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The Best of What They Said and I Read week ending 7/16/2017

Short excerpts from articles I found interesting.

I may not agree with the author and the following material is not intended as investment advice.

Barron’s – July 15, 2017 - The Dangers of a Record Dow –– by Randall W. Forsyth

  •    “Another week, another record. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended on Friday at record highs, with respective gains of 1.4% and 1%, while the Nasdaq Composite posted a 2.6% advance for the week, for its second-highest close on record.”
  •  “…The stock market has gone a long stretch without approaching anything resembling a correction. Forget about a 10% dip, the arbitrary definition for a correction; it has been more than a year since there has been so much as a 5% pullback in the S&P 500, according to Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial. It’s only the sixth time since 1950 that the S&P has gone 12 months without a 5% dip, and it’s the longest period without such a shallow decline since 1995, he adds.”
  •  “All of which may leave investors unprepared for volatility. “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors,” according to an old proverb repeated by Brian Singer, head of the dynamic allocation strategies team and portfolio manager at William Blair & Co.”

Blue Zones – July 13, 2017 - Science Confirms: Coffee Can Add Years to Your Life

  • “What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? For many Americans, the day begins by trudging to the coffee pot or stopping for a daily latte before rushing into the office. …While coffee is often a hotly-debated health topic, it’s shown to carry many health benefits.”
  •  “…The American Heart Association found that consuming coffee, both caffeinated and decaf, was associated with a lower risk of total mortality. Other major studies confirm that coffee drinkers live longer than those who don’t drink it, and have lower risks of early death.  Five science-backed ways coffee benefits life expectancy and overall health:
  1. It provides essential antioxidants.
  2. There is a strong correlation between coffee and mood, particularly in women.
  3. It can lower inflammation.
  4. It can lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
  5. It can lower the risk of prostate cancer in men.”

 Social Security Administration – July 13, 2017 – No Change for Social Security Combined Trust Fund Reserves Depletion Year Says Board of Trustees

  • “The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds. The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2034, the same as projected last year, with 77 percent of benefits payable at that time. The DI Trust Fund will become depleted in 2028, extended from last year’s estimate of 2023, with 93 percent of benefits still payable.”
  • “…The combined trust fund reserves are still growing and will continue to do so through 2021. Beginning in 2022, the total annual cost of the program is projected to exceed income…The year when the combined trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, is 2034 – the same as projected last year. At that time, there will be sufficient income coming in to pay 77 percent of scheduled benefits.”


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