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 …

More Americans Working Past 70

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® American Workers, Blog, US Workforce

Although some potential retirees choose to remain in the work force well past the social security designated retirement age, others are finding it a necessity.  Workers who were either poor savers or who perhaps experienced a dramatic life crisis are finding themselves short on funds in their retirement years. Some workers who did plan accordingly, didn’t plan to live as …

Weak Dollar Helps Emerging Countries – International Update

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Currencies, US Economy, World Economies

August 2017  For the first time in a decade the world’s major economies are growing in sync.  All 45 countries tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development are on track to grow this year, much of the help coming from a lingering low interest rate stimulus from Central Banks. A weakening dollar is providing a boost for U.S. …

Economic Update – 2nd Quarter 2017

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Blog, Economic Update

The past quarter and first half of the year were characterized by historically low stock market volatility, the strong performance of both stocks and bonds, and the reversal of several market trends. In this quarter’s commentary, we attempt to explain these phenomena, some of which may seem contradictory. Investment Environment The S&P 500’s actual realized volatility has fallen to among …

The Evolution of Bitcoin – Market Fact

Max Smith, CFP®, CIMA® | Kent Forsey, CFP® Client Education, Currencies

Bitcoin, essentially virtual money traded by digital exchange, has received tremendous media coverage this past month.  This “currency” emerged on the market in 2008 designed by a programmer or group of programmers under the name of Nakamoto, whose real identity remains unknown.  Bitcoins exist as software, not physical currency, and are not regulated by any country or banking authority. Mined …