Week in Review

Good afternoon everyone. In case you missed it, here’s what happened in the markets this week. Today’s summary will be light compared to what you’re used to. And the Blues Stanley Cup victory is 100% to blame.

Threee major themes this week were tensions in the Middle East that disrupted oil markets, China’s push to allow extradition from Hong Kong, and growing concern over “deep fake” videos.

Let’s start with oil. Two oil tankers were attacked yesterday in the Gulf of Oman. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement after the fact saying Iran was responsible. This comes on the heels of a similar attack, also attributed to Iran, which happened to two Saudi Arabia tankers last month. As Gulf states supply much of the worlds oil and gas, any disruption in this area can lead to price instability. However, as oil production in the U.S. is at a record high, this could potential cushion any blows to the oil market related to tension in the MIddle East.

Protestors in Hong Kong are preparing for another mass rally this week. This is in direct response to a bill which would allow those accused of crimes in Hong Kong to be extradited to China. As Hong Kong is the worlds gateway to China this has left many worried over what the future holds for China’s ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy. For more on the potential implications of this CNBC has an article on the topic here.

And last but not least…artificial intelligence has now developed to the point that videos can be created of people saying or doing things that they have never said or done. The problem is that no one can seem to agree on how to handle this. Should it be the FBI? The Department of Homeland Security? The media? For now, Facebook has decided to allow these videos, including ones of CEO Mark Zuckerberg to remain on its platform. To be fair, anyone who’s ever watched Forest Gump should’ve seen this coming.

Weekend reading:

16 Things Everyone Should Stop Doing in Order to be Successful, from Medium

250 Ivy League Courses You Can Take Online Right Now for Free, from Medium

Have a great weekend everyone. We’ll see you next week!

*These are the general views of Stanton Burns and they should not be construed as investment or financial advice for any individual. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Stanton Burns does not maintain positions in any securities mentioned as of the writing of this article. Past performance is historical and does not guarantee future results.

Week in Review

Good afternoon everyone. In case you missed it, here's what happened in the markets this week. To recap, in the last 12 months the stock market has made it through interest rate hikes, government shutdowns, an ongoing trade dispute with China, and now an antitrust investigation into U.S. technology companies. And the S&P 500 is still up over 3%. This is the Jackie Joyner-Kersee of stock markets.

The companies in the cross hairs of this antitrust investigation are Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google. While it could take years, if ever, for action to be brought against these companies, this news created a noticeable impact on the Nasdaq this week.

On the surface an increase in regulation and a break up of the four largest tech companies seems like a bad thing, but Barron’s has an article on why this could actually be good for investors. It’s definitely worth a read: Breaking Up Big Tech Could Actually Be Good for Investors. Here’s Why.

There’s something amiss at company’s like Apple, but it might not be what you or the Department of Justice think. This week Apple unveiled it’s newest line of products at its annual developer conference. The company, maker of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad unveiled it’s newest product this week: the $999 monitor stand. In an effort to increase revenue Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken a page out of the quick service oil change playbook.The way it works is you pay $4,999 for the monitor, and then an additional $999 for the stand. However, as one Twitter user pointed out, you could always display it in your home as a work of art.

In an effort to increase revenue Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken a page out of the quick service oil change playbook.The way it works is you pay $4,999 for the monitor, and then an additional $999 for the stand. However, as one Twitter user pointed out, you could always display it in your home as a work of art.

Is the world officially moving Beyond Meat? The company’s stock price is up a whopping 300% since it’s IPO debuted earlier this year. Increasing concerns among consumers over health and climate change seem to be the culprits. The trend towards meatless meat falls in line with another trend we are seeing; millennials saving less because they think climate change will have catastrophic effects by the time they reach retirement.

Read: Young People Blame Climate Change for their Small 401(k) Balances

This, in turn, falls in line with another trend we’re seeing; young people becoming increasingly depressed about the future.

Read: Alone and Self-Obsessed: Why are we getting more and more depressed?

The latest and greatest in the world of College. Standford removed home equity value from their financial aid calculation. While most schools do not consider the equity in your home to be an available asset for college, around 400 schools do. Most of these are private schools. And up until recently Stanford was one of them. Now the school joins the ranks of Harvard and MIT in deciding to remove this hurdle from their financial aid application. This is a huge boost to middle class families attempting to send a child to one of these schools.

The College Board, who administers the SAT, has officially added a diversity score to their calculation. While they have made it clear that race does not factor in to this score, certain socioeconomic conditions will. Jeremy Singer, President of the College Board had this to say on the topic, “an SAT score of 1400 in East L.A. is not the same as a 1400 in Greenwich, Connecticut. And so, if we can get environmental factors that the student could have overcome or thrived on, and take into context, that will help them.” The score, already used by 50 colleges, will be expanded to 150 more colleges this year. And, will be available to all colleges by 2020.

Read: New SAT Score: Diversity

Not sure which test is right for you? The Princeton Review has a great breakdown of the differences between the SAT and ACT that can be found here.

Have a great weekend everyone. We’ll see you next week!

*These are the general views of Stanton Burns and they should not be construed as investment advice for any individual. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Stanton Burns does not maintain positions in any securities mentioned as of the writing of this article. Past performance is historical and does not guarantee future results.

Monday Morning Boost

Two great articles came across my desk this morning. But, for very different reasons. The first goes over a list of to-do’s for anyone who has a kid getting ready to graduate high school. It covers many of the same topics we advise client’s on here at Oakview. And is a must read for parent’s with high school students.

See: A Financial Checklist for Your Newly Minted High School Graduate

The second article, as you can probably gather from the title, has an entirely different vibe. I really enjoyed reading this article because it lists in detail some of the most common scare tactics financial advisors use to sell retirees insurance and annuity products. This should be required reading for anyone before attending a retirement seminar. It also highlights the potential conflicts of interest of working with an advisor who receives a commission from selling products to you.

See: You May Never See Your Grandchildren Again

Have a great week everyone! We’ll be back on Friday.

Week in Review

Good afternoon everyone. In case you missed it, here's what happened in the markets this week: A long time ago in a country called the U.S.A...Trade Wars.

What is happening and how did we get here? On the evening of May 5th President Trump surprised the markets be sending out the following tweet…

What’s important to remember is that tariffs are not a tax paid by foreign countries. Tariffs are a tax US businesses pay to the US government to import products from overseas. The reason these products are imported to begin with is because they can be found cheaper outside of our country. If U.S. companies have to start purchasing these products from companies at home it will lead to price increases. And if tariffs are paid for by U.S. businesses, the price increases are paid for by U.S. households. The cost to U.S. households from this newest round of tariffs is estimated to be $831 a year. That’s $831 less that families will have to spend annually. The decrease in value to all of the goods and services produced in the US is estimated to be $30 billion. This in and of itself would be enough to give any economist pause.

But the saga continues….

Not to be outdone…by himself…President Trump sent out the above tweet yesterday evening.

What does this mean for the future of not only the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement but the trade war with China? Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors said it best, “If having an agreement doesn’t stop the U.S. from imposing tariffs on a country’s goods, why have an agreement at all?” Watching this unfold is almost like watching a football game where the referees only enforce rules half of the time.

The big question is, can the U.S. afford to not only fight, but win a two front trade battle? And, what will the long-term cost to the U.S. economy be?

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I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t use this moment to highlight the benefits of having a diversified portfolio. Since the tariff increase announcement on March 5 the S&P 500 index has lost -5.32% while the 20+ Year US Treasury Bond Index is up +5.21%.

Marketwatch has more on this topic here.

Weekend Reading:

Trade Wars got you down? Maybe spend some time with Star Wars instead. Opening today, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is the newest fully immersive franchise experience to hit Disneyland’s theme park. Wired has a great article on Disneyland’s newest attraction: Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and the Art of World Building

Can make it out to California for the grand opening? That’s okay. Here’s a list of everything coming to Netflix in June.

Have a great weekend everyone. We’ll see you next week!

*These are the general views of Stanton Burns and they should not be construed as investment advice for any individual. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Stanton Burns does not maintain positions in any securities mentioned as of the writing of this article. Past performance is historical and does not guarantee future results.

Monday Morning Boost

What I’ve been thinking about-

One of the biggest mistakes I see parents make is not actively trying to reduce the net cost of college because they have been diligent in saving and think they have enough set-aside. And chances are, they do. But, how could their student's life be impacted if they were to do a little planning and make some smart money moves during the college selection process? If, for example, they were able to tweak their AGI to increase the number of tax scholarships available to them by $10,000 over four years, or decrease the net cost of college by the same amount, the impact could be significant. That's $20,000 that can stay in savings and be used for their future grandkids' college. And, if this money grows at an average of 7% over 25 years, that's over $100,000 set aside for the next generation's college tuition.

Articles I’m reading-

Finally, students can comparison shop the cost of their college majors. The Department of Education expanded the College Scorecard to include data on the average level of debt for individual programs.

Big Hat, No Cattle: Money Lessons From The Millionaire Next Door .

Have a great week!