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You can find reports from our Investment and Research team, timely and informative financial planning topics from our Wealth Management team, and deeper dives on various important topics in our white papers from any team member. Read online, share with friends, or download for your convenience.

Survey Data Pointing Towards a Weakening Employment Environment Chart

Highlighted by record low unemployment and the recent return of modest wage growth, the U.S. employment environment has been a strong point for the domestic economy throughout the current economic expansion. However, as indicated by the gold line in the chart above, the rate of job growth has been slowing for most of 2019. Slowing job growth 10 years into an economic expansion makes sense, given that there is minimal slack left in the jobs market. Nonetheless, slowing job growth is a concern as any hit to the American consumer could threaten an already shaky economic growth picture. Survey data (black line) confirms that business managers are experiencing increasing difficulty with finding qualified labor as well as having to forgo new hiring rounds due to macroeconomic headwinds, namely the ongoing trade war with China. We expect that employment growth will continue to be weighed down as long as major macro level concerns go unresolved.

APA Kossoff 3x4HI RGBIn my letter that I wrote last December, I apparently did a poor job of communicating my transition from President to Chairman.  So, now, after many kind inquiries from all of you about how my “retirement” was going, let me say thank you, I love all the care and concern, but (fortunately) I am not retired.  The work we are doing to build and maintain a world-class business by helping clients attain their financial success is still so incredibly exciting and compelling to me that while this is my 23rd year with Allegiant, my 33rd year in the industry, and I’m not close to being done. 

If you have found yourself in the difficult position of researching divorce in the last few years, you may have come across the term “collaborative divorce.” For many people, separating from a spouse can be one of the most painful experiences of their lives. As such, it seems far-fetched that the process can be anything but contentious. However, collaborative divorce often provides a path for an amicable separation. Before diving into the details of collaborative divorce, let’s first review the other ways that a couple can divorce. 

Every month The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) releases a comprehensive Report On Business consisting of two separate reports, the Manufacturing ISM Report and the Non-Manufacturing ISM Report. The manufacturing report includes the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI); the non-manufacturing report includes the Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI). These indices represent a collection of survey data from purchasing executives throughout various industries regarding changes in business metrics over the previous month.

Month after month, year after year, the economy keeps chugging along. The longest economic expansion in U.S. history continues to astound many doubters. There are certainly reasons to doubt this expansion. On any given day there is an abundance of dissenters avowing why the current state of affairs is really different than what our experience is telling us. Up until now it has been hard to give much credit to the ever- present doubters. But, one day the doubters will be right. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

You may remember the noise surrounding the settlement for $125 per victim promised by Equifax following the massive 2017 data breach. 

Since that news, the filing process has changed. In the beginning of September 2019, Equifax sent an email to those who have already filed the $125 claim based on the grounds that they already are subscribed to a credit monitoring service. Equifax now requires that anyone who has filed a claim will have to prove they actually have credit monitoring in order to receive the promised $125. 

A side note: the email sent by Equifax looks like spam and may be captured in your junk folder, so you may need to search for their correspondence. The legitimate correspondence comes from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the title, “Your Equifax Claim: You Must Act by October 15, 2019 or Your Claim for Alternative Compensation Will Be Denied.” 

APA Vorndran 3x4HI RGBAs the growing need for financial education continues to be recognized, Allegiant Private Advisors has pioneered multiple programs designed to increase awareness and knowledge about finance and money management within the Sarasota region. Allegiant Paraplanner KJ Vorndran, CFP®, CRPC® and a Master of Science, Personal Financial Planning candidate, has been one of our key leaders involved in presenting a financial literacy program for the Sarasota Young Professional Group (YPG), part of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, and launching Allegiant’s Young Professional Mentorship Program. Now, she’s lending her professional knowledge and talents to the YPG membership in an additional way. 

On October 1, 2019, KJ will begin her volunteer service as Finance Chair on the Young Professionals Group Board of Directors. 

APA Dees 3x4HI RGBThe Allegiant Private Advisors team is pleased to announce the promotion of Cameron Dees to the position of Research Analyst.

“Cameron has proven to be a key member of our Investment Research team,” explained Allegiant Private Advisors President Benjamin W. Jones, CFP®, AIF®. “His ability to examine and analyze in-depth financial data and trends helps inform our customized, independent strategies prepared for each client. Plus, thanks to our team approach to customized wealth management, our colleagues and clients benefit from both Cameron’s insights and good nature.”

Cameron originally joined Allegiant in early 2018 as a research assistant. (Click here to get to know him better on a personal level.)

APA Jones 3x4HI RGBAllegiant Private Advisors President and Chief Investment Officer Benjamin W. Jones, CFP®, AIF®, has been named to Forbes’ 2019 Next-Gen Best-In-State Wealth Advisors list published on Forbes.com. This year’s Next-Gen Best-In-State Wealth Advisors list spotlights advisors from Alaska to Florida with team assets amounting to more than $1 trillion.

Wayne Bloom, CEO of Commonwealth Financial Network®, Allegiant Private Advisors’ Registered Investment Adviser–broker/dealer, said, “Congratulations to Benjamin Jones on being recognized by Forbes. The future of the financial advice industry is bright, and Ben—and Allegiant—will undoubtedly continue to make a positive impact. We remain committed to providing the solutions the next generation of financial advisors need to power their journey and add time back into their day so they can focus on their clients.” 

Ben has been managing assets for private individuals, families, and charitable organizations for nearly 15 years at Allegiant Private Advisors. He is a Principal and President of the firm, managing Allegiant’s 14-member team and serving as Chief Investment Officer. Jones leads the investment committee, is responsible for establishing the firm’s overall investment strategy, security selection, portfolio management, and oversees research activities. 

He considers this recognition a credit to Allegiant’s philosophy of independent thinking and customized solutions that are researched, designed, analyzed and implemented by an entire team of professionals—as opposed to the common industry practice of a single advisor working in a silo.

Chart Differing Business and Consumer Confidence

Historically, consumer and business confidence have moved in similar directions albeit not always by the same magnitude, as indicated by the chart above. Recently, however, business and consumer confidence levels have diverged sharply. This occurrence can partially be explained by the current U.S.-China trade dispute, which has been felt first by businesses due to the fact that many of the goods that have been targeted thus far have been inputs to manufacturing or other production processes as opposed to end market consumer goods. This may change if recently announced tariffs by the U.S. go into effect in September and December which more directly target consumer goods. Regardless of the driver, businesses are often upstream of consumers when it comes to feeling economic pressure, which would mean now is a good time to be cautious. Although business confidence has been moving lower and should be taken note of, confidence levels are still at strong absolute levels along with numerous other economic data points that still support a growing U.S. economy, albeit at a slower rate.