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NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Retirement Planning - From Growth to Income (3/19/2019)

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Speaker: Kyle Whittington, CFP®, Meld Financial
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 from 5:45 to 7:30 PM at Birmingham Botanical Gardens
A light supper will be served

Please join us for this EYE-OPENING AND INFORMATIVE SESSION where we will share IMPORTANT STRATEGIES to meet your financial goals. KYLE WHITTINGTON, CFP®, PARTNER, VICE PRESIDENT CLIENT ADVISORY SERVICES will guide the discussion from the perspective of “what course of action would we choose for ourselves, given the same set of circumstances you are facing.”

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All events are for educational purposes only; no products or services will be sold.

Securities Offered Through Triad Advisors, LLC Member FINRA/SIPC

Advisory Services Offered Through Meld Financial Inc.

Meld Financial Inc. and Triad Advisors, LLC Are Not Related

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Weekly Economic Update - 12/10/2018

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Upcoming Event:

Click here for details and to register for our next Meld University event: Estate Planning. The class will be held on Tuesday, December 4th at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. There is no cost to register, but seating is limited.

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Meld Financial, Inc. Presents:

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Weekly Economic Update

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Weekly Tip
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Is your home a showcase for fine art, collectibles, or antiques? If your collection has significant value, it may not be adequately insured by a standard homeowner policy. You may want to consider specialized property coverage.

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Weekly Quote
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“Make up your mind to act decidedly and take the consequences. No good is ever done in this world by hesitation.”

-Thomas Henry Huxley

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Weekly Riddle
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Take a word with four letters. Take away one, and what remains will be better – better than zero, anyway. What word is this?

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Last Week's Riddle
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It can be open, closed, empty, or full. Sometimes you see one, sometimes two. It can be bare, but never a bear. What is it?

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Last week's answer:
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A hand.

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HIRING PACE SLOWS

In November, U.S. employers added a net 155,000 hires to their payrolls. That compares with a (revised) gain of 237,000 recorded by the federal government for October. The Department of Labor’s latest jobs report showed the main unemployment rate holding steady at just 3.7%, and the U-6 rate (unemployed and underemployed) rising 0.2% to 7.6%. Annualized wage growth was at 3.1%. Will this middling job growth make the Federal Reserve think twice about a year-end rate move? Perhaps not: Friday, the CME Group’s Fed Watch tool put the chances of a 0.25% December rate hike at 76.6%.1

SERVICE & FACTORY SECTORS CONTINUE TO HUM

Early each month, investors and economists alike look at the Institute for Supply Management’s twin purchasing manager indices tracking expansion and contraction in manufacturing and service industries. The latest data is quite good. ISM’s November service sector PMI improved to 60.7, up 0.4 points from October; its factory sector PMI also rose, ascending 1.6 points on the month to an impressive 59.3.2

OPEC ADDRESSES IMBALANCE OF OIL SUPPLY, OIL DEMAND

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other key foreign producers agreed on Friday to cut production by a total of 1.2 million barrels per day for at least six months. That brought some relief to stateside oil investors, who watched WTI crude jump about 5% Friday; the commodity ended the week at $52.34 on the NYMEX.3,4

FOUR DAYS OF UPS AND DOWNS

Volatility reigned on Wall Street during an abbreviated market week. (U.S. financial markets were closed Wednesday in observance of the national day of mourning for President George H.W. Bush.) Institutional investors found plenty of motivation to sell, partly due to a dimming outlook for a truce in the U.S.-China trade war. During the worst week for shares in nine months, the Dow Industrials fell 4.50% to 24,388.95; the S&P 500, 4.60% to 2,633.08; the Nasdaq Composite, 4.93% to 6,969.25.5,6

THIS WEEK

Casey’s General Stores announces quarterly results on Monday. | A new Producer Price Index arrives Tuesday, plus earnings from American Eagle Outfitters and DSW. | On Wednesday, investors will consider the November Consumer Price Index. | Thursday offers earnings from Adobe, Costco, and Fred’s, along with the Department of Labor’s latest initial claims numbers. | Federal government reports on November retail sales and industrial output appear Friday.

% CHANGEY-T-D1-YR CHG5-YR AVG10-YR AVG
DJIA-1.340.7310.4517.30
NASDAQ0.952.3014.3134.34
S&P 5001.52-0.159.1718.94
REAL YIELD12/7 RATE1 YR AGO5 YRS AGO10 YRS AGO
10 YR TIPS0.960.500.772.47

Sources: ft.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov - 12/7/187,8,9,10

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

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Upcoming Event:

Click here for details and to register for our next Meld University event: Estate Planning. The class will be held on Tuesday, December 4th at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. There is no cost to register, but seating is limited.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Contact Info - Text" _builder_version="3.0.86" background_layout="light"]

Meld Financial, Inc.

P.O. Box 43626

Birmingham, AL 35243

Phone: 205-967-4200

Email: Meld@meldfinancial.com

www.meldfinancial.com

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Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC.

Advisory services offered through Meld Financial, Inc.

Triad Advisors and Meld Financial are not affiliated.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Disclosure Detail - Text" _builder_version="3.18.2" text_font_size="10px" module_class="fine-print-post-text"]

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs, or expenses. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

CITATIONS:

1 - tinyurl.com/y93zzeuv [12/7/18]

2 - instituteforsupplymanagement.org/ISMReport/NonMfgROB.cfm?SSO=1 [12/6/18]

3 - cnn.com/2018/12/07/investing/opec-oil-prices/index.html [12/7/18]

4 - money.cnn.com/data/commodities/ [12/7/18]

5 - markets.ft.com/data/world [12/7/18]

6 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-06/asia-signals-mixed-start-for-stocks-yields-drop-markets-wrap [12/7/18]

7 - markets.wsj.com/us [12/7/18]

8 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F7%2F17&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F7%2F17&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F7%2F17&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F6%2F13&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F6%2F13&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F6%2F13&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F8%2F08&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F8%2F08&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

8 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F8%2F08&x=0&y=0 [12/7/18]

9 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [12/7/18]

10 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [12/7/18]

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College Savings 101: Which plan is right for you?

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How do you create a strategy that maximizes your college savings?

Provided by Meld University

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Upcoming Event:

Click here for details and to register for our next Meld University event: Savvy Social Security Planning for Baby Boomers. The class will be held on Tuesday, January 29th at Greystone Golf & Country Club, Founder’s Clubhouse. There is no cost to register, but seating is limited.

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“Are you saving for college?”

Those of us with children encounter this question almost as frequently as we hear about the need to save for retirement. But just like with retirement, the various college savings options can be overwhelming. There are a lot of plans available, each with their own set of pros and cons. So how do you create a strategy that maximizes your college savings?

How do you choose the right college savings plan for your situation?

That question lies at the heart of Situational Investing, our proprietary investing methodology at Meld. This approach considers the unique characteristics and situation of each individual investor and designs an investment strategy that best suits the individual’s needs. It’s how we help clients plan their finances and determine the best college savings plan for their families.

At minimum, you should do your homework by learning the various college savings options and seek the assistance of a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ before you make the decision. A CFP® can help you understand the pros and cons of each college savings plan and strategy.

To get you started on the right path, let’s explore the various college savings plans.

What are my options when it comes to college savings?

The one you’ve probably heard the most about is the 529 Plan. It’s often touted as the best way to save for college, but it’s also one of the most underutilized.

It draws its name from a section of the tax code, and the tax benefits are among one of the biggest upsides of this particular option. Any funds from the 529 that are used on qualified higher education expense and up to $10,000 per year in K-12 tuition aren’t subject to federal taxes. This means you can even get a tax break on your child’s private school tuition. Also, check with your state because 529 plans can sometimes offer additional state tax benefits. These plans can allow you to contribute more than $500,000 over the life of the account, and leftover funds can be transferred to benefit another family member.

Perhaps most important on the list of pros is the fact that 529 plans owned by a dependent student won’t impact the student’s eligibility for financial aid. Investments in those plans are treated as parent assets and don’t have to be reported on the FAFSA form.

The plan does have a few drawbacks. First, earnings are subject to income tax if they are withdrawn for non-educational purposes. Second, you will have to pay a 10 percent penalty on withdrawals that aren’t spent on qualified education expenses. Finally, your investment strategy is limited to what’s offered in the particular plan you’ve chosen.

There are many factors to consider when investing in a 529 plan, so be sure to seek the assistance of a CFP® to aid you in understanding your complete financial picture.

What about the Educational IRA?

Also known as a Coverdell Education Savings Account (or ESA), this is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an individual retirement account for someone under the age of 18, only the funds are earmarked for educational expenses rather than retirement.

Withdrawals from these accounts that go toward those qualified expenses are tax-free. While the investment options with the 529 plan are somewhat limited, the Educational IRA offers a broad range of them — plus the ability to self-direct your investments on your own or through your investment manager. Leftover funds in these accounts can also be transferred to benefit other family members. As for financial aid, students with an Educational IRA also don’t get dinged on the FAFSA as the account is also deemed a parent asset.

There are, however, important limits to understand with this option. For one, it’s not available to everyone. Your income must fall below a certain level to be able to make the maximum annual contributions, which is maxed out at $2,000 per beneficiary per year. And whatever funds you’re able to accrue must be used before the beneficiary turns 30. Again, always seek the help of a financial planning professional before you begin investing.

What about Uniform Gift to Minors Act accounts?

These accounts — known as UGMA or UTMA accounts — are really just custodial accounts. They hold and protect money for minors until they hit the age of 18, and they offer a great deal of flexibility. The money can be spent on anything, as long as it benefits the minor, and there are no investment limits.

There are tax advantages to these accounts, however, some disadvantages must be considered. Earnings on these accounts are subject to taxes, although not at the parents’ rate. In some cases, this can result in lower taxes on the account, but this calculation can be difficult without the help of a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. On the other hand, these accounts are counted as a student asset on the FAFSA, which can reduce any student aid package the minor might receive. And, be sure to plan extensively with these accounts because leftover funds cannot be transferred to another beneficiary.

So where do I start developing a college saving plan?

There’s a lot to consider, which is why we recommend you consult with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ who is well-versed in the Situational Investing methodology. That will create a strong foundation — built on a thorough assessment of you, your risk tolerance and your financial goals — on which we can build a college savings strategy that’s best for you and, most importantly, your children.

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Meld Financial, Inc. may be reached at:

205-967-4200

meld@meldfinancial.com

P. O. Box 43626

Birmingham, AL 35243

www.meldfinancial.com

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Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC . Member FINRA/SIPC.

Advisory services offered through Meld Financial, Inc.

Triad Advisors and Meld Financial are not affiliated.

This material was prepared by Workspace Solutions, LLC, and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

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