July 26, 2016

TDG News: The Dowling Group at Swing Fore Hope Charity Tournament

The Dowling Group is proud to have sponsored the 17th annual Swing Fore Hope Charity Tournament last Thursday at Griffith E. Harris Golf Course. This year's tournament, presented by the Greenwich Women's Golf Club, drew the most players in its history with 80 women competing while raising money for charity. The event, which also included a raffle and dinner, raise over $18,000 which benefited Kids in Crisis and The Alzheimer's Association - Connecticut Chapter!

The foursome of Amanda Oliva, Pat Kravetz, Heidi Nolte and Chistine Veator were crowned low gross champions with a score of 71! Congratulations to all the players and thank you to all who donated and for making this year's tournament another success! You can read the Greenwich Time article on the event here.

Volatility Lulled as Post-Brexit Boost Continues

Like a cool breeze on a hot day, the post-Brexit market rally has soothed investors.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), also known as the fear gauge, fell significantly during the past few weeks, according to CNBC.com. The VIX measures investors' concerns about future volatility. The lower the Index is; the calmer investors are about the future. In late June, the VIX rose as high as 25.76. Last week, it hovered around 12.

Barron's reported the latest advisory sentiment readings from Investors Intelligence showed bullishness at 54.4 percent, up two percentage points from last week. That's the highest reading since April 2015 (just before the S&P 500 hit its previous record).

The relative serenity of investors has been good for markets. By the middle of last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500) were at record highs. Not everyone is convinced investor positivity is a good sign, however. Barron's explained:

"After nearly two years of sideways trading, albeit with some large swings, the indexes finally gave what should be an important buy signal. But is it really? ...I am not talking about the simple divergence between price and volume during the June-July rally, although that certainly does not help the bulls. Nor am I considering the seasonal cycle, which teaches us to 'Sell in May' and sit out the usually weaker summer months. And I am not talking about any news from politics to Brexit to terrorism...What really bothers me is the lack of dissent in the bullish chorus."

Contrarians, investors who use popular opinion as a gauge of what not to do, may find themselves leaning toward pessimism.

Data as of 7/22/16 1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor's 500 (Domestic Stocks) 0.6% 6.4% 2.9% 8.7% 10.1% 5.6%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. 0.0 0.4 -8.9 -1.4 -1.6 0.2
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 1.6 NA 2.3 2.5 3.0 5.0
Gold (per ounce) -0.5 24.3 21.3 -0.2 -3.8 8.1
Bloomberg Commodity Index -2.4 7.7 -11.2 -13.3 -12.5 -6.9
DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index 1.7 17.9 22.7 12.7 12.2 7.6

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron's, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

Charity Scams on the Rise

Fake charities are on the list. Groups masquerading as charitable organizations to solicit donations from generous-minded individuals are among the twelve cons named in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) 'Dirty Dozen,' a list of common scams targeting taxpayers.

Americans tend to be a generous bunch. During 2015, they gave more than $373 billion to charities, setting a record for the second year in a row, according to GivingUSA.org. People gave to all sorts of organizations including:

  • Religion ($119.30 billion)
  • Education ($57.48 billion)
  • Human Services ($45.21 billion)
  • Foundations ($42.26 billion)
  • Health ($29.81 billion)
  • Public-Society Benefit ($26.95 billion)
  • Arts/Culture/Humanities ($17.07 billion)
  • International Affairs ($15.75 billion)
  • Environment/Animals ($10.68 billion)

Millions more may have gone to groups pretending to be charities. The IRS offered some recommendations for avoiding scams. Before you give, get the exact name of the charity. Many fake charities use names that sound similar to those of legitimate charities.

Also, request the charity's employer identification number and use the IRS's Exempt Organizations Select Check search tool to review the organization's tax status and filings. (While you're at it, you may want to review how much the charity spends on fundraising versus programs to confirm it is spending donations judiciously.)

Once you've done your homework, don't give cash. Making your donation by check or credit card provides a record for tax purposes and is more secure.

Finally, no matter how kind a charity's representative seems on the phone or in person, do not give him or her personal financial information or other important identification data, like your Social Security number.

Weekly Focus - Think About It

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."

—C. S. Lewis, British novelist

Best regards,
Sean M. Dowling, CFP, EA
President, The Dowling Group Wealth Management

Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this e-mail with their e-mail address and we will ask for their permission to be added.


  • Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
  • Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
  • These views are those of Peak Advisor Alliance, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative's Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
  • This newsletter was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
  • The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
  • The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged index. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
  • The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
  • 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.
  • Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
  • The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
  • The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
  • Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
  • Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
  • Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
  • Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
  • You cannot invest directly in an index.
  • Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
  • Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

Sources:

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/19/no-fear-heres-why-the-vix-has-cratered.html or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/07-25-16_No+fear_+Here%E2%80%99s+why+the+VIX+has+cratered.pdf

http://www.cboe.com/micro/vix/historical.aspx (For June index readings choose Historical Daily Prices - Spreadsheet with Closing Prices for Several Indexes) or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/07-25-16_VIX_Historical_Price_Data_CBOE.pdf

http://www.barrons.com/articles/as-investors-sing-a-happy-tune-smart-money-wonders-if-its-time-to-sell-stocks-1469120253

http://www.barrons.com/articles/3-reasons-to-worry-that-stock-rallys-end-is-near-1469050014

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Fake-Charities-Are-a-Problem-and-on-the-IRS-Dirty-Dozen-List-of-Tax-Scams-for-2016-1 or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/07-25-16_Fake_Charities_Are_a_Problem_and_on_the_IRS_%E2%80%9CDirty_Dozen%E2%80%9D_List_of_Tax_Scams_for_2016.pdf

http://givingusa.org/giving-usa-2016/ or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/07-25-16_Giving_USA_2015_Was_America%E2%80%99s_Most_Generous_Year_Ever_Giving_USA.pdf

http://www.consumerreports.org/charitable-donations/best-and-worst-charities-for-your-donations/ or go https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/07-25-16_Best_and_Worst_Charities_for_Your_Donations_Consumer_Reports.pdf

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/cslewis119176.html?src=t_motivational or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/07-25-16_You_are_never_too_old_to_set_another_goal_or_to_dream_a_new_dream_CS_+Lewis.pdf

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: Pursuant to requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of avoiding penalties imposed under the United States Internal Revenue Code or promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any tax-related matter. Please contact us if you wish to have formal written advice on this matter.

ADV & Investment Objectives: Please contact The Dowling Group if there are any changes in your financial situation or investment objectives, or if you wish to impose, add or modify any reasonable restrictions to the management of your account. Our current disclosure statement is set forth on Part II of Form ADV and is available for your review upon request.