AAM Monthly Email Newsletter – March 2022

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March 2022 AAM 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 continued lower in February as Russia invaded Ukraine sending commodity prices soaring and putting more pressure on the Fed to raise rates and fight inflation.

Index performance                                       Feb 2022____    YTD 2022_

  • The S&P index                                 -3.14%                 -8.23%
  • Dow Jones industrial 30                -3.53%                 -6.73%
  • The NASDAQ Index                         -3.43%                 -12.10%
  • The Russell 2000 Small cap          +0.97%                -8.78%
  • EAFE International Index              -3.43%                -6.94%
  • The US Dollar                                   +0.16%                 +1.21% 
  • Oil                                                       +8.59%                 +27.27%
  • Gold                                                    +6.23%                 +4.37%
  • 10-Year Treasury Yield                   1.91%                   1.50% on 12/31/2021
  • 30-Year Treasury Yield                   2.16%                   1.91% on 12/31/2021                   

Volatility continued to be very high in February for the S&P 500 index.  The index began at 4,516, rose to a high of 4,589 on 2/2 then fell to a low of 4,115 on 2/24 before ending the month at 4,374 for a difference of 474 points or about 10.3% from high to low.

Small cap stocks held on to a small gain after a dismal January while the other major stock indexes fell.

Oil, gold and the US dollar were all higher in February.

Markets remained volatile in February with major markets entering correction territory which is a drop of 10% or more from recent highs.  Russia added to the current economic uncertainty by invading Ukraine and sending commodity prices soaring.  This will most likely push out the inflation concerns another 6 months or more through the end of 2022.  The Fed is set to begin hiking interest rates in March but may move a little slower than initially expected with the recent volatility related to the war in Ukraine.  Keep in mind that the markets usually anticipate and over-react to events which makes it difficult to time.  Historically it is better to stay invested, rebalance and stay diversified when these events occur.

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 rose and beat expectations.
Jobs – The February payroll report came in well above expectations adding 678,000 jobs, unemployment fell to 3.8% beat estimates and average hourly earnings were flat and missed.
Housing Prices – Both Shiller and FHFA home prices rose with Shiller rising more than expected.
Housing starts –Housing starts fell and missed estimates while building permits rose and beat expectations.
Existing home sales – Rose and beat estimates.
GDP – 4Q GDP second estimate was a better than expected at 7.0%.
Retail Sales – Rose and beat estimates.
Leading indicators – Fell and missed expectations.
Durable goods orders – Rose and beat estimates.
Inflation data was higher – producer prices rose more than expected, consumer prices rose a little more than expected, import and export prices both rose, unit labor costs rose more than expected while PCE prices rose a little more than estimates.

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

Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates were much higher again last month.   The national average on mortgage as per Bloomberg.com shows the 15-year rate is now at 3.50% and the 30-year rate is at 4.27%. These rates are as of 3/8/2022 and may include points.   

CD Rates
CD rates were higher as well 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 @ 0.60%           1-Yr CD @ 1.00%

2-Yr CD @ 1.75%             5-Yr CD @ 2.10%

Tips and Suggestions

It’s IRA season now and you have until tax filing (4/18) to make your 2021 contributions.  If you are under 50 years old you can contribute $6,000 and if you are 50+ in 2021 you can contribute $7,000.  Consider making a Roth or a traditional IRA contribution and income limits may apply so let’s talk if you are not sure what to do.

The next quarterly estimated tax payments are due 04/18/2022 for the 1st quarter of 2022.  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

The website has a new look!  Check it out!

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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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