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The Northern Star Newsletter 4/4/19 - Gains Conclude a Great Quarter

Message from Jon

Education is a life-long pursuit.  This past week, I passed my exam for Accredited Investment Fiduciary certification.  For those of you wondering what AIF stands for after my name, now you know.


Market Update:

We have seemingly shifted from a "good news is bad news" to a "good news is good news" on the markets currently, despite the Yield Curve becoming inverted earlier last month.1

An inverted yield curve is normally a harbinger of an economic recession, and while the future is unknown to us all, there seem to be few signs of a recession in our near future at this point.2 In my opinion, we should experience a temperate investing market for several more months ahead, giving us hope to recoup some losses and reap gains before we may likely have reason to retreat to higher ground once again.

This is not a green light on any and all investments while turning a blind eye and deaf ear to investment risks. It is, however, a reason to shift moderately back into the water in a cautiously optimistic manner with one eye on the horizon and one on the ground below. 


We have business inventories up, construction spending is also up, and employment levels are low-all signs that would be where they are currently should a recession be nearing.3

Dorsey/Wright and Stormguard are both showing that the market conditions are favorable for investing into equities and riskier assets compared to bonds, cash, and alternatives at the moment.


We have been investing and rebalancing for clients since late January under the belief that the Trade War will be resolved, the Fed will reduce the frequency of interest rate advances, and that Brexit would be fixed as well.4 So far, 1 out of the 3 has proved correct, and we will continue to wait on the other 2 (trade & Brexit) to be sorted out-we hope sooner than later. 

Till we speak again, enjoy this spring-like weather!



BTW: I will be out of the office on business next Monday - Tues and returning Wednesday.



  1. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/treasury-yield-curve-inversion-2019-for-first-time-since-great-recession/
  2. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-the-worlds-biggest-bond-investor-is-dismissing-the-recession-warning-of-the-yield-curve-2019-04-01
  3. https://elite.finviz.com/calendar.ashx
  4. https://www.capitaladvisors.com/research/the-curve-trade-and-brexit-three-themes-to-watch-in-2019/

Gains Conclude a Great Quarter


The Week on Wall Street
Stocks ended last week higher as volatility slowed, completing their best quarter since 2009. A Friday tweet from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin encouraged investors, referring to "constructive" discussions in the ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations.[1]

The S&P 500 gained 1.27% for the week. The Dow Industrials and Nasdaq Composite both exceeded that advance: the Dow rose 1.60%; the Nasdaq, 1.42%.[2][3][4]  

Foreign shares went the other way. The MSCI EAFE index following international stocks retreated 0.91%.[5]

2019 Could Be a Big Year for IPOs 
One of the ride-share pioneers, Lyft, closed on its initial public offering (IPO) on Friday, and a glance at the IPO calendar shows that as many as 226 companies could soon go public, with Uber and Airbnb possibly among them.[6]

This IPO wave may be a signal of a market top, or it may point to a comeback for risk appetite, which could be healthy for the overall market.

Should some big-name IPOs stumble, it may deter others from moving ahead, which may influence the market psychology. Conversely, an enthusiastic reception may help support further market advances.

Good News for the Housing Market
The Fed's dovish tone has also influenced home loan rates. Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows an average interest rate of just 4.06% on a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage, compared with 4.28% a week earlier and 4.95% in December.[7]

This news is especially significant given the recent pickup in existing home sales. They jumped 11.8% in February, the biggest monthly gain in more than three years.[8]      

Tax Tip
The federal income tax filing deadline is Monday, April 15, 2019. However, residents of Maine and Massachusetts have until Wednesday, April 17 to file their 2018 tax return. April 15 is Patriots' Day, and April 16 is Emancipation Day.[9]

Monday: February retail sales.
Wednesday: ADP's snapshot of March private sector hiring.
Friday: The Department of Labor's March jobs report.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, March 29, 2019
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision. The release of data may be delayed without notice for a variety of reasons, including the shutdown of the government agency or change at the private institution that handles the material.

Tuesday: GameStop (GME), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
Thursday: Constellation Brands (STZ)

Source: Morningstar.com, March 29, 2019
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.

"Stay hungry. Stay foolish." -  Steve Jobs

Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich with Spicy Aioli Slaw

Serves 4


Spicy Aioli and Slaw
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Louisiana hot pepper sauce
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, remove seeds and white ribs, slice thinly
  • 4 to 5 cups cabbage, slice thinly
  • ½ cup bread and butter pickle slices, plus ¼ cup pickle juice

Fried Chicken

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt plus more
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 8-oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved crosswise
  • Peanut or vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 4 sandwich rolls
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, bring to room temperature


Spicy Aioli and Slaw

  1. Stir together the garlic, mayonnaise, and hot pepper sauce in a small bowl; cover and chill.
  2. Combine onion, jalapeño, cabbage, pickles, and pickle juice in a large bowl; cover and put in the refrigerator.

Fried Chicken

  1. Put the flour, ½ tsp. salt, and pepper in a shallow dish or bowl.
  2. Put the buttermilk in another shallow bowl.
  3. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, shake off excess flour, and dip in buttermilk, then dredge in flour mixture and shake off excess flour again.
  4. In a large skillet (cast iron, if you have one), heat about ½ inch of oil to 350°F.
  5. Fry the dredged chicken pieces until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
  6. When the chicken is done, put on a wire rack to drain and season with salt while the chicken is hot.

Assemble the Sandwiches

  1. Spread the cut sides of the rolls with butter.
  2. Heat another large skillet over medium heat, and cook the rolls buttered side down for 1 minute, until they are browned and crisp.
  3. Spread the rolls with the aioli, then add chicken and cabbage slaw. 


Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit[10]

Free Tax Services for Military; Military OneSource MilTax

Military OneSource MilTax is a free service for the military and their families. The service offers an entire suite of tax and financial services, which are exclusively designed for military life. Highlights of MilTax include:
  • Tax preparation e-filing that's secure and free. It's available from January through October and takes into consideration military tax deductions and credits
  • Access to tax consultants who understand the financial needs of the military and can answer any tax-related questions you have
  • Free, in-person tax prep is available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offices

MilTax is a benefit earned through military service and considers special tax issues, such as combat pay and multiple moves. The tax help is available to service members, including those in the National Guard and reserves, immediate family members, and eligible survivors. To find out more, visit https://www.militaryonesource.mil/, or call (800) 342-9647.

* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from Military OneSource[11]

A Quick Tip for a Longer Iron

There's plenty of great information out there to increase your drive and crush that long ball. But what about when you need to hit your longer irons at a solid rate? It's important to take the club back easy on your backswing. 

A longer iron requires more of a sweeping motion and a smoother swing than other irons. To achieve both, try to take it back low and slow for the first few feet and get the club shaft pointing down your target line, with the toe up halfway back. This deliberate takeaway helps promote a smooth, shallow swing that's perfectly on plane.

Tip adapted from Golf Digest[12]

It's All in a Walk

There's nothing like going for a stroll to clear the mind. After all, your body was made for walking. But besides making you feel good, there are so many health benefits to "taking the ankle express". Here are just a few:
  • You'll be in a better mood. It's true - regular walking modifies your nervous system to help decrease negative feelings. Walk with a friend and get even more calming benefits from the added social interaction.
  • Inspiration in perspiration. Well, you might not perspire but walking gets your creative juices flowing. Try a walk when you feel stuck or blocked to clear the cobwebs.
  • Pump your "second heart". Walking strengthens the venous system that relies on muscles, veins, and valves in your feet and legs that work together to get blood pumped back to the heart.
  • Digestive health. Walking strengthens the core and abdominal muscles that encourage movement in the digestive system.
If you're just getting started in a walking routine, start slowly and set yourself up for success. Even walking a block is better than nothing. If you have any health concerns, be sure to check with your doctor first before starting any exercise routine, including walking!

Tip adapted from Prevention[13]

Ways to Save Water

Saving water saves energy too. Of course, we need energy to heat our water, but it also requires a lot of additional energy to purify, pump, treat, and in some cases, transport water. When you save water, you save money and energy, and you help the planet. Water-saving habits can help reduce carbon emissions and divert less water from our waterways. Here are a few tips to reduce your use:

Low-flow showerheads and shorter showers: Install water-saving showerheads and try to keep showers under 10 minutes.

Fix a leak: Check your pipes, taps, and toilets for leaks, and repair them.

Avoid running water: Fill up the sink to brush your teeth, wash your face, or shave. Use a bucket to clean floors, cars, etc.

Watering time: Water your yard in the early morning or late afternoon when less evaporation can happen.

Full loads: Running full loads in washing machines and dishwashers saves water and electricity.

Tip adapted from Energy Star and Visualistan[14]

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StormGuard, Polymorphic Momentum and Temporal Portfolio Theory are registered trademarks of SumGrowth Strategies, LLC. All materials copyrighted 2016 SumGrowth Strategies, LLC.
SumGrowth Strategies' automated investment analysis tool provides no financial investment advice specific to anyone's life situation. SumGrowth Strategies is not a registered investment advisor.

Dorsey, Wright & Associates, LLC is a subsidiary of Nasdaq, Inc. Nasdaq, Inc. is a publicly-traded corporation (NDAQ). Its subsidiaries include The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, Nasdaq PHLX LLC and Nasdaq BX, Inc., all of which are SEC-registered national securities exchanges, Nasdaq Execution Services, LLC, a registered broker-dealer that routes orders in equities and options to the appropriate market center for execution, Chi-X Canada ATS Ltd., a Canadian alternative trading system for the trading of TSX and TSXV-listed securities, and Nasdaq Futures, Inc., a CFTC Designated Contract Market for the trading of energy futures in oil, gas, and U.S. power. Nasdaq, Inc. also has subsidiaries that are foreign securities exchanges that receive listing and trading fees.

Dorsey Wright will not publish research or make recommendations concerning NDAQ, nor trade the security for its Investment Management clients. Dorsey Wright may, however, publish research on, recommend or trade other securities listed on the Nasdaq exchanges, which receive fees from the listed companies and futures. Dorsey Wright will not take into account where a security is listed or traded in exercising its independent judgment for clients. In addition, Dorsey Wright does not manage or control where clients' broker/dealers route orders for execution. Accordingly, client orders may be routed to the subsidiaries of Nasdaq, Inc. for execution. These markets receive trading fees.

Nasdaq, Inc. and its subsidiaries receive index licensing fees from investment product sponsors, as well as index calculation fees from index providers. These fees may be asset based. With respect to ETFs and other investment products for which Nasdaq, Inc. or its subsidiaries may receive licensing or asset-based fees, Dorsey Wright may, from time to time, (i) recommend such an ETF or other investment product in research for which Dorsey Wright receives fees; (ii) include such an ETF or other investment product in models or indexes for which Dorsey Wright receives an asset based fee; and/or (iii) recommend or include such an ETF or other investment product in the investment management accounts. While Dorsey Wright does not receive any portion of Nasdaq's fees directly, the firm may indirectly benefit as a subsidiary that is part of a Nasdaq business unit. To manage this potential conflict of interest, in the case of Dorsey Wright research or index and model licensing, Dorsey Wright would only include the Nasdaq investment product if the product helps to meet the stated objectives of the strategy and it otherwise meets the rules-based methodology associated with the strategy. In the case of the investment management accounts, Dorsey Wright will only recommend or include the Nasdaq investment product when the recommendation is suitable and meets the client's stated investment objectives. Dorsey Wright will not take into account the fees received by Nasdaq, Inc. and its affiliates in exercising Dorsey Wright's independent judgment for clients.

Some performance information presented on this website is the result of back-tested performance. Back-tested performance is hypothetical and is provided for informational purposes to illustrate the effects of the strategy during a specific period. The hypothetical returns have been developed and tested by DWA, but have not been verified by any third party and are unaudited. Back-testing performance differs from actual performance because it is achieved through retroactive application of a model investment methodology designed with the benefit of hindsight. Model performance data (both back-tested and live) does not represent the impact of material economic and market factors might have on an investment advisor's decision making process if the advisor were actually managing client money. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. Future returns are not guaranteed, and a loss of original capital may occur.

There are risks inherent in international investments, which may make such investments unsuitable for certain clients. These include, for example, economic, political, currency exchange, rate fluctuations, and limited availability of information on international securities. DWA, and its affiliates make no representation that the companies which issue securities which are the subject of their research reports are subject to, or in compliance with certain informational reporting requirements imposed by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Sales of securities covered on this site or in this report may be made in only those jurisdictions where such securities are qualified for sale. Investors in securities with values influenced by foreign currencies, effectively assume currency risk, because foreign-currency-denominated securities are subject to fluctuations in exchange rates that could have an adverse effect on the value or price of, or income derived from, such securities.

Options trading involves risk and is not suitable for all investors. When participating in a covered call strategy, the investor is at risk of having to sell the stock if the stock's price rises above the strike price. Remember, in exchange for receiving the premium of having sold the calls, the investor is obligated to sell the stock if the option is exercised. The relative strength strategy is NOT a guarantee. There may be times where all investments and strategies are unfavorable and depreciate in value. There may be instances when fundamental, technical, and quantitative opinions may not be in concert.

Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.
Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. 

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

A 30-year fixed rate mortgage is a conventional home loan meeting the lending requirements of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but it is not a mortgage guaranteed or insured by any government agency. Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is required for any conventional loan with less than a 20% down payment.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative, Broker dealer or Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.

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[1] www.marketwatch.com/story/stocks-end-higher-sp-records-strongest-quarter-in-a-decade-2019-03-29

[2] quotes.wsj.com/index/SPX

[3] quotes.wsj.com/index/DJIA

[4] quotes.wsj.com/index/COMP

[5] quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices

[6] www.cnbc.com/2019/02/04/a-giant-ipo-wave-is-coming-as-unicorns-whet-investor-appetite.html

[7] www.startribune.com/us-mortgage-rates-post-biggest-drop-in-decade-to-4-06-pct/507781302/

[8] www.nar.realtor/newsroom/existing-home-sales-surge-11-8-percent-in-february

[9] www.efile.com/tax-day-deadlines/

[10] www.bonappetit.com/recipe/fried-chicken-sandwiches-with-slaw-and-spicy-mayo

[11] www.militaryonesource.mil/financial-legal/tax-services/miltax-free-tax-services/miltax-free-tax-services-from-military-onesource

[12] www.golfdigest.com/gallery/iron-tips-photos

[13] www.prevention.com/fitness/a20485587/benefits-from-walking-every-day/

[14] www.energystar.gov/products/saving_water_helps_protect_our_nations_water_supplies


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