Fall 2021 Newsletter

Strategic Planning Group's Fall 2021 Newsletter

Strategic Planning Group's Fall 2021 Newsletter


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Ryan Craner

shares some


myths. pg. 3 - 4

pg. 3

Myths and Misconceptions

by Ryan Craner

Ryan unpacks and smashes some harmful


pg. 5

Take Inflation Seriously

by John Park

John evaluates inflation and its implications.

pg. 9

Tax Increases:

Is There Reason to Worry?

by Tom Craner

Tom breaks down the recent conversations

in the media regarding tax increases.

pg. 10

Split Perception

by Alex Craner

Alex shares helpful information regarding

forecasts and projections with the markets.

pg. 11

Important Announcement

What is new with Kristin Kippen and team?

pg. 13

Scams and Schemes

Enjoy this Crossword as you learn about 6

different types of scams.

pg. 3

Myths and Misconceptions

pg. 14

Meet the Team

Introducing the new members of the office.

S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G G R O U P | 2

Myths and Misconceptions

By Ryan Craner

Taking the client advocate and consumer protection approach, Ryan has always viewed every client as

a long-term and very important relationship.

The world of finance,

investment, and retirement is

full of myths and

misconceptions: things that

many people believe to be

true but have never been

true. You will hear these

myths repeated by

salespeople, commission

advisors, and media outlets.

Here, we will unpack and

smash some of these harmful


It is up to me to time the

markets and avoid the next


Many people still believe this

perception, despite it being

completely wrong. Our

strategy for our clients has

worked for decades, and it

does not require them to

predict the future and react

to every market fluctuation.

Do not involve yourself in the

false narrative of second

guessing your long-term

strategy based on every bump

in the market or twitch in the

economy. Live your life and

cherish moments.

401(k) loans are “loans to

yourself” and are a tax and

interest free way to borrow.

401(k) loans are NOT interest

free and can often cause tax

disasters. If you have a

401(k) loan, call us

immediately at 801.627.2200

and take advantage of our

Second Opinion Service (SOS)

on the 401(k) loan.

The market is too high to

invest in now. I should wait

until it drops.

This has never been true, even

at any record high throughout

the entire market’s history.

Markets eventually find newer

highs in relatively short

periods of time. The market

has never been too high to



It is always better to own a

home than to rent a home.

Housing is a MARKET and it

can drop. Renting can be

better than home ownership

in planning for life’s

circumstances, such as church

missions and relocation for

work. Buying can certainly

produce better results over

the long-term, but too often

people impulse-buy when

renting would be cheaper,

easier, and better suited for

their needs and lifestyles.

My taxes are going to

increase in retirement. Taxes

always increase by the time I

get to retirement.

Tax costs go down at

retirement for nearly all our

clients. Payroll tax ceases and

tax brackets reduce. “Safe

Money” salespeople love to

perpetuate this myth, as it

serves their purpose to

market high commision life

insurance and annuity


If somebody says they are a

fiduciary, then you can

automatically trust them

and their recommendations.

Wrong! Being a licensed

“Investment Advisor

Representative” or a firm that

is a “Registered Investment

Advisor” requires these

individuals or firms to act in

a client’s best interest.

However, you should be

aware that the regulations

still allow for those same

advisors to market and sell

commission-based products,

including expensive and

illiquid annuity policies, life

insurance policies,

non-tradable REITS, and other

high commission products.

Gold is an answer to


The 40-year average return of

gold is 2%. The 30-year

average return of gold is

2.5%. The 41-year average

annualized inflation rate is

3.5% (1979-2020). So, if gold

has had an average rate of

return that is far less than the

inflation rate, then how can it

possibly be a safeguard

against inflation? The answer,

of course, is that it is a

terrible investment if your

concern is inflation.

As a reminder, give us a call or

go to www.strategicutah.com

to take advantage of our

Second Opinion Service (SOS).




Take Inflation Seriously

By John Park

From investments to complicated retirement strategies, John works to educate and advice his

clients on making smart financial decisions.


he past 18 months have

given us a mixed bag of

economic data and indications.

We have been experiencing a

unique situation in our

economy. We have faced

shutdowns, capacity

limitations, social distancing,

supply chain shortages,

certain price increases, and

certain price decreases. How

can we analyze the economy

in such an abnormal

environment that has few or

no comparisons? Well, we can

go back to basics and analyze

fundamental indicators.

For the sake of time and your

sanity, I am not going to

cover a ton of different

in-depth economic figures.

We are primarily concerned

with evaluating inflation and

its implications.

It is easy to look around and

declare that inflation is a

problem because of the

increased cost of vehicles and

other durable goods

(appliances, furniture,

computers, etc). It is equally

easy to say inflation will be

short-lived because it is a

direct result of a temporary

shutdown and a restricted

economy that has since


What are the numbers telling

us? How bad is inflation? Is it

here to stay?

Many have claimed success

over August’s inflation

measurement of .3% when

.4% was expected. They also

ignore the fact that the

Consumer Price Index, a

primary inflation indicator, is

up 5.4% over the preceding

12 months. I do not need to

spend much time convincing

you that inflation is an issue

right now. You can see it at

the gas pump, grocery store,

car lot, and more. Will it be

short-lived? I do not think so.

I am going to put myself out

there a little and say I expect

inflation to be a major

concern through 2022.

There are a couple of factors

contributing to inflation.

First, we have a supply chain

shortage due to resources

and labor limitations. For

example, you have probably

heard about the chip shortage

in the automotive industry.

Cars are back in demand

post-shutdown, manufacturers

cannot make enough to satiate

demand, so up goes the prices.

We also have a problem with

our labor supply. Despite many

businesses trying to hire staff,

jobs are not getting filled. The

unemployment rate at the end

of 2019 was 3.5%. It currently

sits at 5.2%. That is a 48.57%

increase. Yikes!

Higher unemployment will

slow down our Gross Domestic

Product (GDP). If demand for

goods and services remains

high and the supply cannot be

delivered , inflation could

remain a problem for quite a


What are the numbers

telling us? How bad is

inflation? Is it here to


Another inflation factor is at

play. The M2, or money supply

measurement, is very high

compared to pre-COVID 19

levels. This is a measurement

of the money available to the

economy across financial

assets like cash, bank

deposits, investments, and

other assets that can be

quickly converted and

liquidated. The M2

measurement is 32% higher

than it was pre-COVID 19.

This means there is a lot of

cash on the sidelines which

can be spent on goods and

services. Also, if interest

rates are low, it is easier for

people to borrow so they can

spend, which also increases

the money supply and drives

up prices.


If people want goods or

services that are in limited

supply and have the cash to

pay more for it, prices will

inevitably increase/inflate. The

Utah housing market is a

perfect example of this: only

so many homes are available,

lots of people want those homes

and can afford to compete for

them on price via larger deposits

or larger loans with cheap


Normally, facing an issue with

a loose money supply and

rising inflation, the Federal

Reserve (Fed) will increase

interest rates. This can make

spending money more

expensive and thus slows it

down. They will also decrease

quantitative easing (QE). QE is

the practice of the Fed buying

securities, such as bonds, from

the market to increase the

money supply and stimulate

lending and investing.

Stay invested and plan

to grow your money to

offset the ill effects of


Let me sum up the Fed’s

current actions regarding

inflation. “We know it’s an

issue and are not doing

anything about it.” Naturally,

I am simplifying it a little.

The reality is, however, that

the Fed is not increasing

interest rates and they are

barely pulling back on

quantitative easing. I have

been seeing a growth concern

amongst economists about

the lack of actions by the Fed.

Nonetheless, the fact is that

inflation is a looming issue.

Well, what about you and me?

What should we do about

inflation? Obviously, we cannot

snap our fingers and make it go

away. We cannot personally

change factors contributing to

inflation, but we can prepare for

it and thus protect ourselves

in certain ways.

Let us quickly refresh why

inflation is an issue to

individuals, especially retirees.

If you have a certain amount of

income and costs are increasing,

your spending power and

standard of living will necessarily

decrease. In short, inflation

makes your money today worth

less in the future.

How do you solve this? You

solve it by growing your

resources and wealth to offset

and hedge for inflation. The

issue of inflation has become

a huge talking point lately, but

we never stopped talking about

it. I joined the firm over seven

years ago. I remember Ryan

talking about inflation in client

meetings and at our annual

dinners. Remember when his

Power Point presentation

compared gold, silver,

annuities, and life insurance

to the average rate of

inflation? We believe those are

low-yielding, poor hedges

against inflation.

You cannot simply increase

the nominal value of your

money today to be worth an

equivalent amount in “X” years

from now. What about your

need to draw income from your

assets? As time goes on and

inflation increases, you need

to draw more and more to

maintain your standard of living.

To draw more income over time,

we must grow your bottom line

in addition to supplying current

income. For example, let’s aim for

at least a 9% investment rate of

return in retirement. If you live

on 4-5% per year, that will leave

an extra 4-5% going to your

bottom line each year. This will

increase your balances and thus

means your 4-5% rate of

withdrawal equals more and more

money over time. This is

essential to beat the effects of

inflation, which is the opposite

of being on a fixed income.

We have taken significant

measures this summer in

anticipation of rising inflation.

We rebalanced fixed income,

such as our bond portfolio, to

be more resistant to rising

interest rates resulting from

inflation. We have completed a

major overhaul of the equity

side of our models to be in

positions we believe will

perform better against


What can you do? Stay invested

and plan to grow your money

to offset the ill effects of

inflation. As a firm, we have

always been concerned about

inflation. We will continue to

act on your behalf accordingly.





Bountiful, UT Financial Feature

National Expertise

Home Town Values

Experience - Reputation - Results

With founding principles of written strategic

plans going back decades, Strategic

Planning Group brings together all the

disciplines that a sophisticated client needs:

Tax strategy/accounting, legal/estate strategy,

investment management strategy, and

retirement strategy. The multi-disciplinary

approach where the CPA, the attorney, and

the investment and financial advisor are all

sitting around one table is a very powerful

concept for the client. With the goal from

the very beginning of creating a long-term

client/advisor relationship with a hands-on,

personalized focus, Strategic Planning Group

guides each client to develop a “Perfect

Calendar” to remember their true focus in life.

190 South Main Street

Bountiful, UT 84010








190 South Main Street

Bountiful, UT 84010


Call to schedule your

analysis today.


Retirement Lifestyle Planning

Investment Management

Consumer Education

Advisory services are offered through Strategic Planning Group,

Registered Investment Advisor with the SEC.

Tax Increases:

Is There Reason to Worry?

By Tom Craner

Tom engages in life-long client-advisor relationships, utilizing long-tested financial strategies

that are focused on consumer protection.

I f you listen to the media, and

the sales industry around

investments and retirement

recently, we are hearing a lot of

rhetoric about the idea that taxes

are absolutely going up for

everyone; income taxes, capital

gains taxes, and estate taxes will

be increased to new highs, and

you must foot the bill. The media

and the sales industry discuss

this as if it has already happened.

Every year the White House

publishes its wish list budget

and tax policy, and every year the

media runs to the microphones

and reports it as if the proposals

are already law.

The truth is that none of these

increases have happened yet. All

of this must be passed and

reconciled by Congress and signed

by the president before any of it

becomes a reality. These proposed

tax increases have not happened

yet and may not happen at all

in their current forms.

Obviously, it would not be very

pragmatic to make changes to

your tax and investment

strategy every time a politician

mentioned that they want t o

make a policy change that might

affect you, especially if the

solution is worse than the

problem. Reacting to every

policy announcement as they

come is something people do if

they do not have a strategy.

The question that many have is

what to do if these tax proposals

become law. The answer is that

we would still be pulling each

and every lever possible to

mitigate that taxation without

dragging down your rate of

return. We have already built

your plan with tax mitigation in

mind. Keep in mind that the

best way to beat not only

taxes, but cost of living

increases and price inflation, is

to be in a strategy that utilizes

the upward movement of the

stock market to outgrow these

drags on your cash flow. This is

still the best strategy, whether

they raise, lower, or don’t

change tax rates at all.

Anybody telling you that there

is some “secret strategy” that

can save you from the

government raising taxes is

selling something. That something

will very likely come with a

horrible rate of return, or some

other trade off, and be a cure

that is worse than the disease.

Another thing to keep in mind is

that most of our clients, and

particularly retired clients, are

taking income from sources such

that the tax proposals would not

affect them much, if at all. Most

retirees will fly way below the

radar on proposed tax increases

and EVEN the current tax law. In

other words, the typical retired

American won’t likely be on the

hook for these tax hikes. As a

matter of fact, according to the

Tax Foundation, using IRS data,

87% of all income taxes paid into

the US Treasury are paid by the

top 25% of income earners. For

most of you reading, and even

wealthy retirees, you are not

likely to hit income levels in the

top 25% as defined by income

from your IRA, Social Security,

and Pensions.

The proposals from the Biden

White House and Congress both

target those earning more than

$400,000.00 and especially focus

on the higher end marginal tax

rates for high income business

owners and individuals, as well

as those with a high

(multi-million dollar) net worth

who generate capital gains. With

a slim majority in both Houses,

and a mid-term election in a year

from now, the Democrats making

some major tax overhaul that

raises taxes on everyone in the

middle class is not a winning


Finally, keep in mind that we

have already planned for this.

You are in good hands, and we

are always watching to help our

clients achieve prosperity and




Split Perception

By Alex Craner

Comprehensive counseling with achievable and time-based goal setting for retirement and

estate planning, without secrets or short-cuts, are ingrained features of Alex’s services.


re you afraid? Good.

That is the prominent attitude

of the media these days, they

want you to be afraid. They

intentionally create narratives

to be sensational and hyperbolic

to get more eyeballs and clicks.

It is that simple. Now, I

understand that saying our

media has a chicken little

mentality is not anything

groundbreaking, but I think it

is an important reminder. This

contant drip of troubled

reporting is leading to an

abundance of despair, worry,

and doubt in our culture, even

though there is still tremendous

opportunity, growth, and

prosperity to look forward to.

This brings me to the title of

this article, “Split Perception.”

On an almost daily basis, I have

conversations with clients where

I am asked what the outlook is

on the stock market and the

performance of our portfolios

through the end of this year

and going into 2022. This

question is not being asked out

of simple curiosity. It is being

asked because they are worried.

Many are concerned with the

policies they see coming out of

Washington, D.C. that are

creating inflation, excessive

government spending, and other

threats to our economy.

Nevertheless, we are remaining

bullish in our economic and

market outlook. Rest assured, our

optimism for the near future in

the markets is not unsupported,

it is simply unreported.

When it comes to economists

and their predictions, I think

the most crucial consideration

to make when deciding who to

listen to is their actual track

record of accurate forecasts.

That may seem obvious, but

there are a lot of economists

who are consistently wrong

yet consistently listened to.

One of the economists that

has earned our attention has

been bullish since 2009 and

has been consistently correct.

When an economist is

consistently correct, it is in large

part because the models that

they build for economic

projections are precise and

measuring correct parameters.

One of these models is known as

the Capitalized Profits Model. This

model has demonstrated that the

S&P 500 is undervalued and has

been undervalued since 2009. It

still shows this today.

Here is the good news: we now

have updated information for

economy-wide corporate profits

for Q1 2021 and they are

outstanding, up 9.2% from Q1

and up 15.8% from the

pre-COVID-19 peak in late 2019. T h e s e

figures allow the Capitalized

Profits Model to be updated and

show us something we love to

see: the S&P 500 is still

undervalued. The stock market is

rising for a reason; profits are up

and the threat from higher

interest rates remains low. As a

result, the forecast for the S&P

500 estimate is 5,000 points by

year end. We are optimistic for

higher markets through the rest

of 2021 and even higher

markets through 2022.

I want to quickly outline the risk

factors that could change this

forecast , but I believe they are

not likely to occur. 1) The US

could “lockdown” the economy

again over the variants of

COVID-19. 2) The Federal

Reserve could raise rates more

quickly. 3) President Biden, and

the Democrats, could push

through major tax hikes. Even

with these considerations, we

are still in a bull market.

Remember, the stock market

follows a cycle that is largely

removed from politics, and we

are at a very prosperous point in

that cycle.

Stretch, take a deep breath, and

remember that you are in a

strategy for retirement that has

endured for our clients over

decades. Stay positive, trust in

your plan, and do not let them

get you down!

Sources:First Trust 08.30.2021 Monday Morning Outlook “5,000” and Bloomberg



6:00 pm

Scams and Schemes

1. 2.





Answers on Page 15

What type of Scams and Schemes are there?


3. Online relationship, gaining trust to trick people into sending money

4. Requires payment to cover fees or taxes before collecting winnings

5. Being offered assistance with something to gain personal data or

overcharging you, usually without receiving the help

6. Emails or texts from legitimate-sounding companies used to steal information


1. Being contacted with a claim they know you(relative, IRS, etc) asking for

money or information

2. Risk-free money opportunity with no communication after sending money

It can be difficult to keep up with the latest scams and schemes. Be aware. Do not download files or click

on links without verifying the legitimacy first. Avoid giving personal information over the phone. Avoid

circumstances where you are asked to send money or purchase gift cards. Do not trust caller ID.



The people of Strategic Planning Group work closely as a team to foster an unambiguous and

clear path forward. Our team is integral to ensuring that our principles towards investment

planning and management of your estate are effectively implemented. You can trust that the

combined decades of experience shared by our advisors will always be utilized by our staff to

ensure success in your Strategic Plan.


President & CEO

Ryan founded Strategic Planning Group to help consumers

avoid piecemeal planning and simply buying products and

instead create an all-inclusive written Strategic Plan. A

Strategic Plan is to your financial life what a blueprint is to

building a home. This custom approach, which began as a

simple idea, has grown Strategic Planning Group into a

trusted and established firm.


Wealth Management



Wealth Management



Wealth Management



Chief Compliance


S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G G R O U P | 14


Insurance & Legal Coordinator


Communications Director


Client Services Representative


Operations Specialist


Client Services Representative


Client Services Representative

Page 13 Answers

1. Impersonation

2. Investment

3. Romance

4. Sweepstakes

5. Services

6. Phishing


Client Services Representative


Client Services Representative

S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G G R O U P | 15

Retirement Planning Specialists

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