May 182015
 
#103 Can A Bull Market Climb A Wall Of Worry?

Concerns over a possible recession

Markets are moving towards an all time high which brings up the debate of whether we are in a bull market or are they about to trade back? Last week was positive overall with jobless claims at an all time low. There are some concerns about retail sales and industrial production being down. The last two times industrial production was down three months in a row we were in a recession.

Can we have a bull market in a recession?

Bad news can be good news, as one of the Fed governors this weekend mentioned that in light of the recent bad data they should push the lift back of interest rates to 2016. This will prove positive for the markets as a market can climb a wall of worry.

Earnings Season pushes a bull market

Adding to a possible bull market is the fact that 92% of S&P 500 companies have reported positive earnings. While expectations where down 3%, the reports are up 2%. While it doesn’t sound like much, it’s pretty remarkable considering the market headwinds of the rising dollar and declining oil prices. Companies are making money even though we are in this deflationary period or headed into a possible recession. Even in this climate, the market can climb a wall of worry.

Implications of the Pacific Rim Trade Agreement

The Pacific Rim Trade Agreement has moved from the back page to a front page story. This has become a potent possibility for multi-national growth. Congress is now fast tracking this trade agreement. This could be the most important vote they have this year. It impacts investors that have international positions in precision engineering, aircraft, and agriculture. This will also help jump start Japan’s economy and encourage a bull market globally.
Bull Market
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Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant
Email Greg Powell here

Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Franklin Bradford here

Ashley Page, JD, MBA
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Ashley Page here


Bobby Norman, CFP®
Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Bobby Norman here

Trey Booth, CFA®
Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Trey Booth here

fi-Plan Partners is an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. fi-Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
The economic forecasts set forth in the presentation may not develop as predicted.

Stock investing involves risk including potential loss of principal.

May 112015
 
#103 The Economy Grows As Inflation Stays Low

Market overview

The US economy continues to improve as inflation stays down both domestically and globally. Last week was a very good week for the markets as the April Jobs Report came in better than expected. 223,00 jobs were added in March. We are analyzing several news stories from last week. Two of particular concern are the European Commission raising GDP expectations to 1.5%, and a possible stimulus plan in China.

Technology holds down the service sector

We are all members of the Alabama Economics Club and last week we had the opportunity to meet with the former economist from Ford Motor Company. Her data focused on the global and US economy. She shared with us that the global economy is benefiting from lower oil prices which is helping keep inflation down. She also affirmed our research that shows how the service sector in the in the US has not kept up with the rest of the growing economy. We believe the service sector is being held down due to technological advances. More consumers are using technology in place of human services, which also keeps inflation down. Examples of this technology are the power of smartphones and the ability to self checkout at the grocery store. We believe technology will continue to disrupt various industries.

China and Greece update

Over the weekend, China lowered its interest rates for the third time in six months. This caused the Asian markets to rally. In Greece the IMF is looking at the Greek banks to make sure they are shored up just in case there is a contingency.

Expectations for this week

This week we will see the Retail Sales report which is expected to have improved since the first quarter. We will also be looking at the Consumer Price Index which is a measure of inflation and industrial production. There is support on the S&P 500 at 2070 but what we would really like to see is the market closing over 2120.

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Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Franklin Bradford here

Bobby Norman, CFP®
Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Bobby Norman here

Trey Booth, CFA®
Vice President
Email Trey Booth here

fi-Plan Partners is an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. fi-Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
Stock investing involves risk including potential loss of principal. 

May 042015
 
#102 A Possible Market Tailwind

Current market update

We saw a lot of volatility in the markets last week but with a strong rally on Friday, the S&P 500 was down just under 1/2 of a percent. While that’s not what we are looking for, it does show the strong support levels. The main cause was the GDP report that showed a tepid economy in the first quarter.

Bounce back indicators

There was this same kind of fist quarter last year but then the economy bounced back in the second quarter. Upcoming data will help us determine if that could happen again. We will start to see some of this data near the end of the week with the Jobs Report. Other indicators will be the earnings reports that are still coming out. Even though expectations where lowered, many companies are exceeding expectations.

Possible Market Tailwind

Although the news media is not reporting on the rising level of corporate debt, it continues to be something we are watching very closely. New corporate debt tells us that companies are being more active by borrowing money to expand their business. This has a rippling effect in the economy and is leading consumers to be more confident to borrow money themselves. With interest rates so low, this could be a possible market tailwind.

Investors should watch

Investors should pay attention, as we are, to how this money is being spent, how it is working, and how many times it changes hands. This could create sustainable market growth. We will keep you updated on this as the data comes out as the year progresses.

Thank you for your comments and questions. They help us provide the information you really want. Keep them coming.

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Ashley Page, JD, MBA
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Ashley Page here


Trey Booth, CFA®
Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Trey Booth here

fi-Plan Partners is an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. fi-Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
Stock investing involves risk including potential loss of principal.

Apr 272015
 
#101 Good Economic Data For Investors

Last week’s economic data

Last week was another good week for the markets both domestically and internationally. Economic data in retail sales and durable goods orders beat expectations and we are continuing to see an increase in consumer spending. Home sales continue to be a bright spot as it rose 6.1% in March.

Economic data reports to watch

Hopefully last week’s trends will continue this week as we will be watching for the GDP report and the Fed announcement from their meeting this Wednesday. The topic will be interest rates and there are very low expectations that they will raise them at this time.

Earnings report update

So far 201 S&P 500 companies have reported their earnings and the numbers are down 2.3%. While that sounds bad, 73% are those are beating expectations. Another 150 companies will report this week so we will be watching this closely and will update our followers soon.

From a price performance view, the market still looks good as people are voting with their dollars, unswayed by mainstream media’s fear reporting.

One important story not in the news

A “back page item” that is not getting much media attention is that the Japanese Prime Minister is here in the United States to meet with President Obama. We believe this is very important to investors as Japan and the U.S. are getting closer to a trade agreement called the Pacific Trade Partnership. As this partnership would open up a greater amount of trade, this could significantly boost the U.S. economy in large caps especially in the auto and agricultural industries.

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Good Economic Data

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Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant
Email Greg Powell here

Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Franklin Bradford here

Ashley Page, JD, MBA
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Ashley Page here


Bobby Norman, CFP®
Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Bobby Norman here

Trey Booth, CFA®
Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Trey Booth here

fi-Plan Partners is an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. fi-Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
Stock investing involves risk including potential loss of principal.

Apr 202015
 
#100 Avoiding The Volatility In The Markets

Our 100th Episode!

Today we celebrate bringing you our 100th episode of Investors’ Insights. Today we are discussing earnings season, oil prices going lower, volatility in the markets, the Fed being on hold, and asking consumers, “Where are you?”

The Fed is on hold with interest rates

An interesting CNBC.com article came out that showed how global demand for bonds is going to out pace supply by $450 billion this year. That’s an increase over the $380 billion from last year. When there is more demand for a product, it pushes prices up. For bonds that will push yields down. This should stall any expectations for worldwide rates to rise. The Fed is on hold with interest rates as the German 10 year bond is paying .07%, Greece bonds are at 12.9% and the U.S. bond is around 1.8%.

What in the world happened last week?

We saw volatility in the markets last week as U.S. industrial production declined and the manufacturing index turned negative. All eyes continue to be on Greece for a possible default. There was some good news as oil prices rebounded sharply and US retail sales saw solid gains in March. The average number of jobs rose, but wage numbers are not following.

Although retail sales have gone up, the consumer is not showing up as consumer spending is down. We are concerned that oil prices might have to go lower to get consumer spending going again. We believe consumers are paying down debt and saving money rather than spending it in the economy.

The 7 Year Presidential Cycle Effect

Historical data shows that in the 7th year of a presidential cycle there tends to be a lot of volatility in the markets, which we have seen already this year. This data also shows that most of the growth has occurred in the 2nd and 3rd quarter which again we are seeing right now. There are no guarantees that this will all happen but we know that history can repeat itself and we are watching this closely.

Avoiding the current volatility in the markets

The S&P 500 went below the 2080 support level last week but there is still a lot of support at 2070 and 2050. In light of all that went on Friday in the markets, it could have been much worse. Because of all this volatility our clients have seen us adjust their portfolios to strategies that strive to avoid as much of this as possible.

The government contributes to the GDP

After the downturn of 2008, tax revenues decreased and federal, state, and local government spending pulled back. Now that the economy is doing better, the government is now spending again and actually contributing to the countries Gross Domestic Product. We are hoping to see more of this later in the year in defense spending and healthcare.

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volatility in the markets
Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant
Email Greg Powell here

Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Franklin Bradford here

Ashley Page, JD, MBA
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Ashley Page here


Bobby Norman, CFP®
Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Bobby Norman here

Trey Booth, CFA®
Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Trey Booth here

fi-Plan Partners is an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. fi-Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
Stock investing involves risk including potential loss of principal. Investing in a specific sector involves additional risk and will be subject to greater volatility than investing more broadly.

Apr 132015
 
#99 Good Economic News


There is good economic news as the markets were up last week. The Manufacturing Index came in strong and Consumer Confidence is the highest we’ve seen in eight years.

International economic news

This week there is an expectation that China will begin another stimulus program. China reports their GDP on Wednesday which is when we should hear an announcement about this. Also, the Greeks have to make over 2 billion dollars in loan payments to their treasury borrowers. This will be a recurring theme.

Earnings reports highest since 2009

Earnings Season has begun with 5% of the S&P 500 having given their earnings reports. So far we are seeing reports exceeding their expectations, the highest since 2009. Three things companies will sight in their reports:

  • A strong dollar
  • Low price of oil
  • Slowing global demand

This week’s economic news reports:

  • Retail sales
  • The Producer Price Index
  • The Consumer price index
  • Industrial Production
  • Housing starts

Mergers and acquisitions:

An interesting survey on CNBC.com this morning sighted that 35% of executives asked planned to make an acquisition this year because of the strong dollar and low interest rates. This is a good indicator of a future strong market but it is not a trend that can go on indefinitely. It’s the perfect time for a company to buy a lower producing competitor.

European economic news

The European Central Bank (ECB) meets this Wednesday. It is a little past the one month mark for the beginning of Europe’s quantitative easing so we might not see much data concerning that. It will be interesting to see if there is any discussion about how it is working.

The ECB and The International Monetary Fund (IMF) may talk this week about trying to move Germany to more of a purchasing nation instead of the producer nation. Germany is the fourth largest economy in the world.If they are not doing a lot of demand purchasing from the rest of the world, the global economy feels that. We are hoping Germany will start to not just produce goods, but buy them from other countries to help out the global economy.

Please send us your comments and questions as we want to make sure we are giving you the information you want.

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Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Franklin Bradford here

Ashley Page, JD, MBA
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Ashley Page here


Bobby Norman, CFP®
Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Bobby Norman here

Trey Booth, CFA®
Vice President
Email Trey Booth here

Economic News
fi-Plan Partners is an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. fi-Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

The economic forecast set forth in this presentation may not develop as predicted.

Stock investing involves risk including potential loss of principal.