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.

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 222014
 

Today we are giving you some of our insights about the markets and economy that could help you in your decisions about investments and your portfolio.

Interest rates and economic impact

Last week we were closely watching the outcome of the meeting by the Federal Reserve. They indicated that they will leave interest rates considerably low for a longer period of time. Scotland was also on our radar as they voted not to secede from Great Britain. This could have had a tremendous impact on international financial markets.

Inflation remains low and manufacturing is mixed in the United States. This is a very positive sign because if inflation stays down, it allows the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low.

What we are watching in the financial markets

The housing market numbers will be a focus for us this week because of the ripple effect they can have on other areas of the economy. We will also be analyzing the snapshot we will get of the GDP and manufacturing industry, because this will tell us what we are producing in our country and how the economy is doing.

The systemic drag on the financial markets

The big problem in the housing market is that there is not a lot of single family homes under construction. We believe this is the main systemic drag that is keeping the financial markets and your investments from rising.

The two main questions we are asking are:

  1. Are consumers getting credit?
  2. Are consumers going to buy a house in the first place?

The banks clearly became tighter on mortgage lending as we came out of the financial crisis. But the bigger part is the wage dynamism where workers’ incomes are not moving up. Even though banks are starting to loosen up there lending, consumers are not confident enough to begin building single family homes. We really need this component to come back to help accelerate the economy and financial markets.

Do you have concerns about the markets and economy that you would like us to address in our weekly market updates? You can email us here or call us at (205) 989-3498.

Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Drag on financial markets
Ashley Page, JD, MBA
Senior 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.

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

Aug 252014
 

Today we will be giving your our insights on interest rates and what will cause inflation to rise in the near future as Janet Yellen spoke about these issues last Friday. Investors need to remember that we are in mid-term elections. While everything seems to be running smoothly right now between Congress and the President, after the elections we may see a return to less cooperative times. This kind of political environment could have a significant impact on the economy, your portfolio and possibly cause inflation to rise

A good week for the markets

It was a good week for the Stock Market last week as the DOW was up about 2%, the S&P 500 was up 1.7% and the NASDAQ was up 1.6%. Overall we saw better than expected economic numbers last week and Consumer Price Index (CPI) was in-line as anticipated. Housing starts and existing home sales were fantastic which was a big surprise. The Philly Fed’s report on manufacturing was also good.

The Fed addresses inflation in the near future

The Fed minutes were released last week indicating that they are still committed to raising interest rates in 2015. This has a broad impact on credit cards, mortgages, home equity lines and more. Often the anticipation of rates going up causes more tension in the markets than when it actually happens.

We are concerned over inflation rearing it’s ugly head. We do not want to see inflation like we saw in the 1970s, but when the Fed floods the market with money as it has been doing, this will cause inflation to rise. The Fed has said they don’t see inflation staying under 2% indefinitely as they’ve seen, since 1980, a big divergence growing between wage growth and inflation. This means as people are starting to make more money again, they will start spending it which produces more demand on a limited number of goods. This will cause inflation to rise.

Janet Yellen’s view of the economy

Janet Yellen has said there are the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression and we agree. It has been difficult to anticipate and look at these conditions from a historical perspective especially when it comes to labor. Also with the slack in the labor market, it has been difficult for the Fed to look at the real unemployment problem.

Technology will cause inflation to rise

What the Fed is just now seeing we have talked about in previous videos. We’ve been seeing technology driving down prices for a while now. Consumers are now able to go out and buy technology items, like flat screen TVs, because the prices have dropped so much in the past few years. It’s now becoming cheaper to buy fast food than it is to eat healthier at home.

Technology will change the government soon

We believe the next big industry to be impacted by technology is the government. Within the next few years we will see political candidates win because they are pro technology and they are pressing the government to streamline and downsize.

What we anticipate this week

This week new home sales numbers, durable goods orders, and a second revision of GDP will be released. Investors should not be surprised if we see this pull back. It is anticipated. We will also see personal income numbers revealed which helps the Fed uses to track inflation.

We are constantly tracking this kind of data on what could cause inflation to rise and we have many strategy planning meetings concerning this throughout the week. We are committed to keeping you up to date with these videos and on our podcast. If you have concerns about how this applies to your portfolio and other issues that develop this week, please email us or call us at (205) 989-3498.

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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

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

The NASDAQ Composite Index 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

The S&P 500 Index designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through 500 stocks representing all major industries

Aug 182014
 

We have a lot of economic news and data to share with you today to help you gain confidence in your life. As we celebrate our co-host Franklin Bradford’s birthday today we see the markets showing strengths in corporate mergers and acquisitions. Obviously, corporate America is seeing some good signs in the economy as the Dollar General and the Family Dollar stores talk about a merger.

Economic news and data

The market is being driven geopolitically and especially by what is going on in the Ukraine. The situation in the Gaza Strip doesn’t seem to have as much of an impact. What is predominately driving the market is oil prices and our troops on the ground. This is causing expectations and fear in the markets.

The latest economic data is telling us that consumer spending is not starting the third quarter as strong as it did in the second. The good news is that this will leave the Fed on the sidelines until next year. Domestic demand for automobiles is strong and oil prices are coming down. The Producer Price Index shows that inflation was soft which will keep the Fed from raising interest rates.

A popular topic in the mainstream economic news is the fact that there have been two market corrections in 2000 and 2008. There is concern we might be getting ready to have another. Investors need to remember that this was driven by liar loans, a housing crisis, people building more than they could afford, and an overall bubble. While we are paying very close attention to this, we still see positive opportunities in the markets.

European economic news

The European economy is something that we are watching very carefully. GDP for the European Union was lower than expected. There is also data showing high European unemployment especially among young people. This is important economic news because Europe is such a big part of the global economy.

Good economic news for small businesses

What causes markets to move? Corporate earnings. As a successful owner managed business we track this nationally. Recent studies by The FDIC and the University of Chicago shows that banks lending to smaller companies has been extremely off since 2008. Small businesses make up the largest part of the American economy so this is not good news.

Over this past year we have started to see growth in banks lending to small businesses. Smaller companies are starting to be able to raise the capital they need for growth. This will strengthen the economy and we could potentially see some economic breakout.

What this means to the investor

If you have publicly traded companies in your portfolio, small businesses might be suppling or buying their products. Also, technology has allowed corporate America to become much smaller which means the small business sector is growing. These trends are connected to a stronger economy.

Finding the economic trends

These trends are on the “back pages” of the news. They can only be found in the economic data details which mainstream media is not reporting. Tracking smaller corporate America can give us a better indication of how strong our economy is over the big economic news topics.

Send us your comments and questions so we can keep giving you the information important to you.

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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

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 news