FSG updates for the week of April 6

We remain open for business, but our staff is working remotely and our office lobby is closed until further notice. Our phones are forwarded so please feel free to reach out to us as you normally would.

Everyone at FSG and their families are well and we’re sending Chag Sameach, Happy Easter and glorious spring greetings to all of you.

Amid the chaos of the times, it’s important to remember all the beautiful things we have to celebrate. While it’s sad not to be able to be in physical contact with loved ones, it’s joyful to know that those loved ones are safe and insulated from illness as best as possible. Having to cancel this weekend’s holiday plans is indeed disruptive, but the flowers are continuing to rise and bloom through the renewed earth as a sign that all things, eventually, return to normal. Beautiful things will still be there for us to experience together when we can. Connecting in virtual environments cannot replace the feel of an actual hug, but for now, at least we can see each other and “feel” the presence of each other. All will be well.

We’re getting through unbelievable times together by connecting in unique ways.  Things will likely never be exactly as they were before. And that’s ok. With change comes learning, with learning comes invention, with invention comes progress, with progress comes opportunity.

We will begin sending our Weekly Updates with less frequency going forward now that the crisis is abating somewhat. We know you’re all getting updates from lots of sources so we want to be respectful and not add to overwhelming any of you. We’ll send updates as significant changes occur. Next week we’ll be sending our monthly ToYourWealth Newsletter, so there won’t be a Weekly Update.

We’re also continuing to host our Fireside with FSG virtual chats, which we’d like to offer while social distancing is in place. After that eases, we’ll determine how best to deliver virtual social and learning events for clients going forward. One of the things we’ve learned, is that our clients who are not in the local area really enjoy having a virtual option so we intend to incorporate that into our event planning!

Scammers Abound: 5 Red Flags

These unprecedented times are creating a lot of confusion and concern across the country. The combination of trip cancellations and subsequent refunds, stimulus credits, and people being accessible in their homes has prompted a spike in scammer activity. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported over 12,000 consumer complaints stemming from coronavirus-related cons amounting to over $8.39 million in damages. Here are some red flags that may indicate a scam attempt:

  • Your bank, or the IRS, will never contact you for personal information
  • You’ll never have to click through links to get your money
  • If you don’t have direct deposit, you’ll never need someone to set up your account
  • You’ll never need to verify your check amount to anyone
  • You’ll never be threatened by a proper authority

Here are a few links to the Federal Trade Commission that may help you identify potential scams, learn more about new, Coronavirus-inspired scams that are surfacing, and some additional tips for keeping you and your loved ones protected.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/04/avoid-scams-while-finding-help-during-quarantine

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/04/grandparent-scams-age-coronavirus

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/02/coronavirus-scammers-follow-headlines

US Equities Recovering After Bout of Volatility

This year, the S&P 500 (a measure of the 500 biggest companies in the US) fell over 30% from its recent high. Since then, its risen over 20%. The recovery is largely due to investors’ expectations regarding the measures taken to curb the impact of COVID-19. Shelter-in-place instructions are being implemented around the world and governments are scrambling to provide stimulus packages to shore up individuals’ and businesses’ financial needs. There’s not enough information to determine whether the recovery will continue or if we’ll have another setback. Once that information is known, it will be priced into the market before anyone can act on it. For our part, we will continue monitoring portfolios, rebalancing and harvesting tax losses as appropriate.

Stay well everyone and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

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