Matt's Monthly Money Must Do's | October 2018

Matt's Monthly Money Must Do's | October 2018

October is scary!  Mainly because it means another year is almost done.  This is also a good time to reflect on your spending over the past year.  With Halloween just around the corner…let’s find some scary financial things to do. BOO!!

  • Review your credit report

  • Review your spending for the last year

  • Review your homeowner’s insurance

A Recipe for Financial Freedom

A Recipe for Financial Freedom

It is not every day that I come across a financial article that I feel is worthy of sharing with others.  These days they are often steeped in fear tactics meant to confuse one about their investments or litter someone’s political agenda.  Sometimes the meat of an article is pretty good but let’s just say they are a bit over seasoned.

Thankfully today is not like every day, and when I was checking some financial news on Marketwatch this morning I found something that I thought you all might like.

2nd Quarter 2018 | John's Market Commentary

2nd Quarter 2018 | John's Market Commentary

Well, 2018’s second quarter earnings season is history.  It was pretty much a repeat of the first quarter.  Once again, if you were to read the headlines, you would be led to believe the end-of-times was near.  Reporter anxiety continues to run high and, at times almost hysterical.  The continuing trade spat between the U.S. and China (and other countries), the threats from North Korea and Iran, the geopolitical risk from a populist Italy and a messy Brexit, or any one of several Trump tweets all ensured the fear-based media operated in full-on mode.  Of course, this in turn has fed market volatility, which has risen considerably in 2018.      

While that approach may be good at grabbing attention, it does little to convey the current situation of our global economy.  The headlines are all bark, no bite.  The reality, at least at this early juncture, is that the tariffs have yet to have any impact on the U.S. economy.  Small business sentiment continues to run high and, producers are in growth mode.  And, more importantly, broad based consumer confidence continues to run high as well.  75% of our GDP is created through consumer spending and, make no mistake, the consumer is spending!!  Unemployment is at record lows, wages are rising, and the public feels confident in their financial position. 

Matt's Monthly Money Must Do's | September 2018

Matt's Monthly Money Must Do's | September 2018

I was reviewing one of my favorite sites that lists when things are on deepest discount.  They showed their September deals and a funny item appeared on the list: Blu-Ray Player.  Those are still a thing?Anyway, going to keep it simple for September.

  • Pay quarterly taxes

  • Review your benefits

  • Find a financial book to read

2nd Quarter Economic Update | August 2018

2nd Quarter Economic Update | August 2018

The 2nd quarter increase in real GDP reflected increases in consumer spending, exports, business investment, and government spending.  The only decreases were in business inventory investment and housing investment.  The increase in consumer spending reflected increases in services and both durable and nondurable goods.  The unemployment rate is low, wages are increasing and people, in general, feel good about their financial situation.  The increase in exports reflected increases in exports of goods.  Clearly a result of foreign companies purchasing supplies prior to tariff rate increases going into effect. 

Concerns, however remain.  Last quarter we noted the possibility of the economy overheating.  We now believe this is less likely because of the potential impact of a global trade war.  Business activity appears to be slowing as companies weigh the odds of there being a trade war or not.  As is, the tariff increases that have been implemented are small relative to global trade.  The real danger continues to be the uncertainty about what happens next.  If trade tensions sap business confidence, causing executives to put off capital spending and other investment decisions, then the damage could get serious.  Time will tell. 

Matt's Monthly Money Must Do's | August 2018

Matt's Monthly Money Must Do's | August 2018

August 4th is Coast Guard Day.  Alexander Hamilton, along with the help of US congress, authorized the building of a fleet of Revenue Service Cutters.  The August to do’s all relate to keeping yourself safe and limiting your exposure to harm much like the Coast Guard does with boaters every day.

  • Protect your home

  • Protect your kids

  • Protect your financial accounts

The Tariff Tiff and History Repeating Itself

The Tariff Tiff and History Repeating Itself

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” – Mark Twain

Financial crises have hit the global markets on a regular basis throughout history.  And it appears financial crises will continue to pop up at regular intervals into the future.  The first recorded speculative bubble was Tulip Mania in 1637, a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which the prices for fashionable tulip bulbs reached extraordinarily high levels only to dramatically collapse.  Today, we view stocks, bonds and commodities as our investments of choice and, as always, current events continue to cause the financial markets to fluctuate, sometimes dramatically.

The Tariff Tiff | History Repeating Itself

The Tariff Tiff | History Repeating Itself

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” – Mark Twain

Financial crises have hit the global markets on a regular basis throughout history.  And it appears financial crises will continue to pop up at regular intervals into the future.  The first recorded speculative bubble was Tulip Mania in 1637, a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which the prices for fashionable tulip bulbs reached extraordinarily high levels only to dramatically collapse.  Today, we view stocks, bonds and commodities as our investments of choice and, as always, current events continue to cause the financial markets to fluctuate, sometimes dramatically. 

Here is a brief history of major financial crisis that have hit the globe in the past few decades.  Each time, the stock and bond markets have taken a beating.  And time and again, they bounce back to higher highs.   

Matt's Monthly Money Must Do's | July 2018

Matt's Monthly Money Must Do's | July 2018

The 4th of July seems like such an odd thing to celebrate.   We are really celebrating the most famous divorce decree ever written.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the document, but it was just a bunch of bitter guys generating a divorce decree with barely any input from the counterpart. 

From now on, I believe we should turn Independence Day into Financial Independence Day.  Start celebrating those who have hit financial milestones.

On to the To-Do’s…