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Fresno Financial Advisor News: Technology Connections

By Soutas Financial | February 28, 2021 | Comments Off on Fresno Financial Advisor News: Technology Connections
Fresno Financial Advisor News: Technology Connections

At least one positive thing emerged from coronavirus lockdowns: A

It wasn’t that long ago when the idea of talking back and forth with an electronic device to retrieve information would have been an impossible scene out of a science fiction movie. Now, Alexa, Siri and other personal digital assistants are prevalent in both households and business offices.

What’s on the horizon? Much more of the same. By 2030, tech-enabled innovations will connect us to even more time-saving conveniences. For example, city planners are looking to incorporate wireless networks as part of their infrastructure to provide universal internet access to citizens. In addition to other uses, this will allow all students to have access to online learning whenever convenient or necessary.1

Half of U.S. business leaders believe they will be commuting via driverless cars by 2030.2 They also anticipate using artificial intelligence (AI) robots to augment the skills, knowledge — and limitations — of human employees.3

Individuals will be able to use machine-based personal agents to manage household functions. For example, duties may range from making dinner reservations, to shopping and comparing prices, to soliciting quotes for renovation projects. Smart appliances, such as a washing machine, will negotiate with other household appliances to prioritize hot water use, detect maintenance issues and summon a repairman when needed.4

Robots will be used for social engagement interactions, such as answering questions and researching information. What one robot learns will be uploaded to a broader network for other robots, resulting in progressive and immediate access to crowdsourced information and innovation.5  

decline in carbon emissions. Satellite imagery revealed that roads less traveled and skies less flown yielded a remarkable reduction in air pollution. In China alone, carbon emissions dropped by 25% in just a four-week period.1

What’s interesting is the correlation between the coronavirus and long-term exposure to air pollution. In general, air pollution is responsible for nearly 40% of global lower-respiratory tract infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.2 Also, people who suffer from respiratory illnesses have a harder time recovering from COVID-19. Thus, better air quality would aid these conditions.

Unfortunately, the pandemic’s environmental gains are short term. Quarantining people and halting economic activity are not exactly a sustainable solution. How governments respond moving forward remains critical, and regulations may even be eased to help jumpstart economies.

The pandemic demonstrated that environmental damage can be reversed substantially and quickly through a significant decline in emissions. The challenge now is to find ways to do that without sacrificing economic growth.

Fresno Financial Planner Takeaways 

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno financial planning consultant is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning Tax-Efficient Strategies, IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers, Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals
through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc. are not affiliated companies. California
Insurance License # OK48173 814111 – 2/21

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. 
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704 
(559) 230-1648 
Soutas.com 

1 Dell Technologies. 2020. “Future of Connected Living.” https://www.delltechnologies.com/en-us/perspectives/future-of-living.htm#tab0=2. Accessed Aug. 10, 2019.

2 Dell Technologies. 2020. “Future of Connected Living.” https://www.delltechnologies.com/en-us/perspectives/future-of-living.htm#tab0=1. Accessed Aug. 10, 2019.

3 Dell Technologies. 2020. “Future of Connected Living.” https://www.delltechnologies.com/en-us/perspectives/future-of-living.htm#tab0=0. Accessed Aug. 10, 2019.

4 Ibid.

5 Dell Technologies. 2020. “Future of Connected Living.” https://www.delltechnologies.com/en-us/perspectives/future-of-living.htm#tab0=4. Accessed Aug. 10, 2019.

Fresno Financial Consultant News: Investors Benefit From “Fee Wars”

By Soutas Financial | February 26, 2021 | Comments Off on Fresno Financial Consultant News: Investors Benefit From “Fee Wars”
Fresno Financial Consultant News: Investors Benefit From “Fee Wars”

From two-for-one buys to free shipping, consumers love saving money. The same is true for investors. Over the past 20 years, investors have become savvy at monitoring not only how much their portfolio earns, but how much they pay in management and other fees.

This attention to cost has driven expenses down in the last two decades, especially among mutual fund companies. With rising competition from low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual fund expenses dropped from an average 0.87% in 1999 to 0.45% in 2019. That represents about $5.8 billion in earnings on money that remained in investor accounts.1

Wall Street appears to be learning lessons from large volume discounters like Amazon and Walmart. In 2019, 20% of the least expensive funds attracted $581 billion in new money while the top 80% lost $224 billion. Much of that new money is flowing into index funds, which cut fees from 0.72% in 2015 to 0.61% last year.2

As investors seek funds with lower expenses, asset managers have responded by cutting fees further to remain competitive. The average fee among actively managed funds decreased by 10% between 2015 and 2019. And increasingly, more investors are opting to pay for advice in the form of fees instead of commissions.3

Fresno Financial Consultant Takeaways 

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno retirement planning advisor is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning, Tax-Efficient, Strategies IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers, Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals
through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc. are not affiliated companies. California
Insurance License # OK48173      814111 – 2/21

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. 
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704 
(559) 230-1648 
Soutas.com 

1 Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. The Atlantic. April 30, 2020. “To Safely Reopen, Make the Workweek Shorter. Then Keep It Shorter.” https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/safely-reopen-make-workweek-shorter/610906/. Accessed June 2, 2020.

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc. are not affiliated companies. 719276 – 12/20

Fresno Financial Advisor News: The Millennial Economy

By Soutas Financial | February 24, 2021 | Comments Off on Fresno Financial Advisor News: The Millennial Economy
Fresno Financial Advisor News: The Millennial Economy

The millennial generation hasn’t had it so great. A recent economic analysis reports that since entering the workforce five to 20 years ago, the average millennial has experienced slower economic advancement than any other generation in U.S. history.1 It’s not just a matter of long periods of high unemployment. It’s also because getting that first “real” job during a recession often means a lower entry-level salary that can affect their lifelong earning potential.

Not only that, but millennials can’t seem to catch a prolonged break. They’ve experienced the impacts of 9/11, the Great Recession and now the COVID-19 pandemic — all within the past 20 years.

These setbacks matter to all generations because millennials represent the future of the U.S. economy. As of July 2019, millennials surpassed baby boomers as the nation’s largest living adult generation.2 It’s important that this demographic make inroads in entrepreneurial or job creation endeavors while continuing to advance industries, both old and new. Growth in these areas increase GDP and wealth prospects for the entire nation.

And yet, in contrast to the historical trend of each generation boasting progress faster than the prior generation, this has not necessarily been the case among millennials. On one hand, as of 2018, 40% owned their own homes and 40% of millennial women had children. However, their numbers pale compared to Generation X, among which 45% owned their homes and 53% of women had children at the same age as today’s millennials.3

While millennials constantly seem to be playing catch-up, it’s not a problem of their own making. This generation is the largest to suffer from widespread student-loan debt, the lingering effects of successive economic declines, and substantially increased health care and housing costs during their young adult years.4 Fortunately, these millennial misfortunes have made them a rather practical generation of young adults. Having outgrown their previous reputation as spoiled, entitled teenagers, this demographic actively seeks out employment among established companies. Their top job priorities are flexibility, growth and equal pay.5

Even during the pandemic, they have stepped up to assume roles as first-time homebuyers, accounting for more than a third of residential sales this past July.6

Yet, we all know that the road to success is frequently uneven. The recent pandemic has had a varying effect on young adults. While some have had to move back home with their parents,7 others have taken advantage of their remote-work situation to engage in domestic travel indulgences, working wherever they go.8

Remember, regardless of your age, income or assets, we are here to help support your insurance needs. Contact us for more information.

Fresno Financial Planner Takeaways 

Fresno portfolio advisor– Soutas Financial appreciated these points: The millennial generation hasn’t had it so great. A recent economic analysis reports that since entering the workforce five to 20 years ago, the average millennial has experienced slower economic advancement than any other generation in U.S. history.1 On one hand, as of 2018, 40% owned their own homes and 40% of millennial women had children. However, their numbers pale compared to Generation X, among which 45% owned their homes and 53% of women had children at the same age as today’s millennials.3 We all know that the road to success is frequently uneven. The recent pandemic has had a varying effect on young adults.

Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles and alternatives—both insurance and investment oriented, depending on what is appropriate for your situation—may offer you a better chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan. We help our clients with problems sometimes associated with retirement such as stopping spend down and avoiding probate. In doing so we leverage Medicare long term care as well as risk management designed to help accomplish those goals.

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno financial advisor is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning Tax-Efficient Strategies, IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers, Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc. are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License # OK48173

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. 
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704 
(559) 230-1648 
Soutas.com 

1 Andrew Van Dam. The Washington Post. June 5, 2020. “The unluckiest generation in U.S. history.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/27/millennial-recession-covid/. Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

2 Richard Pew. Pew Research. April 28, 2020. “Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation.” https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/04/28/millennials-overtake-baby-boomers-as-americas-largest-generation/. Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

3 Kathy Koch. EY. March 4, 2020. “The Millennial Economy 2018.” https://www.ey.com/en_us/tax/the-millennial-economy-2018. Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

4 Hillary Hoffower. Business Insider. Feb. 6, 2020. “How the American millennial is overcoming debt, the dollar, and the economy they were handed.” https://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-great-recession-student-debt-affordability-crisis-2020-1. Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

5 Kathy Koch. EY. March 4, 2020. “The Millennial Economy 2018.” https://www.ey.com/en_us/tax/the-millennial-economy-2018. Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

6 Realtor Magazine. Aug. 31, 2020. “Millennials Are Fueling Housing’s Rebound.” https://magazine.realtor/daily-news/2020/08/31/millennials-are-fueling-housing-s-rebound. Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

7 Laura Bogart. Buzzfeed News. Sept. 28, 2020. “Millennials Are Trying To Shake The Stigma Of Moving Back In With Their Parents.” https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/laurabogart/millennials-moving-back-in-with-their-parents-adulting?bftwnews&utm_term=4ldqpgc#4ldqpgc. Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

8 Olivia Rockeman. Bloomberg. Oct. 1, 2020. “Free to Work Remotely, Young Americans Are Covid Road Tripping.” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-01/covid-news-remote-work-lets-young-americans-take-road-trips?sref=PJUU2CLn. Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice.

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

814111-2/21

Fresno Retirement Advisor News: Fixed Income vs. Stock Portfolio

By Soutas Financial | February 22, 2021 | Comments Off on Fresno Retirement Advisor News: Fixed Income vs. Stock Portfolio
Fresno Retirement Advisor News: Fixed Income vs. Stock Portfolio

Early this year, many stopped spending and began saving money. This wasn’t difficult as many areas of the economy were — and possibly still are — shut down. For some, vacation plans were canceled, and the normal level of entertainment activities and dining out have been curbed. If you’ve remained employed, chances are good you’ve been able to step up your level of savings this year. However, with current interest rates, it can feel like savings accounts are stagnating. Should you take the risk of investing for higher returns amid today’s continuing market uncertainty?1

It’s worth noting that by mid-August, the S&P 500 had fully recovered from the 34% pandemic-induced plunge that occurred between February and March earlier this year.2 Of course, this is great news for equity investors who stayed in the market, but stock portfolios continue to be worrisome. You may wonder if financial rewards are truly commensurate given the level of anxiety associated with market declines, but there are ways to help reduce your risks and still have the opportunity for growth. If you’d like to discuss various options, please feel free to contact us.

Traditionally, stocks have yielded higher long-term gains than bond portfolios, but the tradeoff is more volatility. A recent analysis by a Wharton professor shows that historical dynamic has shifted somewhat throughout the past five decades. In fact, fixed-income portfolios have performed as well, if not better, than the U.S. stock market during this time frame. Perhaps even more surprising, fixed income has exhibited similar or more volatility than comparably performing stock portfolios.3

According to the Capital Group, investors may want to consider four strategies for deploying a fixed-income portfolio during this current period of investment uncertainty:4

  • Look at short-term bond funds that focus on high-quality and liquid investments.
  • Consider high-quality core bond funds for capital preservation to help diversify equity holdings.
  • Be prepared for defaults and downgrades at the high yield, low end of the investment-grade spectrum.
  • Reconsider municipal bonds, which offer pockets of compelling value relative to U.S. Treasurys.

The interest rate environment is another casualty of the pandemic. Low rates may keep debt payments low, but they also spell lower returns for retirement accounts and pension funds. The recent Federal Reserve announcement that it expects to hold interest rates near zero at least until 2023 does not bode well for retirees or those approaching retirement.5

Fresno Retirement Advisor Takeaways 

Soutas Financial your Fresno financial planner would like to remind you of the following points: Early this year, many stopped spending and began saving money. This wasn’t difficult as many areas of the economy were — and possibly still are — shut down. Traditionally, stocks have yielded higher long-term gains than bond portfolios, but the tradeoff is more volatility. Look at short-term bond funds that focus on high-quality and liquid investments. Consider high-quality core bond funds for capital preservation to help diversify equity holdings. Be prepared for defaults and downgrades at the high yield, low end of the investment-grade spectrum. Reconsider municipal bonds, which offer pockets of compelling value relative to U.S. Treasurys.

Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles and alternatives—both insurance and investment oriented, depending on what is appropriate for your situation—may offer you a better chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan. We help our clients with problems sometimes associated with retirement such as stopping spend down and avoiding probate. In doing so we leverage stop spend down as well as long-term care strategies designed to help accomplish those goals.

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno portfolio advisor is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning, Tax-Efficient Strategies, IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers, Life Insurance Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc. are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License # OK48173

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. 
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704 
(559) 230-1648 
Soutas.com 

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications. 

1 Jill Cornfield. CNBC. June 22, 2020. “You saved a lot of money during the shutdown. Here’s one reason you may not feel like you’re ahead.” https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/22/why-you-dont-feel-better-about-the-money-you-saved-amid-the-pandemic.html. Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

2 Stan Choe, Alex Veiga and Christopher Rugaber. Associated Press. Aug. 12, 2020. “How can Wall Street be so healthy when Main Street isn’t?” https://apnews.com/article/6cadd78335fd98926ffb1e5d6ecb2916. Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

3 Knowledge@Wharton. Aug. 11, 2020. “How Fixed-income Portfolios Match or Beat Stocks in the Long Run.” https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/fixed-income-portfolios-match-beat-stocks-long-run/. Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

4 Mike Gitlin, Pramod Atluri and Karl Zeile. Capital Group. June 17, 2020. “Four actions to take in bond portfolios.”

https://www.capitalgroup.com/advisor/insights/articles/fixed-income-midyear-outlook-2020.html. Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.

5 Knowledge@Wharton. Oct. 6, 2020. “Why Low Interest Rates Hurt Retirees.” https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/why-low-interest-rates-hurt-retirees/. Accessed Oct. 6, 2020.

Bond obligations are subject to the financial strength of the bond issuer and its ability to pay. Before investing, consult your financial adviser to understand the risks involved with purchasing bonds.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance and investment products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic financial planning strategies and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. All investments are subject to risk, including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

814111-2/21

Fresno Financial Consultant News: Is the Economy Slowly, Silently Sliding?

By Soutas Financial | February 20, 2021 | Comments Off on Fresno Financial Consultant News: Is the Economy Slowly, Silently Sliding?
Fresno Financial Consultant News: Is the Economy Slowly, Silently Sliding?

Prospects for stock market growth have remained resiliently and optimistically cheerful this year, despite the nine-month-long pandemic. Unfortunately, the time may be at hand for a stock market price correction that better reflects the state of the global economy.

The lack of ongoing fiscal stimulus which, even if passed, may not feasibly be able to distribute funds before the election or even before the end of the year, may have a greater effect on the economy than just individual households. Federal Reserve officials continue to call for more government stimulus, warning that the economy remains in a “deep hole.” However, this close to the highly anticipated and contentious election, government efforts are more focused on politics and judicial branch activities than the economy. As a result, some market analysts are questioning whether their initial year-end projections are overpriced based on an expected rebound that may not materialize.1

As we approach year end, you should schedule a time with your financial advisor to review your investment portfolio. While we do not typically recommend dramatic changes based on the current state of the economy, the stock market or even the outcome of a presidential election, we do encourage our clients to regularly evaluate their portfolio to ensure it is aligned to their goals and risk tolerance. Now more than ever, we believe it’s important to have an asset allocation strategy designed to weather volatile times.

There is a group of people who may be able to anticipate market trends even more quickly than Wall Street analysts — the corporate executives and officers of S&P 500 companies with firsthand knowledge of their businesses. If actions speak louder than words, prospects look pessimistic. Throughout September, these executives began selling personal shares of their own company stock at a rate not seen since 2012.2

The problem is that the damage of this economic decline has not been universal. Many office workers and their companies have adapted to a work-from-home model, enabling white collar employees to maintain their level of income despite the pandemic. The same is not true for workers in a wide range of industries, from travel to food and beverage to personal services, like hair salons and fitness instructors. Recent research has found that lower-income workers have borne the brunt of the COVID recession. In fact, by mid-summer the recession had effectively ended for high-income individuals, while the bottom half of Americans represented the bulk of the unemployed.3

Meanwhile, the initial boost to the labor market that accompanied reopening the economy this past summer is slowing down again. At the same time, oil prices have dipped due to sustained reduced demand. There is only so much that government leaders can do to stimulate the economy; they cannot force people to leave their homes and buy goods and services. Much of this realization is coming to a head just prior to the election.4

The news isn’t much better globally. Asian and Australian stocks slid toward the end of September amid fears that more countries are seeing outbreaks with the arrival of cooler weather.5 In countries where the virus remains uncontained, government stimulus efforts are drained and the year-long effect is slowly emerging. As infection rates rise again, many countries are reintroducing stricter rules to help curb the virus. This, in turn, will also curb economic growth.

A recent poll of economists concluded that a return to pre-pandemic economic levels is not expected until at least the end of 2022.6 Given that the direction of the economy appears aligned with the rise and fall of infection rates, it’s becoming more clear to both Wall Street and Main Street that the top priority in getting domestic and world growth back on track is to prioritize containment of COVID-19 once and for all.

Fresno Financial Consultant Takeaways 

When it comes to Fresno retirement planningSoutas Financial puts your future 1st. Don’t forget these great reminders: Prospects for stock market growth have remained resiliently and optimistically cheerful this year, despite the nine-month-long pandemic. As we approach year end, you should schedule a time with your financial advisor to review your investment portfolio. In countries where the virus remains uncontained, government stimulus efforts are drained and the year-long effect is slowly emerging. As infection rates rise again, many countries are reintroducing stricter rules to help curb the virus. This, in turn, will also curb economic growth.

Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles and alternatives—both insurance and investment oriented, depending on what is appropriate for your situation—may offer you a better chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan. We help our clients with problems sometimes associated with retirement such as stopping spend down and avoiding probate. In doing so we leverage strategic wealth management as well as retirement annuity designed to help accomplish those goals.

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno financial planner is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning, Tax-Efficient, Strategies IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers, Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc. are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License # OK48173

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. 
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704 
(559) 230-1648 
Soutas.com 

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications. 

1 Simon Jessop & Andrew Galbraith. The Edge Markets. Sept. 24, 2020. “Shares slide, US dollar up as hopes of economic recovery fade.” https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/shares-slide-us-dollar-hopes-economic-recovery-fade. Accessed Sept. 28, 2020.

Vildana Hajric and Lu Wang. Yahoo Finance. Sept. 23, 2020. “Insiders Sell Stock at Fastest Pace Since 2012 in Market Dip.” https://finance.yahoo.com/news/insiders-sell-stock-fastest-pace-214631545.html. Accessed Sept. 28, 2020.

3 Ben Steverman. Bloomberg. Sept. 24, 2020. “Harvard’s Chetty Finds Economic Carnage in Wealthiest ZIP Codes.” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-09-24/harvard-economist-raj-chetty-creates-god-s-eye-view-of-pandemic-damage?sref=AhQQoPzF. Accessed Sept. 28, 2020.

4 Rodrigo Campos. Reuters. Sept. 24, 2020. “GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares slide, dollar up as hopes of economic recovery fade.” https://www.reuters.com/article/global-markets/global-markets-shares-slide-dollar-up-as-hopes-of-economic-recovery-fade-idUSL2N2GL0OD. Accessed Sept. 28, 2020.

Gina Lee. Yahoo Finance. Sept. 23, 2020. “Asian Stocks Slide, With Investors Losing Faith in COVID-19 Economic Recovery.” https://finance.yahoo.com/news/asian-stocks-slide-investors-losing-233533523.html. Accessed Sept. 28, 2020.6 Jonathan Cable. Reuters. Sept. 23, 2020. “Euro zone economic recovery in danger as services slide.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eurozone-economy-pmi/euro-zone-economic-recovery-in-danger-as-services-slide-idUSKCN26E17Z?il=0. Accessed Sept. 28, 2020.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance and investment products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic financial planning strategies and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. All investments are subject to risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

814111-2/21

Fresno Retirement Consultant News: Investment Scams on the Rise

By Soutas Financial | February 18, 2021 | Comments Off on Fresno Retirement Consultant News: Investment Scams on the Rise
Fresno Retirement Consultant News: Investment Scams on the Rise

Overview

In 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an alert regarding a significant increase in investment scams. The sudden rise was attributed to the outbreak of the virus and subsequent market and economic declines. According to analysis of consumer complaint data by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there was a 70% upsurge in income scams during the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.1

The FTC reports that Americans lose more money on investment scams than any other type of income fraud. While the median loss is just above $16,000, people in their 50s and 60s — the age when many are motivated to make up for lost ground with retirement savings — lose an average of $24,000.2

Cyber Fraud

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, cyber fraud appears to be the fastest-growing concern. Law enforcement, corporations and individuals are reporting substantially more attempts at ransomware attacks and/or business compromise schemes.3

Another form of cyber fraud is “social engineering,” in which scammers use human interaction to trick people into eschewing standard security protocols for a friend. For example, a grifter may pretend to be a friend or colleague and encourage someone to open an email attachment that is infected with malware or to divulge confidential information. The scammer may use scare tactics to warn an individual that his computer is vulnerable to cyber attacks, urging him to install and run the malware they provide.

The following are some of the most prevalent financial scams being perpetrated during the pandemic.

Ponzi Schemes

In the 1920s, a man named Charles Ponzi duped people into investing in a postage stamp speculation scheme. What we refer to today as a Ponzi scheme is the ploy of soliciting investors with the promise of high returns and then using funds from subsequent investors to pay those returns — and the scam continues on like that. Along the way, the grifter skims some of the money for himself, making it a lucrative, sustainable scam with new money constantly flowing in.

Since Ponzi schemes tend to share common characteristics, the key is to identify certain red flags:4

• The promise of high returns with little to no risk.

• Returns that are miraculously consistent year after year, regardless of market conditions.

• An investment that is not registered with the SEC or state regulators, which require that investors receive information about the company’s management, products, services and finances. • An investment sold by an unlicensed or unregistered seller.

• Investments that tend to have account statement errors may signal that funds are not invested as promised.

• Difficulty receiving payments or cashing out. You may be offered even higher returns for remaining invested.

Fake CDs

Investors tend to look for “safe havens” during periods of market volatility. This is the most ripe environment for scammers to lure investors with fake certificates of deposit (CDs) that promise fixed-rate returns. In fact, they may go so far as to create online advertisements and websites (and URLs) that resemble those of legitimate financial institutions. Spoof websites selling fake CDs may:5

• Offer higher-than-market interest rates with no penalties for early withdrawals.

• Promote only CDs and offer no other banking or brokerage accounts or loan products.

• Require high minimum deposits, such as $200,000 or more.

• Instruct investors to wire funds to an account located outside the U.S. or to a U.S.-based account other than the financial institution claiming to sell the CD.

• Claim that the CD is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

• Claim that their “clearing partners” are registered with the SEC

To avoid being duped into buying a fake CD, investors should do some homework first. Even if you think you’re buying from a reputable and recognizable financial institution, first check out these tips:

• Conduct an internet search for the financial institution offering the CD you are considering to see if the results lead to another website. Call the financial institution using a telephone number found somewhere other than the suspect website to verify its legitimacy.

• Verify the CD and financial institution are FDIC insured via the BankFind tool at https://research.fdic.gov/bankfind, or call 877.ASK.FDIC (877.275.3342). Confirm the exact name of the financial institution (not just something similar).

• If you are considering a CD offered by a credit union, verify via the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) “Research a Credit Union” webpage at https://mapping.ncua.gov/ResearchCreditUnion.aspx, or call the NCUA’s Consumer Assistance Center at 800.755.1030.

• Use the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck database at https://brokercheck.finra.org to confirm that the broker’s address matches the address for the financial product.

• Google the name of the offering financial institution followed by “complaint.”

High-Yield Investments

Pandemic Opportunists

With various tests, cures and vaccines being developed for the coronavirus, people may be tempted to invest in pharmaceutical stocks to take advantage of the upsurge in manufacturing and distribution. However, be aware that fraudsters can boost the price of the stock of publicly traded companies by promoting that the products or services will help contain COVID-19. They may even claim to have “inside information” about a development that will be positive for the stock.

Pump-and-Dump Schemes

Be aware that these scammers may be engaging in a “pump-and-dump” scheme. The first phase of this scheme is to promote a specific stock so that lots of investors buy in, driving up the price of the stock. The second phase is when fraudsters sell their own shares while prices are high. Once the hype is over, prices drop and duped investors lose their money. Even though the stock and company may be legitimate, the promotion is a scheme designed to make money for the scammers.

HYIPs

High-yield investment programs (HYIPs) are unregistered investments typically run by unlicensed individuals with a promise of incredible returns (e.g., 30% or more) at little or no risk to the investor. Some of these scams may use the terms “prime bank” or “microcap stocks.”6 A so-called prime bank instrument is one that promises a guaranteed high investment return with little or no risk.

Microcap stocks are actual, low-priced stocks issued by very small companies from emerging technologies or industries, such as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and digital assets. Scammers promote the stocks via independent and unbiased sources such as investment research websites, investment newsletters, online advertisements, direct mail, newspapers, magazines and radio. However, publicly available information about microcap stocks is typically scarce, which makes it easier for fraudsters to spread false information and manipulate their prices. Microcaps tend to be less liquid and generally do not trade on a national securities exchange. To research microcap stocks, search for company information on the websites of DBOT ATS (https:// dbottrading.com), Global OTC ATS (https://www.globalotc.com) and OTC Link ATS (http://www.otcmarkets.com).7

Community-Based Financial Scams

Another way fraudsters make a lot of money quickly is by exploiting tight-knit communities that have an established trust and friendship. Once a scammer is able to ingratiate himself with a member of such a community, he can use that person as a referral to others who trust his judgment. Scammers often use this tactic to target groups with common ties based on ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, work ties or age. For example:

• Military service members

• Seniors

• Small-business owners

• Members of the Amish, Mennonite, Hispanic and Haitian communities

• Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing loss communities

Also referred to as affinity fraud, a scammer often infiltrates a targeted group by enlisting the group leader(s) to recommend the product. Those leaders also may be victims, because they do not realize the “investment” is really a fraud. The key is to always conduct your own due diligence, regardless of how much you trust a friend or family member’s recommendation. Check out Investor.gov for search tools to investigate the seller’s background, license and registration status.

Social Media Scams

The internet and social media offer a plethora of information for nearly every type of investment. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission reported that during the pandemic, 94% of fraudulent complaints that mentioned a social media website cited Facebook or Instagram. Also note that scammers are able to delete any negative comments posted regarding their ads or posts, so it may appear that everyone who interacted with the company had a positive experience.8

Recognize that it is relatively easy to create authentic-looking websites, news portals and other mediums for false information, and cyber criminals are quite expert at using new technology to create fraudulent schemes. They can reach a wide audience with minimal effort or expense through emails, a website or social media followers.

Always vet an investment “opportunity” — even before providing your contact information. Sometimes, those promotions are designed simply to get personal information, which they can use later to create elaborate schemes or sell to scammers. Research investments through well known, legitimate resources, and consult with a trusted financial advisor to find out more about investments promoted on the internet.

People who reported scams that started on social media lost nearly $117 million in just the first half of 2020. Most of those fraudulent claims were related to the government’s economic relief, income opportunities, online shopping that didn’t deliver the goods and even dating scams.

“Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits.”10

Final Thoughts

Yes, there are criminals out there who want to take your money. That is all the more reason to work with a trusted, experienced and registered financial advisor for all of your investment decisions — no matter how small those decisions may seem. It never hurts to have a second opinion, especially from a professional who works in the investment industry and has your best interests at heart. Not only are two heads better than one, but you get even more from a responsive financial professional and may be able to benefit from all of the resources he or she has access to. All told, working with an advisor gives you a knowledge base from which to vet ideas, ask questions and make decisions based on your total financial picture.

Also, we recommend that you discuss investment and finance decisions with your spouse or partner or other family members. The more people involved, the more perspectives you get that can help prevent inappropriate decisions or poor timing for your situation. After all, if something should happen to you, your loved ones need to know where your money is invested and understand when and why you made that decision. The more your financial advisor and partner know about your decisions, the more they can support them.

However, if you believe you have encountered or become a victim of fraud, contact the SEC, FINRA or your state securities regulator for assistance.

Fresno Retirement Consultant Takeaways 

Fresno portfolio advisor– Soutas Financial appreciated these points: In 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an alert regarding a significant increase in investment scams. The FTC reports that Americans lose more money on investment scams than any other type of income fraud. While the median loss is just above $16,000, people in their 50s and 60s — the age when many are motivated to make up for lost ground with retirement savings — lose an average of $24,000.2 That is all the more reason to work with a trusted, experienced and registered financial advisor for all of your investment decisions — no matter how small those decisions may seem. It never hurts to have a second opinion, especially from a professional who works in the investment industry and has your best interests at heart.

Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles and alternatives—both insurance and investment oriented, depending on what is appropriate for your situation—may offer you a better chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan. We help our clients with problems sometimes associated with retirement such as stopping spend down and avoiding probate. In doing so we leverage strategic wealth management as well as retirement annuity designed to help accomplish those goals.

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno financial advisor is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning, Tax Efficient Strategies IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc. are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License # OK48173

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. 
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704 
(559) 230-1648 
Soutas.com 

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications.

1 Greg Iacurci. CNBC. Dec. 15, 2020. “Ponzi schemes, other investment fraud on rise during pandemic, SEC says.” https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/15/ponzi-schemes-otherinvestment-fraud-on-rise-amid-pandemic-sec-says.html. Accessed Jan. 4, 2021.

2 Ibid.

3 Michael Cohn. Accounting Today. Sept. 11, 2020. “Fraud on the rise during coronavirus pandemic.” https://www.accountingtoday.com/news/fraud-on-the-rise-duringcoronavirus-pandemic. Accessed Jan. 4, 2021.

4 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 2021. “Ponzi Scheme.” https://www.investor. gov/protect-your-investments/fraud/types-fraud/ponzi-scheme. Accessed Jan. 4, 2021.

5 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. March 27, 2020. “Beware of Spoofed Websites Offering Phony Certificates of Deposit — Investor Alert.” https://www.investor. gov/introduction-investing/general-resources/news-alerts/alerts-bulletins/investoralerts/beware. Accessed Jan. 4, 2021.

6 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 2021. “High Yield Investment Programs.” https://www.investor.gov/protect-your-investments/fraud/types-fraud/high-yieldinvestment-programs. Accessed Jan. 4, 2021.

7 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 2021. “Microcap Fraud.” https://www. investor.gov/additional-resources/spotlight/microcap-fraud. Accessed Jan. 4, 2021.

8 Emma Fletcher. Federal Trade Commission. Oct. 21, 2020. “Scams starting on social media proliferate in early 2020.” https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/dataspotlight/2020/10/scams-starting-social-media-proliferate-early-2020. Accessed Jan. 4, 2021.

9 Ibid.

10 FBI. March 20, 2020. “FBI Sees Rise in Fraud Schemes Related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.” https://www.ic3.gov/Media/Y2020/PSA200320. Accessed Jan. 4, 2021.

This content is provided for informational purposes. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. None of the information contained herein shall constitute an offer to sell or solicit any offer to buy a security or insurance product.

No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. The information and opinions contained herein provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by AE Wealth Management. Neither AEWM, nor the firm providing you with this report, are affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. government or any governmental agency.

AE Wealth Management, LLC (“AEWM”) is an SEC Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) located in Topeka, Kansas. Registration does not denote any level of skill or qualification. The advisory firm providing you this report is an independent financial services firm and is not an affiliate company of AE Wealth Management, LLC. AEWM works with a variety of independent advisors. Some of the advisors are Investment Adviser Representatives (IAR) who provide investment advisory services through AEWM. Some of the advisors are Registered Investment Advisers providing investment advisory services that incorporate some of the products available through AEWM. Information regarding the RIA offering the investment advisory services can be found at https://brokercheck.finra. org/. 814111-2/21

Fresno Financial Advisor News: The Shape of Economic Recovery

By Soutas Financial | February 16, 2021 | Comments Off on Fresno Financial Advisor News: The Shape of Economic Recovery
Fresno Financial Advisor News: The Shape of Economic Recovery

Overview

Following the longest recorded economic expansion in history, the U.S. hit its peak in monthly economic activity in February 2020. And yet, this was quickly followed by two consecutive quarters of economic decline — thanks to the coronavirus invasion on U.S. shores. In fact, the second quarter of 2020 suffered the steepest quarterly drop on record (9.1%), having never experienced a drop greater than 3%.1

The fallout was immediate and severe. In April 2020, more than 20 million jobs were lost, wiping out gains achieved over nine straight years of job growth. Job losses were particularly egregious among lower-wage, lower-educated workers, as well as for women — largely due to layoffs in the leisure and hospitality industry.

By June, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) officially declared a recession, widely heralded as the worst since the Great Depression. However, quick moves by the Federal Reserve, a stimulus package passed by Congress and a concerted push by the Trump Administration to reopen the economy during the summer facilitated a remarkable turnaround. In the third quarter, the U.S. economy expanded by an annualized 33.1% — its biggest expansion ever.2

The rebound was not without drawbacks. Gross domestic product (GDP) was still 3.5% below pre-pandemic level, and reopening the economy proved to be devastating in terms of human life.3 Whereas it previously had been prevalent mainly in large metropolitan areas and “hot spots” around the country, the coronavirus spread uncontrolled to virtually every state, city and town in the U.S.

While vaccines became available in December, the pandemic is far from controlled, and the economy may take quite some time to fully rebound. As of the end of 2020, only half of the jobs lost had been recovered.4

“The NBER defines a recession as ‘a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production and wholesale-retail sales.’”5

The Shape of the Economy

In an effort to explain the various routes to recovery, economists describe these paths in various shapes, such as V, U, W and L. These letters, plotted on a line graph, offer a visual illustration of the trajectory of GDP, employment rates, industrial production indexes and other key metrics used to track economic conditions.7

Z-Shape

The Z-shaped recovery is not very common at all, as it is the most optimistic scenario. With a Z, there is a quick crash followed by a quick ramp up in consumer spending, attributed to pent-up demand. In other words, the economic decline was not so severe that people lost their income and assets, so they more than made up for lost time by shopping, dining out, taking vacations and engaging in other activities that were temporarily waylaid. The Z-shaped recovery is quick and relatively painless.

W Shape

The W shape is characterized by a sharp decline, followed by a rapid (false) recovery, then another sharp decline followed by a full recovery. This scenario usually takes a couple of years for full recovery and is often referred to as a double-dip recession.

A prime example of the W-shaped recovery began in early 1980 when the U.S. economy experienced an initial recession, entered a recovery phase for almost a full year, but then sank back into a second recession between 1981 and 1982.8

While economists continue to debate the shape the pandemic recovery will take, some assert that we are already in the second wave of the W after the initial spike and then dramatic rise last summer. As students returned to school and flu season began in the fall, the U.S. experienced a much worse strain of outbreaks than before, and once again small businesses shuttered, students were sent back home for e-learning and corporations delayed plans for investment and expansion.

V Shape

Similar to the Z shape, the V features a sharp decline followed by a quick and full recovery, generally lasting less than one year. Initial observations, mainly fueled by political optimism, claimed that the pandemic recession would follow a V shape after the initial drop and summer reopening and recovery. Alas, that was short sighted, as the coronavirus followed its own airborne path of contagion and economic destruction.

U Shape

The most common economic recovery is the U shape, which accounts for about half of the U.S. recessions since 1945. It usually lasts between one and two years and is characterized by a gradual economic drop, followed by a period of stagnation and then a steady rise. It usually takes several quarters before GDP restarts an upward trajectory, but then there are no slides after recovery has begun. Examples of U-shaped recoveries include the 1973-75 recession during the Nixon years (which featured extremely high inflation), and the 1990-91 recession that followed the savings and loan (S&L) crisis.

The Great Recession is another good example of the U-shaped recovery. While technically the recession lasted only 19 months (December 2007 to June 2009), it took many years for employment levels to resume pre-decline levels.9

L Shape

The L shape looks a bit like a checkmark, with an initial sharp decline followed by a gradual recovery on an upward trendline. The initial decline can be quite severe, potentially a depression. It often features persistently high unemployment and usually takes several years to recover.

The L shape is widely considered the worst-case economic scenario because large numbers of workers remain unemployed for long periods of time. This tends to leave factories and equipment idle or underutilized — stunting the opportunity to revitalize growth and consumer spending.

The Great Depression followed an L-shaped recovery starting with the stock market crash of 1929. Real GDP contracted sharply, unemployment peaked at 23% and stagnant growth persisted for more than 10 years.10

K Shape

The K shape refers to an uneven recovery. In other words, some aspects of the economy begin to recover while others sink even lower. As the pandemic wears on, many economists and politicians have begun to point out discrepancies in the economic recovery that can best be described by the K shape.

For example, look at unemployment. Many professional white-collar jobs have been able to transition to a remote model in which people can work from home. Also, essential workers — ranging from health care employees to truck drivers to grocery store clerks to mail carriers — find themselves in high demand and remaining gainfully employed, although at greater risk for contracting the virus.

But then there are other jobs, such as pilots and flight attendants, specialist physicians and therapists, and a whole range of hospitality workers who have been laid off or had their hours reduced. Working mothers dropped out of the workforce as childcare centers closed and someone needed to be home to oversee children’s online schooling. According to a Local Economic Impact Report, nearly 100,000 small businesses permanently shut down during the pandemic — including hair salons, daycare centers and tattoo parlors.11

There are recovery discrepancies by industry. For example, technology and e-commerce have taken off, as companies adapt to demand for more online transactions, whether ordering groceries online or conducting Zoom conference calls among colleagues working from home. And yet, even in the health care field, things like elective surgeries and dental work are discouraged to preserve much-needed hospital beds and help slow the spread of the virus.

Interestingly, as consumerism dropped, the U.S. personal savings rate soared to its highest recorded level. Furthermore, the stock market fully recovered from its dramatic drop in the spring of 2020. However, simultaneously, millions of households are behind in their rent or mortgage and have difficulty paying bills and even keeping food on the table.

These are all examples of how the K-shaped recovery works. One “arm” of the K falls as some demographics suffer financially, while the other arm shoots upward as facets of the population increase their wealth as a result of the pandemic.

It’s worth noting that a K-shaped recovery often leads to fundamental changes in the structure of the economy or the broader society. There will likely be an effort to beef up publicly funded safety nets and private opportunities for more equitable income and wealth distribution.

Final Thoughts

With the deployment of vaccines underway, the prognosis for a 2021 recovery is strong. Most economists observe that the economy is on a slow but steady path trending upward. However, for thousands of businesses and millions of people, the progression to pre-pandemic financial levels may be quite different. Many shuttered jobs may not rematerialize as companies replaced them with automation or learned to function without them. Small-business owners who had to close up shop or file for bankruptcy may suffer financial consequences for many years to come.

The final shape of the economy is usually determined in hindsight. There are always many variables to consider, but that is particularly true now — with a new president, a new set of priorities and no way to predict the long-term health and economic fallout of COVID-19.

Whatever shape the economy eventually takes to recover, we recommend you take a long-term view of your own finances and get them in tiptop shape. If you have suffered financial setbacks, explore what financial options are available to help protect you in the future and offer income predictability during retirement. If you found yourself prospering during 2020, work with an advisor to position your investment portfolio to provide both growth and income in the future.

Fresno Financial Planner Takeaways 

Fresno financial planning is our utmost concern here at Soutas Financial and we thought these takeaways were worth mentioning again: Following the longest recorded economic expansion in history, the U.S. hit its peak in monthly economic activity in February 2020. The fallout was immediate and severe. In April 2020, more than 20 million jobs were lost, wiping out gains achieved over nine straight years of job growth. With the deployment of vaccines underway, the prognosis for a 2021 recovery is strong. Most economists observe that the economy is on a slow but steady path trending upward.

Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles and alternatives—both insurance and investment oriented, depending on what is appropriate for your situation—may offer you a better chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan. We help our clients with problems sometimes associated with retirement such as stopping spend down and avoiding probate. In doing so we leverage Medicare long term care as well as risk management designed to help accomplish those goals.

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno retirement plan consultant is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning Tax-Efficient Strategies, IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers, Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc. are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License # OK48173

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. 
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704 
(559) 230-1648 
Soutas.com 

1 Lauren Bauer, Kristen E. Broady, Wendy Edelberg and Jimmy O’Donnell. Brookings Institution.

Sept. 17, 2020. “Ten Facts about COVID-19 and the U.S. Economy.” https://www. brookings.edu/research/ten-facts-about-covid-19-and-the-u-s-economy/. Accessed Dec. 20, 2020.

2 Trading Economics. December 2020. “United States GDP Growth Rate.” https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-growth. Accessed Dec. 20, 2020.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 David Rodeck. Forbes. July 15, 2020. “Alphabet Soup: Understanding the Shape of a COVID-19 Recession.” https://www.forbes.com/advisor/investing/covid-19- coronavirusrecession-shape/. Accessed Dec. 20, 2020.

6 Trading Economics. December 2020. “United States GDP Growth Rate.” https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-growth. Accessed Dec. 20, 2020.

7 Iman Ghosh. Visual Capitalist. Sept. 16, 2020. “Shapes of Recovery: When Will the Global Economy Bounce Back?” https://www.visualcapitalist.com/shapes-of-recoverywhen-will-theglobal-economy-bounce-back/. Accessed Dec. 20, 2020.

8 David Rodeck. Forbes. July 15, 2020. “Alphabet Soup: Understanding the Shape of a COVID-19 Recession.” https://www.forbes.com/advisor/investing/covid-19- coronavirusrecession-shape/. Accessed Dec. 20, 2020.

9 Ibid.

10 Holly Ellyatt. Investopedia. Sept. 14, 2020. “L-Shaped Recovery.” https://www. investopedia.com/terms/l/l-shaped-recession.asp. Accessed Dec. 20, 2020.11 Anne Sraders and Lance Lambert. Fortune. Sept. 28, 2020. “Nearly 100,000 establishments that temporarily shut down due to the pandemic are now out of business.” https://fortune.com/2020/09/28/covid-buisnesses-shut-down-closed/. Accessed Dec. 20, 2020.

AE Wealth Management, LLC (“AEWM”) is an SEC Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) located in Topeka, Kansas. Registration does not denote any level of skill or qualification. The advisory firm providing you this report is an independent financial services firm and is not an affiliate company of AE Wealth Management, LLC. AEWM works with a variety of independent advisors. Some of the advisors are Investment Adviser Representatives (IAR) who provide investment advisory services through AEWM. Some of the advisors are Registered Investment Advisers providing investment advisory services that incorporate some of the products available through AEWM.

Information regarding the RIA offering the investment advisory services can be found on https://brokercheck.finra.org/

Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Any references to guarantees or lifetime income generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investment products. Insurance and annuity product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

This information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. None of the information contained herein shall constitute an offer to sell or solicit any offer to buy a security or insurance product.

The information and opinions contained herein provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by AE Wealth Management. 814111-2/21

Fresno Financial Consultant: January 2021 Highlights

By Soutas Financial | February 2, 2021 |
Fresno Financial Consultant: January 2021 Highlights

Fresno Financial Advisor News: What to Expect: A New Term In Washington

Schedule Your Tele-Visit!

Overview

2020 brought a very powerful pair of crises: A worldwide pandemic and the deepest recession since World War II. While most Americans have been affected in one way or another, the variance in impact on individual households is staggering — kind of like the way a tornado can demolish one house but leave the homes situated on either side intact.

Households in which income could continue to be earned, be it from an essential job such as a health care worker, grocery stork clerk or mail carrier, or a position which could be transitioned to work from home, have in many cases been unscathed by the economic decline. Yet others with employees who work in hard-hit industries such as travel, hospitality, food and beverage may have lost their jobs, their livelihood and even their health insurance, life insurance and matching retirement plan contributions. Many entrepreneurs have had to shutter their small businesses. For these households, the economic situation may be dire, threatening their ability to pay for basic necessities such as food, housing and transportation.1

Worldwide, millions of people have been displaced from jobs, consumer spending has dropped precipitously and company plans for growth and expansion have been put on hold. All G7 countries experienced significant plunges in gross domestic product this spring.2

New U.S. Leadership

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have published detailed plans on how they intend to tackle the COVID crisis and economic decline, which some analysts predict will outlive the pandemic.4 The Biden-Harris administration also is prepared to address citizen protests and initiatives, which have drawn attention to other timely issues, such as racial equality and climate change, over the past few years.

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Fresno Retirement Consultant News: Will You Be Able To Afford In-Home, Long-Term Care?

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More than 90% of America’s older adults prefer to “age in place” in their own homes rather than in a senior housing community or facility.1 With today’s insight into how a deadly pandemic can affect nursing homes — as of September 6, COVID-19 has claimed nearly 55,000 nursing home residents’ lives — this preference may be prudent from a health care standpoint.2

However, aging at home also can be quite expensive. Much depends on the level and amount of care you require. And, as you can imagine, those levels are likely to increase as you get older. For some, it starts out as light housekeeping and running errands. That may progress into cooking meals and taking you to doctor appointments. Eventually, you may need someone to help you dress, groom and move around. A few hours a week could eventually change into 24-hour care, depending on your rate of health and/or mental decline.

According to the 2019 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of an in-home caregiver is $22.50 per hour.3 If you need someone for eight hours a day, that could run you about $5,400 a month. If you need 24-hour care because, for example, you need help walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night, that cost could quickly amount to $16,200 a month. Is that a potential cost you’ve factored into your retirement income plan?

For many, the answer is no. We tend to plan as well as possible and hope for the best. If you’d like to explore different insurance options to help pay for potential long-term care needs, we can help. Contact us for more information.

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Fresno Financial Consultant News: What To Expect From the Payroll Tax Holiday

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Christmas came early this year. Well, sort of. In an effort to provide financial aid to millions of Americans in dire economic straits, President Trump declared a payroll tax holiday between September and the end of the year. Available to workers who earn $104,000 a year or less, this means that no FICA taxes will be taken out of paychecks by employers that opt into the program.1 This enables workers to take home more income.

Unfortunately, while that may help households whose hours have been reduced, are burdened with health care bills or other expenses that have cropped up during the pandemic, it doesn’t help the 27 million people who actually lost their jobs.2

The payroll tax is noted as a FICA tax on paycheck stubs. It refers to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, which deducts taxes before wages are paid allowing the government to pay for the Social Security and Medicare programs. This means 6.2% of your salary up to the first $137,700, is deducted from your take-home pay.3 According to the Social Security Administration, 95% of U.S. workers make less than $137,700 a year. The 5% who earn more pay no additional FICA taxes on their income above $137,700.4

To put this into perspective, if you make $100,000 a year, 100% of your income is subject to FICA taxes. If you make $500,000 a year, less than 28% of your income is subject to FICA taxes.

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Fresno Retirement Advisor News: Preparing for Potential Pandemics

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If you think the economic decline due to the pandemic has been difficult for you personally, the big picture numbers may be even worse. Analysts project that the total economic disruption could eventually cost between $9 trillion and $33 trillion. Many economists are advocating that the U.S. — and the world — make a concerted effort to prevent future pandemics.1 Much like individual health care, the cost for prevention is significantly less than the cost of treatment.

In fact, the coronavirus has exposed many weaknesses in our infectious-disease surveillance and ability to respond quickly and effectively. While state governments continue to work on their current response, many in the private sector are looking toward the future.2

We advise our clients to retain that same perspective. If your retirement portfolio is built to weather an economic decline, you likely have financial vehicles that can help supplement your household income during financial difficulties. By keeping your investments focused on the long term, they can help you ride out market volatility and give your money the opportunity to continue growing. If you’d like advice in this area, we are here for you.

Government attempts to revive the economy have been mixed. The quick efforts to roll out stimulus legislation to benefit consumers and small business ran into headwinds. Many states’ unemployment programs were not built to handle so many claims at once, resulting in delays and confusion. The application system for small business loans led to haphazard benefits, wherein many small employers lost out while large corporations, such as Shake Shack and the Los Angeles Lakers, received millions (although both companies returned the money).

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Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice. Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License # OK48173

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Insurance product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Diversification cannot ensure a profit or guarantee against losses in a declining market. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. 722736 – 9/20

Fresno Financial Advisor News: Pollution and the Pandemic

By Soutas Financial | January 29, 2021 | Comments Off on Fresno Financial Advisor News: Pollution and the Pandemic
Fresno Financial Advisor News: Pollution and the Pandemic

At least one positive thing emerged from coronavirus lockdowns: A worldwide decline in carbon emissions. Satellite imagery revealed that roads less traveled and skies less flown yielded a remarkable reduction in air pollution. In China alone, carbon emissions dropped by 25% in just a four-week period.1

What’s interesting is the correlation between the coronavirus and long-term exposure to air pollution. In general, air pollution is responsible for nearly 40% of global lower-respiratory tract infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.2 Also, people who suffer from respiratory illnesses have a harder time recovering from COVID-19. Thus, better air quality would aid these conditions.

Unfortunately, the pandemic’s environmental gains are short term. Quarantining people and halting economic activity are not exactly a sustainable solution. How governments respond moving forward remains critical, and regulations may even be eased to help jumpstart economies.

The pandemic demonstrated that environmental damage can be reversed substantially and quickly through a significant decline in emissions. The challenge now is to find ways to do that without sacrificing economic growth.

Fresno Financial Planner Takeaways 

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno financial planning consultant is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning Tax-Efficient Strategies, IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers, Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. 
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704 
(559) 230-1648 
Soutas.com 

1 Luke Denne. NBC News. April 7, 2020. “Coronavirus lockdowns have sent pollution plummeting. Environmentalists worry about what comes next.” https://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/coronavirus-lockdowns-have-sent-pollution-plummeting-environmentalists-worry-about-what-n1178326. Accessed June 8, 2019.

2 Sarah Vogel. Environmental Defense Fund. April 7, 2020. “The truth about coronavirus, air pollution and our health.” https://www.edf.org/blog/2020/04/07/truth-about-coronavirus-air-pollution-and-our-health. Accessed June 8, 2019.

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc. are not affiliated companies. 719276 – 12/20

Fresno Financial Consultant News: Coronavirus Silver Lining: Permanently Shorter Workweeks?

By Soutas Financial | January 26, 2021 | Comments Off on Fresno Financial Consultant News: Coronavirus Silver Lining: Permanently Shorter Workweeks?
Fresno Financial Consultant News: Coronavirus Silver Lining: Permanently Shorter Workweeks?

While technology and engineering advances have exponentially increased productivity throughout the past century, 40-hour workweeks are still the norm. Meanwhile, countless companies throughout the U.S. and the world have found that shorter workweeks make employees more productive.

Studies show that a four-day week can boost productivity by as much as 40%. Workers spend their limited time focused on the most important tasks to get their job done and less time sitting in lengthy meetings, chatting, emailing and surfing the web. Better yet, a study by Henley Business School found that 77% of workers report that the four-day workweek improved their quality of life.1

Reducing work hours also happens to be good for the environment. Thousands of office buildings closed one extra day a week can significantly reduce carbon emissions associated with utilities and commutes. Some companies implemented shorter workweeks as a short-term solution during the pandemic. However, if more businesses permanently transitioned to this labor model, it could help resolve longer-term issues related to productivity, burnout and work-life balance.

Fresno Financial Consultant Takeaways 

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno retirement planning advisor is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning, Tax-Efficient, Strategies IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers, Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. 
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704 
(559) 230-1648 
Soutas.com 

1 Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. The Atlantic. April 30, 2020. “To Safely Reopen, Make the Workweek Shorter. Then Keep It Shorter.” https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/safely-reopen-make-workweek-shorter/610906/. Accessed June 2, 2020.

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc. are not affiliated companies. 719276 – 12/20

Our firm provides links to third-party articles in an effort to assist users in locating information on topics that might be of interest to them. Information presented has not been verified and is not guaranteed, nor can we attest to the accuracy of information provided. Linking to an article or website does not constitute a representation of the services offered by our firm, nor does it constitute an endorsement by our firm of the sponsors of the site or the products presented on the site. The information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual's situation.