Market Insights

Embedded thumbnail for Investment & Economic Strategy Update: June 6, 2018

Investment & Economic Strategy Update: June 6, 2018

June 07, 2018
  • Economy is improving & still experiencing normal volatility

  • Employment numbers were released - more jobs with not enough people to fill them

  • This distortion has resulted in us seeing some positive wage inflation, which we believe will grow the economy in 2018 and beyond

  • Our research on recession warning signs shows slightly elevated risk levels

Embedded thumbnail for Question: “What do I do with Bond Investments?”

Question: “What do I do with Bond Investments?”

June 07, 2018
  • Overconcentration in bond investments are wreaking havoc on your 2018 investment portfolio

  • Look to stay with short term duration bond investments

  • High dividend investments are suspect in a rising interest rate environment

  • Avoid

    • High yield bonds
    • Long term bonds
    • Intermediate term bonds (corporate & treasury)
    • Utility Stocks
    • Preferred stocks
    • Traded & non-traded REITs

New York Halts $5M Hedge Fund Scheme Targeting Elderly

  • Advisor, Dean S. Mustaphalli, owner and operator of Mustaphalli Capital Partners Fund LP, was charged with operating a securities fraud scheme that involved targeting investors who were elderly and at or near retirement

  • In total, Mustaphalli allegedly fraudulently solicited his former clients to invest over $12 million and lost over $11 million of their money.

  • According to the indictment,  Mustaphalli’s scheme brought in $5M+ from 22 victims between June 2014 and March 2017 and a separate civil lawsuit alleges that he fraudulently solicited an additional $7 million from prior investors between 2012 and 2014

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Embedded thumbnail for Investment & Economic Strategy Update: June 1, 2018

Investment & Economic Strategy Update: June 1, 2018

June 01, 2018
  • We are experiencing normal volatility

  • Job market is good, economy is growing

  • We are not seeing signs of an immediate recession but our research shows elevated levels of risk for one to occur down the road

  • Improved policies will grow the economy and secure America’s future

Embedded thumbnail for Question: "Should I Buy an Annuity?"

Question: "Should I Buy an Annuity?"

June 01, 2018
  • Annuities are sold under the suitability standard, "Not In Your Best Interest"

  • Equity Index Annuities are sold with misleading sales tactics!

  • High expenses and bad investments will rob your returns

  • Annuity Charlatans are Arsonists burning down your retirement

Treasury’s Crime Unit, Consumer Bureau Team Up on Elder Fraud Prevention

  • Elder financial exploitation, “the illegal or improper use of an older person’s funds, property or assets,” is the “most common form of elder abuse in the United States.”

  • June 7 webcast will spotlight the importance of suspicious activity reports

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Embedded thumbnail for Investment & Economic Strategy Update: May 22, 2018

Investment & Economic Strategy Update: May 22, 2018

May 22, 2018
  • Many Industries are net positive for the year, while Bond market is getting hammered

  • We are cautiously optimistic for the remainder of 2018 & expect 2nd half to show better returns than 1st half

  • Our Recessionary Risk Indicators are slightly heightened – closely watching to determine when it is appropriate to reduce risk & hedge positions

  • Economy is growing; inflation appears tame, employment is strong, wage growth is positive

  • We believe the current administration is taking proper action to grow U.S. economy

Embedded thumbnail for Question: "Annuities . . . Good or Bad?"

Question: "Annuities . . . Good or Bad?"

May 22, 2018
  • Annuities are sold for the commission they generate the Sales Broker and rob your returns

  • Annuities are products ridden with insane markups, high expense ratios, & lock up your money with paralyzing surrender fees

  • Don’t provide you with the lifetime income you’re expecting nor are they as safe as you think

Watch Out for These 4 Behaviors by Your Financial Professional

  • Asking for a Personal Loan

  • Sales of Promissory Notes

  • Using Personal Email

  • Asking You to Write a Check to a Person or Entity Other than the Firm

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FINRA fines Fifth Third Securities $4M for variable-annuity violations & must pay $2M in restitution to customers

  • The Firm "fail[ed] to appropriately consider and accurately describe the costs and benefits of variable annuity exchanges," FINRA said in a release.

  • Fifth Third Securities also recommended variable annuity exchanges without a reasonable basis to believe the exchanges were suitable & must pay $2 million

  • FINRA found that brokers and principals were inadequately trained in how to compare material features of variable annuities resulting in the firm misstating the costs and benefits of exchanges, making the exchange appear more beneficial to the customer

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