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Normal Stock Corrections: In late September, the stock market experienced a 5% correction, which is “normal,” as mild corrections like this one occur three to four times a year on average (see chart below). In this case, bonds didn’t prove an effective hedge to stocks like they normally do. This is largely due to the rising rate environment we find ourselves in right now. It also serves as a fresh reminder of why we actively diversify our defensive allocation in as many ways as we do in order to protect against declines in the growth assets we invest in on your behalf. Our work on this front continues as recently as this week as we consider some additional changes to the defensive side of our portfolios.

Giving in a Pandemic: You know at Compass Ion Advisors we like a good story about giving. We were excited to see that donor-advised funds increased their donations to charities last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, hitting the biggest levels in over a decade. What does this mean? It means that grants and charities around the world grew 27% in 2020. While the pandemic highlighted the gap between the wealthy and the poor, it also led to increased giving while the federal government responded to helping those who were laid off or furloughed.

Asking Good Questions: It’s often hard to watch a parent age. And it can be hard to have conversations about the future no matter how much we might try. It’s important to be proactive on all that lies ahead, and that discussion is much easier to process while a parent or loved one is still able to actively participate. The issues that most often come to mind are end of life wishes as well as the needed estate documents one should have in order. We’ve found it’s helpful to dig in a little deeper. Consider asking questions like,

“Where can I find your important documents if I ever need them?”

“Who are the advisors you’ve used in the past so we can coordinate with them as needed?”

“What, if anything, is there still to accomplish?”

“What sorts of things can we still do as a family together?”

“What, if any, gifting do I want to do with my family or charities before my passing?”

For a full list of questions that we recommend you consider going through with your parent(s), contact your advisor today.  We’re happy to share what we’ve put together on this front.