Dec 152014
 

The worst week in the markets in years

We had a pretty big week last week as it was one of the worst weeks we’ve had in US and international markets in several years. Historically, last week is normally a weak week. This is due to tax loss selling and oil prices coming down. The down market over shadowed some good things that did happen as US retail sales rose, and consumer confidence and small business confidence was higher than expected. This week there is a good amount of economic data coming in that will give us a good idea of how the economy is doing.

Federal Reserve last meeting of the year

There is a big discussion on whether or not the price of oil will cause the Federal Reserve to accelerate a change in interest rates. This Monday and Tuesday are the last policy meetings for the Fed this year. Wednesday Janet Yellen will be holding a conference to discuss what went on in those meetings.

Will interest rates rise?

There has been a lot of changes since the last Fed meeting in the 3rd quarter. Besides oil prices coming down, the dollar is up 5.3%. Also 800,000 new American jobs have been created. This is a lot of data for the Fed to consider. We still believe we might see the Fed raise interest rates mid year of 2015. That will put more of a muted variance on inflation. It can go one of two ways. With oil prices dropping it could keep inflation down and we may not see an interest rate hike at all. The prevailing wisdom is that dropping oil prices will continue to help employment, consumer confidence, and allow the Fed to raise interest rates.

Please send us your comments and questions. Rising Interest Rates

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

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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.
Stock investing involves risk including potential loss of principal. 

Dec 082014
 


Last week in the markets was very eventful. We are seeing the confidence level of investors and consumers growing in the United States as the drop in oil prices has put more money into consumers’ pockets. We need to see this in China, Japan and Europe as well, because we need consumers globally to buy US products.

Has the unemployment rate really gone down?

Last week the Jobs Report indicated that 100,000 more jobs were added, some of which are seasonal jobs. Investors need to remember that this report only accounts for people actually looking for a job. A more thorough look shows that the unemployment rate is really at 11% which is high compared to the 8% rate back before the recession.

Potential disruption in US markets

Vladimir Putin gave a State of the Economy address last week which was full of propaganda. In Russia, the state funded television makes sure that positive things are said about Putin six times a day. The concern that we have is that all the Russian prosperity has been based on oil for the last 6 or 7 years. Putin continues to justify his actions by comparing Russia’s take over of Crimea to Christians trying to take back the Holy Land. Global situations and tensions like this, as well as in China and Europe, could disrupt US markets.

The struggle to grow personal income

The Jobs Report showed that people are still not growing their personal income by changing to higher paying jobs. Workers were able to do this before 2008 but since then, most people have not been able to do this. While consumer confidence is high, because oil prices are putting more money in their pockets, people are not yet bold enough to start looking for a better job.

These factors play into our investment strategies. As we continue to research and monitor global and US markets, we will keep you updated. Please call or email us here if you have any questions or concerns.

Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant
Email Greg Powell here

Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant

Ashley Page, JD, MBA
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant

US Markets

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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.
Stock investing involves risk including potential loss of principal. 

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.

Oct 272014
 

Here is a quick update on the market and economic issues you need to be aware of as an investor to live confidently.

Before we start, I want to welcome Bobby Norman who is the newest member of our Portfolio Strategies Team. He brings a wealth of knowledge and value to our team. Read more about Bobby here.

Current economic issues

The media is still talking about the same economic issues that really haven’t changed since last week. These issues are the economies of Europe, Japan, and China, along with the Ebola scare. The markets are watching closely this week as the Federal Reserve starts to talk again about ending Quantitative Easing.

Economic issues in Europe

We saw positive movement in the markets last week in Europe as Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank, made some effective comments. Towards the end of the week there were about two dozen European Banks that were expected to fail a stress test to measure their banking system. The results have just been released and we are assessing those now.

International watch list

Since this is the last week of the month, there is a lot of economic data coming out. In Europe the Spanish GDP numbers will be release and in Asia investors will see reports from Japan on their retail sales, CPI (Consumer Price Index), and PPI (Producer Price Index) which is a gauge of inflation.

The most important economic issues for investors

This is a big week for the US economy which last week had mixed data. Of all the economic issues, the number one thing investors will be watching this week is what the Fed will say about ending Quantitative Easing. Also, investors will see the final numbers for second quarter GDP and durable goods orders.

Keep in mind that the members of the Fed do not want to be known as the people who brought the country to a halt. This means there is an excellent chance they will remain dovish or not end QE3 at all just because of all the other events going on in the world.

Our investment approach

We’ve moved towards a more conservative approach in our portfolios but are constantly researching and analyzing the markets to make adjustments seeking to protect our clients. Do you have questions regarding your investments? We would be delighted to talk with you. You can email us here or call us at (205) 989-3498.

Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant
Email Greg Powell here

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

Bobby Norman, CFP®
Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email Bobby Norman 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.

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 Issues

Oct 132014
 

Last week the focus was on just a few things that could affect the market this week. The IMF reported that the world is slowing down in growth. While it is not slowing down by much, we are watching this closely. The Federal Reserve meeting minutes came out with good indications that interest rates will not be going up any time soon but that still depends on what is going on globally. This is important for investors to follow because it directly affects your investments and finances.

This week we are focused on several things that could affect the markets. The Producer Price Index will be reported and this will tell us if we have too many dollars producing too many goods. Retail sales numbers could also affect the markets because 70% of our economy is consumer driven. This covers everything from groceries to auto sales. We are also watching housing starts because of the rippling effect it has on so many other industries in our economy. We are also watching some volatility that has returned to the market.

As we discover other factors that could affect the markets this week, we will be sure to let you know. Follow us on Facebook (click here) and Twitter (click here) for daily updates.

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

Sep 292014
 

Historically last week is a weaker period in the markets. This usually comes after “Triple Witching” which is when options, futures, and options on futures, all expire so it was not unexpected.

Riots in Hong Kong

Citizens in Hong Kong are demonstrating against ruling China for a more democratic system. The Chinese are pushing back and this is having some negative affects on the market. The ECB (European Central Bank) is meeting this week. Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, is saying he will do whatever it takes to keep the Euro viable as a currency. Internationally these are two issues we are watching closely as they have the potential to impact our clients portfolios.

The US Economy

Domestically, housing starts were down last week which was not a surprise. The Fed kept some positive wording in their statements which the markets took as a positive. We will see a good amount of data come out this week which will give us a great picture of our economy and how we look going into the fourth quarter. Historically since 2009 the economy starts off the year weak and ends strong. It appears from the data we have right now, that we will see this happen again this year.

Are stocks “priced to perfection”?

The term “priced to perfection” has recently become popular in the media and we want you to be aware of it. The Wall Street Journal even has an article about it today. Priced to perfection means that the price is beginning to settle at a level where it was starting to grow. When it is priced to perfection, it would take several factors for that stock to go up or down (more in the video).

Currently we are seeing more up and down movement in the markets than at the beginning of the year. This is causing people to question if stocks are priced to perfection or not. There are still other underlying factors to consider when deciding whether stocks are priced to perfection. We wanted you to be aware that you could hear more about this in the future.

Continue to send us your comments and questions. When you do, it guides us towards giving you the information you need.

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

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Priced To Perfection
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.

Stock investing involves risk including potential loss of principal.

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.