Client Newsletter: March 31, 2016

Hoover Financial AdvisorsApril 6, 2016

benchmark charts 1st quarter 2016 Clients Newsletters

A Boring Quarter for Investors?

If you did not look at the investment news during the last quarter, you may believe not much happened. The DJIA opened the year at 17,405.48 and closed the quarter at 17,685.09 for about a 1% return for the quarter.  While the first quarter ended on a happier note, market mayhem took investors on a rollercoaster ride that was downright scary at times. Over the first six weeks of the year, the markets dropped like a rock with the DJIA falling 1,745 points to close at its lowest point on 2/11/16 at 15,660.18. Since that date, we have enjoyed a remarkable recovery to end the quarter on a positive note and rebound from what was the worst start to a year – ever.

So what Changed?

A spike in oil prices fueled the burst of buying on Wall Street. Oil prices had plunged to their lowest point in 13 years and then rose 42% in just over three weeks. In the end, prices ended the quarter nearly where they started it – just under $40 a barrel. Another reason was the recent good economic news, which eliminated most of the recessionary fears. At this time, we remain in a low but positive real growth environment.  Finally, the Federal Reserve offered some smoothing words on rate hikes. In one of their latest statements, they abandoned plans to raise interest rates four times this year. Instead, they indicated that the expectation is to raise rates only two times, which sent a positive reaction to the world markets.

Where do stocks go from here?

Charles Schwab Chief Investment Strategist, Liz Ann Sonders, remains neutral on equities – meaning investors should remain at their long-term equity allocations.  She believes 2016 is shaping up to be much like the first quarter, volatile at times but generally trending higher. As long as the oil/stocks correlation remains elevated, continued improvement in the stock market may hinge on the path of oil prices.

Other factors can have a big impact on stock market returns – China, ISIS, corporate earnings, investor sentiment, among others. This recent volatility just proves that investors need to invest for the long term and to not get distracted by short-term volatility. Our investment team is here to help you navigate through all of this information and help you to achieve your long-term goals and objectives.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to talk about your portfolio or update your financial plan.

New Employees at HFA!

Starting in April, HFA added two new employees to our team.  We are very excited to welcome Edward (Ted) Braun, CFP® and Joseph (Joe) Dowling and look forward to them getting to know all of you.

Ted Braun joins us from Vanguard and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM Practitioner who holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Strayer University.  At HFA, Ted is working as a Financial Planner with Jerry Fahey in our Financial Planning Department.  His responsibilities are to work with HFA clients to develop, manage and maintain their financial plans. Ted is dedicated towards providing excellent client service and support to help clients with their unique financial goals.

Joe Dowling has been in the Financial Services industry for almost 20 years. He brings a wealth of valuable experience to the HFA team.  Joe is working as a Financial Advisor to HFA clients.  His primary goals and responsibilities are to manage, support and develop the relationship between HFA and his clients.  He shares the firm’s value to always place our clients’ interests first and will work hand in hand with the team to ensure that.

Both Ted and Joe are great additions to the HFA team!

Contact Information:

Ted Braun, CFP®:       Phone: 610-651-2777, Ext. 124 and Email: ted@petehoover.com

Joe Dowling:               Phone: 610-651-2777, Ext. 127 and Email: joe@petehoover.com

Fall Educational Seminar – Jeffrey Kleintop

One of our most popular and most discussed seminars featured Liz Ann Sonders, Chief Investment Strategist at Charles Schwab. Her presentation was lively, informative and evoked lots of discussion.

In our pursuit to bring you exceptional programs, we have one coming up you are sure to like equally as much as Liz Ann. Depending on your area of interest, some folks will enjoy it even more. The Hoover Financial Advisors Fall Educational Seminar features Jeffrey Kleintop, CFA. As Charles Schwab’s Chief Global Investment Strategist, he analyzes and discusses international markets, trends and events. His vast knowledge, research and insights help investors in the U.S. understand the impact worldwide financial actions have on economic issues in this country.

Come early and savor tasty hors d’oeuvres and friendly conversation. A delicious sit-down dinner will be served before Jeffrey’s presentation.  Please see the flyer included with this letter for additional details and RSVP information. A formal invitation will follow this summer. We hope to see you there!

Lunch & Learn Recap

On March 29th we held our first installment of the new 2016 Lunch & Learn series.  Stephanie Diamond, Managing Director with Schwab Charitable was here to present on “Making the Most of Your Charitable Giving”.  This presentation provided clients the opportunity to hear how Schwab Charitable donor-advised fund accounts are a simple, flexible and tax-smart way to direct your charitable giving. She provided strategies to maximize your giving dollars by utilizing the most effective assets and reducing your tax liability.  She also identified ways to fulfill your charitable vision, give with intention, engage your family and extend your giving beyond your lifetime. Clients were very pleased with the presentation and received valuable information. Unfortunately, for compliance reasons we are unable to provide her slides to those who could not attend. However, if you are interested in any further information about Schwab’s donor-adviser fund accounts please let us know and we would be happy to answer your questions.

We will continue the Lunch & Learn series throughout 2016. Please send us any topics that you are interested in hearing about at a future event.  We are happy to add them to our agenda for the year.  Look out for the next invitation coming soon to your email inbox.
Please notify us if there has been a change in your personal financial situation, employment status or family situation.  We thank you for the confidence you have placed in our team and look forward to continuing to be of service to you in the future.  Please let us know if we can be of any help at any time.

Best Regards,

Peter K. Hoover, CFP®