One thing about the financial markets - they never sit still. The Financial Focus Newsletter is published quarterly to keep you informed on what’s happening with economic trends, current and international market conditions, personal financial planning, financial planning for businesses, as well as the current outlook on the housing market and more. Read newsletters from our archive below and discover how change was anticipated, perceived and responded to.
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Pricing-in changing prices | 2018 - 2nd Quarter Report

The current economic expansion has been much longer and more drawn out than anyone would have anticipated, especially given the depth of the last recession. Corporate earnings have been extremely robust, the economy is effectively at full employment, housing price appreciation has pumped up household net worth and consumers are confident and keeping the economy humming. Yet, investors have been on edge all year as rising interest rates, trade wars, and geopolitical uncertainty shakes any overly-bullish sentiment from the markets...


What not to fear | 2018 - 1st Quarter Report

With a barrage of political news, rising geopolitical tensions, and markets that have given some investors heart palpitations, 2018 is off to a tempestuous start. Coming off a stellar year for the equity markets, strong economic tailwinds and the passage of massive tax cuts, investors were given an incentive to remain bullish and invest aggressively, pushing January’s S&P 500 return to 5.6%. The sharp rise seemed justified as the labor market continued to strengthen and economic activity across the board has been rising at a moderate rate. Market-based measures...


How high is up? | 2017 - 4th Quarter Report

As 2017 was prosperous for many, we are reminded that not all saw the same benefit. Our thoughts are with the victims of record-breaking storms and flooding, fires, and mass shootings that occurred. We hope 2018 will be a year of recovery and better fortune. The only thing that seemed not too topsy-turvy in 2017 was the stock market. With the U.S. economy continuing to pick up steam and the global economy synchronized, equities were able to propel higher into new record territories. The current domestic expansion has been the 2nd longest on record. The U.S. isn’t the only economy that’s been a standout. According to Thomson Reuters data...


Steady, as we grow? | 2017 - 3rd quarter Report

In the third quarter, the major U.S. indices hit all-time highs, multiple times as the economy continued to show signs of growth while investors were noticeably willing to shrug off rising tensions with North Korea and the damage inflicted by natural disasters. Kim Jong-Un’s continued provocations, including underground nuclear tests and an array of ballistic missile launches over Japan, only temporarily roiled international markets. Infrastructure rebuilding generally cancels out the adverse economic impact of natural disasters...


Life is good | 2017 - 2nd Quarter Report

Political headlines dominated the news during the first half of 2017, casting shade on global economic data. Reflation trade (fiscal policy meant to expand domestic output) caused growth assets to outperform relative to fixed income, despite June’s bond rally. In the U.S. there is a recovery in business spending, as evidenced by the jump in factory orders and capital spending projects. Consumer confidence is also soaring. If history is a guide, this will translate into stronger consumption growth in the months head. U.S. inflation at the wholesale level fell for the first time in seven months, owing to lower costs for services as well as cheaper fuel for cars and homes. Earnings growth is finally gaining momentum...


State of the Union | 2017 - 1st Quarter Report

Now that we have a President Trump and not the candidate, we’re seeing shifts in policy focuses that will change investment themes as his presidency progresses. We’re already seeing less of a focus on the populist messaging of improving infrastructure and widening health care coverage. His preliminary budget focus has been defense spending with very little attention to infrastructure. The American Health Care Act did nothing to expand coverage, yet was trumpeted by the president. These shifts are what will reorient the focus of investors as the Trump rally loses momentum and more of the agenda...


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