A few comments on the past 2 months:
1) The S&P 500 is up almost 9 percent YTD, already exceeding the average Wall Street forecast for the full year. As a result, many people have been predicting a pullback. There have been 37 consecutive trading days without a 1 percent-plus decline, which has only occurred 11 times in 84 years. The S&P 500 finished higher in ten of those years as the early momentum was a sign of lasting strength. There very well may be a short term pullback. However, any pullback could be followed by significant fund inflows from all the cash that is still sitting on the sidelines. This could then drive the market higher by mid year.
Posted in Weekly Insight | Posted on 27-02-2012
Last week we were interviewed and subsequently quoted in Investment News magazine regarding estate planning for celebrities. The article focused on the untimely passing of Whitney Houston. Like many celebrities before her, she left behind an estate planning mess. As we mentioned in the article, estate planning is an easy thing to put off for “tomorrow”. However, sometimes tomorrow shows up sooner than expected. So we encourage you to always have your estate plan in order. This typically includes a will and a revocable living trust. Celebrities and high net worth individuals may have more complex estate planning needs related to 2 issues:
Posted in Weekly Insight | Posted on 21-02-2012
The good economic news continued last week as household incomes nationwide jumped sharply. The inflation adjusted median income increased 4 percent between August and December. That is the fastest increase in 4 years. This coincides with a decreasing unemployment rate which surprised everyone by dropping .8 percent in the last 6 months. In other good news, Greece passed the necessary budget cuts in order to get the next round of bailout funds from the European Union. This will ensure that the Europe’s economies will not go down in flames (at least for a while longer). Lastly, retail sales continue to grow as the U.S. economy picked up steam from a 1 percent growth rate in the first half of 2011 to a 2.8 percent rate in the second half.
Speaking of retail sales; The USA Today reports that those celebrating valentine’s day will spend an average of $126. Men outspend women by 2 to 1 on this holiday. Unfortunately, it is too late to order gifts online. So get out there and start shopping.
Have a great week.
Posted in Weekly Insight | Posted on 14-02-2012
The stock market had its best January in many years and there seems to be a new sense of optimism. There are still plenty of things to be concerned about (i.e. Europe, the depressed housing market, unsustainable budget deficits, etc.). However, the actual economic figures continue to beat expectations. The latest example is the December Jobs number in which we found out that the economy added 243,000 jobs. That was about 90,000 more than most economists expected. In addition, the jobs growth was across the board, including 50,000 new manufacturing jobs. In other good news, the top 20 retailers reported revenue growth of 4.2 percent in 2011. The expectation was only a 2 percent increase.
Posted in Weekly Insight | Posted on 06-02-2012