Sep 152014
 

Please let us know what you think about our new shortened and concise format. You can email me here or call me at (205) 989-3498.

Europe and Asia economic issues

While the US economy is strong, there are economic issues slowing down Europe and Asia. These regions will soon begin to initiate their own version of quantitative easing. This mean that in the next few weeks the United States could see international money flowing in from European and Asian countries. This will continue the current debate about whether the US market is fairly valued.

Last week, retail sales reports came out better than expected. Because the US is much more of a global economy than it has ever been, investors need to pay close attention to what is going on in Europe and Asia, as it will have an economic impact here at home.

Three economic issues this week

This week we are watching three important issues. The first is the data that is coming out of China. The second is the meeting that the Fed is having to discuss interest rate hikes.

Standard and Poor’s has a report showing that historically, six months after a rate hike, the market will go up, on average, about 2.6%. Twelve months later the market will be up, on average, about 6.2%. It could be possible that over the next few months the markets trade back, but we believe that doesn’t mean the market is overvalued.

The third issue is Scotland voting to succeed from Great Britain. Pay attention to this as Scotland will be watched by other countries and their actions could become a trend.

Tax issues affecting the economy

One of our top five market drivers we’ve been watching all year is the government. We believe debate over US policy tax code will start to come out of the White House this week and go into the Senate. This debate will be about another tax increase and making the code more complex.

The Tax Competitiveness Index (TCI) shows that the US is not very competitive compared to the rest of the world. Out of 34 large industrial countries around the world, the US is TCI ranked at 32nd. This is encouraging people to buy companies in other countries outside the US. We are behind on tax competitiveness to other countries of which many liberal thinkers consider to be socialist, like Finland and Denmark. With midterm elections coming up, this will be a difficult debate.

Is there something in the markets that concerns you that we haven’t covered? Send us your comments by emailing me here or call me at (205) 989-3498. I would be delighted to talk with you.

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Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant

Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant

Ashley Page, JD, MBA
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant

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 S&P 500 index is a measure of performance of the broad domestic economy through 500 stocks from major industries. The NASDAQ Composite represents all the stocks that trade on the Nasdaq. The Dow Jones Industrial Average measures the average price of a group of 30 high value stocks.
Economic Issues

Sep 082014
 

What do you think?

We would still like feedback on our new video blog format which we have changed to be shorter and more concise. We want to make sure we are still giving you the information you want. You can email me here with your thoughts and comments.

Remembering 9/11

9/11 display9/11 display
This week we remember all those who lost their lives or loved ones in the attack on 9/11. We will never forget that day and the impact it caused on our nation. In our office here at fi-Plan Partners we have a special section commemorating 9/11 that honors those who lost their lives on that tragic day.

New market high

This past Friday the S&P 500 hit it’s 33rd record market high. This came after the Jobs Report was released which showed the numbers did not achieve expectations. There are those forecasting that now we might not see a rate increase until the 2nd or 3rd quarter of next year.

I also want to point out that the new 10 year treasury is yielding 2.46% which started the year at 3%. It’s import to know that even though many forecasted rates going up, they have actually come down. Ironically, the Eurozone, which makes up over 20% of the world’s GDP, has started to lower it’s rates and implement quantitative easing.

Will we see another market high?

Here in the United States the Fed has made it known earlier in the year that in October they would stop quantitative easing. There are those who believe once this stops, we will see a market correction. Still others believe the opposite will happen. The analogy is like an inflated balloon that has been pushed under water. Once it is released it will come back to the surface. In like manner, some forecasters believe the market will return to normal once all the factors that have been holding it under water since 2008 release it. Some are saying we could possibly see a new market high with the S&P 500 going even higher than it is now. The NASDAQ and the Dow could also go up as many believe we are in the early stages of a U.S. economic expansion.

We are studying these scenarios very closely to see how they are going to impact our clients’ portfolios. Keep watching our video blog so we can keep you updated.

If you have any questions about your current financial situation, I’d be delighted to talk with you. You can email me here or call me at (205) 989-3498.

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.

The S&P 500 index is a measure of performance of the broad domestic economy through 500 stocks from major industries. The NASDAQ Composite represents all the stocks that trade on the Nasdaq. The Dow Jones Industrial Average measures the average price of a group of 30 high value stocks.

Sep 022014
 

New format

Today we are discussing the economic news and data that could impact your portfolio. We are changing our format to bring you this critical information in a more concise presentation. Please let us know what you think about it and if you feel you are still getting the information you need. You can email me here or in the comment space provided below.

The US economy is still looking strong

We are a still looking at the GDP being up 2% for the year and 3% for the first half of the year. The US is still looking strong from an economic and market standpoint. International companies based in the US may feel the impact of European inflation, tensions coming from Russia, and terrorist situations. There is also concern over ISIS and a possible terrorist attack slowing down our growing economy. These terrorist groups have American and British citizens in their forces with passports that give them the ability to come in and out of their home countries freely. That could really cause problems and have a major impact on the US economy.

S&P 500 has hit over 30+ record highs this year

Historically, the S&P 500 has hit over 30+ record highs this year. S&P Marketscope pointed out that in 1995 the S&P hit 500 and the next 30 days was up 4.6%. In 1998 the S&P 500 hit the 1000 mark and was up 7.9% in the following 30 days. In 2007 it was up over 1500 and rose up 2% in the next 30 days. Here we are in 2014 and the S&P 500 is over 2500. We will be watching this closely to see from an historical standpoint if it has a positive up swing.

New economic information this week

The big report this week is the Jobs Report which will be released on Friday. Also on Wednesday we will see a PMI and ISM Manufacturing reports. These reports will give us some very important information on how the US economy is really doing and what we can expect in the future.

I really want to hear from you. Email me your comments and questions here or call me at (205) 989-3498.

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.

The S&P 500 index is a measure of performance of the broad domestic economy through 500 stocks from major industries.

Aug 292014
 

Robert Saik, CEO of The Agri-Trend Group of Companies, is a Professional Agrologist and a Certified Agricultural Consultant. As founder of The Agri-Trend Group, Robert has been involved in the development of many new business processes and concepts.

The changing world of agricultural

Rob Saik tracks agricultural trends that affect the economy and investors’ portfolios. Greg Powell connected with Rob via Skype for an interview concerning these trends and how they impacts investors. The world is changing dramatically in many areas and agricultural change is increasing at a high right. While the average person may assume that agriculture is behind the times, Rob knows this is not true. In fact, most of the growth in agriculture is because of technology and the data being collected.

Agricultural investment opportunities

North America is one of the few regions that produces more food than it consumes. This is providing unique opportunities for investors because of the use of technology. Traditional farming has implemented so much technology that much of it is automated. For this reason farmers are sitting in their air conditioned tractor cabs engaging in agricultural conversations on Twitter and surfing the internet.

As Rob Saik travels the world researching farmers he has discovered that if the technology is there, farmers adopt it very fast. To Rob, this answer the question of whether agriculture can feed the world. With the way farmers are embracing and using technology, Rob is convinced agriculture will be able to tackle the world food supply needs.

The agricultural threat

Currently there is a cultural push to use locally grown food. While that works on a local level, that food supply model will not feed an entire city or the world. The anti- GMO (Genetically Manipulated Organisms) mindset threatens our ability to feed the world. This movement is fueled by emotion and is not based on science. This movement causes panic policies to be made on these emotions. The farming industry represents only 2% of the US population and they don’t really have a voice for how agriculture really works. This is one of the biggest dangers facing agriculture. There is a lot of great science happening in the agricultural industry and that information is not being presented to the masses.

Overcoming the threat to agricultural

Educating the general public will help overcome this threat. Technology and science are bringing enormous positive strides in agriculture and if people could understand it, it could help keep improving agriculture and set us up for a brighter future.

More information on agriculture trends:

The AgAdvance Journal: a free publication covering how biotech, robotics, data, drone technology, and other industries are changing agriculture. Visit agadvance.com

The Agriculture Manifest: book by Rob Saik on Amazon.com

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Agri-Trend has been nominated one of Canada’s 2012 Top 50 Best Managed Companies and was recognized by Venture Magazine as one of Alberta’s 2013 top 25 Most Innovative Organizations.

Rob Saik is a Director of Westerner Park, 2014-2015 Chairman of Agri-Trade Show, past Director of the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, and serves on The Red Deer Chamber of Commerce Ag Policy Committee as well as Advisor to The Canadian Management Council, The Farm Progress Show and The Red Deer College Donald School of Business.

He is a passionate keynote speaker addressing audiences on the importance of modern agriculture. He is also the author of, “The Agriculture Manifesto” – 10 Key Drivers That Will Shape Agriculture in the next Decade.
In 2006 Rob Saik was recognized as Distinguished Agrologist of the Year by the Alberta Institute of Agrology. He is passionate about pursuing business opportunities in the Agricultural Sector.
Rob Saik and Agri-Trend are not affiliated with LPL Financial.

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.

Aug 252014
 

Today we will be giving your our insights on interest rates and what will cause inflation to rise in the near future as Janet Yellen spoke about these issues last Friday. Investors need to remember that we are in mid-term elections. While everything seems to be running smoothly right now between Congress and the President, after the elections we may see a return to less cooperative times. This kind of political environment could have a significant impact on the economy, your portfolio and possibly cause inflation to rise

A good week for the markets

It was a good week for the Stock Market last week as the DOW was up about 2%, the S&P 500 was up 1.7% and the NASDAQ was up 1.6%. Overall we saw better than expected economic numbers last week and Consumer Price Index (CPI) was in-line as anticipated. Housing starts and existing home sales were fantastic which was a big surprise. The Philly Fed’s report on manufacturing was also good.

The Fed addresses inflation in the near future

The Fed minutes were released last week indicating that they are still committed to raising interest rates in 2015. This has a broad impact on credit cards, mortgages, home equity lines and more. Often the anticipation of rates going up causes more tension in the markets than when it actually happens.

We are concerned over inflation rearing it’s ugly head. We do not want to see inflation like we saw in the 1970s, but when the Fed floods the market with money as it has been doing, this will cause inflation to rise. The Fed has said they don’t see inflation staying under 2% indefinitely as they’ve seen, since 1980, a big divergence growing between wage growth and inflation. This means as people are starting to make more money again, they will start spending it which produces more demand on a limited number of goods. This will cause inflation to rise.

Janet Yellen’s view of the economy

Janet Yellen has said there are the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression and we agree. It has been difficult to anticipate and look at these conditions from a historical perspective especially when it comes to labor. Also with the slack in the labor market, it has been difficult for the Fed to look at the real unemployment problem.

Technology will cause inflation to rise

What the Fed is just now seeing we have talked about in previous videos. We’ve been seeing technology driving down prices for a while now. Consumers are now able to go out and buy technology items, like flat screen TVs, because the prices have dropped so much in the past few years. It’s now becoming cheaper to buy fast food than it is to eat healthier at home.

Technology will change the government soon

We believe the next big industry to be impacted by technology is the government. Within the next few years we will see political candidates win because they are pro technology and they are pressing the government to streamline and downsize.

What we anticipate this week

This week new home sales numbers, durable goods orders, and a second revision of GDP will be released. Investors should not be surprised if we see this pull back. It is anticipated. We will also see personal income numbers revealed which helps the Fed uses to track inflation.

We are constantly tracking this kind of data on what could cause inflation to rise and we have many strategy planning meetings concerning this throughout the week. We are committed to keeping you up to date with these videos and on our podcast. If you have concerns about how this applies to your portfolio and other issues that develop this week, please email us or call us at (205) 989-3498.

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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

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. performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

The NASDAQ Composite Index represents all the stocks that trade on the Nasdaq

The Dow Jones Industrial Average measures the average price of a group of 30 high value stocks

The S&P 500 Index designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through 500 stocks representing all major industries

Aug 182014
 

We have a lot of economic news and data to share with you today to help you gain confidence in your life. As we celebrate our co-host Franklin Bradford’s birthday today we see the markets showing strengths in corporate mergers and acquisitions. Obviously, corporate America is seeing some good signs in the economy as the Dollar General and the Family Dollar stores talk about a merger.

Economic news and data

The market is being driven geopolitically and especially by what is going on in the Ukraine. The situation in the Gaza Strip doesn’t seem to have as much of an impact. What is predominately driving the market is oil prices and our troops on the ground. This is causing expectations and fear in the markets.

The latest economic data is telling us that consumer spending is not starting the third quarter as strong as it did in the second. The good news is that this will leave the Fed on the sidelines until next year. Domestic demand for automobiles is strong and oil prices are coming down. The Producer Price Index shows that inflation was soft which will keep the Fed from raising interest rates.

A popular topic in the mainstream economic news is the fact that there have been two market corrections in 2000 and 2008. There is concern we might be getting ready to have another. Investors need to remember that this was driven by liar loans, a housing crisis, people building more than they could afford, and an overall bubble. While we are paying very close attention to this, we still see positive opportunities in the markets.

European economic news

The European economy is something that we are watching very carefully. GDP for the European Union was lower than expected. There is also data showing high European unemployment especially among young people. This is important economic news because Europe is such a big part of the global economy.

Good economic news for small businesses

What causes markets to move? Corporate earnings. As a successful owner managed business we track this nationally. Recent studies by The FDIC and the University of Chicago shows that banks lending to smaller companies has been extremely off since 2008. Small businesses make up the largest part of the American economy so this is not good news.

Over this past year we have started to see growth in banks lending to small businesses. Smaller companies are starting to be able to raise the capital they need for growth. This will strengthen the economy and we could potentially see some economic breakout.

What this means to the investor

If you have publicly traded companies in your portfolio, small businesses might be suppling or buying their products. Also, technology has allowed corporate America to become much smaller which means the small business sector is growing. These trends are connected to a stronger economy.

Finding the economic trends

These trends are on the “back pages” of the news. They can only be found in the economic data details which mainstream media is not reporting. Tracking smaller corporate America can give us a better indication of how strong our economy is over the big economic news topics.

Send us your comments and questions so we can keep giving you the information important to you.

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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

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.
Economic news