Apr 272015
 

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
 

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
 


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.

Apr 062015
 

With so much economic news coming at investors from so many sources, we often get asked which headlines can be trusted and which cannot? Currently one of the big discussions is about Greece leaving the European Union. Our response is, “So what? Who cares?” Greece is going to make good economic news headlines for mainstream media but in the end, it might not impact Europe at all.

Economic news worth following

Emerging markets have seen the largest capital outflow since the beginning of the crisis. This is because people are starting to put money back into safer places instead of taking higher investment risks to regain losses from 2008. While this is good for U.S. investors in the short-term, in the longterm it could be bad because when markets in these smaller countries turn over, governments can topple. This is a headline worth following but investors should still be cautious as there may still be market volatility based on news hype, like Greece, and not actual economic news.

Last week’s market recovery

Last week we saw the market recover some of it’s losses with moderate gains. The price of oil increased and new home sales rose. Manufacturing and personal income also increased however, we are seeing the American consumer save their money more than spend it. Many economists have been surprised at this but our research is telling us that it could take up to 10 years for people to get debt back under control after a financial crisis. We might not see good consumer spending until 2018. This is one factor that has really held our economy back.

Weak markets and interest rates

In other economic news, the Jobs Report was lower than expected last week which is being contributed partially to bad weather. The silver lining in this is that it will keep the Fed from raising interest rates. The news media will make a big deal out of the Jobs Report and the market can react whether the news spins it as good or bad.

Mid March is historically a weak period for the markets because of Easter and financial industry trends (more in the video). Sometimes this leads to a good April so we could see the market turn around.

The strong dollar

Another silver lining, like the weak Jobs Report, is the fact that even though the dollar has dropped about 2% recently, this actually helps U.S. companies that are in multinational sales. The energy industry also benefits from a weaker dollar and it is starting to show signs of recovery.

Keeping up with the details

We are watching a lot of these market details right now for the domestic and global economy. We will keep you update here on economic news you can trust as well as through our market outlook letters and on social media.

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Economic News
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. 

Mar 302015
 

Last week in the markets

Last week was a rough week in the markets worldwide. The GDP declined and came in below expectations. Also, corporate profits fell. Most analysts feel like this is because of the higher dollar, which is something we have been talking about for weeks. However, there was some good news, as consumer confidence and new home sales both grew.

This week in the markets

We have a good bit of data coming out this week that we will be watching. Personal income has already come out this morning, and Wednesday we will see ISM Manufacturing numbers. Thursday we will see jobless claims, international trade data, and Janet Yellen’s speech. The big news on Friday will be the employment situation. Additional data we will continue to monitor as it comes out this week will be the Case–Shiller Home Price Index and consumer confidence reports.

Personal income data and an impact in the markets

Disposable income is inching up a little which is good. We are also seeing a little wage growth and the employment situation getting better. Interestingly, the savings rate has now risen to about 5.5 %, which is around 1.5% higher than we saw last year after the first quarter. Additionally this year we are seeing tax refund checks trending higher. For most people, this is their largest singular payment. We think that higher tax refunds this year, combined with the increased saving rate, can be very impactful and help with a pickup in the markets. As a reminder, the majority of the markets are consumers so people being confident and spending can be very powerful.

Greece

In the beginning of this year Greece was front page news. Since then they were able to get a holdover from their creditors in order to put together a plan. They are now supposed to present that plan this week, so we could see Greece move back to more of a front page news story again. The concern is that if Greece can’t meet what their creditors need, they may exit the Euro. We don’t expect this to happen, however, it could bring some volatility back in the markets in terms of perception.

If you have any specific questions or comments, please email us here or call us at (205) 989-3498.

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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

Finding The Positives In The Markets 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.

Mar 232015
 


Today we will be talking about how fast the dollar is going up, how will that affect your portfolio, job and other assets around the world, and answer the question, “Have the markets peaked?”

The Fed is supporting the market

On last week’s Investors Insights we talked about how the market is really being moved by the Fed. As the week went on, the Fed announced they have removed patience from their statement. This made everyone, as well as the markets, concerned the Fed would raise interest rates. However, the Fed lowered their expectations for economic growth. While that sounds bad for the economy, it is good for the market because it shows the Fed is supporting it. At fi-Plan Partners we are still in the opinion that interest rates will not be going up any time soon.

Last week’s market snapshot

Last week was great for domestic and international markets. Both the DOW and the S&P 500 were up 2%. The bank of Japan continued its bond buying program and other countries are looking to reduce energy cost to encourage consumer spending.

Housing starts went down 17% in February which is the lowest in four years. There is speculation that this is because of tighter mortgage lending.

What to expect this week in the market

Investors will get two more looks at housing numbers this week with new and existing home sales reports. Investors will also get to see the Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers, which helps determine inflation and deflation. Durable Good Orders and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers will also be coming out.

The fast and furious dollar

The dollar is continuing to strengthen and it is causing problems for companies that sell multi-nationally. When the dollar goes up, their goods become less competitive. On the other side, smaller to mid-size domestic companies (small caps) are doing better because of a stronger dollar. The speed that the dollar is rising is faster than ever. This is causing commodity prices to come down, like the cost of milk and gas. Since all commodities are priced in U.S. dollars, international money is flowing into the United States making America an oasis in the desert right now. That’s why you may be seeing profits falling but the prices in equities are going up.

Have the markets peaked?

Since the NASDAQ and S&P 500 are at an all time high, the question is, “Have the markets peaked?” While the typical thought is to always buy low and sell high, there is also the ability to buy high and sell higher. Just because there is a new all time high doesn’t mean the markets peaked. Remember, every new market high eclipses an old market high. When you peel back the onion you will see there are a lot of positive things going on in our country and in the markets. Investors will be seeing a lot of negative news in mainstream media but there are many positive stories “on the back pages.” So, have the markets peaked? In our opinion, we believe that it could go higher.

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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

Have the markets peaked
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 economic forecasts set forth in the presentation may not develop as predicted.

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.