August 2021 Newsletter

August, 2021

Stocks Take a Breather

There were plenty of excuses for stocks to retreat last week. News of a new phase in Chinese regulators’ crackdown on large, private-sector companies, a decline in new home sales, and concerns about the Delta variant weighed on investors.

After opening the week adding to record highs, stocks turned lower despite an earnings season that continued to impress.

Solid earnings from the mega-cap technology companies were not enough to propel stocks higher. Instead, stocks slipped throughout the week, fighting uncertainty over Chinese stocks, a disappointing second-quarter Gross Domestic Product number, and a retreat in technology shares they reset to fresh company guidance.

Chinese Crackdown

Chinese technology stocks were under pressure last week as Chinese regulators continued their push to rein in large companies for reasons that include data security, abusive corporate behavior, financial stability, and curtailing private-sector power.

Chinese government actions raised new levels of concerns about which industries may next fall in the crosshairs of regulators. American investors have plenty of exposure to Chinese companies. Substantial losses were felt by mutual funds and hedge funds, which account for about 86% of the holdings in the over 200 U.S.-listed Chinese companies whose aggregate market capitalization exceeds $2 trillion.3

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

SEC Zeroes In On Crypto, Asks Congress For Help

US Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler gave a speech this week in which he said that investor protection informs his thinking on the topic of cryptocurrencies. In the address, he called on Congress to help protect the public from fraud and asked for more authority to ensure that products and platforms do not fall between regulatory cracks.

Boost for Electric Vehicles

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at making half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 electric. The measure is supported by US automakers and unions.

Disconnect Between Housing Prices and Rents

We've seen many articles about the recent uptick in inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). One aspect of CPI that most people aren't aware of is that housing prices are not part of the index. Inflation figures like the CPI actually include rents as opposed to housing prices. Currently we're seeing one of the largest historical differences in housing prices and rent. This could mean an increase in rent is coming, or perhaps a pause in rising home prices.

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 1983.4,5

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 2022.6

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.7

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 2021.7,8

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.9

Bringing Clarity

Claiming Social Security can be one of the biggest decisions you make as you approach retirement.

GTS Financial has software that analyzes countless scenarios to present you with clear options on which claiming strategies are a good fit for you. If you are approaching retirement and want an in-depth analysis run, let us know! 

Click this link to open up an email you can send to us, or let us know at 

78 Science Backed Benefits of Weightlifting

The aging process is a daunting and inevitable one.

Which is why effort and action must be taken to improve the overall health, longevity, and quality of life.

Despite this, 80% of adults are not engaging in enough physical activity to reach prescribed guidelines and full health benefits of exercise. In general, but especially for seniors, inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle are extremely dangerous.

What are the dangers exactly? Increased risk of serious adverse health conditions such as blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity, cholesterol issues, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, depression, and death from any cause. In 2008 there were 5.3 million deaths worldwide caused by a lack of physical activity out of the 57 million deaths worldwide.10

Many people know weightlifting is hugely beneficial but think light walking or recreational activity is “good enough” for seniors. There is this misconception that older aged individuals should stay away from any strenuous activity that can build strength like weightlifting. Continuing on completely unaware of the benefits of strength training.

Click here to read more.

*Please consult with your physician before beginning any new exercise routine*


In the practice of gratitude, sometimes you may be stuck on what to record. Or, you may feel you’ve said the same thing so many times, is it worth writing down again? In those moments don’t put down your pen, rather using a resource for guided practice is helpful.  Give it a try! 

Gratitude Guided Practice: What's your favorite moment of the day? 

Maybe you’re smiling now, letting out a deep sigh (of relief) or closing your eyes to get back to that moment. If you’re not quite sure what that moment is then try this: close your eyes and imagine what your favorite moment looks like: Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? 

Hold this image for at least 30 seconds. Found your favorite moment? Awesome!  Take some time and record that moment in your journal as it is indeed something to be grateful for!   

Used with permission from our friends at Vertellis 


The GTS 7-Day Gratitude Challenge 

Gratitude is one of our core values at GTS Financial.  We take time to cultivate an attitude of gratitude in our personal lives, in our company culture and with our clients.  One way we do this is to challenge you to record interactions, activities, or moments of gratitude 7 days in a row and note any changes you see in yourself.  This little habit can literally change the way you look at the world! Email us at with a message about your experience. 

One of our clients recently sent us this inspirational message:  

After seven days of journaling, I am feeling very blessed. Even though I am in my senior years and live in an assisted living facility, I still have a purpose in life. My purpose changes daily related to the activities I am involved in and the interaction with residents.” 

Footnotes and Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2021

2. The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2021

3. Yahoo Finance, January 7, 2021

4., July 15, 2021

5., May 12, 2021

6., July 13, 2021

7., June 2021

8., June 2021

9., July 19, 2021

10. Lack of exercise as 'deadly' as smoking. (2012, July 18). Retrieved July 23, 2018

Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. 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 forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. 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 technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

U.S. Treasury Notes are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. However, if you sell a Treasury Note prior to maturity, it may be worth more or less than the original price paid. 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.

International investments carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risks unique to a specific country, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. These factors may result in greater share price volatility.

Please consult your financial professional for additional information.

By providing links to other sites, GTS Financial does not guarantee, approve, or endorse the information or products available on these sites.

This 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 is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.