AAM January Newsletter

Hello and thank you for reading my e-newsletter.

I hope you find the information useful.  If you enjoy the newsletter please forward to a friend.   Please also let me know what you like to see so that I may continue to provide relevant content.

If you are a client of mine, thank you for your continued business and please update me on any changes in your situation do that I can make the appropriate changes to your financial plan and investments.

If you are not a client please consider giving me a call or emailing me if you would like to begin a plan to get you to your financial goals.  I consider myself different from many of the advisors out there for the following reasons:
1) You will not be pressured to purchase any products because I am a fee-only advisor and a NAPFA® Member (no commission sales)
2) You will have a comprehensive financial plan completed by a Certified Financial Planner ™ Practitioner or CFP® – I have committed to financial planning and continuing education.
3) You will have a reasonable fee for the services performed.  I charge less than the typical large financial planning firm by being a small shop and keeping my business expenses low.

Ronald J. VanSurksum, CFP®

For more insight on these groups and myself please click on the following links

Please see below for financial articles and tips


Stocks surged higher in December despite lingering inflation, interest rate and Omicron concerns.

Index performance                                       Dec 2021____    YTD 2021_

  • The S&P index                                 +4.36%                 +26.89%
  • Dow Jones industrial 30                +5.38%                 +18.73%
  • The NASDAQ Index                         +0.69%                 +21.39%
  • The Russell 2000 Small cap          +2.11%                +13.69%
  • EAFE International Index              +2.39%                +7.83%
  • The US Dollar                                   -0.33%                 +6.28% 
  • Oil                                                       +13.64%              +55.01%
  • Gold                                                    +3.21%                 -3.64%
  • 10-Year Treasury Yield                   1.50%                   0.92% on 12/31/2020
  • 30-Year Treasury Yield                   1.91%                   1.65% on 12/31/2020                   

Volatility was moderately high in December for the S&P 500 index.  The index began at 4,567, dipped to a low of 4,513 on 12/1 then rose to a high of 4,793 on 12/29 before ending the month at 4,766 for a difference of 280 points or about 5.8% from high to low.

Large caps stocks led the way higher while small cap, international and technology stocks all posted smaller gains.

Oil surged and gold moved higher while the US Dollar fell slightly.

December started lower but quickly turned higher as it appeared as though the Omicron variant was a weaker version of Covid despite increasing cases.  Going forward I would expect more volatility as Omicron works it’s way though our population and the markets digest higher interest rates with a more aggressive Federal Reserve.

Please contact me if you have questions or simply just wish to talk about your plan.  I can meet you in my office or virtually over the computer and I am here to help!

Recent US Economic Data

US Manufacturing – ISM manufacturing fell and missed expectations.
Jobs – The December payroll report came in below expectations once again adding 199,000 jobs, unemployment fell to 3.9% beating estimates and average hourly earnings were 0.6% higher.
Housing Prices – Both Shiller and FHFA home prices rose with Shiller home prices slightly missing expectations.
Housing starts – Both housing starts and building permits rose and beat estimates.
Existing home sales – Rose but missed estimates.
GDP – 3Q GDP final estimate rose a better than expected 2.3%.
Retail Sales – Rose less than expected.
Leading indicators – Rose and beat estimates.
Durable goods orders – Rose and beat expectations.
Inflation data remained hot – producer prices rose more than expected, consumer prices rose more than expected (highest since 1982), import and export prices both rose, unit labor costs were higher than expected while PCE prices rose a little higher than expectations.

For weekly market updates please visit my blog at www.aamllc.com  

Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates continued higher over the last month.   The national average on mortgage as per Bloomberg.com shows the 15-year rate is now at 2.62% and the 30-year rate is at 3.35%. These rates are as of 1/11/2022 and may include points.   

CD Rates
CD rates were mixed over the last month.  Charles Schwab has access to CD’s from banks all over the country.  Here are some of the current CD rates offered.

6 mo CD @ 0.20%           1-Yr CD @ 0.50%

2-Yr CD @ 0.75%             5-Yr CD @ 1.65%

Tips and Suggestions

The next quarterly estimated tax payments are due 01/15/2022 for the 4th quarter of 2021.  Go to www.IRS.gov to make your payment today (if needed).

It is time to start planning for 2022!  What would you like to accomplish next year?  How much to you want to save and home much do you need to save to reach your financial goals? 

Develop a 2022 cash flow plan to maximize your health savings account, 401k, 457, 403b or IRA contributions for 2021.

Is your estate plan up-to-date?  This is a good time to review your estate plan and update your beneficiary designations.

If you have a child attending college next fall it is FAFSA time once again beginning 10/1.  The sooner you fill out your FAFSA the better chance you have for financial aid.

Do you have children age 18 years or older?  You may want to plan for an emergency by obtaining HIPPA authorizations or power-of-attorney so that you can get health information, if needed.

ABLE accounts are now available in the State of Michigan.  ABLE accounts are for certain individuals with disabilities to accumulate funds for their long-term needs without disqualifying themselves for Medicaid.  Check it out at www.miable.org or give me a call.

When is the last time you reviewed your insurance plan?  Is your disability income keeping up with your income?  Do you have any term life insurance policies expiring soon?  Do you need additional coverage or less coverage?  Let’s discuss.

Are you on track to meet your financial goals?  Do you have a plan to get you where you want to be?  If you do not you may not reach your goals.  Let’s make a plan to Maximize your financial potential.

Do you need a debt payoff plan?  Let’s work on one together.

Need help with your 401k?  We can do a virtual meeting to allow me to help review your 401k online and help you rebalance.  We can access the plan together online, I can give you control to log in and then we can discuss and make changes together.  Let me know if you want to discuss!

Are your cash reserves earning less than 1%?  Consider a diversified mix of income funds to give your secondary cash reserves a yield boost.

If you have any questions or if you would like to have help with your financial plan please give me – your Fee-only Certified Financial Planning ™ Practitioner – a call.

Useful Links

Work on Your Financial Plan:  


View Your Schwab Accounts:  www.schwab.com

Check your risk tolerance:



All articles are now found on my website blog: www.aamllc.com

Social Security Tips – December 2021

Don’t Gamble With Your Future

What Do You Need Most in 2022?

Get Ahead!  Give up bad habits today and enjoy the good life

College Smart – Get the biggest bang for you buck

Social Security – How Much Could You Lose by Drawing Early

Halloween: More than Kids, Costumes and Candy

Withdrawing Savings Too Soon Could Be Costly

Micro-Saving – Savings Cents Makes Sense

Contact MeDo you want more information on how I can help you?  Give me a call or drop me an email to review or set up a free initial consultation.

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