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A Roaring Start to Earnings Season

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A Roaring Start to Earnings Season!

Corporate earnings season has begun, and the results are turning heads on Wall Street.

Of the 120 companies in the S&P 500 index that reported numbers as of Friday, July 23, 89% of them beat the Street’s earnings-per-share estimates by an average of nearly 21%.1

The robust results are leading Wall Street analysts to raise estimates for the third and fourth quarters as well as the first-quarter 2022.1

Earnings season occurs four times a year, and it’s the time when a majority of publicly traded companies release their quarterly financial reports. Companies often go into great detail about their business, and some provide guidance about what lies ahead.

Typically, earnings season starts several weeks after the calendar quarter comes to a close. For example, the second quarter’s earnings season began in mid-July, and the majority of companies are expected to release their earnings over the next six weeks.2

If you hear any confusing commentary, please give us a call. We always welcome the chance to talk about what earnings may be saying about the overall economic outlook.

1. Earnings Scout, July 23, 2021
2. Insights.Factet.com, January 22, 2021

Wall Street’s forecasts for Q3 and Q4 2021 and Q1 2022 are based on assumptions, subject to revision without notice, and may not materialize.

Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, 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. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Individuals cannot invest directly in an index.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite, LLC, is not affiliated with the named representative, broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Dr. Jason Van Duyn
586-731-6020
AQuest Wealth Strategies
President

Dr. Jason Van Duyn CFP®, ChFC, CLU, MBA is a Registered Representative with and Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA & SIPC. The LPL Financial registered representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: IN, IL, TX, MI, NC, AZ, VA, FL, OH and CO.

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A 6.1% Bump in Social Security?

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A 6.1% Bump in Social Security?

The news keeps getting better for Social Security recipients. It’s now projected that benefits will increase 6.1% in 2022, up from the 4.7% forecast just two months ago. That would be the most significant increase since 1983.1,2

It’s all about inflation. Social Security cost of living adjustments (COLA) are based on the consumer price index, which rose 5.4% in June — its largest 12-month increase since 2008. The official announcement is expected in October and, once it’s confirmed, the revised payment will go into effect in January 2022.3

More than 65 million Americans receive Social Security, and the annual cost of living adjustments are designed to help recipients manage higher costs. At the start of 2021, recipients saw a 1.3% increase.4

The average monthly benefit is $1,544 for retired workers. So a 6.1% increase amounts to $94 more a month. That might not be quite enough for a car payment, but it’s double the 3% raise being given to U.S. workers in 2021.4,5

Social Security can be confusing. One survey found only 6% of Americans know all the factors that determine the maximum benefits someone can receive. If you have any questions, please reach out. We have a number of resources at our fingertips that you may find helpful.6

1. Fortune.com, July 15, 2021
2. SeniorsLeague.org, May 12, 2021
3. InvestmentNews.com, July 13, 2021
4. SSA.gov, June 2021
5. SHRM.org, June 2021
6. FinancialAdvisorIQ.com, July 19, 2021

The forecasts for Social Security benefits are based on assumptions, subject to revision without notice, and may not materialize.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite, LLC, is not affiliated with the named representative, broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security

Dr. Jason Van Duyn
586-731-6020
AQuest Wealth Strategies
President

Dr. Jason Van Duyn CFP®, ChFC, CLU, MBA is a Registered Representative with and Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA & SIPC. The LPL Financial registered representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: IN, IL, TX, MI, NC, AZ, VA, FL, OH and CO.

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Conducting your mid-year financial checkup

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Conducting Your Mid-Year Financial Checkup

With June officially behind us, it’s time to face the facts: we’re headed toward the second half of 2021. While there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the rest of summer, we encourage you to slow down and check up on your financial well-being.

Review your budget: Your spending habits likely look different now than they did in 2020, but did you adjust your yearly budget accordingly? The second half of the year can be expensive, between the holiday season and back-to-school spending. Take some time now to prepare.

Check your credit score: If you plan on moving, purchasing a car, or taking out a personal loan this year, you’ll want your credit score in good shape. Your score could have been impacted by recently accrued debt, late payments, hard credit inquiries, identity theft, and more.

Prepare for advanced tax credits: If your family is eligible, you may begin receiving advanced child tax credits in July. Families who qualify are expected to receive six installments via direct deposit or mailed check. If you anticipate getting the credit, you may want to talk it over with your tax professional.

With 2021 looking different than last year, take some time to evaluate your financial standings as we prepare for the second half of the year. Remember, we’re always here if you need assistance reassessing or working towards your financial goals.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite, LLC, is not affiliated with the named representative, broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Dr. Jason Van Duyn
586-731-6020
AQuest Wealth Strategies
President

Dr. Jason Van Duyn CFP®, ChFC, CLU, MBA is a Registered Representative with and Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA & SIPC. The LPL Financial registered representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: IN, IL, TX, MI, NC, AZ, VA, FL, OH and CO.

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Economic Lessons from Used-Car Inflation

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Economic Lessons from Used-Car Inflation

Inflation is defined as the general upward price movement of goods and services in an economy. The key word is “general.”

Inflation tends to be uneven and affects the price of some items more than others.
If you’ve been in the market for a used car, you’ve learned a critical economic lesson about the “uneven” side of inflation. The overall rate of inflation has been 5% for the past 12 months. Meanwhile, the average price of a used car is up 30% from a year ago.1,2

Various factors drive used car prices, but most of the trouble links to the global microchip shortage.3

Demand for used cars may well slow later this year as automakers return to normal production levels. As the market shifts, some people who bought used cars may learn another key economics lesson: they might owe more for their car than what it’s worth as prices return to historical levels.4

The most important takeaway is that inflation touches our lives in different ways. Gasoline prices are up sharply from a year ago, but you might not feel the increase if you work from home or are retired. However, at the grocery store, all shoppers are paying higher prices for everything from beef to pork to milk.5

If all the recent inflation talk has you uneasy, please contact our offices. We’d welcome the chance to hear about your experience with higher prices.

1. CarandDriver.com, June 5, 2021
2. APNews.com, June 22, 2021
3. ConsumerReports.org, June 10, 2021
4. Forbes.com, June 14, 2021
5. CNBC.com, June 26, 2021

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information.

The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite, LLC, is not affiliated with the named representative, broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Dr. Jason Van Duyn
586-731-6020
AQuest Wealth Strategies
President

Dr. Jason Van Duyn CFP®, ChFC, CLU, MBA is a Registered Representative with and Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA & SIPC. The LPL Financial registered representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: IN, IL, TX, MI, NC, AZ, VA, FL, OH and CO.

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Summer Travel is Back!

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Summer Travel is Back!

One of the most anticipated comebacks of 2021 isn’t an athlete, rock star, or movie franchise. It’s summer travel, and it appears to be back with a vengeance.

Travel agents are working 14-hour days to meet the needs of eager travelers. People aren’t just taking road trips, either; airports are reporting being at 80% of pre-COVID capacity, while the TSA screenings reached two million for the first time since the pandemic. While these reports may be slightly less than pre-COVID, they also reflect an industry working to meet demand in the midst of new safety requirements, many of which place limits on the number of passengers and indoor occupancy at airport gates.1,2

If you’re planning to take a trip this summer, bear in mind that prices for gas and tickets don’t merely reflect recent inflation, but an increased demand. AAA reports that hotel bookings in Las Vegas, Anaheim, and San Diego are seeing a pronounced uptick. Bear that in mind if you’re not
necessarily looking for population density this year.3

These summer travel stats show an industry in recovery and a nation eager to get out of the house. Whatever your plans might be, I hope you enjoy the season and look forward to touching base with you and hearing all about your travels.

1. WJHL.com, June 15, 2021
2. Turnto23.com, June 15, 2021
3. KCRA.com, June 15, 2021

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information.

The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite, LLC, is not affiliated with the named representative, broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Dr. Jason Van Duyn
586-731-6020
AQuest Wealth Strategies
President

Dr. Jason Van Duyn CFP®, ChFC, CLU, MBA is a Registered Representative with and Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA & SIPC. The LPL Financial registered representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: IN, IL, TX, MI, NC, AZ, VA, FL, OH and CO.

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The Fed Acknowledges Inflation

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The Fed Acknowledges Inflation

At its June meeting, the Federal Reserve confirmed what many of us have suspected for some time: prices are rising. In fact, prices are climbing faster than many expected. In response, the Fed raised its inflation expectation to 3.4%, up from its March projection of 2.4%, effectively raising its inflation expectation by 42%.1

The Fed’s course correction on inflation expectations and planned interest rate hikes unsettled the financial markets, with further volatility felt after St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said that the first interest rate hike could be as soon as 2022.2

The Fed also indicated that two interest rate hikes in 2023 were likely, despite signals last march that rates would remain unchanged until 2024.3

So, what’s an investor to do? It’s important to remember that inflation is just one of the factors considered when creating a portfolio. If inflation trends higher than expected for some time, adjustments may need to occur. Fed Chair Jerome Powell also said at the June meeting that he believes that inflation will be transitory. But as evidenced by the recent changes, the Fed remains ready to update its outlook as economic data continues to accumulate.

If you’re concerned about inflation, please reach out. As the economy continues to strengthen, economic trends and themes are evolving quickly. We’d welcome the chance to hear your thoughts.

1. The Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2021
2. StLouisFed.org, June 18, 2021
3. The Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2021

Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, 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.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite, LLC, is not affiliated with the named representative, broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Dr. Jason Van Duyn
586-731-6020
AQuest Wealth Strategies
President

Dr. Jason Van Duyn CFP®, ChFC, CLU, MBA is a Registered Representative with and Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA & SIPC. The LPL Financial registered representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: IN, IL, TX, MI, NC, AZ, VA, FL, OH and CO.

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Are you ready for the Second Act of the Secure Act

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Are you ready for the Second Act of the Secure Act

Recently, you may have seen headlines regarding the Securing a Strong Retirement Act, also referred to as the second version of the SECURE Act, or SECURE Act 2.0.

As the bill moves from the House of Representatives to the Senate, many hopeful investors are anticipating further retirement support as the majority of the bill stems from the original SECURE Act of 2019. However, it’s worth noting that the bill may change drastically before being signed into law. With that in mind, here are some potential benefits of the Securing a Strong Retirement Act.

  • Required Minimum Distributions (RMD): For those who contribute to a 401(k) or IRA, the Securing a Strong Retirement Act may allow you to wait until age 74 to start taking RMDs from your retirement accounts.1
  • Catch-up Contributions: Those who own an IRA and are over age 60 may be allowed to contribute an additional $10,000 per year to their retirement accounts.1
  • Student Loans: Employers may be allowed to match retirement contributions for employees who are paying off student loans.1

There’s little doubt the bill will benefit many retirees or those approaching retirement; the only question that remains is “how.” If you have any questions about how this new legislation may impact your retirement strategy, or you just want to chat, give me a call anytime. We’re always here to help.

1. Congress.gov, May 5, 2021

Under the SECURE Act, once you reach age 72, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from a Traditional Individual Retirement Account in most circumstances. Withdrawals from Traditional IRAs are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. You may continue to contribute to a Traditional IRA past age 70½ under the SECURE Act. Contributions to a Traditional IRA may be fully or partially deductible, depending on your adjusted gross income.

Additionally, you must also begin taking required minimum distributions from your 401(k) or other defined contribution plans in most circumstances at age 72. Withdrawals from your 401(k) or other defined-contribution plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite, LLC, is not affiliated with the named representative, broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Dr. Jason Van Duyn
586-731-6020
AQuest Wealth Strategies
President

Dr. Jason Van Duyn CFP®, ChFC, CLU, MBA is a Registered Representative with and Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA & SIPC. The LPL Financial registered representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: IN, IL, TX, MI, NC, AZ, VA, FL, OH and CO.

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A COLA with Your Social Security?

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A COLA with your Social Security

If there is a “silver lining” to all the inflation talk, it may be that Social Security benefits are expected to see a larger-than-normal increase in 2022.

Preliminary estimates call for a 4.7% cost-of-living increase (COLA) in Social Security benefits next year, which would be the highest since 2009. Benefits rose 1.3% in 2021.1

The Social Security Administration makes its official announcement in January 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics bases its annual adjustment on the Bureau of Labor Statistics data in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, known as the CPI-W.2

A lot can change between now and January 2022, but remember that data from the third quarter of 2021 will be the basis for the COLA for next year.

In my experience, Social Security is one of the most misunderstood sources of retirement income. For example, only 33% of people in 2021 expected Social Security to be a major income source during retirement.

In reality, it was a major source for 62% of retirees.3 Retirement may hold many surprises. But your sources of retirement income shouldn’t be one of them. It’s critical to have a strategy that keeps your expectations in line with reality. We’d welcome the chance to hear what you think about Social Security.

1. SeniorsLeague.org, May 12, 2021
2. CNBC.com, May 12, 2021
3. EBRI.org, 2021. “Retirement Confidence Survey”

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite, LLC, is not affiliated with the named representative, broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Dr. Jason Van Duyn
586-731-6020
AQuest Wealth Strategies
President

Dr. Jason Van Duyn CFP®, ChFC, CLU, MBA is a Registered Representative with and Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA & SIPC. The LPL Financial registered representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: IN, IL, TX, MI, NC, AZ, VA, FL, OH and CO.

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Rebalancing Your Portfolio

Rebalancing your portfolio

Everyone loves a winner. If an investment is successful, most people naturally want to stick with it. But is that the best approach?

It may sound counterintuitive, but it may be possible to have too much of a good thing. Over
time, the performance of different investments can shift a portfolio’s intent – and its risk profile.
It’s a phenomenon sometimes referred to as “risk creep,” and it happens when a portfolio has
its risk profile shift over time.

When deciding how to allocate investments, many start by taking into account their time horizon, risk tolerance, and specific goals. Next, individual investments are selected that pursue the overall objective. If all the investments selected had the same return, that balance – that allocation – would remain steady for a period of time. But if the investments have varying returns, over time, the portfolio may bear little resemblance to its original allocation.

How Rebalancing Works

Rebalancing is the process of restoring a portfolio to its original risk profile.1

There are two ways to rebalance a portfolio. The first is to use new money.

When adding money to a portfolio, allocate these new funds to those assets or asset classes that have fallen. For example, if bonds have fallen from 40% of a portfolio to 30%, consider purchasing enough bonds to return them to their original 40% allocation. Diversification is an investment principle designed to manage risk. However, diversification does not guarantee against a loss.

The second way of rebalancing is to sell enough of the “winners” to buy more underperforming assets. Ironically, this type of rebalancing actually forces you to buy low and sell high.

Periodically rebalancing your portfolio to match your desired risk tolerance is a sound practice
regardless of the market conditions. One approach is to set a specific time each year to
schedule an appointment to review your portfolio and determine if adjustments are appropriate.

Shifting Allocation

Over time, market conditions can change the risk profile of an investment portfolio. For
example, imagine that on January 1, 2010, an investor created a portfolio containing a mix of
50% bonds and 50% stocks. By January 1, 2020, if the portfolio were left untouched, the mix
would have changed to 33% bonds and 67% stocks.2

1. Investopedia.com, 2020
2. Stocks are represented by the S&P 500 Composite index (total return), an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. Bonds are represented by data obtained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Individuals cannot invest directly in an index. When sold, an investment’s shares may be worth more or less than their original cost. Bonds that are redeemed prior to maturity may be worth more or less than their original stated value. The rate of return on investments will vary over time, particularly for longer term investments. Investments that offer the potential for high returns also carry a high degree of risk. Actual returns will fluctuate. The types of securities and strategies illustrated may not be suitable for everyone.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SECregistered
investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2021 FMG Suite.

Dr. Jason Van Duyn
586-731-6020
AQuest Wealth Strategies
President

Dr. Jason Van Duyn CFP®, ChFC, CLU, MBA is a Registered Representative with and Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA & SIPC. The LPL Financial registered representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: IN, IL, TX, MI, NC, AZ, VA, FL, OH and CO.

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Inflation Can Be a Scary Word

Inflation can be a scary word.

Inflation can be a scary word for people who are retired. It’s code for “prices are going up, but my income may stay the same.”

The most recent reading on consumer prices put inflation back into the conversation. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.8% in April 2021 and jumped by a greater-than-expected 4.2% year-over-year.1

April’s increase was led by a 10% increase in used cars, with additional pockets of increases, notably in transportation services and commodities. Core inflation, which excludes the more volatile food and energy prices, was up a more modest 3.0% from April 2020.2,3

While there is good reason to be concerned about inflation, there also are compelling reasons to adopt a wait-and-see approach.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says today’s inflation will be transitory and attributed to the post-pandemic economic expansion. But others are not so certain. Warren Buffett has said price increases are more structural, meaning they are becoming part of the prices we pay every day.4,5

Inflation is just one factor considered when creating a portfolio. If inflation starts to trend higher than expected for a period of time, adjustments can be made. For example, if the Fed chooses to raise interest rates to help manage inflation, it may be appropriate to review a portfolio’s bond holdings. Longer-term bonds can be more sensitive to interest rate changes.

We are keeping an eye on inflation and understand the concerns of our retired, or soon to be retired, clients. We work with professionals who monitor the economy and who can help interpret the recent government reports. But if inflation is starting to worry you, please reach out. We’d welcome the chance to hear your thoughts.

1.CNBC, May 12, 2021
2.U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 12, 2021
3.U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 12, 2021
4.CNBC.com, May 3, 2021
5.CNBC.com, April 28, 2021

The market value of a bond will fluctuate with changes in interest rates. As rates rise, the value of existing bonds typically falls. If an investor sells a bond before maturity, it may be worth more or less than the initial purchase price. By holding a bond to maturity, an investor will receive the interest payments due plus your original principal, barring default by the issuer. Investments seeking to achieve higher yields also involve a higher degree of risk.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite, LLC, is not affiliated with the named representative, broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Dr. Jason Van Duyn
586-731-6020
AQuest Wealth Strategies
President

Dr. Jason Van Duyn CFP®, ChFC, CLU, MBA is a Registered Representative with and Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA & SIPC. The LPL Financial registered representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: IN, IL, TX, MI, NC, AZ, VA, FL, OH and CO.

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