The priority for the day was to attend a webinar that featured Susanne Lesko. Susan is noted as a pioneer, one of an elite group of women to rise to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Navy. During the webinar, Susanne spoke about her team combat experience and the extreme importance of owning your role / owning your responsibility. She detailed how important it was for the team to receive credit for a successful mission. She noted that each person can empower others through PMA: Positive Mental Attitude. With each person staying the course (owning their role) and each member displaying PMA, a team is a very powerful force.
Here at White Raven Financial, we have never given much thought to PMA. We enjoy our jobs, enjoy coming to work and enjoy each member of our team. After the webinar, Diane and Brett had a short conversation about White Raven Financial. How we are proud of our work and the team. How each member of the team is very professional: Mike, the all-round handy man/groundskeeper always has the place looking spiffy. Austin, who does client outreach (think web development and search engine optimization (SEO)) provides White Raven Financial with an awesome external face for our company. Kris, who wordsmiths and verifies that all client and prospect reaching documents are appropriate, courteous and professional. And then there is Tu, the official greeter, working every day on his dog schooling to reaffirm that he knows obedience. After discussing, Diane and Brett concluded that the White Raven Financial team members have PMA without even thinking about it and we hope those who meet with us feel those vibes.
“Build Back Better”, are the positive words we hear and read in relation to the U.S. economy and the current infrastructure spending plan that is being floated for review. And while the U.S. has been thinking of spending, on Mar 17th the Federal Reserve continued with rates near zero. At the meeting, they confirmed a rise in their expectations for GDP growth. Even with the Federal Reserve assurance of low rates, we often hear about inflation and actually feel it when we, as consumers, purchase groceries, buy gas, clothing, etc. In their Global Weekly Commentary, Blackrock noted that their new nominal theme implied that the central banks will be slower to raise rates to curb inflation than in the past. iShares, countered that with their Market Insights: Investor guide to higher inflation. As we all know, time will tell.
China was in the spot-light mid-March in regards to commodities; Bloomberg News reported that China has a corn shortage and they are looking to purchase more from the U.S. We are sure this is a mental uplift for our farmers. Russell Investments also had a positive note: In their 2021 Global Market Outlook – Q2 Update, they noted the 2nd half of the global economy is on track for a strong rebound in most developed economies due to the vaccines and our stimulus.
Changing tracks – we were introduced to the quote, The Man In The Arena, during the webinar that we spoke about in our initial paragraph. It was written by Theodore Roosevelt and speaks about how there are no mistakes in life – if you are trying every day. We found it quite inspirational, and we hope you do also.
The major indices in March appeared much like the weather and had no PMA; you did not know if the sun would shine or rain or if it would snow (up, flat, down). The major indices decided to end the month in a sunshine mode. The blue-chip barometer (the Dow)* ended March on a very bright note and showed a 6.62% gain. The S&P 500 (SPY)* had less bright days but still came in with a positive 4.24% for the month of March. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* was more overcast than its brothers but still squeaked a positive 0.41% for the month. (*After linking, click on Quarterly & Monthly Total Returns, “Monthly” tab.) On Tuesday, March 30th, the Dow Jones Indices released the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller report. The report showed that for the reporting month, home prices had again chosen to continue their increases. The January 20-city composite Home Price Index reported a 11.1% annual gain; up 0.9% from the previous month year-over-year posting. Before seasonal adjustments, month-over-month data had the month of January showing a 0.9% increase over the prior month of December 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 March 31, 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.