MWM Weekly Update

The Week of November 1, 2021

MWM Weekly Update

The Week of November 1, 2021

Q3 Market Commentary | Despite posting strong returns over the summer, global equity markets began to lose steam by the latter half of September.

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"The greatest problem we face today is the proper administration of wealth,
so that the rich and poor can live harmoniously."
- Andrew Carnegie

Greetings, Everyone,

Andrew Carnegie wasn’t always a wealthy man. He was born November 25, 1835, in Dunfermline, Eife, Scotland and had very little formal education, but his family believed in the importance of books and learning. After moving to the United States from Scotland at age 13, Carnegie worked a series of railroad jobs. By 1889, he owned Carnegie Steel Corporation, the largest of its kind in the world. In 1901 he sold his business and expanded his philanthropic work, including the establishment of Carnegie-Mellon University in 1904. He spent the last 18 years of his life giving away what he called "excess wealth" to public causes, just as he outlined in 1889 in his book The Gospel of Wealth. Carnegie claimed that charity should act as a ladder, which the worthy would climb.

I remember learning that Andrew Carnegie believed that if you gave people access to learning, good books and culture they would be inspired to a better life.  Education wasn’t just found in the universities; it was wherever one could access knowledge.

Your Giving Plan

It is the season when many charities are asking for help; it’s giving season. You may not be a wealthy industrialist like Andrew Carnegie, but there are some nice ways you can consider setting up your own giving plan.  We have introduced the concept of Donor Advised Funds (DAF) to many clients. I personally set one up and have enjoyed using it to fund several causes. It is a tax smart way to establish a fund that can be used for your personal giving through grants to charities for your lifetime and beyond.

Here’s how it works:
You open an account naming it as a charitable fund. For example, The John and Mary Jones Charitable Fund. It is an online process. You contribute either cash or appreciated assets. The contributions are generally tax deductible by the donor in the year that they are paid to the DAF. You can name specific charities you’d like to honor or general descriptions of the kinds of 501c3 charities you would support. A sample might be education, humanitarian relief, social services or environmental causes.

A Donor Advised Fund is like a private foundation but requires less money, time, legal assistance, and administration to establish and maintain. Because the DAFs are public charities, they also can enjoy greater tax advantages than private foundations. The amount of the deduction depends on several factors, including the amount of the contribution, the type of property donated and the donor’s adjusted gross income (AGI). Always consult your tax professional for tax advice. We can offer information regarding Donor Advised Funds. Time is always important in getting things done in the last quarter of the calendar year.

Charitable Contributions from IRAs

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 first allowed taxpayers age 70 ½ to make tax-free charitable donations directly from their IRAs. These taxpayers are allowed to exclude from gross income otherwise taxable distribution from their IRA (“qualified charitable distributions,” or QCDs), up to as much as $100,000, that are paid to qualified charities. It was to be a temporary law expiring but was periodically renewed. It was made permanent in the Protect Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015.  

QCDs count toward satisfying any required minimum distributions (RMDs) that would otherwise have to be taken from your IRA. They are calculated against the RMD just as if you had taken the distribution. Caution: You cannot give to private foundations or Donor Advised Funds. QCDs must be to qualified charities directly. However, entities such as schools or churches along with all 501c3 organizations can be OK.  

If you want to know more, please contact your Mercer McGee team.

The Givers Among Us

I am blown away from the stories I hear about people who have given so much to others. Many times, it isn’t money that matters but a selfless personal gift. Our dear Carolyn Muller has given blood to the Red Cross for over 40 years. She has donated more than 220 pints to date and is still adding to that tally. Carolyn’s gifts of blood are certainly selfless and lifesaving.

I met a fantastic lady while running an errand this week. She has sewn over 15,000 face masks and sent them to countries all over the world. She sends them in shipments of 1,000. Her beautiful facemasks have been sent to Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti and the next ones go to Nigeria. Again, a selfless effort.

Have a wonderful week.

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

In the Markets

  • Solid corporate earnings data last week supported a strong week for equities. Investors' fears that rising inflation, supply-chain snarls, labor shortages, and a surge in COVID-19 cases would hinder corporate earnings have yet to materialize. The Nasdaq led the benchmark indexes, followed by the S&P 500, the Dow, and the Russell 2000. The Global Dow dipped lower. Ten-year Treasury yields, gold, and crude oil prices fell, while the dollar advanced. Among the market sectors, consumer discretionary, communication services, and information technology increased the most, while energy, financials, industrials, and utilities decreased.
  • Wall Street opened the last week of October in fine fashion, as investors anticipated another spate of positive corporate earnings data. The Dow gained 0.2% and the S&P 500 rose 0.5%, each index closing at a record high. The big gainers were the Nasdaq and the Russell 2000, which added 0.9%. The Global Dow climbed 0.3%. Consumer discretionary, energy, and materials led the market sectors. Crude oil prices and 10-year Treasury yields dipped, while the dollar inched higher.
  • Last Tuesday proved to be another strong day for equities, with only the Russell 2000 failing to post a gain among the major benchmark indexes. The Dow was up 0.4%, and the S&P 500 rose 0.2% to eke out new record highs. The Nasdaq finished up 0.1% and the Global Dow advanced 0.3%. Crude oil and the dollar closed higher, while 10-year Treasuries fell for the fourth consecutive trading day. Most of the market sectors advanced, led by energy, utilities, and health care. Communication services and industrials declined.
  • The Dow and the S&P 500 fell last Wednesday after setting new records the previous day. The Russell 2000 and the Global Dow also drifted lower, while the Nasdaq was flat. Communication services and consumer discretionary were the only market sectors to advance by the close of trading. Energy fell 2.9% and financials dipped 1.7%. Ten-year Treasury yields closed below 1.60% for the first time in two weeks. Crude oil prices and the dollar also retreated.
  • Stocks rebounded last Thursday on another round of strong corporate earnings data. Real estate, industrials, and consumer discretionary helped drive the S&P 500 up 1.0% to a new record high. The Dow also recovered from Wednesday's losses, gaining 0.7%, while the Nasdaq jumped 1.4% to reach a record high. Prices on 10-year Treasuries fell pushing yields higher. Crude oil prices rose to $83.13 per barrel. The dollar dipped nearly 0.5% against a basket of currencies.
  • Equities closed last week mixed, with the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq posting gains, while the Russell 2000 and the Global Dow dipped lower. Ten-year Treasury yields fell on rising inflation and the prospect of interest-rate hikes. Crude oil prices and the dollar advanced. Communication services, health care, and information technology led the market sectors. Real estate, energy, utilities, and materials lost ground.


The latest employment figures for October are available at the end of this week. September saw 194,000 new jobs added, although the unemployment rate continued to fall, settling at 4.8%. The Markit purchasing managers surveys for manufacturing and services are also out this week. Survey respondents have noted that supply bottlenecks and labor shortages have hindered overall production.

Source: Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.

Articles & Education

Capital Markets Update and Outlook: January 2023

Although the one-two punch of rising interest rates and inflationary pressure set the global capital markets on shaky footing through much of 2022, the U.S. economy kept motoring ahead. How are financial conditions shaping up in the new year?

Maximize Tax Benefits with a Qualified Charitable Distribution

The qualified charitable distribution has become popular with some IRA holders as a way of donating to charities while saving money on taxes.
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.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

The ChFC® mark is the property of The American College, which reserves sole rights to its use, and is used by permission.

The Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000 Index, which represent approximately 8% of the total market capitalization of the Russell 3000 Index.
The Global Dow is an equal-weighted stock index. It is composed of the stocks of 150 top companies from around the world as selected by Dow Jones editors and based on the companies' long history of success and popularity among investors.

Sector investments are companies engaged in business related to a specific sector. They are subject to fierce competition and their products and services may be subject to rapid obsolescence.  There are additional risks associated with investing in an individual sector, including limited diversification. The companies engaged in the communications and technology industries are subject to fierce competition and their products and services may be subject to rapid obsolescence. Investing in the energy sector involves special risks, including the potential adverse effects of state and federal regulation and may not be suitable for all investors.

There is no guarantee that ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investment products or strategies will produce returns similar to traditional investments.  ESG investment criteria exclude certain securities/products for non-financial reasons, and therefore investors may forego some market opportunities available to those who do not use such criteria.

Making Life a Richer Experience