Archive Monthly Archives: August 2016

Weekly Market Commentary August 29, 2016

Attention investors: U.S. interest rates may be moving up and it might happen this year.

During last Friday’s speech at the Federal Reserve’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen signaled that a rate hike is probably coming but, as usual, she didn’t offer any specifics about the timing:

“…Indeed, in light of the continued solid performance of the labor market and our outlook for economic activity and inflation, I believe the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months. Of course, our decisions always depend on the degree to which incoming data continues to confirm the Committee's outlook.”

There’s a good chance the increase could occur during 2016. Goldman Sachs economists, cited by Bloomberg, said the subjective odds of a September rate hike increased from 30 percent to 40 percent last week. Bloomberg’s data suggests a 65 percent chance of a rate hike by December.

The U.S. bond market responded with a flattening of the yield curve. When the bond yield curve is flat, short-term and long-term bonds of similar credit quality offer investors almost the same rates. Barron’s explained: “A flattening yield curve can indicate economic weakness. It signals investors expect inflation (and interest rates) to stay low for a long time.”

Why would the yield curve flatten as the Fed raises rates? One expert told Barron’s he expects a Fed rate hike to lower inflation expectations, causing interest rates on longer-term benchmark Treasuries to move lower.

Stock investors weren’t thrilled about Yellen’s comments last week, and major U.S. indices largely finished the week lower.


Data as of 8/26/16
1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor's 500 (Domestic Stocks) -0.7% 6.1% 11.8% 9.4% 13.0% 5.2%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. -0.9 2.9 4.4 -0.4 2.2 -0.1
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 1.6 NA 2.2 2.8 2.2 4.8
Gold (per ounce) -2.1 24.2 17.7 -2.4 -5.9 8.0
Bloomberg Commodity Index -1.5 8.2 -0.2 -13.5 -12.0 -6.7
DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index -0.4 13.1 24.3 14.9 14.5 6.7

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

Why aren’t American businesses investing? For quite some time, American consumers have made the largest contribution to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth. During the second quarter of 2016, personal spending and exports made positive contributions to GDP. These were largely offset by negative contributions from “private inventory investment, residential fixed investment, state and local government spending and nonresidential fixed investment.”

Last week, The Economist pondered why businesses are not investing:

“Firms are on a six-year hiring spree that shows little sign of abating; payrolls swelled by an average of 190,000 a month between May and July. Competition for workers is pushing up wages. The median pay rise in the year to July was 3.4%, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Americans are spending that cash; in the second quarter, consumption per person grew at an annual pace of 5.5%, equaling its fastest growth in a decade. Yet real GDP is expanding by only 1.2% a year. The culprit seems to be business investment, which has fallen for three consecutive quarters.”

The Economist reflected on the effects of low oil prices, questioning whether weak demand for goods or tighter credit was the culprit behind low business spending. It concluded that slow trend growth (the rate at which the U.S. economy is expected to grow over a period of time) is producing fewer opportunities for profitable long-term investment, and offered the opinion that a solution could be found in fiscal policy:

“Businesses anticipating slower long-term growth cannot be expected to invest much. And politicians cannot easily conjure up technological progress. But they can boost competition, simplify taxes and regulation, and invest in infrastructure and education, all of which would help to raise American productivity.”

Of course, getting politicians to agree on a course of action and implement a coherent fiscal policy is a tall order.

Think About It

When we decided not to sell our business people called us a lot of things besides crazy – things like arrogant and entitled. The same words that I've heard used to describe our generation time and time again. The Millennial Generation. The 'Me' Generation. Well, it's true. We do have a sense of entitlement, a sense of ownership, because, after all, this is the world we were born into, and we are responsible for it.

--Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat

Need some Personalized Advice?

Contact us and we will be happy to point you in the right direction.  No bull.

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.

* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.

* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged index. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.

* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.

* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

Sources:

[1] https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/yellen20160826a.htm

[2] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-27/september-in-play-for-bond-traders-as-goldman-sees-40-fed-odds

[3] http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/flatyieldcurve.asp

[4] http://www.barrons.com/articles/watch-out-the-yield-curve-is-flattening-1472273131?tesla=y

[5] http://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-markets-idUSKCN11101N

[6] http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm

[7] http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21705847-americans-are-spending-and-hiring-so-why-arent-firms-investing-econundrum

[8] https://mic.com/articles/118488/in-one-quote-the-snapchat-ceo-s-graduation-speech-shuts-down-millennial-haters#.gKtkTKUu9

Weekly Market Commentary August 22, 2016

Last week, Wall Street was speculating about monetary policy with the enthusiasm of commentators trying to predict who will bring home Olympic gold.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expected to introduce another rate hike before the end of 2016, according to the BBC, and it has just three opportunities to deliver the goods – during its September, November, or December meetings.

Analysts and pundits parsed minutes from July’s FOMC meeting looking for clues about timing and found relatively few because there was no consensus view at the July meeting. The BBC wrote, “According to the minutes, some FOMC members felt ‘economic conditions would soon warrant taking another step,’ while others believed more data was needed.” The BBC also pointed out a hike in November was unlikely because of the timing relative to the U.S. Presidential election.

The sooner-is-better camp inside the Fed has been quite vocal recently. CNBC reported New York Fed President William Dudley, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, and San Francisco Fed President John Williams each made statements confirming solid economic growth is expected during the second half of 2016, and indicating it’s time to continue increasing interest rates in the United States.

Recently, the CME Fed Watch tool (which looks at 30-Day Fed Fund futures prices to gauge the likelihood of changes in Fed policy) put the probability of one-quarter to one-half percentage point rate increase during September at 88 percent.

That may change this week after Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks at the Fed’s summer retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She’s expected to provide some indication of whether the Fed is ready to take action.

If you would like more information, just ‘friend’ the Fed. It now has a Facebook page.


Data as of 8/19/16
1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor's 500 (Domestic Stocks) 0.0% 6.9% 5.0% 9.9% 14.2% 5.3%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. -0.4 3.8 -1.5 -0.3 2.5 0.0
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 1.6 NA 2.1 2.9 2.1 4.8
Gold (per ounce) -0.4 26.8 19.6 -0.5 -6.1 8.0
Bloomberg Commodity Index 2.6 9.8 -2.6 -12.8 -11.5 -6.7
DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index -1.9 13.6 15.8 16.3 15.4 6.9

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

Public Wi-Fi is remarkably convenient, making it possible to connect your tablet, laptop, phone, or other device in the middle of a national park, at a local bookstore or café, or while waiting for a flight. Whenever you’re connecting in a public venue, remember public Wi-Fi is not secure – even if you’re paying to access it. Norton warned:

“…Wi-Fi uses radio waves. The openness of these signals at public hotspots, combined with the right eavesdropping software, can allow others to take information without your knowledge – much like someone overhearing a private conversation in a crowded restaurant. Don’t assume that a public Wi-Fi network is safe and secure simply because it has a password. Remember, these passwords are shared, so anyone nearby can easily hop onto the network and see what you’re doing.”

Protect yourself with some dos and don’ts of free public Wi-Fi:

Do:

  • Turn ‘sharing’ off. Your computer may be set to ‘share’ files and printers or allow remote login from other computers. Make sure ‘sharing’ is turned off when you are on public Wi-Fi.

  • Access only public sites. Check the weather or stock markets. Read the news or your favorite blogs. Avoid sites that require you to login.

  • Use a virtual private network or VPN. VPN software may allow you to route all of your activity through a separate and secure private network even when using public Wi-Fi.

Don’t:

  • Assume a Wi-Fi option is legitimate. Cyber criminals have been known to set-up connections with names that are similar to the name of wireless offered by the café, hotel, etc. Talk with an employee before accessing Wi-Fi to get the correct name and IP address.

  • Access password-protected websites. When you’re on public Wi-Fi, do not log in to password protected email accounts or social media sites; do not enter credit card information; and do not engage in online banking.

Public Wi-Fi is wonderful – as long as you understand the risks and protect your personal information.

Think About It

“I just work hard and try my best every time I step up on those blocks. I'm very goal-oriented. I've always set high goals for myself. When I was little I never dreamed of going to the Olympics, but once I did I wanted to do my very best at that level. Four years ago, when I was visualizing my final, I never envisaged anything other than winning gold. Once I get to that level, I'm able to set the goals for myself and go out and achieve them.”

--Katie Ledecky, Olympic gold medalist

Need some Personalized Advice?

Contact us and we will be happy to point you in the right direction.  No bull.

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.

* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.

* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged index. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.

* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.

* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37111395

http://www.profitf.com/calendars/fomc-meeting-schedule/

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/18/feds-williams-waiting-too-long-to-hike-rates-could-be-costly.html

http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/interest-rates/countdown-to-fomc.html

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-20/goldman-says-don-t-bet-on-dollar-selloff-as-dovish-fed-priced-in

http://qz.com/761534/finally-you-can-be-friends-with-the-federal-reserve-on-facebook/

http://us.norton.com/dangers-of-public-wifi/promo

http://lifehacker.com/5576927/how-to-stay-safe-on-public-wi-fi-networks

https://usa.kaspersky.com/internet-security-center/internet-safety/public-wifi#.V6uOzBTp5g0

http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2016/dangers-of-free-public-wifi-ea.html?intcmp=AE-HP-WFY1

https://action.aarp.org/site/SPageNavigator/FWN_Cyber_Scams.html?cmp=RDRCT-WTCHURWIFI_JUL08_015

http://www.health.com/fitness/katie-ledecky-quotes

2016 Small Business of the Year Award

The Manatee Chamber of Commerce has released the list of finalists for the 37th Annual Manatee Small Business of the Year Awards.

The winners will be announced at an awards luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 12 at IMG Academy Golf Club.

The finalists are divided into four categories based on the company’s revenue: under $249,000; $250,000 to $1 million; $1.1 million to $6.5 million; and non-profit organizations.

The finalists in the under $249,000 category are: Clean As A Whistle of Manatee, LLC; Feathers and Tails Hideaway; L.A. Events, Inc.; Painting With A Twist; Population Health Consultants; and SWAT Networking-Successful Women Aligning Together.

In the $250,000 to $1 million category, the finalists are: Ace’s Live; Darwin Brewing Company; PCI Communications, Inc.; Sherrill Wealth Management; Spa NorthWest, LLC; The Anna Maria Islander; Tim Lester International Realty, Inc.; Williams Wealth Management Group, Inc.; and Zoller Autrey Architects P.A.

In the $1.1 million to $6.5 million category, the finalists are: Alpha Business Solutions, LLC; Anthony’s Cooling Heating Electrical; Guy’s Hauling and Dumpster Service, Inc.; Historic Manasota Memorial Park & Funeral Home; Johnson Printing; Tempus Pro Services, LLC; and U.S. Tent Rental Inc. & Linens by the Sea.

And the finalists in the non-profit organization category are: HOPE Family Services, Inc.; Humane Society of Manatee County, Inc.; Keep Manatee Beautiful, Inc.; Manatee County Habitat for Humanity; Manatee Education Foundation; Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee; PACE Center for Girls of Manatee County; Realize Bradenton; South Florida Museum & Bishop Planetarium, Inc.; and To Inform Families First.

Alan Bellittera: 9417457011, @AlanBell35​

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/news/business/article92141382.html#storylink=cpy

Need some Personalized Advice?

Contact us and we will be happy to point you in the right direction.  No bull.

Weekly Market Commentary August 15, 2016

How do you measure stock market valuation?

If you look at conventional measures – like price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios – then U.S. stock markets appear to be pricey. The Wall Street Journal reported trailing 12-month P/E ratios are high when compared to 10-year averages.

High P/E ratios haven’t dampened investors’ interest in U.S. stocks, and share prices have been moving higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow), Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, and NASDAQ all reached new highs last Thursday – the first time that has happened since 1999.

Barron’s suggested investors’ enthusiasm for stocks is rooted in the search for yield. “With the Treasury’s 10-year note yielding 1.5 percent – near lows not seen before in modern history – there’s no alternative to stocks for investors who want returns.”

The relationship between stock yields and bond yields may have some investors measuring market valuations in different ways. Investopedia reported, during the late 1990s, Wall Street professionals came up with a new method for gauging stock market valuation. It was called The Fed Model and it determined full valuation by comparing stock yields to bond yields. (Please note: ‘The Fed Model’ wasn’t created by the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Reserve System does not endorse it.)

The Wall Street Journal offered this analysis:

“…the so-called Fed model, which says that stocks’ earnings yields – that is, expected annual earnings divided by the share price – should equal the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. With the 10-year now yielding 1.52 percent, the Dow would be fairly valued at 66 times earnings rather than the current, measly 18. Dow 68,000 anyone?”

It’s an enthusiastic estimate. While some analysts are speculating the Dow could surpass 20,000 during the next 12 months, according to CNBC, others are suggesting investors proceed with caution.


Data as of 8/12/16
1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor's 500 (Domestic Stocks) 0.1% 6.9% 4.7% 8.9% 13.1% 5.6%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. 2.7 4.3 -2.6 -0.3 2.0 0.2
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 1.5 NA 2.1 2.6 2.2 5.0
Gold (per ounce) 0.9 27.3 20.8 0.3 -4.9 8.0
Bloomberg Commodity Index 0.3 7.0 -7.5 -12.9 -11.8 -6.9
DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index -0.2 15.8 19.2 14.3 15.1 7.3

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

An olympic medal in any other shape still represents a great feat. In 1900, the Olympic games were part of the World’s Fair in Paris. Champions received square medals! Olympics.org reported:

“The 1900 Olympic Games are perhaps the most unusual Olympics in modern history. They have been termed, with the 1904 Olympics, ‘The Farcical Games.’ The 1900 Olympics were poorly organized, almost chaotic. Years later many of the competitors had no idea that they had actually competed in the Olympics, but only that they had competed in an international sporting event in Paris in 1900.”

During the Paris Olympics, champions did not receive gold medals; they were given silver medals. The first time gold medals were awarded was at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri. While gold medals have become the standard, they haven’t been made of solid gold since 1912. Instead, winners’ medals have been made of a combination of gold and silver.

CNN reported gold medals in Brazil are comprised of “494 grams of silver and 6 grams of gold…a gold medal is worth about $587 in current market prices.” The silver medal is worth about $305, and the bronze medal has negligible monetary value, according to CNNMoney. Of course, once a medal has been awarded, its value may increase significantly.

U.S. Olympians receive cash rewards, in addition to medals. CNNMoney reported, “The U.S. Olympic Committee awards $25,000 for gold medals, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze.” Olympians owe state and federal taxes on their prize money, as well as the value of their medals.

Think About It

“…most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. You listen to yourself as you prepare in your mind what you are going to say, the questions you are going to ask, etc. You filter everything you hear through your life experiences, your frame of reference. You check what you hear against your autobiography and see how it measures up. And consequently, you decide prematurely what the other person means before he/she finishes communicating.”

--Stephen Covey, American author

Need some Personalized Advice?

Contact us and we will be happy to point you in the right direction.  No bull.

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.

* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.

* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged index. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.

* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.

* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/stocks-hit-new-highs-and-that-could-be-just-the-start-1470954978

http://www.barrons.com/articles/stocks-hit-record-highs-but-end-little-changed-1471060856?mod=BOL_hp_we_columns

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/stocks/08/fed-model.asp

http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2016/08/10/dow-68000-here-we-come/

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/11/wall-street-sees-these-10-stocks-lifting-the-dow-to-20000.html

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/goldman-sachs-says-stay-away-from-stocks-for-the-next-three-months-2016-08-01

https://www.olympic.org/paris-1900

http://library.la84.org/SportsLibrary/Mallon/1900.pdf (Page ix)

http://www.topendsports.com/events/summer/traditions/medals.htm

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/31/sport/olympics-making-of-a-medal/

http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/12/news/olympians-gold-medals-taxes-us/

https://www.stephencovey.com/7habits/7habits-habit5.php

Weekly Market Commentary August 8, 2016

It’s déjà vu all over again!

The Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) Volatility Index, also known as the VIX, tracks the prices of options on the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index. Since options often are used to hedge portfolio risk, the VIX is considered to be a ‘fear gauge’ that has value with regard to market volatility during the next 30 days. The VIX moves higher when investors are worried and lower when they’re feeling content. While this is not necessarily predictive, it does measure the current degree of fear present in the stock market.

Last Friday, the VIX dropped to 11.18, which was a two-year low. Financial Times attributed investor complacency to “…a buoyant U.S. jobs report and easy monetary policy.” However, it also pointed out analysts’ concern that the current lack of fear reflects a disregard for threats to world economic stability as well as sparse trading during a vacation month.

Last year in early August, we saw a similar phenomenon. The VIX reached very low levels and then it zoomed from 13 to 53 between August 18 and August 24. At 53, the VIX was higher than when Standard & Poor's cut the credit rating of the United States in 2011, or at the apex of the European debt crisis in 2010. Barron’s explained last year’s move like this:

“...volatility isn’t simply a measure of fear. It has been used to manage risk in portfolios that employ sophisticated trading schemes…Although each type of fund adjusts to market changes at a different speed, they all respond in the same way – by selling stocks…”

There is no gauge to predict whether the VIX will remain low or bounce higher during the next 30 days, but some big name investors are feeling bearish despite the VIX’s outlook for short-term calm. Barron’s reported, “elder statesmen of the markets, including Stanley Druckenmiller, George Soros, and Carl Icahn, all have deemed themselves negative on stocks…”

Regardless, the S&P 500 Index and the NASDAQ finished the week at record levels.


Data as of 8/5/16
1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor's 500 (Domestic Stocks) 0.4% 6.8% 4.0% 8.5% 12.7% 5.5%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. -0.8 1.5 -7.5 -1.1 1.1 0.0
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 1.6 NA 2.3 2.6 2.6 4.9
Gold (per ounce) -0.1 26.2 23.5 0.9 -4.2 7.5
Bloomberg Commodity Index -0.5 6.7 -7.7 -12.5 -11.7 -7.2
DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index -2.0 16.1 21.1 14.2 15.6 7.2

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

Have you lived up to your parents’ expectations? In early August, The Harvard Business Review published an article about an unexpected source of career conflict: parents! Stew Friedman, the article’s author, who is a Wharton professor and founding director of the Wharton Leadership Program wrote:

“…business professionals at various stages in life, from college students to mid-career executives, talk more about their mothers and fathers than their spouses and children as sources of career conflict. Here is a small sampling of what I’ve heard:

  • ‘My parents have always made me feel that my accomplishments fall short of expectations; I’m a disappointment to them and this undermines my confidence in choosing a career direction of my own.’

  • ‘My parents expect me to marry a particular (kind of) person, even if committing to that potential spouse would cut against my career goals.’

  • ‘My parents insist I live in a particular geographic location, but this will seriously inhibit my career options and future growth.’

  • ‘I feel obliged to care for my parents in their old age, but I cannot figure out how to coordinate the allocation of these responsibilities with my siblings; the resulting stress is a major distraction from my efforts to focus on work.’”

    While it isn’t a surprise to most people the needs and expectations of parents don’t always sync with those of their children, Friedman had some suggestions for reducing disharmony: stakeholder dialogues. In other words, initiate conversations with the people who are most important to you and discuss mutual expectations. In the end, you may gain insight to and clarity around others’ thoughts and expectations as well as the ways in which they influence your decision-making.

    Think About It

    “The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”

    --Natalie Babbitt, Author of Tuck Everlasting

Need some Personalized Advice?

Contact us and we will be happy to point you in the right direction.  No bull.

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.

* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.

* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged index. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.

* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.

* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/optioninvestor/03/091003.asp#ixzz4GYzqhPlI

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cc20a9f4-5b45-11e6-8d05-4eaa66292c32.html#axzz4GYvcCAVV

http://www.barrons.com/articles/stocks-are-downand-its-your-fault-1441434205?mod=BOL_hp_we_columns

http://www.barrons.com/articles/billionaire-bears-gross-gundlach-fear-a-rout-1470459750

https://hbr.org/2016/08/what-to-do-if-your-parents-are-causing-you-career-angst

https://books.google.com/books?id=4hTN-IEZy4kC&pg=PA3&lpg=PA3&dq=The+first+week+of+August+hangs+at+the+very+top+of+summer,+the+top&source=bl&ots=B3Hv7E- ewI&sig=m_lJ5p6s12pvlxketM2ffdbUJBU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZ19vrxa_OAhXE1IMKHXI8BQIQ6AEITDAI#v=onepage&q=The%20first%20week%20of%20August%20hangs%20at%20the%20very%20top%20of%20summer%2C%20the%20top&f=false

Weekly Market Commentary August 1, 2016

Here’s a brain tickler for you:

In July 2016, there were four.

In June 2016, there were 10.

Since 2008, there have been 673!

What are they?

If you guessed central bank rate cuts, you are on the money. Financial Times reported:

“In the eight years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the world’s top 50 central banks have, on average, cut rates once every three trading days…Despite a modest global recovery, central banks have barely had any time to breathe since the summer of 2008 – carrying out mass asset purchases and entering into negative rate territory. Britain’s decision to leave the EU, coupled with political instability across Europe, still subdued inflation, and concerns over Chinese indebtedness, have spurred central banks back into action.”

The latest downward adjustment came last week when the Bank of Japan (BOJ) took its key interest rate into negative territory, reported CNN Money. Negative rates are intended to promote bank lending and consumer spending. They also create a surreal situation in which banks pay customers to borrow and charge customers to keep money in their accounts.

The stimulus package that accompanied the BOJ’s rate cut was more subdued than many had expected. The Wall Street Journal said the less-than-robust stimulus prompted speculation the central bank had “run up against the limits of monetary policy” and bank leaders wanted to see more robust fiscal policy introduced by Japan’s government.

The United States has been pursuing a different course of action. The Federal Reserve has been raising rates; however, it left rates unchanged last week. More rate cuts may be ahead elsewhere, though. The Bank of England is expected to cut rates next week.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index finished the week slightly lower after the Commerce Department reported growth of gross domestic product (GDP) – a measure of all goods and services produced – was weaker than expected during the second quarter. GDP grew at an annualized rate of 1.2 percent during the period. Economists had expected GDP to grow by 2.5 percent, according to Bloomberg. In addition, first quarter’s GDP growth was revised downward from 1.1 percent to 0.8 percent.

Household consumption, which comprises about 70 percent of GDP, was up 4.2 percent during the second quarter, according to Bloomberg. However, those gains were offset by a decline in corporate spending on equipment, structures, and intellectual property (down 2.2 percent). That was an improvement on first quarter when corporate spending fell by 3.4 percent. Government spending declined during the second quarter, as well.


Data as of 7/29/16
1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor's 500 (Domestic Stocks) -0.1% 6.3% 3.1% 8.9% 11.0% 5.5%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. 1.9 2.3 -6.7 -0.4 -0.8 0.0
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 1.5 NA 2.3 2.6 2.8 5.0
Gold (per ounce) 1.6 26.3 23.1 0.3 -3.8 7.8
Bloomberg Commodity Index -0.4 7.3 -9.4 -12.6 -12.3 -7.2
DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index 0.5 18.4 23.1 13.9 13.1 7.5

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

the envelope please... Every year, Kiplinger’s publishes a list of the best and worst states for retirees. The publication considers the share of each state’s population that is age 65 or older, as well as average income, average cost of living, and average healthcare costs for older Americans (relative to the national average). The economic health of each state and its citizens, and the taxes imposed on retirees also are considered.

For 2016, the best states for retirees include:

  1. South Dakota

  2. Utah

  3. Georgia

  4. Tennessee

  5. Alabama

  6. South Carolina

  7. Washington

  8. Florida

  9. Arizona

  10. Idaho

The worst states for retirees include:

  1. New York

  2. New Jersey

  3. California

  4. Connecticut

  5. Illinois

  6. Massachusetts

  7. Rhode Island

  8. Montana

  9. Vermont

  10. Wisconsin

Interestingly, taxes weren’t the most important factor in determining the states where retirees might be happiest. Just four of the most tax-friendly states in the nation made the list of best places to retire. Utah, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, and Washington were all in the tax friendly category, while Idaho fell into the mixed group.

Think About It

“If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.”

--A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India

Need some Personalized Advice?

Contact us and we will be happy to point you in the right direction.  No bull.

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.

* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.

* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged index. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.

* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.

* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:

http://www.ft.com/fastft/2016/07/28/major-central-banks-have-cut-rates-672-times-since-lehman/

http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/28/news/economy/bank-of-japan-negative-interest-rate/

http://www.wsj.com/articles/has-boj-shifted-pressure-onto-japans-government-1469796930

http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm

http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/retirement/T006-S001-worst-states-for-retirement-2016/index.html

http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/retirement/T006-S001-best-states-for-retirement-2016/index.html

http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/retirement/T006-S001-worst-states-for-retirement-2016/index.html

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/apjabdu178502.html