• Raffa Wealth Management

    Raffa Wealth Management is a boutique investment advisory firm. We can help you achieve your financial goals so you can enjoy the freedom to pursue your passion. We know that you’re working to accomplish great things for your families and in our communities. We’re proud to help you Grow it for Good!

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through June 24th

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US stocks edged up over the week aided by healthcare and pharmaceutical stocks. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% and the Dow ticked up less than 0.1% for the week. Abroad, Japan gained 1.0% and Europe declined 0.3% for the week. Oil fell 4.4% for the week to $43.01 a barrel entering bear market territory. The yield on the 10 year Treasury fell slightly to finish the week at 2.15%.  Article

The largest US banks passed the Fed’s stress tests providing more ammunition for calls of reduced regulations.

New home sales rose 2.9% in May and prices hit a record high.

Travis Kalanick, the embattled founder and CEO of Uber was forced to resign.  Article

Oracle posted earnings that well outpaced expectations.

 

About

Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com

 

DiggLinkedInDeliciousRead It LaterStumbleUponEmailGoogle BookmarksGoogle BuzzFacebookShare
Posted in Monthly Market Commentary, Nonprofit Investing, Personal Financial Management | Comments closed

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through June 17th

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US stocks rose slightly over the week as the outcome of the Fed meeting was in line with expectations. The S&P 500 edged up 0.1% and the Dow rose 0.5% for the week. Internationally, Japan ticked down 0.3% and Europe eased 0.5% for the week. The yield on the 10 Year Treasury edged up to 2.16% near its lowest level of the year. Oil prices fell to $44.73 a barrel its lowest level of 2017 on news of still high levels of inventory. For the year oil is down 17%. The price decline show the limitations of OPEC production cuts.  Article

At the Fed’s June meeting, as expected, it raised the Fed Funds rate a quarter percent to a range between 1% and 1.25%. They still expect to raise interest rates one more time this year. It also spelled out how it would begin to unwind its $4.5 trillion bond portfolio later this year. It will start by letting $6 billion in Treasury securities and $4 billion in mortgage bonds mature without being reinvested and let that increase until a maximum of $30 billion in Treasuries and $20 billion in mortgages a month mature.  Article

Amazon agreed to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion upending the grocery business.  Article

 

About

Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com

 

DiggLinkedInDeliciousRead It LaterStumbleUponEmailGoogle BookmarksGoogle BuzzFacebookShare
Posted in Monthly Market Commentary, Nonprofit Investing, Personal Financial Management | Comments closed

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through June 10th

US Stocks were mixed over several market moving events and a sharp drop in tech company shares to end the week. The S&P 500 eased 0.3% and the Dow rose 0.3% for the week. Internationally, Europe was off 0.6% and Japan fell 1.3% for the week. The yield on the 10 Year Treasury edged up to 2.20%. Oil prices have continued to slide ending the week at $45.83 a barrel down 3.8% for the week.  Article

The World Bank estimates that global growth will reach a seven year high of 2.9% next year.

The UK election surprised pundits again with the ruling Conservative Party losing its majority. The election was called to strengthen the Theresa May and her parties hand, but instead weakened it heading into negotiations to exit the EU.

US worked productivity was revised upwards to be flat in the first quarter. Compared to a year ago it gained 1.2%.

After an ECB meeting President Draghi revealed a more upbeat outlook and stated they probably would not need to cut rates again, but did not reduce any of the simulative actions its taking.

DiggLinkedInDeliciousRead It LaterStumbleUponEmailGoogle BookmarksGoogle BuzzFacebookShare
Posted in Monthly Market Commentary, Nonprofit Investing, Personal Financial Management | Comments closed

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through June 3rd

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

Global stocks hit fresh record highs to end a strong week for world markets. Stock price gains were driven by corporate profits and signs of economic strength. The US, South Korea and Germany all posted records on Friday. The S&P 500 gained 1.0% and the Dow rose 0.6% for the week. Internationally, Japan jumped 2.5% and Europe edged up 0.3% for the week. The yield on the 10 year Treasury fell to 2.16% the lowest level since just after the presidential election as investors believe the Fed will take a slow and steady pace with interest rate increases.   Article

The US added 138,000 jobs in May, well below estimates. Hiring numbers were revised down for the previous two months by 66,000. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3% its lowest level in 16 years.   Article

US manufacturing remained in expansion territory in May and picked up pace form April.

Illinois was downgraded by both S&P and Moody’s and is now on the verge of being the first US state with junk rated bonds.

ECB President Draghi said that despite the improving economic picture in Europe the bank is not ready to cut back on its stimulus.

Personal consumption expenditures rose 0.4% in April the largest one month increase since December.

The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation ticked up 0.2% in April, but year over year prices rose 1.7% compared to 1.9% in March.

 

About

Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com

 

DiggLinkedInDeliciousRead It LaterStumbleUponEmailGoogle BookmarksGoogle BuzzFacebookShare
Posted in Monthly Market Commentary, Nonprofit Investing, Personal Financial Management | Comments closed

Combating a Potential Trump Slump

Over the month it became increasingly apparent that the Trump administration may run into several challenges that could hamper its agenda. Markets reacted particularly strong mid month when anonymous sources claimed that the President asked that FBI Chief James Comey end the FBI’s inquiry into Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and his interactions with Russia.  US stocks sank 1.8% when the news broke and foreign stocks sank 1.2%.  Investors grew concerned that a Russia cloud would hang over the administration and greatly slow or bring to a halt the President’s agenda.  If the tax breaks, reduced regulation and increased infrastructure spending that the market has factored into stock prices are delayed, or never materialize, it would likely send US stocks down.

It is anyone’s guess how the various investigations and inquiries play out, but there will likely be significant volatility over the coming months as new stories break. How much the President is slowed and what actually gets passed will have a significant impact on markets.

How does an investor handle the potential volatility driven by these political issues? The best course of action is to be diversified beyond US stocks.  Having stock exposure outside of the US could help limit any administration related market shocks.  For the year to date, foreign stocks have outpaced those in the US, but foreign stocks remain much less expensive with a price to earnings ratio that is 20% lower than their US counterparts.  In addition, maintaining a diversified high quality fixed income exposure provides a likely hedge to any drops in equity.  In times of severe market stress it’s been shown time and again that high quality fixed income, like US Treasuries, holds up very well.  In 2008, when the US stock market was collapsing, US treasuries rose over 11% for the year.  If there are any significant down swings in US stocks we do not recommend moving out of the asset class.  Instead we recommend waiting until your US stock allocation hits its predetermined minimum threshold and buying in to bring it back to its target allocation.  Other areas of the portfolio, like fixed income and potentially foreign stocks, could be up.  Thus investments that are up can be sold and reinvested in what is down.

By remaining disciplined to your target asset allocation, maintaining a very high-quality fixed-income allocation, and by diversifying broadly you can reduce the potential negative impact of any political drags on the market and remain focused on achieving your long term investment goals.

 

Index Performance      May  YTD Trl 1 Yr
US Stock (Russell 3000) 1.02% 7.96% 17.69%
Foreign Stock (FTSE AW ex US) 3.26% 13.89% 18.80%
Total US Bond Mkt. (BarCap Aggregate) 0.77% 2.38% 1.58%
Short US Gov. Bonds (BarCap Gov 1-5 Yr) 0.23% 0.95% 0.58%
Municipal Bonds (BarCap 1-10yr Muni) 1.09% 3.32% 1.50%
Cash (ML 3Month T-Bill)  0.05% 0.22% 0.44%

 

About

Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com

 

There is no guarantee that any investment strategy, including those described here, will be successful. Any investment or investment strategy can lose money. Past performance does not guarantee or predict future results.  You should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.  This information was gathered from reliable sources but we cannot guarantee accuracy.  Indexes do not reflect the fees associated with actual investments and such fees would reduce the performance illustrated.

DiggLinkedInDeliciousRead It LaterStumbleUponEmailGoogle BookmarksGoogle BuzzFacebookShare
Posted in Monthly Market Commentary, Nonprofit Investing, Personal Financial Management, Portfolio Strategy | Comments closed

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through May 27th

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US stocks ended the week at fresh all time highs driven by the Fed meeting minutes and strong corporate earnings. The S&P 500 rose 1.4% and the Dow gained 1.3% for the week.  Internationally, Japan was up 0.5% and Europe was flat for the week.  The yield on the 10 year Treasury bond was flat for the week ending at 2.25%.  Oil prices fell 1.7% over the week on disappointment from the results of the OPEC meeting.

China’s credit rating was downgraded by Moody’s who cited concerns over the countries financial strength over the coming years. It downgraded it from Aa3 to A1.  Article

Minutes from the Fed’s May meeting were released and showed that the Fed felt it would “soon be appropriate” to raise short term interest rates. The statement confirmed investors’ expectations that an interest rate increase at the June meeting was on the table.  Article

US GDP rose 1.2% in the first quarter. It was revised up from the 0.7% originally estimated.

Huntsman Corp and Clariant are close to an agreement to merge that would create a chemicals giant worth approximately $14 billion.

Jim Hackett was tapped to replace Mark fields as CEO of Ford.

Earnings in the first quarter grew at the fastest pace in six years. Earnings of firms in the S&P 500 grew 13.6% from the year earlier period.

 

 

About

Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com

DiggLinkedInDeliciousRead It LaterStumbleUponEmailGoogle BookmarksGoogle BuzzFacebookShare
Posted in Monthly Market Commentary, Nonprofit Investing, Personal Financial Management | Comments closed

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through May 20th

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US stocks ended down for the week after controversies surrounding the Trump administration shook markets. The S&P 500 and Dow fell 0.4% for the week.  Internationally, Europe declined 1.0% and Japan sank 1.5% for the week.  The yield on the 10 year Treasury eased as investors moved to safe havens.  The yield fell to 2.24% to end the week.   Article

China’s economic activity slowed in many areas in April.

Home sales hit their fastest pace in a decade in the first quarter, rising 1.4%, and the national median home price surged 6.9% from a year ago.

Russia and Saudi Arabia released a joint statement saying additional production cuts were necessary through March of 2018. Oil prices rose 2%.

China’s central bank added $24.7 billion to markets to aid investor confidence, the most in four months.

Industrial production surged in April posting its beigest gain in over three years.

Japan’s economy picked up pace in the first quarter with GDP growth of 2.2%, above expectations.

Ford announced it was cutting 10% of its global workforce to improve profitability.

Europe is on pace to post a 16.2% jump in earnings per share in 2017 compared to a 10.5% jump in the US. First quarter earnings per share have grown 23% from a year earlier in Europe.

With nearly all of the S&P 500 firms reporting earnings they are on track to grow 13.9% from last year, the largest jump since 2011.

 

About

Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com

 

DiggLinkedInDeliciousRead It LaterStumbleUponEmailGoogle BookmarksGoogle BuzzFacebookShare
Posted in Monthly Market Commentary, Nonprofit Investing, Personal Financial Management | Comments closed

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through May 13th

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

Driven by disappointing results from brick-and-mortar retailers US stocks fell over the week. The S&P 500 ticked down 0.3% and the Dow fell 0.5% for the week.  Abroad, Japan jumped 2.3% and Europe rose 0.3% for the week.  The yield on the 10 year Treasury eased slightly over the week ending at 2.33%.  Article

Emmanuel Macron easily won the runoff election for the French presidency. A victory for the EU.  Article

US grew at a 0.7% rate in the first quarter while the EU grew 1.8%. Brazil and China are showing growth after two years of contracting.  The IMF has also become more bullish on emerging market prospects.  Consumer sentiment has reached the highest level since 2007 in Europe.

Retail sales rose 0.4% in April the best gain in three months, but fell short of expectations. Article

Consumer sentiment hit its highest reading since the beginning of the year.

The CPI-U rose 2.2% in April from a year earlier, while excluding food and energy it rose 1.9%. The core inflation increase was the first time it has been below 2% since October 2015.

With over 90% of companies in the S&P 500 reporting earnings for the first quarter, earnings are on pace to rise 14%, the fastest annual growth since 2011.

 

About

Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com

 

DiggLinkedInDeliciousRead It LaterStumbleUponEmailGoogle BookmarksGoogle BuzzFacebookShare
Posted in Monthly Market Commentary, Nonprofit Investing, Personal Financial Management | Comments closed

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through May 6th

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US stocks hit new all time highs on strong corporate earnings and a positive jobs report. The S&P 500 rose 0.6% and the Dow edged up 0.3% for the week.  Internationally, Japan gained 1.3% and Europe jumped 1.9% for the week.  The yield on the 10 year Treasury ended the week at 2.35% up 0.07% from last week.  Oil prices have dipped falling 6.3% over the week to finish at $46.22 a barrel.  Article

US manufacturing activity eased in April, but was still in expansion territory. It was the second straight month of declines.

Auto sales continued to decline in April with truck and SUV sales surprisingly sluggish. Sales fell 4.7% from a year earlier.

Puerto Rico went under court protection effectively making it the largest ever US municipal bankruptcy. The territory and its agencies owe $73 billion.  Article

The Fed announced after their meeting that they believe economic growth would improve after the weak first quarter and remain on pace to make 2 more interest rate increases this year.

The House approved a health care bill that repealed significant portions of the Affordable Care Act. It now faces an uncertain fate in the senate.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.4%, the lowest level since May 2007, in April. Hiring picked up with 211,000 jobs added, outpacing expectations.  Article

Earnings for firms in the Stoxx Europe 600 are expected to rise 5.5% over a year ago.

 

About

Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com

 

DiggLinkedInDeliciousRead It LaterStumbleUponEmailGoogle BookmarksGoogle BuzzFacebookShare
Posted in Monthly Market Commentary, Nonprofit Investing, Personal Financial Management | Comments closed

Without a Fully Diversified Portfolio you are Starting behind the Eight Ball

This month we have a guest blog post from Bloomberg, “The Math Behind Futility.”  The article examines research that looks at the question of why active managers underperform the benchmark so frequently.

If the fund you hold does not capture the entire asset class being targeted, missing just a few of that asset classes’ biggest winners may result in returns below the benchmark index.  This is why we recommend diversifying broadly across an asset class.  It eliminates the risk of missing the top performers.  Active stock funds have fewer holdings and as a result they are more likely to miss the biggest winners.

 

Index Performance    April YTD Trl 1 Yr
US Stock (Russell 3000) 1.06% 6.86% 18.58%
Foreign Stock (FTSE AW ex US) 2.20% 10.30% 13.31%
Total US Bond Mkt. (BarCap Aggregate) 0.77% 1.59% 0.83%
Short US Gov. Bonds (BarCap Gov 1-5 Yr) 0.32% 0.72% 0.20%
Municipal Bonds (BarCap 1-10yr Muni) 0.64% 2.21% 0.34%
Cash (ML 3Month T-Bill)  0.07% 0.17% 0.40%

 

About

Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at www.raffawealth.com

 

There is no guarantee that any investment strategy, including those described here, will be successful. Any investment or investment strategy can lose money. Past performance does not guarantee or predict future results.  You should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.  This information was gathered from reliable sources but we cannot guarantee accuracy.  Indexes do not reflect the fees associated with actual investments and such fees would reduce the performance illustrated.

 

DiggLinkedInDeliciousRead It LaterStumbleUponEmailGoogle BookmarksGoogle BuzzFacebookShare
Posted in Monthly Market Commentary, Nonprofit Investing, Personal Financial Management, Portfolio Strategy | Comments closed
  • Contact Us
    Raffa Wealth Management
    1899 L Street, NW
    Suite 900
    Washington, DC 20036
    Tel: 202-955-6734