Back to Work

Highlights:

While the issues that threatened to take the United States to the brink of disaster have been pushed out to early next year, we think we are unlikely to see a reprise of the brinkmanship and economics disruption of the past few weeks.

Download the full Weekly Market Commentary article here: Back to Work

Jeffrey Kleintop, CFA
Chief Market Strategist
LPL Financial

Tracking #1-213882 (Exp. 10/14)

URGENT INFORMATION!!!!

I feel like one of the most important ways we add value to our clients is to be calm and clear-headed, even at times when they may not be.  We’ve spent a lot of time during our “Tuesday Team Lunch” talking about how to identify and address what is URGENT, what is IMPORTANT, and what merely seems urgent, but is not.

I also have two teenaged kids in my household.  Well, as I write this one of them is still months away from officially being a teenager, but he’s already emotionally there.  😉

That’s why this blog post from my good friend Jill Farmer really hit home on both a professional and a personal level, enough that I wanted to share it with you. (You can find the original post here: http://www.jillfarmercoaching.com/Blog.html?entry=urgent-information .)  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

J.P. Griffard & Associates, LPL Financial, and Jill Farmer are not affiliated.

 

My executive coaching client Rick was at the end of his rope.

The constant barrage of e-mails pouring into his inbox  titled “Important!!!”, “Need this ASAP!!”, and the old standby “URGENT!!” created a never-ending source of irritation and angst for Rick. 

He started and ended his day with the thought “I’m NEVER going to get caught up.”

The root of this desolate sense of being? False urgency

Rick and his colleagues were using it to inadvertently sabotage each other. Panic is contagious (Google emotional contagion if you don’t believe me). Someone else’s panic can become ours even when we’re not really threatened. It can spread faster than an infection.

Even though it feels horrible, we can get addicted to that panicked state of mind. Our brains trick us into thinking it’s the only way we can get stuff done.

Here’s the real story. When we’re panicked, we’re in fight or flight mode. Fight or flight (as you’ve heard me say about 1 zillion times) is a terrible place to be focused, efficient, productive, innovative, kind or smart. It’s nearly impossible to prioritize properly when we are in that state of mind. 

It’s a little like our panic prone brains are playing the role of a little old lady in an apartment building who pulls the fire alarm every time one of her neighbors lights a candle. Everyone in the building gets nervous and panicky when they hear the fire alarm because they don’t really know whether it’s the real thing. Over time, the constant false alarms cause everyone to be weary, skittish, and unfocused.

What’s the cure for all of this false panic spreading around? 

Cultivate patience.
Next time someone comes at you with a URGENT matter:

1) Stop. Let yourself feel any panic or anxiety you notice. If you can sit with the discomfort for just a little while, it will move through you, instead of staying stuck in you.

2) Take three deep breaths (this calms your nervous system).

3) Ask yourself “Does this truly equal an emergency?”

If the answer is YES, prioritize it and take care of it. 

If not, take another deep breath and tell the person at your desk, in your inbox, or at the foot of your bed that you see they’re nervous or worried. Then give them a time frame in which you can reasonably respond. Or, better yet, make a suggestion for when they can take care of it themselves.

You can’t control other people’s panic.
Start with yourself.
Am I emitting a panicky energy that’s going to infect the person I’m reaching out to?
Be onto yourself when you’re being like an impatient little kid. It will make your life saner, more productive, and more meaningful.

Getting calm, clear and connected. That’s what’s really important, my friend.

The One Big Risk

Highlights:

As Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy on September 15, 2008, there was one big risk everyone was worried about across their portfolios: credit risk.  Five years later, another single big risk has emerged in the minds of investors: interest rate risk.  High-yield bonds and low-yield stocks may provide some insulation from rising rates in your portfolio.

Download the full Weekly Market Commentary article here: The One Big Risk

Jeffrey Kleintop, CFA
Chief Market Strategist
LPL Financial

Tracking #1-199147 (Exp. 09/14)

Thanking St. Louis Through Our New Charitable Giving Program

Several months ago, I started a Charitable Giving Program here at J.P. Griffard & Associates.  It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and all of us here are pretty excited about it.

Why, you ask?  Simple enough-I was raised to believe that I give of my time and wealth because I have the ability to do so.  Furthermore, as I get “more mature”, I realize that my time here is fleeting.  I want to leave this world a better place than I found it, for my kids and for others.

There are other more practical reasons as well.  For starters-Jess, Molly, and I have found it pretty motivating to know that we are working not just to pay our bills, but also to serve a larger goal.  It’s so heartwarming to read the thank you notes we receive from people.

It also makes for more efficient decision-making.  As any business owner can tell you, it’s not long after you hang out your shingle that you are besieged by requests from local charities for assistance.  All of them make heartfelt appeals, most seem to be for a very good cause.  Too, once you make a donation of any size, they come back to you year after year, hoping you’ll donate again.  (Don’t get me wrong-if I ran a charity I would do the exact same thing!)   Now we have a clear and objective set of guidelines to help make those decisions.  In fact, the team (currently Jessica and Molly) makes the final decision.  I don’t even get a vote unless there’s a tie.

So far, we have also received positive feedback from clients as well.  Our monthly donation is based upon both total revenues and also qualifying new deposits from clients.  They like doing business with a company who supports meaningful charities right here in St. Louis.

Yes, it’s possible we could also receive some favorable publicity from this program, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.  I’d rather give the money away to a meaningful cause than pay for advertising.

It’s my hope that by sharing our news, we might inspire other businesses to “pay it forward”.  There is so much good to be done!  I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of this “greedy rich business owner” theme that’s being played out in the political world, so I’m going to combat it head on.  If you own a business and would like to know some details about how we set up our program, I’m happy to share.  Contact me at joe (at) jpgriff dot com.

If you want to recommend a charity to be considered as a candidate for our “Charity of the Month”, let us know and we will send you some information about our program guidelines.  We prefer to focus on organizations that have a strong presence in St. Louis, and who serve the following niches: veterans of any branch of military service, the homeless and near-homeless(especially programs that support a transition to independence), entrepreneurship, education, and medical research.

I’ll be blogging in coming months about some of the organizations we’ve selected as “Charity of the Month”.  Maybe you will decide you want to support them too.  I’d love to hear what you think as you read some of our updates!

Cheers!

Joe Griffard, CFP®

 

 

Under the Surface

Highlights:

Conditions have stopped worsening, and Europe’s economy may be stabilizing after a period of rapid economic deterioration.  However, the deep-rooted negativeness that lie not far under the surface may disappoint those expecting steady improvements.  As we have all year, we continue to believe U.S. stocks will outperform their international peers.

Download the full Weekly Market Commentary article here: Under the Surface

Jeffrey Kleintop, CFA
Chief Market Strategist
LPL Financial

Tracking #1-17427 (Exp. 07/14)

Walking Dead Stock Market

Highlights:

Like the number one TV drama, this unkillable stock market rally seems to get no respect.  While it has been impossible to kill so far this year despite all the shots fired at it, this is no mindless and shambling rally.  Stocks have deliberately moved past these events that did not stop the still beating heart of the economic growth in the United States.

Download the full Weekly Market Commentary article here: Walking Dead Stock Market

Jeffrey Kleintop, CFA
Chief Market Strategist
LPL Financial

Tracking #1-185397 (Exp. 07/14)

 

What We Are Watching for This Earnings Season

Highlights:

The second quarter of 2013 is likely to mark another quarter of low to mid-single digit earnings per share growth.  We will be watching for key trends that may impact future quarters: fiscal drag, slower global growth, wider profit margins, rising buybacks, and higher interest rates.

Download the full Weekly Market Commentary article here: What We Are Watching for This Earnings Season

Jeffrey Kleintop, CFA
Chief Market Strategist
LPL Financial

Tracking #1-183493 (Exp. 07/14)

The Right Recipe for Stocks

Highlights:

The recipe for stock market investing success may be as simple as taking the S&P 500 and adding the characteristics provided by company share buybacks as the market heats up in the second half of the year.

Download the full Weekly Market Commentary article here: The Right Recipe for Stocks 

Jeffrey Kleintop, CFA
Chief Market Strategist
LPL Financial

Tracking #1-181508 (Exp. 07/14)

Mid-Year Outlook

Highlights:

The performance of the markets is likely to converge in the second half of the year on a path that likely holds modest gains.  The return of volatility will also be a key characteristic of the second half of the 2013 as markets follow a path with ups and downs.

Download the full Weekly Market Commentary article here: Mid-Year Outlook

Jeffrey Kleintop, CFA
Chief Market Strategist
LPL Financial

Tracking #1-179919 (Exp. 07/14)

The End Is Near — But That Is Good news

Highlights:

What market participants hear from the Fed last week – that it is ready to soon end the bond-buying program – overwhelmed what the Fed said about how it plans to continue to expand its purchase at a slower pace.

It appears the stock market started to move to price in the start of tightening rather than the potential end of stimulus.

The knee-jerk reaction of selling across all markets – stocks, bonds, and commodities – may not persist for long and could create opportunities to buy the dip.

Jeffrey Kleintop, CFA
Chief Market Strategist
LPL Financial

Tracking #1-178100 (Exp. 06/14)