Frazier Allen, WMS, CRPS, Financial Advisor with F&M Bank
Frazier Allen's Articles:
Clarksville, TN – The economic calendar was relatively thin. Small business optimism rose sharply in December. Growth in retail sales was concentrated in autos and gasoline – mixed and generally flat otherwise (with unusual softness in food) – but it was still a relatively good quarter overall.
Department store sales were weak, but that is a long-term trend (not necessarily a sign of consumer weakness). The PPI was largely in line with expectations, reflecting moderate pipeline inflationary pressures (consistent with further Fed rate hikes in the months ahead).
Start the new year right by reviewing and revamping your financial plan.
Clarksville, TN – Instead of hauling out those familiar New Year’s resolutions about eating less and exercising more, how about focusing on something that’s also very good for you in the long run – and even sooner?
We’re talking about your financial plan – your fiscal health, if you will. The approach of 2017 is a great time to review your plan and make any necessary revisions. With that in mind, here are 12 suggested resolutions that, if followed, can help ensure that your later years will be financially secure.
Clarksville, TN – “I saw the bravest man in the world playing the hardest role of his life,” Robin Williams’ widow wrote in October of her husband’s dementia and the months leading up to his death in 2014. When his anxiety, personality changes and memory problems began three years ago, a “foundation of friendship and love was our armor,” Susan Schneider Williams said.
Her story likely strikes a chord among those caring for a loved one with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that more than 15 million Americans currently are.
Clarksville, TN – Every day, an estimated 10,000 people reach the IRS trigger age when they must begin withdrawing money from their retirement plans. If you’re among them, it’s wise to develop a strategy.
Once you hit 70½, IRS rules call for required minimum distributions (RMDs) every year on all of your traditional, simplified employee pension (SEP) and SIMPLE IRAs, as well as employer-sponsored plans. Roth IRAs are exempt.
Clarksville, TN – Italy voted “no” on its constitutional referendum and Prime Minister Renzi resigned. South Korea’s president was impeached. The European Central Bank extended its asset purchase program to the end of 2017, but will reduce the monthly pace of purchases in April.
None of that disturbed U.S. equity market investors who continued to enjoy the Trump sizzle. After showing some signs of stability, bond yields again moved higher.
Clarksville, TN – There was a ton of economic data, most of it consistent with moderately strong growth in the near term. Nonfarm payrolls rose in line with expectations in November.
The unemployment rate fell to 4.6% (the lowest since August 2007), but that was partly due to a drop in labor force participation. Average hourly earnings fell 0.1%, following a 0.4% rise in October, up 2.5% y/y (still trending higher, but more moderately than it appeared a month ago).
Clarksville, TN – Next week, fresh economic figures will arrive, but none of the reports, including the November employment report, are expected to sway the Fed away from raising short-term interest rates on December 14th.
Job growth is expected to have been moderately strong in November, but keep a close eye on average hourly earnings, which have suggested the wage pressures are building (note that the average hourly earnings figures can be quirky – they are often revised the next month – but the trend is higher).
Clarksville, TN – Most of us really look forward to the idea of well-deserved, unstructured free time. A time to do exactly what we please when we please. Until we get it.
A retirement satisfaction survey from EBRI found that half of retirees (51.4%) in 2012 reported being somewhat or not at all satisfied with their retirement. Some retirees underestimate how long it takes to adjust to a new lifestyle; others miss friends from work; still others find themselves with too much free time.
Clarksville, TN – The Federal Open Market Committee left short-term interest rates unchanged, as expected, and the policy statement was a near photocopy of the one in September.
The FOMC noted that “the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has continued to strengthen,” but for the time being, officials decided “to wait for some further evidence of continued progress towards our objectives.”
The October Employment Report was largely in line with expectations. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 161,000 (median forecast: +175,000), but the two previous months were revised a net 44,000 higher.
Clarksville, TN – Real GDP rose at a 2.9% annual rate in the advance estimate of third quarter growth, a bit on the high side of expectations. However, the economy was not as strong as the headline figure suggests (similarly, growth over the four previous quarters was not as weak as the GDP number implies).
Inventories, which had been slowing over the five previous quarters (subtracting from GDP growth), rose at a faster pace (adding 0.6 percentage point to overall growth). Net exports (a narrower trade deficit) added 0.8 percentage point.
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