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The Caldwell Trust Company Blog

The US is Moving to a Shortened Settlement Cycle

Posted by Kelly Caldwell

On September 5th 2017, the U.S. Securities Settlement Cycle will shorten from “trade date plus three days” or T+3 to T+2. The last time a move was made to shorten the settlement cycle was in 1995, when it changed from T+5 to T+3.  Whereas trading today is almost instant the settlement process is not. This push to a shortened settlement cycle is a beneficial step in aligning these two processes. 

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Topics: Investments

The Importance of a Fiduciary: What You Need to Know

Posted by H. Lee Thacker, Jr., CFP

When it comes to protecting your assets or ensuring your wishes are carried out when you are incapable of communicating them, you can hire fiduciaries to act with your best interests in mind and make decisions on your behalf based on their knowledge and area of expertise.

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Topics: Investments, Trusts & Estate Planning

Investment Letter Commentary

Posted by Chris McGee, CFA CAIA

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) crossing the 20,000 level we realize what a difference a year can make in domestic capital markets. At this time last year the domestic equity markets were off to one of their worst yearly starts ever. The S&P 500 corrected almost 15 percent between the first of January and mid-February before reversing and gradually moving higher through mid-year. The correction culprit was investors’ fears of a global slowdown. That fear of a slowdown was the result of weak economic growth numbers coming out of China and the U.S., as well as crude oil prices declining into the mid-$20 range and general fragility in the energy sector. As crude oil and commodity prices reversed and more favorable U.S. economic releases occurred, markets stabilized and moved higher. By mid-2016 most domestic equity markets had slightly positive returns. 

In late June the Brexit vote signaling the U.K.’s intention to leave the European Union took world markets by surprise. Most importantly, the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yield declined to 1.36 percent, reflecting general uncertainty about implications of the vote. The yield on the 10-year had commenced 2016 at 2.27 percent and most pundits had projected higher levels by year-end 2016. Domestic equity markets were initially down on the news but recovered quickly. Through the end of the second quarter of 2016, S&P 500 earnings had declined on a year-over-year basis for six consecutive quarters.
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Topics: Investments

Why We Endorse Pro Growth Policies

Posted by Chris McGee, CFA CAIA

If you missed it the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) made history this week as it crossed the 20,000 level this past Wednesday. We looked backwards and determined that it took the index approximately 17 years to double from 10,000. The index reached the 10,000 mark in April of 1999. We decided to go back and see how it did over the 17 years preceding the index obtaining the 10,000 level in 1999. At the beginning of 1982 the DJIA stood at the 785 level. So between 1982 and April 1999 the index doubled approximately 3 and 1/2 times versus it only doubling once over the subsequent 17 years.
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Topics: Investments

Tony Robbins Explains What a Fiduciary Is

Posted by Caldwell Trust

Do you know what a fiduciary is? A fiduciary is a person who holds a legal or ethical relationship of trust with one or more other parties (person or group of persons). Typically, a fiduciary prudently takes care of money or other asset for another person. Most are not familiar with the exact definition as you can see in Tony Robbins video. This is a topic we struggle with here in the trust world. Far too many instances, we hear stories of clients not being taken care of properly and end up being taken advantage of. Most believe if they're doing something with their finances, they're in good shape. Too many times we've seen so many people taken advantage of due to not working with a true fiduciary. One who has the clients best interest in mind, not theirs. A figuciary is legally responsible to look out for your best interest. When someone is legally responsible, you can bet they're going to properly do their job and not sell you product(s) as they make substantial commission based fees on over and over again depending on how many times they move you in and out of funds. When you are a true fiduciary and are legally responsible, there isn't a conflict of interest. Ever.

 

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Topics: Investments

A Brief Investment Comment

Posted by Roland G. Caldwell, Founder

After eight years of focusing on Yellen and short term interest rates, it may be hard for some in the financial business to remember that it is only in recent years that the Fed has assumed a larger role in economic policy making and thereby has become an influential factor in securities markets and price making.  In the past, free markets always set both long and short interest rates, with the Fed merely reacting in an attempt to keep financial markets stable. The Fed’s dual mandate to seek to maximize employment and facilitate economic growth was always reactive rather than pro-active and properly so.

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Topics: Investments

Caldwell's Post Election Thoughts - A Stunning Victory

Posted by Scott Antritt

After a seemingly endless campaign, the voters have spoken and have elected Donald J. Trump as our 45th President. Hopefully, the national mood will become more positive as we move beyond this election. It was truly a historic election as we had our first ever female candidate in Hillary Clinton whom also is the first candidate in modern times to have already resided at the White House for 8 years. On the other side was Donald Trump, the non-traditional, non-establishment self-made businessman who appealed to so many disenfranchised Americans. It is our opinion that the election of Trump was a referendum against the Washington establishment; both Democrats and Republicans.  As Donald Trump said in closing his acceptance speech early this morning,” it’s been what we call an historic event, but to be really historic, we have to do a great job.  And I promise you, I will not let you down.  We will do a great job.” This election has both energized and fatigued us and it’s now time to focus on what the next four years may bring.  

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Topics: Investments

The Cost of Carrying Debt: "Uncle Sam Needs a Refi"

Posted by Caldwell Trust


In a Review and Outlook column in the Opinion section of the Wall Street Journal, an unnamed author posits the idea of the US Treasury taking advantage of the low interest rate environment created by the US Federal Reserve and other Central Banks around the globe by refinancing its relatively short-term average maturity on its $14 Trillion in debt.

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Topics: Investments

June Employment Report

Posted by Caldwell Trust

As you may have seen, the U.S. economy generated 287,000 jobs in June, the highest reading for the year and well above the consensus forecast of 175,000.  A welcome surprise, however, in May, the Department of Labor reported a gain of only 38,000 even after heavy downward revisions in prior months.  Yet the unofficial numbers (ADP, ISM and Challenger surveys) pointed to gains of about 157,000 in May…What gives?  Why the big miss in May and the huge gain in June?  We can only speculate.  And we note that May’s report was the worst May since the end of the Great Recession and June’s report was close to being tied for the best, see chart below courtesy of Don Luskin at TrendMacro.

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Topics: Investments

Bremain Turns into Brexit: Keep Calm and Carry On

Posted by Caldwell Trust

Global stock markets and London Bookies had predicted a remain vote in the days leading up to the UK’s referendum on remaining in the European Union. As the results came in, late into the evening, New York time, the Brexit vote gained traction and won. As Australian and Asian markets opened, they began to trade sharply lower on the surprise news. This then spilled over into European markets as they opened and US futures. So, now what?

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Topics: Investments

 


 

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