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April 2017 Financial Markets Update image

 Market Scorecard   Monthly Commentary As in every other month this year, global stock markets continued their upward trajectory registering another 1-2% in additional gains.  Whether you file taxes in April or file for extension, tax day came and went as it always does each year although there's hope that a revised tax plan from the new administration will jumpstart anemic economic growth in the US.  Speaking of anemic growth, Q1 GDP was released and it was lackluster at best, registering just +.7% quarter over quarter (+1.9% year over year).  There was a large divergence in Q1 GDP estimates due to the widely publicized divergence between hard and soft data (explained in March and February updates). Other noteworthy news that occurred during the ...

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March 2017 Financial Markets Update image

 Market Scorecard   Monthly Commentary The month of March was another strong month in stock markets, especially for international and emerging markets which were up 2.28% and 2.50% respectively.  We received a lot of data points in the US and abroad along with a lot of political action/commentary.  Some of the things that occurred during the month: Strong February jobs report was released in early March which showed business optimism rolled over into hiring A revised travel ban was again defeated in Hawaii courts.  Laptop ban currently in effect. The Obamacare repeal and replace effort was thwarted with Republicans pulling the bill 30 minutes prior to the vote.  The White House is now turning it's focus to tax reform which may be ...

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February 2017 Financial Markets Update image

 Market Scorecard Monthly Commentary February has come and gone and global stock markets have continued their strong performance with the S&P 500 leading the charge up almost 4%.  This month, President Trump addressed Congress for the first time.  In that speech, he outlined his plan to spend $1 Trillion on infrastructure, called for replacing Obamacare, building a wall along the Mexican border and announced a new office called VICE (Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement).  Much of what the President outlined was known and are campaign promises he's looking to fulfill.  While we weren't surprised by the content, we were surprised by the tone which was much less divisive and more focused on agenda and trying to bridge the gap between parties. ...

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January 2017 Financial Markets Update image

 Market Scorecard   Monthly Commentary January was a generally strong month in stock and bond markets with the S&P, international and emerging market stocks rallying.  The Federal Reserve maintained it's current target while offering very little hints on it's future moves.  It's still unclear what is going to happen with Obamacare, corporate and personal tax rates, Dodd-Frank reform, amongst other promises made on the campaign trail.  The Mexican border wall seems to be a focus although families who own land along border might not be happy with imminent domain claims.  Obamacare rhetoric went from repeal and replace to let's fix what's currently wrong with it.  A recent article by Bloomberg suggests we are at least a year off before a replacement is ...

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Q4 2016 Macro Themes Walk Through image

A curated walk through of macroeconomic data in the US and globally for Q4 2016.             Proper Wealth Management’s (“Proper”) blog is not an offering for any investment. It represents only the opinions of Jared Toren and Proper . Any views expressed are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed in any way as an offer, an endorsement, or inducement to invest. Jared Toren is the CEO of Proper, a Texas based Registered Investment Advisor.   All material presented herein is believed to be reliable but we cannot attest to its accuracy. Opinions expressed in these reports may change without prior notice. Information contained herein is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed. This material is based on information that ...

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December 2016 Update image

 Market Scorecard    Monthly Commentary What a way wrap up 2016 in the markets.  Stocks around the globe continued their march higher in December with small cap stocks outperforming large cap, international and emerging market stocks.  The US dollar index also extended it's rally over the previous month against most major currencies.  Dow 20,000 was within reach but the index didn't quite make it there.  We'll have to wait until at least 2017 until we see that level broken.  As we remarked last month, the markets appear to be pricing in a lot of pro growth/pro inflation policies in the U.S. due a Trump administration.  There's been a lot of speculation, but we're getting very close to finding out what policies will ...

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Why Rising Rates Is Good For Muni Bond Investors image

You're taught early in bond investing that when interest rates bond, bond prices fall.  And when interest rates fall, bond prices rise.  So you'd think by this statement that if you owned bonds, you want interest rates to continue falling.  This is simply not true.  Before we delve into this, let's cover some basics below (and you can also read our intro to muni's here: Muni Bond Basics)   Bonds have three main components: price, coupon and maturity (leaving out credit rating on these examples).  Bonds are priced at either a discount to par (below 100), at par (100), or above par (above 100).  Par is the price that the bond will mature at and almost all of the muni bonds ...

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Muni Bond Basics image

Municipal ("muni") bonds tend to be a part of our overall allocation in client portfolios since they provide stable tax advantaged cash flows.  This post breaks down the basic of muni bonds.  For information on why rising rates are good for investors, read out blog post here (Why Rising Rates are Good for Muni Investors)   What is a municipal bond? Municipal bonds are debt obligations issued by states, cities, counties and other governmental entities, which use the money to build schools, highways, hospitals, sewer systems, and many other projects for the public good. When you purchase a municipal bond, you are lending money to a state or local government entity, which in turn promises to pay you a specified amount of interest ...

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November 2016 Update image

 Market Scorecard      Monthly Commentary The month of November brought many surprises.  Very few were predicting a Trump victory and even fewer were predicting the market's positive reaction.  We saw bond prices fall precipitously while US stocks climbed to new all-time highs.  The stock market is said to be a 6 month leading indicator but it seems to have gotten ahead of itself in recent weeks.  Furthermore, we believe the selloff in bonds is overdone.  We've seen a jump in 5 year inflation expectations and growth expectations well ahead of anything actually happened.  This makes sense if we had line of sight to these things, but at this time, we believe it's wishful thinking. There's been a lot of research and thoughts over ...

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October 2016 Update image

 Market Scorecard    Monthly Commentary The month of October turned out to be a busy month and not particularly good for stocks, bonds and commodities.  I think we'll all be glad when the election is over on November 8th.  I have been asked a lot about how the results could impact the markets.  Anytime there's a strong consensus, the risk is that it's incorrect.  Since Clinton is projected to win, the risk to the markets is that she doesn't which creates more uncertainty since a lot of people view Trump as a wildcard.  Although, since Wikileaks has been leaking emails and a new FBI investigation into Clinton's email related to Anthony Weiner, the likelihood of a Trump win has grown.  At the ...

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