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G20 Summit in Hamburg

While many Americans were busy celebrating the long weekend of our nations birth and independence, our nations newly elected leaders took to Hamburg for the highly anticipated G20 Summit.   G20 Riots and Protests. Pictures 3 days of peaceful protests turned into riots that ended with cars being lit ablaze, water cannons being fired and tear gas dispersed. Most protestors were not residents of the Hamburg area, 15,000 officers with more called in as back up.       G20 wants to connect all citizen across the world by 2025. “We need to bridge digital divides along multiple dimensions, including income, age, geography and gender. We will strive to ensure that all our citizens are digitally connected by 2025 and especially welcome infrastructure development in low-income countries in that regard. We will promote digital literacy and digital skills in all forms of education and life-long learning. We recognize that information and communication technology (ICT) plays a crucial role in modernizing and increasing efficiency in public administration.”   US threat of Steel Tariffs could spark trade war. President Trump signed a memorandum in late April asking Commerce Secretary to prioritize the probe, which would result in higher tariffs for Chinese and other foreign steel firms. This was in party to help create an equal playing field for the U.S. steel Industry.   -Foreign firms are selling large quantities of steel in the US at prices that are far below the market price.   -Experts believe duties on foreign steel are more likely to hurt Europe, Canada and Japan, than of China.   -Canada has already been hit with tariffs on certain kinds of lumber, and the White House is also looking at new duties on aluminum and solar panels.   Ivanka sits in for Donald. In what was seen as a controversial move, the president’s daughter, Ivanka, took her father’s place in a meeting with the Chinese, Russian and Turkish presidents, the German Chancellor and the British Prime Minister.   -Bloomberg news agency says she had taken her father’s place on at least two occasions during Saturdays meeting, on both occurrences, she did not speak.   -The meeting was addressing the African migration and health issues, coordinating efforts to a fund that Trump and the World Bank had just announced.   Britain’s Next Trade Partners: Post Brexit -Britain has currently made free trade agreements with more than 50 countries, however; most of these countries are small and will not affect trade in the slightest.   -The big three that Britain hopes to secure deals with are the US, China, and India.   -Post-Brexit they will be able to open big farm products such as meat (beef and lamb) and fruits and vegetables (potatoes), to producers from outside European Union.   -UK beef exports are viewed as a global premium and currently, send large amounts of pork to China.   -For Britain, free trade with the rest of the world will be a very big issue, as this was one of the major points to them being prosperous outside of the EU.
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The Macron Victory in France: Great News for US Investors

  “Catastrophe averted” were the words used by the French writer and filmmaker, Romuald Sciora, to describe Emmanuel Macron’s victory against right-wing nationalist, Marine Le Pen, in the recent French presidential election. And he wasn’t just referring to France, he meant for the whole world.   Elected at age 39, Macron is the youngest ever president in French history and the head of a party less than two years old. His presidency is calming the political and financial global seas and, while US investors are coping with recent market turbulence from domestic and foreign relations missteps, Macron is a shining beacon across the Atlantic guiding investors to European markets.   From Rags to Rogue   Somewhat of an anomaly, Macron began his career as a civil servant, quickly became a millionaire investment banker, and then donned the hat of a government minister. He had a privileged education at the Lycée Henry IV before entering the Ecole National d'Administration, where many of France’s political elite are formed.   In 2012, he joined the staff of President Francois Hollande and in two years became the economy minister. Economically, Macron favored liberal reforms that benefited businesses but were unpopular with his own party. Ultimately, the “Macron Law” had to be pushed through the National Assembly, which spurred Macron to change the system itself.   He resigned in August 2016 and launched his party En Marche!   Macron’s Manifesto   Macron's policies appeal to conservative voters. He plans to cut corporate taxes from 33 percent to 25 percent, cut payroll taxes that some economists believe keep companies from hiring, and simplify the tax and pension schemes.   However, he is also proposing ways to boost slow economic growth that appeal to the left. Macron plans to increase pay for teachers who work in poorer areas, for example, and introduce labor reforms to reduce unemployment.   Macron has pledged to reform France's welfare and pensions systems, boost defense spending, and to fight terrorism by hiring thousands more police officers and establishing a round-the-clock task force against ISIS. But his most beneficial policies as far as US investors are concerned are those that apply to trade.   Trade Tantrums   The EU has the second largest global GDP, and France has the 3rd highest GDP in Europe. Trade is paramount in “across-the-pond” relations.   A “Frexit” was a priority for Macron’s opponent, Le Pen, and was making many investors fractious leading up to the French elections. But a huge sigh of relief met Macron’s assumption of the Presidency because he is extremely pro-European. Macron intends to put France front and center of the EU and defend the single market.   The EU is a huge market for US goods and is the biggest single US trading partner. France’s support for the bloc has bolstered US investor confidence that was sorely downtrodden following the Brexit vote.   As far as Britain’s exit from the EU is concerned,  Macron is a deal-maker, and while he is not expected to give the UK a free pass, he is likely to seek a way to avoid a catastrophic outcome for the suffering Brits across the channel.   This all round positive news from Europe has US investors bullish on the French stock market as part of global portfolios. According to pundits, the French money supply and bank lending have already rebounded.   Diplomacy Conducive to Stability   Macron’s tact and diplomacy could also influence western approaches to global conflicts. The French president has reached out to the more politically volatile President Donald Trump and the leaders of Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey to find a political solution to problems such as Syria and the refugee crisis.   Unlike Le Pen, Macron supports traditional defense structures such as NATO, continuing the efforts to defeat ISIS, and sharing intelligence with the US and European allies further stabilizing US and European relations.   As a newcomer, Macron attracted many first-time voters of all ages, and his party now has over 200,000 members. US investors could, arguably, be added to his list of supporters who appreciate his disdain for international isolationism and division and his stabilizing influence on trade, foreign relations, and the global economy.
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Top Business Stories 2016- The Specter of Brexit

The year 2016 was indeed a year for global happenings that will have long-lasting impacts on every continent across the globe. We shared our analysis on a couple that made the MSN Top Business Stories of 2016 and while still relevant, we thought it was worth glancing back at those stories.  http://midwest-wealth.com/brexit-should-we-be-worried/

U.S. at a Glance and Global Developments

Jobs: October: 161,000 jobs gained, slightly below expectations. November: Gain of 178,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in November’s jobs number, the lowest level in 9 years.   U.S. Markets: All Time Highs: For the first time since June 2003, the Russell 2000, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ all closed at record levels on the same day.   Mergers & Acquisitions: AT&T (T) reached an agreement to buy Time Warner (TWX) for $85.4 billion. The deal is still pending approval from regulators, as competition within the media industry is the major concern.   More than 85% of Tesla (TSLA) shareholders voted in favor for the merger with Solar City (SCTY) in the deal to acquire the latter for $2.6 billion. To ease investor concerns, majority shareholder of both companies, Elon Musk, recused himself from each company’s board vote.   CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO READ MORE midwest wealth management
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Identity Theft Protection: What every Indiana resident should know.

Indiana residents aren’t the only ones who shudder at the thought of someone stealing their personal information—such as their name or social security number—and using this information to apply for credit, or pay for personal or medical services. Sometimes your bank may catch unusual activity and alert you, but many times people find out after it is too late and their credit status and financial situation are compromised. And it can take time to restore your good standing to appropriate levels.

 

When it comes to identity theft, USA.gov has some tips on how to prevent it and what to do if it happens:

     

  • Shield the keypad at an ATM so someone can’t see your number over your shoulder.
  • Shred your receipts, credit offers, account statements and expired cards to prevent “dumpster divers” from retrieving your information.
  • Keep personal information in a safe, secure place in your home.
  • Always have good security software installed on your home computer to protect against your information getting stolen.
  • Create passwords that a cyber thief couldn’t easily guess.

 

If you are a victim of identity (ID) theft, report it immediately. The Federal Trade Commission and your local police department are critical in filing the complaint. Once you file with both, you will have an identity theft report that you will need to help you resolve your problem with banks and creditors. It is also a good idea to report the theft to credit reporting agencies, financial institutions where you have accounts and the retailers or companies where the fraud occurred.

 

This leads us to identity theft software. This type of protection is designed to spot signs of potential theft, and if you get hacked, to repair the damage and restore your good name. Reviews.com actually tried 18 theft protection services, looking for the ones who add real value in the scope of their monitoring (regarding credit and personal info). The other big factor was whether or not these services used a power of attorney to help restore your identity for you.

 

Here are two that they found out to be the cream of the crop. For the full review, go to http://www.reviews.com/identity-theft-protection-services/.

     

  1. ID Watchdog. If your identity has already been stolen, this is an excellent service. It is the only one that will help you recover your identity from a pre-existing theft (before membership). It also offers many affordable family options for identity protection.
  2.  

  3. Identity Force. If your identity hasn’t been stolen yet, Identify Force hits all the marks on service and price. It offers services comparable to Watchdog, such as robust monitoring and a team of professional that work to get your identity back — not just offer advice. Its features are also offered in a more modern and attractive site, and offer monitoring and restoration capabilities that matched other top finalists at a cost-effective price.

 

Identity theft is something that should always be top of mind, as a hit to your credit score isn’t the only loss you face — it usually means a reduction in your wealth accumulation. Visit us at www.midwest-wealth.com for important ways to ensure you’re utilizing a sound risk management strategy.

 

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.

 

  References: USA.gov. Identify Theft. https://www.usa.gov/identity-theft The Best Identity Theft Protection Services. Reviews.com. 29, June 2016. http://www.reviews.com/identity-theft-protection-services/http://www.reviews.com/identity-theft-protection-services/Reviews.com<
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Millennials face housing shortage, but the outlook is bright in Indianapolis.

Although median house prices are nationally lower in Indianapolis (more on this in a minute) the rate of home ownership in the second quarter of this year fell to 62.9 percent, not seasonally adjusted. This is the same percentage as it was in 1965 when the U.S. Census started tracking the metric, far from the 69.2 percent boom in the mid-2000s.

 

Why is the home ownership rate at its lowest level since 1965? Blame it on millennials for starters, who are delaying big purchases like this for a variety of reasons and are experiencing the lowest home ownership rate of their group in history. One big factor could be their constant struggle with student loans.

 

About 40 million Americans owe a total of $1.3 trillion in student loans, according to a May Federal Reserve Bank of New York quarterly household debt and credit report. In comparison, about $1.1 trillion is owed in car loans and $712 billion is due on credit cards.

 

Compounding the problem, especially as it applies to working down debt, is the lowering of real average hourly wages of these same students riddled with loans — their wages fell between 2000 and 2014, according to the Economic Policy Institute, while the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index jumped more than 25 percent, adjusted for inflation, over the same period.

 

So where can millennials go for an affordable house and a decent job market? How about Indianapolis Indiana, where the median home price is $130,000, according to property site Zillow — $58,900 below the median existing home price in America.

 

It’s about as win-win as it gets. Besides seeking the services of an experienced wealth management firm, millennials may be surprised to find others of the same ilk: Research shows that the city has more millennials than in the top 100 metro areas.

 

For more information on investing, debt reduction and other financial tips, visit Midwest Wealth Management at www.midwest-wealth.com, or call us at 877-243-4132. Like a lot of millennials, we are in the heart of Indianapolis, Indiana.   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.

 

References: Olick, Diana. Millennials Cause Home Ownership to Drop to Its Lowest Level Since 1965. NBC News. 28, Jul. 2016. Dynarski Susan. New Data Gives Clearer Picture of Student Debt. The New York Times. 10, Sept. 2015. In Recovering Housing Market, the Starter Home Remains Elusive. Reuters. 10, Aug. 2016. Popken, Ben. Millennials, Meet Indianapolis, Your New Dream City. NBC News. 5, Aug. 2016.

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U.S. at a Glance and Global Developments

Brexit Fallout: After voting to leave the EU by a slim margin, concerns of the UK’s future rocked financial markets all around the world.   More than $3 trillion of equity market value was wiped out during 6/24-6/27. This was the biggest two-day loss ever for the S&P Global Index.   Our closing comments to our clients on Friday 6/24 were as follows:   “In a few years, we may find ourselves looking back and wondering what all the fuss was about, just as we now do with the last European crisis in 2011. For most investors, the biggest risk is how you deal with short-term noise.”   Those few “years” may have been better stated in weeks. Since that time:    
  • S&P 500 is up 9.24%
  • VIX (Volatility Index) is down over 50%
  • K. central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to lowest level in history.
    The fallout seems to be leaving many to question what the future of the UK economy will look like. Many economists are expecting the British to go into a recession, the first since 2009. While others founds that British millennials (ages 15 to 35) will be the first generation to earn less than their predecessors.   Greek Debt: Taking a backseat to Brexit activity, a deal was able to be reached with Greece’s creditors to ease the threat of a possible bankruptcy.   India’s Growth: Consumer spending has been a key catalyst in India’s economy growing at the fastest pace in the past 4 years (7.6%)   CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR MORE UPDATES Market Update
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Manage Risk in Carmel, Indiana

If you’re a business owner in Carmel, Indiana, you have already accepted that the financial decisions of companies always come with some degree of risk. It’s the same in the investment world, where understanding risk should be part of a sound financial education. Wealth managers in Carmel and everywhere should be taking many types of risk into account for their clients. The uncertain future value of stocks, credit risks, and operational risks all fall into this category.

 

A proper risk management strategy executes an articulated and structured approach to identifying, assessing and managing risk. Frequent updates and review of the assessment based on new developments or actions taken should also be implemented into the overall risk management strategy. Be sure that your risk assessment is systematic, recorded and regularly reviewed. It should identify and manage major risks, i.e., those which are most likely to occur that would have a severe impact on operational performance, achievement and objectives.

 

Talk to your advisor about a sound risk management strategy for your business. You can also visit us at www.midwest-wealth.com . Because when it comes to wealth creation, safeguarding against financial risk is an important conversation best reserved for your wealth manager.

 

As a private investment group specializing in wealth management, 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.

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Pokemon-Show Me The Money

    Most have by now heard about the phenomenon that has people of all ages walking around outside, visiting parks, famous museums while staring at their phone the entire time. The Pokémon GO craze has provided a scare for parents of younger children with stories of attempted robberies, accidents and injuries. There has also been no shortage of entertaining and comical stories circulating their way from the internet to News stations. This game is not just being played by privileged children with smart phones, an incredible 40% of its current users are over the age of 35.   The number of active users for this game skyrocketed from its initial launch in the US, Australia and New Zealand, with over 20 million daily active users (more than Twitter.) That success was parlayed to the launch in Japan, with major companies like McDonalds making deals to feature its stores (3,000 total) as stops or “gyms” in the game. Even in the United States, small businesses have been benefiting from the popularity of the game. A New York pizzeria owner spent $10 to help lure more players to his location, resulting in a 75% sales increase over the weekend.   With the millions of downloads, corporate sponsors, high daily active users and an incredible demographic reach, who is making the money here? This question has been asked very frequently and most believed the best way to make money was go and buy shares of Nintendo (NTDOY.)   The relationship to get to Pokémon Go’s derivative effect is much more complicated than a basic relationship with Nintendo. Below you can which companies are currently involved:   For every $100 spent on Pokémon-Go in-app purchases $30 – Apple or Alphabet (iPhone vs. Android app store) $30 – Niantic (Which Alphabet owns an undisclosed % of) $30 – Pokémon Franchise $10 – Nintendo

 

Nintendo (NTDOY): Owning 33% of the company that owns the Pokémon brand and its IP, shares of Nintendo initially soared - rising over 110% in the first 8 trading days. As analysts began to dig deeper into the potential impact and after Nintendo themselves said the results were unlikely to change guidance for corporate earnings, shares began to retreat roughly 33%.   Alphabet (GOOG): During Google’s restructure to Alphabet, one of the companies that spun from that was Niantic. Alphabet participated in its $30 million funding round, immediately following the spinoff.   Niantic: Originally a pipe dream by one of the key figures behind Google Maps and Earth, it was originally formed to be a 3-D mapping company. They are responsible for the development of the actual game and pay the bills for servers being used. It is estimated to be generating $4-5 million per day in total revenue and $1.6 million in daily revenue just from in-app purchases. With the $9 billion increase in Nintendo’s market cap since the games release, it is safe to assume the Niantic’s own valuation has gone up significantly since its prior two rounds of funding which valued the company at just $150 million.   Apple (AAPL): One of the biggest direct participants of the games success is Apple. They take an estimated 30% of profits from every dollar spent on its platform and in-app purchases.

 

Sources: https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/21/pokemon-go-is-finally-available-in-japan/   http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/12/gotta-catch-em-all-pokemon-go-is-boosting-business-for-restaurants.html   https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-relationship-among-Niantic-Labs-Nintendo-and-The-Pok%C3%A9mon-Company-Whos-benefitting-the-most-from-the-success-of-Pok%C3%A9mon-GO   http://www.recode.net/2016/7/12/12153722/google-niantic-pokemon-go-spin-out   http://fortune.com/2016/07/12/google-pokemon-go/                                            
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The numbers are in, and it seems America’s job market may at last be stirring to life.

While the May index showed a 4.8-point decline from April and has been on the decline for five straight months, its worst performance since the recession – things quickly began to look up as America’s job market stirred to life in June.   Payroll growth accelerated by the most since October, appeasing companies fears of making broader cutbacks. Climbing by 287,000, this growth exceeded the highest estimate in a Bloomberg survey, after a revised 11,000 gain in May shown in a recent Labor Department report.   Indeed, the labor market is showing its resilience, especially given the global turbulence from the combination of dropping oil prices, a stronger dollar and China’s growth slipping to a new seven-year low of 6.6%. Added to this, workers are enjoying a higher rate of pay increases in recent months, which is a bright spot in regards to consumer spending:   “Consumer spending will continue to lead economic growth in 2016 as more jobs and rising wages give households more money to spend,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group.   And this pattern of consumer spending seems to have gained momentum, as recent forecasts suggest the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.5 to 3 percent during the second quarter, up from just 0.8 percent at the start of the year.   Of course, rising jobs or not, their availability can be a challenge depending on where you live. Here’s a peek at the ratios of job postings vs. unemployed persons in a few of the 50 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S.:   San Jose, CA 4:1 ratio of postings vs. unemployed Denver, CO 3:1 ratio of postings vs. unemployed Austin, TX 3:1 ratio of postings vs. unemployed Richmond, VA 3:1 ratio of postings vs. unemployed Minneapolis, MN 2:1 ratio of postings vs. unemployed Indianapolis, IN 1:1 ratio of postings vs. unemployed Orlando, FL 1:1 ratio of postings vs. unemployed   While the jury is still out, the fact that we’ve seen job market growth and increased consumer spending is a positive sign and one we’ll watch for continued stirrings.   If you have any questions on how you can successfully plan a wealth accumulation strategy in any market condition, visit Midwest Wealth Management at www.midwest-wealth.com, or call us at 877-243-4132.   References   Stilwell, Victoria. Payrolls in U.S. Rose 287,000 in June, Most in Eight Months. Bloomberg. 8, July 2016.     Mui, Ylan Q. America’s jobs market has had a great 2016. Will it last? The Washington Post. 2, June. 2016.     Fox, Justin. This Job Market Slump Started a While Ago. Bloomberg. 6, June. 2016.   Indeed. Job Market Competition. 2016 Rankings. Based on preliminary June 2016 employment data. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor. 29, June 2016.  
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