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Solis Wealth Management Report – August 5, 2013

The Markets
You say to-may-to. I say to-mah-to.
You have to be a careful reader to keep up with the Federal Reserve these days. Last week, the Fed re-characterized the pace of economic growth in the United States from ‘moderate’ to ‘modest.’ According to Wall Street Journal blog, Real Time Economics, “economic data show that ‘modest’ is a touch weaker than ‘moderate.’” No matter how you parse the difference, it was enough to prevent the Fed from beginning to normalize monetary policy by cutting back on bond buying.
The Fed indicated that labor market concerns were a key reason for continuing quantitative easing (QE) at current levels. Investors at home and in emerging markets appeared to think that employment concerns and less robust economic growth in the United States were okay, as long as quantitative easing continued. Major U.S. stock markets finished the week higher, while stocks in commodity-driven emerging countries, and those with significant current account deficits, also moved higher, in general.
Americans looking for good-paying jobs may be less enthusiastic about the reasons for the Fed’s constrained outlook. According to The Daily Ticker, a recent analysis found that almost two-thirds of the jobs created during the first half of 2013 were in the lowest paying sectors of the economy, and provide income of about $15.80 an hour, on average. When you multiply that hourly rate by 2,080 (the number of hours in fifty-two 40-hour work weeks), it comes out to about $32,000 a year. That may help explain why the median household income in the United States has fallen from about $54,500 in June 2009 (the start of the current economic recovery) to about $52,098 in June 2013.
Here’s another interesting difference to ponder as you think about the near future — a future in which many expect China to be an important growth engine. Last week, that country’s manufacturing purchasing indexes were released.  The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which includes bigger firms, rose to 50.3 in July from 50.1 in June. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. The unofficial index, compiled by Markit and HSBC index, which tracks smaller firms, fell to 47.7 from 48.2 for the same period. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction.

Data as of 8/2/13







Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks)







10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only)







Gold (per ounce)







DJ-UBS Commodity Index







DJ Equity All REIT TR Index







Notes: S&P 500, Gold, DJ-UBS Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT TR Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s,, London Bullion Market Association.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.
you’ve seen ‘em — television makeover shows like what not to wear and the biggest loser.
By the end of the installment or the series, lives have been changed, presumably for the better. It remains to be seen whether Europe’s current makeover — a migratory one — will change lives for the better.
Unemployment is a key issue behind Europe’s makeover. According to Eurostat, unemployment in the EU-27 was at almost 11 percent in June 2013. That was slightly lower than May of 2013, but higher than June of last year. When you delve deeper into Europe’s unemployment, it’s clear that the problem is more pronounced in periphery countries, which typically are southern European. In March, unemployment in Germany (a core country) was about 5 percent, while in Greece and Spain (periphery countries) it was almost 27 percent.
Among younger populations, unemployment is even higher. In February 2013, 64 percent of young people in Greece were unemployed and 56 percent of those in Spain. This statistic is somewhat skewed because many younger people are in school.
Seeking greener pastures, citizens of many periphery countries have begun to emigrate. According to The Economist, a study by Real Instituto Elcano found that almost three-fourths of Spaniards under the age of 30 have considered moving abroad. Two percent of Portugal’s population has departed during the past two years, and a record 3,000 people are leaving Ireland each month. The destination of choice for many has been Germany.
According to The Economist, the exodus could exacerbate problems in high-debt countries:
“Labor is one of the main inputs to growth, and a reduction in the size of the underlying labor force through migration will shrink potential output across the periphery, making existing debt loads harder to bear. This could be especially bad if young workers are the ones leaving. That would worsen the dependency ratio as well; there would be fewer potential taxpayers in Spain and Italy to pay for the benefits flowing to a rapidly growing population of pensioners. The greater these migratory flows, the worse the fiscal outlook for the periphery.”
As with any makeover, it’s difficult to know whether the end result will be positive or lasting, but one thing is likely. The European Union is going to look different in the future.
Weekly Focus – Think About It
“When we are no longer able to change a situation — we are challenged to change ourselves.”

— Viktor E. Frankl,Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist

What’s happening at Solis Wealth Management?
 Please enjoy this week’s commentary from ~ Kris Placencia, Director of Client Relations
It is August!  A lot people wonder how we can live in the Desert in the summer.  Personally, it is my favorite time of the year!  Everything quiets down a bit in the summer and there is a peacefulness I really enjoy.  Family BBQ’s, lazy days and day trips to the mountains are the highlights of my summer. I also enjoy taking a little time off and getting out the Desert.
Last month was a full month.  My daughter’s best friend (since pre-school!) flew into San Diego from Minnesota and spent a week with us.  We spent the weekend in San Diego and enjoyed SeaportVillage, the beach and of course a little shopping!  It was so fun to see these girls together again.
I was also able to go to Mammoth camping for ten days in mid-July. This was my second time there, but it won’t be my last!  It truly is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen!  The mountains and the lakes are spectacular, the relaxed pace of the village is refreshing and yes, I do enjoy the cooler weather.  I’m sure it is beautiful in the winter as well but since I grew up in Minnesota, I’ve had quite enough snow and will stick to summers in Mammoth.  I spent some time off-roading and riding motorcycle, going places that most people don’t get to see; saw lots of wildlife including a Bald Eagle sitting on the very tip top of a pine tree (amazing site to see!) and even saw a couple of bears in the campground!
In just a few short weeks, I will again be getting my “little girl” ready to head off to WestmontCollege to start her sophomore year.  Seems like she just got home for her summer break! After moving her in, we’ll head north and spend a few days in Paso Robles and then on to Lake Tahoe.  (I’m hoping a stop in Mammoth on the way home is in the cards as well, if only for a day!)
I trust you are enjoying your summer as well! ~Kris
Best regards,
Greg R. Solis, AIF®

Solis Wealth Management
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The Wealth Advisors of Solis Wealth Management are also Registered Representatives with and securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC
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* This newsletter was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* 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 DJ Global ex US is an unmanaged group of non-U.S. securities designed to reflect the performance of the global equity securities that have readily available prices.
* 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.
* Gold represents the London afternoon gold price fix as reported by the London Bullion Market Association.
* The DJ Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT TR Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* 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.
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