As a new year gets underway, our investment team takes the time to sit down with our investment consultant. We take a good, in-depth look at the current economic and investment data, looking at the US and around the globe. We look at what is going on in the world politically and what steps other governments are taking with their economies. It is a full and important discussion.

We also check in with other investment consultants and look at the latest research. And this is where it gets interesting. Very educated and experienced investment specialists, wise in their field and respected by their peers, reach completely different conclusions on where the data are leading us. Their opinions vary widely on where we are headed.

The investment specialists may have widely divergent views on where we are headed, but the information on where we are is consistent. There are challenges, to be sure. Any energy-related business is down markedly, and manufacturing is not strengthening. However, the US economy continues to chug along and grow. It may not be stellar growth but it is growth. Employment continues to expand. And while the energy businesses have been hit hard, the energy consumers have more money in their pockets.

Yes, the news isn’t all good. But it isn’t all bad either. If we listen too long to the political debates, we would believe our country is on the brink of disaster. It’s not. As investors we will continue to do the stuff of life – we will work hard and invest wisely, seeking the best information we can to make prudent decisions. With the focus on these things, there is no room for fear.

As always, I hope you contact me if you have questions or concerns.

Blessings to you,
Ann Wiesbrock, CFP®
President