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Furstenau Wealth Update

December 20, 2021

The Markets

 

Stock and bond markets diverged.

 

Last week, the Bank of England surprised markets with a rate hike, its first in three years, and the Bank of Mexico raised rates more than expected. Both cited persistent inflation as the reason for the increases, reported Carla Mozée of Markets Insider.

 

In the United States, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which is the group that decides how the U.S. central bank (the Federal Reserve or Fed) will manage monetary policy, met last week and decided to become less accommodating more quickly.

 

With inflation at high levels and employment at full pandemic capacity, the Fed will take steps “to prevent higher inflation from becoming entrenched,” announced Fed Chair Jerome Powell. FOMC median projections suggest the Fed funds rate will rise from its current range (zero to 0.25 percent) in 2021 to 0.90 percent in 2022, and 2.1 percent by 2024.

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Furstenau Wealth Update

November 22nd, 2021

The Markets

 

Thinking about the possibilities.

 

The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index finished last week slightly higher and has gained about 6 percent during the past 25 days; however, investors have curbed their enthusiasm. The S&P 500 hasn’t experienced a move of one percent or more in 25 trading days. That’s the longest period without a move of that size in about two years, according to a source cited by Avi Salzman of Barron’s.

 

It’s possible investors are taking time to think about the current mix of conditions and how the economy and financial markets may be affected. For example:

 

  • Consumers have said they’re concerned about inflation. The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index declined in early November on a year-to-year and a month-to-month basis. Survey participants indicated their outlook was negatively affected by inflation concerns, reported Surveys of Consumers Chief Economist Richard Curtin.

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Furstenau Wealth Update

December 6, 2021

The Markets

 

Investors look to the future.

 

Last week, employment and manufacturing data confirmed that the United States economy continued to strengthen in November, but positive economic news was overshadowed by investors’ concerns about the spread of coronavirus and Federal Reserve policy.

 

Let’s start with the economic news.

 

More Americans were working. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that unemployment dropped to 4.2 percent in November – a level the country wasn’t expected to achieve before 2024, according to Eli Rosenberg of The Washington Post. The labor force participation rate improved, too, meaning that more people are returning to work.

 

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ARTICLES

If you’ve taken on the task of mapping out your annual financial plan, you deserve a pat on the back.

 

Making sure you’ve covered all the bases is important to both your short- and long-term financial health. Keeping track of your progress with an annual financial planning checklist makes it easier to see which tasks have been completed and which you still need to tackle.

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Why Is Inflation Rising Right Now?

Inflation is here.

 

The most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation report showed that prices rose across the board in October. By a lot.

Overall, prices climbed 6.2% year-over-year, the largest increase since November 1990, and rose 0.9% over the past month. Higher prices were “broad-based,” per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with substantial increases seen in the indexes for energy, shelter, food and new and used vehicles.  The gasoline index alone rose 6.1% in October. 

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8 Tips to Help You Control Holiday Spending

Think you can't get through the holidays without spending a fortune? It can be easy to go overboard on holiday shopping, but with a little bit of planning and budgeting, it is possible to celebrate without spending all of your cash or maxing out your credit cards. Use these eight practical tips to ensure you stay on budget for the new year, rather than getting wrapped up in holiday spending.

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How Life Insurance Fits Into A Financial Plan

What’s the one thing that can instantly mean you won’t accomplish your family’s financial goals? It’s your untimely death. It’s the one risk that immediately pushes aside the retirement, college funding, home ownership, and any other plans you may have made for your family.

A financial plan without adequate life insurance is no financial plan at all.

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