age we want to retire at, the legacy to leave behind, where we’re going to live, or just what overall retirement’s going to look like, why have this be a source of tension when we can have a conversation with each other? Hopefully we’ve done this already, but again, many times couples, they know they’re going to fight, so they try to avoid, or maybe they’re not as truthful, guys, as they might be with their partner when it’s just them. But sitting down in front of advisors like yourselves, now they’re a little bit more comfortable because they feel like they’ve got this mediator who doesn’t have a vested interest in the fight. They’re just there to help provide the financial information. Is that fair?

John:

Yes.

Nick:

Yeah, I would say so.

John:

Yeah, I would definitely agree with that.

Marc:

Yeah. I think a lot of people feel better about doing that in front of an advisor, but again, try not to catch your partner off guard by never having this conversation with them and just springing something on them. Talk about it, and work your way through it, and hopefully maybe use this podcast as a catalyst if you need that, if you’re having trouble with your spouse, and just say, “Hey, listen to this.” Maybe this will get you guys talking or whatever. And then sit down with a qualified pro like John and Nick to go through the process and see what it is that you need to do to tackle these items and get onto the same page. So reach out to them, pfgprivatewealth.com. That’s where you can find them online. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, pfgprivatewealth.com.

You can find Retirement Planning Redefined on Apple, Google, or Spotify. Whatever podcasting platform app you like to use, just type that into search box, or again, stop by the website, pfgprivatewealth.com. Guys, thanks for hanging out and breaking this down a little bit for us this week. I always appreciate your time. For John and Nick, I’m your host, Mark, we’ll see you next time here on the show.