W.P. "Bill" Atkinson, III

Certified Financial Planner TM / Attorney

Access Financial Resources, Inc.

3621 NW 63rd Street, Suite A1

Oklahoma City, OK  73116

(405) 848-9826

www.afradvice.com / bill@apaplans.com

October 2020
Market Update
(all values as of 05.31.2021)

Stock Indices:

Dow Jones 34,529
S&P 500 4,204
Nasdaq 13,748

Bond Sector Yields:

2 Yr Treasury 0.14%
10 Yr Treasury 1.58%
10 Yr Municipal 0.97%
High Yield 4.24%

YTD Market Returns:

Dow Jones 12.82%
S&P 500 11.93%
Nasdaq 6.68%
MSCI-EAFE 9.03%
MSCI-Europe 11.95%
MSCI-Pacific 4.18%
MSCI-Emg Mkt 5.38%
 
US Agg Bond -2.29%
US Corp Bond -2.85%
US Gov’t Bond -2.95%

Commodity Prices:

Gold 1,909
Silver 28.14
Oil (WTI) 66.91

Currencies:

Dollar / Euro 1.21
Dollar / Pound 1.41
Yen / Dollar 109.42
Dollar / Canadian 0.82

Equities Taper Off In September – Domestic Equity Overview – Despite a pullback in September, equities managed to end the third quarter with gains. The technology sector was the primary contributor to the S&P 500 Index, which was up 8.93% for the third quarter. Consumer discretionary and industrial stocks also performed well during the quarter, exemplifying some economic recovery characteristics. Following an upward surge during this summer, September witnessed a tapering of equity momentum, leading to lower valuations. The three major equity indices, Dow Jones Industrial, S&P 500 Index, and the Nasdaq were off in September, but positive for the third quarter ending September 30th. (Sources: S&P, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, Nasdaq)

Rates Vacillate As Stimulus Efforts Unresolved – Fixed Income Overview – The Federal Reserve continues to purchase $120 billion of Treasury and mortgage agency bonds each month, expanding its balance sheet to over $7 trillion as of the end of September. The monumental buying is meant to facilitate bond market activity while maintaining a relatively low-rate environment. Yields on government and corporate bonds vacillated in September as uncertainty surrounding additional stimulus efforts influenced rates. Analysts and economists expect higher long-term rates to result from the incremental debt issuance to pay for the next stimulus package. (Sources: U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve, Bloomberg)

Industries That Are Experiencing Higher Unemployment Due To The Pandemic – Labor Market Overview – The most recent labor statistics made available by the U.S. Department of Labor is identifying more impactful increases in unemployment in certain industries than others. Economists and analysts believe that the year-over-year increases in unemployment are attributable to the pandemic, where mandatory closures and restrictions are continuing to hinder businesses and workers nationwide.

Unemployment is affecting various occupations differently, as the impact of the pandemic displaces certain workers more than others. Economists believe that the disparity enhances the negative affects on lower-income workers versus higher earnings, creating even more inequality among the nation’s workforce. Industries such as construction, motion pictures, hotel & leisure, and restaurants saw the most dramatic increases in unemployment relative to a year prior. Hospitals and health services saw the least amount of increases in unemployment, showing resistance to the current pandemic environment.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

 

 
Tidbits of Legal News

The Supreme Court – What the Constitution Says

ARTICLE III, SECTION 1, CLAUSE 1 of the U.S. Constitution states that “The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court….” The Constitution, however, did not provide the number of justices to serve on the Court. Congress has the discretion to set the number. To that end, Congress created a Supreme Court in the Judiciary Act of 1789 and set the initial number of justices at six, which consisted of a Chief Justice and five Associate Justices. The Supreme Court first assembled on February 1, 1790, and the justices handed down their first opinion on August 3, 1791.

Since 1869, Congress has set the number of justices at nine. So, while the number has been set at nine for over 150 years, Congress can change the number of justices by passing an act that is then signed by the President. To be sure, there are only two rules in the Constitution required to sit a justice on the Court – appointment by the President and approval by the Senate (ARTICLE II, SECTION 2, CLAUSE 2). To help ensure an independent Judiciary, the Constitution provides that judges of the supreme and inferior courts shall hold their office during “good Behaviour,” which has generally meant life terms. (Sources: The U.S. Constitution, Supremecourt.gov, The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, Constitutioncenter.org)

A Non-exhaustive, Quick Summary of the Self Defense Laws in Oklahoma 

DEFENSE OF PERSON – JUSTIFIABLE USE OF DEADLY FORCE AGAINST INTRUDER

The Oklahoma Legislature has recognized that the citizens of the State of Oklahoma have a right to expect “absolute safety” within their homes, vehicles, places of business, or places of worship. To that end, if you use “defensive force” against an intruder, then Oklahoma presumes that you had a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to yourself or another provided that the intruder was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering (or had already entered) your dwelling, residence, vehicle, place of business, or place of worship. The presumption of such fear of death/great bodily, however, goes away if the person against whom the defensive force is used had a right to be there and there was no protective order against that person or you were engaged in or furthering unlawful activity.

“Defensive force” includes, but isn’t limited to, pointing a weapon at a perpetrator in self-defense or in order to thwart, stop or deter a forcible felony or attempted forcible felony. The statute further states that a person pointing a weapon at a perpetrator in self-defense or in order to thwart, stop or deter a forcible felony or attempted forcible felony shall not be deemed guilty of committing a criminal act. (See 21 O.S. 2011, § 1289.25 (B), (C), (F), (J).)

DEFENSE OF PERSON – RIGHT TO STAND YOUR GROUND

Moreover, if you are not engaged in an unlawful activity, and you are attacked outside of a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, and you have a right to be in that place; then you have no duty to retreat and have the right to stand your ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, provided you “reasonably believe it is necessary” to prevent death or great bodily harm to yourself or another or to prevent a forcible felony from happening. (See 21 O.S. 2011, § 1289.25 (D), (F).

Note: Seek Legal Counsel for Complete Analysis and Interpretation.

 

 
17% of all FHA-insured loans were delinquent in July of this year

What’s In Store For The Housing Market – Housing Market Update

Euphoric media reports about the housing market are starting to come into question, as the fragility of the housing market is gradually being exposed. The FHFA House Price Index revealed that housing prices nationwide rose a paltry 5.4% in the past year, with some regions seeing much slower growth.

The onset of the pandemic in March brought about a flurry of stimulus efforts meant to ease the financial burden for millions of Americans. Housing was a primary concern as the unemployment rate spiked and paychecks dwindled. In response, the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) announced a moratorium for both evictions and foreclosures through August 31, 2020. That moratorium has since been extended to the end of the year to allow homeowners additional time to sort out and catch up on their rent and mortgage payments.

Any federally backed loans, such as FHA-insured loans, have allowed homeowners to skip their mortgage payments by means of forbearance. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, roughly 3.5 million home loans were in forbearance as of September 6th, representing 7.01% of all FHA-insured loans. In addition to homeowners in forbearance, there are those homeowners that are delinquent on the loans. It is expected that millions of homeowners on forbearance will become delinquent on those loans by the end of 2020, including many who have not made a payment since March of this year. Another government housing entity, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) tracks loans in delinquency via its Neighborhood Watch list. The data reported that 17% of all FHA-insured loans were delinquent in July of this year. The figure includes mortgages in forbearance as well as those not in forbearance.

Sources: Federal Housing Finance Administration, Mortgage Bankers Association, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

 
How Not to Die

How Not to Die: Consumer Health – Every five years the U.S. government revises the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which govern school lunch programs, shape health promotion efforts, influence what food manufacturers produce, and give Americans an idea of how to make healthy food choices for themselves and their families. As obesity rates continue to rise, the Federal committee has concluded that the new limit for added sugar consumption will be 6% of daily caloric intake, down from 10%, in an attempt to curb consumption of processed foods and reduce the incidence of obesity in America. In any vent, in 2017-2018, over 42% of U.S. adults and 18% of children aged 12-19 were obese. Obesity is linked to not only the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and Type 2 Diabetes, but also increased risk for severe symptoms with COVID-19.

In the end, each of us is responsible for our own health. So, besides a government idea, where is a good place to start? Great question! Anwser….a dear friend recommended to me the book How Not To Die, by Dr. Michael Greger. I loved it! It is easy to read and very informative and encouraging. I hope you read it or listen to the audiobook (I did both!). If you would like a copy of the book, then please, please call me – I have a few to hand out. Below is its overview:

In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of NutritionFacts.org, examines the fifteen top causes of premature death in America—heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s, high blood pressure, and more—and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches to help prevent and reverse these diseases, freeing us to live healthier lives.

The simple truth is that most doctors are good at treating acute illnesses but bad at preventing chronic disease. The fifteen leading causes of death claim the lives of 1.6 million Americans annually. This doesn’t have to be the case. By following Dr. Greger’s advice, all of it backed up by strong scientific evidence, you will learn which foods to eat and which lifestyle changes to make to live longer.

History of prostate cancer in your family? Put down that glass of milk and add flaxseed to your diet whenever you can. Have high blood pressure? Hibiscus tea can work better than a leading hypertensive drug-and without the side effects. Fighting off liver disease? Drinking coffee can reduce liver inflammation. Battling breast cancer? Consuming soy is associated with prolonged survival. Worried about heart disease (the number 1 killer in the United States)? Switch to a whole-food, plant-based diet, which has been repeatedly shown not just to prevent the disease but often stop it in its tracks.

In addition to showing what to eat to help treat the top fifteen causes of death, How Not to Die includes Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen -a checklist of the twelve foods we should consume every day. Full of practical, actionable advice and surprising, cutting edge nutritional science, these doctor’s orders are just what we need to live longer, healthier lives.

Sources: United States Department of Agriculture, CDC, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; nutritionfacts.org; and my dear friend.