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The Northern Star Newsletter 3/18/20 - Volatility Continues


Message from Jon

Market Update: (Monday 16th at 6am)

*Until the chaos settles down, I will be sending these out weekly or as needed to increase communications to clients and prospective clients and help calm the fears and give guidance. Once the waters recede, we will resume normal frequency and outlines.

*We will be moving ALL meetings to webinars and phone calls to preserve you and our staff's health in two week intervals until further notice. If you attempt to call in, you will go into voicemail, so leave a message and we will call you right back as staff will all be working just remotely and will be checking emails and emails regularly.


Business as Usual...Kind Of

Question 1:

Have the facts changed from last week to this one?

  • The government cut rates to 0.00 Sunday.1
  • President issued a state of emergency over the weekend.2

Question 2:

When the facts change, so do we?

  • Cutting rates will likely cause bond values to rise in our opinion.
  • We have been tilting our portfolios for weeks now, substituting equity funds for bonds and may do some more here this week as a precaution against severity and duration of the situation.
  • Increase cash positions or let new money accumulate to prepare for the buying on the back side and reduce risk over the next several weeks to months.

Last week was anything but usual on Wall Street. We got a ringside seat to what panic looks like in the financial markets-where emotions overcame logic and liquidity was more important than staying put for the long term. 

We saw where margin calls required the liquidation of funds and ETFs contributing to further declines and even more fear.3,4

In our opinion, the government is acting earlier than expected and in a way that is completely expected according to our models thus far. The correct approach is to close down the stores, restaurants, bars, parks, entertainment functions and venues, gatherings and yes...even Disney World in order to stop the spreading and contain those who are already exposed but have yet to exhibit symptoms.

What we think is going to happen isn't pretty in the near term, but it will pass, and we will be okay. We will see a continuation of last week in our opinion for another 4-8 weeks and then it will recede. On the back side of this current market condition is a stimulus-backed rebound that is likely to be rapid, robust, and possibly resemble a shark feeding frenzy at high tide on a whale carcass (pretty graphic but that's what came to mind for me).

Disclaimer: If you are a server at a restaurant or work in a service industry that has direct contact with people, my heart goes out to you, because your job in the short-term may likely be impacted.

Our models (in our opinion) show that we should be prepared for restaurants to close, bars to close and hospitals to be on lock-down. Parks to close, entertainment venues to close and even whole cities and towns to close down. Clinics will become very restrictive if not ultimately close or at least change how they deliver medical advice and attention. Drive-throughs will become very popular as a means to continue to provide assistance and service while limiting contact, which now they are referring to as "Social Distancing."

All of this is GOOD, not a bad thing! We as a country have had a 4-week head start on behavior modification and implementation of changes that are necessary to contain the spread and then work to provide solutions accordingly. The president enacted a state of emergency over the weekend head start and the FED cut rates to 0.00, which each entity was required to do in order to enable the next phase of economic relief to come, in our opinion.

We will likely see them then pump liquidity into our systems to ensure that banks can lend to companies to keep employers from laying off. The technology has advanced in the last 10 years to accommodate working from home with little disruption. Obviously, there are exceptions to this like in the case of CAT or ALCOA or SIA where manufacturing, Industrials and Chemicals, and many other areas where remoting in is not feasible. These areas are the ones most likely to seek assistance from the Fed and Banks for short-term loans and the like.

Do not be alarmed by the velocity of these changes. The quicker the behavior changes, the better our chances of recovery. Remember, just because it gets worse doesn't indicate a change in material data or indications.


2008 was the last major retraction and recession of the economy where over 11 million people were out of a job.5 When you lose your income, you lose your ability to function normally. In 2020, people are not losing their jobs. They are being forced to work under an alternative capacity. Being forced to be inconvenienced for sure but not without means to continue their respective normal living standards they have become accustomed to. Could we see the government begin to cut citizens' checks should this escalate and be prolonged—yes. Do our models look at that as a high probability...not at this time.

On the other side of this (it may be in May, June, July, August, September...) the rebound should be backed by stimulus and results should be extraordinary and strong. People with pent-up capacity and desire to go out will likely do so with expediency and vigor, in our opinion. This is why you do not want to unwind your accounts totally and go to cash. Being able to time the upside will be extremely difficult as we have seen on 3 occasions already where the market has rebounded in single day increases of over 5% and you simply could not put in your orders fast enough to be a part of it.

At the risk of this sounding completely deaf to what's happening around us-relax and remain calm. Do not allow yourself to get sucked into the irrational fear of this being the zombie apocalypse or some other death dealing situation where your lives and personal economies are at stake if you make one false move over these next several weeks! That could not be further from the truth!

I am speaking with colleagues and institutional money managers daily in addition to reading copious amounts of information to get perspective, insights, and guidance that I can pass along to you. Resist the urge to check accounts daily (especially on severe days of declines and rallies) to preserve your sanity.

It will help you with future decision-making ability, in my opinion.


Till we speak again, which may be later this week...stay safe and wash your hands! 




  1. https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/15/economy/federal-reserve/index.html
  2. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/13/trump-will-hold-a-press-conference-at-3-pm-et-to-discuss-coronavirus-response.html
  3. https://www.coindesk.com/100m-in-margin-calls-crypto-lenders-demand-collateral-as-market-buckles
  4. https://www.barrons.com/articles/margin-debt-could-worsen-the-coronavirus-selloff-speculators-may-have-to-cash-out-fast-51582914324
  5. https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2009/jan/wk2/art02.html

Volatility Continues


The Week on Wall Street

Markets remained exceptionally volatile, buffeted by the spreading impact of coronavirus, uncertain responses from federal policymakers, and the sudden drop in oil prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 10.36%, while the S&P 500 declined 8.79%. The Nasdaq Composite index slid 8.18% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, dropped 17.75%.[1][2]

Markets Grapple with Uncertainty

A dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia over oil production cuts, mounting fears of the coronavirus, the declaration of the COVID-19 as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, and the news of a travel ban from Europe unsettled markets throughout the week.


Stock trading was halted twice by circuit breakers, which are designed to briefly stop trading when losses in the S&P 500 reach 7%. Stocks sold off sharply Thursday before ending a tumultuous week with a strong rebound on Friday.[3]


Troubles in the Oil Patch

The failure of Russia to join Saudi Arabia in supporting lower oil production targets left Saudi Arabia fuming. In response, Saudi Arabia announced its intention to raise oil output.


Oil prices plummeted on the news, contributing to the stock market's drop on Monday. While lower oil prices may represent a boon to consumers in the form of lower gasoline prices and relief to companies with high energy consumption (e.g., airlines, chemical), they also pose a risk to the American energy industry. If low oil prices persist, it may lead to lower capital expenditures and potential issues in the credit markets, as less-well-capitalized companies struggle to manage their debt obligations.[4]


Final Thought

The world's central bankers have already taken several steps to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus, including lowering short-term interest rates. The financial markets are now looking for a response from the U.S. government. In evaluating any actions from the federal government, investors may focus on the size and timing of policy proposals to determine if they can reduce current levels of economic uncertainty.



Tuesday: Retail Sales, JOLTS Report (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey), Industrial Production

Wednesday: Housing Starts, FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) Announcement

Thursday: Leading Economic Indicators

Friday: Existing Home Sales


Source: Econoday, March 13, 2020

The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.



Monday: Coupa Software (Coup)

Tuesday: FedEx Corp. (FDX), MongoDB (MDB)

Wednesday: General Mills (GIS), Ctrip.com (TCOM)

Thursday: Tencent Holdings (TCEHY), Lennar (LEN)

Friday: Tiffany & Co. (TIF), BMW (BAMXF)


Source: Zacks, March 13, 2020

Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.


Quote Of The Week

Fountain Pen

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
- Winston Churchill

Recipe Of The Week

Fork and Knife

Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 12-15 servings Ingredients:
  • ¼ oz. package yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ½ cup milk, scalded
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Dissolve yeast in bowl of warm water and set aside.

  3. Mix milk, sugar, ⅓ cup melted butter, salt, and egg.

  4. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth.

  5. Pour in yeast mixture.

  6. Mix in rest of flour and stir into dough.

  7. Knead dough over floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes, then cover in well-greased bowl.
  8. Let rise for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  9. Punch down dough and roll it out on a floured surface into a rectangle.
  10. Spread melted butter over dough.
  11. Mix cinnamon with sugar and sprinkle over the dough.
  12. Roll up rectangle cut into a dozen or more single rolls.
  13. Coat pan with butter and sprinkle sugar.

  14. Insert rolls close together in pan and let rise for 45 minutes.
  15. Bake for 30 minutes, or until browned.
  16. For frosting, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
  17. Add hot water 1 Tbsp. at a time until spreadable.
  18. Once you take out the rolls, let cool, then add the frosting.
Recipe adapted from FoodNetwork.com[5]


Tax Tips


Worried About Missing The Tax Deadline?

April 15 is the tax filing deadline for most people in 2020. If you didn't file a tax return or an extension to file, it's not too late to take action. Here's what you can do:


File and pay soon. If you owe taxes, you should file and pay as soon as you can to minimize the interest and penalties that you will owe on any taxes due.


Pay as much as you can. If you owe taxes but can't pay in full, you should pay as much as you can when you file your tax return.


Remember your refund. If you are owed a refund, you should file as soon as possible to get it. If you don't file your return within three years, you could lose your right to the refund.


For more information on filing late taxes, speak to a qualified tax professional.


* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.



Tip adapted from IRS.gov[6]

Golf Tip


Why You Should Play for the Center of a Green

How many times do you hit a perfect approach shot? How often do your tee shots on par 3s do exactly what you want them to do? The answer to both these questions may be, "Less often than I would like." For that reason, it really is wise to play for the center of most greens, especially on a hazard-heavy course.


Your first instinct may be to go for the flag on every approach shot. Sometimes, that doesn't leave you much room for error. Playing for the center of the green (or the fat part of the green) may be conservative, but putting for a birdie from 25 to 30 feet out is better than facing a 15-footer for a bogey after losing a ball in a hazard.    

Tip adapted from Pipestone Golf[7]

Healthy Lifestyle

Medical Cross

Make Your Own Luck - with Science!

It's a commonly held belief that some people are simply luckier than others. Researchers have determined, however, that these fortunate few aren't charmed by chance rather they continually sought and created opportunities for their "luck." Here are five things these individuals have in common. 
  1. They're not passive. They volunteer themselves for planning and leadership positions.

  2. They make plans to achieve their goals. They search, organize, and take action to reach their aspirations.

  3. They're observant. They are constantly aware of their surroundings.

  4. They have in-person social connections. Networking is their forte.

  5. They have an impressive virtual presence. Their social media connections and prominence are highly optimized.
 The next time you're feeling down about missing a chance or not reaching a goal, turn it into an opportunity to create your own luck next time. You never know what could happen.  Tip adapted from PsychologyToday.com[8]

Green Living


Build a Wardrobe That Lasts

Are you cleaning out your closet this spring? Look for creative and environmentally friendly ways to get rid of the clothing that doesn't work for you anymore, while building a wardrobe that will stand the test of time.


Buy the highest-quality clothing you can afford. Most garments made today are "fast fashion"; meaning that the clothing isn't made to last for more than a year before being discarded. Most textile waste ends up in landfills, so buying better-quality clothing that will last you beyond the year to come is an investment for your wardrobe, wallet, and the environment.


Donate clothing in good condition. Have clothing in good condition that you no longer wear? Donate it to thrift shops, or for higher-end items, sell it online. For those garments that are beyond repair or not suitable for donating, check to see if there are any textile recyclers in your local area.


Tip adapted from RealSimple[9]

Share the Wealth of Knowledge!


Please share this market update with family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to our list, simply click on the "Forward email" link below. We love being introduced!



Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.


Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.


International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.


The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.


The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.


Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.


Past performance does not guarantee future results.


You cannot invest directly in an index.


Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.


Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.


These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative,

Broker dealer or Investment Advisor and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.


By clicking on these links, you will leave our server, as the links are located on another server. We have not independently verified the information available through this link. The link is provided to you as a matter of interest. Please click on the links below to leave and proceed to the selected site.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged and generally considered representative of their respective markets. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost.

 [1] www.wsj.com/market-data [2] quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices [3] www.cnbc.com/2020/03/12/stock-futures-hit-a-limit-down-trading-halt-for-a-second-time-this-week-heres-what-that-means.html [4] www.cnbc.com/2020/03/09/cramer-9-or-10-oil-companies-may-go-bankrupt-amid-crude-declines.html [5] www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/cinnamon-rolls-recipe-1946030 [6] www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-opens-2020-filing-season-for-individual-filers-on-jan-27 [7] www.pipestonegolf.com/blog/41-improve-approach-shots [8] www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lifetime-connections/201603/5-ways-create-your-own-luck [9] www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/cleaning-out-my-closet

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