Happy 2017! As I write this I am on a flight returning from a Magical Disney Cruise to the snowy abyss that is Greensboro. Our family had an amazing trip and fun memories and I am excited about the welcoming of 2017. I hope that your Dreams come true in 2017 in true Disney style. I completely owned the dorky dad role complete with dressing up as a pirate and even having Pixie dust sprinkled on my head by a real life Disney Princess. For myself, my personal goals for 2017 are to get in better shape, have more fun and spend more time with my girls before the teenage years hit and they want nothing to do with me.
The markets have seen a lot in the past quarter. We have remained calm and methodical with our investment recommendations. The markets saw a huge surprise in the election results in November. While Wall Street and most predictions from polling organizations were fully anticipating a Hillary Clinton win, we had a modern day Dewey vs Truman with Trump winning the election. Polling companies will go back to work on re-calibrating their methods for more accuracy and the rest of America will once again be reminded how every vote is important. Either way, with a new administration comes a new agenda and we are working to restructure portfolios to reflect a focus in industries that stand to benefit from the anticipated changes.
Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas were really great at our house. At 5 and 7, Amelia and Lila are at a real sweet spot with the magic of Christmas and Evan once again pulled off an amazing Christmas for the girls. Amelia has apparently inherited her dads gift of making social situations extremely awkward as she has a knack for pointing out and being inquisitive about any strangers we run across. She has a keen eye for moles or tattoos and his happy to offer a unsolicited review free of charge leaving her parents cringing. I really enjoyed seeing Lila and her class do their end of semester presentations and was amazed at how much effort went into her project as she is only in second grade. With Lila I can already see my chance to be the old, non tech savvy parent is rapidly approaching. It seems like just yesterday I was 10 and showing my parents how their new VCR worked. Evan is running another marathon this weekend and has been somehow fitting in training among other holiday responsibilities. The highlight of the holiday season for Evan and I is that Nicky the Elf only “forgot” to magically move once through Christmas. A true parenting success. I have been taking a crash course in ballroom dancing as I prepare for competing in Dancing with the Stars for Operation Smile. For those of you not familiar with Operation Smile or if you would like to support my fundraising efforts for this organization, click here. I am looking forward to making a fool out of myself for such a great cause.
On the business side:
In the area of regulatory environments our office has been working diligently to be prepared for the upcoming Fiduciary Rule going into effect in April. There is still a lot of question about the implementation of this law and whether or not it will be tabled or done away with. Either way, we are working diligently to comply with the law and in part of that we will be reaching out to make sure our information on our clients and their families is current. This will not be done all at once instead done over the coming year, so please be on the lookout for emails and calls from Ashlie, Erin or myself. I hope you will take the time to help us update our information so that we can be in compliance and better serve your needs.
Our team in the office has really been gelling well and having a lot of fun. We did a team building Escape Room in November where we had to solve riddles to escape from a locked room. While I may have had more confidence than Erin, Ashlie and Laura I was quickly put back in my place as our escape was more hinged on their abilities to figure out the riddles. For those of you who have not, I would recommend checking it out.
With the upcoming changes in the financial world and all of the changes in the market, we are seeing a lot of people having questions. We would love to help your friends and family in any way we can. Don't keep us a secret to those close to you.
For those of you who have not yet taken advantage our online financial management software, you are missing out. The system is a great way to get a full view of your financial picture by allowing you to include bank accounts, mortgages, student loans, real estate holdings to create a comprehensive picture. For people who are not clients and want to try us out, we are also offering use of this as a way to test us out without having to commit to transferring your assets. If you are a client who has not yet used the software or if you are not a client and would like to try it out, email Ashlie at [email protected].
The big downer of this past quarter was the sad demise of our bus. The engine seized and while at the mechanics, my new friend Jesus broke into the bus and stripped it and even left his drivers' license for us to boot! While Jesus' whereabouts are still unknown, the great news is the new bus is in Greensboro and being up-fit by Matthew Mobile Media. We expect it to be up and running and raising money for local non profits again by the end of the quarter.
Featured News Interview:
For those of you with 401ks floating out there, this interview is for you: 5 Bad Decision People Make To Deplete Their 401k Savings.
1st Quarter 2017 Outlook:
This past quarter the markets rallied with the S&P surging 3.82% and leading to some strong returns for the year. That gave us a strong year and a big contrast from the now distant past January when the Dow dropped 5.5%. Those of you who kept calm and stayed the course were rewarded. Moving forward, we are more bullish on financials, healthcare and smaller and mid sized companies. We believe financials will benefit from the gradual rise in interest rates and rumored pullbacks on regulations. Healthcare companies could benefit as well from reduced regulation and rumored adjustments to Obamacare. Smaller and medium sized companies are poised to gain as well from an eased regulatory environment that hurts them more than the larger companies who can afford higher regulations and the higher costs to comply with them.
For further analysis and market information click here.