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04Aug
Client Fees & Value
Economy
It seems that everywhere we turn today, the media is emphasizing advisory and product fees.

Common questions are:

“Are you paying too much?”

“Do you know what you are paying for?”

I consider this type question to be one-dimensional and shortsighted.  For example, if one wants to “stay on the numbers’ side”, then where is the question:

 “Are you receiving value for your fees?”

The interesting thing that happens when we insert the word “value” is that we add the possibility for an intangible answer in addition to the one-dimensional tangible answer.

Here are two recent examples of how we have added both tangible and intangible value for our clients:

Example One:

Clients recently came in for their conversation with us, which includes portfolio review. They brought a folder with them and asked: “Will you please look over these estimates for us to pre-pay our funerals?”

This led to a conference call with the clients and the director of the funeral home.  At the end of the conversation in which I asked many questions, the clients said, “Thank you so much.  We understand this now, and are very pleased with the decisions we have made.  Mostly, we feel wonderful that we have taken this burden off of our family.”

Tangible Results: the clients ended up saving $1100 from the original quote.

Resonate Time: 90 minutes

Resonate Fee for this work: $0 

 

Intangible Value Received by the Client: Relief; peace of mind.

Intangible Value Received by Resonate: Knowing we did the “right thing” for aging clients.

 

Another Example…

A client called recently and said: “I’m not sure if these new legal documents prepared by an attorney match our objectives discussed with you.”

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09May
Why Might I Want to Invest in Emerging Markets – 2 of 2
Economy

(Nothing I write is to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell.  This blog is intended for informational use only.  I give full credit to Krishna Momani, Chief Investment Officer of the Oppenheimer Funds, for the information in this blog).

If you missed Part One of this blog, may I encourage you to read it before Part Two?

As you will see in the following chart, growth rates in many of the largest emerging market economies have stabilized and are now trending higher, commodity prices have bottomed, and currencies have steadied, bringing inflationary pressures under control.

Next, as you will see in the following chart, China is successfully transitioning from a manufacturing economy to a service-oriented economy.

The cyclical emerging market economic backdrop combined with still-relatively cheap valuations suggest that emerging market equities are poised to outperform the developed world over the next market cycle.

If you have questions or interest in learning more, I’d love to share a conversation with you!

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

Source of charts: OppenheimerFunds, “The Case for Emerging Markets”, Krishna Memani, CIO
Disclosure:  These views represent the opinions of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. and are not intended as advice or to predict or depict the performance of any investment.  These views are as of the close of business on March 31, 2017, and are subject to change based on subsequent developments.  Equities are subject to market risk and volatility; they may gain or lose value.  Fixed-income investing entails credit and interest rate risks. Bonds are exposed to credit and interest rate risk.  When interest rates rise, bond prices generally fall, and a fund’s share prices can fall.  Investments in securities of growth companies may be especially volatile. Foreign investments may be volatile and involve additional expenses and special risks, including currency fluctuations, foreign taxes and geopolitical risks.  Emerging and developing markets may be especially volatile. Eurozone investments may be subject to volatility and liquidity issues.  The mention of specific countries, regions, or sectors does not constitute a recommendation by any particular fund or by OppenheimerFunds, Inc.
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01May
Why Might I Want to Invest in Emerging Markets – 1 of 2
Economy

While there is certainly not a “one-size fits all” answer to this question, I wanted to include some interesting information on emerging markets.

This is a two-part blog.  My goal in writing it is to blend some history of emerging markets with current trends, which I hope you find interesting.

(Please note that nothing in this blog is intended as a recommendation to buy or sell anything.  It is meant to be purely informational.)

Krishna Momani, the Chief Investment Officer of the Oppenheimer Funds, writes:

“In the first 13 years of this century, emerging market equities outperformed U.S. equities by over 7% per year.  That’s almost 200% of cumulative outperformance.”

“The following three years were not as kind to emerging market investors.  Emerging market assets suffered from a series of macro headwinds including weaker global growth, sharp declines in emerging market exports, a collapse in commodity prices, falling currencies, rising inflation, and capital flight as U.S. monetary policy conditions normalized.”

Emerging Markets Had Been Underperforming Since 2013

Prior to 2017, emerging market equities experienced a prolonged period of underperformance relative to developed market equities.  A confluence of factors weighed on emerging market performance including weaker global demand for exports, a slowdown in Chinese growth, the end of the multi-year commodity and credit-driven boom, and tighter U.S. monetary policy.

In particular, the onset of monetary normalization in the United States, beginning in earnest with the tapering of U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) asset purchases in 2013 and continuing with the first Fed interest rate hike in December 2015, resulted in a massive flight of capital out of the emerging markets and into U.S. dollar-denominated assets.

The tide now appears to be turning.  The cyclical case for emerging market equities is supported by the following:

  1. Economic growth is improving (in some instances, such as in Russia and Brazil, off of
    recession lows) and exceeding expectations.
  1. Inflation has fallen rapidly. Real interest rates are now positive in emerging markets,
    suggesting that this time modest U.S. interest rate hikes will not result in significant capital
    In addition, policymakers are better positioned to support economic growth.
  1. Emerging market equities are trading at attractive valuations compared to developed
    market equities.
  1. The U.S. dollar is unlikely to be a headwind for U.S.-domiciled international investors.
    Many of the emerging market currencies are already trading at steep discounts.
  1. The likelihood that a series of Fed rate hikes will derail the nascent emerging markets economic recovery is small.

While “they may be down,” Momani encourages us to not count emerging markets as “out”.  I’ll discuss the reasons for this in Part Two.

If you would like to talk about anything in this blog, I’d love to share a conversation with you.

 

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

 

 

Source of charts: OppenheimerFunds, “The Case for Emerging Markets”, Krishna Memani, CIO

Disclosure:  These views represent the opinions of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. and are not intended as investment advice or to predict or depict the performance of any investment.  These views are as of the close of business on March 31, 2017, and are subject to change based on subsequent developments.

Equities are subject to market risk and volatility; they may gain or lose value.  Fixed-income investing entails credit and interest rate risks.  Bonds are exposed to credit and interest rate risk.  When interest rates rise, bond prices generally fall, and a fund’s share prices can fall.  Investments in securities of growth companies may be especially volatile.  Foreign investments may be volatile and involve additional expenses and special risks, including currency fluctuations, foreign taxes and geopolitical risks.  Emerging and developing markets may be especially volatile.  Eurozone investments may be subject to volatility and liquidity issues.  The mention of specific countries, regions, or sectors does not constitute a recommendation by any particular fund or by OppenheimerFunds, Inc.

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21Apr
What Is Reflation and How Does It Impact Me?
Economy
Reflation is a fiscal or monetary policy which is designed to expand a country’s output and curb the effects of deflation.  We are currently experiencing reflation policies in the United States which include a move to reduce taxes in an attempt to stimulate the economy.

(The balance of this blog is meant to be informational only.  Nothing is to be taken as a recommendation to buy or sell any particular investment positions.)

As the following chart indicates, the 10-year government bond yields are beginning to recover from a period of decline, which has lasted from 1983 until recently.

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30Mar
4 Key Ingredients for Successful Style Investing
Blogs / Articles

Click Here for interesting, timely articles from Oppenheimer Funds including:

  • Sector Valuations
  • Pres. Trump’s Pro-Growth Policies
  • Earnings
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28Mar
What Keeps You Up at Night?
Blogs / Articles
There can be many answers to the question ranging from “my health, my kids, my grandkids, our currently divided country, how to afford the cost of education, the rising cost of health care”, to name only a few.  I want to share an interview with Richard Orlando.

Orlando is CEO of Legacy Capitals, and Ned Dane of the Oppenheimer Family of Funds asks the questions.

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07Mar
China in the News
Economy

Have You Noticed How Much China Is in the News Lately?

If we turn the calendar back to January and February 2016, the U.S. stock market saw one of its worst annual starts in history.  China, with the currency and stock market that was quickly moving downward, caused much of the setback in the United States markets.  This is because China’s enormity and its global economic importance have moved this country ahead of the United States in its influence over world markets.

This premise was confirmed when, later in the year, the U.S. market righted itself at the same time that the Chinese markets rebounded.

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21Feb
Some Interesting Insights Thus Far for 2017
Blogs / Articles

As our nation and the world continue to watch the actions and react to the rhetoric of the new Administration in Washington, we have already witnessed some incredible activity.

From the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to Kim Jong Un’s missile launch, we are witnessing daily tests – both domestic and global.

How is this influencing the markets?

  • Emerging market (EM) assets outperformed, U.S. Treasury yields fell sharply during the last week of January, and U.S. value stocks underperformed a flat market.
  • Political uncertainty sent French and Italian government bond yields to multi-year highs relative to their German peers.  Half of the European firms that have reported earnings have beaten estimates.
  • Oil fell to a near three-week low under the pressure of growing U.S. crude inventories, but pared some losses. China’s PMI data showed expansion in both services and manufacturing sectors.

And what might be coming?

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15Feb
How the World Shops Is Changing
Economy

Recently, Capital Ideas shared the following information which I think you will find interesting:

By 2025, 4.2 billion people out of a global population of 7.9 billion will be part of the consuming class.

For the first time in history, the number of people with discretionary income will exceed the number of people still struggling to meet basic needs.

Here are some of the changes in consumer spending which is led by millennials:

  • Chinese millennials are “all about the experience”.  This includes going to the movies and increasing their travel abroad.  They spend considerably on-line for lifestyle items.
  • Another country positioned to benefit from the increased spending is India.  In the next 10 years, about 150 million new people will enter India’s workforce.  Highways, airports, and other infrastructure is expected to increase along with consumer spending.
  • The 80 million American millennials spend at least $600 billion a year.  They are adding to the success of businesses like Uber and HomeAway.

Consumer spending drives 70% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

We will watch for new investment possibilities based on this information.

We welcome the opportunity to share a cup of coffee and conversation with you.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

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07Feb
Are You Positive or Negative on the U.S. Economy for 2017?
Economy

Interestingly, a case can be made either way.

Because I prefer to end my blogs on a positive note, let’s first look at what might detract from or slow economic growth in 2017.

1.   The strengthening US dollar.  Since the November 2016 election, the dollar is up 4%.  It is predicted to increase by another 5% this year.  (Source: Kiplinger Letter 1-13-17)
Anyone want to go to Europe?

2.   Gradually rising interest rates.  This could impact sensitive sectors such as housing and auto sales.

3.   The uncertainty of trade wars.  If the president makes good on campaign promises, countries could retaliate by buying less U.S. goods.  Punitive tariffs are also a possibility.

Now let’s consider the positives.

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