Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Weak Holiday Season: Why It Matters to All of Us

It seems like only yesterday it was Christmas, and hopes were high for a better fiscal holiday season than the last few. After all, the reports kept saying that we were experiencing a recovery from the recession, jobs were up, and more people had disposable income to work with. This, in theory, would boost us even further and help us to achieve the kind of stability that we could only dream of a few years ago.

However, the numbers for the holidays were not nearly as high as economists would have liked. In fact, Black Friday sales were down by almost 1.2 billion, though there was some recovery towards the end of the season with a number of last-minute and online purchases. But why does holiday retail matter so much? Why should the average consumer care how many people broke down doors trying to buy the newest talking doll or video game system for their kids?

woman using credit card in transaction

As it happens, the holiday sales season is closely linked to the market and its success. One of the major reasons for this is the simple fact that retail makes up the largest portion of our GDP by far, at about 70%. With such a huge amount of our efforts focused on only one sector, we’re bound to care about how that sector does. Unfortunately, this same industry makes most of its money at one time of year – the holidays. Which means, essentially, that we’re crossing our fingers every Black Friday to see how the country does financially for the year.

Some may argue that this, in itself, is a recipe for disaster and that we should diversify. However, until such time as another industry begins to have a greater sway on our GDP, we have to focus on meeting our yearly and holiday sales goals.

Of course, there will be other factors involved in the intake for the year, and the state of the economy itself works in a rather cyclical fashion with regards to retail. For instance, if many people only have enough money to get by, they’re not going to be spending a lot over the holidays; likewise, those who are worried about the future of the economy, their job security, and the stock market, are not going to want to rack up hundreds or thousands of dollars in credit card debt.

When these people don’t spend during the 4th quarter, businesses don’t get the income they were counting on. These companies don’t hire as much that year, and may even have to fire some workers, cut benefits, and even rescind customer discounts; these people, in turn, can’t buy as much. The cycle continues.

But why? Supposedly, things are looking up. Gas is cheap, more people are working, and the country is doing better. As financial analyst Dawn J. Bennett would be quick to tell you, there is no confidence in the system because several signs are pointing towards another recession. Time will tell, however, whether our underwhelming holiday numbers are a herald of this.

Dawn Bennett, Host of Radio Show “Financial Myth Busting,” Interviews Mike Pento, Founder and President of Pento Portfolio Strategies and Author

Recently, Dawn J Bennett, CEO and Founder of Bennett Financial Services and Host of Financial Myth Busting, interviewed Michael Pento, founder and president of Pento Portfolio Strategies, and the author of the book The Coming Bond Market Collapse. Pento offers extensive knowledge of the U.S. bond market and is a specialist in the Austrian School of Economics. On January 15th of this year, Mike published an article titled ‘A recession worse than 2008 is coming,’ which was widely read and was featured on the Drudge Report. An earlier article from January 5th was titled ‘Pento’s predictions for 2016,’ where he wrote that the S&P is going to fall minimally more than 20 percent as it finally succumbs to the ‘incipient global recession.’

“It looks like that is sort of coming true,” said Pento “50 percent of the S&P 500 has already dropped 20 percent, so it looks like unfortunately it’s going to come true a lot sooner than even I thought.”

He continued, “I’ll tell you this, the average drop of the S&P 500 in the last six recessions has been 37 percent. So if this coming recession is just the average variety, then I would expect the S&P to drop 37 percent, which puts us about 1300 on the S&P 500. So that’s a really big hit. But, as I wrote about in my piece that appeared on CNBC and Drudge, I don’t know what the Federal Reserve is going to do to pull us out of the next recession. In the great recession of 2008, the Federal Reserve took the Fed funds rate, which is the interbank lending rate, from 5.25 down to zero by the end of 2008. And that provided consumers and corporations, and even the federal government, with a lot of debt service relief. And that helped bring the economy out of the great recession, it also boosted asset prices, it boosted the stock market, it boosted bond prices, it boosted real estate. So the point is now the Federal Reserve is leveraged 77 to 1, they have almost no capital, it’s way more over-leveraged than Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers or any of those financial institutions were before the great recession. But, more importantly, the Fed has no more room to lower the borrowing cost to the private and public sector. That is one of the main reasons why I fear this inevitable next recession. By the way, the U.S. has suffered recession for about every five years since the beginning of the Republic.”

Pento goes on to say that he wants to open others’ eyes to what is happening, such as the national debt being 102 percent of GDP – an increase of 37 percent. A natural function of recessions is a decline in federal revenue, which means that debt and deficits are going to skyrocket. He said, “Deficits are going to go back to north of a trillion dollars very quickly—this year, in my opinion, if we have a recession, and by all accounts we’re probably in one right now, Dawn. If deficits rise over a trillion dollars, we have 19 trillion in debt, a 102 percent debt-to-GDP. Wouldn’t one expect it to be natural that we have some spike in interest rates, without any kind of QE currently going on at the moment? If that happens, a la 2012 in Europe, we are going to turn this recession into something much, much worse.”

Read more from Dawn J Bennett here: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/dawn-bennett-writes-article-the-bigger-the-bubble-regarding-the-recent-drop-in-markets-650714.htm

War of the Words: The Media vs. the Truth

Today’s media continue to push out “fake” news, reinforcing the message the Federal Reserve and the government that the economy is stable, even on the upswing, ignoring the growing evidence that this is simply not the truth. The Fed still floats the idea that they’re going to raise interest rates in the near future – if they truly believed the economy was strengthening, this would be logical. However, the economy isn’t strengthening.

“In fact I believe we’re in the run-up to another recession, if not in the beginning of one,” said Dawn J Bennett of Financial Myth Busting. “Look at the September jobs report, which was disappointing on its own, and gets even worse when you check under the hood. They reported 142,000 jobs added during December, far less than the expected 200,000. When you look closer, though, 28 states lost jobs during September, with total losses in those states at 120,000 with gains at 99,000. With a net job loss for more than half of our states at 21,000, how credible is that overall 142,000 job gain? In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised July and August numbers down by a total of 59,000 jobs.”

And yet, the economy is “growing.”

However, some bits of true news do slip out directly from analysts and others within the industry. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article that reported quarterly profits and revenues at large American companies are on the decline. Industrial firms are warning of a pullback in spending, from railroads to manufacturers to energy producers, while businesses say they’re facing a protracted slowdown in production, sales and employment that will continue to spill over into next year. Sources such as Reuters are coming out with similar news.

“This just confirms to me that a new crisis is beginning, because we have compromised a return to growth due to debt, as well as probably reached the limits of adjusting any monetary policy to continue to mask the risks that are building up in the US financial system. The “magic bullet” of central bank intervention is illusion. Either through ideologically-driven blindness or incompetence, they’ve just stopped attempting to use solid, fundamental policies to help to create solid and sustainable growth.”

Read more from Dawn J Bennett here: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/dawn-bennett-writes-article-the-war-of-the-words-regarding-global-economy-and-the-fed-638621.htm

Dawn J Bennett Interviews Tres Knippa, Member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange

Just recently, Dawn J Bennett of Financial Myth Busting interviewed Tres Knippa who has been trading futures in currency markets for 17 years, and became a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 1996. Bennett believes there is a currency war going on that most have no even recognized, much less understand. Bennett stated, ” I believe most economists and analysts and investors out there believe that the currency war that we are in refers only to the competitive devaluations that nations engage in to boost their economies. At this time, I’m beginning to see that it’s much more profound than I think people are giving it credit for. I believe there are differing agendas out there that revolve around one goal, which is the demise of the US dollar as the international reserve currency of choice.”yuan

Knippa responded with the fact that the Chinese devalued the yuan in August, an offensive move – they’re trying to spur exports. “But weakness in other currencies can be a side-effect of a government that is mired in debt,” said Knippa. “Now, clearly that will dovetail into the U.S. dollar discussion, but in a situation like Japan, the Japanese are not devaluing the yen because they’re trying to make something positive happen. The Yen is devaluing because they have so much debt that the market does not want their bonds. And here, if you start with politicians, you and I can probably agree that there is a massive disincentive for politicians to cut spending. So it’s not going to happen; we can forget that. The politicians are not going to cut spending, ergo more debt will be on the balance sheet. They’re going to issue more debt to pay for that spending, right?”

Now the savior is the central banks.

Bennett asked Knippa if he believes that a currency should be policy neutral without any regard to any party to it, so that it can be a true medium of exchange and whether or not that is what is currently going on in the United States.

Knippa replied, “Well, like I said, currency movements tend to be side effects of those decisions, you know. But by the same token, they can also be policy tools. Governments can say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to cut spending, so I will go this other route,’ and, ‘A devaluation of your currency, why is that any different to a tax?’ Things like that. This will clearly dovetail into a discussion about inflation. So if we want to talk about policy decisions, how odd do we think it is, from a policy standpoint, that Janet Yellen and other central bankers continue to target inflation as a specific policy goal? I find that a little weird. Inflation is a negative side effect. Now, it can be a positive side effect of growth, but in this case, just targeting inflation seems rather odd; why wouldn’t you want to target growth?”

Read the full interview between Dawn J Bennett and Tres Knippa here: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/dawn-bennett-host-of-radio-show-financial-myth-busting-interviews-tres-knippa-member-of-the-chicago-mercantile-exchange-629882.htm.

Are We Headed for Another Recession? Signs Point to “Yes”

Despite the Fed and their increasingly unbelievable assurances that there won’t be another economic crisis in the near future, the U.S. seems primed for a recession. While some government officials point to marginally lower unemployment rates and sluggish economic recovery figures, other figures are taking a dive and indicating that all is not well. Dawn J. Bennett and many other financial analysts cite several factors in their conclusion that a recession is in the cards. Here are some of the top signs that we haven’t really recovered:

man running from debt

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Countries are Defaulting on Loans

Recently, Puerto Rico defaulted on its first loan and made every indication that it would have to do so again. The governor claimed that the basis of the decision is “not politics, this this is simply math”; the country simply could not afford to pay. And, as Obama has decided not to bail them out, they will likely be facing the consequences of this mounting debt for years to come. They are not the only country to have defaulted, a definite a sign of a weakened global market teetering on the edge of oblivion.

Slow Growth for Countries

The countries that are not actively defaulting are not exactly doing well, either. Many countries like Japan, Canada, and China have experienced significantly slower growth lately, and are not looking likely to recover from it any time soon. All of this points to stunted markets that are not able to bolster confidence or improve – and the bad is simply feeding off of the bad.

Slow Wage Growth in the U.S.

While there has been a technical increase in the sheer number of jobs in the U.S., the quality of those jobs leaves something to be desired. Most of these “growing jobs” are minimum wage, part-time jobs; full-time industry jobs are getting hammered. Suffering companies don’t want to shell out the money it would take to retain experienced or specialized workers, and pay them decent wages with benefits. Meanwhile, many retail companies will hire more people to ensure that shifts are covered, but make sure that as few of them as possible are full time. This all reflects a system in which skill is not valued above money – something that you don’t as often see when times are good.

Adjusted Markets and Bailouts the Only Way that Some Are Getting By

Greece is a good example of this one, as they’ve just taken a bailout in return for a promise to implement some tax increases, budget cuts, and other economic countermeasures. Thus, they’ve avoided defaulting, but for how long? And even if the country manages to keep its head above water, it will only accustom investors to more unhealthy spending habits. According to Dawn Bennett, bailouts and central government interference has led many people to put too much trust in investments that they should have been wary of. This can be a very cyclical problem, and even lead back to recession.

While some are willing to trust that things are looking up, smart people are holding their breath, and waiting for the other proverbial shoe to drop.

Why the Federal Reserve’s September Announcement Doesn’t Matter

Will Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen finally announce a rate hike during her forthcoming September policy announcement? Yellen hinted just as much in June, when she stated the economy was expanding moderately. After years of stagnant interest rates as part of the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing policy, many have long-awaited an announcement of higher rates, a definitive signal that the economy is back on track. However, would the Fed’s rate hike really make a difference?

Financial experts like host of the “Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett” radio show, Dawn J Bennett, don’t think so. While higher interests rates will of course have some economic impact, Bennett argues that the announcement won’t make a difference in regard to the larger issue at hand: a disillusioned Federal Reserve.

The Fed may suggest that the ground has been laid for interest hikes and a celebration of economic recovery, but there remain a host of other economic factors that are cause for just the opposite, such as troubling activity overseas.

Instability in China

China’s economy has been a rollercoaster ride of late, and given our country’s interdependence with this economic powerhouse, any unstable economic activity in China will undoubtedly impact the U.S. On August 11th, China unexpectedly devalued its currency in an attempt to increase inflation, which means U.S. goods imported into China have become far more expansive. Naturally, this will hinder U.S. sales. This major devaluation comes on the heels of a stock market free fall in China and the inexplicable insurgence of gold into the Chinese market that drove down global gold prices to unexpected lows. Yet, the Federal Reserve pays these concerning developments little attention.

There are other troubling economic indicators that the Federal Reserve rarely mentions, such as collapsing energy prices and a stock market that continues to show record-high gains, even as internal indicators of strength and volume show otherwise, which is clearly indicative of a speculative market.

Inaccurate Unemployment Rates

While the Federal Reserve primarily points to decreasing unemployment as primary evidence that the economy has recovered, even here, they’re disillusioned. The unemployment rate referenced, which currently sits at a respectable 5.3 percent, doesn’t account for long-term discouraged workers. These are the unemployed who’ve attempted to find work, but who have given up out of discouragement. As economist Paul Craig Roberts points out, when we account for this sector of the unemployed, the unemployment rate is actually 23%, a rate similar to that during The Great Depression.

With this type of blatant disregard of critical economic factors, do the Federal Reserve’s policy changes really matter? Dawn Bennett certainly doesn’t think so.

Bennett Group Financial Services LLC, based in Washington, D.C., is a comprehensive financial services firm committed to providing opportunities to clients’ as they seek long-term financial success. Its customized programs are designed with the potential to help grow, lower overall risk and conserve client assets by delivering a high level of personalized service and skill.

For more information, call 866-286-2268 or visit http://www.bennettgroupfinancial.com

Securities offered through Western International Securities Inc. (WIS), member FINRA/SIPC. BGFS and WIS are separate and unaffiliated entities.

About Dawn Bennett

Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com

She discusses educational topics and events in the financial news, along with her thoughts on the economy, financial markets, investments, and more with her live guests, who have included rock legend Ted Nugent, as well as Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist. Listeners can call 855-884-DAWN a as well as take podcasts on the road and forums for interaction.

She can be reached on Twitter @DawnBennettFMB or on Facebook Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett ordbennett@bennettgroupfinancial.com

 

Exploring the Implications of a Greek Collapse

It’s now July of 2015, and still Europe and the rest of the world waits on edge as Greece’s economic saga continues to unfold. All winter and spring, Greek and its European Union lenders engaged in terse bailout negotiations, with Greece facing multiple threats of financial collapse. While negotiations are ongoing, it seems that the situation has finally reached a point of no return. As of June 29, Greek citizens can withdraw just 60 euros, or 66 dollars, per day from Greek banks; it’s estimated that by July 13, Greek banks will officially run out of money.  Greece’s lack of money has finally become a tangible reality for Greeks, and the government and EU are now forced to find a way to move forward, or have Greece abandon the euro and membership in the Eurozone altogether.

Greek’s economic peril has many around the world, like financial expert Dawn J Bennett and Forbes columnist Chris Versace, watching closely and wondering: Will Greece leave the euro, and if so, what does will it mean for us?

According to Versace, who recently sat down with Bennett on her nationally-syndicated talk show, “Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett”, it’s more likely that Greece will agree to stay with the euro than return to the drachma. It’s what a seeming majority of Greeks favor, and by returning to the drachma, a host of uncertainties are introduced. Of course, members of the Eurozone, particularly heavy-hitter Angela Merkel of Germany, may be unwilling to negotiate and could outright cut Greece from the Eurozone rather than commit to another bailout. Greece’s inability to reform its pension system, eliminate corruption, and collect taxes have long frustrated Germans and other Eurozone members; if Greece can’t reform from the inside, why should other countries continue to offer financial aid?

The issue is complex, to be sure. Regardless of whether Greece rightly or wrongly leaves the Eurozone, Versace argues that a potential “Grexit” won’t have a significant impact on the U.S. economy or investors. Why?

  • The Eurozone is comprised of nearly 20 other countries, many of which maintain strong, burgeoning economies. Greece is an important economic member of the group, but its absence won’t be catastrophic, and will actually relieve lender nations the burden of future bailouts. Without too much shakeup in the Eurozone, the U.S. has little to worry about.
  • Though a Grexit will probably hurt the U.S. stock market in the short term, it will actually provide investors the opportunity to purchase stocks at lower prices or increase existing investments.
  • The European Central Bank’s 2015 stimulus program is good news for investors around the world, and will help counteract any potential negative consequences of a Grexit. This $3.1 trillion program is already helping to grow the Eurozone economy and will serve as a stabilizing force for U.S. investors.

Thus, while the economic future of Greece may be uncertain, that of the U.S. is not (as much). We have a host of our own economic challenges to worry about to be sure, but a Grexit won’t be an added reason for concern.

 

Bennett Group Financial Services LLC, based in Washington, D.C., is a comprehensive financial services firm committed to providing opportunities to clients’ as they seek long-term financial success. Its customized programs are designed with the potential to help grow, lower overall risk and conserve client assets by delivering a high level of personalized service and skill.

For more information, call 866-286-2268 or visit http://www.bennettgroupfinancial.com

Securities offered through Western International Securities Inc. (WIS), member FINRA/SIPC. BGFS and WIS are separate and unaffiliated entities.

About Dawn Bennett

Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com

She discusses educational topics and events in the financial news, along with her thoughts on the economy, financial markets, investments, and more with her live guests, who have included rock legend Ted Nugent, as well as Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist. Listeners can call 855-884-DAWN a as well as take podcasts on the road and forums for interaction.

She can be reached on Twitter @DawnBennettFMB or on Facebook Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett ordbennett@bennettgroupfinancial.com

 

Why Earnings Aren’t Driving the Stock Market

Ask any financial expert to provide a basic explanation of how the U.S. stock market operates, and you can bet they’ll mention corporate earnings. When the economy does well and companies improve their earnings, the stock market makes gains. In other words, the stock market and the economy maintain a linear relationship. However, the U.S. stock market at present reflects no such relationship, even though it may appear otherwise.

While the stock market has made impressive gains, even reaching historic highs, the U.S. economy itself hasn’t performed nearly as well, nor have individual companies and major players on the stock market.

Rather than share prices that are bolstered by corporate earnings, today’s stock market share prices are the result of companies engaging in more buybacks. By buying back their own shares of stocks, these companies are distorting the image of their company’s success and driving up prices, and often borrowing funds to do so. Tangible earnings are no longer the primary determinant for today’s stock market gains.

Companies that continue to participate in heavy share buybacks even include major players like Apple, which has promised it will increase its return to shareholders by approximately 70 billion dollars by the close of 2017; how will it provide those returns? You guessed it: buybacks. But it’s not just Apple; the majority of companies in the S&P and Dow are increasing their buyback efforts this year; in fact, buybacks have more than doubled year-to-date since last year. Studies estimate that in total, companies on the stock market will spend $1 trillion in buybacks and dividends in 2015; this is an estimated 13.1% increase as compared to 2014.

What’s even more troubling about the increase in corporate stock buybacks is that fact that it’s creating a growing disparity in corporate fund allocation. Companies are now spending 50% more on buybacks than total capital expenditures, and are spending 4 times more than research and development. Buyback expenditure is also 5 times more than money spent for merging and acquisitions.

As financial experts like Dawn J Bennett, host of the “Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett” radio show, point out, this type of spending doesn’t position companies well. Rather than investing in pursuits that will increase their earnings and provide long-term stability, companies are only focused on driving the stock market higher here and now. Unfortunately, propping up the stock market with anything but real earnings is bad news for all.

Bennett Group Financial Services LLC, based in Washington, D.C., is a comprehensive financial services firm committed to providing opportunities to clients’ as they seek long-term financial success. Its customized programs are designed with the potential to help grow, lower overall risk and conserve client assets by delivering a high level of personalized service and skill.

For more information, call 866-286-2268 or visit http://www.bennettgroupfinancial.com

Securities offered through Western International Securities Inc. (WIS), member FINRA/SIPC. BGFS and WIS are separate and unaffiliated entities.

About Dawn Bennett

Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com

She discusses educational topics and events in the financial news, along with her thoughts on the economy, financial markets, investments, and more with her live guests, who have included rock legend Ted Nugent, as well as Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist. Listeners can call 855-884-DAWN a as well as take podcasts on the road and forums for interaction.

She can be reached on Twitter @DawnBennettFMB or on Facebook Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett ordbennett@bennettgroupfinancial.com

 

Why We Should Be Wary of a “Grexit”

A report recently conducted by the United Nations found that of 158 countries surveyed on levels of happiness, Greece, a country characterized by tranquil Mediterranean waters, easy living and strongly-rooted traditions, ranked near the bottom of the listing at a dismal 102nd place.

While this ranking would raise eyebrows any other year, when we consider the financial chaos that’s entrenched this country of late, it’s little surprise that Grecians don’t have much of an optimistic outlook.

As of May 2015, Greece maintains approximately 330 billion euros in debt, and its chances of defaulting on this debt grow increasingly likely with each Eurozone summit that passes. These meetings with potential bailout nations have primarily underscored the belief that additional bailout money isn’t the answer, and that Greece should instead face what’s being called a “Grexit” from the Eurozone.

At this point, Greece’s exit stage left seems highly likely, and while many Eurozone nations, even those who support Greece, believe an exit to be the best course of action for this struggling country (the European Central Bank is already preparing for its departure), others around the world identify some troubling potential consequences.  Though the Economic Intelligence Unit believes there’s only a 40% chance that Greece will actually leave the Eurozone (no country has ever made an exit before, so the unknowns may be enough to keep Greece in tow), this likelihood is enough to make many financial experts around the world, including long-time money manager Dawn J Bennett, concerned about the impact it would have on the global economy.

Of the potential negative consequences, one of the most alarming is the potential for other European economies to be significantly impacted by Greece’s unstable economy, and for Greek creditors to suffer throughout Europe. Greece’s economy is relatively small, but if returning to the drachma sends economic repercussions throughout Europe, which it very well could, the U.S. will eventually feel those repercussions too in the form of lost jobs and European exports.

The global economy is already fragile, and though the U.S. is inclined to tout its own economic growth, as Bennett points out, the U.S. economy isn’t as strong as we’d like to think. Major corporations, including McDonald’s and Caterpillar, are experiencing long-term, unprecedented profit losses, and job growth in the U.S. has been sluggish and far below what analysts had previously predicted. Unemployment rates remain stagnant and more publicly traded companies in the U.S. are filing for bankruptcy than they were last year.

Even the U.S.’s own happiness ranking is reflective of its uncertain economic conditions, as the U.S. ranked 15th, behind Israel and Mexico. This tentative optimism echoes a previous consumer study which found job seekers to be only conservatively optimistic about their chances of securing a desirable job in the near future.

Whether or not Greece makes a “Grexit” from the Eurozone, the possibility of a destabilized global economy has put into perspective for many analysts like Bennett the real consequences of a global economic downturn. The U.S. may believe its economy to be infallible, but a “Grexit” may prove otherwise.

 

Bennett Group Financial Services LLC, based in Washington, D.C., is a comprehensive financial services firm committed to providing opportunities to clients’ as they seek long-term financial success. Its customized programs are designed with the potential to help grow, lower overall risk and conserve client assets by delivering a high level of personalized service and skill.

For more information, call 866-286-2268 or visit http://www.bennettgroupfinancial.com

Securities offered through Western International Securities Inc. (WIS), member FINRA/SIPC. BGFS and WIS are separate and unaffiliated entities.

About Dawn Bennett

Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com

She discusses educational topics and events in the financial news, along with her thoughts on the economy, financial markets, investments, and more with her live guests, who have included rock legend Ted Nugent, as well as Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist. Listeners can call 855-884-DAWN a as well as take podcasts on the road and forums for interaction.

She can be reached on Twitter @DawnBennettFMB or on Facebook Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett ordbennett@bennettgroupfinancial.com

 

Why We Can’t Trust U.S. Job Growth Numbers

A quick look at the recent numbers released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics offers a promising picture of job growth in the United States. The nation has created an increasing number of jobs each month for the past twelve months, and the unemployment rate decreased from 5.7% to 5.5% from January 2015 to February 2015, which many see as an indication of good times to come. The numbers are certainly promising, but that’s just the thing of it—they’re numbers. And as anyone who’s taken a basic high school mathematics course knows, numbers can be manipulated.

Such is the case with the Bureau’s most recent data on job growth and unemployment. As Dawn Bennett, financial expert and CEO of Bennett Group Financial Services points out, the unemployment figure purported to have decreased .2% from January to February only included those who’d been actively seeking work within four weeks of the time of data collection. Those seeking work longer than this timeframe, which, let’s remember, is just one month, were categorized as discouraged workers, and individuals in this category were discounted from the total unemployment figure. However, we know there are plenty of reasons people look for work longer than four weeks, including holding out for full-time employment or simply believing there aren’t any suitable jobs available. Yet, these individuals, as well as those that are not considered eligible members of the labor force (approximately 23 percent of the population), were conveniently left out of this unemployment figure.

Seems a little misleading, doesn’t it?

The types of jobs that were added to the economy are also worth closer examination. While the Bureau of Labor & Statistics reports that 300,000 jobs were created in February, just what types of jobs were they? Analysis tells us that nearly 20% of the jobs created were for waiters and bartenders. While this is good news for those in the hospitality industry, we know that these jobs aren’t career positions, that they maintain high turnover rates, and that they’re often part-time. Yet again, by not distinguishing between the types of jobs created, the government is able to tout a rosier picture of job growth and the health of the economy.

What’s more, we’re still witnessing a significant outpouring of full-time jobs to workers overseas. This has largely been the result of a decade-long trade deficit between the United States and China, and has resulted in a net loss of more than 2.7 million American jobs. And even though the U.S. may be creating more jobs at present, when adjusted for inflation, the average American middle-class family is earning approximately 20% less in annual income than they were in 1984.

So does the reality of job growth and unemployment in America really give us reason to celebrate? Those like Bennett think not.

 

Bennett Group Financial Services LLC, based in Washington, D.C., is a comprehensive financial services firm committed to providing opportunities to clients’ as they seek long-term financial success. Its customized programs are designed with the potential to help grow, lower overall risk and conserve client assets by delivering a high level of personalized service and skill.

For more information, call 866-286-2268 or visit http://www.bennettgroupfinancial.com

Securities offered through Western International Securities Inc. (WIS), member FINRA/SIPC. BGFS and WIS are separate and unaffiliated entities.

About Dawn Bennett

Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com

She discusses educational topics and events in the financial news, along with her thoughts on the economy, financial markets, investments, and more with her live guests, who have included rock legend Ted Nugent, as well as Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist. Listeners can call 855-884-DAWN a as well as take podcasts on the road and forums for interaction.

She can be reached on Twitter @DawnBennettFMB or on Facebook Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett ordbennett@bennettgroupfinancial.com