What Role Can you Play in the National Economy?

Thanks to our nation’s growth in employment levels, low gas prices and stability in the real estate market, it was expected that consumer confidence would remain steady.

Instead, the index measuring consumer confidence dropped to its lowest mark of the year, from 91.1 in August to 85.7 in mid-September.

So, what gives? Some experts believe this lackluster attitude is in response to the volatility the stock market experienced in August, when the S&P 500 dropped by about 6 percent.

Still, this disappointment on the part of consumers has one upside: They are off the sidelines and keeping a close eye on what happens with their assets.

This is a good reminder that no matter how well off you are, you should never be complacent about your finances. As your financial professional, we consider it part of our role to help clients feel confident about their future.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “August’s stock market mayhem has Americans feeling worse about everything,” from Business Insider, Sept. 11, 2015.]

In a recent Wall Street Journal survey of private economists, more than half believed that an increase in consumer spending could have a significant impact on economic expansion, particularly moving into the fourth-quarter holiday season.

The lesson here? Don’t be a cheapskate … although you may get a kick out of reading about some of the wealthiest cheapskates of all time in the article below.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “What’s Most Likely to Shift Economy Toward Faster Growth? Consumers,” from The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 11, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “10 of the Richest Cheapskates of All Time,” from Time.com, 2015.]

Researchers at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank recently compiled data on how people of all ages manage their money. While the results are mixed across all demographics, there was a meaningful tip that applies to all ages: Don’t judge yourself based on point-in-time circumstances, because life accomplishments and income accumulation is a process. Wealth typically doesn’t happen overnight.

[CLICK HERE to view the video, “What Roles Do Age and Birth Year Play in Income and Wealth?” from St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, July 15, 2015.]

Here’s another idea to play a role in our nation’s health: Engage in political oversight. We’re embarking on an election year, and the media is already running rampant with stories. Make sure you get the facts — the real facts, not some pundit’s interpretation of them.

Although we are continually inundated with campaign rhetoric and a muckraking frenzy, don’t forget that Congress has some pretty big issues to resolve before the end of the year. If you’ve never written your congressional representatives in the past, you may want to take advantage of easy online communication forms to let them know what issues are most important to you as a constituent.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Five Fiscal Deadlines to Watch This Fall,” from The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 11, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Find Your Representative,” from House.gov, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “How to contact U.S. Senators,” from Senate.gov, 2015.]

As always, we stay on top of today’s issues, headlines and economic news and understand how various factors can impact your financial future. If you’d like to get together to discuss your personal situation, please give us a call.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives.

The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions.

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