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
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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.

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
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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.

Mar 162015
 

The dollar is very strong right now and everyone is watching Europe and the Fed here in the United States. The word patience will continue to be debated in relation to the decision to raise or not raise interest rates.

Good news and bad news from last week

The bad news is that last week was an over all down week with retail sales reporting lower numbers than expected. The good news is foreclosures are down from last year and applications for new homes rose. Also, in January there were 5 million job openings, the highest since 2001. While the economy is improving, our research indicates it is not ready for interest rates to go back up.

Why we believe the Fed won’t raise interest rates

The unemployment number that the news media reports is the U.S. Labor Department U-3 number, is at about 5.5%. Normally we would consider 5% at full employment. At fi-Plan Partners, however, we look at the Labor Department’s U-6 number ,which includes the underemployed and those on the fringe. That unemployment rate is around 11%. Our Fed has a dual mandate concerning unemployment and interest rates. This makes it difficult for the Fed to raise interest rates as it will have a negative impact on the unemployed.

The Fed will also be debating unemployment as multi-national earnings come down due to a strong dollar, and these companies decide to layoff workers. Lower oil prices will also be also be a factor as the growth in that industry has been a big producer of jobs in America.

It’s an important economic week:

  • Industrial production report on Monday
  • Fed meeting on Tuesday
  • Fed announces what Wednesday
  • Jobless claims on Thursday
  • Triple Witching on Friday

Why everyone is concerned about interest rates

Right now the S&P 500 sits at about 3% off an all time high. The key to the market going higher is what comes out of the Fed this week as we are patiently waiting for things to evolve. In 1937 the Fed raised rates, stalling the economy from which America didn’t come out of until WWII. This is why people are so concerned about interest rates going up.

There is also the political factor. Politicians will want the economy to be good or they will want it to be bad as elections grow closer depending on what side of the election a candidate is on. Fortunately the Fed is not supposed to be affected by this but investors need to know this will be talked about in the news media.

Patience is the keyword for interest rates

When the Fed uses the word patience in their report, it means they will not be raising interest rates for the next four to six months. If they keep that word in their report this week, that means they will keep rates low, providing liquidity in the markets. If they don’t use the word patience, it will be interesting to see and very hard to predict, what word they will use to replace it, and what that will mean. Investors should watch this and we will keep you updated on our interpretation and what you need to know about it.

Please forward this to a friend who could benefit from our research.

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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. 

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.