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U.S. at a Glance: Our Market Commentary

JOBS December: 156,000 jobs gained, slightly below expectations. January: 227,000 jobs added was largest increase since September 2016. February: 235,000 jobs gained were also paired with upward January revision and a drop in the unemployment rate to 4.7%.   U.S. MARKETS Aging Bull Market: The bull market turned 8 years old this past month, marking the longest run since 1987-2000. This bull has survived four corrections, or declines of 10% or more. Record Expansion: The U.S. economy has entered its 93rd consecutive month of growth, the third largest expansion in history. Consumer Optimism: University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index reported that U.S. consumer are the most optimistic they have been in 13 years, highest level since January 2004. Amazing Amazon (AMZN): On the back of strong holiday sales numbers, Amazon (AMZN) captured 38% of all holiday online shopping sales. Its next closest competitor, Best Buy (BBY) had only 3.9% market share. About Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. was formed by Greg Shields, a 30-year financial services veteran committed to offering sophisticated investors an alternative when looking for a more strategic path for long-term investing. As a private investment group, Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. offers a proprietary trading platform, alternative investment offerings and dedicated advisory support for a select audience. For more information, please visit www.midwest-wealth.com. Securities and Advisory Services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®. Member FINRA/SIPC a Registered Investment Adviser.
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When Robos Aren’t Enough – Betterment Brings in the Humans

How will history judge this period in the financial services industry? Will it be looked at like the end of an era or the beginning of one? Will we laugh at the foibles of robots or at those of us humans trying to match them? Only time will tell, but recently the most prestigious and fame seeking of the Robo-Advisor platforms, Betterment, surrendered the AI high-ground and rolled out a program for its investors to connect with real, flesh and blood financial advisors.   According to a nicely spun press release, it appears this model is being offered by Betterment for additional fees and specific account minimums. Do we detect a bit of hypocrisy and an unflattering unraveling of the strong posture of the world’s foremost robo-platform?   For years us advisors of the human variety have been told that emotional investing and hidden fees have undermined our ability to serve well. We’ve been told that in order to be effective, we should strive to be less human, less prone to the frailties of emotion, market enthusiasm, or fear. Indeed, we’ve been told now for over a decade, that if we’d done our jobs better, the financial crisis would have been avoided. We’ve been instructed to sit back and let the cool, sophistication of algorithms do the work.   And then what happened?   It turns out they brought in the pros to attract and retain a more sophisticated investor. Why? Well, there’s a real motive here: Their model is collapsing. According to Morningstar senior equity analyst Michael Wong, Betterment’s average account size of $27,000 generates less than $100 per customer. And with a customer acquisition cost of over $1000 it will take them over a decade just to break even on each account. And while some investors may not care what or who manages their small investments; when it comes to discriminating investors seeking real value – they want to talk with someone who can listen, who can interpret emotion as well as fact. They want someone who can advise.   At Midwest Wealth Management, we’re proud to say this is the business we’ve been in all along and will be doing for a long time to come. Turns out humans still turn to one another when it comes to the important things, like financial advice.   About Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. was formed by Greg Shields, a 30-year financial services veteran committed to offering sophisticated investors an alternative when looking for a more strategic path for long-term investing. As a private investment group, Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. offers a proprietary trading platform, alternative investment offerings and dedicated advisory support for a select audience. For more information, please visit www.midwest-wealth.com or call 877-243-4132 to speak to a representative.   Skinner, Liz. Betterment now offering human advice with its robo, Investment News, January 31, 2017.   Securities and Advisory Services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®. Member FINRA/SIPC a Registered Investment Adviser.
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