Market Commentary 
 Global financial markets posted mixed results in November, with the sell-off in crude oil causing further pain to the energy sector. Despite the energy sector’s 9% loss, U.S. equities generated positive performance, led by gains in consumer and technology stocks. Developed market equities outperformed emerging, with the diversified economies of the U.S. and core Europe outperforming more industrial, commodity-laden regions like Russia and Brazil. Hedge funds posted modest gains, with trend-following strategies delivering their best monthly return in over five years while hedged equity managers were confounded by weakness in energy and small caps.

As the U.S. population gets older, more people, particularly baby boomers, are confronting a dilemma. As parents age, their ability to manage their own finances may decline. That can make it more likely that they may neglect the life savings they've worked so hard to accumulate or make costly mistakes with them. Even worse, they're more likely to fall victim to one of the fraudulent schemes that frequently target seniors. "Financial Fraud and Fraud Susceptibility in the United States," a September 2013 report prepared for the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, found that seniors were 34% more likely to lose money to fraudsters than were those in their 40s.

And yet many seniors, especially those who have always been independent and/or money-savvy, may be reluctant to accept advice or help from their children, or even discuss living expenses, health care plans, investments, or general estate planning. Sadly, postponing that discussion can increase the difficulty of tackling whatever problems may eventually arise.