Monthly Archives: August 2013

Wealth Advisors, Margie Shard & Julie Hanson, attend LPL National Conference

FENTON, Michigan — President and Wealth Advisor Margie Shard, CFP®, and Wealth Advisor Julie Hanson from Shard Financial Services, Inc. recently attended focus13, a leading financial services industry conference hosted by LPL Financial, the nation’s number one independent broker-dealer.*

Held in San Diego, August 18 to 21, focus13 was one of the industry’s premier sales and education events for financial professionals. Over 5,000 attendees from around the country assembled for the opportunity to learn new strategies and skills, expand knowledge in numerous product areas, and network with peers and industry experts. They also heard from influential speakers who addressed current events and financial industry trends. The speakers included Colin Powell,USA (Ret.), Secretary of State (2001 – 2005), Zanny Minton-Beddoes, Economic Editor for The Economist and Former IMF Economist and Eric Whitacre, Grammy-Winning Composer, Conductor and Creator of the Virtual Choir.

Additionally, through the hundreds of business sessions, technology training sessions and continuing education classes at this event, advisors gained valuable knowledge to help them continually improve the level of service they offer.

“Attending focus13 was a tremendous opportunity for us to stay informed of key trends affecting the financial services industry, and discover strategies to help improve communication and engagement with our clients,” says Shard. “I believe we are now better positioned to continue helping our clients pursue financial independence by offering unbiased guidance.”

 

About LPL Financial

LPL Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Investment Holdings Inc., is an independent broker-dealer. LPL Financial and its affiliates offer proprietary technology, comprehensive clearing and compliance services, practice management programs and training, and independent research to more than 13,000 financial advisors and approximately 685 financial institutions. Additionally, LPL Financial supports more than 4,000 financial advisors who are affiliated and licensed with insurance companies with customized clearing, advisory platforms and technology solutions. LPL Financial and its affiliates have approximately 2,900 employees with employees and offices in Boston, Charlotte and San Diego. For more information, please visit www.lpl.com.

Member FINRA/SIPC

*As reported by Financial Planning magazine, June 1996–2012, based on total revenue.

Securities offered through LPL Financial Member FINRA/SIPC

Weekly Market Commentary 08/19/2013

Weekly Market Commentary
August 19, 2013
 
The Markets
 
Robert Burns, father of fourteen and writer of Auld Lang Syne, once said, “There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.” Was he ever right!
 
Here are a few sure things:
  • The Federal Reserve intends to reduce economic stimulus by tapering quantitative easing (QE).
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke plans to retire.
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was positive in Europe during the second quarter.
 
Here are some of the uncertainties which may arise from them:
  • When will QE begin to end? How will changes in the program affect world economies and markets?
  • Who will be the new Fed chairman? What policies will be pursued?
  • Was the second quarter a turning point for the Euro area economy? Is Europe moving out of recession?
 
How has uncertainty affected things? Well, it has left U.S. Treasuries a whole lot less popular than they once were. China and Japan reduced their holdings of U.S. Treasuries by about $40 billion recently. According to Reuters, a Chinese economist said the sale of Treasuries could be attributed to expectations that bond yields will rise and prices will fall as QE ends. In the same article, a Japanese policymaker said expectations about changing Fed policies created market volatility that forced some Asian central banks to defend their currencies and that led to the sale of Treasuries. In total, about $67 billion of foreign investment money was pulled out of Treasuries in June.
 
Uncertainty didn’t do much for American stocks, either. At the end of last week, most major U.S. stock markets had moved lower.
 

 
Data as of 8/16/13

1-Week

Y-T-D

1-Year

3-Year

5-Year

10-Year

Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks)

-2.1%

16.1%

17.0%

15.3%

5.3%

5.2%

10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only)

2.8

NA

1.8

2.6

3.8

4.5

Gold (per ounce)

4.6

-19.2

-14.7

3.8

11.5

14.3

DJ-UBS Commodity Index

3.2

-6.8

-9.2

-0.6

-7.2

0.9

DJ Equity All REIT TR Index

-6.4

-1.1

1.4

13.0

5.2

9.7

Notes: S&P 500, Gold, DJ-UBS Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT TR Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.
 
Is it the beginning of the end? maybe… Last Tuesday, Eurostat, which provides statistical information on the European Union (EU), announced that its flash estimate showed positive economic growth (up 0.3 percent) for the Euro area for the second quarter. Media outlets embraced the news with tremendous enthusiasm and some informed the world that Europe was, once again, on its feet.
 
  • Euro Zone Emerges from Recession – The Wall Street Journal
  • Euro Zone Exits Longest Recession in Over 40 Years – CNBC
  • Germany, France Haul Euro Zone Out of Recession – Reuters
 
While it’s possible the second quarter will prove to be a turning point for Europe’s economy, the headlines were a bit rash. Perhaps the blog, written by Ollie Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, should have been read before crafting their headlines. Rehn wrote:
 
“Add today’s quarterly GDP figures to other recent positive survey data and you will find reasonable evidence suggesting the European economy is gradually gaining momentum… I hope there will be no premature, self-congratulatory statements suggesting “the crisis is over.” For we all know that there are still substantial obstacles to overcome: the growth figures remain low and the tentative signs of growth are still fragile; the averages hide important differences between Member States… So there is still a very long way to go before we reach our ultimate goal of a sustainable growth model that delivers more jobs.”
 
Officially, the end of the Euro area recession will be determined by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). This organization is similar to the National Bureau for Economic Research (NBER) in the United States. In both regions, business cycle dating is a tricky business. The CEPR assesses GDP and other factors, such as the components of output and labor market data when determining the start and end dates for recessions and expansions. One of the biggest hazards to cycle dating is data revision so you can be sure the CEPR will be paying attention when Eurostat issues revised second quarter numbers in early September.
 
Weekly Focus – Think About It
 
“True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity, before it is entitled to the appellation.”
George Washington, President of the United States
 
Best regards,
 
Margie Shard, CFP®
President and Wealth Advisor
 
P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this e-mail with their e-mail address and we will ask for their permission to be added.
 
Securities offered through LPL Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC.
 
* This newsletter was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Quantitative Easing is a government monetary policy occasionally used to increase the money supply by buying government securities or other securities from the market.  Quantitative easing increases the money supply by flooding financial institutions with capital in an effort to promote increased lending and liquidity.
                           
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.
 
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
 
* Gold represents the London afternoon gold price fix as reported by the London Bullion Market Association.
 
* The DJ Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
 
* The DJ Equity All REIT TR Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
 
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
 
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
 
* Past performance does not guarantee future results.
 
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
 
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
 
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with    “Unsubscribe” in the subject line, or write us at 1537 N. Leroy Street, Suite D Fenton MI  48430.
 
Sources:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/75831.Robert_Burns
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STAT-13-122_en.htm
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/16/us-usa-economy-capital-idUSBRE97F02T20130816
http://online.barrons.com/mdc/public/page/9_3063-economicCalendar.html (Click on U.S. & Intl Recaps; Simply Economics article ‘A Muddling Economy’; refer to Equities by the Day chart)
http://www.wikinvest.com/wiki/GDP_Flash
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324139404579012200360382222.html
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100961027
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/14/us-europe-economy-idUSBRE97D08O20130814
http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/rehn/about/mandate/index_en.htm
http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/rehn/
http://www.cepr.org/content/business-cycle-dating-committee-faqs#overlay-context=content/business-cycle-dating-committee-cepr-and-nber-approaches
http://www.cepr.org/content/euro-area-recession-third-quarter-2011-2
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/g/george_washington.html

SHARD FINANCIAL TO HOST ANNUAL HALF TIME EVENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jen Verscheure
             810.714.5566
             jen.verscheure@shardfinancial.com
 
 
SHARD FINANCIAL TO HOST ANNUAL HALF TIME EVENT
FENTON, MI (8/9/13) – Fenton financial services firm Shard Financial Services, Inc. will be hosting its annual Half-Time event at the Fenton Lucky’s Steakhouse on September 12, 2013 from 6-7:30pm.
 
President and Wealth Advisor Margie Shard, CFP®, will analyze the events that took place in the market for the first half of 2013.  Hear her ideas on how those events, and others, may unfold and possibly impact the remainder of the year.
 
Those interested in attending should contact Shard Financial at 810.714.5566 to RSVP as seating is limited.
 
 
About Shard Financial Services Inc.
Shard Financial Services Inc. is an independent financial services firm located in Fenton, MI. President & Wealth Advisor Margie Shard is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and a LPL Registered Principal. While serving a diverse array of clients, Margie and her team have found special interest in women and couples, helping to guide them through major life events. For more information visit www.shardfinancial.com.
 
About LPL Financial
LPL Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Investment Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LPLA), is the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer (as reported by Financial Planning magazine, June 1996–2013, based on total revenue), a top RIA custodian and a leading independent consultant to retirement plans. LPL Financial offers proprietary technology, comprehensive clearing and compliance services, practice management programs and training, and independent research to over 12,900 financial advisors and approximately 680 financial institutions. In addition, LPL Financial supports more than 4,400 financial advisors licensed with insurance companies by providing customized clearing, advisory platforms and technology solutions. LPL Financial and its affiliates have approximately 2,700 employees with headquarters in Boston, Charlotte and San Diego. For more information, please visit www.lpl.com.
 
Member FINRA/SIPC
 
* As reported by Financial Planning magazine, June 1996–2012, based on total revenue.
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