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Economic Indicator Review: ISM Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing Indexes

by Wiehan Peyper

Recent economic reports have focused a great deal on the latest updates related to the US ISM Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) as it continued to dip lower towards the end of 2019. Some economic commentators have taken a rather negative viewpoint with regards to future economic growth rates due to the lower economic activity from the production sector. A possible future recession has even been highlighted in some instances. The PMI economic indicator forms part of AOG’s economic overview watchlist and gets used in conjunction with numerous other indictors to provide the investment management team with an overview of the economic landscape. Let’s take a closer look at the PMI to see if recession fears sparked as a result of recent trends are warranted.

Inverted Yield Curve is a “Curve Ball” that Fools Experts

by Frederick P. Baerenz, AIF®

Remember just a few months ago, many experts were prognosticating a weakening US and Worldwide economic environment?  They frequently cited the inversion of the yield curves for 2 year and 10 year US debt.   Think of interest rates for Certificates of Deposit.  Usually, the longer the term of the CD, the higher the interest rate.  If you plotted those rates versus time, it would indicate a smooth upward sloping curve.  If for some reason, shorter duration CDs actually offered a higher interest rate, that curve would be “inverted”.  Over the last month many analysts are falling all over each other while racing to tout encouraging economic news.  Why were so many “experts” wrong just three months ago, and how should investors weigh similar “glass half empty” forecasts in the future?

Opportunity Zone Investing with Silverstein Properties (Developer of One World Trade Center)

by Frederick P. Baerenz, AIF®

A few weeks ago, Fred had the opportunity to meet with Executives from Silverstein Properties. Silverstein is best known for acquiring the World Trade Center seven weeks before the 9/11 terror attacks and spending the next two decades rebuilding the hallowed site. They are doing the real estate development work for one of the funds we utilize for Opportunity Zones. Click the link below to hear more on this meeting from our president and CEO Fred Baerenz:

Qualified Charitable Contributions

by Jim Ortlip, CFP ®

We recently produced a blog post extolling the virtues of using appreciated capital assets to fund your charitable intentions. In this post, we will introduce the reader to the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). A QCD allows an IRA account owner to contribute a part or all of their Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) to a charitable endeavor.

Why Long-Term Care Matters

by Joe Yoon, CFP ®, CIMA ®


The current statistic is that if you are turning 65 today, you have a 70% chance of needing a long-term care facility.