Sep 262014
 

Why chase the S&P 500? The answer might surprise you. Many investors use the S&P 500 as a benchmark for their investments. Often, however, this can derail an investor from their life long financial dreams and goals.

Note: Originally posted on November 21, 2013 but still applicable for investors today.
Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant

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Chasing the S&P 500

Sep 192014
 

“Greg, should I be in or out of the market?” This is a question I get asked often and many investors base their portfolio decisions on this question. If you were to ask me this question, my answer would depend on your financial blueprint, your economic situation, and how much risk you are willing to take in the markets.

Potential hot sectors in the market

You can find opportunities in the markets by tracking sectors. Hot sectors in the markets go in rotations. For example, in early 2014, the hot sector was the energy sector. Then it moved to the international sector. As the school year approached, the hot sector became retail. What investors need to understand is that money is moving in and out of the market all the time. Does that mean people are pulling their money out of the market for a certain amount of time? Not necessarily. They could be just moving from one hot sector to another.

Moving to cash or the next hot sector

When you have political tension in Middle East, the military equipment manufacturing sector may benefit. So as you look at the markets, the question is not whether you need to move out of the market and into cash, it’s how to move to where the trends are. There will be times when you need to be proactive and move a portion of your portfolio to cash. As you watch and understand the trends according to what is going on in the US and international economies, you will be able to make better decisions about your portfolio.

How to find opportunities in the market

We are constantly researching the next hot sector and trend but we are not day traders. At times we will go into certain sectors and hold those positions for 5 to 10 years. There will be other positions in a portfolio that we realize have gone as far as they can in this economic cycle. For those positions it is time to take the profits and place them in another sector that is potentially undervalued. If you keep this kind of portfolio strategy, you will always find opportunities in the market, even among the chaos.
hot sectors thumb

Do you need to be in or out of the market?

If you would like to talk with me about your current investments and portfolio, please email me here or call me at (205) 989-3498. I would be delighted to talk with you.

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.

Investing in a specific sector involves additional risk and will be subject to greater volatility than investing more broadly.

No strategy ensures success or protects against a loss

Sep 122014
 

Franklin BradfordWhat is value investing? It’s a term that is used often in the investment industry. Here is an easy to understand explanation of value investing from our “Financial Intelligence” video series.
Note: This video was originally posted on August 7, 2013. Since we’ve been asked about this term lately, we decided to post it again. Let me know what you think.

Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant

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value investing

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 132014
 

How bad can it get?

I’m talking about all the world event headlines that are going on right now. Some days you turn on the TV or read the news headlines and you end up shaking your head at what is being reported. As an investor, you need to remember that these are just headlines. The events are not finalized when the headline comes out.

Current world event headlines

There are many world event headlines hitting the news right now. We all know that the Portuguese bank is in a bad situation. The ebola outbreak is making big headlines as international air travel could be heavily impacted. These are big headlines but if they don’t pan out, they will not affect our economy at all.

Interest rates are also another big headline but if you are watching the economic data, rates will probably not go up until later in the year. The drama in Russia is a big headline but if it comes to a resolution, it also will not affect the economy.

The outcome of the Israel and Gaza strip conflict is still to be determined. ISIS is making big headlines and it is good for us to be concerned about this terrorist group but again the impact on our economy is still unsure.

The investor’s response to world event headlines

The question you need to be asking when watching or reading the news is, “How could this world event really impact my portfolio?” The message coming from the media can cause some investors to over react. At fi-Plan Partners we are conducting diligent research and data analysis to make portfolio decisions that are in the best interest of our clients and not influenced by the media.

Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant
Email Greg 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 economic forecasts set forth in the presentation may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

Jul 312014
 

Viewer question:

I would like to know how Treasury Floating Rate Notes work, how they are purchased, sold, and the pros and cons, etc.”

Floating rate notes became popular in the 1970s. When interest rates are low, they become a popular option for people. They can be a good way to hedge yourself against inflation or rising interest rates. The Treasury Floating Rate Note is the first new product the Treasury has offered in 17 years.

Understanding floating rate notes

Banks and businesses can issue floating rate notes because they can extend their maturities. It can be compared to your home equity line of credit and your fix rate mortgage (more in the video).

Why would the treasury issue floating rate notes?

Floating rates extend the maturities on their short term treasury bills into these floating rate notes so they don’t have to constantly be refinanced. They are willing to take on a more interest rate risk. If interest rates do go up, tax payers are going to have to pay that interest. They are designed for short term cash and they are mostly being bought by bonds that use money markets.

Are floating rate notes a good investment?

We are not recommending floating rate notes but they may be appropriate for some investors on a case by case basis. To determine if floating rate notes are a good investment for you, we would need to talk with you and look at your specific situation and needs.

It’s important to know that the interest rate to floating rate notes is very low. It is not much higher than what you would get in a traditional treasury. There is a concern that the return is not as good as you could get somewhere else and you have a maturity of two years.

If you would like to talk with me about floating rate notes, please give me a call or email me here.

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

Government bonds Notes and Treasury bills are guaranteed by the US government Treasury Floating Rate Notes pay varying amounts of interest quarterly until maturity. Interest payments rise and fall based on discount rates in auctions of 13-week Treasury bills.

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.