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Monthly Archives: July 2008

ISM Message to Bearish Economists: No Recession!

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) June report on US manufacturing continues to stubbornly resist the chorus of economists claiming that the US economy is in recession. The composite index actually rose from 49.6 to 50.2 (below 50 readings indicate potential for a declinging economy). As you can see in the chart on the next page, the index has: 1) a pretty good track record as a recession indicator and 2) that in prior recessions the index usually drops near or below 40. As of June the index is nowhere near recession levels.

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Geopolitical Uncertainty Tops Investors Concerns

Last week’s decline of 1% in the S&P 500 marked the full reversal of the 12% rally that had taken place from mid-March to mid-May as the worst of the financial crisis passed. This disappointing decline returned the index to a 19% peak-to-trough loss since the all time high on October 9, 2007. The last time the S&P 500 was down 19% from the peak was in mid-March as the failure of Bear Sterns marked the worst of the financial crisis. Market participants have shifted focus from the financial crisis to the oil crisis, as can be seen in the respective number of Google searches.

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Happy Independence Day: Quoting our Founding Fathers

Some foundational quotes from the Great Fathers of our nation.  Many of the ideas that we espouse, aspire to, attack and fall short in reaching today are already evident at the beginning.  Celebrate our freedom and independence this weekend and have a great holiday!

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth ……


What Would a Financial Planner do with a lot of Dough?

Carolyn Gurtz kneads a lot of dough to make her famous Double-Delight
Peanut Butter Cookies. At the 43rd annual Pillsbury Bake-Off, she took home quite a bit of dough, too – a million dollars.

Carolyn, a homemaker from Gaithersburg, Md., captured the grand prize at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, Texas April 15. Her husband, Dennis Gurtz, is a financial planner and member of the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), and he says it’s essential to make investment plans for the $1 million, which is disbursed in 20 annual payments of $50,000.



Mid-Year Outlook

At the halfway point for the year, we review and update our outlook for key market drivers and market performance for the second half of the year. At the beginning of the year we expected:

  • U.S. stocks will generate a mid double digit total return,
  • Bonds to provide total returns of in the low to mid single digits and
  • Cash equivalents will yield in the low to mid single digits

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