The H Group Blog

Investment and Financial Planning news from some of the best in the business.

Weekly Review - January 17, 2017

Guest Post - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Summary

For the week, economic data included moderate retail sales, some gains in producer prices, stronger small business sentiment and continued strong labor results.

Stock markets were mixed on the week, with foreign equities outperforming U.S., with help from a weaker dollar. Interest rates ticked downward, which helped bonds earn slightly positive returns. Commodity returns were also mixed, as crude oil prices ended down a few percent.

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Our Take on 2016 and the 4th Quarter

Ron Kelemen - Thursday, January 12, 2017
Happy New Year!  We are pleased to share our thoughts with you about the past year and our outlook for 2017.  As we think about the financial markets from previous years, the year 2016 goes down in our memory as one of the most interesting and unpredictable years of all.  Here is our commentary.   Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - January 9, 2017

Guest Post - Monday, January 09, 2017

Summary

In the first week of the year, a variety of economic data releases pointed to continued expansion, including the ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing indexes. The employment situation report for December, however, was decent but didn't meet expectations.

Equity markets in the U.S. and abroad gained in the first week of the year. Bonds also rose to a lesser degree as interest rates declined. Commodities were mixed, with oil rising slightly for the week.

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What Were the Winning and Losing Asset Classes of 2016?

Ron Kelemen - Friday, January 06, 2017

No single asset class is the best performing year after year. They rotate over time, sometimes dramatically in just one year. Every year we update our "Periodic Table of Asset Classes" or as we sometimes call it, our "Skittles Chart." We also include a balanced portfolio of various asset classes, as indicated by the yellow. As you can see, it will never be the top performer, nor at the bottom because it is a weighted average. To view this fun chart in PDF format, please click here. Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - January 3, 2017

Guest Post - Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Summary

The last week of the year was another slow one for economic releases, with a key industrial index and pending home sales down a bit, while consumer confidence improved.

Equity markets in the U.S. took a breather for the week following a post-election streak of positive weeks, while foreign markets gained ground—especially in emerging markets. Bond markets gained as interest rates retreated from highs achieved over the past several weeks. Commodity indexes rose a bit with a weaker dollar and higher oil prices.

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Question of the Week - December 27, 2016

Guest Post - Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What are the biggest takeaways from 2016?

This has been a unique year, to say the least, but we can say that about every year to some degree. This one began on a difficult note, with the continued concerns over low oil prices carrying over to low earnings results and tempered expectations for stocks and a higher default risk environment for the debt of commodity-related companies such as energy.

 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - December 27, 2016

Guest Post - Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Summary

Last week's economic data was highlighted by a slightly-better-than expected durable goods report, stronger housing numbers and a 3rd quarter GDP that was revised to higher growth than expected.

It was a slow pre-Holiday market week, with equity markets modestly higher. Bonds offered equally strong returns as interest rates backed off of highs from the prior week. Commodities declined slightly, with oil little changed for the week.

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Seven for 2017

Ron Kelemen - Friday, December 23, 2016

What would make this a really good year for you?  Here are our suggestions for seven things to help you make 2017 a good year, personally and financially. Why just seven?   A famous study in 1956 by psychologist George Miller suggested that most people can only recall seven items in a series, so we offer you this instead of a top 10 list.  We wish you all the best for the holidays and the year ahead.   Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - December 19, 2016

Guest Post - Monday, December 19, 2016

Summary

Economic news for the week was highlighted by the Federal Reserve raising short-term interest rates by another quarter-percent, as expected. Retail sales disappointed, while several regional manufacturing surveys and homebuilder sentiment showed far stronger results and inflation ticked slightly higher.

U.S. stock markets were mixed, with large-caps outperforming small-caps. In foreign markets, developed markets experienced stronger gains but were held back by a stronger dollar. Bonds suffered again as interest rates rose in keeping with more anticipated Fed moves next year. Commodities gained a bit as oil finished higher along with expected production declines.

 Read Entire Article Here

The Fed Rate Increase—Not the End of the World

Ron Kelemen - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Finally, after so much anticipation and worry, the Fed announced on December 15 that it will raise the Federal-Funds interest rate 0.25% on December 16.  That brings the rate up to 0.75%.    We view this as good news.  Why?  Because it means that the economy is doing well.   In the words of the Fed Chair Janet Yellen, “Our decision to raise rates should certainly be understood as a reflection of the confidence we have in the progress the economy has made.” The Fed is also concerned about inflation, brought about by a labor market at or near “full" employment.  The Fed anticipates three more similar hikes in 2017 if the economy continues along its current path.    Read Entire Article Here


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