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Condor Capital Reviews 3rd Quarter 2020

Coming off one the strongest quarters on record, the third quarter of 2020 saw the domestic equity market move higher once again.  While the market did pull back a bit in September after five consecutive months of gains amid concerns about stretched equity valuations and trepidation over the upcoming presidential election, the S&P 500 Index still returned a very healthy 8.93% through quarter’s end.  The consumer discretionary and basic materials sectors were the quarter’s top contributors, and large-cap names generally outpaced their mid- and small-cap peers.  The growing bifurcation between growth and value continued to play out in the quarter, with growth stocks faring substantially better than their value counterparts across all market caps.

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The Social Security Administration Announces 2021 COLA

On October 13, 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) officially announced that Social Security recipients will receive a 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2021. This adjustment will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2021. Additionally, increased payments to more than 8 million Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2020.1

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President Ken Schapiro Quoted in New York Times Article “Why These Millionaires Are Staying Put Despite a New Tax on Them”

In light of a recent millionaires tax in New Jersey that increases state taxes by 20 percent for individuals with incomes of $1 million and higher, many believe that high earners have been incentivized to leave the state. While that may be the case for some, for others, it would take more than increased taxes for them to move elsewhere.

Condor Capital Management’s president, Ken Schapiro, who is also a member of Tiger 21, an investment group with members whose net worths may be tens of millions of dollars, recently had several comments on this.

“It wouldn’t be higher taxes,” he said. “I have too many business ties. I own a tennis club here. I have friends and family here. Look, if they double the taxes, I might do it.”

“The difference between 10.75 percent and 8.75 percent won’t necessarily pay for a second home, but the whole number will for sure,” he also said, referencing the new and old tax rates for millionaires in New Jersey. “But in general, I usually tell people to make decisions based on goals and objectives and worry about the taxes secondary.”

To read the full article of “Why These Millionaires Are Staying Put Despite a New Tax on Them” by Paul Sullivan, please click here.

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FAFSA for 2021-2022 Academic Year Opens on October 1

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2021-2022 year opens on   October 1, 2020. The FAFSA is a prerequisite for federal student loans, grants, and work-study. In addition, colleges typically require the FAFSA before distributing their own need-based aid and, in some cases, merit-based aid.

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Managing Drug Costs

Are prescription drug costs burdening your finances? Some people find it a challenge to manage the cost of prescription drugs. Americans pay an average of $1,200 per year for medicine. For those facing greater and more dangerous ailments, some drugs can cost $10,000 per month or even lump sums in excess of $80,000 for certain drug therapies. Yes, health insurance and Medicare Part D can help you, but not everyone has access to Medicare, and not every insurance company has the same formulary. This means that your coverage may fall short—not something you want to hear when wrestling with a major diagnosis.1

How can a household try to manage drug costs? There are some approaches that may help.

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Death of a Family Member Checklist

Losing a loved one can be a difficult experience. Yet, during this time, you must complete a variety of tasks and make important financial decisions. You may need to make final arrangements, notify various businesses and government agencies, settle the individual’s estate, and provide for your own financial security. The following checklist may help guide you through the matters that must be attended to upon the death of a family member.

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Merging Your Money When You Marry

Getting married is exciting, but it brings many challenges. One such challenge that you and your spouse will have to face is how to merge your finances. Planning carefully and communicating clearly are important, because the financial decisions that you make now can have a lasting impact on your future.

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College Disrupted: Students Face High Costs and Pandemic Impact

Even in normal times, it can be challenging for families to cover college expenses without borrowing money and/or risking their own retirement security. For the 2019-2020 academic year, the cost of in-state tuition, fees, room, and board at a four-year public college averaged $21,950, and the total for a private college approached $50,000.1

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