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Hope for Immunity in Our Community? 03.12.2021

A year ago yesterday, on March 11, 2020, the WHO officially declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. Later that night, the NBA pulled the plug on two scheduled games (including the Pelicans/Kings game here in Sacramento), and then immediately suspended its season after Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell both tested positive for the disease:

NBA Immunity

The battle against coronavirus has unquestionably been a difficult, painful, arduous, and seemingly constant one over the past 12 months, with the underlying question constantly on everyone’s mind: “When will we reopen and get back to normal?” And while we are by no means at the finish line yet, at Towerpoint Wealth we believe we are much closer to the end of the pandemic than we are to the beginning of it.

Why the hope? We will let the visuals support a number of key reasons for our optimism:

Huge declines in COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations

Widespread vaccine distribution

Extreme fiscal stimulus

Measured re-opening of the economy

Pending herd immunity

At Towerpoint Wealth, we believe it is also time to look forward, without letting our guard down, with expanding optimism and appreciation for what the future holds. Understanding we will always remain pragmatic, and avoid cockeyed optimism, we do believe that the marathon is almost at its conclusion.

What’s Happening at TPW?

Our lovely Director of Operations, Lori Heppner, along with her Bella. 🙂

Our Partner, Wealth Advisor, Jonathan LaTurner, spent a few days last month in Tulum, Mexico, doing some wedding venue due diligence with his bride-to-be, Katie McDonald. Yes, we’re all very jealous of you two, walking Tulum Beach and both looking great!

TPW Service Highlight – Charitable Giving

It used to be (and still can be) as simple as writing a check and mailing it off to your favorite charity. However, simply giving cash may not be the best, nor the most beneficial or impactful, way to be philanthropic. Fortunately, today’s donors have a myriad of gifting strategies that can increase the economic benefits of their gifts, both for the charity, as well as for you.

From charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, and private foundations, to donor advised and pooled income funds, and from IRA qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) to charitable gift annuities, there are many options for those who are inclined towards philanthropy. Determining which charitable strategy is best for your personal circumstances can be challenging, and as experts in this field, we stand ready to help you better understand the advantages and disadvantages of each as we develop the most appropriate gifting strategy for you. Click HERE to talk more with us about your philanthropic intent and charitable gifting plan.

Issuance of Amended 2020 Form 1099s – Don’t File Too Early!

Have you received your 2020 Form 1099s in the mail or via email? Have you already received amendments to your original 1099s? Scroll down to read a newly-published report authored by our Director of Tax and Financial Planning, Steve Pitchford, to find out why we recommend NOT actually filing your tax return until early April!

The Frustrations of Form 1099 | It's Tax Time

Chart of the Week

It’s not unusual to see -2%, -5%, and even -10% pullbacks in the stock market. Frankly, we should *expect* them to happen, remain objective and not worry about them when they do, and have a plan and the flexibility to make tactical portfolio adjustments to take advantage of them when they occur.

Trending Today

In addition to shots and stocks, a number of trending and notable events have occurred over the past few weeks:

As always, we sincerely value our relationships and partnerships with you, as well as your trust and confidence in us here at Towerpoint Wealth. We encourage you to reach out to us at any time (916-405-9140, with any questions, concerns, or needs you may have. The world continues to be an extremely complicated place, and we are here to help you properly plan for and make sense of it.

– Joseph, Jonathan, Steve, Lori, Nathan, Matt, and Michelle

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A Sugar High From the Money Supply?

“There are no roller coasters that can replicate what stocks have done so far in 2020.”

– Ryan Detrick, Senior Market Strategist, LPL Financial

“Why is the market doing so well when our economy is doing so poorly?”

“How can this bounce back possibly continue?”

“Don’t you think it has come too far, too fast?”

All familiar questions we have recently heard from even the most seasoned and level-headed of Towerpoint Wealth clients, and seemingly for good reason. As of Wednesday, it had been 50 trading days since the S&P 500 hit its COVID-19 crash intraday low (2,191.86) back on March 23. Since then? The index is up almost 40%, marking the biggest 50-day move since 1952! If today’s huge advance holds, the S&P 500 will be just a stone’s throw away from reaching breakeven for 2020, and quickly reapproaching the all-time highs it hit back in February. While not necessarily an enjoyable one for many investors, it certainly has been an epic roller coaster ride.

2020 S&P Roller Coaster

As unemployment and joblessness have soared in the U.S., so has the stock market. The coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing measures implemented to contain it have adversely affected both the overall demand and overall supply of goods and services in the economy, causing output to plunge. However, the deepest recession since the Great Depression looks increasingly likely to be the shortest. While a full recovery from COVID-19 and the Great Lockdown is not expected until at least 2022, the “green shoots” of recovery have already sprouted, highlighted by today’s historic jobs report.

After losing 20.7 million jobs in April (by far the worst monthly decline on record), the Bureau of Labor Statistics yesterday morning reported that the United States unexpectedly gained 2.5 million jobs in May, the biggest jobs increase ever:

May Job Gains Largest 1 Month Increase

While one month certainly does not make a trend, yesterday’s employment report provides further evidence about how nascent this economic recovery is, and how unpredictable it is, as economists expected a loss of 8 million jobs in May. Nobody said accurately predicting the future is easy! Regardless, this is truly a blowout number, providing hope for a “V” shaped recovery, and clearly the catalyst for the Dow’s 800+ point advance yesterday.

Not convinced? Perhaps noting these additional pieces of information – evidence of economic “green shoots” – will help:

While some investors believe the market is on a “sugar high” due to the vast amounts of government stimulus ($9 trillion globallyso far) that has been doled out, we remain optimistic that the underpinnings of a more substantive – and sustainable – economic recovery are in place. And while virtually all measures of economic activity remain substantially lower than where they were last year at this time, a recovery does have to start somewhere. Additionally, investors have hoarded cash in 2020, providing an ample amount of dry powder to potentially be redeployed elsewhere (and more productively) as investor confidence increases and the recovery takes hold:

Cash Levels Remain High

While the pace of the growth of these green shoots of economic (and employment) recovery will remain a question for some time yet, at Towerpoint Wealth it seems clear to us that this recession, while unprecedented in its depth, will prove to be short-lived and temporary. And around the corner? Hopefully the foundation for a brighter future again for all of us.

What’s Happening at TPW?

A couple of familiar faces, back together!

From the left in the photo below, our Partner, Wealth Manager, Jonathan LaTurner, our Director of Research and Analytics, Nathan Billigmeier, our Director of Tax and Financial Planning, Steve Pitchford, and our President, Joseph Eschleman, all enjoyed going out to eat together for a business lunch earlier this week at Sauced BBQ and Spirits in downtown Sacramento.

While the crew was missing both our Director of Operations, Lori Heppner, and our Client Service Specialist, Raquel Jackson, who were working from home, the boys enjoyed BBQ and southern-style side dishes as the lockdown in California continues to ease.

In addition to green shoots and collard greens, a number of trending and notable events occurred over the past few weeks:

The lockdown is ending. Life will be different for the foreseeable future, but opportunities to be back together in person with those we have been missing are growing. And as always, whether in person or via a Zoom teleconference, we sincerely value our relationships and partnerships with each of you, as well as your trust and confidence in us here at Towerpoint Wealth. We encourage you to reach out to us at any time (916-405-9140, with any questions, concerns, or needs you may have – the world continues to be an extremely complicated place, and we are here for you to help you make sense of it.

– Nathan, Raquel, Steve, Joseph, Lori, and Jonathan

Sacramento Wealth Financial Planner Towerpoint Wealth Team