The H Group Blog

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

US on a Roll

Scott Maxwell - Thursday, April 17, 2014

The news this week points out some very good trends in regards to the US economy. Here we are 5 years into the expansion and the growth in the economy still continues to expand. For those economic sorts there are a couple of noteworthy looks at this, here from the Calafia Beach pundit (always enjoy his graphs) and a similar story from Bloomberg. Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - April 14, 2014

Guest Post - Monday, April 14, 2014

Summary

  • It was a light week for economic data. The few releases that did appear were positive on the employment front; however, a few showed some imported inflation.
  • Equity markets struggled with momentum stocks (those that led the way last year) pulling back.
 Read Entire Article Here

The value of advice

Scott Maxwell - Friday, April 11, 2014

For many years the professional financial advisor community and Vanguard, the giant mutual fund company, have had an uneasy relationship. Vanguard often touted their funds and platform as the low-cost investments of choice for the do-it-yourself investor. So imagine our surprise when a recent article of theirs featured a bold series of statements attempting to quantify just how much additional returns might be earned through the use of a financial advisor. Their conclusion?  Maybe as much as 3% per year additional can be earned through the use of an advisor helping with their professional advice. Read Entire Article Here

Why your will may not be enough

Scott Maxwell - Thursday, April 10, 2014

“Now remember Mr. Smith, your new will only is effective for the assets that are part of your probate estate. I know you have substantial value in your retirement plan, here is some language you can use to make the beneficiary designation of your 401k and your IRA pass in the way you’ve indicated you wish them too.” said Ima Lawyer, the estate planning attorney Mr. Smith had been working with to get his estate planning in order. Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review - April 7, 2014

Guest Post - Monday, April 07, 2014

Summary

  • Domestic markets continued higher, with additional Fed promises of more accommodative policy, but were outshined by many foreign names. Several more speculative areas that performed well last year, such as biotech and social media, have experienced negative results as of late.
  • The Friday jobs report was decent—neither exciting nor disappointing, so market reaction was tempered. Other economic data was similarly mixed, as poor winter results are being sloughed off.
 Read Entire Article Here

The month to get literate

Scott Maxwell - Wednesday, April 02, 2014

It’s Financial Literacy Month! Imagine if most folks took their free time over the course of April and used it to improve their overall level of familiarity with and planning for the major parts of their financial lives? Now that would be revolutionary. Read Entire Article Here

Weekly Review March 31, 2014

Guest Post - Monday, March 31, 2014

Summary

  • 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

Summary

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

Summary

  • 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

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