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.

Market Roundup: Week Starts in the Red, but Ends with Record Highs

The markets kicked off the week by closing in the red zone on Monday. Corporate earnings likely drove some of the bigger moves of the day. The next day, the indices landed in green territory, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average maintained gains while the NASDAQ closed at a new record high. Technology brands led Dow advancers while energy stocks traded lower on slipping oil. Mid-week saw Financial stocks pressuring the Dow. It’s likely investors are still awaiting policy changes; however, some analysts believe investors have been weighing recent improvements in earnings and economic data to concerns about an uncertain political landscape. The markets closed at record levels on Thursday with Financial and Energy stocks leading the advance. In other news, initial jobless claims decreased last week, as Department of Labor data showed new claims declined by 12,000 to 234,000 versus an expected 250,000 claims. The week closed with indices at record high levels on Friday as Energy, Materials and Industrials stocks boosted the S&P 500 index. Meanwhile, consumer confidence is on the wane so far this month. In a preliminary reading, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index hit 95.7, versus expectations of 98.5.

Money Talks – January 28, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by Principal Jennifer J. Thomas, CFP®, and Senior Associate Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, to discuss the significance of the Dow reaching the 20,000 benchmark. They also talk about sector earnings performance, new and existing home sales and the Semi book-to-bill ratio. Jarrett and Jennifer lead a discussion on how 401(k) allocations can get “out of whack” even if you’ve been following your adviser’s recommendations. The experts also discuss a listeners’ question on prepaying his mortgage versus investing in a Roth IRA.

Market Roundup: Positive Week as Dow Breaks 20,000 Mark

Indices closed in the red zone on Monday, likely a result of President Trump’s comments that he would “shake up” trade, taxes and regulations. The market indices closed with gains on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing back toward the 20,000 mark while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ both ended trading at new record levels. By mid-week, the Dow hit an all-time high, closing above the 20,000 mark. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ also ended the session at record levels. Crude oil slipped on a jump in inventories, as reserves increased by 2.8 million barrels last week versus expectations of a lesser uptick of 300,000 barrels. The market ended trading with mixed moves on Thursday. The Dow landed above the 20,000 mark again while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ shed some points. In other items, new home sales decreased in December as sales slipped by 10.4% last month to a rate of 536,000 versus expectations of 595,000. Additionally, initial jobless claims ticked up last week. Department of Labor figures showed new claims increased by 22,000 to 259,000 versus expectations of a lesser gain of 246,000. The market ended Friday mixed, but were up across the board for the week. The Dow and S&P 500 shed some points while the NASDAQ added marginal gains on Friday. Energy brands retreated on a dip in crude oil prices. Gross domestic product numbers failed to inspire the session when Commerce Department data showed GDP rose at an annual rate of 1.9% in the fourth quarter. The results were down from 3.5% growth in the third quarter. Looking elsewhere, consumer confidence ticked up in January. A final reading showed sentiment hit 98.5 this month, up from a preliminary estimate of 98.1, and well beyond expectations for the reading to remain unchanged.