Archives For Todd Burkhalter

Weekly Update – April 23, 2012

Strong corporate earnings caused stocks to rally last week for the first time this
month. The S&P closed up 0.6% for the week, while the Dow closed 1.4%
higher, and the Nasdaq trimmed 0.36%. With no domestic economic reports
released on Friday, traders turned their attention back to lingering concerns over
Europe and China, and markets lost some momentum in afternoon trading. Even so,
last week’s positive earnings reports are alleviating concerns about the
economy and making investors feel more confident about the rallies we’ve seen
this year. With 23% of S&P 500 companies having reported results so far,
more than four out of five have beaten expectations by an average of 8.8%.
Profit growth in this quarter has also been up 6.2%, according to Thomson
Reuters Proprietary Research.[i]

While some analysts are concerned that stocks are poised to repeat their 2010 and
2011 performance – when a mid-year retreat followed an April peak – there are
many differences between the economy of the past two years and today. The 2010
and 2011 pullbacks largely occurred because of recession fears and shocks
created by the Japanese Tsunami, but the U.S. economy is on more solid footing
than at any other time in the recovery. Current indicators point to slow and
steady economic growth, and we have already moved away from index highs. If we
continue to see positive earnings among the nearly 180 S&P 500 components
reporting next week, we may see markets sustain their upward trajectory.[ii]

Investors will also be closely watching Tuesday’s meeting of the Federal Reserve FOMC.
With an optimistic economic outlook and improving jobs situation, it is
unlikely that the Fed will conduct another round of bond purchases. Even so, we
will be monitoring the Fed’s statement on Wednesday, and will be certain to
fill you in on any outstanding developments. I hope you have a great week!




Weekly Update – April, 16 2012

It was a rough one for the stock market last week as major indices closed out their worst session of 2012 on the backof disappointing economic growth in China and renewed fears about debt-ridden
Europe. The S&P fell 2% for the week, while the Dow lost 1.61%, and the Nasdaq closed down 2.25%.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, reported first-quarter growth figures of 8.1%, the weakest rate in nearly three years, and below expectations of 8.3%. Stocks fell sharply on the news, stoking
fears that a weakened Chinese economy could have global implications.[i] Concerns surrounding
Spain’s debt offering next week renewed fears about the European debt crisis, battering bank stocks and dragging down the euro against the dollar.[ii]

On the other hand, domestic indicators continue to provide a positive contrast to global worries. The most recent Beige Book report released by the Federal Reserve shows that the U.S. economy is
improving at a “modest to moderate” pace as solid auto sales, warm weather, and growth in high-tech manufacturing outweighed the effect of high gasoline prices.[iii]

Sales by U.S. wholesalers rose 1.2% in February, and they restocked their inventories at a faster rate in February than January, suggesting they expect a strong spring. Consumer confidence likewise grew in February by the most in seven months. This is especially good news since consumer spending drives nearly 70% of domestic economic activity; if consumers keep spending, the economy will continue to improve.[iv]


Domestically, the U.S. economy really seems to be chugging along, and indicators continue to support a broad recovery. Nevertheless, concerns about the fragile global economy will likely lead to continued
volatility in equity markets. The declines experienced over the last two weeks are not difficult to comprehend in light of the outstanding first quarter performance we experienced. In the weeks ahead, analysts will be examining quarterly earnings reports to determine whether the pullback has been exhausted, or if we should expect continued profit taking.

As always, when short-term declines test your resolve, it is critically important to remain focused on your long term objectives and trust that the portfolio strategy you have in place can weather a few squalls.

Caleb Huftalin – Advisor



Caleb is a one of Catalyst Wealth Managements newest advisors. Caleb is a tremendous asset to Catalyst. He and his wife Stacey and son Levi are building their life and family in Cumming
Georgia. I recently sat down with Caleb to interview him on different aspects
of business life; hopefully you will enjoy getting to know him.


TB: What type of training did you have that led you to become a financial advisor?


CH: I started with a degree in Business Administration and minor in Finance. A few years back, while working as a portfolio analyst with an asset management company, I started the course work to become a CERTIFIEDFINANCIALPLANNER™. But since I have an independent spirit, I realized moving from analyst to building a client base would take too long. I needed some real world relationship building experience first! Over the past several years I’ve garnered the experience and confidence needed by specializing in health insurance for small business owners.


TB: As you entered into this career what is your driving passion or motivation?


CH: What is my “why”? I want people to live and give their biggest life possible. It pains me to see families who generate sufficient income live with fear, limited choices and the inability to enjoy life and give as they want. I’m truly energized by helping people make wise choices that enable confidence in what they have.


How? By walking through a planning process that places emphasis on highest priorities first, families can ultimately enjoy life beginning now! By starting with the why and how, I can easily connect my clients with the best product or solution fit.


The growing, vibrant and profitable business I envision as well as providing for my young family keeps me laser focused on the Why and How!

TB: Has getting started been more or less difficult than you anticipated? What has been the most challenging aspect?


CH: I prepared well by moving into the role at the right time. Through countless conversations with people in the industry and potential clients, I knew the time had come to align with a firm that could provide the tremendous tools and resources needed in our complex financial world. I asked industry professionals how they would build their business model if they started today, and I talked with potential clients about their needs and how I could best meet those.


The almost unlimited, excellent options available to help families with specific planning needs have been challenging to keep up with. Fortunately I overcome that by partnering with other advisors in our firm and asking tons of questions!


TB: Has anything surprised you?


CH: I’m surprised by how open people are to our help. They feel the pressure of complexity and changing economic, legislative and tax environments, and often the trust level I’ve built has been the tipping point to getting a professional planner involved.


TB: What are some other career options that you considered?


CH: At one point I considered portfolio management, and I spent a number of years focused on individual health insurance, but I’ve always been drawn to big-picture personal planning.



TB: Do you establish personal goals? If so, will you share a few?


CH: I establish activity goals based on what produces results in our business and for the people we help. True power comes from tracking activity over time. What you can measure, you can improve! Whether it’s phone calls, appointments, or business miles or revenue, I can generate these numbers on a weekly basis.


TB: Describe your career in 5 years?


CH: As a trusted advisor for a number of families, I’ll be focused on a very defined client profile. Right now I try to narrow the playing field as much as possible, but that will get easier and more intentional over time.


TB: Has being in a group/firm environment been helpful in your career development?


CH: Before joining Catalyst Wealth Management I worked very independently. It’s been a major shift for me, and I’ve truly enjoyed the team environment and tremendous resources provided by being in a group. Learning new lines of business, generating ideas for adding clients and gaining access to a valuable process have made the transition worth it!


TB: Do you often have a chance to share your faith in your business practices?

CH: I love talking about Give, Save, Live priorities with clients. By helping families remove some of the fear and uncertainty, they’re able to more confidently give their time, energy and resources to others.


TB: What advice would you offer to a person considering financial planning as a career?


CH: Talk to a number of advisors who you admire. Most financial professionals enjoy sharing what works and what’s ineffective. Explore the different models to structure your business. When you find a model that provides great support, flexibility and a client focused approach, you’ll enjoy your work!


In conclusion, I think you can see why we are so excited to have Caleb as a part of the Catalyst family. If you would like to learn more about Caleb or meet in person you may follow him on LinkedIn, twitter or contact him directly chuftalin@catalystwealthmanagement.comor call 678-679-6950. Or follow on twitter @calebhuftalin