Money Talks – January 30, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Director of Insurance Planning, Jim Crone, CLU®, CFS®, joins Matt Hames, CTFA, and Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, to discuss oil’s price movements and how oil has affected the Energy sector. They also discuss the Consumer Discretionary and Financial sectors, in addition to economic releases and housing news. In this week’s case study, they focus on a company’s supplemental executive retirement plan, which is underfunded, and how a Section 162 executive bonus plan using life insurance could benefit the key employees. The experts also address listener questions on whether annuities are an investment or an insurance policy, whether Big Tobacco is still a viable investment, and they discuss health care companies Cambrex Corp. and LeMaitre Vascular, Inc.

Market Roundup: Roller Coaster Week Ends Positive for the Markets

The markets started the week on a down note as investors looked for clues about whether trouble overseas could begin to depress U.S. growth. Adding to the pressure, investors are worried about the Federal Reserve’s plan for raising interest rates. A drop in crude oil brought energy stocks down. With Tuesday’s jump in oil prices, energy brands rose and brought the market indices along for a green finish. Measuring consumer confidence, the Conference Board data hit 98.1 for January versus a reading of 96.3 in December. Mid-week, U.S. stocks declined as the Federal Reserve kept a March increase in interest rates on the table, unnerving investors after weeks of sharp swings in global markets. The Fed said in its policy statement that it is “closely monitoring” developments in global economies. Reversing course again on Thursday, the markets closed up in the wake of favorable earnings and on word of a proposed five percent production cut from Saudi Arabia. The rally continued Friday with Blue Chip brands leading the way. Also adding to the gains, manufacturing in the Midwestern region stepped up this month. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index registered a reading of 55.6 in January, up from December’s reading of 42.9 and well beyond an expected score of 45.

Money Talks – January 23, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” your hosts Matt Hames, CTFA, Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, Jarrett McKenzie, CFP®, CWS®, and Nick Antonucci discuss the market reaction to economic growth in China and the rebound in oil prices. They also discuss the 10% correction the market is experiencing. In the featured case study, they look at a couple’s retirement savings strategy now that the husband has returned to the workforce and how the additional income will affect their savings and tax liability. The experts also address listener questions on using a Roth conversion to reduce future required mandatory distributions. They also touch on the rules for a Roth conversion, and when it may make financial sense to do a conversion. They also provide opinions on biotechnology company Seattle Genetics and cable service provider Cablevision Systems Corp.

Market Roundup: First Weekly Gains in a Month

After the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday on Monday, U.S. stocks enjoyed their first week of gains in a month. The markets closed Tuesday mixed, as the Dow’s turbulent session ended with gains. The S&P 500 ticked up slightly while the NASDAQ shed some points. Shares rose in Asia and Europe on Tuesday after China released economic growth figures and Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, climbed. In the United States, however, oil prices and energy shares retreated, leaving the broader market with only minuscule gains after a morning rally. Mid-week, the markets closed well into red territory after a new low in crude oil. Oil’s plunge, now in its 19th month, largely has been driven by oversupply during a production boom in the United States. Also, Economic data released Wednesday showed a slight decrease in the Consumer Price Index; however, all items less food and energy rose 0.1% in December, its smallest increase since August. Reports also showed an unexpected drop in housing starts in December. The index reversed course on Thursday, as markets were positive after a rebound in crude oil prices. Additionally, Labor Department figures showed 293,000 initial jobless claims for last week. Friday’s rally pushed the markets higher for the week.

Money Talks – January 16, 2016

This week on “Money Talks,” Principal Bil Lako, CFP® and Research Analyst Nick Antonucci join Matt Hames, CTFA, to discuss the week’s market performance, from where the fear causing the selloff stems and what is happening with the interest rate yield curve. They also discuss employment, wholesale trade and the Fed’s Beige Book. With the market off to a rocky start, our experts take a deeper look into dividend stocks and how to evaluate them for your portfolio. They also address several listeners’ questions this week, including a follow up from last week’s 401(k) contribution question, life insurance offers for children, insurance companies Markel Corp. and White Mountain Insurance Group, and big brands Apple, Inc. and Chipotle Mexican Grill.