Feb 232015
 

Today we are discussing market volatility, activity in Europe, which categories look like they are better performers, and more.

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Strong market last week

Last week the market ended strong as the Eurozone extended the Greek bailout by four months. US jobless claims were lower than expected but there was weakness in manufacturing and housing starts. This could be due to the recent weather in the Northeast.

The impact of weather

Our research shows that the economic impact from weather issues will not be as bad as last year because it has been confined to the Northeast. Last year the run of bad weather covered 60-70% of the country.

What in the world did the Fed say?

This week Janet Yellen will be sitting before Congress and hopefully investors will get a clearer picture of the Fed minutes released last week. Because the minutes were very confusing, the market only reacted by moving a few points. Usually there is more market volatility from such an event. It appeared that the Fed said interest rates would not be going up any time soon. We believe Congress will try to confirm this in the meeting this week.

Market indicators to watch this week

Existing home sales and new home sales numbers will be reported this week because of it’s ripple effect on other areas of the economy. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, will also be reported this week. The CPI is also a gauge for deflation which we have been talking about for over a year now. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers will also be reported which is important for investors to watch as it measures everything we do in this country in regards to the economy.

No resistance in the markets

Our analysis tells us there is no resistance from a technical stand point in the market at this level. We are seeing support between the 2070 to 2060 range. What this means is that we believe if the market started trading back, buyers would step in at that level.

The cause of January’s market volatility

Our research shows that the market volatility in January was due to high frequency trading and ETFs which was about 70% of the trading. The volatility was not from long term investors. This is something investors should watch closely as it is one of many factors that contribute to market volatility.

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Market Volatility
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. 

Feb 092015
 

The market factors you should watch this week include; Greece, Europe, oil prices, retail sales and much more. We have an eventful week a head of us and last week wasn’t too dull either.

Last week’s market factors

Last week was a volatile week but to the up side as the DOW rose by 650 points. Even though the S&P 500 was up 3%, if you look at it since January, it has just been running in place.

Jobs, jobs, jobs

The Jobs Report showed good numbers last week and the last few months were revised up. The market ended down when this came out and many believe that is an indication of the market not thinking the Fed is going to be accommodating. We don’t necessarily agree and we see this as a buying opportunity. There are no guarantees but we don’t see interest rates going up any time soon.

Market factors this week: China, BDI and retail sales

Trade data was down 20% for China but this might have something to do with the upcoming Chinese New Year. The country basically shuts down during this time for the celebration.

The Baltic Drive Index (BDI) is at an all time low but this doesn’t necessarily mean the economy is slowing down. The economy still hasn’t absorbed the supply off of some large tanker ships that started about 5 years ago (More in the video).

We will be watching retail sales this week. As gas prices continue to stay low, it will be interesting to see where retail sales numbers will end up. Retail sales are two thirds of our economy and these numbers can give us a good indication about where the economy is heading.

US export data concerns

The US export data is starting to drop as it is now down about 1%. The cause for this is the strength of the US dollar. While many countries around the world are lowering their interest rates, the US continues to keep their’s stable which creates a stronger dollar. While this is good for the dollar, it’s making it harder for other countries to buy our goods.

We are researching US companies that are heavily dependent on exporting and evaluating their stock in relation to our portfolios. If this starts to have a reflection on earnings we will take appropriate action. On the other hand, it could become a buying opportunity for the long term.

A special thanks to those of you who have shared our videos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and forwarded it to your friends. It it greatly appreciated.

Please let us know if you have any questions or topics your would like us to cover.
Market Factors
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

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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.

Jan 202015
 


It was an interesting week last week as yields on Treasury Notes are high right now. Bespoke Investment Group says that when ever this happens in relation to stock divined yields, it is a very positive thing for the stock market.

Last week update

Last week saw a pretty volatile market but after a bad start, the market rallied big on Friday. Precious medals out performed the markets probably because of nervousness in Europe. Retail Sales numbers on Wednesday under performed, down 1%. Jobless claims rose to the highest number since February.

This week we will get data numbers on existing home sales and pending home sales. The reason these numbers are important to investors is because of the rippling effect it can have on many industries. For example, our research shows that when home sales rise, people tend to buy new furniture and services to go with that new house.

Watching gold prices

The price of gold is something we’ve been watching very closely. Commodity prices, including milk, have been going down mainly because of a rising dollar, which is based on gold. Interestingly, gold has continued to rise in spite of dropping commodity prices most likely because commodities are priced in US dollars. This means other countries have to convert their money to dollars before they can buy them.

A big week for Europe

This week could be big for Europe as we wait to see if they will initiate quantitative easing. The estimates right now are that this quantitative easing will be to the amount of 600 billion dollars. Quantitative easing will be more problematic for Europe than here in the United States because the European Union is fragmented (See our video from last week here).

The next four years

The opposite is happening here in the United States as the Fed continues to back down quantitative easing and looks to begin raising short interest rates sometime soon. The last time we saw this was in the 1990s after which the economy did quite well for the next four years. We are thinking this impact could be the same. While we don’t see interest rates going up any time soon we think treasuries could have a good year.

China is no longer a driver of growth

China’s growth numbers came out last week at 17.4%, just slightly below the government’s expectation. That is the lowest number since 1990. It has been a long time since China has not been the driver of growth. This could be why the IMF lowered their global growth down to 3.5%. We are now seeing that the US will be the driver of growth globally.

This is a lot of information we stay on top of because all of this can affect your investments. If you have any questions, please call us at (205) 989-3498 or email us below.
Gold Prices
Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant
Email here

Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email here

Ashley Page, JD, MBA
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email here

Bobby Norman, CFP®
Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email here

Trey Booth, CFA®
Vice-President
Email 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.

The economic forecasts set forth in the presentation may not develop as predicted.

Stock investing involves risk including potential loss of principal. 

Jan 122015
 

We are looking for you comments because we want to make sure we are giving you the investing information you want. Please send us your comments at the bottom of the page.

Volatility in the markets

This week all eyes are on a good number of issues that could cause volatility in the markets. These issues concern the Fed and interest rates, a possible recession for Europe, and problems in China that could affect the rest of the world.

Last week the markets were all about volatility as they went up and down, ultimately ending down on Friday. We are seeing this volatility in the markets as a theme for 2015. Global markets came down as deflation became a reality in Europe.

The real unemployment number

Unemployment numbers came down but it is not as good as it seems. Part of this decline is from people who have stopped looking for work and wages coming down. While unemployment came down according to the government’s numbers, the fact that workers have stopped looking for employment, and wages are declining, means that unemployment is in reality around 13%.

The impact of oil and the dollar

The economic data coming out this week is in retail sales, the Producer Price Index (PPI), the Consumer Price Index (CPI), jobless claims, and the Philly Fed which we are watching closely. The big news this week is that at today’s market close, earning season begins. The big question this quarter is what kind of impact oil prices and the value of the dollar are going to have on companies that are exposed to them. While some energy companies will have issues, for companies that use oil or natural gas as a generator, this could be a positive. With the fact that we buy 25% of our oil from out of the country, this will be a tax savings to the consumer.

Structural problems in Europe

Globally investors will be hearing news about quantitative easing in Europe. There are some structural issues in Europe that will make that hard to do. Europe does not have a large capital market, borrowing costs are already low, there isn’t a federalized market for buying bonds, and there a lot of structural problems in taxation and labor. This will make it very hard to get money into their economy.

We have another letter going out to our clients this week with more in depth information on the current economy and markets. If you would like to talk to me about your investments, please call me at (205) 989-3498 or email me here.

volatility in the markets
Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant
Email here

Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email here

Ashley Page, JD, MBA
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email here

Bobby Norman, CFP®
Vice President
Wealth Consultant
Email here

Trey Booth, CFA®
Vice-President

Comment

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. 

Jan 052015
 

Happy New Year! We hope that watching Investors’ Insights will be a part of your New Year’s resolution. We produce a new Investors’ Insights Podcast every Monday to give you insights as to what happened last week in the markets and what you need to be aware of for the coming week.

We are cautiously optimistic about the markets. There are many positive elements in our economy. There are also some concerns.

So goes January, so goes the market

Research shows that what happens in January can give investors an idea of how the markets will perform over the rest of the year. This has been true about 86% of the time according to Stock Traders Almanac. What could make this even better is that we are in a pre-presidential election year. Usually near the end of a president’s term in office they want to be more accommodating in working with Congress to get legislation past and build their legacy.

Key pieces of economic data this week

There are three pieces of economic data coming out this week that we will be watching closely. The International Trade numbers will be reported, the Fed’s minutes from their meeting in December will be released mid-week, and the employment numbers come out on Friday.

Housing market issues

One very positive piece of economic data is new home construction which topped the million homes mark for the first time to since 2007. We feel like this might encourage economic growth. Economic data has shown that since 2008, younger people getting married, having children, and buying a home is down 59% from its normal level. The new economic data reports that this number is reversing. As the economy is improving, younger people are more comfortable in moving forward with their lives.

Impact on investors

The down side is that more new apartments are being built than single family homes. Also, Baby Boomers are wanting to downsize but there are no buyers coming in behind them to buy their homes. In contrast, as consumers become more confident, they are more inclined to buy real estate and invest their money in the markets. We are looking for the right place to invest in an economy with these dynamics.

Please send us your comments and questions or call us at (205) 989-3498. We want to give you the information you are looking for.
economic data 2015
Greg Powell, CIMA
President/CEO
Wealth Consultant

Franklin Bradford, CMT
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant

Ashley Page, JD, MBA
Senior Vice President
Wealth Consultant

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Please leave this field empty.

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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 292014
 

It has been an eventful year with a lot of volatility in the markets and a lot with regards to the Fed. We feel like going into 2015, fixed income and interest rates will continue to be a major topic. While no one is expecting a rate increase until possibly October or November of 2015, these are some of the details we are going over as we conclude this year and are looking ahead to 2015.

Santa Claus came last week

Santa Claus delivered great economic news to the markets last week. The US Economy continued to grow very strongly, including the best growth we have seen in 11 years. The GDP came out much higher than expected and consumer spending rose. We are also watching to see if the current lower oil prices here in the fourth quarter will actually increase consumer spending even further.

International issues

Even as the US Economic numbers are coming out strong, we are still watching closely the weakness in international markets. In Japan, industrial production and retail sales were down for the second time. This caused the Japanese cabinet to approve another stimulus. We are also watching deflation in China that could spill over into other markets. We feel as though these and other issues in the European markets will continue to be big topics as we look ahead to 2015.

This week and looking ahead to 2015

The consumer sentiment going in to the end of the year was just published and it is the best it has been in seven years. Many economists are looking forward to growth in the GDP for next year at 3.5% or higher which would be a solid market year. With the New Years holiday, we do not have a lot of economic data coming out this week. One thing we are watching this week and for 2015 are the Greek elections. There is the potential for a party change and Greece could start the beginning of the unraveling of the European Union. We are also watching the fact that Obamacare will be kicking in even deeper in 2015 and this will impact owner managed businesses.

Several times in 2014 we have used the expression, “The U.S. is the best house in a bad neighborhood”, which could also be true as we are looking ahead to 2015. International issues, labor markets, the Fed, and any unknowns, like the natural disasters we have seen in the past, will all have an impact on the year to come. The overall setup for 2015 is very good for growth in the Unites States. The question will be how long can the U.S. do it alone? The US represents more than 20% of the global economy and approximately 45 – 50% in terms of the stock markets. We play a major role all across the globe. Ironically, a lot of Europeans and Asians have more confidence in our economy and our markets than we as Americans do.
At fi-Plan Partners we are still very bullish on U.S. equities, although we are optimistically cautious. We see a modest acceleration in growth in the year ahead and it will be fueled by relatively low commodity prices, an improving labor market, rising but still low interest rates, and more supportive fiscal policy. These are just some of the factors we are watching as we look ahead to 2015.

Active management vs. passive management

This year some of the indices such as the S&P 500 or the DOW Jones Industrial Average have done really well with passive management. At fi-Plan Partners, when we look at clients’ portfolios we not only take into consideration the upside, but also the unexpected downside. We are proactively looking at how much risk we are taking in relation to the return. With the debates about interest rates and global economies as we move into 2015, you need to know that we want to get the highest return possible for our clients, but we will do it by taking the least amount of risk and looking to protect the downside. While neither forms of management have any guarantees, this is one of the biggest differences between active and passive management. One thing is for sure, we will always try very hard to be as proactive as possible for our clients.

We wish you a very Happy New Year and we thank you for believing in us!

If you have any specific questions or comments, please email me here or call me at (205) 989-3498.

Looking_Ahead_to_2015

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

There are no guarantees for either passive management or active management.

Stock investing involves risk including potential loss of principal. No strategy ensures success or protects against a loss.