The H Group Blog

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

Weekly Review March 31, 2014

Guest Post - Monday, March 31, 2014


  • Economic data remained mixed, but some of the winter effects of the past few months appear to be dissipating.  An important test in coming weeks/months will be how the much more extreme-than-average winter normalizes and if economic data can similarly regain better traction.
  • Although tensions seem to have cooled to a simmer in recent weeks, investors are continuing to monitor the Ukraine/Russia situation closely, as an unexpected development here is sure to rattle markets.  In the meantime, upcoming corporate earnings may provide enough excitement for the time being.
 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - March 24, 2014

Guest Post - Monday, March 24, 2014


Just in time for spring break, last week's economic data seem to suggest that the economy is bouncing back after two months' of extreme weather.

 Read Entire Article Here

Fed Note - March 21, 2014

Guest Post - Friday, March 21, 2014
The FOMC meeting that finished up today didn’t offer any radical changes from previous policy—this being the first with Janet Yellen as chair.  Tapering of bond purchases is slated to continue, with another reduction of $10 billion per month, which takes us to a Fed purchase pace of $55 bil./month of Treasury and MBS (at that rate, the wind-down will wrap up later this year). Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - March 17, 2014

Guest Post - Monday, March 17, 2014


  • U.S. retail sales growth was up slightly, but one of the better performances since the fall of last year. It continues to appear that a ‘weather’ effect has taken place, but perhaps lessened in recent weeks.
  • Concerns over the Ukraine/Russia conflict continue, and held back market sentiment over the week as bonds outperformed stocks. Additionally, slower growth numbers from China didn’t help the pessimistic undertone and added to commodity volatility.
 Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - March 11, 2014

Guest Post - Tuesday, March 11, 2014


  • Markets experienced a bout of volatility early in the week as the geopolitical crisis in the Ukraine grew tense, then abated somewhat.
  • Manufacturing numbers continued to improve, despite a degree of continued carryover from extreme winter storms.  We’re tired of discussing the obvious weather issues, but it has played a major role in causing several well-watched indicators to deteriorate over the last few months.  Other economic data is mixed.  The monthly employment report from Friday was decent, with smaller weather-related effects than many expected.
 Read Entire Article Here

Question of the Week - What's going on with Bitcoin?

Guest Post - Monday, March 03, 2014

Since they're not a specific asset class in our investment process, we don't often mention currencies specifically (especially synthetic currencies) but Bitcoin was the recipient of some unusual news this week. Read Entire Article Here

Back door Roth IRA contributions

Scott Maxwell - Monday, February 24, 2014

For the last few years folks disqualified from making Roth IRA contributions because of too much income have been able to contribute to their Roth IRA’s through a back door method. This involves making a non-deductible contribution to a traditional IRA  and immediately converting that contribution to a Roth IRA. This only works if you have no other traditional IRA’s otherwise those traditional IRA’s will be aggregated together to determine the taxable amount of the Roth conversion. Read Entire Article Here

weekly update 2-24-2014

Scott Maxwell - Monday, February 24, 2014

Economic Notes  Read Entire Article Here

weekly update 2-10-2014

Scott Maxwell - Monday, February 10, 2014

The economic and market round-up for last week, in all its (lack of) glory. As usual the symbols indicate news that is positive, negative or somewhere in between. Read Entire Article Here

fear and greed - always with us

Scott Maxwell - Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Ron Kelemen from our Salem office wrote a nice succinct piece about the most recent market activity. Well worth a glance, perspective is always important and often sorely lacking in the popular press. Read Entire Article Here

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