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Brower Financial Group Articles

Ponte Vedra Financial Planner | Weekly Economic Update  - July 24, 2017

Posted by Brower Financial Group on Jul 26, 2017 8:51:36 AM

WEEKLY TIP

Business owners can waste hours chasing late payments. If you have clients or customers who constantly pay late, ask yourself whether keeping them is worth the headache. It may not be.

WILL STOCKS GET AN EARNINGS BOOST?

While the first full week of the Q2 earnings season saw no pronounced rallies, there were also no shocks. By Friday’s closing bell, 20% of S&P 500 member firms had reported calendar Q2 results, and a FactSet analysis showed 77% had topped sales projections and 73% had beaten earnings-per-share forecasts – a good sign in an earnings-driven market climate. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.19% last week and settled at 6,387.75 Friday; the S&P 500 rose to 2,472.54 after a 5-day gain of 0.54%. As blue chips fell 0.27% across five trading days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 21,580.07 Friday. All three indices hit record highs during the week.1,2 

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Topics: Weekly Economic Update

Ponte Vedra Financial Planner | Weekly Economic Update  - July 10, 2017

Posted by Brower Financial Group on Jul 11, 2017 10:27:59 AM

WEEKLY TIP

Many life and auto insurance policies offer the buyer the option to pay premiums on a month-to-month or quarterly basis. While this option is convenient, these fractional premiums sometimes prove more expensive than a lump-sum premium paid annually.

HIRING PICKS UP AGAIN

The Department of Labor announced some good news Friday: the creation of 222,000 net new jobs in June, the largest hiring gain in four months. Approximately 4.7 million people reentered the labor force and found work in June, a peak unmatched in 27 years of monthly data. Wages rose 0.2% for an annualized gain of 2.5%. The main unemployment rate ticked north to 4.4% as more Americans joined the job hunt; the U-6 rate, including the underemployed, increased 0.2% to 8.6%, its first rise since January.1

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Topics: Weekly Economic Update

Ponte Vedra Financial Planner | Weekly Economic Update  - June 13, 2017

Posted by Brower Financial Group on Jun 13, 2017 9:38:45 AM

WEEKLY TIP

One option that might help you leave more of your assets to charity when you pass away: put provisions in your estate planning documents that allow heirs to individually disclaim some or all of their inheritance in favor of a charitable donation. The disclaimed portion of the inheritance that is donated to charity will not be subject to estate tax. 

AN UPBEAT REPORT ON THE SERVICE SECTOR

The Institute for Supply Management’s May non-manufacturing purchasing manager index displayed a reading of 56.9 last week, showing expansion in U.S. service industries for an eighty-ninth straight month. Although the gauge declined 0.6 points from its April mark, it signaled a solid pace of growth. The index’s employment component rose 6.4 points to a mark of 57.8, as 15 industries added workers in May. The PMI has averaged a reading of 55.9 over the past 12 months.1

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Topics: Weekly Economic Update

Ponte Vedra Financial Planner | Weekly Economic Update  - May 30, 2017

Posted by Brower Financial Group on May 30, 2017 1:50:27 PM

WEEKLY TIP

Some of the financial choices you make in the years just before and after your retirement may be unalterable. In recognition of that, an objective review of your retirement plan is a must as you approach your sixties.

CONSUMER SENTIMENT DECLINES JUST A BIT

Ending May at a mark of 97.1, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell 0.6 points from its preliminary reading for the month. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast the gauge to remain at 97.7.1

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Topics: Weekly Economic Update

Ponte Vedra Financial Planner | Weekly Economic Update  - May 15, 2017

Posted by Brower Financial Group on May 17, 2017 9:49:16 AM

WEEKLY TIP

Your retirement may last 20 years or longer. So, while you might want to invest more conservatively with age, you may not want to abandon equity investments that give you the potential to grow your savings at a rate faster than inflation.

A SOLID RETAIL SALES READING

Americans bought more in April. The pace of retail purchases hastened by 0.4% last month, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised the 0.2% March retreat into a 0.1% gain. Headline retail sales were up 4.5% across the 12 months ending in April. Core retail sales rose 0.3% in the fourth month of the year.1,2

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Topics: Weekly Economic Update

Ponte Vedra Financial Planner | Weekly Economic Update  - May 2, 2017

Posted by Brower Financial Group on May 2, 2017 3:28:35 PM

WEEKLY TIP

Young adults who receive sudden wealth should realize the threats that could end up eroding it: their inexperience handling such large sums of money, their possibly inadequate financial literacy, and the pressure to overspend in our culture. For these reasons, they should chat with a financial professional.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE DIPS SLIGHTLY

The University of Michigan and Conference Board consumer confidence indices descended a little last month, but remained in great shape. The CB index displayed an April reading of 120.6, down from 124.9 in March. Slipping a point from its initial April mark, the Michigan barometer fell to 97.0.1

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Topics: Weekly Economic Update

Ponte Vedra Financial Planner | Weekly Economic Update  - April 10, 2017

Posted by Brower Financial Group on Apr 11, 2017 9:14:54 AM

WEEKLY TIP

Anyone who wants to avoid or lower probate costs and simplify distribution of their assets after their death would be wise to consider a revocable living trust. These trusts can be modified during the grantor’s lifetime.

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Topics: Weekly Economic Update

Ponte Vedra Financial Planner | Weekly Economic Update  - April 4, 2017

Posted by Brower Financial Group on Apr 5, 2017 8:24:04 AM

WEEKLY TIP

When financing a new car purchase, try applying for a loan before you shop for a vehicle. Preapproval gives you negotiating strength – you can challenge the dealership to beat the financing you have already lined up.

 

PERSONAL SPENDING SLOWS

Consumers apparently chose saving over spending in the second month of the year. Last week, a Department of Commerce report noted only a 0.1% gain for personal spending in February. That happened even with personal incomes rising 0.4%, nearly matching the 0.5% January advance. In other news concerning personal spending, the Bureau of Economic Analysis raised its estimate of fourth-quarter GDP to a final reading of 2.1% from the previous 1.9%.1 

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Topics: Weekly Economic Update

Ponte Vedra Financial Planner | Weekly Economic Update  - Mar 20, 2017

Posted by Brower Financial Group on Mar 21, 2017 5:33:57 AM

WEEKLY TIP

Does your will or estate plan take your pets into account? If you have no heirs, or if no heirs or family members want the responsibility of caring for them if you die, provisions should be made on their behalf

FED HIKES, LEAVES 2017 FORECAST UNCHANGED

As expected, the Federal Reserve raised the target range for the federal funds rate by a quarter-point last week to 0.75-1.00%. “The simple message is, the economy is doing well,” Fed chair Janet Yellen explained to the media following the move. The central bank’s dot-plot table still projects two more rate increases during the balance of 2017, with three rate hikes envisioned for both 2018 and 2019.1

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Topics: Weekly Economic Update

Ponte Vedra Financial Planner | Weekly Economic Update  - Mar 13, 2017

Posted by Brower Financial Group on Mar 14, 2017 10:27:23 AM

WEEKLY TIP

When your children turn 18, you lose the legal authority to make financial decisions on their behalf as well as the legal authority to examine their banking and credit card information. If you have a teenager with bad financial habits, this may be worth noting. 

COMPANIES HIRED READILY IN FEBRUARY

U.S. firms added 235,000 net new jobs last month, and the latest Department of Labor employment report showed the largest growth occurring in the construction and education/health care sectors. The DoL also revised January’s job gains upward by 11,000 to 238,000. Payroll expansion has averaged 209,000 per month since December. The headline (U-3) jobless rate ticked down 0.1% to 4.7%, and the total (U-6) jobless rate, counting the underemployed, fell 0.2% to 9.2%.1

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Topics: Weekly Economic Update