Monthly Market Risk Update: October 2017

October 11, 2017

Market risks come in three flavors: recession risk, economic shock risk, and risks within the market itself. So, what do these risks look like for October? Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: October 2017

October 10, 2017

Despite the impact of the hurricanes (in many respects, because of them), September’s data came in surprisingly positive. The headline figures were certainly affected by the storms, but the underlying details remained solid.

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Monday Update: Very Positive Data, Due in Part to Storms

October 9, 2017

Last week gave us a broad look at the economy, including business confidence surveys and the jobs report. The news came in surprisingly strong, at multiyear bests in many cases. This was, of course, positive and consistent with other data, but the magnitude of the improvements raises the question of how much the storms may have affected the results. That impact varies, but there is reason to believe that the improvements are real—although likely not as good as the numbers would suggest.

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Jobs Report: Weak Headline, Strong Details

October 6, 2017

Since I thought I had covered the most likely outcome of the jobs report in yesterday’s post, I had not planned on writing about it again this morning. Looking at the actual data, though, there are some worthwhile takeaways that deserve a closer look. So, here we are.

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What Should We Expect from This Month’s Jobs Report?

October 5, 2017

One of the most important economic reports—the jobs report—is coming out on Friday. This is always a big data release, in that jobs are the ultimate barometer of the economy. Companies don’t hire unless they are both confident and expanding, so the jobs report touches them. Consumers don’t spend unless they are working and making money, so it touches them. Inflation depends on how fast wages are growing, so it touches that, too. Basically, the jobs report sits right in the middle of everything that we as investors need to keep an eye on.

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The Role of Financial Planners: Lessons from Nashville

October 4, 2017

Yesterday, I was down in Nashville speaking at the Financial Planning Association’s national meeting. It was an interesting time! Speaking with the young man at the coffee shop, our conversation went something like this: “I’m from Alabama.” “How did you get here?” “Like everybody else, music.” Clearly, this is a one-industry town, from the convention center (the Music City Center) to the signs for the Grand Ole Opry.

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Market Thoughts for October 2017 [Video]

October 3, 2017

September was a great month for the financial markets. All three U.S. indices and developed markets around the world were up. These results are surprising given recent events. The U.S. was hit by some of the worst storms in history. Plus, the North Korea crisis persists, with credible talk of a nuclear war. Still, the markets continue to respond to the fundamentals, like strong consumer confidence and business investment.

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