Two Ways to Combat Household Inflation

Inflation is not a one-size-fits-all all phenomenon Inflation is the increase in prices over time Increasing prices means decreasing purchasing power How we choose to spend our money dictates how we experience inflation   Inflation has been top of mind for every participant in our economy for three years straight: households, businesses, and policymakers. Inflation […]

The End of an Era – What We are Watching For in ‘24

For many years until the last, investors had been living under the same mantra of “There Is No Alternative” (TINA) to owning equities, helping prop up stock prices as yields on fixed income were too paltry to bother with. Times have changed; TINA ushered out and TARA welcomed in. Positive real rates are achievable, meaning […]

Beware of Dots

The Federal Reserve Dot Plot has a shaky ten-year history The Dot Plot shows the Fed’s expectations of future interest rates Since its inception in 2012 it has not proved very predictive Rates have been a key driver of equity pricing over the last two years   My eighth-grade class celebrated our completion of middle […]

Is Bad News in the Economy Actually Good News for Markets?

The notion of a slowing economy equating to rising stock prices qualifies as counterintuitive, but that is exactly what we’ve seen over the last few months.  Typically, positive stock market performance is aligned with strong economic growth, as seen in the chart below.  This makes sense as GDP growth means individual companies are producing more, […]

The Markets & Economy – A Diverging Narrative

With the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both entering “Correction Territory,” the media has once again focused its attention on markets and everyone’s best prediction on when or if a looming recession may be coming.  For the majority scratching their heads right now, a “correction” is simply defined as an index decline of 10% or more […]

Fed Rates, Inflation, Yields

What a difference a couple of years makes.  Even the casual fan has likely heard the talk about interest rates and felt inflation during these past twenty-four months.  Two years ago, in February 2021, the Federal Funds target rate was 0 – 0.25%.  It remained there until just over a year ago in March 2022.  […]

2022 Market Recap and 2023 Outlook

To kick off the new year, John Boardman (CEO, Founder) and Andy Reynolds (COO, Partner) sat down to recap the economic environment in 2022 and discuss the 2023 outlook. Click the play button below to watch.     Topics include: Recent economic data and performance The 1% of market volatility on trading days Market fundaments […]

December Market Update 2022

    During the Ballast Open House last week, the advisors led a brief market update and economic discussion for those in attendance. This video was recorded live in the Ballast Conference Room with a full audience. Listen as they share current market conditions, financial planning strategies, and updates. Advisors: John Boardman, CFP®, Founder and […]

Year-End Financial Planning & Investments Among Market Volatility

By: Andy Reynolds, CFP®, MBA COO/Partner – Ballast, Inc. With the recent stock market volatility, many investors have, and understandably so, buried their heads in the sand, shredding investment statements without looking and focusing outside of their financial life. While many choose to simply not look, the volatility provides significant opportunities for financial improvement, several of […]

Corporate Strategy: Trick or Treat?

Corporate strategies can tell opposing stories about a firm’s future   Key Takeaways: Earnings season has seen growth companies downgraded amid rate hikes CEO’s actions must be weighed by investors at a firm-specific level Layoffs, buybacks, CapEx, debt, & dividends each contribute to firm outcomes     We are in the middle of third-quarter earnings […]

Evaluation of a Job Offer

Key Takeaways – The following considerations must be made when reviewing an opportunity to take a new job or leave a W2 salary to start a business.   Nearly 93% of Americans earn income outside their primary job1. What are all the aspects of my compensation package?  This includes salary and other benefits such as […]

The Driving Forces Behind the Closely Watched Consumer Price Index (CPI)

By: Brian Burton, CFP®   Key Takeaways: CPI is the average change in the prices paid by consumers for a basket of goods and services over time that demonstrates price trends within the economy The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports index weights for eight major categories and many more specific items resulting in the […]