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The Fed is All Mixed Up

If the Federal Reserve were paying close attention to the money supply, it would know that monetary policy is now tight. Through April, the narrow M1 measure of money has fallen for thirteen straight months. The broader M2 measure of money has dropped nine months in a row and is down 4.6% from a year ago. M3, a broader measure of money that includes large CDs, is down 4.1% from the peak last July. Meanwhile, bank credit at commercial banks as well as their commercial and industrial loans are bot… View More

Market Returns and Full Employment

Historically, the movement in stock prices has had a stronger relationship with inflation and long-term interest rates than it has with the unemployment rate. Still, we are left with a simple question – can a new and durable economic cycle and market cycle begin when the economy is already starting at full employment? As the table below indicates, forward stock returns are better coming off peak unemployment rates rather than troughs. Still, forward returns off trough unemployment can be dece… View More

The Beat (Narrower and Narrower) Goes On!

U.S. equities were mixed last week, with the S&P 500 slightly higher (+0.3%) though NASDAQ posted its second straight week up at least 2.5%, largely driven by AI optimism. Analysts have continued to warn of narrow breadth. Best sectors were technology (+5.1%) and communication services (+1.2%); worst sectors were consumer staples (-3.2%) and materials (-3.1%). The chart below shows just how narrow the market performance has been this year. Notice the sectors that performed the worst last ye… View More

Risk / Reward Not Favorable

Stocks were higher last week (S&P 500 +1.6%), lead once again by the tech-heavy NASDAQ (+3.0%). YTD NASDAQ is +20.9%, S&P 500 +9.7% and DJIA +0.8%. The S&P 500 broke above 4200 for the first time since last August. The news backdrop featured seemingly positive progress on the debt ceiling negotiations. Best sectors were technology (+4.2%) and communication services (+3.1%); worst sectors were utilities (-4.4%) and real estate (-2.4%). While we are reasonably certain that inflation h… View More

Answers to Strategas Research's Frequently Asked Client Questions

What follows are some simple answers to the questions Strategas research is receiving most frequently from their clients these days. We are happy to hop on a call to discuss them in greater detail should you have further questions about our answers.   What would make you change your mind? There are two major themes underlying our bearishness on both the economy and the markets: 1) the bill is finally coming due for more than 12 years of financial repression and fiscal profligacy; and 2) g… View More

Weekend Reading - Bank Problems Aren't Over, But It's Not 2008

Yes, we have banking problems. No, this is not 2008. It’s much more like the 1970s Savings & Loan problems. In other words, we do not have credit problems today, we have duration (asset-liability) problems. These are exacerbated by the fact that Quantitative Easing inflated total deposits in the banking system. In the 1970s, the Federal Reserve held interest rates too low for too long. From 1974 through 1978, the federal funds rate was below inflation most of the time, and the “real” … View More

2023 Has Been Full of Surprises but Fundamentals Should Prevail

I came across an interesting article that discusses the disjointed market we have seen thus far in 2023. We believe fundamentals will drive this market as we progress through the year and believe our portfolios are positioned to reduce volatility as we proceed forward. We are overweight good high dividend paying value stocks at this time which are trading at a discount to the overall market.   Mysterious Ways: Growth vs. Value Debate by Liz Ann Sonders, Kevin Gordon of Charles Schwab, 5/3/23… View More

New Division Announcement | Fortem Insurance

We would like to announce exciting news. For several years, our clients have been asking to have us deliver additional added services to continue with the Ultimate Client Experience they are accustomed to. We are proud to announce that Fortem Financial has officially launched Fortem Insurance Services. This will allow us to enhance your client experience by integrating key aspects of insurance within your financial plan. Please give us a call today if you would like a review. Some of the new … View More

All Eyes on the Fed this Week

For nine of the last fifteen years, few people thought about the Fed. Sure, we discussed QT and QE, but the Federal Reserve held interest rates at zero year after year. In 2017 and 2018, they lifted rates, and it was all anyone talked about. Then they cut them to zero and the noise went away. Now, with rates headed up, all eyes are again on the Fed, and investors are parsing every word of its statements and the Powell press conferences. As of Friday, the futures market expects a quarter-point r… View More

Q1 2023 Earnings Update

1Q Earnings Marginally Ahead Of Initial Estimates After the second week of earnings reports, growth rates continue to improve marginally compared to initial estimates and now are expected to decline -4.7%, a slight improvement from last week’s -4.8%. Furthermore, sales are now expected to grow 1.9% which means margin contraction remains the story as higher costs weigh on profits. Perhaps most notable is the deceleration in financial sector earnings growth after the initial large banks reporte… View More

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PRIVACY NOTICE REGARDING CLIENT PRIVACY

Fortem Financial Group, LLC, has adopted this policy with recognition that protecting the privacy and security of the non-public personal information we obtain about our customers is an important responsibility.

All financial companies choose how they share your non-public personal information. Federal law gives consumers the right to limit some but not all sharing. Federal law also requires us to tell you how we collect, share, and protect your non-public personal information. Even when you are no longer our customer, we will only share your non-public personal information as described in this notice. So, please read this notice carefully to understand what we do.

The types of non-public personal information we collect and share depend on the product or service you have with us. This information can include items such as your Social Security number and income, your account balances and transaction history, and your investment experience and account transactions.

We collect your non-public personal information in a variety of ways. For example, we obtain your non-public personal information when you open an account or give us your income information, tell us about your portfolio or deposit money, or enter into an investment advisory contract. We also collect your non-public personal information from other companies. For example, from the custodians who hold your account assets.

All financial companies need to share customer’s non-public personal information to run their everyday business. Below, we describe the reasons we can share your non-public personal information and whether you can limit this sharing.

We share your non-public personal information for our everyday business purposes such as to process your transactions, maintain your account(s), respond to court orders and legal investigations, report to credit bureaus, to protect the confidentiality or security of your records, or as permitted by law. We may also share your non-public personal information for our own firm’s marketing purposes; so that we can offer our products and services to you.

Federal law gives you the right to limit only sharing non-public personal information about your credit worthiness for our affiliates’ everyday business purposes; sharing non-public personal information about you with our affiliates to market to you; and sharing non-public personal information with non-affiliates to market to you.

We don’t share non-public personal information about your creditworthiness with our affiliates for their everyday business purposes. We don’t share your non-public personal information with our affiliates to market to you. We don’t share your non-public personal information with non-affiliates to market to you. We also don’t share your non-public personal information for joint marketing with other financial companies. State laws and individual companies may give you additional rights to limit sharing.

We share non-public personal information with our parent company affiliate, Focus Financial Partners, Inc, for its internal and external auditing purposes. We also share your non-public personal information with a non-affiliate for the purpose of aggregating it and providing summary information based on this data to our parent company, Focus Financial Partners, Inc.

To protect your non-public personal information from unauthorized access and use, we use security measures that comply with federal law. These measures include computer safeguards and secured files and buildings.

Our policy about obtaining and disclosing non-public personal information may change from time to time. We will provide you notice of any material change to this policy before we implement the change.

If you have questions please call us at 760-206-8500 or go to our website at www.fortemfin.com.

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Fortem Financial Group, LLC ("Fortem Financial" or the "Firm") is a federally registered investment adviser with offices in California and Arizona. Fortem Financial and its representatives are in compliance with the current registration and notice filing requirements imposed upon federally registered investment advisers by those states in which Fortem Financial maintains clients. Fortem Financial may only transact business in those states in which it is notice filed, or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from notice filing requirements.

This website is limited to the dissemination of general information regarding the Firm's investment advisory services offered to U.S. residents residing in states where providing such information is not prohibited by applicable law. Accordingly, the publication of Fortem Financial' website on the Internet should not be construed by any consumer and/or prospective client as a solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment, tax or legal advice. Furthermore, the information resulting from the use of any tools or other information on this website should not be construed, in any manner whatsoever, as the receipt of, or a substitute for, personalized individual advice from Fortem Financial. Any subsequent direct communication from Fortem Financial with a prospective client will be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides. Fortem Financial does not make any representations as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to this website or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility therefore. All such information is provided for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

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Any rating referenced herein may not be representative of any one client's experience. Further, the Firm's receipt of any rating is not indicative of the Firm's future performance. The Charles E. Merrill Circle of Excellence award is granted by Merrill Lynch for outstanding client service and satisfaction. The award is granted based on annual criteria established by Merrill Lynch for its top decile advisors. The Barron's Top 1,200 Financial Advisors rating of the top financial advisors in the United States is based on data provided by participating firms. The following factors are included in the rankings: assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work. Investment performance is not an explicit component. The Palm Springs Life's "40 Under 40" Rising Young Professionals to Watch in the Coachella Valley is based upon nominations from the local business community and selected by the staff of Palm Springs Life.

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