Interview: Shari Martin, Executive Director of the Cobb Community Foundation

Principal Jennifer Thomas, CFP®, and Managing Associate Shawna Theriault, C.P.A., CFP®, CDFA®, interview Shari Martin, Executive Director of The Cobb Community Foundation. They discuss how Cobb Community Foundation sponsors donor advised funds for philanthropic families and organizations. Additionally, they discuss the Cobb Community Impact Grant as well as the other types of charitable funds they sponsor.

Market Roundup: Week of Mixed Returns Ends with New Record Highs

The week began on a mixed note with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining while the S&P 500 index was off a few points. Indices closed in the red zone on Tuesday, when early market momentum faded during afternoon trading. In economic news, the Census Bureau reported that the international trade deficit increased $3.8 billion to $48.7 billion in October over September. The October increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $3.8 billion to $69.1 billion and a decrease in the services surplus of less than $0.1 billion to $20.3 billion. Additionally, the ISM Non-Manufacturing index dipped from 60.1 in October to 57.4 for November. Markets were again mixed on Wednesday, this time with both the Dow and S&P closing in the red while the NASDAQ posted slight gains on a rebound the Technology sector. However, gains in the Technology sector failed to offset losses in the Energy sector. West Texas Intermediate crude oil shed 2.9% today after Energy Information Administration data showed crude-oil inventories fell by 5.6 million barrels in the last week, which was more than expected. Indices closed with gains on Thursday and bounced again on Friday, closing at new record highs. A stronger than expected jobs report may have helped push the Dow and S&P 500 to positive territory. Department of Labor figures showed U.S. employers added 228,000 jobs in November. The results exceeded estimates of 190,000. Additionally, consumer confidence is on the wane for December, as the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index’s preliminary reading fell to 96.8 from 98.5 in November. Economists were expecting a jump to 99.

Money Talks – December 2, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” Bil Lako, CFP®, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, are joined by insurance expert Jim Crone, CLU®, CFS®, to discuss the week’s market movements, market dips and corrections, as well as the yield curve in Treasurys. Jim brings to the table a case study of a couple who need insurance for protection purposes, but they are being offered a policy that is trying to accomplish too many goals and contains too many features. Jim explains that going back to the financial plan to determine the insurance need is the best strategy. The experts round out the show with listeners’ questions on annuity retirement income and disability insurance riders. They also provide advice for an inherited 401(k), discuss the rally in Bitcoin, and give their opinions on stocks Whirlpool and Sleep Number.

Case Study: Consider Your Plan Before Customizing Your Insurance

Bil Lako, CFP®, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, are joined by insurance expert Jim Crone, CLU®, CFS®, to discuss a case study of a couple who need insurance for protection purposes, but they are being offered a policy that is trying to accomplish too many goals and contains too many features. Jim explains that going back to the financial plan to determine the insurance need is the best strategy.

Market Roundup: Equities Surged During Week Until Friday’s Abrupt Decline

The indices kicked off the week with mixed action as the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted gains while the S&P 500 Index and NASDAQ dipped on a variety of economic news. New-home sales ticked up in October with sales rising 6.2% from the revised September rate and increased 18.7% from October 2016. New record levels were hit on Tuesday, as stocks stepped up on progress in the GOP tax bill. Reports that the Senate was close to passing a tax reform bill likely increased investor confidence.  Meanwhile, The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence was up in November, climbing to 129.5, from 125.9 in October. Furthermore, the trade gap increased at a faster rate than expected in October, as data showed the deficit hit $68.3 billion last month, following a reading of $64.1 billion in September. The Dow closed at a new record peak on Wednesday with Financial shares leading advancers and Technology stocks sold off. Meanwhile, the NASDAQ and S&P 500 shed points. In a new estimate, third quarter U.S. GDP was revised up to 3.3% from the prior estimate of 3.0%. The result exceeded an expected upward revision to 3.2%. On separate note, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, which covers economic activity in October through mid-November, showed the economy expanded at a modest-to-moderate pace in all 12 districts. Good news continued Thursday with the Dow closing above 24,000 for the first time and the S&P 500 climbed to a new record level. Technology brands rebounded from Wednesday’s dip. Meanwhile, crude oil prices ticked up on OPEC news that the organization and other oil-producing nations have agreed to extend a production cut agreement through to the end of 2018. Despite the record highs during the week, indices dipped on Friday. Stocks rebounded up off session lows, but not enough to escape the red zone for the day. Technology brands sold off while Energy stocks ticked up on a jump in crude oil prices. In the week’s last economic report, the ISM manufacturing index fell from 58.7 in October to 58.2 in November, versus expectations of a lesser drop to 58.4.

Money Talks – November 18, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” Principal Jennifer Thomas, CFP®, and Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, join Chief Investment Officer Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to discuss the market’s reaction to Congress’ progress on tax reform and whether there is anything in the fundamentals of the market to indicate a pullback may be coming. The experts discuss investors who hold on to a stock because they don’t want to pay taxes on the gains or they don’t want to recognize the loss. They look at GE as a current example, and how a concentrated position can be detrimental to your overall portfolio. They also go in-depth on a listener’s question on an automaker’s claim that the majority of passenger vehicles will be electric by 2023 and how investors can parlay that into an electrical utility play.

Case Study: A Concentrated Position Can Be Detrimental to Your Portfolio

Principal Jennifer Thomas, CFP®, and Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, join Chief Investment Officer Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to discuss investors who hold on to a concentrated stock position because they don’t want to pay taxes on the gains. They look at General Electric as a current example, and how a concentrated position can be detrimental to your overall portfolio.