Resources Designed to Help Empower YourRetirement Planning


 

This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. It is not intended as recommendations appropriate for you. Our advisors can meet with you to discuss your retirement.

Market Update – May 13th, 2024

Markets remained cautiously optimistic last week as investors await crucial CPI and PPI data this week. Q1 2024 consumer credit data indicated a slight uptick in outstanding debt compared to a year ago, however it declined slightly from Q4 2023. May brought an unexpected dip in consumer sentiment, driven by worries surrounding inflation and unemployment. Weekly initial claims spiked to an eight-month high, highlighting a cooling labor market. As the first quarter earnings season winds down, the S&P 500 is posting 4.1% YoY earnings growth, with mixed performance across sectors.

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Market Update – May 6th, 2024

Last week was marked by a packed economic calendar with stocks ending the week higher. The Federal Reserve signaled a dovish stance in its May meeting, maintaining interest rates for now, but leaving the door for a rate cut later in the year open, amid slowing balance sheet reduction efforts beginning in June. April’s jobs report revealed slower nonfarm payroll growth, with a slight uptick in the unemployment rate. Consumer confidence declined for the third consecutive month, driven by concerns over elevated prices and the employment situation.

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Market Update – April 29th, 2024

Despite a healthy increase in personal income, spending rose more sharply in March, leading the personal savings rate to drop to its lowest level since October 2022. Additionally, the release of first-quarter real GDP estimates showed a disappointing 1.4% growth rate from a year ago. New home sales were up in March, and durable goods orders posted a solid increase, albeit slightly below economists’ estimates and led primarily by the transportation category. Earnings season has been in full swing as well, with notable reports from mega-cap companies such as Tesla, Meta, Google, and Microsoft last week.

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Market Update – April 22nd, 2024

Geopolitical tensions and strong US retail sales data prompted a pullback in stocks lasts week, as the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 declined, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose slightly on UNH’s strong quarterly earnings report. March’s retail sales exceeded expectations, sending expectations of the Fed’s first rate cut further into the second half of the year.

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Market Update – April 15th, 2024

Geopolitical tensions and strong US retail sales data prompted a pullback in stocks lasts week, as the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 declined, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose slightly on UNH’s strong quarterly earnings report. March’s retail sales exceeded expectation, sending expectations of the Fed’s first rate cut further into the second half of the year. T

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Q1 End Report

As of the end of Q1 2024, we have observed 35 bullish factors in the economic cycle and 14 bearish factors, resulting in a bullish score of 71.4% and a bearish score of 28.6%. Regarding our position within the economic cycle, we believe we may be near a midpoint, indicating potential for further economic growth while also acknowledging the possibility of a downturn ahead.

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Market Update – April 8th, 2024

Despite a Friday boost from better than expected job gains in the US, last week saw stocks pull back. Nonfarm payrolls rose by +303,000 in March, dropping unemployment to 3.8%. The ISM Manufacturing Index turned positive after 16 months of contraction, and the ISM Services Index also showed growth in the service sector in March. Consumer credit data from January increased debt usage, with rising credit card delinquency rates. Apple announced its first round of layoffs in California, breaking its trend of avoiding mass layoffs seen in 2022 and 2023 among most other technology companies.

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Deciphering the Tax Implications of Social Security and Retirement Accounts

Navigating the maze of taxation on retirement income is a task that many retirees find daunting. The complexities of how Social Security benefits, pensions, and withdrawals from retirement accounts are taxed can significantly impact one’s financial stability in retirement. Understanding these complexities is crucial for devising forward-thinking strategies that anticipate tax obligations. This allows you to adjust withdrawal plans accordingly before it’s too late, ensuring a more secure financial foundation during one’s golden years.

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Market Update – April 1st, 2024

February personal income rose +0.3%, while spending rose +0.8%, leading the personal savings rate to drop to 3.6%. New home prices dropped by -3.5% from January, nearing bear market territory from the peak of new home prices in 2021. Durable goods orders increased modestly by +1.4%, but downward revisions in January underscored challenges in the manufacturing sector. Consumer confidence remained stable in March. Upward revisions in real GDP and consumer sentiment data provided positive surprises, indicating a resilient US economy.

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Market Update – March 25th, 2024

Last week, market sentiment remained bullish as the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite all reached record highs following the Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday. The March Fed meeting and updated Summary of Economic Projections brought minimal surprises, prompting a rally in stocks on Wednesday afternoon following the press conference. Existing home sales also saw a notable surge in February, while the highly anticipated Reddit IPO debuted on Thursday last week, raising approximately $750 million from the offering.

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Market Update – March 18th, 2024

February’s Consumer Price Index slightly exceeded expectations, with headline CPI at 3.2% and core CPI at 3.8%. Behind the increase, energy and shelter costs primarily drove the rise in prices. Additionally, the Producer Price Index showed goods inflation surpassing service inflation, marking a shift from previous trends. February’s retail sales fell short of expectations, although did show a modest overall increase and strong growth in online shopping and food services. Consumer sentiment slightly declined in March, with respondents largely pointing to feelings of economic uncertainty with the upcoming presidential election.

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Market Update – March 11th, 2024

Last week, equities slipped amidst mixed signals from the US job market. February’s nonfarm payroll report exceeded expectations with the addition of +275,000 jobs, yet the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose to 3.9%. The ISM Manufacturing Index indicated the 16th consecutive month of contraction in the sector, while the ISM Services Index showed continued resilience. Consumer credit rose in January, particularly revolving credit, raising concerns about increased debt reliance.

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Market Update – March 4th, 2024

Equities continued to rally last week, fueled by January’s PCE inflation data showing headline inflation at 2.4% YoY, propelling major indexes to new all-time highs, with both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite reaching record levels. Additionally, personal income rose while spending declined, leading to a slight increase in the savings rate. Durable goods orders fell by -6.1%, mainly due to a drop in transportation. February’s Consumer Confidence Index unexpectedly dropped by -3.8%. Meanwhile, Bitcoin rallied to over $60,000, driven by anticipation of the upcoming halving event in April 2024.

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David Stryzewski talks Bitcoinn Halving

Unlocking the Potential: A Deep Dive into Bitcoin and the Impact of Bitcoin ETFs 

As you approach the end of your working years, creating a comprehensive retirement plan becomes increasingly critical. One of the biggest challenges of retirement is the ability to actually STAY retired. In this guide, we outline a plan that can serve as a financial roadmap, guiding you through your golden years with financial stability and peace of mind.

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Market Update – February 26th, 2024

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones closed at record highs last Friday, ushered in by Nvidia’s impressive earnings report, while economic indicators such as January’s Leading Economic Index reflected a bearish tone ahead and existing home sales demonstrate a slower, more historically normal market. Additionally, Amazon has officially joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average, marking a notable accomplishment for the ecommerce giant. Panning back and looking holistically at the state of the US economy and the Fed’s potential next steps, investors are expecting a rate cut by the June FOMC meeting.

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Market Update – February 20th, 2024

Markets fell last week after a higher-than-expected January CPI report, showing a 3.1% annual inflation rate, triggering a selloff with the S&P 500. The increase was fueled by rising transportation, shelter, and food away from home costs, though energy and used vehicle prices dropped. This unexpected inflationary pressure pushed back expectations for a Federal Reserve rate cut.

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Market Update – February 12th, 2024

Markets saw large price swings this week, starting with a sharp selloff in equities after Fed Chair Powell indicated that a rate cut in March was not their base case scenario. Despite this, markets rebounded later in the week, driven by a robust January jobs report that exceeded expectations. The labor market’s strength, coupled with positive consumer confidence, coincide with the realities of a delayed Fed rate cut. Q4 earnings reports showed better earnings growth this week, as Meta’s impressive Q4 performance was surprisingly marked by a new dividend and share buyback plan, leading to a 20% increase in its stock on Friday.

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Market Update – February 5th, 2024

Markets saw large price swings this week, starting with a sharp selloff in equities after Fed Chair Powell indicated that a rate cut in March was not their base case scenario. Despite this, markets rebounded later in the week, driven by a robust January jobs report that exceeded expectations. The labor market’s strength, coupled with positive consumer confidence, coincide with the realities of a delayed Fed rate cut. Q4 earnings reports showed better earnings growth this week, as Meta’s impressive Q4 performance was surprisingly marked by a new dividend and share buyback plan, leading to a 20% increase in its stock on Friday.

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Market Update – January 30th, 2024

In a week fueled by a robust GDP report, equities rose ahead of the January 31st FOMC meeting. The Leading Economic Index for December showed a modest -0.1% monthly decline, indicating a slower decrease but is still in bearish territory.

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Market Update – January 19th, 2024

Equity markets showed mixed results amid concerns that strong retail sales data may delay the anticipated March rate cut by the Federal Reserve. Furthermore, markets reflected this data, with the probability of a cut by the March meeting falling from 81% to just 51.3% in a single week (as of January 19th). The NY Empire State Index fell sharply below expectations and existing home sales in December continued to show lower volumes of homes being sold at modest appreciation rates compared to a year ago. Finally, consumer sentiment surged in January, marking the greatest two-month rise in the index since 1991.

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Market Update – January 12th, 2024

This week, the SEC approved 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs, following months of anticipation and a hack on the SEC’s social media, X, account. December’s CPI surprised economists to the upside with a 3.4% annual Headline CPI and a 3.9% annualized Core CPI. December’s Producer Price Index showed a slight decrease, influenced by lower food and energy costs. November’s consumer credit data revealed a +5.7% increase, driven by a rise in revolving credit.

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The Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Retirement Plan

As you approach the end of your working years, creating a comprehensive retirement plan becomes increasingly critical. One of the biggest challenges of retirement is the ability to actually STAY retired. In this guide, we outline a plan that can serve as a financial roadmap, guiding you through your golden years with financial stability and peace of mind.

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2023 Year End Market Update – January 10th, 2024

The fourth quarter of 2023 brought excellent results for both stocks and bonds, contributing to an overall positive year for financial markets and the economy, surpassing many economists and analysts’ expectations. Notably, inflation made significant strides toward the Federal Reserve’s 2% target, prompting indications that the Fed’s cycle of interest rate hikes has likely concluded.

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Market Update – December 29th, 2023

As 2023 concludes, markets have outperformed expectations, with the Nasdaq Composite up +44.2%, S&P 500 +24.6%, Dow Jones +13.8%, and Barclays AGG +2.5% as of close on December 28th. Even though stocks have done well in 2023, many remain below their all-time highs still, requiring more bullish sentiment to propel above past highs.

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Challenging the Goliath: Why AMD and Intel could Outperform Nvidia in 2024’s Chip Market

as we step into 2024, I see AI ushering us into a new renaissance. This industry is on a promising trajectory, and I believe AMD and Intel are well-positioned to ride this wave.

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Financial Expert David Stryzewski Sounds Alarm on Potential Economic Black Swan Event

David Stryzewski, financial expert and CEO of Sound Planning Group, has recently drawn attention to the possibility of a Black Swan event in the economic landscape. Stryzewski concerns stem from significant shifts in consumer behavior and increasing credit card debt.

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Navigating the Bear Market: A Forecast for 2024

One of the significant points of discussion is our prediction of unforeseen challenges that could emerge in 2024

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Market Update – December 22nd, 2023

Amidst a holiday week, economic indicators presented a mixed outlook as stocks continued their rally. Existing and new home sales continue to show the impacts of higher mortgage rates, with sluggishness in both markets. December’s consumer confidence rose significantly in the month, however on the other hand, leading economic indicators for November declined, demonstrating a disconnect between current and forward-looking indicators

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Market Update – December 15th, 2023

This week’s market saw a rally fueled by disinflation and a dovish Federal Reserve meeting, with the Dow Jones hitting an all-time high. The FOMC meeting indicated discussion of a timeline for rate cuts in 2024, projecting a lower-than-expected Fed Funds rate with three rate cuts estimated to occur throughout next year. CPI and PPI data came in as expected and demonstrated continued disinflation in November. November retail sales data also showed strength in spending from consumers, however general merchandise sales did fall for the third month in a row despite the increased holiday spending overal

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Market Update – December 1st, 2023

Markets closed out November strong this week as equities rose alongside bonds. October PCE inflation data showed moderate inflation as expected, but consumer confidence remains low despite November’s slight increase in confidence as most consumers still believe in the possibility of a recession in the next year. Both new and existing home markets are weakening on higher rates, and the manufacturing industry continues to show some cracks. We look forward to continuing to monitor data as it rolls out.

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Market Update – November 17th, 2023

While various indicators like inflation, employment, consumer spending, and consumer confidence, point to an economic slowdown, the key question is whether this trend will persist as solely a slowdown or escalate into a recession, compelling investors to be patient for more data to roll out.

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Inflation Update – November 14th, 2023

When the Fed starts cutting rates, it will either come from a place of victory over inflation or out of necessity to stop the economy from a downturn. In either case, lower rates will probably be the push the residential real estate market needs to get out of its current gridlock, which will also impact future inflation.

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Market Update – November 10th, 2023

This week, consumer credit data revealed increased revolving debt, like credit cards, as consumer sentiment has fallen over the past four months but remains higher than a year ago. Q3 earnings season, almost complete, has generally surpassed expectations, contributing to a more positive outlook for corporations.

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Market Update – November 3rd, 2023

In the week ending on November 3rd, equity markets rallied on signals from the Federal Reserve that the rate-hiking cycle might be at its end. Consumer confidence declined for the third straight month, despite other economic metrics showing a consumer that is still spending heavily.

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Market Update – October 27th, 2023

This week marked a lower close for equities in the last full week of October, despite positive economic data and Q3 earnings growth. Third-quarter GDP exceeded expectations, primarily driven by increased consumer spending and government expenditures. September Durable Goods orders were strong, particularly in the transportation sector.

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Market Update – October 20th, 2023

The Leading Economic Index raised ongoing economic concerns, while September Existing Home Sales declined from a year ago with a very modest gain in home prices. We also saw initial claims reach a 10-month low last week, underscoring the strength of the labor market.

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Market Update – October 13th, 2023

In a week full of data, inflation continues to clock in above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target, with September’s CPI and PPI indexes both coming in hot this week. Earnings look to be faring well so far for the third quarter, with 5% of the S&P 500 having been reported at this time, largely beating estimates. In other news, consumer sentiment fell in October, as consumers note continually higher prices, like we saw in the CPI. Overall, the economy looks to be in a pivotal position, with higher rates, inflation, and geopolitical risk being in the forefront of investors’ minds.

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Market Update – October 6th, 2023

The first week of October came full of economic data and movements in interest rates, as equities saw large swings but ultimately ended lower. As of close Thursday October 5th, the Nasdaq Composite fell -0.66%, the S&P 500 fell -0.7%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell -0.94% for the week.

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Market Update – September 29th, 2023

We closed out the month of September with a week for the bears, as we avoided a government shutdown and face the realities of a slowing economy. Consumers are feeling less confident in the economy, while new home sales came in slimmer than expected.

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Market Update – September 22nd, 2023

Other important economic data points provided mixed signals this week including bearish leading indicators, a slow existing home sales market, and strong labor data in initial claims. Overall, we remain partially bearish and partially bullish on this unique environment, as we see the end of the rate hiking cycle coming closer to an end.

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Market Update – September 15th, 2023

Despite a variety of bearish inflationary data including CPI and PPI, we saw equity markets close higher for the week as of Thursday. Inflationary data rose more quickly than expected as energy prices weighed heavily on both consumers and producers in August.

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Market Update – September 8th, 2023

Equity markets declined this week, with August’s ISM Services and Manufacturing Indexes coming in higher than a month ago. Initial jobless claims came in much lower than expected, and Apple faced challenges from Chinese iPhone restrictions on government workers. The upcoming September FOMC meeting is expected to maintain rates, but market sentiment could quickly shift with a surprise in August CPI data.

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Market Update – August 23, 2023

Currently, we are carefully observing the potential effects that these actions may exert on both markets and our portfolios. This vigilant monitoring will persist as the well-being of the banking system remains a critical component of the functionality of both the US and global economies.

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Market Update – August 11, 2023

Inflation continued to show disinflationary signs this week with July’s CPI and PPI figures coming in, as small & mid-sized banks were downgraded by Moody’s and surprised investors. Additionally, we saw that consumers are feeling more encouraged by economic conditions as seen in the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index, despite oil prices rising in July. In every economic environment, we look forward to continuing to monitor markets closely.

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Market Update – July 28, 2023

This week was a week for the bulls, with Consumer Confidence and higher personal spending demonstrating an optimistic consumer and Durable Goods Orders pointing to resilient industrial demand. Fed Chair Jerome Powell brought us another 0.25% rate hike in the July FOMC, as key PCE inflation on Friday pointed to a continued disinflationary environment.

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Q2 2023 Quarter End Update – July 17, 2023

During this quarter, the Federal Open Market Committee met twice, once in May and once in June. May’s meeting brought a 25-basis point rate hike, bringing the target range to 5.0-5.25%, while the June meeting brought the most recent Summary of Economic Projections from the Fed members.

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Inflation Update – July 10, 2023

n another month of disinflation, CPI, PPI, and PCE all made downward moves, as the Federal Reserve decided against another rate hike at their June FOMC meeting. Although data is slowly but surely moving in the right direction, the fight against inflation remains.

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Recession Update – July 10, 2023

Our team of skilled analysts will diligently monitor economic data as it becomes available in order to effectively manage each portfolio across different macroeconomic environments.

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Market Update – June 2, 2023

One thing we have seen this week, is that uncertainty is certain in this economy, with the US avoiding a default on their debt at the last minute. At the same time, manufacturing indexes show that we may already be in a near recessionary environment, while over +300k monthly job gains in May tell a very different story. Every day of economic data seems to provide a different narrative of how the US economy is doing.

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May Recession Update

In all macroeconomic environments, our team of talented analysts will continue to constantly monitor economic data as it rolls out to best manage each portfolio.

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