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Clear Path Advisory

On It With Offit Newsletter- September 2017

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Ben Offit was featured in the Maryland Chiropractic Association journal in September 2017. He also will be speaking at the upcoming Baltimore County Bar Association meeting on October 18th.

*Neither Kestra IS and Kestra AS is affiliated with any entity on this page

On The Road To Clarity...

Market Commentary

The Markets (as of market close September 29, 2017)

Trading during the summer months is customarily slow, and the summer of 2017 proved no different. July kicked off the third quarter with equity markets enjoying noteworthy gains over their June closing values. Both the Dow (2.54%) and S&P 500 (1.93%) posted significant gains, as did the Global Dow (3.13%). The Nasdaq posted a very favorable 3.38% monthly increase. The yield on long-term bonds changed very little from June as investors seemed to focus on surging equities. Crude oil prices reached $50 per barrel by the end of July after closing June at $46 per barrel. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.269 per gallon on July 31, down from the June 26 selling price of $2.288.

Equities held their own in August, despite hurricanes that devastated several southern states and Puerto Rico, causing extraordinary economic loss. Conflicts both at home and abroad certainly influenced investor sentiment. Clashes between protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia, and escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea dominated the news. Nevertheless, a late-month rally in August pushed equities ahead of their July values. The Russell 2000 decreased from its July closing value as energy stocks plunged. The Dow and S&P 500 posted marginal gains, while the Nasdaq led the month ticking up 1.27%. Long-term bond prices rose, with the yield on 10-year Treasuries falling to 2.12%, or 17 basis points below July's end-of-month yield.

Investors regained some of their confidence in September, pushing stocks ahead of their August closing values. Each of the indexes listed here posted notable gains, led by the small-cap Russell 2000, which surged 6.09%, followed by the Global Dow, the Dow, and the S&P 500, each of which closed the month up about 2.0%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained a modest 1.05%, yet that index still leads the way for the year, up almost 21.0% over its final 2016 value.

Ultimately, investors saw the benchmark indexes make impressive gains by the end of the third quarter. The Nasdaq and the Russell 2000 posted gains in excess of 5.0%, followed closely by the Global Dow and the Dow. The S&P 500 trailed the other indexes listed here, yet still managed to increase by almost 4.0% over its second-quarter close. Crude oil jumped from $46.33 per barrel on the last day of June to $51.64 on the last business day of September. Gold, which had been climbing, fell at the end of the quarter, closing at $1,282.50 — still ahead of its June closing price of $1,241.10. Regular gasoline, which was $2.288 per gallon on June 26, soared to $2.508 on the 25th of September.

The summer saw the economy slow a bit, as inflation remained relatively stagnant, wages advanced only slightly, rhetoric between North Korea and the United States became testy, and Mother Nature blasted the southern states with two very powerful hurricanes. Through it all, the stock market continued to enjoy monthly gains, with several of the benchmark indexes reaching all-time highs. The start of the year's last quarter may see the economy pick up as some economic indicators are projecting. While the Federal Open Market Committee didn't raise interest rates in September, it most likely will do so at least once during the fourth quarter. Employment is expected to remain steady as it has averaged roughly 176,000 new jobs per month.

Financial Planning Tips
Do you or your spouse have any undergraduate student loans outstanding? If yes, you may be eligible for a program from the State of MD for free money (in the form of a tax credit) to put towards the balance. The application is due 9/15 each year, so keep this in mind for 2018, or call me or your CPA if you have any questions!

Here is the link to the application:

Clear Path Advisory, Inc.
1777 Reisterstown Road Suite 285
Pikesville, MD 21208
T - 410 486 5242
F - 410 486 5243
E –
Interesting Tidbits!

Over the next 45 years, $59 trillion will pass from baby boomers to the next generation. Relatively few boomers, however, have taken the steps to make sure that the wealth doesn’t vaporize after the transfer. Roughly 70% of families will lose their wealth by the second generation, and 90% by the, March 27, 2017

Forty years after Elvis Presley’s death, his Graceland home in Memphis remains the second-most-visited house in the U.S., after the White House. More than 600,000 people visit Graceland every, August 16, 2017

Being a member of a fraternity in college lowers a student’s GPA by approximately 0.25 points on the traditional four-point scale, but raises future income by around 36%.-MarketWatch, September 25, 2017

Americans are using less electricity, despite the proliferation of smartphones and other electronics, because those devices are becoming smaller and more efficient. Residential electricity sales declined 3% from 2010 to 2016, and 7% on a per capita, August 6, 2017

Seven years ago, Tesla became the first U.S. automaker to go public since Ford Motors in 1956. When its share price rose above $290 in April of 2017, it became larger than Ford.
-Investopedia, June 29, 2017

“When you combine ignorance with leverage, you get some pretty interesting results.”-Warren Buffett

A record 10.8 million U.S. households had a net worth of $1 million or more at the end of 2016., September 2017

Bill and Melinda Gates have given away roughly $35 billion in stock and cash since 1994.-Private Wealth Magazine, August 16, 2017

In a survey of households with investment portfolios worth $3 million or more, 10% credited an inheritance, while 52% cited income from a job or business and 32% credited investments., September 2017.

Hurricanes release as much energy as a 10-megaton nuclear bomb exploding every 20 minutes., September 28, 2017

“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”
-Marcus Aurelius

“There is nothing quite so tragic as a young cynic, because it means the person has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.”
-Maya Angelou

“Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.”-People over Profits by Dale Partridge
Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. Clear Path Advisory, Inc. is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS.

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