Best Way to Spread, or Keep, Holiday Cheer

‘Tis the season! And with it comes the age-old quandary: what do we give our loved ones? While traditional gifts such as toys and games, gift cards, and vacations are popular choices, consider giving a financial-related present. It could be the best gift of all, one that keeps on giving long after the holiday is over.

Financial gifts have the power to positively impact the recipient’s future. For younger people, contributing to a college fund or opening a savings account in their name can help set them up for success. For seniors, gifting shares of stock or a contribution to retirement savings can make the golden years even more enjoyable. Now is an opportune time to make your tax-deductible charitable donations as well.

Let’s discuss the possibilities, which can be tailored to suit each person’s age and needs. Whether it’s teaching kids about the importance of saving or helping adults invest in their future, these gifts can make a lasting difference. Who knows, you may just find the perfect gift that makes you unforgettable in someone else’s eyes.

And what about you this holiday season? We all love a good secret, one that positively impacts others. And this time of year is chock full of them. Whether it’s wondering who’s on Santa’s nice list, to choosing the perfect gift for a loved one and brimming with anticipation while you wait to see their face light up as they open it. The element of surprise brings such joy during the holidays.

Now there’s research that backs up the secret sentiment. In the New York Times article “The Quiet Thrill of Keeping a Secret,” researchers found keeping positive secrets to yourself has an energizing effect. Similarly, the same can be said for the anticipation you can feel striving for your longer-term financial goals. Think about it: envisioning your dreams – like a secure retirement, destination vacation, or new car or home – and taking definitive steps to turn your dreams into reality ignites the same sense of excitement, just for longer.

So, this holiday season, reflect not only on the short-term secrets that will soon end, but on your long-term aspirations as well. Build up and savor that excitement. Remember, if you’d like assistance navigating these topics or help otherwise managing your finances, don’t keep that a secret – let’s talk!

Market Brief: Fed on Tap

On tap this week is the Fed’s rate decision, some key inflation data, and retail sales figures for November (including Black Friday results). As well, discount giant Costco reports earnings for last quarter. On the economic calendar, the Fed has its two-day meeting with an interest-rate decision coming on Wednesday. No change is expected and, as usual, analysts will be focused on Chairman Powell’s comments following the rate decision.

On the earnings calendar, a few final key companies will report. Monday, Oracle weighs in, on Wednesday, Adobe and on Thursday, Jabil, Lennar Corp, and Costco. As of last Friday, 497 of the S&P 500 companies have reported. So far, earnings are 7.2% above the same quarter last year – which is better than expected.

Last week, the November jobs report got a lot of attention when it came out on Friday. It showed Nonfarm Payrolls increasing by 199,000 for November. The report also showed a surprise drop in the Unemployment Rate to 3.7%, from 3.9%. The general takeaway is that the labor market is still strong but showing signs of softening. Checking on the consumer sector, mortgage rates last week declined to 7.03% for the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Rates are still near their highest level in more than 20 years. Gas prices dropped a penny to $3.23 per gallon for the average price of regular gas. That’s the lowest price since mid-January and down 15% since the recent high in August.

Year-to-date through end of day last Friday, the S&P 500 is up 19.92%, Dow Jones up 9.35%, and the Russell 2000 up 6.79%.

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This website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be specific advice or recommendations. For specific advice or recommendations you would need to meet directly with one of our advisers. This is not a solicitation or offer of service in states we are not licensed in.

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