240 South Pineapple Avenue, Suite 200  Sarasota, Florida  34236

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.

With the turn of the calendar, equity markets are off to a roaring start. Troubles from the 4th quarter are a distant memory as U.S. stocks have recovered nearly all their losses. Even more, bonds have staged a nice rally over the last few months, adding incremental return to balanced portfolios. However, even though markets are ignoring the trouble spots, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. In fact, the U.S. faces a few critical challenges in the coming months. Click here to read more. 

Chart Retail Sales Decline

Coming into early 2019, the economic spotlight was placed on the consumer to see if the 2018 year-end market selling and other soft confidence-related releases would lead to weaker spending. One way to gauge the spending growth of consumers is through the change in retail sales which is displayed by the black line, while the gold line represents the change in retail sales excluding gas stations, building materials, and automobiles. Although it is only one data point, last week’s retail sales decline represents the largest decline since 2009. The decline is concerning given that the data represented December 2018 retail sales, where we would typically expect spending to be strong around the holidays. However, the pessimism that can be extracted from the most recent data point was not supported by numerous other retail spending related gauges around the holiday season or by the current job market and wage growth picture. It will be interesting to see if December’s decline will become a trend or if the data was skewed by one off issues that will be corrected in January.

Children, Grandchildren and/or Great-Grandchildren of Allegiant Clients are Eligible and Encouraged to Apply to Allegiant's Annual Scholarship Program

Allegiant Private Advisors gives back to the community in many ways, and there is a particular focus on education and children among our staff. We also believe that the most important thing to our clients is the health and well-being of their family. Our scholarship program is particularly designed to heighten the awareness of personal financial planning and fiscal responsibility for graduating high school seniors. What better way to help your children focus on their own financial success.

Eligibility: The scholarship is available to any graduating high school or currently-enrolled college student who is a child, grandchild and/or great-grandchild of a current client. The high school student must have plans to attend any post-secondary educational institution. The scholarship will be awarded directly to the student in the amount of $1,500.

Application Process: Student must satisfactorily complete the following:

  •  An application.
  •  A 350-word essay on “What is personal financial responsibility?”
  •  A current academic record, a list of recent community service work, extracurricular activities, and work experience.

All of these are required for the application to be considered.

The Selection Process: An Advisory Committee will review the entire application. All applicants’ names will be removed from the selection process to insure objectivity. Employees and families of Allegiant Private Advisors and Kerkering Barberio, CPA are not eligible for the scholarship.

Distribution: The Scholarship will be paid directly to the award recipient. This scholarship is not needs-based.

We are delighted to offer this benefit for our clients. If you would like more information, please contact our office.

The deadline for receipt of application is April 26, 2019
The final award will be made by May 28, 2018

It is our goal to continuously enhance the long-term relationships we have with our clients and their family members. We hope you will encourage eligible family members to participate in this opportunity.

It is our goal to continuously enhance the long-term relationships we have with our clients and their family members.

We hope you will encourage eligible family members to participate in this opportunity.

Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions about the scholarship program: (941) 365-3745.

The Allegiant Private Advisors team is devoted to numerous nonprofit organizations in the community, as a firm and individuals who are passionate about a variety of causes. 

Kristina “KJ” Vorndran, CFP®APA Bio Vorndran, is a member of our Wealth Management team. She recently earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification as well as a promotion to paraplanner and is currently pursuing her Master's of Science degree in Personal Financial Planning. In addition to her professional drive, Vorndran has excelled in academic and sporting competitions. She plays the piano, fluently speaks three languages, is a black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate, graduated summa cum with a 4.0 GPA from the University of South Florida, and holds the title of first - and only - female U.S. Grand National Karting Champion. Now, at the age of 24, KJ has become the youngest President ever elected to the Just for Girls’ Board of Directors. 

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In our community, it seems love is all around throughout the year. If you are considering sharing your success by donating to charities or making gifts to family, we encourage you to read a new article authored by Allegiant Private Advisors team about financially-sound techniques to make the most of your giving.

Click here to learn more and read our complete article on SarasotaMagazine.com, and please contact the Allegiant team if you would like to have a conversation about making the most of your giving. 

Chart Quit Rate and Wage Growth

When looking at the domestic macroeconomic picture, one of the biggest areas of focus is the labor market. This is due to the fact that when jobs are abundant and wages are rising, consumers are more likely to spend and thus stimulate economic activity. While the most popular labor market indicators are the growth in payrolls, wages, and job openings, we also like to pay close attention to the quit rate. The quit rate shows the rate at which workers are voluntarily leaving their jobs. While this may seem like an obscure data point, in actuality it provides tremendous insight. If individuals are voluntarily leaving their jobs, it shows that they have great confidence in the labor market and their prospect for landing a more attractive job. In addition, a rise in the quit rate is also a leading indicator for stronger wage growth.

As you can see in the chart above, the quit rate has moved significantly higher in recent years and is now just below post-recession highs. This has coincided with a sharp increase in wage growth, after years of subpar gains. Along with other key labor metrics, the quit rate is showing that the labor market is still quite strong and labor market participants are increasingly confident. We will continue to monitor the quit rate for signs that confidence in the labor market is shifting.

Chart Consumer Confidence Current vs Expectations

Overall consumer confidence levels are currently near all-time highs, driven by low unemployment and a solid economy. While many people simply look at the headline number and then move on, we always like to break down the data further and examine what is going on beneath the surface. The top panel of the chart above breaks down the overall consumer confidence reading into two data points: the confidence consumers have in their future economic expectations (black line) and the confidence they have in the current economic situation (gold line) with the red shaded bars representing a recession. The bottom panel shows the spread between the current situation and expectations. 

APA Dees 3x4HI RGBResearch Assistant Cameron Dees joined the Allegiant Private Advisors team in early 2018 and the past year has flown by, with Cameron often behind the desk at our Bloomberg terminal. We invite our clients and colleagues to get to know Cameron better as he shares his personal story:

My path to Allegiant was made possible by a heavy dose of luck and a smaller dose of making sure I was prepared when the right opportunity came along. In late 2017, after almost a year of banking experience under my belt, I was constantly thinking about how the banking environment was not the right fit for me, and how I was not even applying what I had worked so hard to learn. So in late December of 2017, I began actively searching for other positions in the Tampa Bay area. After several weeks I was discouraged with the job search and wondering if I would find the right fit, or if I would be stuck in an uninspiring career. I was almost ready to hang up the search when I received an email from a HR representative at Kerkering Barberio asking me if I was interested in applying for a role at Allegiant. Scanning over the job description, I could not believe what I was seeing: a role in Sarasota that included security analysis and hands-on portfolio management tasks as well as interacting with clients. I was sold before I ever stepped foot in the office. Once I did make it into the office for my first interview, my early excitement was confirmed. The staff was so nice and welcoming, the opposite environment that I was expecting to see at a such a reputable investment firm. After a few more interviews, and news that I had passed the first level of an important designation, the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA), the team at Allegiant agreed that I would be a good fit and offered me a position as Analyst on the Investment and Research team. 

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If you’re like most Americans, you are earning close to zero on deposits at the bank. Despite the fact that short-term interest rates are on the rise, most banks have left interest rates paid on deposits at record lows. As of January 2019, the average interest rate paid on savings accounts was only 0.09%, according to the FDIC. Fortunately, options are available for investors to earn significantly more interest on their savings. 

The Allegiant Private Advisors team examines five options for you to consider if you’re fed up with your savings account earning nothing. Read Allegiant’s new article published online at SarasotaMagazine.com if you are ready to ditch the bank and consider new options for income

Chart TCJA

When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was enacted in late 2017, arguably the largest beneficiaries were U.S. corporations. The TJCA cut the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%. This lower tax rate provided corporations with a huge one-time boost to their earnings. While no one can argue that the short-term benefits from the tax cut were very robust, the longer-term benefits are much less certain. Proponents of the TJCA argued that the tax reform would provide a meaningful boost to long-term growth, as companies would take excess earnings and invest back into their businesses via capital expenditures, thus brightening the future growth outlook. While business investment did pick up some over the last few years, we have certainly not seen an investment boom that many pundits predicted. In the chart above, the gold line represents year-over-year growth in durable goods orders which can be thought of as a proxy for business capital expenditures, while the black line shows year-over-year earnings growth of S&P 500 companies. As you can see, we did get a very strong boost to earnings growth; however, the predicted surge in business investment never materialized. Instead of accelerating investment, it appears that many businesses opted instead to return capital to shareholders via dividends and share buybacks. While dividends and buybacks help to boost short-term returns for investors, they provide little to no long-term benefit. As of today, it appears the promised long-term benefits from the TJCA have not come to fruition.