Market Commentary July 25, 2022

Market Commentary July 25, 2022

How Are Your Investments Doing Lately?  Receive A Free, No-Obligation 2nd Opinion On Your Investment Portfolio >

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

July 25, 2022

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

A lot of people are worried that a recession may be in our future. Some think it may already be here.

Unemployment is low (3.6 percent), and inflation is high (9.1 percent). Both tend to occur when an economy is experiencing strong growth. That makes it difficult to believe the United States is in a recession, but some data is pointing that way.

Last week, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow estimated that economic growth in the United States was -1.6 percent for the second quarter of 2022, after adjusting for inflation. They measured economic growth using gross domestic product or GDP, which is the value of all goods and services produced in the United States over a specific period of time. GDPNow is based on a simple, unadjusted mathematical model. It is not an official reading, and the model tends to be a bit volatile. For example: 

  • On April 29, when relatively little data was available for the second quarter, it was +1.9 percent.
  • On May 17, as retail trade and industrial production statistics filtered in, it was +2.5 percent.
  • On July 1, when construction spending and manufacturing data came out, it was -2.1 percent.
  • Last week, after housing starts were released, it was -1.6 percent.

The Atlanta Fed’s estimate becomes more accurate as more data is added. It tends to be most accurate near the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BES)’s official GDP release date, reported a source cited by Jeff Cox of CNBC.

Since the United States economy shrank by 1.6 percent in the first quarter of 2022, that would mean the U.S. has experienced two quarters of declining economic growth. Technically, that’s a recession.

Not everyone expects GDP to shrink. Bloomberg surveyed economists and found they anticipate 0.5 percent growth in the second quarter, which would be an improvement on the first quarter.

There is an important distinction between the two quarters. The slowdown in the first quarter was caused by surging imports and slowing exports, which is unusual. The slowdown in the second quarter may be caused by a slowdown in consumer spending, which is the primary driver of U.S. economic growth, and business spending.   

The next BEA’s GDP numbers will be released this Thursday, July 28.

Last week, Randall Forsyth of Barron’s reported that major U.S. stock indices ­­­­gained. Yields on shorter maturity Treasuries rose last week, while yields on Treasuries with maturities of one year or longer fell.

THE CHALLENGES OF DATING. As if the pandemic didn’t create enough dating challenges, inflation is now pushing the cost of dating a lot higher. More than 40 percent of people on the dating app Hinge said they think more about the cost of dating today than they did a year ago, especially members of Gen Z (the oldest Gen Zers are age 25), reported Paulina Cachero of Bloomberg.

Instead of meeting for drinks (the cost of alcoholic beverages was up 4 percent year-over-year in June) or sharing a meal in a restaurant (the cost of full-service dining was up 8.9 percent year-over-year in June) many people are opting for less expensive options, such as meeting for coffee, taking a walk, or cooking a meal at home.

Another challenge is keeping up with ever-evolving dating slang. “When you’re looking for love these days, it’s totally possible you might get breadcrumbed and orbited on your way to the soft launch,” reported Ashley Austrew on Dictionary.com. Here are a few definitions to know. 

  • Breadcrumbing. This is slang for leading someone on. Usually, breadcrumbing is chatting or flirting online through text or social media. 
  • Orbiting. When an ex – or someone else – stops communicating completely (i.e., they ghosted you) but they immediately offer a reaction when you post a picture or story on social media, they are orbiting you, reported Sophie Lloyd of Newsweek
  • Soft launching. When a product is soft launched, it goes through testing in limited groups. It’s the same with dating. A soft launch gives a person’s friends and followers the chance to get used to the idea of a significant other. It’s a slow-motion version of the boyfriend or girlfriend reveal, reported Kaitlyn Tiffany of The Atlantic.

The bad news is that it’s never easy to learn a new language. The good news is that the price of gas is dropping so the cost of dating should, too.

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice.”

—Adam Smith, economist and philosopher

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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.
* This newsletter and commentary expressed should not be construed as investment advice.
* 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.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* 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.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* 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.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

 

Sources:
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm
https://www.atlantafed.org/cqer/research/gdpnow (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/07-25-22_GDP%20Now_3.pdf [Choose GDPNow Model Data and Historical Forecasts in the right-hand column for historical data. May 17 data is below the chart under maximum estimate.]
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/01/atlanta-fed-gdp-tracker-shows-the-us-economy-is-likely-in-a-recession.html
https://www.bea.gov/data/gdp/gross-domestic-product
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/recession.asp
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-23/us-growth-is-looking-sickly-as-fed-keeps-hiking-rates-eco-week (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/07-25-22_Bloomberg_US%20Growth%20is%20Looking%20SIckly%20as%20Fed%20Keeps%20Hiking%20Rates_7.pdf)
https://www.reuters.com/business/us-goods-trade-deficit-widens-sharply-march-2022-04-27/
https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-stock-market-is-entering-its-weakest-months-what-to-watch-out-for-51658535766?mod=hp_LEAD_2 (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/07-25-22_Barrons_The%20Stock%20Market%20is%20Entering%20its%20Weakest%20Months_9.pdf)
https://home.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/TextView?type=daily_treasury_yield_curve&field_tdr_date_value_month=202207
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-21/cheap-dates-how-inflation-is-making-it-more-expensive-to-find-love? (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/07-25-22_Bloomberg_Its%20Not%20You%2c%20Its%20Inflation_11.pdf)
https://www.dictionary.com/e/dating-slang-terms/
https://www.newsweek.com/new-dating-terms-trends-relationships-love-romance-1695489
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2021/10/boyfriend-reveal-soft-launch/620541/
https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/top-10-quotes-about-economics.html

Market Commentary July 25, 2022

Market Commentary July 18, 2022

How Are Your Investments Doing Lately?  Receive A Free, No-Obligation 2nd Opinion On Your Investment Portfolio >

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

July 18, 2022

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

Nobody is happy, but Americans are feeling more optimistic.

Last week, headlines blasted the new inflation numbers. Prices were up more than 9% year-over-year in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Consumer Price Index (CPI). When you dig into the numbers, energy prices were up 41.6 percent year-over-year and food prices were up 10.4 percent. 

“Prices are rising just about everywhere in the world, in part a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has elevated energy and food prices, and in part because of the supply chain bottlenecks that have driven U.S. prices up,” reported Paul Wiseman of U.S. News & World Report.

The U.S. inflation numbers caused markets to tumble early in the week as investors speculated about whether the Federal Reserve would decide to raise the federal funds rate at a faster pace at its next meeting, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron’s.

Then the retail sales and consumer sentiment data arrived.

After adjusting for inflation, retail sales slowed in June, just as they had in May, reported Megan Cassella of Barron’s. Retail sales data are a leading indicator, meaning they provide information about what may be ahead, while the CPI is a lagging indicator that provides information about what has already happened. Slower retail sales suggest demand is falling and lower prices may be ahead. The news cooled some investors’ rate-hike concerns.

On Friday, the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Survey showed a modest improvement. Barron’s reported, “…consumer sentiment that had hit an all-time low in June improved slightly in July, likely a reflection of the recent fall in gas prices. And long-term inflation expectations dropped modestly over the month as well. Together, the latest data shows early signs that the Federal Reserve is making progress in its quest to cool the economy.”

Last week, Barron’s reported that major U.S. stock indices declined. Yields on shorter maturity Treasuries rose last week, while yields on longer maturity Treasuries fell.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MARKET VOLATILITY AND RISK? Smooth sailing isn’t a term anyone would use to describe 2022. So far, it has been a remarkably volatile year. On more than half of the days during the second quarter of 2022, the U.S. stock market moved up or down by 1 percent or more. “The quarter had 10 days where the market moved 2% or more compared to a median of two days between 2019 and 2021,” reported Lauren Solberg of Morningstar.

While volatility is not the same as risk, the chances of incurring a loss may increase during periods of market volatility, in large part, that’s because investors become anxious about falling share prices and sell when they might be better off holding. See what you know about the difference between risk and volatility by taking this brief quiz.

  1. What is market volatility?
    1. Asset prices rising over a period of time.
    2. Asset prices falling over a period of time.
    3. The frequency and size of asset price swings, higher and lower.
    4. A measure of how easy it is to buy and sell stock.

 

  1. What is risk?
    1. The chance of losing some or all of an investment.
    2. The chance that actual investment returns will be different from anticipated investment returns.
    3. A vulnerability that can be managed through asset allocation and diversification.
    4. All of the above.

 

  1. How can the effects of stock market volatility be limited?
    1. By timing the market
    2. By avoiding bonds
    3. Through asset allocation and investment diversification
    4. By avoiding stocks

 

  1. Which famous investor said, “When people are desperately trying to sell, I buy. When people are desperately trying to buy, I sell. It has worked out very well over the years.”
    1. Warren Buffett
    2. Abby Joseph Cohen
    3. Sir John Templeton
    4. Abigail Johnson

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and uncertain in this volatile market environment, give us a call. One of the most important services we offer is helping people stay calm and make sound decisions during difficult times.

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“Being aware of challenges doesn’t make them sting less, but once you see them, you can assess the best way to handle them.”
—Mellody Hobson, CEO and financial educator

 

Answers: 1) c; 2) d; 3) c; 4) c

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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.
* This newsletter and commentary expressed should not be construed as investment advice.
* 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.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* 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.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* 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.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

 

Sources:
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm
https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2022-07-13/explainer-why-us-inflation-is-so-high-and-when-it-may-ease
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stock-market-had-finished-up-on-friday-its-still-a-bear-market-51657929639?refsec=the-trader&mod=topics_the-trader (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/07-18-22_Barrons_Dont%20Get%20Your%20Hopes%20Up%20Stocks%20Are%20Still%20in%20a%20Bear%20Market_3.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/retail-sales-michigan-consumer-sentiment-report-economy-51657878999 (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/07-18-22_Barrons_Retail%20Sales%20Actually%20Slowed%20Down%20What%20It%20Means%20for%20the%20Fed_4.pdf)
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/laggingindicator.asp
http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/07-18-22_Surveys%20of%20Consumers_Preliminary%20Results%20for%20July_6.pdf)
https://home.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/TextView?type=daily_treasury_yield_curve&field_tdr_date_value_month=202207
https://www.morningstar.com/articles/1101031/14-charts-on-the-markets-second-quarter-performance
|https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/mellody-hobson-quotes
https://www.forbes.com/advisor/investing/what-is-volatility/
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/risk.asp
https://www.investopedia.com/articles/active-trading/121014/protect-retirement-money-market-volatility.asp
https://novelinvestor.com/quote-author/john-templeton/

Market Commentary July 25, 2022

Market Commentary July 11, 2022

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

July 11, 2022

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

Rising inflation is a bit like a child throwing a temper tantrum in the grocery store.

The red-faced parent, in this case the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed), tries to calm the child. Sometimes, it works and the child calms down (soft landing). Other times, the child won’t settle, and the parent takes more extreme action, like leaving and coming back for groceries later (recession).

The Fed is laser focused on calming inflation. At a June press conference, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said, “We have both the tools we need and the resolve that it will take to restore price stability on behalf of American families and businesses. The economy and the country have been through a lot over the past two and a half years and have proved resilient. It is essential that we bring inflation down if we are to have a sustained period of strong labor market conditions that benefit all.”

To calm inflation, the Fed has tightened monetary policy aggressively, taking steps that include raising the federal funds target rate by 1.5 percent from March through June of this year. Raising the fed funds rate pushes interest rates higher so borrowing costs go up, and consumer and business spending fall. Lower spending slows economic growth and prices fall.

According to data released last week, the United States economy is slowing but remains quite strong. The data showed:

  • Service industries and manufacturing continue to grow. The ISM® Purchasing Manager’s Indexes (PMIs) for manufacturing and services showed continued growth in June, although the pace of growth slowed, reported Karishma Vanjani of Barron’s. 
  • Jobs growth was stronger than expected in June. More new jobs were created in June than anyone had expected, but the topline number may not tell the whole story. Ben Levisohn of Barron’s explained:

“…the jobs report, in particular, might not have been as good as it looked. While the establishment number was very strong, the household survey showed a loss of 300,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6% only because the workforce shrank. At the same time, average hourly earnings increased by a mere 0.3% in June from May’s level, lower than the rate of inflation.”

  • The middle of the yield curve flattened. At the end of last week, the yield on the two-year U.S. Treasury was 3.12 percent, slightly above the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury. The yield on the three-month Treasury finished the week at 1.98 percent. A flattening yield curve suggests that investors are concerned about what may be ahead for the economy. When the yield curve inverts, it’s a sign recession may be ahead.

Last week, major U.S. stock indices moved higher, according to Barron’s, while Treasury bonds lost value as yields moved higher across the yield curve.

THINKING ABOUT RETIRING OUTSIDE THE U.S.? There are lots of amazing places to retire in the United States but retiring elsewhere can be an attractive alternative. Some countries offer incentives to Americans who retire abroad, reported Laura Kiniry of Condé Nast Traveler (CNT).

“Small towns in countries like France, Spain, and Italy, for example, sell off fixer-upper homes for one euro to attract foreign investments; other places are more directly trying to tempt retirees and pensioners looking to relocate, with visas that promise tax cuts, and steep-discount programs that make U.S. dollars go a long way.”

 Every year, the International Living Retirement Index identifies “locations where retirees can spend less money, live happily and healthily, and experience a new country without straying too far from all that is familiar,” reported Caitlin Morton of CNT. For 2022, top destinations include Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Portugal and Columbia.

If you’re considering retiring overseas, plan carefully. In addition to visiting and researching your retirement destination, make sure you work with experts who understand:

  • Banking options. Anti-money laundering laws can make banking in foreign countries tricky. “It can take several months to open the account and you might still have to explain to the bank each time you transfer money from the U.S.,” reported a source cited by Greg Bartalos of Barron’s.
  • International taxes. Depending on where you retire, the tax implications could be significant, reported Sarah Ovaska in the Journal of Accountancy. As long as you’re an American citizen, you have to report – and pay taxes on – the income you earn, no matter where you live. You may also owe taxes in the country where you retire.
  • Social Security benefits. More than one-half of a million Americans who receive Social Security benefits live outside the United States. The Social Security Administration has tools that can help you determine whether you’re eligible, but it never hurts to work with someone who understands the nuances.

If you retired overseas, where would you settle?

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
—Anthony Bourdain, Chef and author

How Are Your Investments Doing Lately?  Receive A Free, No-Obligation 2nd Opinion On Your Investment Portfolio >

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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.
* This newsletter and commentary expressed should not be construed as investment advice.
* 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.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* 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.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* 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.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

 

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

 

Sources:
https://www.federalreserve.gov/mediacenter/files/FOMCpresconf20220615.pdf
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DFEDTARU
https://www.investopedia.com/articles/stocks/09/how-interest-rates-affect-markets.asp
https://www.barrons.com/articles/services-economy-recession-51657120253?mod=Searchresults&mod=article_inline (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/07-11-22_Barrons_Services%20Growth%20Slows%20Reaches%20Lowest%20Levels%20in%202%20Years_4.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stock-market-dow-nasdaq-sp500-51657330112?refsec=the-trader&mod=topics_the-trader (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/07-11-22_Barrons_The%20Stock%20Market%20Just%20Had%20a%20Great%20Week%20The%20Next%20One%20Could%20Be%20Messier_5.pdf)
https://home.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/TextView?type=daily_treasury_yield_curve&field_tdr_date_value_month=202207
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/flatyieldcurve.asp
https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/6-countries-with-incentives-to-retire-there
https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/best-places-in-the-world-to-retire
https://www.barrons.com/advisor/articles/retiring-overseas-income-investments-community-conversations-51657222902?mod=hp_ADVISOR (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/07-11-22_Barrons_Retiring%20Overseas%20and%20Income%20Investments_10.pdf)
https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/newsletters/2020/aug/client-retiring-abroad-taxes.html
https://blog.ssa.gov/social-security-benefits-u-s-citizens-outside-the-united-states/
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/872000-travel-isn-t-always-pretty-it-isn-t-always-comfortable-sometimes-it

Market Commentary July 25, 2022

Market Commentary June 20, 2022

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

June 20, 2022

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

The fight against inflation intensified.

Last week, the Federal Reserve (Fed) delivered a message that it is serious about fighting inflation. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) lifted the federal funds target rate by 0.75 percentage points. The fed funds rate is now 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent.

The Fed also has begun to shrink its $9 trillion balance sheet by selling Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities, a process known as quantitative tightening (QT), reported Kate Duguid, Colby Smith, and Tommy Stubbington of Financial Times (FT). The Fed’s balance sheet expanded greatly during the past few years as it engaged in quantitative easing (QE). QE entailed buying Treasury and agency securities to ease financial conditions, strengthen the economy, and support markets during the pandemic.

If QT was a rate hike, it would be “roughly equivalent to raising the policy rate a little more than 50 basis points on a sustained basis,” according to a paper published by the Fed in June. Although, the authors stated there was considerable uncertainty associated with the estimate. It’s hard to be certain about what will happen when the Fed has only attempted QT once before.

Global markets weren’t enthusiastic about the fact that the Fed and other central banks are tightening monetary policy. Harriet Clarfelt and colleagues at FT reported, “US stocks have suffered their heaviest weekly fall since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, after investors were spooked by a series of interest rate increases by big central banks and the threat of an ensuing economic slowdown.”

It’s likely that markets will continue to be volatile, according to the CBOE Volatility (VIX) Index®, which measures expectations for volatility over the next 30 days. The VIX is known as Wall Street’s fear gauge. Last week, it rose to 31. That’s well above its long-term average of 20.

Last week, major U.S. stock indices tumbled, and yields moved higher across much of the Treasury yield curve.

IS THE BOND MARKET OR THE STOCK MARKET A BETTER RECESSION PREDICTOR? The stock market has been dropping, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a recession is ahead. The stock market isn’t very accurate when it comes to predicting recessions.

 In 1966, following two decades of almost uninterrupted economic growth and stock market gains, a bear market arrived. Stock investors feared a recession might be ahead, and the S&P 500 Index dropped 24 percent over eight months before rebounding and moving higher.

Economist Paul Samuelson, the first person to win a Nobel prize in economics, quipped, “The stock market has predicted nine out of the last five recessions. A factcheck of Samuelson’s off-the-cuff remark in 2016 found that he was right. Bear markets in stocks lead to recessions about 53 percent of the time, reported Steven Liesman of CNBC.

In other words, the stock market has about the same predictive value for recessions as a coin toss. The Treasury bond market has a far better record.

In normal circumstances, yields on Treasuries rise as maturities get longer. So, a two-year Treasury bill will normally yield less than a 10-year Treasury note. On occasion, shorter-maturity Treasuries yield more than longer-maturity Treasuries. This is unusual because investors usually want to earn more when they lend money for a longer period of time. When two-year Treasuries yield more than 10-year Treasuries, we have an inverted yield curve. (The name, “yield curve,” describes how the data looks on a chart.)

An inverted yield curve is a more reliable indicator that a recession is ahead. Alexandra Skaggs of Barron’s explained, “In a recent study of yield curve inversions, BCA Research found that the gap between 2- and 10-year yields has inverted before seven of the past eight recessions…The gap between 3-month and 10-year yields has a better record, calling all 8 recessions without a false signal.”

At the end of last week, the yield curve was not inverted. Three-month and two-year Treasuries were yielding 1.63 percent and 3.17 percent, respectively. The 10-year Treasury was yielding 3.25 percent.

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.”
—Charles Kettering, engineer and inventor

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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.
* This newsletter and commentary expressed should not be construed as investment advice.
* 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.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* 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.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* 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.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

 

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

 

Sources:
https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/monetary20220615a.htm
https://www.ft.com/content/2496105a-d211-4abe-ab5d-46a91876428f (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/06-20-22_Financial%20Times_Fed%20Begins%20Quantative%20Tightening_2.pdf)
https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/notes/feds-notes/substitutability-between-balance-sheet-reductions-and-policy-rate-hikes-some-illustrations-20220603.htm
https://www.ft.com/content/80d79903-415b-4c8e-8715-2eeb86e09300
https://www.cboe.com/tradable_products/vix/
https://www.ft.com/content/eb643be2-a3c9-49f9-815b-795449ccea44 (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/06-20-22_Financial%20Times_Rising%20Rates%20Big%20Losses_6.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stock-market-dow-nasdaq-sp500-51655511568?refsec=the-trader&mod=topics_the-trader (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/06-20-22_Barrons_The%20Stock%20Market%20Had%20a%20Very%20Bad%20Week_7.pdf)
https://home.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/TextView?type=daily_treasury_yield_curve&field_tdr_date_value_month=202206
https://stockinvesting.today/ma1607/article/the-1966-bear-market?
https://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/04/can-the-markets-predict-recessions-what-we-found-out.html
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/invertedyieldcurve.asp
https://www.barrons.com/articles/inverted-yield-curve-recession-wall-street-51649170366?tesla=y (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/06-20-22_Barrons_An%20Inverted%20Yield%20Curve%20Doesnt%20Always%20Predict%20a%20Recession_12.pdf)
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/charles_kettering_163122

Market Commentary July 25, 2022

Market Commentary June 6, 2022

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

June 6, 2022

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

How strong is the United States economy?

That’s the question investors were mulling after last week’s jobs report.

More jobs were created in May than economists expected, and the labor force participation rate rose, meaning even more people are returning to work. Overall, the unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent. However, unemployment rates varied by age, sex and race:

  • Adult men: 4 percent
  • Adult women: 4 percent
  • Asian: 4 percent
  • Black: 2 percent
  • Hispanic: 3 percent
  • White: 2 percent
  • Teenagers: 4 percent

From an inflation perspective, there was some good news in the employment report as earnings increased at a slower pace than in previous months. Apart from that bit of good news, “More jobs added and higher wages are signs of a strong economy…the concern is that inflation will remain close to its recent peak,” reported Joel Woelfel and Jacob Sonenshine of Barron’s.

Some pointed to layoffs at technology companies as a sign the economy might be weakening. However, as Randall Forsyth of Barron’s reported:

“…16,800 pink slips were handed out last month by 66 technology companies, the most since May 2020 at the depth of the pandemic…Many of those cuts came from outfits with much promise, but no profits, that burned through copious amounts of cash bestowed by a once-ebullient equity market.”

Investors who hoped the Fed would ease up were disappointed by the strength of the employment report. The data reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve will continue to tighten monetary policy, causing the economy to cool down and inflationary forces to recede, reported Barron’s.

Bond markets appear to agree that the Fed will have to work harder to tame inflation. The U.S. Treasury yield curve moved higher as rates on all maturities of U.S. Treasuries marched higher during the week. That also suggests recession concerns may be overblown, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron’s.

Major U.S. stock indices moved lower last week.

 

 

Data as of 6/3/22

1-Week

Y-T-D

1-Year

3-Year

5-Year

10-Year

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index

-1.2%

-13.8%

-2.0%

14.4%

11.0%

12.4%

Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index

0.4

-13.0

-15.9

3.8

1.7

4.3

10-year Treasury Note (yield only)

3.0

N/A

1.6

2.1

2.2

1.5

Gold (per ounce)

-0.4

1.4

-1.2

11.9

7.6

1.2

Bloomberg Commodity Index

0.0

34.9

43.5

20.0

10.3

0.5

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; 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; MarketWatch; djindexes.com; U.S. Treasury; 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.

 

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? Consumers are feeling more pessimistic than they have in a decade. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey shows that sentiment has been sliding lower all year. In May, consumer sentiment was down 10.4 percent from April and 29.6 percent year-over-year. Surveys of Consumers Director Joanne Hsu explained:

“This recent drop [in sentiment] was largely driven by continued negative views on current buying conditions for houses and durables, as well as consumers’ future outlook for the economy, primarily due to concerns over inflation.”

One reason analysts keep an eye on consumer sentiment is that it helps predict what will happen to consumer spending. In theory, when consumers are optimistic, spending should increase and when they are pessimistic, spending should decline.

That’s not what happened this year, though.

Despite high levels of pessimism, inflation-adjusted consumer spending has increased every month in 2022, supported by solid wage gains and abundant savings. Here’s the month-by-month rundown:

  • January +1.5 percent from the preceding month
  • February +0.1 percent from the preceding month
  • March +0.5 percent from the preceding month
  • April +0.7 percent from the preceding month

Consumer spending includes everything we buy: furniture, cars, clothing, food, shelter, fuel, healthcare, education – you get the idea. It is the primary driver behind the American economy, comprising about 70 percent of economic growth (as measured by gross domestic product or GDP).

It’s possible that consumers are less pessimistic than the Consumer Sentiment survey suggests. Hsu wrote, “Less than one quarter of consumers expected to be worse off financially a year from now. Looking into the long term, a majority of consumers expected their financial situation to improve over the next five years; this share is essentially unchanged during 2022. A stable outlook for personal finances may currently support consumer spending.”

So, consumers are pessimistic – and they also seem to be optimistic. It’s an interesting conundrum.

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.
* This newsletter and commentary expressed should not be construed as investment advice.
* 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.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* 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.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* 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.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

 

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

 

Sources:
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stock-market-today-51654175140?mod=Searchresults (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/06-06-22_Barrons_The%20Dow%20Dropped%20After%20the%20Jobs%20Report_2.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stock-market-rebound-51654296872?mod=Searchresults (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/06-06-22_Barrons_The%20Jobs%20Report%20is%20Bad%20News%20for%20Anyone%20Betting%20on%20a%20Less-Aggressive%20Fed_3.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-jobs-report-is-bad-news-for-anyone-betting-on-a-less-aggressive-fed-51654268950

https://home.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/TextView?type=daily_treasury_yield_curve&field_tdr_date_value=2022
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stock-market-dow-nasdaq-sp500-51654306153?refsec=the-trader&mod=topics_the-trader (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/06-06-22_Barrons_The%20Stock%20Market%20is%20Charting%20a%20New%20Course_6.pdf)
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/02/stock-market-futures-open-to-close-news.html
http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/06-06-22_Survey%20of%20Consumers_Final%20Results%20for%20May_8.pdf)
https://data.sca.isr.umich.edu/fetchdoc.php?docid=69956
https://www.richmondfed.org/~/media/richmondfedorg/publications/research/economic_quarterly/2003/fall/pdf/mehra.pdf
https://www.bea.gov/sites/default/files/2022-05/pi0422.pdf
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DPCERE1Q156NBEA
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/64918-the-test-of-a-first-rate-intelligence-is-the-ability-to

Market Commentary July 25, 2022

Market Commentary May 9, 2022

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

May 9, 2022

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

There is a lot of uncertainty in financial markets – and markets hate uncertainty.

In recent weeks, economic and financial market data have been telling different stories – and that makes it tough for investors to know where the United States economy is headed. Since stock markets move up and down based on what investors think will happen in the future, markets have been volatile. Here are some of the issues that have contributed to recent uncertainty.

 

  • Is economic growth slowing? At the end of April, the advance estimate for gross domestic product (GDP), which is a measure of economic growth, showed the U.S. economy contracted (-1.4 percent, annualized) during the first quarter of 2022. It was a puzzling piece of information because consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity rose by 2.7 percent during the period – after being adjusted for inflation – which suggests the economy is strong. A discrepancy between imports (up) and exports (down) appeared to be the driver behind the decline in GDP. A contraction can be a sign that the economy is weakening.

 

  • Is economic growth continuing? Right now, workers are in demand, which can be a sign of economic growth. Last week’s unemployment report showed stronger-than-expected jobs growth in April. The unemployment rate was 3.6 percent, and average hourly earnings rose by 5.5 percent, annualized. However, the labor force participation rate – the percentage of people who are working or actively looking for work – ticked lower. This could be due to the latest wave of COVID-19, reported Patti Domm of CNBC.

 

  • Will the Federal Reserve make a mistake? The U.S. economy recovered from the pandemic quicker than expected. One consequence was that high demand and limited supply pushed prices higher. Then inflation was exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine war and China’s COVID-19-related lockdowns, reported Jack Denton and Jacob Sonenshine of Barron’s.

 

Last week, the Fed continued its fight against inflation by raising the fed-funds target rate by 0.50 percent. On Wednesday, investors welcomed the move and U.S. stock indices moved higher. On Thursday, they changed their minds and markets dropped lower. “US stocks appear to be on a permanent rollercoaster ride as investors debate continued signs of a strong economy alongside rising rates,” stated a source cited by Barron’s.

 

Bond yields have risen along with interest rates. At the end of last week, the 2-year U.S. Treasury note yielded 2.72 percent and the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yielded more than 3 percent. Higher bond yields are likely to affect stock markets, too, as investors can now find opportunities to invest for income with less risk.

 

Last week, major U.S. stocks indices moved lower. The Nasdaq Composite Index is in bear market territory (down 20 percent or more), and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is down 14 percent year-to-date with almost half of the stocks in the Index down 20 percent or more, reported Ben Levisohn of Barron’s.

ARE YOU LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM? In a late March survey, conducted by an accounting technology firm, small business owners were asked if they were living the American Dream. Two-out-of-three small business owners said they were, although they thought the “American Dream” was changing. Small business owners said their American dream includes:

  • Being self-made,
  • Owning a business,
  • Being financially comfortable, and
  • Providing for their families.

They also want to:

  • Provide for the future,
  • Pay off a mortgage,
  • Push for good causes,
  • Give employees health and retirement benefits, and
  • Pay employees higher wages.

According to the IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Division, there are 57 million small business owners and self-employed taxpayers that have businesses with less than $10 million in assets.9 Over the past 25 years, small businesses have accounted for two of every three jobs created in the United States, reported the Small Business Administration.

If you’re a small business owner and you would like some help with spending, saving, tax, or retirement strategies, let us know. We’re happy to help.

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“There are no forms in nature. Nature is a vast, chaotic collection of shapes. You as an artist create configurations out of chaos. You make a formal statement where there was none to begin with. All art is a combination of an external event and an internal event…I make a photograph to give you the equivalent of what I felt. Equivalent is still the best word.”
―Ansel Adams, photographer

How Are Your Investments Doing Lately?  Receive A Free, No-Obligation 2nd Opinion On Your Investment Portfolio >

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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.
* This newsletter and commentary expressed should not be construed as investment advice.
* 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.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* 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.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* 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.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

Sources:
https://www.bea.gov/sites/default/files/2022-04/gdp1q22_adv.pdf
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/06/job-growth-and-wages-were-strong-in-april-but-some-workers-just-disappeared.html
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stock-market-today-51651825141?mod=Searchresults (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/05-09-22_Barrons_The%20Dow%20Dropped%20Again%2c%20Jobs%20Growth%20Was%20Strong_4.pdf)
https://home.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/TextView?type=daily_treasury_yield_curve&field_tdr_date_value_month=202205
https://www.barrons.com/market-data?mod=BOL_TOPNAV (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/05-09-22_Barrons_Overview_6.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/bear-stock-market-fed-china-51651870728?mod=read_next (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/05-09-22_Barrons_This%20Stock%20Market%20Feels%20Like%20a%20Bear_7.pdf)
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/2-in-3-us-business-owners-are-currently-living-american-dream/
https://www.xero.com/content/dam/xero/pilot-images/campaign/us-smb-survey/small-business-%20week_Infographic-new-american-dream.jpg
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-selects-new-leadership-for-small-business-and-self-employed-division
https://cdn.advocacy.sba.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/22141927/Small-Business-Job-Creation-Fact-Sheet-Apr2022.pdf
https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/12115.Ansel_Adams

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