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The Northern Star Newsletter 4/9/20 - Special Update: Quarterly Report


Message from Jon

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Market Update

We are seeing a lot of messages these days on the news and outlets and many of them are quite interesting to be sure. While the news is good commentary at the dinner table, what we are looking at and evaluating is similar but a bit more focused on the daily calls between Tyler and me. For example:

  • Are we seeing any new outbreaks in Asia or Europe that were not there yesterday?
  • What is causing the optimism in Oil right now and is it something we should be making a play for or not?
  • Is the data telling us that we are possibly seeing a bottom in the markets?
  • Do we think the rebound is going to be a V-shape or U-shape?
  • How much longer should we remain cautious before we begin to rebalance accounts to position for growth?
  • What would have to be announced or happen for the euphoria to turn to concern in the markets?
  • Are the markets looking at the data or are they attempting to look through it? 
    • If so-what time frame are they attempting to attach their lens to?
  • Who is the best at mitigating risk and who is the best at producing returns (because they are often not the same firm, person or fund) and what are they doing?
  • What's our risk in getting in too early vs too late?
  • How far are we from a vaccine?
  • Is the curve (virus) getting flatter or is it still growing?
  • Is the death rate still within 3.5 - 5% or is it falling or climbing?
  • Where is money going to go first on the bottom vs first on the societal all clear signal?
  • What strategies are now void of value and what strategies need to be implemented?
  • Etc....

I liken our calls at times to what I would suspect a military briefing would be like-what we know, what we think we know, and what we don't know now but are watching closely.  So as you can see, we are going through a lot of data and asking numerous questions of colleagues and ourselves in order to prime the pump and prepare for whatever is coming next.

In our opinion, accounts did very well on the downside and now the importance shifts to how they are positioned and when so that we achieve the upside.  

Easier said than done for sure, but every day we are focused on the health and well-being of our clients.  Do not get sucked in to thinking the worst is behind us, it's not yet but getting your cash and portion of savings ready to invest is a really sound idea in my opinion.

Till we speak again-stay safe and know that the numbers are indicating the quarantine actions are working!



Special Update: Quarterly Report


The Week on Wall Street
Modest declines in stock prices this week masked the volatile inter- and intraday price swings as investors digested poor economic data and a warning from the president that the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic may still lie ahead. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 2.70%, while the Standard & Poor's 500 dropped 2.08%. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 1.72%. The MSCI EAFE Index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slid 2.76%.[1][2][3]

The Quarter in Brief
The spread of COVID-19 sent stocks tumbling in the first quarter as health and economic costs of the pandemic began to mount. Stocks remained under pressure, despite the Federal Reserve's lowering of short-term interest rates and the government's stimulus efforts through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act. The DJIA sank 23.2% and the S&P 500 dropped 20% on the quarter. The COVID-19-related volatility in the market has left all but a handful of sectors in a prolonged period of uncertainty. With millions of Americans staying at home in an effort to "flatten the curve" of COVID-19's impact on people, businesses are coping with closing for the duration, altering practices, or facing staffing issues.[4]

Oil Turbulence
The oil market dominated the commodities headlines during the first quarter. The failure of Russia to join Saudi Arabia in supporting lower oil production targets left Saudi Arabia fuming and responding with an announcement of its intention to raise oil output. Oil prices plummeted on the news, contributing to the stock market's woes. While lower oil prices represent a boon to consumers in the form of lower gasoline prices and a relief to companies with high energy consumption (e.g., airlines, chemical), they also pose a risk to the American energy industry.

Should low oil prices persist, it may lead to lower capital expenditures, labor force reductions, and troubles in the credit markets as less-capitalized companies struggle to meet their debt obligations. As the quarter came to a close, there was some speculation that President Trump would take a larger role in working with Russia and Saudi Arabia on production targets.

What's Next
It is difficult to see, in the middle of the COVID-19 epidemic, exactly what the full impact will be. Suffice it to say, the cost in human terms has been staggering so far and seems certain to affect at least part of the coming quarter. As people and businesses adapt to extended periods of quarantine, the only thing that seems clear is that no aspect of American life will be unchanged. CARES Act stimulus checks are on the way for millions of Americans. The Federal Reserve has lowered interest rates. Further measures are being considered at the state and federal levels. The only two things that seem truly certain are that action is being taken and that we'll all breathe a sigh of relief once this crisis subsides.

Tuesday: JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover) Survey.
Wednesday: FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) Minutes.
Thursday: Jobless Claims for Unemployment.
Friday: Consumer Price Index.

Source: Econoday, April 3, 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.

Wednesday: Delta Airlines (DAL)
Thursday: Rite-Aid (RAD)
Friday: First Republic Bank (FRC)

Source: Zacks, April 3, 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

"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."
- Ayn Rand

Recipe Of The Week

Fork and Knife

Mozzarella Party Skewers

Serves 12
  • 24 red and yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 24 bite-sized fresh mozzarella balls
  • 1 jar of green olives (24 olives, stuffed with pimentos or garlic, as preferred)
  1. Thread 6-inch skewers with tomatoes, olives, and mozzarella onto the skewers.
  2. Create a domed shape with loosely crumpled aluminum foil. Poke spears in to arrange.
Recipe adapted from DinnerAtTheZoo.com[5]


Tax Tips


Tips for Young or First-Time Workers: Don't Forget About Taxes

If your child or grandchild has recently secured employment, pass along these helpful tips from the IRS:

  • Don't be surprised when your paycheck is smaller than you expect. Employers withhold taxes and pay them directly to the IRS.
  • Keep in mind that all tip income is taxable, and you must report tip income over $20 monthly to your employer.
  • Even if you don't earn enough from your first job to owe income taxes, your employer must withhold Medicare and Social Security taxes from your paychecks.
  • Any money you earn from working for others is taxable. If you mow lawns, babysit, or earn money outside a regular job, you may be considered self-employed by the IRS.
  • Speak to your employer about whether they will be reporting your wages to the IRS. If you have questions, ask your parents or grandparents to put you in touch with a tax expert.

For more information about tax rules for first-time jobholders, visit IRS.gov or consult a qualified tax advisor.


* 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


A Simple Fix for Skying Your Tee Shot

A tee shot that resembles an infield pop-up on a baseball diamond gets a hole off to a frustrating start. A hacker's mistake? Not necessarily. Even a golfer who has played thousands of rounds can hit one. The fix is usually simple.


When we tee up a ball, we tend to want to err on the high side. That said, we also want the bottom of the clubface to come into contact with the ball when we come through the impact area. If the top half of the clubface hits the ball, then a pop-up off the tee will occur. So, we must lower the tee so that the ball doesn't sit above the top line of the clubface, whether we have a driver, hybrid, or iron in hand.

Tip adapted from Golf Distillery[7]

Healthy Lifestyle

Medical Cross

Staying Close While Social Distancing

Over the past few weeks, the world has entered into uncharted territory. Many of us have rapidly transitioned from seeing and interacting with dozens of people on a regular basis to much fewer each day. While some people are more introverted than others, even the greatest solitude seekers have social needs. So, how can we stay connected while remaining far apart?
  • Prioritize initiating interactions with your friends and family who are far away. Send an email, text, or direct message. Call them, and maybe even send a letter via snail mail. If you have the technology available, have a virtual, face-to-face conversation. There are many free apps available for video conferencing.
  • Spend quality time with those in quarantine with you. Whether they're your parents, children, siblings, other relatives, or friends, find activities, like games and family meals, to nurture the bonds you have with the people sharing your home.
  • Seek out group activities online. Stream a class or lecture series. Join an online forum or message board. Attend an online watch party for a movie or show. Take a virtual museum tour. You might be surprised by what's available.
 Being distant doesn't have to mean being isolated. There are ways for us to be close to one another, even when we're not.  Tip adapted from Success.com[8]

Green Living


If You're Able to Go Outside, Leave Only Footprints

Most of the country is restricted from going outside right now, but if you can, find a non-crowded hiking trail to get some sunshine and exercise. Here are a few tips to make your next hike a memorable, safe, and environmentally friendly one.


Pack out what you brought in. This should go without saying, but make sure that whatever food, beverages, and hiking equipment you bring along go back home with you. The local wildlife might mistake even small amounts of garbage as food. Even an orange peel, if not native to the area, can cause issues with the habitat.


Stay on the trail. Many hiking trails and preserves are home to some of the most beautiful sights nature has to offer - and are also home to some of the most sensitive habitats. Leaving the trail can damage the fragile ecosystems that surround you. This is also a safety measure because if something happens to you, the park rangers won't know where to look.


If you'd rather not chance walking on a trail, you can still get out and take a walk around the block. There's so much beauty to be found around you.



Tip adapted from Green America[9]

Share the Wealth of Knowledge!


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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.

 [1] The Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2020. 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.
[2] The Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2020. 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.
[3] The Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2020.
[4] CNN.com, March 31, 2020.
[5] DinnerAtTheZoo.com, April 3, 2020.
[6] IRS.gov, May 20, 2019.
[7] Golf Distillery, April 3, 2020.
[8] Success.com, April 3, 2020.
[9] GreenAmerica.org, April 3, 2020.  

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