Archive for investing

Monthly Market Brief February 2017

Each month, our Heritage Investment team publishes a market brief to provide an overview of the major factors influencing the US economy, including a summary of key sectors and the current positives & challenges.

Click Market Brief February 2017 for February 2017 updates.

Here are some key highlights:

o POSITIVES:
o January non-farm payroll jobs came in at a solid 227,000 for a pace 50,000 jobs greater than the monthly average reported in 2016
o Inflation data remains tame but continues to trend higher as year-on-year total PCE increased 1.6%
o Consumer spending ended 2016 up 2.5 percent with spending on durable goods, particularly autos, reflecting the biggest gain in consumer spending followed by a 10.2% pop in residential investment
o Manufacturing posted strong gains in January with both the ISM & PMI, Manufacturing Indices reporting strength in new orders and increasing input costs in
response to demand
o CHALLENGES:
o Even while job growth continues at a relatively strong pace and the unemployment rate of 4.8% is at target, there is still apparent slack in the labor market as wage pressure remains relatively weak at 2.5%
o Consumer spending increased 0.5% in December; however, the increase is likely lower quality spending as a 0.2% decrease in consumer savings likely helped fund the increase

The Wedding Metaphor

by Whitney Hufnagel, Investment Analyst

After five years of dating, Kevin finally asked me to marry him. I was so excited to start planning the next chapter of our lives and the wedding I had dreamt of since I IMG_9974was a little girl.

While mostly enjoyable, the wedding planning came with some challenges. We knew sticking to our budget would be difficult to accomplish a traditional Catholic wedding ceremony followed by a reception with dinner, drinks, and dancing with a large guest list. Therefore, we started by prioritizing what was most important to us which helped us define our wishes and compromise where needed.

Adequate time allowed us to carefully plan every detail at the best possible price. Planning also helped us identify and calmly navigate minor obstacles which included finding the perfect baker upon learning our original choice was already booked as well as finding a more suitable photographer after receiving lackluster engagement photos. However, neither of us truly realized the complete value of all the planning until our wedding day arrived. Our blueprint provided organization, a sense of security, and allowed us to achieve our goal of having a stress-free wedding day where we could focus on one another and our journey all while being able to fully engage in celebration with family & friends.

Just like the time spent planning a wedding can help pull off a successful wedding day, creating a comprehensive financial plan can help pull off a successful financial future. While the size of your wealth helps determine the time and resources required to build and update a comprehensive financial plan, it is never too early to start and no asset size is too small to benefit. As with wedding planning, financial planning helps couples and families prioritize how to allocate money to achieve dreams and goals. Planning also helps make sure all involved are on the same page and compromise when necessary.

Being proactive with planning and making appropriate updates creates an opportunity to identify warning signs and make corrections before it’s too late and
provides ample time to make better informed decisions. A financial plan can help ease concern when it comes to investment returns and taxes and has the power to put all the pieces of your financial puzzle together to help build and ensure sustainability. Like planning a wedding, the value in a comprehensive financial plan is often seen in hindsight, but you will be pleased you invested your time and money on your financial blueprint.

Photo courtesy Horton Studios

Takeaway: 10 Money Tips Millennials Need To Survive In 2016

A new regular feature on our Heritage blog is Takeaway, our perspective on articles recently published that we found interesting or of note to share with our readers. While our commentary is in no way an endorsement of the whole piece, our aim is to increase the dialogue around money, investing and family legacies. 

Article:

10 Money Tips Millennials Need To Survive In 2016

Article by Jennifer Colonia, Forbes.com

Takeaway by Kenny Brown, Heritage Trust

The most important takeaway from my perspective is Money Tip #9 “Never Lose Money — flameYou Can’t Afford It.”  It is not uncommon for me to get asked, “Any hot stock tips?”  Yet when I ask, “What is the plan with the money they would like to invest?”  I often hear, “I just want to make money.”  The most successful business owners and investors I know have an obsession with not losing money. In fact, Warren Buffett’s investment rules are quite simple, “Rule No. 1 : Never lose money. Rule No. 2 : Never forget Rule No. 1.”

To read the full piece with more tips like “Make your Dollars Do Pilates” and “A Plan B is Absolutely Necessary”, click on the article link above.