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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.

APA Comerford 3x4LO RGBSeptember 2018 marks my one-year anniversary as an Allegiant Private Advisors team member. I am proud to work with a talented group of people who are without exception committed to high standards of performance.

As the newest member of the Operations team, I enjoy my role as an Operations Specialist as it allows me to interact with our clients daily. We are very fortunate to have clientele that feel like our extended family.

I am originally from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. My family spent Thanksgiving and Easter holidays each year in Sarasota beginning in 1994; therefore, I am very familiar with Sarasota. Once I completed my Master’s degree I knew that I wanted to reside here and relocated in December 2016. I am approaching my two-year anniversary of living in this vibrant, beautiful city and I couldn’t be happier. I love everything the city of Sarasota has to offer from the beautiful beaches to the artsy culture the city exudes.

I hold a B.A. in History from Marywood University where I was an active member and treasurer of the History Club. As an undergraduate, I interned for Pennsylvania's United States Senator and spent the summers between my junior and senior years interning in Washington, D.C. For me, as a History major, this was an experience I will never forget! My internship responsibilities were focused on working with Pennsylvania veterans which I found extremely rewarding.

Chart Housing Sept 2018

The majority of U.S. economic data has been very healthy in 2018. However, recent data in the housing market has been one weak spot. The chart above shows the level of U.S. housing starts and building permits. Both building permits and housing starts have lost momentum in recent months. The short-term movements in both data sets can be volatile; however, we have now seen consecutive months of a slowdown. There are a few factors that we believe may be contributing to the slowdown: a rise in mortgage rates which makes buying a home less affordable and an increase in housing input costs, partially caused by recently enacted tariffs. The recent dip in housing data is no cause for panic, but this is a sector of the economy that we are paying attention to, especially given the current economic and political environment.

One would have to take a trip back to the year 2000 to see a consumer confidence reading that is higher than the one posted today. This week’s chart displays the consumer confidence reading going back to 1985, with recessions being displayed in the red shaded bars. The August 2018 reading beat expectations of 126.6 on the back of strong survey data from consumers on current and future expectations for employment, business conditions, and income. Consumer confidence is one of the key indicators we track at Allegiant, and at current levels it’s still a positive for the economy.

Chart ConsumerConfidence

All indices are managed, and investors cannot actually invest directly into an index. Unlike investments, indices do not incur management fees, charges or expenses. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

APA Walsh 3x4HI RGBAt Allegiant, we pride ourselves on the strength of our wealth management team, after all, our independent firm is built upon a strong team approach to customized wealth management.

Melissa Walsh joined Allegiant Private Advisors in 2018. Her focus is helping clients define and achieve their financial goals through a comprehensive financial planning process which constantly evolves. Melissa’s experience in the financial services industry began in 2008, and has included relationship management, investment analysis, and financial advising. She graduated with high honors from the University of Michigan in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Studies. Melissa holds her Chartered Financial Analyst® designation in addition to the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification which she earned in the spring of 2018.

With more than a decade of financial services experience behind her paired with a resolute approach and commitment to client success, Melissa contributions to our wealth management team have been invaluable since she joined the firm earlier this year.

We’re proud of her achievement in earning the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification which verifies rigorous professional standards in addition to principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism, and diligence on behalf of clients.

AllegiantPA Economic Dashboard Portrait August 2018 webFor months I’ve written about the strengthening U.S. economy. More evidence of such came in the 2nd quarter GDP report, which showed the U.S. economy grew at a robust 4.1%. There were some one-time fluctuations in the number, but after canceling out the one-time effects, growth was still quite good (read our recent Feature about the GDP report to find out more). Even more impressive, on July 27th the Bureau of Economic Analysis released their once every five-year comprehensive update and it showed years of economic data were actually better than originally thought. One of the changes was a 2% per year increase in the national savings rate over the past five years (click here to read more). Trade remains the major economic concern and it will remain front and center until we have some resolutions. As there has been little further development on trade, this month I will focus on the markets.

U.S. equity markets have so far pieced together quite a good 2018, even with increased economic uncertainly and market volatility. As of the end of July, the S&P 500 was up 6.5%, not bad for seven months of the year. However, this number may be misleading. As I’ve written numerous times, breaking down data different ways provides greater insight. The devil is always in the details. For example, understanding where the returns came from - what did well and what did poorly - tells us more about the health of the markets.

By Melissa Walsh, CFA, CFP®
Wealth Advisor

As serious observers of the economy, we are often reminded that money is fungible and should be compounded by investing appropriately. However, the presence of well-documented biases, such as considering sunk costs and participating in so-called “mental accounting,” demonstrates that many people view money in different ways depending how and why it was earned, spent, or saved. I recently listened to an interview with Richard Thaler, a Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist, who explained that even he occasionally finds himself engaging in these biases. If even a renowned behavioral economist admits to economic errors, it is easy to conclude that we do, too. A behavioral finance inspired method called the “bucket approach” takes advantage of this realization. For specific situations, this approach is one of several options for account and investment management.

Every year, Allegiant Private Advisors and Kerkering Barberio & Co.'s Young Professionals Group partners with The Leading Edge Alliance in a community service project. Members of The Leading Edge Alliance are encouraged to use their time and resources to help further the cause of a local non-profit of their choosing. This year, we partnered with Mothers Helping Mothers, an organization whose goal is to provide basic necessities such as clothing and baby items free of charge to families in need.

Chart SP 500 High

The S&P 500 hit an all-time high Tuesday despite the volatility that has been present in markets in 2018. Second quarter earnings growth from S&P 500 companies certainly aided in the index’s performance leading up to the new high. We will be watching to see how markets respond to trade and political developments as well as second half earnings.

All indices are managed, and investors cannot actually invest directly into an index. Unlike investments, indices do not incur management fees, charges or expenses. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Looking for a back to school gift for your child or grandchild? The following books can be a great way to introduce elementary school-aged children to the basics of finance and help facilitate conversations about money. Thoughtfully covering themes of earning, saving, and spending money, these books will also introduce emotional and behavioral drivers of financial decisions.