Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Week's News That moves the Markets

  1. Monday April 27, 2009, The top story has to be the Swine Flu and it over shadowed the very poor restructure program laid out by General Motor's CEO Fritz Henderson. I was Twittering with a reporter who was checking out what will probably be the first case of Swine Flu for Michigan Monday night.
  2. Tuesday April 28, 2009, The restructuring of the UAW contract with Chrysler may put off the fall of Chrysler for a few years, but it can't save it alone. Thursday's Government deadline will become crucial to the markets this week! The Government says Bank of America and Citi need to up their bank's capital after the acid tests. Commercial Bank of China and Honda post profits.
  3. Wednesday April 29, 2009, Swine Flu is still part of what is moving the markets but, during the first two days of the week, it was the fear of the unknown that wreaked havoc on the markets. Now that we have become more knowledgeable, the markets are having a better day.
  4. Wednesday April 29, 2009, More companies appear to be showing profits for the quarter and this is helping the investment markets. CEOs worth their salt should have been able to, and/or should now be able to shed problems caused by last year's economic meltdown and get their quarterly profits in order during this quarter or next.
  5. Thursday, April 30, 2009, I will be coordinating the Your Money Bus (www.yourmoneybus.com) stop at the Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan. The nonprofit group is giving out TOTALLY FREE personal financial planning information to anyone who stops. We will be there from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  6. Friday Morning, May 1, 2009, I will be coordinating the Lansing stop of the Your Money Bus (www.yourmoneybus.com). We will be right in front of the State of Michigan's Capitol Building, 100 North Capitol, Lansing, Michigan from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We will be giving out TOTALLY FREE personal financial planning information to anyone who stops by.
  7. Friday afternoon, May 1, 2009, I will be coordinating the Grand Rapids stop of the Your Money Bus (www.yourmoneybus.com). We will be at the President Ford Museum, Rosa Park Circle, Market Street and Monroe Avenue, in Grand Rapids from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. We will be giving out TOTALLY FREE personal financial planning information to anyone who stops by.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Notable News of the Week

  1. Monday April 20, 2009: 67% of all companies reporting in the 1st 2 weeks of this quarter reported positive earnings. A far change from that of the last few quarters.
  2. Tuesday April 21, 2009: Bank losses have not hit bottom yet! As banks post quarterly reports Bank of New York posts a -51% loss, Comerica posts a -92% loss and Huntington Bank went from a $ .35 gain to a $6.79 loss for the quarter.
  3. Wednesday April 22, 2009: McDonald's profit rises on breakfast and drinks, Wells Fargo profit climb 53%, Morgan Stanley wider than expected loss. Stock's earnings are mixed but better than a few months ago.
  4. Wednesday April 22, 2009: Advertising has changed drastically, over the past few years local and national newspapers, magazines, radio, television and cable stations have had a hard time making enough money from advertising to be profitable and many have had to file chapter 11 bankruptcy. Now Yahoo and other internet advertising firms, who took the business away from the others, are also having earnings problems with their advertising.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Notable News of the Week

  1. Monday April 13, 2009: Governor Jennifer Granholm would support a graduated income tax. Now you all know I have supported Governor Granholm many times when others have not, but this is insane. Ted's comment: According to an article in Forbes magazine within the last 30 days, Michigan is the #5 most taxed state in the country. Now the Governor wants to raise the taxes even higher? Does she want to be able to say we are #1, the highest taxed state in the country? I would not want that title. Last year we had 2.5 million people leave Michigan and that number is not slowing down. Isn't it time our governmental bodies realize that we cannot support the State's current services. That, rather than raise taxes to cover the costs, it is time to start cutting back services, combining governmental bodies including state, county and city to reduce taxes, not increase them. Governor Granholm, if you keep raising taxes, anyone with money will simply leave the state.
  2. Tuesday April 14, 2009 Bloomberg: The U.S. government is considering swapping some of the $13.4 billion General Motors Corp. owes it for an equity stake in a stripped-down version of the car maker. Then 2 hours later Reuters UK: GM bankruptcy fears drag down auto stocks. Ted's Comments: Well, what do you expect after last year's Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fiasco, where the government asked (told) them to make loans and provide liquidity to the markets and then took them over; causing the stocks to lose 80% of their value? Now they are about to do the same thing to an almost nonexistent GM stock value. If that is not enough, has anyone looked at how many jobs GM going into chapter 11 is going to cost this country? According to Fortune in 2006 GM had 335,000 employees, in 2007 GM had 266,000 employees and the 2008 estimates were 243,000 employees. Under the chapter 11 program GM will end up with less than 133,000 employees and it will probably affect another 500,000 employees of suppliers. That is a loss of over 702,0000 jobs in the last three years and that is probably low. No wonder the country is in a funk! Best not have all our money invested before the June 2009 GM chapter 11 deadline. We are going to want to see how this plays out.
  3. Wednesday April 15, 2009 Bloomberg: Analysts estimate that profits at S&P 500 companies decreased for the seventh straight quarter in the January to March Period, the longest stretch of declines since at least the Great Depression. Ted's comments: This either means that we will start out of the mess we are currently in or we are out to set a 100 year record. For now we are slowly getting back into investments. However, we are very worried about the June 1, 2009 deadline for GM and will wait to put all our eggs back into investments until we see how that plays out.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Mid-Week News to Watch

I download articles into my computer and have the computer read them to me as I get ready for work in the morning. I am going to start posting the articles I feel are noteworthy at least once a week.

  1. Richard Fisher, President of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, said Wednesday that the first "green shoots" of recovery can be seen in the U.S. economy, Dow Jones Newswires reported. (Mr. Fisher has been a person I have listened to and agreed with, for the 11 years I have watched him.)
  2. U.S Wholesale inventories in February fell by the most ever even as sales rose modestly, according to a report that suggested businesses were getting control of their stocks of goods. (This is important because wholesale inventories have to dry up before factories will be forced to gear up.)
  3. The commission is expected to unveil the proposal to reinstate the "uptick" rule, that was repealed in the summer of 2007. The rule had been in effect since the early 1930s and was long considered a "circuit-breaker" and/or "tap on the brake" when markets started falling too fast, like last fall. It had kept hedge funds from piling on and causing excessive market sell offs. The SEC will vote Wednesday on which type of rule they intend to propose. (We really need this back, write your Congressperson and Senators.)
  4. Discounter Family Dollar Stores shares jumped 4.8%, after it said Wednesday that its second-quarter profits rose 33%. (We are starting to get some good quarterly reports, but the majority are still very bad. This is, usually, the sign that we are trying to bottom.)
  5. Preliminary figures showed auto sales in China reached about 1.03 million in exceeding U.S. auto sales for the third month in a row, accounting for 90% of all auto sales. (Now you know why we want to invest in China first when we go back into our investments.)
Note: Past returns are no guarantee of future returns. These are simply the things I found most interesting while starting my day from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., that my computer read to me.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Redesigned Web Site and Earth Day

Friday, April 03, 2009 Blog

For those of you who have been following my blog who are not clients I apologize, but the March newsletter will not appear in this blog. Some things are only for paying clients.

We do have two new announcements:

First, we have opened a new office in Portage, Michigan. Many of you know we have been approached to open offices in Las Vegas and Phoenix, but we decided that would take too much time away from our current clients.

Second, our completely redesigned web site is now up and running. It took six months and a lot of time and money, but the new web site has a lot more to offer.

  1. For the Gen-X type, we have a free financial planning software program available on the left side of the home page. I believe you will find it very user friendly, life orientated, thorough and, as I mentioned, free.
  2. There are a lot of flash videos, MP3 player audios and Power Point presentations.
  3. The In The News area shows most of the WLNS television news clips we have been in over the last 12 months and articles we have been in from Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times to the Peruvia news (Peru, South America) and more.
  4. There are areas showing frequently asked questions, our privacy policy, contract, fees, disclosure and more.
  5. Under What Clients Can Expect is our new Planning Tenets. This should be interesting to even our long-time clients.
  6. Finally, there is a new password-protected Client Links area.
    • That helps clients access their Charles Schwab accounts.
    • There is an access to MoneyGuidePro, a very thorough Life, Financial and Wealth Planning program that is only for client use.
    • There are links to the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security, Student Aid information, the Special Needs Alliance and other client oriented areas.
    • We are hoping that, by next year, clients will be able to store their valuable paperwork like tax returns, wills, trusts, medical directives, and powers of attorney. They will be able to access their investment reports, 1099 forms and average cost basis forms whenever they wish, via their own computer.

$ Ways to Go Green and Save Green $

With Earth Day just around the corner, you might want to think about ways you can help Mother Earth while helping yourself save some money. Here are just a few small ways you can modify your own hapits to help the environment and your wallet:

  1. Recycle. Everything from cell phones to computers can now be recycled or reused. Most computer manufacturers now have recycling programs, and cell phones can be donated to a number of charities.
  2. When you need a new monitor, get an LCD. Flat-screen LCDs use less energy than plasma monitors, and they're now Energy Star rated.
  3. Reduce "vampire power" with a smart power strip. Many of the devices you use every day pull a fair amount of current even when they're not turned on. A smart power strip can detect when devices are shut off and prevent the flow of current to those devices. Some can also be set to automatically power down peripheral devices, such as printers, whenever the main device (like your computer) shuts off.
  4. Buy electronics that use rechargeable batteries. You'll have to buy fewer disposable batteries, and fewer disposable batteries will end up in landfills.
  5. Don't buy it if you don't need it. A lot of people replace their cell phones, MP3 players, and other gadgets as soon as the newest version comes out. If you stick with the old version through a new product release or two, it saves you money and reduces landfill waste.