The Green Zone Newsletter - July 2023
As we reach the mid-year point, I wanted to provide you with an update on the current state of the US economy and market conditions.
I wish I could be coming to you with more positive news. The current state of the economy is worrisome, with profitability declining and an increase in initial unemployment claims. Despite a 2% increase in real GDP, concerns arise from the disparity between job growth (2.7%) and productivity decline, as well as significant decreases in profits. While some positive indicators such as industrial production, retail sales, jobs, employment, and incomes have shown growth, negative GDP figures were influenced by increased imports and a higher trade deficit with China.
In recent quarters, real GDP has increased, but gross domestic income (GDI) has declined. Inflation-adjusted retail sales and durable goods orders have dropped, while the manufacturing index has remained below 50 for several months. As of this writing, the stock market also indicates losses, with the S&P down 8.8%, the Dow down 8%, and the NASDAQ down 15.4% from previous highs.
Despite efforts to stabilize the system through insurance for deposits and government debt purchases by the Federal Reserve, significant losses, particularly in bonds, persist. In our opinion, the upcoming recession is likely to catch most people off guard, as the economy takes longer to absorb the massive influx of money. Anomalies such as the stock market, gold, and Bitcoin performing well, along with job creation despite declines in retail sales and the manufacturing sector, can be attributed to this surge of money.
However, looking ahead, it is important to remember the cyclical nature of the economy. History has shown that the pendulum swings in cycles, and periods of challenges are often followed by periods of growth and inspiration. Asset allocation and strategic decision-making remain crucial, as the market may face challenges in the next 12-18 months. Nevertheless, this firm remains optimistic, believing that in a few years, new all-time highs will be reached as the pendulum swings back.
As always, we welcome you to schedule a call with us any time to discuss your portfolio, the market, or anything on your mind. To make things easier for you, you can click here to find a time that works for you.
Until next month,
Jeff & the Green Financial Group Team
Upcoming Dates: Key Dates To Remember
- Tuesday, July 4 - Independence Day (GFG Office & Markets Closed)
Team Spotlight: Highlighting Our Team
This year, Green Financial Group is honored to celebrate its 15th anniversary.
It is with great pride and gratitude that I reflect on the incredible growth and positive impact we have achieved since the founding of our company.
Pride in how we have played a role in so many clients’ lives, helping them to feel confident in their financial plans and achieve their retirement goals.
Gratitude in that I fully recognize that our growth and success over the past 15 years has been made possible by the incredible support and trust of our esteemed clients, partners and community.
We recently hosted an Open House to celebrate our anniversary (and belatedly, our new office!). This special day was filled with reflection on our journey together and anticipation for the many more years of financial guidance ahead.
Again, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you for being a part of our celebration and for your unwavering trust in our services. Here's to many more years of growth, prosperity, and shared success!
Check It Out: Our Most Recent Resources
Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring A Financial Advisor (Ep. 71)
Your financial advisor is someone you need to trust. Someone who you know has your best interests front and center. And we want you to find the best advisor for you and your unique financial situation. In this episode, we share some of the biggest mistakes people tend to make when vetting financial advisors and highlight a few best practices for your own search and interview process. Together we discuss:
- The difference between Fee Based and Fee Only Financial Advisors
- What types of backgrounds to look for in a Financial Advisor such as college degrees or other certifications
- Why you may want to consider a Financial Advisor that has a certification such as CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®
- How to strategically consider the underlying costs of your investments, your returns, and your fees to find the right mix for you
- Why financial and retirement planning is like a Rubik’s Cube
- Ways to ensure you are getting a holistic financial and retirement plan
- Why it’s strategic to choose a specific advisor as a person over a firm or brand name
- And more!
The Truth Behind Our Confusing Economy: What's Really Going On?
Why is this economy so confusing? The state of our economy seems to go against conventional wisdom so much so that even some professional experts are confused. So what’s going on, and what does the state of our economy mean for you?
While many people are unsure about where our economy is heading, there’s one thing most can agree on: Our current economy is a result of pandemic-era policies. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, our government took unprecedented actions, such as shutting down large sectors of the economy and printing six trillion new U.S. dollars. There is no historical equivalent for these actions, so if anyone says they know for sure how this is all going to turn out, you may want to be leery of them.
In addition, many people are concerned about the debt ceiling. While this has been the cause for much discussion, the true question is how we’re going to pay for our debt, which remains to be answered. As the cost of entitlement programs increases, this problem will only get worse, and there are only two realistic solutions: Either we raise taxes or raise the retirement age. Neither option will be popular, so this debate will be heated as the problem becomes more pressing.
There are plenty more things I could talk about regarding our economy and where I see it headed, so if you have questions or want a second opinion on your financial and investment plans, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via phone call or email. I look forward to hearing from you.
Stay Informed: Resources Roundup
“The Green Zone” Podcast
- Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring A Financial Advisor
- Travel Hacks You Need This Summer
- Financial Advice For My Younger Self
- Why Financial Planning Is Different For Women
- SheSpace: A Community For Bold, Ambitious Women
- What You Can Do In The Face Of Inflation
- What You Need To Know About The Secure Act 2.0
- The Importance Of Setting Financial Resolutions
- The GFG Gift Guide
- Non-Profit Spotlight: PTSD Foundation of America & Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
- Non-Profit Spotlight: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation & GiGi’s Playhouse
- Using The Birkman Assessment In Work & Retirement
- Why The Timing of Market & Economic Cycles Is Important
- Retirement Risks You Need To Know About
- How To Keep Our Kids Safe In An Online World
- Retirement FAQs: How Do I Think About Money In Retirement?
- Find Your “Why” With The Birkman Assessment
- The Ultimate Car-Buying Experience: LeasePro
- The Truth Behind Our Confusing Economy: What's Really Going On?
- 3 Important Ways Financial Planning For Women Is Different
- Navigating the Complex Market Environment Amidst the Impending Recession
- Secure Act 2.0 Is Giving People More Control Over Their Retirement Savings
- Introducing a Multi-Talented Member of Our Team: Claire Holmes
- Wesbury’s View of the Current Economy & 2023 Outlook: Part 3
- Wesbury’s View of the Current Economy & 2023 Outlook: Part 2
- Wesbury’s View of the Current Economy & 2023 Outlook: Part 1
- How We’re Strengthening Our Services: Meet Frank Savage IV
- Market Cycles vs Economic Cycles
- We’re Not in a Recession—At Least Not Yet
- A Sneak Peek At Our New Office Build Out!
- What Having a Retirement Plan Looks Like
- Are We Headed for a Recession?
- How to Mix a Skinny Margarita With Melanie Knight