D3 Business Update:

 

Portfolio Management:

  • We have completed generating and distributing performance reports for all of our clients. Patty has called everyone to remind you to set up an appointment if you are interested.
  • As we shared with you last month, “our quarterly review or our preferred list of investments will focus on how our funds performed during times of market volatility.” We have completed that review and will be making some minor changes.
  • Using the same “bear market analysis” we have also completed our review of all of our client’s employer related retirement accounts (401k, 403b, annuities, etc.). Some of you will see some minor changes as well.
  • Because of the positive market performance impact on some client’s financial plans, we have added a more conservative asset allocation model (Capital Preservation) for those clients that want to dial down volatility (and return) on their investment portfolios.

Earlier in the month we completed our strategic planning retreat. We focused on new services for younger clients, marketing strategies, and employee benefits.
On August 21st, we are hosting financial planning day at our Chicago office. It is primarily intended for occupants at the Garland Building, but all of our clients and your friends are welcome.   During this free, educational event, we will be covering the following topics:

8:00 a.m. – Financial Planning for Young Doctors & Residents (How to Prioritize Goals and Deal with High Taxes) Presented by Adam Glassberg CFP®, CIMA®

12:00 p.m. – Financial Planning for Employees (How to Make Smarter Financial Decisions) Presented by Ryan Pace CFP®

 5:00 p.m. – Maximize After Tax Wealth for Business Owners (The Impact of Taxes on Wealth) Presented by Don Duncan MBA, CFA™, CFP®, CPA

Please feel free to register or forward this to a friend whom you think could benefit from these topics.  To register, follow this link:  //www.d3financialcounselors.com/FPDay.html

We are also considering an architectural boat tour in September on the Chicago River. You  could invite friends whom you would like to introduce to D3.  We have not finalized the planning for this yet and would really like your input to see how receptive you are to this concept.  Please emailDon@D3FinancialCounselors.com if you think this is a good idea.

Last but not least, we are in the process of converting our website to a more universally accessible format.  We will alert you all when the conversion is scheduled to occur (likely the end of August or the end of September).  Your access to D3’s client portal will still be on the website’s home page.

Investment Outlook:

 

The economy rebound dramatically in the second quarter from the weather induced contraction in the first quarter of 2014.  The preliminary U.S. Gross Domestic Product report showed 4% growth.  The employment report that came out today continued to show that the economy is adding jobs at a decent rate. The economy added 209,000 jobs in July, which was the same as the average monthly gain for the last 12 months.

The Federal Reserve continues to implement their strategy of reducing stimulus by reducing the amount of bonds they purchase each month to $25 billion.  It is pretty clear they are getting more confident about the economy and would like to see interest rates rise modestly to at least cover inflation.

From a geopolitical viewpoint, the Russian sanctions, the Israel/Hamas war escalation and the Argentina default are all adding to concerns that the markets may be underestimating future uncertainty.  Global market volatility should pick up from historic lows.

Investment Strategy:

 

Let’s focus on what we know: If the economy continues to grow, interest rates will likely rise. If interest rates rise, some institutional asset allocators will reallocate out of equities into bonds.  Less demand for equities will likely mean lower prices for stocks. The big questions are when will interest rates rise and will the growing economy be enough enticement for investors to stay in equities.

For clients with a short time horizon (under 3 years), who are uneasy about the future, and whose financial plans allow for lower required rates of returns; we recommend more conservative asset allocation models. For clients with a longer term time horizon (over 3 years), our current asset allocation models are consistent with the slow and somewhat fragile growth coming out of the great recession.

Last Thoughts:

 

Please forward the information on Financial Planning Day and let us know what you think about the boat cruise.

As always, thank you for your confidence in D3 Financial Counselors where “We serve our clients by providing Integrity, Trust, Wisdom and Confidence.”

 

By: Donald Duncan MBA, CFP®, CPA, CFA™ – August 1st, 2014