Economic Notes - July '15 Issue 2

Posted by Nick Evans on Jul 9, 2015 3:26:00 PM

Another week passes by and another week to be proud to be an American and live in the best country in the world. Yeah, Independence Day, or the 4th of July, is one of my favorite holidays and a reminder of how fortunate we all are. Let’s first look at the European economy; the current anticipated Greek exit from the Euro is causing much dismay throughout the European Union. Second, review Asia; the Chinese stock market, specifically the Shanghai Composite Index, has declined 32% since June 12th! Meanwhile Japan continues to have their economic problems and have never recovered to peak levels that were experienced in the late 1980’s! Thirdly, countries in much of Africa, Central and South America are still ‘developing’ and are far from the same economic subsistence level that exists in North America.

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Economic Notes - July '15 Issue 1

Posted by Nick Evans on Jul 2, 2015 10:30:00 AM

It seems as though all the recent financial headlines are about the economic situation in Greece. Yes, this small country within the European Union (EU) has problems, and they have been going on for years. However, over the last couple of years there has been this discussion of them exiting the EU because they cannot pay their debts, simplistically speaking. So how does that impact the U.S. and you particularly?

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Economic Notes - June '15 Issue 4

Posted by Nick Evans on Jun 25, 2015 1:55:00 PM

Many of the ‘economic statistics’ that are reported in my weekly Points of Interest (POI) are often results of ‘surveys’. So does that make them factual or simply opinionated data that the statisticians try to restructure or modify into a model format that they hope will explain outcomes? The “Survey Says”…..even some TV game shows take answers from surveys for the purpose of their game. We are all familiar with political surveys as they are reported on a daily basis. Sometimes it may be for a social issue or on a politician’s perceived standing. But again, how accurate are these surveys and can the announced results of the survey actually alter someone’s opinion and/or future actions?

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Economic Notes - June '15 Issue 3

Posted by Nick Evans on Jun 18, 2015 1:07:44 PM

The value of the U.S. dollar has retreated somewhat from its recent high earlier this year, but it is still much higher from one year ago as compared to an index of the various other major currencies. So, big deal, you don’t really care, right? Well maybe you should. Theoretically this means that goods that you might purchase from other countries could be cheaper, because the value of the U.S. dollar has appreciated more than some other currencies (yen, euro, etc.). As you know, many of the goods that Americans purchase are not made in the United States. In addition, that cost of a European vacation this summer may be cheaper this year than it has been over the last few years. Of course there are other factors at play here, but you get my point.

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Economic Notes - June '15 Issue 2

Posted by Nick Evans on Jun 11, 2015 4:33:34 PM

The various markets carefully examine the U.S. employment/unemployment numbers as they are released by the Department of Labor on a monthly basis. It is amazing how volatile the markets become when these statistics are announced, generally the first Friday of every month. Last Friday’s report was no different. The good news was that May’s employment growth was better than anticipated. As a matter of fact the reported growth of 280,000 was the best since last December’s figure. The actual unemployment number did increase from 5.4% to 5.5%, but this was not significant enough to put a damper on the good news in job growth. However, what kind of jobs are these?

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Economic Notes - June '15 Issue 1

Posted by Nick Evans on Jun 4, 2015 3:35:14 PM

As one manages their funds there are generally some types of fees that may be ‘hard’ or actual charges while others may be ‘soft’ charges such as maintaining a minimum balance. In the investment world some financial firms may charge transaction fees while others may charge a fee based on one’s balances. Over the recent past some financial salesmen (brokers) were executing many transactions for their clients which resulted in higher fees for themselves. This was often called ‘churning’ for possibly no economic benefit to their client, but simply for them to increase fees based on the number of transactions. Therefore, most wealth managers and brokers went to a ‘balance’ fee based system to avoid this controversy.

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