November 2019 Newsletter

NOVEMBER 2019 Newsletter                                                          

Observing reports on the stock market is like watching a phony boxing match where the punches do not actually land on the other boxer. The media declares WORRY and the market reacts. In a day or two, the market bounces back and frequently sets a new high. However, the media does not care about rising markets, low unemployment rates, increasing earnings or low interest rates.  Instead they warn you “The sky is going to fall!!”

Nothing is guaranteed, so it is easy to say “the sky is falling.”  It would be interesting to gather the media in a room and learn if they know where the market was in 1980 and John Templeton was surprising people by telling them the DJIA would close at 3,000 sometime in the next 10 years.  He was correct and on Friday, November 8, 2019, the DJIA closed again much higher at  27,681.24. Looking forward from September 28,1916 when the DJIA closed at 103.11, consider how long-term investors have been rewarded by investing in the markets.

How much richer would people be today if they had started investing in 1980 or 1990 or 2000 and had added money each month or year?  And, IF the money belonged to them and beneficiaries…not the government via Social Security, or an insurance company via an annuity that has sold the “owner” a life only payout?  Group pensions were usually set up in that fashion.  Now, an individual occasionally has the choice of accepting a lump sum payout, which can be rolled into an IRA; this allows any remaining value to be given to loved ones when the owner passes. Life-only guarantees are costly for the individual and family but they enrich the government and insurance companies.

THE EXPENSE OF HEALTHCARE

The October 7 Journal of the American Medical Association claimed that as much as 25% of the $ 3.8 trillion dollars spent on “healthcare” every year is wasted and could amount to $935 billion - almost enough to cover the federal budget deficit.  Other estimates go as high as 40% wasted.  (From Article by Dr. Jane Orient, Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)). This is a huge cost and certainly one of the factors discouraging individuals from believing they can achieve financial independence as they pay their monthly insurance premiums. 

Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD writes in the AAPS literature that “waste, fraud, and abuse are so rampant that the government has a Medicare Strike Force to root out and recover lost federal funds. Medicare fraud - about $ 60 billion in 2016 alone - is about 10 percent of Medicare’s total payments.  By contrast, the typical private business loses 5 percent of its revenues to fraud.  Unfortunately, since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Strike Force has recouped less than $2 billion per year in misappropriated funds.”

As a person who has always valued independence and personal responsibility, the information I have read, and situations I have observed, disturb me. But there are growing options for people who dare to exercise them.  I meet increasing numbers of people who have become medical tourists, traveling to other countries to pay cash for procedures, and saving on the total cost. I know someone who has been using a Christian Care medical plan which divides the costs among the insured and has been happy with it.  I understand the Amish share medical expenses without an insurance plan; I had the opportunity a few years ago to discuss this with an Amish couple. Additionally, you may have heard about the direct-pay Surgery Center of Oklahoma.  Procedures are sometimes lower than the cost of an insurance policy with deductibles. And here in Middleton, Dr. Nicole T. Hemkes has set up Advocate MD, a direct primary care practice which charges a monthly fee and provides medicines and tests at cost. I am a patient. (From Article by Dr. Jane Orient, Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)).

INVEST NOW

From time to time, we hear about, or read about, how the investor has money, but wants to wait and see….Uhhhh….see what? See the market go up in one of THE BEST INVESTMENT DAYS OF THE YEAR? Because that’s what happens over and over again.  And those days cannot be regained quickly by the “wait and see” investor.

Call us any time you would like to discuss something. We can set up a personal appointment - or have a good discussion by telephone. We have suggestions for solving problems that are not always obvious to the individual investor.

 

Sincerely,

Louise Googins, Newsletter Editor, Principal
Karl Kuelthau, Principal
Michael Googins, Administrator
Kim Rankin, Accountant
Carson Bieber, Associate
Mckayla Johnson, UW-Madison Intern

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