New Fiduciary Rules Effective June 9

3 Jul 2017

2017/06/09 – The fiduciary rule is now in effect: What you need to know – Yahoo

The rule requires financial professions of all types, including brokers, financial advisors or wealth managers, to act as a fiduciary, meaning they must act in the best interest of their clients. Before this rule went into effect, an advisor may have recommended financial products that are pretty good for you, but might have come with higher fees or commissions that benefit them. In a 2015 White House report under the Obama administration, the Council of Economic Advisors estimated that this conflict of interest costs investors $17 billion every year.

Now with the fiduciary standard in place, brokers have to be more upfront, transparent regarding fees and commissions, and recommend retirement products in their client’s best interests.


In fact, the fiduciary rule was supposed to go into effect in April, but President Trump backed the directive to delay the rule and review it again. The administration said it will reduce Americans’ access to certain retirement offerings, information and advice.

But after careful consideration, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta confirmed that the rule would be phased in beginning June 9.


US Blacklists Chinese Bank Regarding North Korea

30 Jun 2017

2017/06/29 – U.S. blacklists China bank, revving up pressure over North Korea – Washington Times

The Treasury Department on Thursday declared the Bank of Dandong a “primary money-laundering concern,” proposing to sever it entirely from the U.S. financial system, pending a 60-day review period. Although Trump’s treasury secretary said the move didn’t target China, it comes a week after the president lamented that China’s promise to help with North Korea “has not worked out.”


Samsung To Build $380M Plant in SC, add 954 jobs by 2020

29 Jun 2017

2017/06/28 – Samsung South Carolina HA Facility Investment – Samsung

Samsung reached an agreement with the State of South Carolina to open a state-of-the-art home appliance manufacturing plant in Newberry County. The $380M facility will produce some of Samsung’s most popular, industry-leading home appliances and will generate 954 local jobs by 2020.

Congrats to SC.


Mike Rowe on Jobs, Minimum Wages

31 May 2017

Mike Rowe, formerly of “Dirty Jobs,” talks jobs and minimum wages. This is good, solid, common sense.


China’s Credit Rating Downgraded by Moody’s

24 May 2017

2017/05/24 – Moody’s downgrades China’s credit rating – BBC News

Moody’s, one of the world’s big three ratings agencies, cut China by one notch to A1 from Aa3.


Moody’s said that the downgrade reflected expectations that China’s financial strength would “erode somewhat over the coming years, with the economy-wide debt continuing to rise as potential growth slows”.

The other two main credit rating agencies have so far left their evaluations unchanged.

Standard & Poor’s rating for China currently stands at AA- with a negative outlook, while Fitch’s rating is A+ with a stable outlook.


General – 2nd Quarter 2017 Economy

12 May 2017

2017/05/11 – U.S. Weekly Jobless Filings Fall; Producer Prices Rebound Strongly – NY Times

The labor market is close to full employment, with the unemployment rate at a near 10-year low of 4.4 percent.

The number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid tumbled 61,000 to 1.92 million in the week ended April 29, the lowest level since November 1988.


Water Passes Soda for the Most Consumed Drink

10 Mar 2017

Bottled water sales outpace soda for first time in U.S.CBS

Bottled water overtook soda as the No. 1 drink sold in the U.S. last year, according to one metric.

Americans drank an average of 39.3 gallons of bottled water in 2016 and 38.5 gallons of carbonated soft drinks, according to research and consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp.


Of course, just because Americans are drinking more water doesn’t mean soda companies are suffering. The top two bottled water brands, Dasani and Aquafina, are owned by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, respectively. The two companies captured 26 percent of bottled water revenue last year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sounds like a good trend.