Category Archives: Investing and fiduciary requirements

Fun Facts from this years CRBJ Market Facts

I just received this years “Charleston Regional Business Journals” Market Facts book.  I always find a few things I never would have guessed, and alot of interesting information.  Did you know:

The average time on the market for a $250,000 home is 119 days…

Median Home Prices in Charleston County didn’t hit their peak ($332,230) until 2010, and have dropped 7.5% since then…

On average you will get about 94% of the price you list the house at…

The worst hit area in SC for housing prices?  Hilton Head declined by a whopping 34.8%.  The Charleston Area declined 12.5% over the same time…

The South Carolina Education Lottery paid out $267 million for education in the last 10 years!

Office Space rent averages $18.70 per square foot, about the same as 3 years ago… Industrial costs have dropped to $4.01/sq ft

37% of Banks are still unprofitable in the area…

The SBA approved 70 loans in the tricounty area last year totalling $30 million…

The two fastest growing job sectors?  Computer and Math, and Architecture and Engineering…

Farming Fishing and Forestry have lost 46% of the jobs since 2000…

The top exported commodity through the Port?  Paper and Paperboard.

Top Imported Commodities?  Auto parts and furniture…

Think the airport is busier?  48% busier since 2003, handling around $3.5million passengers

The port saw 88 cruise boats, totalling $351,349 passengers last year..

6.9% fewer people have health insurance today inSouth Carolina than in 2000…

Wondering about your rate increase?

The government, under PPACA “Health Care Reform” has a website that you can go to, that shows you the requested increases for each company in your state.   You can see each company, the product, the proposed rate increase, and what action the state has taken.

Go to

Weekly Economic Update for August 27 2012




“The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”


– Niels Bohr




Have you talked to your spouse or partner about your retirement goals? This is vital. See how your individual visions of retirement correspond or differ.




A major league pitcher faces just 27 hitters in a baseball game. He retires all of them, allowing no runs and no hits. Still, his team loses the game 4-0. How is this possible?



Last week’s riddle:

What is the longest word in the English language to have only one vowel repeated? (Hint: It has 18 total letters and the vowel is repeated 4 times). 


Last week’s answer:


 August 27, 2012



Census Bureau data showed new home sales increasing 3.6% in July to a two-year peak, with an annual gain of 25%. In addition, the National Association of Realtors reported a 2.3% gain in existing home sales last month; residential resales were 10% improved from 12 months ago. The latest edition of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Home Price Index showed prices 1.8% higher for the second quarter (the best quarter since Q4 2005) and 3.0% higher year-over-year.1,2


Overall hard goods orders rose 4.2% in July, but they fell 0.4% for the month with transportation orders subtracted. Core capital goods orders fell 3.4% in July, the most severe monthly decline since November and the fourth retreat in five months.3


The August 1 Federal Reserve policy minutes noted: “Many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon unless incoming information pointed to a substantial and sustainable strengthening in the pace of the economic recovery.” Does that imply QE3? Not according to St. Louis Fed president James Bullard, who dismissed the minutes as “stale” on Thursday and noted that stocks are “looking at all-time highs”. Friday, however, the Wall Street Journal cited a letter from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke noting that there was “scope for further action” by the Fed to “ease financial conditions and strengthen the recovery.” Investors are hoping for a decisive FOMC move in September.4,5,6


All three major U.S. indexes retreated last week, as follows: DJIA, -0.88% to 13,159.02; S&P 500, -0.46% to 1,411.68; NASDAQ, -0.19% to 3,070.73. In the commodities markets, COMEX gold gained 3.30% on the week while NYMEX crude rose 0.15%; gold ended the week at $1,672.90, oil at $96.15. A gallon of unleaded averaged $3.73 nationwide Friday.7,8

THIS WEEK: Monday, Tiffany announces Q2 earnings. Tuesday brings June’s S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index and the Conference Board’s August consumer confidence survey. Wednesday offers the latest Fed Beige Book, numbers on July’s pending home sales from the NAR and the second estimate of Q2 GDP from the federal government; TiVo, Pandora and Heinz issue earnings reports. July consumer spending figures are out on Thursday in addition to the weekly jobless claims report. Friday, Ben Bernanke speaks at the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium and the final August University of Michigan consumer sentiment index arrives.

DJIA +7.71 +16.24 -0.33 +4.83
NASDAQ +17.87 +24.44 +3.83 +12.24
S&P 500 +12.25 +19.88 -0.92 +5.00
10 YR TIPS -0.60% 0.25% 2.40% 3.10%

Sources:,,, – 8/24/127,9,10,11

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly.

These returns do not include dividends.

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«RepresentativeDisclosure»This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. Marketing Library.Net Inc. is not affiliated with any broker or brokerage firm that may be providing this information to you. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.


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The summer of 2012 has defied expectations.

 Presented by Reeve Conover

On August 21, the S&P 500 hit a 4-year high. It climbed 3% in the first three weeks of the month following a 1.26% July gain. Across the past four weeks, the index’s total return has been just under 4%.1,2,3   

 Unexpected? You might say so. You can’t predict how the market will behave. This summer, stocks are managing to advance despite lingering threats.

Shouldn’t Wall Street be more pessimistic? After all, the “fiscal cliff” is drawing closer, the risk of a crack in the eurozone hasn’t exactly faded, and the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve have not yet boldly responded to disappointing economic signals. Did Wall Street just collectively dismiss all of this in recent weeks?

Few saw this rally coming. The prevailing opinion – at least in spring – was that stocks would limp along through the summer, possibly retreating in reaction to news from Europe and subpar U.S. indicators. That was essentially the story in 2010 and 2011. In 2010, the S&P saw an April-May selloff and didn’t recover until that November. In 2011, a May-June selloff preceded a disastrous July; it took until February 2012 for stocks to get back to where they had been ten months earlier.4

This year, the S&P hit a peak in April and a valley in June – and just two months later, it returned to its YTD high.4

What factors are buoying the market? ECB President Mario Draghi’s (vague) pledge to do whatever is necessary to support the euro has certainly calmed some nerves. Investors continue to anticipate that the Fed will ease in the near term. The real estate sector appears to be healing, even as other economic indicators show sluggishness.

Some analysts think that the market simply wants to move higher – bullish sentiment has prevailed, even with all this uncertainty. In fact, a few analysts wonder if this summer’s advance mirrors a longstanding pattern.

 Will history repeat? While it is far too early to answer “yes” to that question, it is interesting to note some past tendencies of “mature” bull markets. According to research from Bespoke Investment Group, we are now in the ninth longest and ninth strongest bull market since 1928 (nearly 1,300 days old with 110% appreciation).4 

Mature bull markets witness corrections. In June, we more or less saw one – the S&P dropped 9.9% from its April high, actually 10.9% on an intraday basis. According to Bespoke, this was the twentieth bull market correction in the past 84 years. In the 19 previous corrections, the S&P took an average of 98 days to fully rebound from its low. This year, only 81 days were required.4

So what happened once the S&P recaptured its highs after these corrections? The index rose during the following month in 84% of these instances, with the average gain in those 30 days being 2.1%. Stretch that window of time out to three months, and data shows the index advancing 65% of the time with an average gain of 1.3%. Six months after such a rebound, the S&P was higher 84% of the time with the average advance at 5.5%.4

This data suggests that once a bull market is entrenched, a correction doesn’t shake the confidence of investors. There is still the perception of an upside.

 A steepening VIX curve may be cause for concern. The CBOE VIX (the so-called “fear index” indicating expected volatility) fell below 14 in mid-August. This month, the VIX futures curve has shown a steepness not seen in several years, with VIX futures prices for October above 20 and in the vicinity of 25 for January. Some analysts wonder if complacency is about to give way to greater anxiety, since the VIX has shown longer-term volatility at a higher premium than short-term volatility.5 

 Yesterday’s statistics don’t equal tomorrow’s reality; nobody knows what the market will do this fall and winter. What we do know is that this summer, stocks have nicely exceeded expectations.

Reeve Conover may be reached at 877-423-9990 or


This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.



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Health Care Ruling Affecting Health Benefits Strategies

August 27, 2012 ( – Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision about health care reform, two-thirds of companies say it has affected their overall health benefits strategy.

According to a Towers Watson survey of 440 midsized to large companies, one-third of them are waiting for the upcoming elections or the opening of insurance exchanges before making any significant changes to their health care strategy. Most employers (88%) have affirmed their commitment to offer health care benefits to their active employees for the foreseeable future.  

The 2012 Towers Watson Health Care Changes Ahead Survey found the actions and programs that companies are planning or considering include changing plan options (63%); significantly reducing subsidization of coverage for spouses and dependents (38%); and using spousal waivers or surcharges (29%). Additionally, some employers will pass along a greater percentage of costs to employees. Thirteen percent plan to increase their employees’ share of health care premiums in 2013 by five percentage points or more, while 42% plan to increase employees’ share by one to five percentage points.    

Towers Watson notes a projected 2013 per employee health care cost of $11,507, an increase of 5.3% from 2012. The $11,507 total cost represents an employer cost of $8,911 per employee and an employee cost of $2,596 per employee. While the overall increase in employee cost sharing is modest, it is meaningful to employees, as it outpaces average merit increases.

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Reeve Conover is a Registered Representative. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/dealer member FINRA/SPIC. Cambridge and Conover Consulting are not affiliated. Licensed in SC, NC, NY, CT, NJ, and CA. - SIPC - Brokercheck