Macro Overview – April 2018

Kent Forsey, CFP® Lending, Macro Overview, Mortgage Rates, National Budgets, Taxes

Although the market is always climbing a wall of worry, consider these points as we try to make sense of recent market fluctuations. Markets were rattled in March as a looming trade war between China and the U.S. enhanced market instability.  The administration announced $60 billion in tariffs for Chinese imports, with a detailed list of products which will be …

What a Tariff on Steel and Aluminum Means

Kent Forsey, CFP® Economic Impact, Tariffs, Trade Policies

April 2018 Much has been made in the media recently about steel and aluminum tariffs.  Most of the news has been aimed at criticizing the President for something that would add to consumer costs of goods and services but there is more to the story. The Department of Commerce released a report in February prompting the President to enact tariffs …

Macro Overview – February 2018

Kent Forsey, CFP® Macro Overview, US Economy, World Economies

Last month gave us reason to think we may start to see a pause in stock market growth for a few months as valuations catch up but, also, lots of reason to believe that our economy will continue to grow. Rising interest rates weighed on equity momentum as the expectation of increased borrowing costs and inflation accelerated market volatility. Markets …

Consumer Spending Growing Faster Than GDP – Consumer Economics

Kent Forsey, CFP® Consumer Spending, Economy

The past four years have seen consumer spending exceeding GDP. Various factors drive consumer spending, including sentiment, optimism, wages, and demographics. GDP grew at a 2.6% annual rate in the fourth quarter, while consumer spending grew at a 3.8% annual rate. Historically, periods where consumer spending has grown faster than economic growth, as measured by GDP, inflation has evolved. Consumer …

Year–End 2017 Economic Update

Kent Forsey, CFP® Economic Update

January 22, 2018 Dear Friends, Clients and Associates, Market Recap We are running out of superlatives to describe the U.S. stock market, but put simply, 2017 was a truly remarkable year.  Stocks rose each and every month (the first year ever that has happened) along with a 9th consecutive year of positive returns for the S&P 500 Index (21.7%) tying …

Congratulations, Max!

Catherine Blair Blog, Company Updates

December 2017 Join us extending our heartfelt congratulations to Max Smith on his recent decision to retire! Max has been a part of Hillspring Financial as the original founder in 1993. Those of us here at Hillspring wish to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude for his legacy of integrity and the culture of client service that he helped create right …

What the FTC Is Suggesting On the Equifax Breach

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Consumer Protection, Credit Monitoring, Equifax Data Breach

  The Federal Trade Commission has acknowledged that there were 143 million consumers affected by the Equifax breach in which Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses and driver’s licenses were stolen between mid-May and the end of July. The Equifax website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, allows you to enter your last name and last six digits of your Social Security number upon selecting “Am …

Macro Overview

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Economy, Macro Overview

It’s been said that the market is always climbing a wall of worry.  Here is a brief statement and status of those worries that the market is dealing with at the moment. The aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria are expected to have uncertain affects on government data and continued ambiguity on economic activity. The hurricanes will distort economic …

Euro Getting Stronger, Dollar Getting Weaker – Currency Update

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Currencies, Euro, US Dollar

A strong dollar is a positive when traveling abroad as your purchasing power is increased.  A weaker dollar does have its advantages, however, as our exports will usually increase creating a stronger economy. Though currently valued at 1.17, the euro jumped above 1.20 in August for the first time in 2 1/2 years as weaker than expected U.S. economic data …

Shorter Settlement for Stocks & Bonds

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Bonds, Investing, Mutual Funds, Securities, Settlement Policy, Stocks

As of September 5, 2017, the settlement period for most security transactions has been shortened to two days, from three days. The two-day settlement date applies to most security transactions, including stocks, bonds, municipal securities, mutual funds traded through a brokerage firm, and limited partnerships that trade on an exchange. Government securities and stock options will continue to settle on …