Due Diligence and The Dog Named Tu

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From the time the soil is rototilled, the vegetables are harvested, and the garden is put to bed, Tu is always there to ensure everything is done properly. During the rototilling season, he is constantly checking to make sure the depth of the till is just correct. He does this by wandering though the freshly tilled soil. You see, he verifies the depth of the till by how high the soil comes up on his feathers (he then wonders why he isn’t allowed back into the house for a bit). During planting season, he is there to help with the tamping down of the soil with his feet after the seeds are in place (his Mom is sometimes dismayed when puddles form after the rains in the sunken toe prints). During the weeding season, he lays on the spot that he thinks should be weeded next; somehow being in the correct row/place of the weeder. After the rabbit fence is put up, he stays on the outside whenever anyone is in the garden – he needs to make sure everything is being done to his high standards. As you can see by the photo, he double checks that the harvest is done appropriately and as if he accomplished it all himself! He learned all his due diligence from his owners and his other side job – For those of you that don’t know, Tu is unofficial greeter1 at White Raven Financial.

Diane, Brett and many clients often see Tu here at White Raven Financial when they meet in the outdoor office. He usually comes up to clients for a quick sniff and after being told “we are having a meeting” disappears (exceptions are those that feed him a treat). Diane and Brett try to live up to Tu’s fine standards when working on financial/retirement plans or asset-under-management portfolios. They have a process or journey that they have charted out and also follow the CFP® seven step financial process2.       

August brought the news that our working officials are also doing their due diligence. After lingering for much of the last decade, we now have a strong prospect of a major federal infrastructure package with the U.S. Senate passing the Act after months of deliberation. Andrew Little, in a Global X Insights3, noted that he felt that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would serve as a remedy to our existing infrastructure for many years if the Act were to be enacted into law. State Street Global Advisor’s, August 27 Commentary4, highlighted Chair Powell latest Jackson Hole speech where he focused on inflation dynamics and the reasons why the Federal Reserve feel the recent inflation spike as transient and how the economy is anticipated to evolve broadly this year. We are unsure if Mr. Powel understands how us little people feel the inflation pain. Recently Charles Schwab provided a commentary5 on the supply chain issues and their logjams and how that leads to consumer inflation – although it may not help one personally, it does provide a nice illustration.  

Aberdeen Standard’s August Economic and market outlook is titled ‘Cautious optimism6 –  which we feel are great words for the many risks countries are currently facing when you think of the various Covid-19 restrictions and upheavals it has brought to the world of manufacturing. Their blog discussed how they had felt that global financial conditions were accommodative and that they expect two more years of above-trend economic and earnings growth. State Streets appears to also feel positive on the global markets when they noted in their August 31st Insight7 that both cyclical and structural factors are allowing for a positive investment stance on Europe. We hope that the winds remain favorable.  

Checking on our facts on the markets: August showed a repeat of July with some of the major market indices having another record high8 and ignoring the dog-days of summer. The blue-chip barometer (the Dow)* had a few showers during the month but showed a 1.22% gain. The S&P 500 (SPY)* chose the warmer days and came to the end-of-the-months with a 2.9% gain. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* liked it hot – posted a 4.0% gain for August. (*After linking, click on Quarterly & Monthly Total Returns, “Monthly” tab). On Tuesday, August 31st, the Dow Jones Indices released the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller10 report. The report showed that for the reporting month, Seattle sprouted another month for being one of the top 3 areas for the large increase in housing prices. The June 20-city composite Home Price Index11 reported a 19.1% annual gain; up 2.0% from the previous month year-over-year posting and earning the attention of being the largest annual gain since its inception in 198712. Before seasonal adjustments, month-over-month data had the month of June showing a 1.8% increase over the prior month of May for the 20-city composite index.

Regards and thank you (as always) for reading,

The Team at White Raven Financial

Advisory services offered through White Raven Financial Services, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Washington.

*Indexes are unmanaged and do not reflect service fees, commissions, or taxes. You cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Returns for the DOW, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are the total return (price only) provided by Morningstar as June 30, 2021. Diversification and asset allocation do not assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment loss.

*The Standard and Poor’s 500 is an unmanaged, capitalization weighted benchmark that tracks broad-based changes in the U.S. stock market. This index of 500 common stocks is comprised of 400 industrial, 20 transportation, 40 utility, and 40 financial companies representing major U.S. industry sectors. The index is calculated on a total return basis with dividends reinvested and is not available for direct investment.

*The Dow Jones Industrial Average covers 30 blue chip U.S. companies selected by the editors of the Wall Street Journal. The Dow represents about 25% of the NYSE market capitalization and less than 2% of NYSE issues.

*The NASDAQ is a market-value weighted index that measures all NASDAQ domestic and foreign common stocks.

Sources:

  • https://www.cfp.net/ethics/compliance-resources/2019/02/the-7-step-financial-processx
  • https://www.globalxetfs.com/what-the-infrastructure-investment-jobs-act-could-mean-for-infrastructure-investors/
  • https://www.ssga.com/library-content/pdfs/weekly-economic-perspectives/weekly-economic-perspectives-august-27-2021.pdf
  • https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/insights/content/can-investors-avoid-rising-supply-chain-risks
  • https://www.aberdeenstandard.com/en-us/us/investor/insights-thinking-aloud/article-page/economic-and-market-outlook-cautious-optimism?opendocument&utm_campaign=AMER_Our%20Thinking%20Newsletter_081821&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua&utm_content=CAAML000001734000&utm_company=White%20Raven%20Financial&cn=Our%20Thinking&elqTrackId=0f2ea00d1c4f4d97a22ab0249a50b2f7&elq=9dcc40c995de44f3962e6e66db213d6a&elqaid=29862&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=25704&elqcst=272&elqcsid=18011x
  • https://www.ssga.com/us/en/intermediary/etfs/insights/europe-comes-in-from-the-cold
  • https://www.schaeffersresearch.com/Content/ezines/2021/08/27/s-p-500-nasdaq-score-record-closes-to-finish-winning-week?&utm_source=8%2F27%2F2021&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mr&trackback=mrezine&utm_content=continuereading&clicklocation=continuereading
  • * https://Morningstar.com (index)
  • https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sp-corelogic-case-shiller-index-shows-annual-home-price-gain-topped-18-6-in-june-301366307.html
  • https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sp-corelogic-case-shiller-index-shows-annual-home-price-gain-topped-18-6-in-june-301366307.html
  • https://www.schaeffersresearch.com/Content/ezines/2021/08/31/s-p-500-nasdaq-look-to-extend-monthly-win-streaks?&utm_source=8%2F31%2F2021&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mmc&trackback=mmcezine&utm_content=continuereading&clicklocation=continuereading
Diane Jochimsen

Meet the Author:
Diane Jochimsen

Diane Jochimsen is the founder and lead financial advisor at White Raven Financial. Whether working on investment portfolios or with a financial plan, Diane always seeks to know more about clients’ values, aspirations, and end goals.

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