Dalton — As I write this column, the federal funds futures markets point to a 30 percent chance that the Fed will cut rates June 19 and an 86 percent chance that they’ll be lower July 31. I’d guarantee you that the Fed won’t be cutting this week, but since there are no guarantees in this business, I’d say the odds of a cut this week are about the same that little green men from Mars built the pyramids.
Dalton — Last week the main regulatory body for brokers took another shot at regulating wayward financial advisors and whiffed. I won’t drag you through the details of the new SEC disclosure and compliance requirements (the final document is 524 pages), but it doesn’t do enough to protect investors.
Dalton — I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days in tropical and exotic Cleveland, Ohio. A small group of other Certified Exit Planning Advisors and myself met to discuss our work with businesses—growing them, turning them around, managing operational and team inefficiencies, and more. I started doing this sort of work, first for my own company, more than a decade ago. Since then I’ve been helping our business-owning clients with these tasks and also using this information for identifying sound investments. Most folks who would be interested in my continuing education in the world of business growth acceleration would be CEOs, COOs and owners. But it’s not just a business conversation, it’s an investment conversation.
Dalton — The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended last week down 0.7 percent. That was the fifth week of consecutive losses for the popular stock market index, its longest losing streak since 2011. Although the market was only down about 4 percent at the time, apparently that was enough to freak out a lot of people.
On Saturday, May 18th, Berkshire Money Management hosted the Berkshire Human Society gala fundraiser. Nearly 100 animal lovers, business owners, and friends gathered for a “Celebration of Cocktails and Compassion”, enjoying tarot readings, fire juggling, an animal communicator, and some geek talk on the eve of the Game of Thrones final episode! BMM, a pet-friendly workplace, was honored to host the gala this year. “At any given time, there are usually two or three dogs roaming around the company. They hang out with us in our offices and go on hikes with us on our property out back. We’re animal…
The second celebration picnic for nurses employed by Berkshire Health Systems was held on Sunday, May 19, at Berkshire Money Management’s headquarters at 161 Main Street. The day’s events included food and beverages, music, fire juggling, tarot readings and much more on the beautiful grounds of the firm’s historic Model Farm estate. Nurses and their families were invited to enjoy the festivities. “Somehow people at BMM are always getting hurt. We work hard, and apparently play a little too hard,” says BMM founder and CEO Allen Harris. “The nurses of BHS have been taking care of us at BMM for…
Dalton — First off, there are no spoilers ahead for the season finale of Game of Thrones. I wrote this before it was aired. There are minor spoilers for the first season, but you should be fine.
On Saturday evening (May 18),,I had the distinct pleasure of hosting a fundraiser at the Model Farm (a former Crane family mansion re-imagined to become the Berkshire Money Management office space) for the Berkshire Humane Society. At any given time, there are usually two or three dogs roaming around the company. They hang out with us in our offices and go on hikes with us on our property out back. We’re animal lovers here. I’ve personally fostered more than 100 dogs and cats on their transition to forever homes.
Dalton — The last week or so of stock market stumbling notwithstanding, we are now going on four and a half months of rallying. The median S&P 500 correction in the first six months of the recovery has been 8 percent. (For perspective, the S&P 500 averages 3.4 corrections of at least 5 percent and 1.1 corrections of at least 10 percent in a year.) Further moves downward is a high-probability event, from a historical standpoint. On closing basis, as of May 11, there had been 89 trading days since the last 3 percent correction (that stretch was broken Monday, May 13, as the corrected 4.2 percent from its most recent high).
Dalton — Berkshire Hathaway, the multinational conglomerate headed by famed investor Warren Buffett, held its annual shareholder meeting this past weekend. It’s like Woodstock for investors of the Omaha, Nebraska-based company, drawing roughly 40,000 people to an arena—Buffett-stock, if you will. There were multiple hours of conversation, too much to detail for a short article, so I did you the favor of boiling much of it down to my version of CliffsNotes. Anything following in quotation marks is from the meeting or was said during a Monday morning follow-up interview with Becky Quick of CNBC.
Dalton — The U.S. economy went from stalled out in the first couple months of the year to a rapid recovery in the month of March, with the advanced estimate of U.S. GDP for the first quarter coming in at 3.2 percent last Friday. That’s the best first quarter in four years, and well above the consensus. I’m not going to spend much time on those numbers as they’re now five days old and have been well-covered over those days. However, it’s worth mentioning because, last week, I explained that I was becoming nervous about where the stock market was trading and…
Dalton — The markets are feeling good, and investors are feeling even better.
As I write this on Easter Sunday, the S&P 500 has rallied 23.6 percent since hitting a bottom on Christmas Eve, echoing the 24.1 percent climb for the index in the same number of trading days after it hit a bottom in August 1998. The good news is that, in 1999, the index rallied nearly 60 percent before the Tech Bubble collapsed, a recession hit, the averages got cut in half and other companies disappeared completely. So there is a precedent for significantly much more stock market gains. But that is like saying that if you won the lottery, it’s going to happen again—t’s possible, but is it really all that likely?
Dalton — In June of 2007, when stock market indices were near all-time highs prior to the Great Recession, I started to short the market (i.e., buy investments that go up in price when stock prices go down). I made that first bet that stocks would go down not because of what I saw in stocks, but because of what I saw in bonds.
Dear Fellow Decision Maker,
Thank you for attending today’s live panel – Finders Keepers: The Search for Qualified Employees.
You want to hire qualified workers, but you can’t. We’re going to talk about that. We’re going to tell you a few things to give you some leverage over other potential employers who are trying to hire your candidates and even trying to take your current employees.
According to some of my colleagues in the financial advisory world, I’ve been disturbingly, even recklessly, blunt about saying that when it comes to investing, you don’t need me or any other financial advisor. Whether I’m right or I’m wrong is probably a moot point because most of you don’t want to work with us anyhow.
When I work with a business owner to improve their company, one of my main points is that whatever your industry looks like today will be much, if not totally, different in the not-too-distant future. Whether you, my dear reader, are a business owner or valued employee looking to climb the corporate ladder, it is of value to you see this pseudo-physician heal thyself.
On Thursday, March 21, the stock market celebrated the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC for short, but let’s just say “the Fed” to make it simple) decision to not just leave interest rates alone at that meeting, but to say it would leave rates alone for the year. On Friday, March 22, the stock market suffered a hangover after realizing it was possibly celebrating the wrong things.