published: November, 14th 2017
A Very Quiet October Prepares Us For Thanksgiving
By: Tommy Williams, President and Founder, Williams Financial Advisors, LLC
The last full week of October was a box full of surprises. First, U.S. economic growth exceeded expectations. The devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria was widely expected to stifle U.S. quarterly growth, according to NPR. The Atlanta Federal Reserve predicted 2.5 percent gross domestic product (GDP)* growth for third quarter, down from 3.1 percent the previous quarter. Instead, U.S. GDP grew by 3.0 percent.
In fact, productivity has been flourishing around the globe. The Financial Times reported: “…activity has again broken upwards in recent weeks, with growth in the advanced economies close to the highest rates seen since before the Great Financial Crash (GFC), apart from in the immediate recovery phase in 2010. Furthermore, world trade volume has now joined the recovery, and corporate expenditure on jobs and machinery is picking up. Overall, it seems that some of the symptoms of “secular stagnation” are beginning to fade…”
Tech companies were also a sensation last month. Despite tech’s strong performance, the S&P 500 has delivered third quarter earnings growth of 4.7 percent with more than half of companies reporting. Earnings are lower than they would have been without the hurricanes, according to FactSet. With insurance industry earnings excluded, the S&P 500’s earnings growth pops from 4.7 percent to 7.4 percent.
The final surprise for the month was the doldrums. October is supposed to be the most volatile month of the year, according to Barron’s. Instead, we experienced the calmest October since 1928. However, with that calm comes the storm. No, I’m not referring to an economic collapse. I’m referring to the storm of holiday travel that begins in about ten days. Folks, Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. Have you made your travel plans yet? Are you playing it safe this year and staying home? The inevitable political arguments that will take place through mouths full of Turducken and stuffing probably aren’t worth the six hour layover at DFW Airport –but maybe I’ve grown cynical as my age advances.
If you’re a last minute planner, you may find it interesting to know that the fastest way to get a flight changed (or any information about delays) is to direct message the airline company on Facebook or twitter, according to Conversocial CEO Josh March.
For those of you planning to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge after your family Thanksgiving feast, you may be disappointed to hear that the worst airport in the nation for on-time performance during the holidays is the San Francisco Airport (SFO), according to RewardExpert. Why? If you’re a local, you know the answer: fog. A few of the best airports for holiday performance are Atlanta (ATL), Charlotte (CLT) and Reagan National (DCA), among others. It seems the leading airline for on-time performance is Delta.
A few more travel tips for the season from RewardExpert:
If you’re braving the airline travel chaos this season, you may want to bring these tips along with you. Your sanity may depend on them. Good luck and best wishes for a happy holiday season!
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The economic forecasts set forth in the presentation may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful. This material was prepared in part by Peak Advisor Alliance.
Visit us at www.williamsfa.com. Tommy Williams is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional with Williams Financial Advisors, LLC. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through RFG Advisory Group, a registered investment advisor. RFG Advisory Group, Williams Financial Advisors, LLC, and Peak Advisor Alliance are separate entities from LPL Financial. Branch office is located at 6425 Youree Drive, Suite 180, Shreveport, LA 71105.