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Happy Birthday Economic Expansion

As June came to a close, the current economic recovery and expansion turned eight years old. That is the third-longest expansion on record since the end of WWII. That’s according to data compiled by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), which marked the end of the Great Recession in June 2009. The NBER is the arbiter of recessions and expansions for the U.S. economy. It bases its calls on data that includes employment, sales, income, and industrial production.

Birthdays are a time for celebration. But when economic expansions start getting older most don’t want to party. Investors usually start fretting over how long it will last.

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Can the Stock Market and Economy Predict the Election?

By David Smith, CIMA® CFP ®

We are a little over a month away from the Presidential Election.  Polling data informs us how the race may come out, but there may be another predictor that’s starting to get more attention - the stock market.  According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, the stock market returns three months before an election have been prescient in predicting a winner.  Sam Stovall, a stock market expert at the firm, has crunched the numbers.  If stocks rise in the three months before the election, the party that controls the White House has the best chance of winning.  Stovall looked at data since the 1944 election.  When stocks rose three months before the election, the incumbent party won the Presidency 82% of the time.  If stocks were down during that stretch, the challenging party won 86% of the time.

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These Scammers are Clever!

By Tracey Daigle and Dave Robinson

We decided to share this true story with you from Tracey’s family because it illustrates just how clever scam artists can be by playing on natural human emotions.

This starts with a recent call to Tracey’s father-in-law, Fred Daigle Sr. He believed it to be his grandson, Bailey calling. Bailey is a student at the University of Richmond and was thought to be at college at the time.

Caller: “Hi, Grandpa.”

Fred Sr: “Hi Bailey.”

Caller: “I’m in trouble and need help. I’m in Ohio. I drove there for a funeral. I’ve been in a car accident. I may sound funny because I have a broken nose and split lip. The accident was my fault. I’m in jail. They are charging me with DUI. I need $1,600 bail money right away to get out.

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Keep on Spending!

By Dave Robinson, CFP ®

Consumer spending represents the largest percentage of the U.S. economy by far. We must spend for the economy to grow and for people to have work. Anyone else remember the old rock song “Keep on Dancing”? Sometimes you wonder if “Keep on Spending” would make for an apropos U.S. economic theme song! We suggest this tongue in cheek of course. But it is undeniable that our economic well-being links to our collective willingness to spend money.

For the sake of the economy, the U.S. consumer is a resilient spender. The 2008-2009 financial crisis rattled our confidence. Since the end of 2009 though, consumers have increased spending every quarter. In the second quarter of this year, consumer spending jumped over 4%. This was the highest quarterly increase since 2014.

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