Investment News from Sumner Wealth Management



Monthly Newsletter

December 2014


Dear Visitor,

As we refect over the past year, and we have had a bull market for the past 5 years, I am comfortable to say that our economy is firmly in mid-cycle.  Next year looks promising, but change is on the way.  For the month of December, I just wanted to recap briefly of some indicators that are driving our market/economy and some others that we need to monitor.




REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTIONS (RMD's) - Just a reminder to take your RMD's before the end of December. If you do not, the amount not withdrawn is taxed 50%! 


A SINGLE MONTH TO GO - The S&P 500 is up +14.0% YTD (total return) through 11/30/14. That YTD result is less than half the "YTD November" performance for the S&P 500 from last year when the index gained +29.1% during the first 11 months of 2013. The 2013 YTD result was the index's best since 1997 (source: BTN Research).


MORE RISK, MORE RETURN- 111 of the 500 individual stocks in the S&P 500 have increased in value at least +25% YTD through the close of trading last Friday 11/28/14, while 22 of the 500 individual stocks have increased in value at least +50% (source: BTN Research).


NOT UP BUT DOWN - 121 of the 500 individual stocks in the S&P 500 have decreased in value YTD through the close of trading last Friday 11/28/14 (source: BTN Research).


ALMOST 2 MONTHS- The nationwide average price of a gallon of gasoline was $2.792 last Friday (11/28/14), the 58th consecutive day that gas prices have fallen in the USA (source: AAA).


WHO NEEDS OPEC? - 88% of the crude oil imports of the United States in 1976 came from OPEC, our highest percentage of dependency ever on the world's largest oil cartel. In August 2014, that percentage dropped to just 40% (i.e., 2.9 million barrels a day), the lowest dependency America has required from OPEC since May 1985 or 29 years ago (source: Department of Energy).


PENALTY - Excluding individuals that have qualified for an exception, Americans not covered by Medicare, Medicaid, an employer's plan or by a privately obtained plan must have obtained health insurance for 2014 through a state or federal exchange or pay a 2014 penalty of "the greater of" $95 per person or 1% of income. The 2015 fine is "the greater of" $325 per person or 2% of income (source: Affordable Care Act).


TOP SHELF - Starting in 2018, the Affordable Care Act will impose a 40% excise tax on the portion of most employer-sponsored health coverage (excluding vision and dental coverage) that exceeds $10,200 a year in economic value ($27,500 for families). The tax has been called a " Cadillac tax" because it targets only high-end health care plans that were not purchased on a state or federal exchange (source: ACA).


PROBLEM IN TWO YEARS - The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) trust fund is projected to be depleted by the 4th quarter 2016. Payroll taxes collected on behalf of the SSDI beyond 2016 would be sufficient to pay disability benefits equal to 81% of scheduled benefits (source: Social Security 2014 Annual Report). 


BACK IN TIME - Home prices across the United States (based upon new and existing home sales) at the end of September 2014 are at the same level that they first reached at the end September 2005 or 9 years ago (source: Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight).




To my clients, friends, and colleagues, thank you for your continued support. I would like to hear your thoughts and feel free to forward this on to other individuals who could benefit from this information.


Mark Sumner



Services Offered:

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Sumner Wealth Management Office

Business Address

517 Alcove Road, Suite 202 Mooresville, NC  28117

Contact Information    

(704) 660.5510 x401







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