Putting More Minds to Work

Greetings! ,

One of the duties of our investment team is to conduct on-site due diligence meetings with various investment companies. Last week, two of us visited New York City to investigate one of these companies and to complete other business as well.

In a due diligence meeting, looking in the eyes of the money manager confirms what is written in the prospectus or third party analysis, or prompts us to ask additional questions. It allows us to meet the leaders of the company. Kicking the tires and seeing the real estate, for a REIT for example, often provides incredible insight.

An advantage of working with a team, like you have here with A&I Financial, is that we have more than one set of eyes and ears. In addition to the stringent due diligence process completed by our broker dealer, we research different investment companies and then report back to the team.

The more minds we put to work at analyzing investments, the more clearly we can assess the opportunity and be aware of our own potential blind spots.

If you are interested in learning more about our due diligence process, please send me an email and we will be glad to help you.

Manhattan is beautiful right now. The tourists are coming, the restaurants are full, and the damage from Hurricane Sandy is largely under control. They still don't have the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island or some of the south side attractions fully functioning. If you have not been to the 911 Memorial, make it a destination. The new building is beautiful, the water that falls over the edge never reaches the ground, and the planes that come into land at LaGuardia reflect in the glass. Unforgettable, that day, and the resilience of the town to come back is inspiring!

Weekly Economic Update


Consumer and producer prices retreated last month. The federal government's Consumer Price Index fell 0.4%, a monthly descent unseen since December 2008; the Producer Price Index declined 0.7%, its biggest monthly drop in three years. Consumer prices also fell for a second straight month; the last time that happened was in late 2008. The core CPI did rise 0.1% in April; the yearly gain in the overall CPI was just 1.1%.1


The University of Michigan's initial May consumer sentiment survey came in at 83.7 - its highest level since July 2007, 7.3 points above the final April mark. After falling 0.2% for March, the Conference Board's index of U.S. leading indicators rose 0.6% for April. Census Bureau data showed retail sales ticking up 0.1% in April and 3.7% in the past year.2,3


While the year-over-year increase was 13.1%, housing starts plummeted 16.5% in April, largely due to a 37.8% drop in apartment starts. On the other hand, last month brought a 14.3% rise in building permits ... marked by a 40.6% jump in permits for apartment construction.4


The S&P 500 is now on a 4-week winning streak. It rose another 1.98% last week to settle at 1,666.12 Friday. Complementing that 5-day gain, the NASDAQ went +1.82% last week while the DJIA went +1.56%; at Friday's closing bell, the NASDAQ settled at 3,498.97 and the Dow at 15,354.40. A truly impressive factoid: the NASDAQ and S&P have gained 1% or more in each of the past four weeks.5

Market Summary

% ChangeY-T-D1 Yr Chg5-Year Avg
DJIA +17.17 +23.40 +3.65
NASDAQ +15.88 +24.36 +7.67
S&P 500 +16.82 +27.69 +3.38

Source: cnbc.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov, (05/17/13). Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged, and investors cannot invest in them directly.

Create a beautiful week!

karl signature

Karl Frank, MBA, MSF
Certified Financial Planner (R)
A & I Financial Services LLC


  1. businessweek.com/news/2013-05-16/consumer-prices-in-u-dot-s-dot-dropped-more-than-forecast-in-april [5/16/13]
  2. bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-17/u-s-stock-futures-rise-before-leading-indicators-data.html [5/17/13]
  3. census.gov/retail/marts/www/marts_current.pdf [5/13/13]
  4. latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-housing-starts-construction-building-permits-economy-20130516,0,7678305.story [5/16/13]
  5. cnbc.com/id/100746158 [5/17/13]

Securities offered through Geneos Wealth Management, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment advisory services offered through A & I Financial Services LLC, registered investment advisor.

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