Money Talks – February 25, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” Director of Research Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by insurance expert Jim Crone, CFS®, CLU®, and fellow research analyst Jacob Keen to discuss how the S&P sectors fared during earnings season. They also discuss housing data including mortgage applications and existing home sales, the minutes from the latest Federal Market Open Committee meeting and jobless claims. Jim reviews a solution he developed for a company using company owned life insurance to fund a nonqualified compensation plan for a top executive. The experts also answer listeners’ questions on Zendesk and Salesforce.com; fundamental tips for investing in stocks and whether long-term care insurance premiums are tax deductible.

Market Roundup: Positive Week as Dow Reaches 11th Consecutive Record High

The markets were closed Monday, in observance of Presidents’ Day; therefore the week’s rally kicked off Tuesday, when all 11 sectors in the S&P 500 increased, led by gains in Real Estate, Utilities and Consumer Staples. Wednesday saw a slight pullback after the previous day of record finishes. Energy companies weighed on the S&P 500 index as the price of crude oil declined 1.4%. In housing news, mortgage applications continued their decline as longer-term interest rates inched upward; however, existing-home sales rebounded in January, recovering more than December’s decline. Furthermore, the minutes released from the Federal Open Market Committee’s January 31-February 1 meeting showed the central banks’ interest in raising interest rates fairly soon. The next day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a 10th consecutive day of record closes, extending its longest streak of all-time highs in three decades. Initial jobless claims increased, as Department of Labor data showed new claims climbed by 6,000 to 244,000 in the past week. Indices closed Friday’s session in green territory, with the Dow closing at an 11th consecutive record high in late day momentum. New home sales jumped up in January, as Commerce Department data showed sales increased by 3.7% last month to an annual rate of 555,000, versus an expected pace of 586,000. In a final reading, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index dipped to 96.3, from 98.5 in January.

Money Talks – February 18, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, join Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to discuss Consumer Sentiment released last Friday, inflation indicators the Consumer Price and Producer Price indices. They also cover the market’s moves for the week. Building off of last week’s discussion, Jarrett and K.C. discuss the difference in fees between the broker-dealer and fee-based Registered Investment Adviser business models. They cover the services provided and how you can compare the two when shopping for a financial services solution. The hosts round out the show with listeners’ questions on supplemental insurer AFLAC, why the fees you pay when investing in exchange-traded funds are acceptable, and cardboard and paper company, Packing Corp of America.

Case Study: Breaking Down the Business Model Behind Financial Advice

Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, build off of last week’s discussion reviewing the difference in fees between the broker-dealer and Registered Investment Adviser business models. They cover the services provided and how you can compare the two when shopping for a financial services solution.

Market Roundup: Market Climbs Higher in Record-Setting Week

The markets kicked off a week of new record highs, trading into record territory for a third straight session. Despite the rally in stocks, West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 1.7% to settle at $52.93 a barrel. Record-breaking moves continued Tuesday as the Dow Jones Industrial average moved up on a variety of economic news. Federal Reserve comments may have impacted trading moves, as Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen restated plans for gradual rate hikes but noted that potential uncertainties such as changes in U.S. policy and productivity levels could influence the pace during her policy testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. The S&P 500 posted its longest winning streak since 2013, after data pointed toward continuing growth in the U.S. economy. The Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ all closed at records again, extending a rally that has accelerated in February. Analysts believe gains in inflation, retail sales, and comments by the Fed, helped bolster confidence in the U.S. expansion. The markets closed mixed on Thursday when the Dow traded to a fresh record level while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ ended the session fractionally lower, possibly as a result of economic news. Housing starts declined in January, dipping 2.6% to an annual rate of 1.25 million versus expectations of 1.22 million; however, starts were up 10.5% from a year ago. Furthermore, the Department of Labor data showed new jobless claims increased by 5,000 to 239,000 while continuing claims slipped by 3,000 to 2.076 million in the first week of February. Indices ended trading at fresh record highs on Friday. Stocks gained on a variety of economic news, including a tick up in crude oil prices. West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $53.40 a barrel.

Money Talks – February 11, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Managing Associate K.C. Smith, CFP®, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, to discuss the week’s market movements, the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index, international trade and wholesale trade. K.C. and Jarrett bring to the table a conversation on whether investors should really want to beat the market. They discuss risk exposure, long-term strategies and passive vs. active investing. The hosts also address a listener’s question on health spending accounts and whether opening one would be a good idea if you’re covered by a high-deductible insurance plan. The experts also provide their opinions on some of Vanguard’s health care funds and if investors should seek actively or passively managed funds.