Monday, July 12, 2010

Jersey Benefits Advisors Newsletter Summer 2010


The 4th of July holiday has come and gone as the mercury keeps rising incessantly, baking the East Coast in near record temperatures. I hope you were able to take advantage of the beautiful holiday weather and enjoy an outdoor activity or two. I was lucky enough to spend some time with my family at beach, and enjoyed my granddaughter as she frolicked in the sand and negotiated with the waves. She did quite well, until I managed to allow a rather small wave to splash up and hit her in the face. She didn’t like that very much! It reminded me of how I felt about the stock market’s performance prior to the holiday.

After a decent first quarter in 2010, some of the concerns we spoke about in the last quarter overwhelmed investors as the reality set in that this will not be a normal recovery, much as the recession we recently experienced was not typical. The countries of the European Union experienced their own debt crisis, with Greece being the poster child for fiscal mismanagement. Fear of a debt contagion from Europe undermined investor confidence and led to a major correction in the second quarter. The DJIA closed the quarter at 9,774.02, which leaves it at - 6.27% for the year. The Dow is now 12.8% lower than the April high, while the S&P 500 ended the quarter at 1,030.71 for a - 7.28% performance for the January to June period. The NASDAQ finished the quarter at 2,109.24 for a - 7.05% first half showing.

There are many debates raging about the significance of the second quarter drubbing. With the DJIA off 12.8% and the S&P 500 down over 15% from April, talk of the economy sinking back into recession, the dreaded double dip, has resurfaced. There is also much discussion about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The huge stimulus bill hasn’t begun to create the jobs promised, as unemployment remains stubbornly high at 9.5% of the workforce. The major expansion of the government into healthcare, as well as the administration’s promise to push through a cap on carbon emissions, in their response to the BP fiasco in the Gulf of Mexico, has left many Americans wary of the Big Government goals of this Congress. In fact it has led Barron’s, in July 5th issue, to call for major losses for the Democrats in November, and an end of the Big Government agenda.

While the effectiveness of government stimulus will be debated ad infinitum, the fact of the matter is something had to be done to stabilize the economy. The promise of it being a “job creation machine for shovel ready projects” created unrealistic expectations. As can be witnessed by this tepid expansion, stimulating an economy as multifaceted as ours is no small endeavor. It takes a great deal of time for the effects of government spending to be felt, and when it is targeted to technologies which are the pet projects of politicians, the effects can be minimal, and can have some unintended consequences.

So, if in fact Barron’s is correct and we wind up with a stalemate in Congress after November and the inability to push through Cap and Trade legislation, we may actually be better off. While the search for alternative and renewable fuels is certainly in our best interest as a country, to deny the role of fossil fuels in our immediate and long term future is tantamount to utter deception. As for the double dip recession, with all of the stimulus thrown at the economy, it seems unlikely. We will probably continue to expand slowly, but unemployment will likely remain uncomfortably high.


It seems like the markets have been on a wild, rollercoaster ride lately. Even portfolios with state of the art diversification have gyrated significantly over the last two years. I realize it gets difficult to stay the course, when there is so much opinion and information bombarding you on a daily basis. Yet, more than ever, I believe these volatile times present a wonderful opportunity to systematically add to your portfolio. It is really not enough to just hold onto your investments, because it is equally important to continually purchase shares to take advantage of lower prices when they become available. This trading range will not last forever, and there will be a point when the markets recognize the expansion is for real, and the buying opportunity will be gone.



At Jersey Benefits Advisors and Jersey Benefits Group, Inc. protecting your privacy is very important to us. We want you to understand what information we collect and how we use it. We collect and use information from you on applications and other forms as well as information about financial transactions with us and from non-affiliated third parties. This “nonpublic personal information” is obtained in connection with providing a financial product or service to you.

We do not disclose any nonpublic personal information about you without your express consent, except as permitted by law. We may disclose the nonpublic personal information we collect to persons or companies that perform services on our behalf.

We restrict access to your nonpublic personal information and only allow disclosures to persons and companies as permitted by law to assist in providing products or services to you.

We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your nonpublic personal information at all times.


Legislation may be signed into law this summer, billed as reform of the financial system, to prevent a calamity similar to the 2008 financial crisis. Unfortunately, there is no provision in the legislation about what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two entities many feel are at the root of the housing crash. While consumer protection is a worthwhile goal and regulations are certainly important in order to reign in those who are corrupt, this particular bill is too little, too late, and fails to recognize the government’s complicit role in the housing bubble. Enjoy your summer!


Investment Advisory Services offered through:
Jersey Benefits Advisors
P.O. Box 1406
Ocean City, N.J. 08226
Phone: 609 827 0194
Fax: 609 861 9257

Securities offered through:
Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.
A registered Broker/Dealer
34 Doe Dr.
Woodbine, NJ 0870

Third Party Administration and Insurance Services offered through:
Jersey Benefits Group, Inc
P.O. Box 1406
Ocean City, N.J. 08226
Phone: 609 827 0194
Fax: 609 861 9257

All opinions expressed in this newsletter are solely those of John Kaighn & Jersey Benefits Advisors, formerly known as Kaighn Financial Services.