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SH&J Blog

Inside the Economy with SH&J: ISM Numbers & Inflation

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On this week’s Inside the Economy, we discuss the recent ISM (Institute of Supply Management) numbers. The numbers indicate slowing in the U.S. manufacturing sector. Is the rest of the U.S. economy starting to contract as well? What affect does all of this have on worker’s wages? We are now starting to see how tariffs are beginning to impact the U.S. consumer. Will the tariffs have an effect on inflation too? Tune in to find out the answers to these questions and more!

Market Insights & Commentary

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The summer months are a historically dull time in the stock markets. This is a time when many of the powerful fund managers and traders take their vacations and there isn’t a whole lot of activity going on. The summer of 2019 has been different, however, as there have been a multitude of headlines that have moved the markets in both directions.

The topic that has ruled the headlines this summer has been the continuing trade talks with China. All year long there has been constant back and forth between President Trump and President Xi threatening each other’s economies with tariffs. This uncertainty is putting a strain on the global supply chain, causing stock market investors to be weary. The U.S. and China are still in discussions on what a trade deal could look like, but until that comes to fruition expect more ups and downs in global stock markets.

International stocks saw a nice rebound the first 5 months of the year, as the EAFE index (tracks large company stocks in Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Far East) was closely tracking the performance of U.S. markets. There has been a divergence over the past 3 months, however, mainly due to the bleak economic data coming out of the European Union. Europe may already be in a minor recession.

All the chatter surrounding tariffs and a global economic slowdown has seen investors flee for safety this past summer. When investors get spooked by the stock markets, they put their money in long-dated bonds. This demand for longer maturity bonds drives bond prices up, thus lowering the yield. When shorter term bonds are yielding more than longer term bonds, it’s called a yield curve inversion. This inversion has historically been a recessionary signal.

So where do we go from here? When you peel back all of the headlines surrounding the stock market and look at the fundamentals of the U.S. economy, there seems to be no sign of a recession in the near term for the U.S. 75% of S&P 500 companies beat their Q2 earnings estimates, unemployment remains around 4%, and the U.S. Consumer Confidence index remains high. A recession may take up to two years to manifest after an inversion, and on average the stock market advances another 13% before the recession. Going into an election year, these next 3 months are sure to be another bumpy ride in the stock market. As long as investors know how much risk they are taking in their portfolios, no outcome should come as a surprise. Contact Sharkey, Howes & Javer

Inside The Economy with SH&J: PMI Numbers & Household Debt

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On this week’s Inside the Economy with SH&J, we discuss the recent Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) numbers. The manufacturing numbers have been in a downward trend for about a year now. How close are we to seeing these numbers signal a contraction in manufacturing? Has the change in interest rates had any effect on the U.S. dollar? The total household debt in the U.S. is about 100% of net disposable income. How does this compare to other countries around the world? Tune in to find out!

Why You Should Invest in a Financial Advisor

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Are you starting to feel under the weather? Search your symptoms on WebMD. Need to talk through an emotional issue with a licensed professional? You can now text an online therapist. Have a few extra dollars and need help investing in the markets? Hire a “robo advisor”. Thanks to the evolution of technology, advice is more accessible than ever. With many inexpensive options for investing, why should you invest in a traditional financial advisor?

 

The role of a financial advisor has progressed tremendously over the last 50 years. Advisors used to specialize in one aspect of your financial life. Your financial advisor could’ve been your stockbroker who assisted in managing your investment portfolio, or they could’ve been an insurance agent who you bought life insurance from. Today, you can hire a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ who will provide you comprehensive financial planning.

While investment management is part of your overall financial picture, it is only one component. Advisors now provide additional value by acting as an ally to clients during major life decisions that may create financial stress. Barron’s reports that the industry average cost for financial advice is 1% of assets under management. By working to control behavioral tendencies of the average investor and coaching clients through pivotal times, advisors as a whole can be worth the fees. According to a study done by Vanguard, advisors who follow best practices in wealth management can add an additional 3% in net returns over the long term, with half of that coming from behavioral coaching.

Investing is an emotional activity. Whether derived from fear, greed, or past experiences with finances, most investors have an emotional tie to money. Financial experts can work with you to keep these emotions at bay, while staying focused on your goals and identifying hidden risks along the way. A good financial advisor will provide a roadmap for your financial goals and keep you motivated to achieve them.

Are you or a loved one interested in working with a financial advisor? Contact Sharkey, Howes & Javer today to speak with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. We’ll work with you to align life goals with financial realities through financial planning and investment management.

Inside The Economy with SH&J: Dollar Strength & Corporate Earnings

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On this week’s Inside the Economy with SH&J, we discuss the strength of the U.S. dollar and its correlation with changing interest rates. Since the Fed started raising rates, the U.S. dollar has strengthened. Will that trend continue now that the Fed is reversing course? Even with the recent volatility, the U.S. Stock market is still near all-time highs. Have corporate earnings kept up with the increase in stock prices this year? Tune in to find out!

Inside The Economy with SH&J: Housing Prices & Corporate Earnings

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On this week’s Inside the Economy with SH&J, we discuss the effects of lower mortgage rates on the housing market. Which region in the U.S. is seeing home prices increase at the fastest rates? The answer may surprise you. Corporate earnings have seen robust growth since 2017. What are most corporations choosing to do with the excess profits? Tune in to find out these answers, and more!

Sharkey, Howes & Javer Investment Process

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Investment Management is a very important part of our business here at Sharkey, Howes & Javer. Designing a custom investment portfolio is integral in helping our clients achieve their financial goals. Below is an outline of the investment process at SH&J, and an overview on how we choose investment portfolios for clients.

Pyramid

We first take a macro level view of the global economy and work to identify trends and how they could potentially impact clients’ portfolios. Macro economic research, as well as insights from various mutual fund managers and investment professionals, is used to determine what asset classes may add value to portfolios during various economic conditions.

The biggest driver of investment returns is the stock and bond exposure of a portfolio. The more stocks in a portfolio, the greater the long-term rate of return is expected to be. Portfolios can range from 100% stocks, which are the most aggressive, to portfolios that may have over 60% in bonds, which are more conservative by nature. We then discuss how much international stock and bond exposure is appropriate, and also evaluate if there are opportunities in alternative asset classes, such as real estate or commodities, for additional diversification.

Once the asset class allocation is outlined, the individual mutual fund or exchange traded fund (ETF) position for each asset class needs to be chosen. Third party investment research tools aid in scanning the entire fund universe. Many factors are considered in selecting each holding. Such as how long a fund manager has been managing a particular fund, what the fund’s underlying expense ratio is, how much risk the fund is taking compared to the benchmark, and if the fund has had consistent 3, 5, and 10-year performance numbers.

The economic conditions around the globe are fluctuating every single day. And, what’s also changing is the number of mutual fund and ETF options available for people to invest in. It is important to stay up-to-date on your investment portfolio and make adjustments as needed. If you would like to discuss your current investment portfolio or discuss our strategies, please contact Sharkey, Howes & Javer today to speak with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™.

The economic conditions around the globe are fluctuating every single day. And, what’s also changing is the number of mutual fund and ETF options available for people to invest in. It is important to stay up-to-date on your investment portfolio and make adjustments as needed. If you would like to discuss your current investment portfolio or discuss our strategies, please contact Sharkey, Howes & Javer today to speak with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™.

Inside The Economy with SH&J: Lower Interest Rates & Negative Yields

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On this week’s Inside the Economy with SH&J, we discuss the Federal Reserve meeting happening this week. It looks like the market is already assuming the Fed will cut interest rates, but how much lower could interest rates go in the future and what affect would that have on the economy? Speaking of low interest rates, there is now around $14 trillion in negative yielding debt around the world. What countries currently have the lowest interest rates and why are their citizens buying negative yielding bonds? Tune in to find out!

Meet Claire O’Neill

By | SH&J Blog, SH&J Team | No Comments
Claire

Name: Claire O’Neil

Title: CERTIFED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

SH&J team member since: September, 2018

How did you decide to become a financial planner?

I started out in the business working alongside financial advisors and through this experience fell in love with the idea of working more closely with clients. I decided to get a CFP® license so I could be a direct help in advising for their financial success.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is working directly with clients and meeting new people along the way. Being able to take the stress off of people’s plate for major financial decisions and helping them navigate different scenarios is the best part of my day.

You’re originally from Kansas City, Missouri, so what brought you to Colorado and SH&J?

I had lived in Missouri my whole life, but have always had a soft spot in my heart for Colorado and the outdoor lifestyle, as Breckenridge was a family vacation destination growing up. After college, I was looking for a change of pace, so I packed up my stuff and moved to Colorado.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I spend a lot of time in the mountains hiking or skiing but if I’m not in the mountains you can find me hanging with my Spanish Water Dog, Hugo, in the parks or playing volleyball. Outside of outdoor activities, I love to explore restaurants and try new foods.

Do you have a favorite place you like to ski or hike?

Winter Park is my new favorite but Breckenridge is hands down my favorite mountain town. This is where my family vacation spot was growing up and is a longtime favorite city of mine.

What’s something about you that would surprise us?

I come from a really large Irish family (60+ counting aunts, uncles and cousins) so I have an unknown passion for Irish culture and music. My family enjoys listening to Irish bands in the Kansas City area and my cousin actually runs one of the biggest Irish events in the city.

What is the most interesting place you’ve ever been to?

Nice, France. It’s a small city by the ocean and I loved spending 5 days there before visiting my sister who was living in Barcelona. The food and atmosphere were amazing. You can walk everywhere and it had a really laidback vibe.

If money was not a factor, what would you do?

I would travel around the world and learn to speak a new language. I would also consider splitting my Colorado time between Denver and the Mountains.