Broker Check

Monday Money Report

| December 16, 2019

Both the Dow and S&P set new all-time highs on Thursday, largely on reports that the trade deal with China is close to being finalized. The previous week the November jobs report was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the Department of Labor. It showed a gain of over a quarter-million jobs, with unemployment hovering around 3.5%.

Strong economic data will hopefully ease some family discussions over holiday dinners. A more important conversation to have with aging parents or adult children is around estate planning. Older generations often do not want to share information about their financial position, or estate plan, for a variety of reasons. They may believe money should be kept private, or they may be embarrassed about their finances. They don’t want to give up control, or they think people just want their money.

At the same time, these are important conversations to have while everyone is still able to have them. We’ve posted information about two great books that can help start the discussion on our Facebook page for CovingtonAlsina.

One soft way to start things is to talk about your own planning work. Explain you’re working with an estate attorney or financial planner, and want to know your parents’ opinion, or what your parents did when they did their planning. If a friend or family member has had a medical crisis or passed away, mention that, and ask how your mom or dad would like to have that situation handled for them.

If you’re the parent, we recommend sharing your overall plan, and making sure everyone knows where your important legal documents are stored, and keeping a list of your doctors, medications, and medical conditions. For a number of reasons, we rarely recommend sharing specific financial information unless there are capacity issues.

There are a variety of organizing tools available for this, either on paper or the computer. As part of the financial planning process, we provide our planning clients with Everplans software. It not only allows you to enter all your financial, legal and estate information, it also allows you to give access to family members, but at different times. For example, your medical power of attorney might have access to your medical information now, but your executor or personal representative would only be able to see legal and financial information after you’ve passed away.

I always say I can’t reduce the grief, stress, and other emotions related to a medical crisis or death of a loved one. We can, through proper planning, help keep logistics and paperwork from making things worse.

If you’re interested in learning more, our calendar of educational events for 2020 is up on our website,

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Great Valley Advisor Group, a Registered Investment Advisor. CovingtonAlsina and Great Valley Advisor Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.

CovingtonAlsina and LPL Financial do not provide legal advice or services.

All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

The opinions voiced in this show are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies or investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult with your attorney, accountant, and financial advisor or tax advisor prior to investing.