Mar 022015
 

Today we will be discussing global and domestic events that can impact your portfolio along with other economic growth news.

Positive economic growth in Europe

For the first time across the board Europe is starting to see growth again. There are four reasons for this:

  • Their currency is much weaker so they can sell more products. Europe is also experiencing lower oil prices which will help their GDP about 1.5%
  • Their version of quantitative easing starts this week
  • Deposits in European banks are starting to grow and banks are making more loans
  • For the first time since 2007 the European Commission is forecasting positive growth for all members of the European Union

Negative economic growth for China

Over the weekend China cut its interest rates by 25% basis points because of deflation and property growth. We are all still in agreement here at fi-Plan Partners that deflation is and will continue to be an issue.

February’s economic growth

Last week was a mixed bag in the markets but the month of February was excellent as consumer spending grew 4.2 percent which is the highest in four years. We contribute this to lower gas prices and job growth. While there are no guarantees, we believe March could be another good month.

Looking at this week

Besides watching where China will forecast its potential growth, we will be watching the PCE report (Personal Consumption Expenditure), which the Fed likes to watch for inflation. There are four Fed governors speaking this week in Congress which will be a Q & A and interpretation of what the Fed said last week. Janet Yellen will speak on the regulation of New York State banks but the Q & A will likely be more lively. We will also be watching the weekly jobless claim numbers and the Jobs Report. Globally, Germany reports its retail sales and the Purchasing Managers Index in Europe with be reported. If it’s over 50, it means expansion and if it’s under 50, it means contraction.

NASDAQ has hit a new high but that doesn’t mean it cannot go higher. We are watching the down side even as the S&P 500 is in the 2060-2070 range where buyers normally come in to the market.

Please send us your comments and questions or topics you’d like us to discover. We like to keep you updated.economic growth

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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
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. 

Feb 232015
 

Today we are discussing market volatility, activity in Europe, which categories look like they are better performers, and more.

For more market and investing news, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Strong market last week

Last week the market ended strong as the Eurozone extended the Greek bailout by four months. US jobless claims were lower than expected but there was weakness in manufacturing and housing starts. This could be due to the recent weather in the Northeast.

The impact of weather

Our research shows that the economic impact from weather issues will not be as bad as last year because it has been confined to the Northeast. Last year the run of bad weather covered 60-70% of the country.

What in the world did the Fed say?

This week Janet Yellen will be sitting before Congress and hopefully investors will get a clearer picture of the Fed minutes released last week. Because the minutes were very confusing, the market only reacted by moving a few points. Usually there is more market volatility from such an event. It appeared that the Fed said interest rates would not be going up any time soon. We believe Congress will try to confirm this in the meeting this week.

Market indicators to watch this week

Existing home sales and new home sales numbers will be reported this week because of it’s ripple effect on other areas of the economy. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, will also be reported this week. The CPI is also a gauge for deflation which we have been talking about for over a year now. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers will also be reported which is important for investors to watch as it measures everything we do in this country in regards to the economy.

No resistance in the markets

Our analysis tells us there is no resistance from a technical stand point in the market at this level. We are seeing support between the 2070 to 2060 range. What this means is that we believe if the market started trading back, buyers would step in at that level.

The cause of January’s market volatility

Our research shows that the market volatility in January was due to high frequency trading and ETFs which was about 70% of the trading. The volatility was not from long term investors. This is something investors should watch closely as it is one of many factors that contribute to market volatility.

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Market Volatility
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. 

Feb 172015
 

10 Year Anniversary

Today we are celebrating our 10th anniversary as fi-Plan Partners. It has been an honor to serve our clients over these past years and bring you our Investors’ Insights videos. Here’s to another 10 years.

Deflation

If you look back over our video blogs, you will see that we have been talking about deflation for a long time and that the world is going to face it sooner or later. Any time you have a financial crisis like we had in 2008, and people accumulate sizable debt, it will take about 10 years to get that back under control again. This adds to deflation along with technological advances, low interest rates, and the Baby Boom generation not spending as much as they use to.

The Fed and Deflation

The Fed is perplexed because they don’t understand why consumers are not spending when interest rates are so low. We believe that the consumer is taking the extra money they are saving from the gas pump and using it to pay down debt.

While the low interest rates have been good for the stock market and corporate America, it has hurt the wage earner as jobs and pay have been cut.

Oil prices are rising but…

Last week we started to see oil prices go back up. Some people rejoiced because this meant that the oil companies could start being more profitable. Historically, we now have the largest reserve of oil in the world. There is still speculation that oil prices can still go down as we dip into these reserves and that the price of oil could drop down to $20 per barrel. This will be a big topic as we continue on in 2015.

Please let us know if you have any questions or topics you would like us to discuss in these videos. You can call me at (205) 989-3498 or email me below.
deflation
Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant
Email Greg Powell here

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Greg Powell is President and CEO of fi-Plan Partners, 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. 

Feb 092015
 

The market factors you should watch this week include; Greece, Europe, oil prices, retail sales and much more. We have an eventful week a head of us and last week wasn’t too dull either.

Last week’s market factors

Last week was a volatile week but to the up side as the DOW rose by 650 points. Even though the S&P 500 was up 3%, if you look at it since January, it has just been running in place.

Jobs, jobs, jobs

The Jobs Report showed good numbers last week and the last few months were revised up. The market ended down when this came out and many believe that is an indication of the market not thinking the Fed is going to be accommodating. We don’t necessarily agree and we see this as a buying opportunity. There are no guarantees but we don’t see interest rates going up any time soon.

Market factors this week: China, BDI and retail sales

Trade data was down 20% for China but this might have something to do with the upcoming Chinese New Year. The country basically shuts down during this time for the celebration.

The Baltic Drive Index (BDI) is at an all time low but this doesn’t necessarily mean the economy is slowing down. The economy still hasn’t absorbed the supply off of some large tanker ships that started about 5 years ago (More in the video).

We will be watching retail sales this week. As gas prices continue to stay low, it will be interesting to see where retail sales numbers will end up. Retail sales are two thirds of our economy and these numbers can give us a good indication about where the economy is heading.

US export data concerns

The US export data is starting to drop as it is now down about 1%. The cause for this is the strength of the US dollar. While many countries around the world are lowering their interest rates, the US continues to keep their’s stable which creates a stronger dollar. While this is good for the dollar, it’s making it harder for other countries to buy our goods.

We are researching US companies that are heavily dependent on exporting and evaluating their stock in relation to our portfolios. If this starts to have a reflection on earnings we will take appropriate action. On the other hand, it could become a buying opportunity for the long term.

A special thanks to those of you who have shared our videos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and forwarded it to your friends. It it greatly appreciated.

Please let us know if you have any questions or topics your would like us to cover.
Market Factors
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

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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.

Jan 202015
 


It was an interesting week last week as yields on Treasury Notes are high right now. Bespoke Investment Group says that when ever this happens in relation to stock divined yields, it is a very positive thing for the stock market.

Last week update

Last week saw a pretty volatile market but after a bad start, the market rallied big on Friday. Precious medals out performed the markets probably because of nervousness in Europe. Retail Sales numbers on Wednesday under performed, down 1%. Jobless claims rose to the highest number since February.

This week we will get data numbers on existing home sales and pending home sales. The reason these numbers are important to investors is because of the rippling effect it can have on many industries. For example, our research shows that when home sales rise, people tend to buy new furniture and services to go with that new house.

Watching gold prices

The price of gold is something we’ve been watching very closely. Commodity prices, including milk, have been going down mainly because of a rising dollar, which is based on gold. Interestingly, gold has continued to rise in spite of dropping commodity prices most likely because commodities are priced in US dollars. This means other countries have to convert their money to dollars before they can buy them.

A big week for Europe

This week could be big for Europe as we wait to see if they will initiate quantitative easing. The estimates right now are that this quantitative easing will be to the amount of 600 billion dollars. Quantitative easing will be more problematic for Europe than here in the United States because the European Union is fragmented (See our video from last week here).

The next four years

The opposite is happening here in the United States as the Fed continues to back down quantitative easing and looks to begin raising short interest rates sometime soon. The last time we saw this was in the 1990s after which the economy did quite well for the next four years. We are thinking this impact could be the same. While we don’t see interest rates going up any time soon we think treasuries could have a good year.

China is no longer a driver of growth

China’s growth numbers came out last week at 17.4%, just slightly below the government’s expectation. That is the lowest number since 1990. It has been a long time since China has not been the driver of growth. This could be why the IMF lowered their global growth down to 3.5%. We are now seeing that the US will be the driver of growth globally.

This is a lot of information we stay on top of because all of this can affect your investments. If you have any questions, please call us at (205) 989-3498 or email us below.
Gold Prices
Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant
Email here

Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email here

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

Bobby Norman, CFP®
Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email here

Trey Booth, CFA®
Vice-President
Email here

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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. 

Jan 092015
 

How do we create investment strategies?

Many of our clients ask us about the process our Portfolio Strategies Team uses to research market trends and how we create our investment strategies.

Our investment strategy process

Our process begins with each of us on the Portfolio Strategies Team conducting our own research and data gathering. Then, picture me walking into our daily team meeting to facilitate the sharing our findings in a bullet point fashion, followed by health debate and brainstorming.

Trends, data and research

Here are some recent bullet points we are debating and researching now:

  • The economic growth, since the recovery began mid-2009, will continue to be lower than previous post recession recoveries.
  • It could be a full 4 years before the Fed is in a position to raise interest rates.
  • The Great Recession still persists for most Americans. Real hourly wages have risen only 0.7% since the recession ended and are 7.5% below the 1973 level.
  • Birth rates continue to fall. Last year the U.S. birth rate was 600,000 below trend.
  • The Fed has used up most of its ways to improve the U.S. economy. The Fed can raise or lower short term interest rates and buy and sell securities. The Fed had hoped quantitative easing would create a rise in stock prices and other asset prices that would inspire consumers and businesses to spend money. That hasn’t really happened.
  • The unemployment numbers are tainted. The government will tell you it is 5.8% but the reality is closer to 13% due to the aging and retirement of baby boomers, as well as discouraged job seekers who have given up.

These are just a small handful of the trends, data and research we are looking at and debating as a team when we are developing investment strategies. As all five of our Portfolio Strategies Team members meet every morning and throughout the day, we are looking at every angle to create investment strategies designed with the goal to grow our clients’ wealth.

New market update

I will have a new market update letter going out to our clients next week with these bullet points and more as we look for new investment strategies. Please email me here or call me at (205) 989-3498 if you would like to talk with me about your investments or market concerns.
Investment Strategies
Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant

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Greg Powell is President and CEO of fi-Plan Partners, 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. No strategy ensures success or protects against a loss.