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Hello, and welcome to our weekly Market Alert video for the week ending December 17, 2021. Gosh, it’s a week before Christmas—better get your shopping done! I’ve got some very good news, and I want to thank you guys for this. We have had had over 280,000 views of this Market Alert video series! Thank you, everyone. I love your support and please share this video with as many people as you wish. You can make it their Christmas present! These videos helped you navigate these murky waters that we are going through in this pandemic. If you can help them as well, that’s a good thing! My mission in life is to help as many people as I possibly can to have financial security and enjoy their retirement. The more people you share it with, the more the opportunity there is for that to happen.

So, let’s talk about what happened this week. As you may have heard, the Federal Reserve announced that they are going to increase their tapering. What does “increase tapering” mean? It means they’re going to reduce the bonds they’re buying. It’s kind of a reverse speak which is normal for the Fed—but why are they going to reduce buying bonds? The reason why is because with most things, if you increase the demand for something, prices go up. With the Federal Reserve buying bonds, they’re increasing the demand for those bonds, making the price go up. If the price of bonds goes up, then interest rates, which have a reverse relationship, tends to go down. They buy bonds, push interest rates down, take cash, and put it into the system. By buying the bonds in exchange for cash, they are also stimulating the economy.

With the announcement of their decision to increase tapering, the Fed also said they’re planning on increasing interest rates three times next year. In our view, this is because inflation has turned out to be a bigger issue than even the Fed thought. They’ve stopped using the word that I am no longer allowed to use that starts with a T. Anyway, now they’re talking about raising interest rates to mitigate the effects of real inflation.

Is this good or bad news? In our view, it’s good news. From the Fed’s view, the economy is now able to grow on its own. It doesn’t need as much stimulus; it doesn’t need them to continue buying bonds to drive interest rates down and flood the economy with more money. They’re also saying they’re going to raise interest rates, effectively reducing the amount of economic activity. This will hopefully drive down inflation.

We view all of this as a good sign. Now, whenever the Federal Reserve makes a change, there are investors who say, “Okay, time for me to invest differently.” All kinds of stuff starts happening, so it’s reshuffling of the deck, if you will. When that happens, there is a lot of volatility. We believe the volatility we’re seeing this week is mostly a result of the Fed’s announcement along with more pandemic concerns. The pandemic is continuing with the Omicron variant and who knows how much more we’re going to have. Inflation, the supply chain, all those things play a role—but again, our mantra is the same. It’s going to be extremely volatile heading into the end of the year and early into next year. We also have tax reform, which has been tabled it to next year. We’ve

got all kinds of things happening, but the overall picture is that the company profits are strong.

In the end, we believe profits drive stock prices, and if profits are strong, stock prices should remain strong as well. However, anything could happen, and anything can change in the blink of an eye. This is why we have our Invest and Protect Strategy™ ready to be implemented, should this ever happen. If things turn south, we’re going to take action to help protect against that downside.

Lastly, I want to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year if I don’t talk to you before then. Happy holidays, and I hope all is well with you and yours. Thank you, take care, and we will talk soon.

MMWKM Advisors, LLC (d/b/a Retirement Planners of America ) (“Retirement Planners of America”) is an SEC registered investment adviser with a primary business location in Plano, Texas. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss. References to the “invest and protect strategy” (the “Strategy”) and recommendations made under the Strategy from 2007 through 2009 refer to strategies collectively employed and recommendations collectively made by Retirement Planners of America’s principals while employed at Eagle Strategies, LLC., and also at Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc. Four of the five principals remain as principals today, including the Retirement Planners of America’s founder, Ken Moraif, and Chief Investment Officer, Eli Dragon. Retirement Planners of America has been employing the Strategy since its inception in 2011. Therefore, any references to Retirement Planners of America’s performance or its investment advisory recommendations predating 2011 generally refer to recommendations made by Retirement Planners of America’s principals at the respective other firms described above. Like all investment strategies, the Strategy is not guaranteed. It is possible that it can incorrectly predict a bear market (generally accepted as a 20% drop in a market index), which has, in-fact, happened before at Retirement Planners of America and affected its clients accordingly. When the sell / “protect” portion of the Strategy is implemented, affected investors will incur transaction costs and taxable accounts will incur tax consequences. However, when implementing that portion of the Strategy, Retirement Planners of America generally believes that the benefit of avoiding bear markets outweighs the burden of these transaction costs and tax consequences.