Category Archives: Kramer Wealth Managers News and Announcements

Market Commentary from Kramer Wealth Managers

For investors who have been investing for some time know that it is quite normal to see market declines from time to time yet it doesn’t make it any less unsettling to live through. We’d like to share with you some data from JP Morgan Asset Management to help put the recent market volatility in a longer-term perspective.

This slide shows the S&P 500 Index over a 38-year period from January 1, 1980 to September 30, 2018. Keep in mind that the S&P 500 is not an actual investment but rather an index which tracks a group of stocks and is used just as a representative of the overall stock market. Each of the gray lines on the chart represents the different years, with the numbers at the top of the lines representing the number of times within that year, the S&P 500 declined by more than 1%. For example, the market was down more than 1% in one day eighty times in the year 1980, while 2017 was a relatively quiet year, having only eight of such declines within the year. So far this year, as of September 30th, we had 36 declines of more than 1% per day. If you look at the year 2009, these declines of 1% or more happened 117 times, yet the total return for that year was 18.82%. It’s important to remember that short-term volatility is very normal and it is important to maintain focused on the long-term.

Now some investors feel they just can’t stomach the recent volatility we have seen, are concerned about a possible correction, and have asked us to move out of equities. Of course, we certainly understand this type of emotional reaction and the difficulty of weathering through volatility. However, history shows us that some of the largest market gains we have seen have often come after some of the worst days in the markets. The chart below shows the impact of being out of the market during those times.

This chart shows a $10,000 investment made on January 1st of 1998 and held until December 29, 2017. Keep in mind, the late 1990’s was the height of the dot.com era so an investment over this period would have weathered through not only the burst of the dot.com bubble, September 11th, the war in Iraq/Afghanistan, and the 2008 financial crisis. An investor who remained invested over that period of time would have seen his/her account value grow to $40,135, an average annual return of 7.2%. If they were to miss just the 10 best days in the markets over that same period of time, their return would have only been an average annual of 3.53%, less than half as much. Missing the best 20 days would reduce their average annual return to only 1.15% – only 20 days out of 20 whole years! And if they missed the best 30 days, they would actually have a negative return over those 20 years. This is why we so strongly encourage our clients to remain invested through volatile times. We know it is not easy but statistics consistently show that trying to time the market (either when to get in, or when to get out), never works.

The next chart shows us annual returns vs. intra-year declines and how volatility within the year does not necessarily mean the entire year is a loss.

Again, we are looking at the S&P 500 Index since 1980 and each gray bar represents one year. The number at the top of the bar shows the annual return for that year while the red dot at the bottom shows the percentage by which the market was down at some point during the year. The 38-year average intra-year decline is 13.8% per year, yet the annual returns were actually positive 29 out of 38 years. Only nine years out of the 38 years did the market actually end in negative territory. Does this mean we won’t end up in the negative this year? Of course, we can’t predict from one year to the next.

The next chart shows research done by Dalbar on the Average Investor returns, based on investor patterns in fund purchases, redemptions, and exchanges, compared to investment returns of various asset classes if they were purchased and held for a 20-year period from 1998 to 2017. Each of the bars represents different asset classes, including REITs (real estate), Gold, S&P 500 (US stocks), and Oil. The 60/40 and 40/60 portfolios represent the allocation of stocks to bonds. Of all asset classes over this period, the average investor fared worse than all of them, only slightly edging out inflation. This is typically because the average investor is trying to time the market, often selling when the price drops and buying back after it has already recovered. Again, this is why we encourage our clients to step back and take a longer-term view of the equity markets.

We’ve been asked if the current volatility we are experiencing is indicative of the beginning of a bear market or if that is something that will come further down the road. To be quite honest, there is just no way to know. We do feel the fundamentals of the US economy from a purely statistical perspective remain strong. At the same time, we know the market has been on a steady climb for nine straight years and we know it doesn’t go up forever. Whether a larger market correction is going to happen soon, next year, the year after, or if the current volatility is all we are going to see, we simply can’t say. What we do know, however, is that we tailor our clients’ investment portfolios based on their goals, risk tolerance, levels, and time horizon so that they are positioned to navigate through various market cycles to try and achieve their personal goals. And assuming those goals and risk tolerance levels have not changed, we do not believe short-term changes to a portfolio are warranted in times like these. We recommend staying the course and as always, if you have any questions about your portfolio, feel free to reach out to your financial advisor.

 

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The data provides was gathered from sources believed to be reliable, however, it cannot be guaranteed. Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss. Past performance is not guarantee of future results. This material may contain forward looking statements and projections. There are no guarantees that these results will be achieved.

Securities and Advisory services offered through FSC Securities Corporation, member/FINRA. Traditional/Fixed insurance offered through Kramer Wealth Managers, which is not affiliated with FSC Securities Corporation. Neither Kramer Wealth Managers nor FSC Securities offers tax or legal advice. Branch offices: 9099 Ridgefield Drive, Suite 101, Frederick, MD 21701 | 240-439-6889 (VP) | 240-39-6929 (V) 611 S. Congress Ave. Suite 440, Austin, TX 78704 | 512-410-0739 (VP/V)

How to prevent your Facebook profile from being “hacked”

August 3, 2015

Today we are going to address a different topic than we normally do, and that is the issue of what some people call, “Facebook hacking.” It isn’t truly “hacking” but it can appear as if someone has hacked into your Facebook profile and it is becoming increasingly common in Facebook. Crooks are using this cloning method frequently to prey on unsuspecting victims to obtain information or even money from them. While this topic isn’t specifically financial related, it CAN have financial consequences, which I will explain later.

Hacking vs. Cloning

Most Facebook users have had the experience of logging into their account to find a friend request from someone whom they thought they were already friends with on Facebook. Some people will check their friends list to see if that person is already listed there and recognize that this new request is a fake and ignore the request. However, some people proceed with accepting the friend request without thinking about it. After all, they see the person’s profile picture, city and state where they live, name of employer, etc. and it all matches the person that they know.

Some people think it is the case of their friend’s account actually being “hacked”- someone else obtaining access to their user name and profile and hacking into their account. In reality, what has likely happened is the “hacker” has used the information from a person’s public profile to set up a new fake profile that exactly matches (clones) the legitimate profile. They are probably not friends with that person on Facebook but rather have obtained the information that is viewable by the public. They establish a fake email account through free email services such as Gmail or Yahoo, and then create a fake cloned profile using the exact same information as the real profile- everything from profile picture, hometown, employment, pages they have liked, groups they are in, etc. Then they send the friend request from the fake profile to the real user’s friends (also public information). Once those friends accept the request, the hackers will either send spam messages to these new “friends” or in worse situations, they will try to con them into giving them money, pretending to be that person’s legitimate friend in some kind of dire situation requiring funds be wired.

How to protect yourself

1. Keep your profile private. The easiest way to protect yourself from becoming a victim is simply to limit what information the public can view so they don’t have enough information to create a cloned profile. Your profile picture and cover photo will always be public. Facebook does not allow you to make that private. However, all other information, including your friends list, can be kept completely private or made viewable only to friends. This will need to be done in two separate steps:

– First, make all of the information in your profile private or viewable by friends only by changing all of your settings in Privacy Settings and Tools. First, go into the settings menu by clicking the drop-down arrow on the far right of the blue bar at the top of the screen, then click on Privacy from the menu on the left. Under “Who Can See My Stuff”, you will see “Who can see your future posts?” Click on EDIT and change from Public to Friends. Here is what it looks like:

FB Privacy Settings start

FB Privacy Settings and Tools screenshot

– You will also need to click on your friends list and make that private as well. That way, even if your profile were to be cloned using just your name and profile photo, they will have no way of getting to your friends list. Go back to your profile page and click on Friends. Then click on the pencil icon and select “edit privacy”. Again, change from “public” to “friends”.

FB Friends - edit privacy 1

FB Friends - edit privacy 2

2. Check your own friends list for duplicate friends. If you notice you have a duplicate of any of your Facebook friend profiles, check with your friend outside of Facebook and find out which one is legitimate. Immediately remove the fake profile and report it to Facebook.

3. Never accept a friend request from someone who is already on your friends list unless you receive confirmation directly from them outside of Facebook that it is a legitimate profile.

4. Never ever send money by wire services such as Western Union and MoneyGram to anyone who is requesting it from you by email, Facebook, or any other method that could easily be hacked by someone else, even if you think the request is coming from a friend. Always verify with them directly over the phone or in person.

Taking these simple but important steps can help protect your profile from being cloned. Of course, we know criminals are always one step ahead so if you do find yourself the victim of Facebook identity theft through a cloned profile, please ask your friends to report it to Facebook immediately. Also notify your friends of the fake profile by announcing it in your Facebook status and change your profile picture so your friends can easily identify the difference between the two profiles.

Happy Facebooking!

A New Era in Wealth Management

Final logo_7.3.13

Dear Valued Customers, Clients, Friends and Colleagues,

We’re proud to announce that Kramer Financial is now Kramer Wealth Managers. As many of you know, the way we serve clients has continued to evolve over the past few years. Our new identity had to satisfy our heritage and all of the existing expectations of what our brand stands for while also addressing the evolution in thinking we’ve undergone recently.

So please welcome our new look. It was a labor of love to shift from the old to the new but it was a healthy process of discovering once again what we are, who we serve, and how we want our story to be told. We now look as great on the outside as we operate on the inside. Yes, it’s a new era at Kramer Financial.
As you’ll notice, we have changed “Financial” to “Wealth Managers” in the logo and there is an important reason for it. By addressing that we are indeed “Wealth Managers” we are signifying that we are actively engaged in the process of advising, guiding and managing our clients needs every bit as much as we are their wealth. We are here to serve you.

To keep things clear, we’ll cover some basics:

• We have the same exceptional team

• We continue to offer the same services

• We are in the same locations – Frederick and Austin

• We have the same phone numbers

Thank you all for your continued support and enthusiasm during this exciting time for us.
We are delighted with the new look and thrilled to be here to serve you.

Yours Sincerely,

Lee Kramer

Dave Frank

Danny Lacey

Stephanie Summers