Our Thoughts

FJY News to Know #48

Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday — The Shift in Holiday Spending

Cyber Monday, or December 2nd of this year — brought in almost $8B in online sales, a record for this sales day.  The marketing campaigns were led by Target and Amazon, who relentlessly emailed consumers — and offered free shipping with no minimums.  Brick and mortar stores are beginning to feel the heat from online retailers; the demise of Toys ‘R’ Us is one example — with other companies filling the void left by the toy giant.  Many consumers are being seduced by the ease of online shopping, and this year is no exception.  For more on this growing phenomenon, click here.

Do You Have a Health Savings Account?  If So, it’s Time to Put that Puppy to Work!

Many people have a Health Savings Account (HSA), but they’re not exploiting them to their full advantage.  In 2017, only 5% of HSA participants had unused funds in investments; the majority kept theirs in cash.  Whereas with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you’re required to deplete your balance each year — HSA monies don’t expire.  Another advantage over the FSA:  HSA funds can be invested when they’re not in use and receive triple tax advantages!  Want to learn about the many tax advantages of the HSA?  This article will spell it all out.

It’s Almost 2020, But You Can Still Maintain Your Financial Plans While Playing Santa

As the big Christmas holiday approaches, it’s easy to get distracted by that yuletide feeling — not to mention the latest batch of eggnog.  However, the investor mindset should never go dormant.  Among the tactics available are tax harvesting, or liquidating investments to ease the capital gains tax liability.  If you decide to sell an asset for a loss, you can offset up to $3,000 in non-investment income.  Insurance policies are another area that could stand some scrutiny; things change with time — and perhaps your policies should too.  There are at least four other facets of financial planning to consider; to learn what they are, go here.

What Are the Big Fitness Companies up to Regarding the Holidays?

New Year’s resolutions often include lifestyle changes — Especially with regard to fitness and weight loss.  Consequently, some fitness companies are not only aware of this phenomenon, but they are also starting to target these timely months in their marketing plans.  Planet Fitness, dubbed the ‘Amazon of gyms’, is well-known for its relatively low membership fees.  This might be contributing to their shares, which are up 38% on the year.  However, not all chains are reaping rewards:  Weight Watchers’ shares fell 55%; CEO Mindy Grossman blames it on the recent keto surge, a ‘quick-fix remedy’ in her words.  For more perspective on the industry, read this article.