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September 2023 Newsletter – Getting Focused After Fun

September 2023 Newsletter – Getting Focused
After Fun

Uniquely Waterstone for our unique Waterstone clients 

In this Issue: 

  • Market: Adjusting NASDAQ 100 index, Denmark’s market driver
  • Fed’s Job: The highest and the lowest inflation rates in 2022, credit card debt, new jobs, average hourly rate.
  • Infrastructure: September is the opening of Medicare Enrollment and Adjustment Season.
  • Adulting: the need for estate documents
  • Talent Watchlist: David Hogg, Leaders We Deserve
  • September Invitations: Fringe Festival and Town Hall AI
  • It Ain’t Over: Applause for this documentary

Single Stocks Overshadowing Markets. 

NASDAQ 100 will execute a very rare “special rebalance” to redistribute the weight of the participants.  Just six megacap (capitalization) companies: Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet, Nvidia, Amazon and Tesla made up 50.9% of the total market capitalization of the index….too few stocks exert too much influence.  These six are being trimmed back to 40% giving more stocks greater share in performance. 

Danish corporation Novo Nordisk (NVO) is maker of FDA approved drugs Wegovy for diabetes and Ozempic for weight loss. Recently NVO market value has exceeded the size of the entire Danish economy. Its soaring share price has made it the most valuable public company in Europe. 

The Federal Reserve Doing Its Job

Inflation is connected to the economic principles of supply and demand and can be viewed positively or negatively depending on the specific situation and the rate of change.

  • A small amount of inflation is usually viewed as a signal that a country's economy is growing and its residents have adequate income, both good things. 
  • Too much inflation happens when prices rise faster than wages, causing currency to lose value and consumers to hold back spending.
  • Too little inflation can also be a troubling indication that a country's economy is stagnant and not enough people have enough work. 

The Federal Reserve’s job is to watch the elements.  Without good controls at many levels, we would struggle as other countries listed below:

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Inflation Rates 

(Trading Economics Jan 2022)

  1. Venezuela 1198.0%
  2. Sudan 340.0%
  3. Lebanon 201.0%
  4. Syria 139.0%
  5. Suriname   63.3%
  6. Zimbabwe     60.7%
  7. Argentina       51.2%
  8. Turkey   36.1%
  9. Iran   35.2%
  10. Ethiopia   33.0%

Top 10 Countries with the Lowest Inflation Rates 

(Trading Economics Jan 2022)

  1. Rwanda -2.0%
  2. Chad -0.5%
  3. Maldives -0.2%
  4. Gabon -0.6%
  5. Japan -0.6%
  6. Bahrain -0.7%
  7. Figi -0.8%
  8. Vanuatu -0.9%
  9. Bolivia -0.9%
  10. Saudi Arabia -1.1%  

Fed Watch:  Credit card debt is back in the forefront:   Americans’ credit card balances rose briskly in the second quarter, hitting a sobering milestone of more than $1 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported in August. 

Fed Watch:  July jobs report 187,000 new jobs added despite high interest rates and inflation but payroll gains over the summer were revised down sharply.

The unemployment rate, which is calculated from a separate survey of households, rose from 3.5% to 3.8%, highest since February 2022, the Labor Department.

Average hourly earnings rose 8 cents to $33.82, pushing down the yearly to increase 4.3% from 4.4%.  Again, slowing growth.

September begins Medicare Enrollment Period.

Contact our go-to professional, Jayne Van Zile, CLTC for your questions, your sign up and customized health insurance strategies.

Have changing health or questions, contact Jayne for professional care.

Given unexpected cancer experiences, we know Medicare and the advantage plans are key to later life safety. Keep these important health insurance accounts in good order.  

October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Reminder: It’s about the mammogram…every year.

Adulting- Off into the world via college or work, young adults 18 + need their own power of attorney (poa), health care agent and will. If there is an accident, illness/pandemic or other disaster, the health and business systems require those documents to advance care and share information. Family relationships no longer count. Arm adulting children with official documents.

Show them our Homefront Notebook system to help them organize their changing world. Paper still counts when others might need to keep your world going. Online accounts and passwords become elusive services if mom and dad, siblings or others need to step in during an emergency.

Talent Watchlist – David Hogg, a survivor of the 2018 Parkland school shooting and cofounder of March for Our Lives (stronger gun control policies), has started a new political action committee (PAC) aiming to encourage young people to run for public office. 

Leaders We Deserve will focus on recruiting candidates in different states, providing support for campaigns, building volunteer networks and running paid media campaigns. “Young people have a habit of being underestimated … While we might be young, we are powerful.” Hogg says.  

The trend among young voters appears to be issue oriented vs political party affiliated.  They support their first candidate, Avery Bishop, age 27, Texas House District 112: abortion rights, racial justice, gun safety advocate. 

Waterstone invitations:  Out of your box; Experience excellence; Appreciate community.

Fringe Festival – Sept 12-23; 500 performances, 30 venues.  Rochester is one of 200 world cities to participate in this celebration of creative energy. Started in Edinburgh, Scotland, it provides opportunities for big names and unknown artists building their careers in a wide range of performance genres.  See for schedules and ticket information. Rochester features one of the few circulating Spiegeltents, traveling performance tents of wood, canvas, mirrors and stained glass.  This is a cool experience! 

Borinquen Dance Theatre (BDT) performs at Fringe Festival on Friday, Sept 22, 7:30 (likely one hour) at School of the Arts/free, easy parking across the street at the MAG off Prince at University. Email me for tickets (up to 4) as Waterstone guests.  BDT is a long established, private enterprise theater of Latin dance drawing from the talents of Rochester City School District students. Waterstone is a long time, quiet sponsor of BDT. 

“The real problem of humanity is the following:  We have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and godlike technology.” – Dr. E O Wilson, Sociobiologist

ChatGPT has registered an estimated 1 Billion users since its launch less than 1 year ago.

The Center for Humane Technology:  Our Mission is to shift technology to a more humane future that supports our well-being, democratic functioning and shared information environment.

Get grounded with a good overview of AI from technology leaders motivated by a more humane future. 

Join us for an office screening:  AI Town Hall by The Center for Humane Technology - 1 hour YouTube with discussion to follow. 

Wednesday, Sept 27:  10 am or 2 pm or 7 pm.  RSVP by email or phone, so we can plan hospitality accordingly. 

Want to watch the Town Hall at home? Want to share this with others?    Click [HERE] for the Town Hall link.

It Ain’t Over, Documentary about Yogi Berra is now featured on Amazon Prime. This film is “credit where credit’s due” for Yogi Berra, the most overlooked superstar in the history of baseball. Spearheaded by his granddaughter, this film provides an accurate history of Yogi Berra’s exceptional career.  It’s a powerful story for baseball fans, cultural history buffs and Boomers who lived the Yogi Berra era. Thumbs up for this good story about this good man. Pass it on!

Click [HERE] for the trailer. 

Note: Kathy will next be in the office September 19 thru September 28. Cheers to Josh who is local, available and always appreciated.

Thanks if you've read to the end. You're our kind of people.
Reach out to us with your questions, comments, needs. 

Securities offered through American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc.(APFS) Member FINRA /SIPC. Investment Advisory Services offered through American Portfolios Advisors, Inc. (APA), an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Waterstone Financial Services is not affiliated with APFS and APA. 

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