It was a rough month for the market...
In September, the market fell 4.8%.
Normally, we would see a jump in investors' fear with a drop like this. But a typical fear-driven sell-off did not cause this downturn. There hasn't been a lot of panic. So, there wasn't a "risk off" move in which investors and institutions broadly got nervous about the future and sent all stocks down.
Part of it's just noise, of course. Sometimes the market moves without a particular explanation... Though it's tempting to try to assign one after the fact.
But when you're in or near retirement, these kinds of drops can mean serious damage to your portfolio.
And right now, my colleague Matt McCall says a massive wrecking ball is swinging your way... And nobody is warning you why this silent threat could destroy your retirement dreams.
Matt is the newest senior analyst at my publisher, Stansberry Research.
I got to know Matt during a conference in China a few years ago. And the thing that struck me most was how many people literally followed him offstage asking for more stock recommendations.
Matt reminds me of myself with his high level of drive and curiosity. He's constantly traveling to learn about worthwhile industries and companies. He's highly aware of his surroundings and pays close attention to details others might miss.
That makes him unique as a guy tapped into what's truly happening on the ground.
On Wednesday, October 20 at 1 p.m. Eastern time, Matt will show you why this latest story is something you can't afford to miss. If you're not aware of what's happening, it could ruin your wealth.
The event is completely free, and when you sign up right now, you'll get access to a private website where Matt and his team show you how you can start preparing right away.
Now let's get into this week's Q&A... As always, please keep sending your questions and comments to [email protected].
Q: I'm 66 and recently had my annual wellness exam done by my doctor's nurse practitioner. She asked if I'd had the shingles vaccine and my response was "no" because I had not had chicken pox. She said it was highly likely I had been exposed to chicken pox (which I can believe because my older brother did have chicken pox during childhood) and that a test could be run to see if this was true. So I had her run the test and the result was "yes" I had been exposed to chicken pox.
So now the question for you is should I get the shingles vaccine because I've thought for years that I couldn't get shingles because I had never had chicken pox? Thanks. – J.T.
A: For folks who don't know... The same virus, varicella zoster, causes chickenpox and shingles. People who have had chickenpox have the highest risk of developing shingles. You can even get shingles if you've had the chicken pox vaccine, although the risk is lower and the severity of the illness is often reduced.
If you are unsure whether or not you've had chicken pox or received the chickenpox vaccine, it's a good idea to get a viral test to see if you have antibodies to the chicken pox virus. If you had chickenpox, were exposed to chickenpox, or received the vaccine, your body will have these chickenpox-specific antibodies. As in your case, because of your exposure as a child, you have the antibodies.
So, who should get the shingles vaccine?
Generally speaking, if you're over 50, you should get the shingles vaccine if you have the varicella zoster antibodies. The vaccine clearly cuts down on both the pain and the actual occurrence of the disease. In a large, five-and-a-half-year study of more than 38,500 men and women across 22 sites in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs system, the vaccine was found to be safe compared with a placebo.
Folks had the usual complaints from a vaccine: redness, swelling, pain, and irritation at the site of injection. Otherwise, this vaccine appears to be quite safe, and it reduces the pain and occurrence of the disease by at least 50%.
If you've never had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine, still consider getting the vaccine. Lots of people think that if they haven't had chickenpox, they're safe. However, if those people came in contact with someone with active shingles, they could contract chickenpox. Adult chickenpox is much worse than getting the virus as a child, and it's potentially fatal.
Q: Do these benefits apply to all whiskeys including scotch? Thanks for all your good info. – D.B.
A: A whiskey by any other name may be called a scotch... but only if produced and bottled in Scotland...
Scotch is a type of whiskey. It gets its signature smoky flavor from the heating process, where the barley is first malted, and then heated over a peat fire.
So, drinking scotch is going to be as beneficial for your health as drinking any other type of whiskey. Allowing you the benefits of:
- Being low in calorie content
- Having high levels of an antioxidant called polyphenols, which lower your risk of heart disease and high cholesterol
- Boosting your immune system
- Activating the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is responsible for memory and nervous system function. This benefit could lower your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease, as shown in two studies demonstrating that those who drank whiskey prevented age-related cognitive decline.
So D.B., you can happily drink up... but just a glass or two. Any more than that and you run the risk of a less than healthy and wealthy retirement.
What We're Reading...
- Something different: Automakers are taking a page out of Netflix's book.
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
October 15, 2021