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  • Sound Financial Summer 2018 Market Update

    What a year for the markets! On the surface they appear to be having a fabulous year. U.S. stocks are on the verge of surpassing their longest running rally. This is confirming a rebound in the market that began shortly after the financial crisis and continues to defy the odds. The S&P 500 is doing especially well, as it flirts with getting back to its all-time high from January 2018. That means this index has more than quadrupled in price from where it was in March 2009 when it hit a low of 666.

    Anytime there are abnormal market trends, one should consider if it is sustainable. Are the markets as a whole healthy, or are there outliers that are skewing the numbers? Based on the data, it appears the latter is the situation we find ourselves in. According to the Wall Street Journal (market commentary 8/21/2018), four companies—Amazon, Microsoft Corp., Apple and Netflix Inc.—account for 40% of the S&P 500’s nearly 7% gain for the year, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

    Sound Financial CEO Chris McAlpin stated, “this in Sound’s opinion, dangerously over-weights the index to the tech sector. This can set up the index for a major correction similar to what happened in the “tech wreck” of 2000-2002. We are measuring these and other trends, then utilizing this information in our rules-based models. We believe this allows us to make the best decisions possible in both the ups and the downs of the stock markets, these measurements give us an exit strategy to follow. However, we are not ‘calling the market’ in any way. We let our rules-based decisions making process along with our clients’ risk tolerance and investment objective dictate investment strategy.”

    With a market that many are saying is currently overvalued, and a significant portion of growth coming from a single industry, investors should take pause. From our perspective, it is clear that now is not the time to take an abundant amount of market risk. These are the times when having a rules-based strategy can help an investor stay on course for their long-term plan. Contact us today to learn more about our rules-based strategy and it can be utilized in navigating your retirement plan.

    Investment Advisory Services offered through Sound Financial Strategies Group, Inc. (“SFSG”), a Registered Investment Adviser. Certain representatives of SFSG are also Registered Representatives offering securities through APW Capital, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC, 100 Enterprise Drive, Suite 504, Rockaway, NJ 07866 (800)637-3211. SFSG and APW Capital are separate and unrelated companies. 


    The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by APW Capital. 

  • Andrew Carnegie on "Profit and Purpose"

    In December 1868, Andrew Carnegie penned this letter to himself:

    Dec. ‘68

     St. Nicholas Hotel

     N York

    Thirty three and an income of 50,000$ per annum.

     By this two years I can so arrange all my business as to secure at least 50,000 per annum. Beyond this never earn – make no effort to increase fortune, but spend the surplus each year for benevolent purposes. Cast aside business forever except for others…

    Settle then in London & purchase a controlling interest in some newspaper or live review & give the general management of it attention, taking a part in public matters especially those connected with education & improvement of the poorer classes.

     Man must have an idol – The amassing of wealth is one of the worst species of idolatry. No idol more debasing than the worship of money. … therefore should I be careful to choose that life which will be the most elevating in it character. To continue much longer overwhelmed by business cares and with most of my thoughts wholly upon the way to make more money in the shortest time, must degrade me beyond hope of permanent recovery….

    Thirty-three years old, rich, and working to be far richer, Carnegie realized that his total focus on work and wealth was draining his life, that all people will have an idol, and that money is one of the most vicious.

    His stated goal was to work for just a few more years then invest his life into people to help them grow out of poverty. What a cool ideal!

    Carnegie chose a different path, goes onto become a steel magnate, a brawling businessman, and a philanthropic leader. Still, as he amassed massive wealth he focused on both profit and purpose, investing most of his profits in scientific research, education, and international affairs. He was keenly aware of those in poverty, having grown out of poverty himself.

    Interestingly, while Carnegie was not a religious man, in a moment of introspection he realized the truth that all of us will worship something and money is a terrible choice.

    In 1stTimothy, we see that “the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have…pierced themselves with many griefs.” Our Creator has wired us to love Him and love people; when following this blueprint for our lives we become more focused and fulfilled, while choosing other paths leads us to heart ache and loss.

    Consider what is most profitable and purposeful for you today.

    Investment Advisory Services offered through Sound Financial Strategies Group, Inc. ("SFSG"), a Registered Investment Adviser. Securities offered through APW Captial, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC, 100 Enterprise Drive, Suite 504, Rockaway, NJ 07866, 800-637-3211. SFSG and APW are separate and unrelated companies

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