AAM Monthly Newsletter for December, 2022

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 higher in November on lower inflation data and as the Fed indicated that it may be ready to slow future rate hikes.

Index performance                                      Nov 2022____    YTD 2022_

  • The S&P index                                +5.38%               -14.89%
  • Dow Jones industrial 30               +5.67%               -4.81%
  • The NASDAQ Index                        +4.37%               -26.70%
  • The Russell 2000 Small cap          +2.15%               -15.98%
  • EAFE International Index              +13.17%             -14.68%
  • The US Dollar                                 -5.13%                +10.76%            
  • Oil                                                    -6.91%                +7.10%
  • Gold                                                 +9.04%               -2.61%
  • 10-Year Treasury Yield                 3.69%                  1.50% on 12/31/2021
  • 30-Year Treasury Yield                 3.80%                  1.91% on 12/31/2021                     

Volatility remained high in November for the S&P 500 index.  The index began at 3871, fell to a low of 3720 then rose to finish at 4080 for a difference of 360 points or about 9.7% from low to high.

After starting the month lower, stocks enjoyed their largest one day gain since 2020 and kept the momentum going to the end of the month with the Fed indicating they are on track to slow the pace of rate hikes but will remain cautious.

The US Dollar and gold moved lower while gold continued to march higher.

Right about when it looked like markets were going to head lower, they did an about face and enjoyed the largest one-day gain since 2020 of over 5.5%. If you tried to time the market and missed this day your returns for the month may have been negative.  This is why we stay in the market and diversified. 

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 into contraction territory and missed estimates.
Jobs – The November payroll report came in above expectations adding another 263,000 jobs, unemployment held steady at 3.7% as expected and average hourly earnings rose 0.6% which was higher than expected.
Housing Prices – FHFA home prices rose while Shiller and home prices rose a little less than expected.
Housing starts – Both housing starts and building permits fell but beat expectations.
Existing home sales – Fell but beat estimates.
GDP – 3Q second estimate beat estimates gaining 2.9%
Retail Sales – Rose and beat expectations.
Leading indicators – Fell more than expected (th straight monthly drop)
Durable goods orders – Rose but missed estimates.
Inflation data was lower – consumer prices rose less than expected, producer prices rose less than expected, both import and export prices fell while PCE prices rose a little less than expected.

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

Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates were lower over the last month.   The national average on mortgage as per Bloomberg.com shows the 15-year rate is now at 6.04% and the 30-year rate is at 6.64%. These rates are as of 12/11/2022 and may include points.   

Short-Term Cash and 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 and I am going to start tracking I-bond rates and money market rates as well.

6 mo CD @ 4.65%           1-Yr CD @ 4.80%             I-Bonds @ 6.89% (Until the end of April, 2023)

2-Yr CD @ 4.75%             5-Yr CD @ 4.00%            Schwab Money Market 3.85%

Tips and Suggestions

The next quarterly estimated tax payments are due 1/15/2023 for the 4th quarter of 2022.  Go to www.IRS.gov to make your payment today (if needed).

With yields heading up and stocks down 15-20% this year it could be a good time to put some excess cash reserves to work.  I can manage these dollars for you or give you advice on what type of investments to use based on your goals.  Schedule a meeting soon to discuss.

Another good option for cash reserves are I-bonds if you hold the money for 12 months or more. Purchases are limited to $10,000 per year per person.  www.treasurydirect.gov  

It is time to start planning for 2023!  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 2023 cash flow plan to maximize your health savings account, 401k, 457, 403b or IRA contributions for 2022.

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 get your FAFSA done beginning October 1.  The sooner you fill out your FAFSA the better chance you have for financial aid.

Considering which colleges are the best fit based on your financial circumstances and your child’s academic experience?  I have access to a program that can help!

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!

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

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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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