MWM Weekly Update

The Week of December 20th, 2021

MWM Weekly Update

The Week of December 20th, 2021

“The Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
Maybe Christmas, he thought doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas, perhaps means a little bit more!"
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)


Happy Holidays Everyone,

The end of one year and the start of another inspire us to reflect, remember, and begin planning anew. This is a busy time of year for your Mercer Advisors team as we wrap up projects and have year-end client meetings. All while we wrap presents and plan family celebrations.

Although 2021 has been another challenging year marked by historical events and continued disruption to our work and home lives, it has also been a year of success and continued learning for all of us. Just one year ago McGee Wealth Management became a part of Mercer Advisors. It was a bumpy start as we were wrestling with COVID-19 restrictions and working remotely with our local and national teams. We are grateful that we were welcomed so warmly by our Mercer Advisors leadership and fellow advisors. A special thank you to all of you who have worked with us as we were going through our transition. In 2022 we will have completed all the software modifications and will continue to learn even more. We are excited to grow as a very important Mercer Advisors office in our region.

“True Love” - The 12 Days of Christmas
- courtesy of J.P. Morgan Asset Management

“This year’s holiday season has seen consumers return to in-person stores after a bah-humbug 2020. However, businesses have struggled to keep shelves stocked and online shoppers have been met with long delivery times and items on backorder—a nightmare before Christmas. Not only has it been hard to get presents, but also the cost of those items has increased. Consumer inflation rose by 8.1% over two years ago in November and another timely inflation gauge, PNC’s Christmas Price Index, is also up 5.7% relative to pre-pandemic levels. PNC applies its own analysis to track the prices of the gifts for “True Love” from The 12 Days of Christmas song and this year’s reading highlights several themes in the economy. Live music performance has finally returned but the cost of it has increased, with the price of 11 pipers piping up 7.1% vs. 2019. Workers have seen the largest wage hikes in decades, but the wage gap prevails. Ten lords-a-leaping are making more this year while ladies dancing saw no wage increase. High costs for food and labor have sent prices for birds higher, with large spikes in the prices of six geese-a-laying and two turtle doves. The good news for True Love is that the price for gold rings has only increased by a moderate 9%. Further, while turtle dove inflation is near record levels, demand should cool in 2022 as central banks shift more hawkish. All told, treating your true love may be more expensive but Americans at least have more money in their pockets and plenty to celebrate this holiday season.”

Here it is, the true cost of the 12 Days of Christmas 2019-2021

A Tribute to Winnie
Last week our dear friend and client, Winnie, passed from this life to another. She was one of the delights of my life having selected me as her financial planner in Spokane, Washington in 1986 after analyzing my handwriting saying that I would be an open and caring person to work with. Winnie and I had a real connection. Over our time together I attended holidays at her home, funerals and weddings and of course major birthday parties. She was 98 and had lived life full out. She traveled the world lecturing on handwriting analysis on cruise ships. She’d discovered she could get free travel for two doing this. She’d been an English teacher at Eastern Washington University and loved writing her Limerick newsletters every year. The world was a better place because of her and she is missed.

– Fynnigan and Riley Hunt (grandchildren) sending holiday cheer. As we wind up 2021, we know that the year ahead will have its own surprises and challenges for all of us. For whatever is ahead in 2022, may you find the best in life and like our friend, Winnie, find laughter and fun along the way.

Judith McGee, L.H.D., CFP®, ChFC®
Executive Vice President and Senior Lead Advisor

End of Year Holiday Office Closures
Please note that our offices will be closed Dec. 24, 31 and January 3 for the holidays. If you need immediate assistance during December 31 and January 1, please contact the Client Solutions Team at 1-855-389-0550.

In the Markets

  • Omicron, escalating prices, and the tightening of monetary policy by central banks in the United States and around the world took center stage last week. The prospect of higher interest rates in 2022 could make it less appealing to own riskier investments. All of the stock market indexes ended the week in the red, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq taking the biggest hit. Ten-year Treasury yields fell 8 basis points, and the price of gold increased, as some investors took a more defensive stance. The dollar rose and crude oil prices fell, albeit slightly.
  • Worries about the fast-spreading COVID-19 variant caused U.S. stocks to fall back from a record high on Monday. The Nasdaq and the Russell 2000 led the retreat, both falling 1.4%, while the S&P 500 and the Dow fell 0.9%. The Global Dow was flat. Ten-year Treasury yields dropped to close at 1.42%, and crude oil prices declined slightly, while the dollar advanced. The market sectors were also mixed, with real estate, utilities, and consumer staples showing strength, while energy, consumer discretionary, and information technology lagged.
  • Stocks dropped again last Tuesday, as a larger-than-expected jump in producer prices caused investors to fret about the potential for more aggressive Fed action against inflation. The Nasdaq posted the largest loss (-1.1%), followed by the Russell 2000 (-1.0%), the S&P 500 (-0.8%), the Dow (-0.3%), and the Global Dow (-0.2%). Crude oil prices slipped after the International Energy Agency announced that the global oil market has returned to surplus due to fast-spreading Omicron and the resulting reduction in oil demand.
  • On Wednesday, news that a more hawkish Federal Reserve now expects to wind down stimulus and raise interest rates more rapidly than previously thought was well received by investors. Each of the major benchmark indexes posted gains, led by the Nasdaq, which bounced back 2.2%. The Russell 2000 gained 1.7%, followed by the S&P 500 (1.6%), the Dow (1.1%), and the Global Dow (0.3%). The 10-year Treasury yield inched up to 1.46%.
  • A sharp drop in the shares of large technology companies dragged the U.S. stock market lower last Thursday. The Nasdaq dropped 2.5%, marking the fourth consecutive day that prices swung more than 1% in either direction. The Russell 2000 (-2.0%), the S&P 500 (-0.9%), and the Dow (-0.1%) also fell, while the Global Dow rose (1.0%). Information technology and consumer discretionary suffered the largest declines. Despite losses in the major benchmark indexes, 8 of the market's 11 sectors saw gains, led by financials and materials. Treasury yields ticked down, the dollar weakened, and crude oil prices rose.
  • Equities generally closed lower after a volatile week on Friday. The Russell 2000 stood out by posting a 1.0% gain. The Dow declined 1.5%, followed by the S&P 500 (-1.0%) and the Global Dow (-0.9%). The Nasdaq was flat. Treasury yields dipped, crude oil prices dropped, and the dollar advanced. All of the market sectors lost ground, with financials (-2.3%) and energy (-2.2%) tumbling the furthest.


In consideration of the Christmas-New Year holidays next week, several important economic reports are available this week. The final report on third-quarter gross domestic product is available this week. The economy advanced at an annualized rate of 2.1%, according to the second estimate. November data on sales of new and existing homes is also out this week. October proved to be a good month for the housing sector, although residential sales may curtail a bit in November. The personal income and outlays report is also out, albeit a week earlier than normal. According to the previous report, prices at the consumer level have risen 5.0% for the 12 months ended in October.

Source: Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.

Articles & Education

Investing and Politics – Are They Connected?

The midterm results suggest there will be few policy changes in Washington during the next two years.

Giving Thanks this Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is an excellent time to talk to family about philanthropy and meaningful gifting. Here’s a few ideas to get started.
Investment Term of the Week

Thought of the Week

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Investment products are: Not deposits. Not FDIC or NCUA Insured. Not guaranteed by the financial institution. Subject to risk. May Lose Value.The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.  The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of the Wall Street Journal. The NASDAQ composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system. Keep in mind that individuals cannot invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance. Individual investor's results will vary. Past performance does not guarantee future results. This information is not intended as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security referred to herein. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or guarantee against loss.

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Making Life a Richer Experience