September Email Newsletter

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September 2013 AAM Newsletter

Hello and thank you for reading my e-newsletter.

I hope you find the information useful.  If you enjoy the newsletter please forward to a friend.   Please also let me know what you like to see so that I may continue to provide relevant content.

If you are a client of mine, thank you for your continued business and please update me on any changes in your situation do that I can make the appropriate changes to your financial plan and investments.

If you are not a client please consider giving me a call or emailing me if you would like to begin a plan to get you to your financial goals.  I consider myself different from many of the advisors out there for the following reasons:
1) You will not be pressured to purchase any products because I am a fee-only advisor and a NAPFA® Member (no commission sales)
2) You will have a comprehensive financial plan completed by a Certified Financial Planner ™ Practitioner or CFP® – I have committed to financial planning and continuing education.
3) You will have a reasonable fee for the services performed.  I charge less than the typical large financial planning firm by being a small shop and keeping my business expenses low.

Ronald J. VanSurksum, CFP®

For more insight on these groups and myself please click on the following links



Stocks dipped in August as tapering concerns continued and the US discussed war actions against Syria.

Index performance                                          August 2013    Year-To-Date (8/31)

  • The S&P index                                   -3.13%                  +14.50%
  • Dow Jones industrial 30                 -4.45%                  +13.02%
  • The NASDAQ Index                         -1.01%                  +18.89%
  • The Russell 2000 Small cap           -3.29%                  +19.02%
  • EAFE International Index              -1.96%                  +4.06%
  • The US Dollar                                     +0.54%                 +2.82%
  • Oil                                                           +2.36%                 +17.24%
  • Gold                                                      +5.43%                 -16.66%
  • Yields rose in August, the 10-year treasury is currently yielding 2.75% and the 30 year treasury is yielding 3.68%




Payrolls for July and August continued to grow at a moderate pace but a surprising downward revision added to the uncertainty of Fed tapering in 2013.  Retail sales were mixed, manufacturing continued moderate expansion, inflation remained tame and 2Q GDP estimates were revised higher from 1.7% to 2.5%.

The continued concern over the timing of Fed tapering and the added concern of a possible attack on Syria weighed on markets in August and resulted in a moderate decline for stocks.  The Nasdaq market was shut down for 3 hours due to a computer glitch and contributed to some additional uncertainty.

Overseas stocks slipped as well on mixed economic data and possible turmoil middle east.


Bond yields treaded higher once again with the 10-year treasury now approaching 3%.  Unlike May and June the recent rise has been slow and steady and more of a positive for stocks rather than a shock.

For weekly market updates please visit my blog which is now part of my new website at


Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates jumped a bit in August.   The national average on mortgage as per shows the 15-year rate is now at 3.61% and the 30-year rate is at 4.60%. These rates are as of 9/6/2013 and may include points.   Again, if you have the equity in your home and a 5+ year time frame this could be a great time to refinance and lock in historically low rates.

With the money you save you could be paying off your mortgage sooner, paying off other bills, increasing your cash reserves or building up your long-term investments.


CD Rates
CD rates rose over the last month.  Charles Schwab has access to CD’s from banks all over the country.  Here are some of the current CD rates offered.

6 mo CD @ 0.30%             1-Yr CD @ 0.40%
2-Yr CD @ 0.80%              5-Yr CD @ 2.05%

Currently I am not doing much with CD Ladders.  I will start using them again as rates begin to rise.  If you want to know what I am doing as an alternative let me know.


Tips and Suggestions

September is Life Insurance Awareness month.  Let’s review current policies to make sure they are still meeting your needs and/or are adequate.

Are you saving enough?  Could you reach your goals and still have more fun now?  Let’s plan!

Do a midyear review of your budget to see how well you’re sticking to spending limits and savings goals.  Make adjustments if necessary.

Are you on track to meet your financial goals?  Do you have a plan to get you where you want to be?  If you do not you may not reach your goals.  Let’s make a plan to Maximize your financial potential.

What is your tax plan for 2013?  Is it time for one?

Set up an appointment for a fall home energy audit before heating season begins.  Your utility company might do one free of charge.

Need help with your 401k?  I am now using to allow me to help review your 401k online and help you rebalance.  We can access the plan together online, I can give you control to log in and then we can discuss and make changes together.  Let me know if you want to discuss!

Are your cash reserves earning less than 1%?  Consider a short-term US treasury fund or Corporate Bond fund to give your secondary cash reserves a yield boost.

If you have any question or if you would like to have help with your financial plan please give me – your Fee-only Certified Financial Planning ™ Practitioner a call.


All articles are now found on my website which has been combined with my blog:


Social Security Tips for September


Looking Good with a Fee-Only Financial Planner


The Basic of Long-Term Care Insurance


Financial Priorities : Working with a Financial Planner


Prepping for the College Savings Test


Women, Money and Today’s Retirement

Contact Me
Do you want more information on how I can help you?  Give me a call or drop me an email to review or set up a free initial consultation.

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Advanced Asset Management
4555 Wilson Ave SW, Suite 2
Grandville, MI 49418

Phone: (616) 531-5220