Nov 172014
 

Every Monday we give you our insights on how the markets performed last week and what you, as an investor, need to be aware of this week.

The effect of dropping oil prices

October’s sales numbers came in last week surprisingly better than expected. Dropping oil prices continue with the average price per gallon at $2.92 in the United States. This adds up to 52 billion dollars in savings to consumers which is good news as we head into the holiday season.

Another S&P 500 all time high

The S&P 500 hit another all time high on Friday. This is due to overall positive economic news, better than expected corporate earnings, and belief that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates down.

Recession worries in Japan and Europe

Dropping oil prices brings good news for Asian countries as they import most of their oil, so its cheaper for them. Unfortunately this has not helped out the Japanese and the Europeans. Europe is experiencing extremely slow economic recovery which recently posted only a 0.02% growth. France and Italy would have been in a recession if it had not been for government spending. Germany also barely missed a recession. Japan is experiencing slow growth and will probably have another round of a stimulus package.

Economic data to watch this week

The minutes from the Fed meeting last week will come out this week. We will also see reports on existing home sales and housing starts. We will get a look at US inflation through the CPI numbers. We are watching news from the Bank of Japan meeting in the middle of the week as well as data from Germany and the UK.

If you would like to talk with us about your market or investment concerns, feel free to email us here or call Franklin, Ashley or Bobby at (205) 989-3498.
Dropping oil prices
Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant

Ashley Page, JD, MBA
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant

Bobby Norman, CFP®
Vice President
Wealth Consultant

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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.

Nov 102014
 

What in the world happened last week?

Last week the DOW, the DOW Industrial, the DOW Utilities, and the S&P 500 ended at all time highs. That hasn’t happened since 1998. The unemployment rate ticked down to 5.8 percent but we are still concerned about the labor and participation rate. The United States continues to lead the global recovery as the strongest market in the world. We see this trend continuing.

This week’s market focus

It’s a light week for market data. Our main market focus will be on retail sales reports at the end of the week. This will give us an indication on what consumers are doing. We are also watching the jobless claims which are reported weekly. Tomorrow on Veteran’s Day the Bond Market will be closed but the Stock Market and Futures will be open as usual.

International market focus

Our international market focus is on the Bank of England, which will be giving a quarterly report on inflation. We are interested to see if they will raise interest rates. China will also be releasing a good amount of data including the CPI, the PPI and retail sales.

The Impact of deflation

Deflation is still a negative force in our economy. The Japanese have been dealing with deflation since the late 1990s. They have recently been very aggressive with their Central Bank using stimulus packages as a way to get out of it. This is starting to slowly inflate their economy. Central banks can be very effective against deflation if they focus solely on it. The problem is the many other policy issues that can go along with it. We feel like this is a good lesson for the Europeans to learn. Europe is on the cusp of deflation and there are many comparisons to Japan.

Veteran’s impact on our economy

Without the sacrifice and service of our veterans, we would not live in a free market society and able to live as we do. We are grateful for our nation’s veterans and we hope everyone will celebrate their service tomorrow on Veteran’s Day.

If you have any questions or concerns about your investments, please call us at (205) 989-3498 or email us here.

Market Focus
Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant

Ashley Page, JD, MBA
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant

Bobby Norman, CFP®
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.
TheDow Jones Industrial Average measures the average price of a group of 30 high value stocks. The Dow Jones Utility Average keeps track of the performance of 15 prominent utility companies.

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

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 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.