The Joseph Group

Wealth Notes: Economy

  • Forecasts Are for Show – and Shows Are Entertaining

    January 27, 2017

    Earlier this week we held our regular “Portfolios at Panera” and “Markets on Marconi” events where the primary discussion topic was how we were allocating portfolios as we start 2017. One of the key discussion points was our current target “overweight” to stocks within our Harvest strategy and how we are structuring that allocation across U.S. and foreign stocks, and large and small companies. A question which came up at both events was “Where do you think the stock market will finish 2017?” 

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  • Will the Buck Stop Here?

    December 23, 2016

    Earlier this week, we ended our 2016 monthly series of “Portfolios at Panera” talks with a market recap event at The Joseph Group’s offices.  We reviewed each major asset category and talked about “What did we do (in portfolios in 2016)?” and “What is our view (outlook for each asset class in 2017)?”  One of the items we discussed was the underperformance of foreign stocks relative to U.S. stocks since the election and the answer was surprising.

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  • Do Rising Rates Make Bonds More “Interest”-ing?

    December 16, 2016

    As widely anticipated, earlier this week the Federal Reserve increased its target for short-term interest rates by 0.25% (from 0.25% to 0.50%).  The move was well telegraphed – prior to Wednesday’s meeting, the market (Fed Funds futures) were pricing in a near 100% chance the rate hike would happen. What remains uncertain though is the Fed’s path for rate hikes in 2017. What does all of this mean for bonds?  After all, when interest rates go up, bond prices go down. 

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  • The Fed Doesn’t Get Any More “Interest”-ing This Week

    September 23, 2016

    Earlier this week the Federal Reserve voted to keep short term interest rates unchanged from their current target range of (0.25% to 0.50%).  The market reaction to the “hold” was positive as stocks, bonds, real estate and commodities all rallied after the Fed’s announcement on Wednesday and continued to rally on Thursday.  The market clearly likes the idea of low interest rates continuing to stimulate the economy – the Fed is not taking away the punch bowl yet.

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  • Voting Member of the Fed Makes “Interesting” Comments – Are Rising Rates Imminent?

    September 9, 2016

    Earlier today, a voting member of the U.S. Federal Reserve (Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren) made statements which created a strong market reaction.  According to Rosengren, the Fed believes continuing to keep interest rates low may present “longer-term risks from significantly overshooting the economy’s growth.”  As a result he stated “a reasonable case can be made for continuing to pursue a gradual normalization in monetary policy.” Members of the Fed seem to always speak in confusing sentences and big words, but to the financial markets, Rosengren’s words meant one thing…

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  • RUST is de-FANGing the Market

    August 12, 2016

    With stock indexes hitting new highs this week, it is worth taking a closer look at what areas are leading the U.S. stock market.  The stocks leading the market during the last six to seven months are very different than the stocks which led the market last year. It may take an increase in interest rates for market leadership to shift again, but when it comes to valuations, there is risk that FANG may bite back against the RUST.

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  • The Search for Income

    July 29, 2016

    Yesterday we held our monthly “Portfolios at Panera” event – a time for clients and friends to have a casual discussion about what is happening in markets.  Our focus yesterday was going through different strategies and looking at the performance leaders and laggards to identify common themes.  If there was one major theme which might summarize the whole discussion it was “the search for income.”

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  • Smart Money/Dumb Money

    July 22, 2016

    As discussed in last week’s issue of Wealth Notes, positive surprises in recent economic data have coincided with new stock market highs. However, we note certain technical indicators are throwing up caution flags regarding how much higher the market may run. The aptly named “Smart Money/Dumb Money” Confidence indicator is one of our favorite measures of investor sentiment. The indicator uses “real money” gauges to track what different groups of investors are actually doing with their money. Oftentimes the behavior of the indicator is simply noise, but extreme movements incite awareness.

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  • Jobs, Manufacturing, Service – New High!

    July 15, 2016

    After more than a year of treading water the S&P 500 finally moved above its former all-time high of 2135 (set May 21, 2015) this week to set new all-time record highs.  Being only two weeks removed from the “Brexit” market turmoil, setting new highs has seemed to take most investors by surprise. It’s probably not hard to come up with reasons for market caution (we’ve heard there is a presidential election coming up this year) but we are definitely struck by the strength we have seen in recent U.S. economic data.  In this issue we share what we are seeing with three major pieces of economic data.

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  • Politics, Performance, and Presidents

    June 30, 2016

    Thursday morning we held our monthly “Portfolios at Panera” event – an opportunity for clients and friends to hear about what is happening in the markets and how those happenings are impacting portfolios we manage. Today’s session consisted of three main topics: Brexit, market performance for the first half of 2016, and interesting observations when to politics and the presidential candidates.

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