Monday, January 25, 2010

One of our lenders put together a great overview on the capital markets

Economic and Interest Rate Outlook

The market has shown strength the first two weeks of the year. A combination of factors including softer than expected Payrolls last Friday, better than expected treasury auctions, and dovish talk from the Fed have driven a sharp move lower in 2010 after a 60 basis point run up into the year-end of 2009.

We continue to see the 10 Year Treasury trade within the range of the 2nd half of 2009—unable to break 3.85% on the high side and 3.20% on the low end. The economic data has improved but not to the point where it is evident that the Fed is prepared to start hiking its target rate. New Treasury supply continues to come, but there is obvious demand for it as evidenced by the solid auctions this week. Every time the 10-Year Treasury rate starts to head toward the high end of the range, buyers emerge and the market rallies. Lack of an imminent move higher in inflation, combined with employment weakness are the key catalysts for fixed income buying at these levels. There are no auctions scheduled for next week, so corporate earning and equity prices will be the primary drivers of the bond market.

The Consumer Price Index excluding the volatile Food and Energy Components showed prices rising 0.1% in December (as expected) and the Fed’s Beige Book characterized the economic conditions as improving modestly. Capacity Utilization inched up higher than expected in December to 72%, the highest level of the past year. Tempering the bullish news this week was a higher than expected initial jobless claims number.

As you might expect, the Fed Funds Futures market lowered its expectations for Fed rate hikes over the course of the week as rates fell. The market still sees about a 30% chance that the Fed will raise it Target rate to 0.50% in August but will certainly move the probability after we see 4th quarter earnings from the Fortune 500

A big thank you to Eric Better of Better Capital for providing this report!

Friday, January 15, 2010

New episode of One on One featuring Doris Wenzel

Alex's guest is Doris Wenzel of Mayhaven Publishing. The youngest of ten sisters and two brothers, she was adopted at two and raised as an only child. A high school dropout, she married at the age of 17, raised seven children. She received a BA in English, Theater and Speech, and an MS in communication. She founded Mayhaven Publishing in 1990. In 1997 Mayhaven published a book she wrote with her sisters entitled: Ten Sisters-A True Story. The story was crafted into a full-length documentary, Ten Sisters, produced by WILL in 2007, can still be seen on PBS stations across the country. For the past twenty years, Doris has been publishing other people’s books and now has added audio books to her publishing achievements. Click here to watch

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Can a Public Adjuster Save You Money?

A public adjuster is an insurance expert who is employed exclusively by a business or personal policy holder who has sustained an insured loss. Public adjusters handle every aspect of the claim and work closely with the insured to provide the most equitable and prompt settlement possible. A public adjuster inspects the loss site immediately, analyzes the damages, assembles data supporting the claim, reviews the insured's coverages, determines current replacement costs and negotiates with the insurance company. One of the best in the business is Richard Michaelson. He is a liscenced public adjuster in multiple states and is a sought after speaker on the topic. As a service to my clients I was able to garner some time from Rich and have him stop in Champaign on his way to the SEC conference in Las Vegas where he is to be a keynote speaker for the convention. In just the short time we had together Rich was able to share some very informative and extremely valuable information about how to deal with the myriad of insurance issues that we all face. Public Adjusters work for the commercial or residental property owner, not the insurance company. The highly stressful period following a loss is a difficult time for individuals and businesses. A professional public adjuster can reduce those major headaches, allowing you to get back to what is really important. Public Adjusters negotiate insurance settlements for the benefit and protection of the policy holder. Your insurance company has an adjuster representing them and their interests and so should you! A Public Adjuster can re-examine, re-open and negotiate settled claims for additional money. We had a great turn out in the second presentation in our CLIENT SERIES with Rich Michaelson. Stay tuned for new and continuing presentations for our clients.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New episode of One on One featuring Rod Sickler

Rod Sickler is one of the most unique and talented individuals that I know. One would never suspect that a young man growing up in Loda Illinois would become a leader in hair design, an international stage artist, a producer and director for Sexy hair Concepts of California and own his own salons but that is exactly what Rod has done. If that is not enough he is also the producer and director of the charitable fund raising show RED HOT WINTER! I feel that this episode was one of the better shows that we have done on entrepreneurship. I hope you enjoy it! To watch this week's show, please visit the following link: