Website launch and client portal
You may have noticed that Netzel Financial has been hard at work improving our digital presence. We recently announced our brand-spanking new website (the one you’re looking at now). What do you think? Send us a note.
It’s finally here! Our client portal is ready and will go live on the website next week. This portal will provide a secure place to view personalized, up-to-the-minute account information. We have selected Blueleaf to host our newly developed client portal. Watch for an email between Feb 6-15 inviting you to register for the portal.
Also beginning 2019, we plan to send out The Netzel News every couple of weeks. Looking for a more in-depth look at finance and the economy? Check out our Monthly Economic Update.
Economic Recap for the week ending January 28, 2019
In this week’s recap: home sales slip, the Fed may be discussing an end date for its balance sheet reduction, leading indicators flash weaker signals, and equities continue to climb.
HOME SALES QUICKLY FALTER
Seldom do existing home sales fall 6.4% in a month, but that was what happened in December. National Association of Realtors economist Laurence Yun called the drop a reflection of “consumer search processes and contract signing activity in previous months when mortgage rates were higher than today,” and noted that the housing market could be poised for a spring rebound. Year-over-year, the NAR noted, resales were down 10.3%. The median existing home sale price was $253,600 last month, up 2.9% from December 2017.
IS A SUNSET COMING FOR THE FED’S BALANCE SHEET RUNOFF?
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal stated that Federal Reserve policymakers are reportedly considering an end date for the unwinding of the central bank’s huge bond portfolio. Investors will, no doubt, scrutinize the Federal Open Market Committee’s January 30 monetary policy statement for any intimations about this. In gradually shrinking its balance sheet over the last 15 months, the Fed has affected the level of liquidity within the financial markets.
LEADING INDICATORS RETREAT
The Conference Board’s monthly index of leading indicators descended a tenth of a point in December. A month earlier, the gauge rose 0.2%. In a note accompanying the release of the data, the CB said this might be a hint that the economy may “decelerate towards 2% growth by the end of 2019.”
A SHORT AND POSITIVE WEEK ON WALL STREET
All three major U.S. equity benchmarks posted slight gains this past 4-day trading week, adding to the extended rally that began after Christmas. At Friday’s close, the S&P 500 was up 7.20% month-over-month, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was on a 5-week winning streak. Friday’s sudden agreement between President Trump and Democratic congressional leaders to end the partial federal government shutdown was but one positive factor influencing stocks. Some key earnings announcements surprised to the upside: China’s government said that it would inject $37 billion worth of liquidity into its money markets, and investors heard that the Fed might be thinking of wrapping up the unwinding of its balance sheet sooner rather than later.
|10 YEAR NOTE||2.76||-0.03||+0.07|
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. Weekly and year-to-date market index returns are expressed as percentages. 10-year Treasury note yield = projected return on investment, expressed as a percentage, on the U.S. government’s 10-year bond. Weekly and year-to-date 10-year Treasury note yield differences are expressed in basis points.
Think: Now, Then, and Ten
Tough decision? Try the 10/10/10 Rule.
When you must choose between options that seem equally desirable or promising, you might want to look at the decision through the lens of the 10/10/10 Rule. This rule, attributed to former Harvard Business Review editor Suzy Welch, asks you to weigh a decision from three perspectives, using three questions.
The first question: How will I feel about this choice 10 minutes from now? The second: How will I feel about this choice 10 months from now? And, lastly: How will I feel about this choice 10 years from now? The core of the 10/10/10 Rule is that your decision should ultimately reflect your strongest responses to these questions. For example, if you are thinking about buying a personal watercraft, but doubt strongly that you will head out on a lake with it more than two or three times a year, you may feel great shortly after you buy it, but really regret the purchase ten years on. If you are considering starting a workout regimen, you may feel lousy ten minutes in – but your mind will also let you know that if you keep working out for ten months or ten years, you may look and feel better. Even making minor decisions using the 10/10/10 Rule may let you see these decisions in a new context.
Adjust your expectations in the winter
Cold-weather golfing isn’t much of an issue in Arizona (why many of us live here!). Nevertheless, it can become cool, dusty and stormy in the winter months and if you want to hit the golf course daily, you may need to accept some compromises. When you wear rain gear or layers, your swing is restricted to some degree, and that restriction impacts the distance you get on the tee and fairway. You may need more club to reach the greens, you may have to rely more on your short game, and the course might be far from peak condition. Given all this, do not despair if the numbers on your scorecard are not as low as you would like. Be grateful for the beautiful Arizona winter weather (most days) and the opportunity to get out and play.
A Good Quote
“It is wonderful what we can do if we are always doing.”
– George Washington