D3 Business Update:

During August we usually focus on process and quality improvement efforts at D3.  We want to make you aware of the following:

As we shared with you last month, we are in the process of converting our website to a more universally accessible format.  We anticipate that the new website will go live the first or second week of September. Your access to D3’s client portal will still be on the website’s home page.

To provide better and more flexible phone coverage for our two offices, we will be converting our phone system in late September.  We anticipate no interruption of service. Our back up plan will be the same as it is now if we were to lose service; we will use our company cell phones.

For your convenience, we are having two client appreciation events this fall. One will be held in Downers Grove on November 1, and the other one in Chicago on December 13th.  Please save the date for one or the other of these thank you events.

Please fill out the attached client appreciation survey.  You can respond by following the link below, filling out the attached form, or filling out the form we will be sending you in the mail. Your feedback helps us to improve the services we provide.


Investment Outlook:

The S&P 500 hit yet another milestone this week, and the index surpassed 2,000 for the first time in its history.  The recent rally has been on the back of a strong second quarter earnings season, which saw an 11.4% year over year earnings per share growth for the S&P 500.  One bright spot of the 2nd quarter earnings, was the return of revenue growth, which accounted for about half of earnings growth (the other half coming from margin expansion, or cost cutting).  This is a positive sign, as we are seeing a transition from margin expansion (cost cutting) to revenue growth (increased business and consumer spending) as the driver of earnings growth.  Although current equity valuations may reduce future return expectations, underlying fundamentals remain supportive for the equities prices.

If the labor market continues to improve, and the economy continues to show growth, the Federal Reserve will continue its reduction of quantitative easing (QE), which is scheduled to end in October.  The end of QE should not be a shock to the stock or bond markets, as the Fed has been transparent about their intentions for quite some time, and the end of quantitative easing has already been “priced in” to the markets.  As the economy continues to chug along, we should expect to see a modest rise in interest rates.

From a geopolitical viewpoint, the Russian sanctions, the Israel/Hamas escalation and ISIS tensions are all adding to concerns of geopolitical risk.  Any flare up in these regions will add to market volatility going forward.

Investment Strategy:

Nothing over the past month has changed our slow, steady growth thesis. We continue to research potentially better investment products to be used in your portfolios.

We would like to remind you to review your most recent financial plan update.  The purpose for the plan update, is to help you understand the appropriate level of portfolio risk you need to take in order to achieve your financial goals.


Last Thoughts:

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

Have a great Labor Day weekend. Be Safe.


By: Donald Duncan MBA, CFP®, CPA, CFA™ – August 29th, 2014