Friday | September 14 | 2018


We're pretty sure that's not how it works...


*Market indexes are the value of certain stocks which represent the overall stock market. Learn more here.*

S&P 500  (Standard’s & Poor 500): Made up of the 500 most widely-traded stocks in the U.S. +15.26 (0.53%).

Who ever thought we could get bored of hearing good news? U.S. stock values are still rising, responding to the promise of U.S. - China trade talks. Boring! Russia sanctions might add some spice to the mix though, and are already putting a damper on international bond markets.


There’s a fight going on between technology companies, banks, and investors, and all sides are starting to show their teeth. Well - their FANGS, to be more exact. Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, nicknamed FANG, are powerful tech companies whose stocks promise great returns. But where there’s reward in investment, there’s always risk. To try to minimize the risk of investing in FANG, investors buy something called “auto-callable notes.” No - speed dial is not making a comeback. What it means is if FANG stocks increase in price to a certain value, investors essentially have to sell back their note and take their payout right then and there. Pro? Less risky than stocks. Con? Because most money in investing is made over the long haul, when these notes get "called" (have to be sold back) after only a few months investors don't make much money. In fact, lately bank fees have been higher than profits, and investors losing money are feeling a little feral. But, with everyone still buying the FANG auto-callable notes, investors have yet to give their threats any real teeth.

You know that grand that you don’t have? Go find it. The ‘A’ in FANG (hint “Apple” hint) just announced on Wednesday that their newest iPhone costs a fresh $1099. Goodbye Eurotrip budget - it was nice dreaming. They justify that price point with a 6.5 inch display screen and other shiny new features. Even with prior, cheaper models, the iPhone brought in more than two-thirds of the company’s revenue ($53 billion last quarter alone). They’re projected to have a 17% increase in iPhone revenue by September when they close their books, but they’re hoping they can do even better. Since the announcement Apple stock has been riding high at $226.41 USD +5.34 (2.42%). Great news for traditional investors - bad news for auto-callable bond holders and the rest of us iPhone using schmucks.

*Do you have money tricks to add to the pile? Drop us a line.*

Trade Ins: Want that Apple new-new ↑ ? Us too, but how? Our tip this week…consider a trade-in. Take last season’s phone or watch to get valued, whether it’s Apple, Samsung, Google, etc. Start by logging into your Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or other provider account and you can typically see the value online. Trade in your device through your provider, and use it to get a discount on your new phone. You could save up to $300 or $400. That’s ⅓ the cost of that new iPhone. Buh-ZING! Free Money.



Disability insurance: If you become unable to work for a period of time, or permanently, disability insurance gives you some money to help replace your lost income. You can sign up for it through your employer, or buy it on your own.

In the benefits world, disability insurance is kinda like whip cream on a milkshake. Is it really necessary? We can’t help you with topping choices, but we can tell you what disability insurance is and help you figure out if you need it.

  1. Let’s talk terms. The two main kinds of disability insurance are short term (ST) and long term (LT). Creative, right? Short term covers short term injuries (9-52 weeks, depending on the policy), and long term kicks in afterward to cover longer periods (5-10 years, or even up to retirement age, depending on your policy). Short term will typically pay you 60%-70% of your salary, and long term is 50%-70%. They can cover a wide range of disabilities, but some to chew on are Lyme disease, depression, back pain, pregnancy and surgery recovery.

  2. Is workers’ comp disability? Workers comp is insurance companies pay for injuries that happen on the job. Disability insurance is for shenanigans you get up to off the clock (we know how you do).

  3. Who’s getting the check? Most employers offer ST (65%) and LT (72%) disability, and you can buy it on your own too. The quality of the policy depends on how much time it covers, what % of your salary it pays you, and what you mean by disability.

  4. What does count as a disability? It depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is...Different policies define disabilities differently. Some policies only pay you if you’re completely unable to work; others kick in even if you’re still able to work part time. Some policies will pay you if you can’t work in your field any more (Hey, Dr. Strange), while others will only pay if you can’t do ANY work. Read that fine print.

  5. I need it? Like our recent discussion on life insurance, the question of whether or not you need disability insurance depends on who is counting on your income. Ask yourself what would happened if you couldn’t work for 3 months. How about 6? Then decide accordingly.

*This section is not sponsored by any third parties. These are our pure, honest opinions on what we think is easy and works best!*

Curious about your chances of needing disability insurance? Don’t be. Peer into the future with this calculator and find out exactly how likely you are to need disability insurance. And while you’re looking at the future - do you mind letting us know how Sunday’s Eagles game turns out? Much appreciated.


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