September ended as the worst month for the market since March 2020, with a drop of 4.8% for the month, and down 5.1% from the market high set on September 2nd. Even with that, the S&P eked out a positive quarter, up 0.2% for its sixth consecutive quarter of gains. Friday saw a turn, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up over 1%, and the S&P increasing as well.
Taking a longer-term look at things, the S&P 500 is still up about 15% for the year even with the drop in September. The markets remain concerned about inflation, the pending debt ceiling resolution, and supply chain issues. The Federal Reserve Bank has indicated they will begin reducing, or tapering, bond purchases in the fourth quarter.
On Friday, the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, opened online. If you have a high school senior or college student, now is the time to gather your information and apply. The application for financial aid does not consider the higher cost of living in this area, which means that many families may not qualify for need-based aid. The FAFSA is also used as a first step at many schools for merit aid, or scholarships based on your student’s grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities. Which means everyone with a college student should complete the FAFSA, regardless of income. More select private schools may also require the CSS Profile, or College Scholarship Service Profile, in addition to the FAFSA.
Aid is also first-come, first-served, so you should complete the form as soon as you can. This is the last year where only the custodial parent needs to complete the form – starting in 2022, both parents will need to share their income before aid is calculated.
October is Financial Planning Month. Your action to take this week is to update your plan. Don’t have one? Ask your advisor to develop one for you. If you have a 401(k) at work, your plan sponsor may also provide financial education and planning. We have a variety of calculators and other resources, including a full slate of educational events, on our website at covingtonalsina.com. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for more information.
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.
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, contact the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a decision.