The Power of One

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In the midst of studying for my master’s degree in financial planning, I1 started looking for employment as a financial planner/investment advisor. It was 2005; average unemployment2 at that time was 4.3 percent and many companies were hiring investment advisors – often training college graduates. Currently, 27.7 percent3 of investment advisors are woman; in 2017 they represented about 16%4. I could not find a 2005 statistic but the start of my journey into my chosen field was probably the norm for a woman at the time. As I applied to firms, I learned that the positions open to me were office assistant, entry of orders, filling out forms and receptionist. I finally did find a firm who was willing to have my expertise, but I would need to work for free for several months in return for “learning”. Within a few weeks, one of my female friends learned of my new career and asked me to help her. Then a 2nd, a 3rd and a 4th knocked on my office door. The office where I was working had given me several promises although the follow through was lacking. After a few months, it was suggested that I start my own business by those initial friends. They thought that the office atmosphere would be better. My husband was supportive and volunteered his shop at the Stump Farm5 (as my office). The belief and faith of every one of these people were instrumental in the birth of White Raven Financial6.

Achieving economic and financial success is not a given. In addition to many other skills, it may also require ingenuity and belief in oneself. For me, it was the belief that one person had in me, then another and another. It has made me wish to learn more, work harder and live up to people’s trust. I also try to pay it forward. With dignity, I believe, we can all help another by just believing in them.

Similar to 2005, although this year’s rates are lower, we continue to have very low unemployment7 in the U.S. With the trend in unemployment continuing, many are wondering what we can expect as 2023 moves forward. For those needing to take out a loan at the February’s prime lending 7.75% rate8, the concern is how far the Fed will go before ending their rate hike campaign. JP Morgan, in their Investment Outlook for 20239, felt that a near-term recession was too close to call. They also noted that they thought that the economy would continue to slow. State Street Global Advisors, also acknowledged that they thought the economy was slowing, in their late January weekly Economic Perspective10. They further mentioned that even though there are some negative headlines, consumer confidence was better than expected due to inflation expectations moderating. Just perchance, we’ll by-pass a recession and just have a ‘blah’ year.

Crossing the oceans, we find the Bank of England and the European Central Bank11 both simultaneously raised their rates by a half percentage point hoping to lower inflation. Thornburg, in their Outlook 2023 Global Equities12 acknowledged that geopolitical uncertainty continues to remain elevated but weak currencies could create an improving landscape for non-U.S. equities. Charles Schwab’s Market and Economy13 by Jeffrey Kleintop noted some good news when the European economy recently posted better than expected economic data. This in turn bolstered confidence that the downturn in Europe may remain mild and could soon end.

As we may all have experienced in the past, sometimes conditions have to worsen before they improve. Hopefully, we are through the worst and are now working on improving. Stay the course, diversify, always stay within your risk tolerance, and remember you are the power of one.

And on to the markets: The bells were ringing for the month of January and brought a fresh start. Of the three major indices, the blue-chip barometer (the DOW)* only had two bells and posted a 2.95% upswing for the month. The S&P 500 (SPY)* collected six bells and rang in the month by a 6.29% gain. Not to be out done, the Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* gathered ten and accompanied the choir with a 10.68% gain. (*After linking, click on Quarterly & Monthly Total Returns, “Monthly” tab). On Tuesday, January 31th, the Dow Jones Indices released the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller15 report. The report showed that home price gains continued to decelerate across the U.S. with the 20-city composite from October posting a 6.8% decline from the previous months posting of 8.7. The November composite Home Price Index15, before seasonal adjustments, noted that month-over-month data had the month of November showing a -0.8% decrease from the prior month of October for the composite index.

As we may all have experienced in the past, sometimes conditions have to worsen before they improve. Hopefully, we are through the worst and are now working on improving. Stay the course, diversify, always stay within your risk tolerance, and remember you are the power of one.

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 January 31, 2023. 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.


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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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