At CenterState Bank, we are committed to corporate social responsibility.
Our volunteer program supports corporate objectives for success by improving the lives of individuals, groups and the communities in which we do business through volunteerism, building and managing relationships and strategic partnerships. Our volunteers give generously of their time and talent, by participating on boards, conducting financial literacy training and providing service to help make local communities better places. CenterState colleagues are committed to the communities where they live and work.
Rough December Turns Stocks Negative on the Year.
Growing concerns over a significant slowdown in the economy’s growth rate in 2019, possibly even turning into a recession, drove stock prices lower during October. Those fears remained in place and became even more pronounced during December. As discussed in the last two ISS’s, we blamed growing concerns that the Federal Reserve could make a policy mistake in its current pursuit of raising interest rates, which is intended to provide the central bank with the ammunition to address the next recession by having more than less capacity to lower interest rates.
Federal Reserve Tries to Walk Back Chairman Powell’s October Comments.
In last month’s ISS, we blamed growing fears over the Federal Reserve’s efforts to raise interest rates as the key reason for the -9.4% drop in the S&P 500 from the end of September to the recent low on October 29. Throughout 2018, we have consistently stated that whether or not the Federal Reserve would make a policy mistake was the primary risk to the economy and the outlook for stock prices. The risks associated with the course of Federal Reserve policy and its impact on the economy transitioned from uncertainty to fear in early October.
Stocks Drop as Investors Increasingly Fear a Tighter Monetary
Common stocks suffered through a sudden and sharp decline during October, with the S&P 500 and the DJIA giving back all of their 2018 gains to the lows recorded on October 29. Pundits offered many reasons for the pullback, from valuations on high flying technology stocks, the growing trade war with China, slowing growth overseas, to the upcoming midterm elections. While it is realistic to think that all of these issues likely played a hand in the drop in stock prices and the uptick in volatility, we point to growing fears over the Federal Reserve’s efforts to raise interest rates as the key reason for the drop in stock prices.
Another Month, Another Tariff on Chinese Imports.
With the 2Q 2018 earnings season winding down, the escalation of the trade conflict with China dominated investors’ attention last month. President Trump imposed 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, and those duties are set to rise to 25 percent at the end of the year. The world’s two largest economies have already imposed tariffs on $50 billion of each other’s goods. The new attack on Beijing brings the amount of Chinese goods subject to new tariffs to $250 billion, roughly half of Chinese exports to the U.S.
Political and Legal Drama, Trade Developments, and Higher Stock
Hardly a day went by last month without a significant headline coming our way. However, those headlines were just as likely to give investors angst about their investments as they were to provide investors with confidence. Perhaps the major sense of angst came two weeks ago when two former Trump advisors were found to be guilty of criminal
A guilty plea by Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, to tax fraud and campaign finance violations and an admission that he made illegal campaign and corporate contributions “at the direction of” a 2016 presidential candidate with the “purpose of influencing the election” — on the same day former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty of tax evasion, bank fraud, and failure to report foreign bank accounts — raised concerns about the November mid-term
Friendsgiving is both a fad and a cultural measuring stick.
On the one hand, it started as a defiant way to sidestep the annual obligations of Thanksgiving—or at least to celebrate the holiday while off away from family.
On the other, Friendsgiving is here to stay because a generation of people (mostly millennials) have deemed their friends to be a new type of family—ones they actually have some control over.
Whether you’re replacing tradition or complementing it with friends this holiday season, here are some ideas for you to use to make your Friendsgiving epic.
Trade Truce with the European Union.
We mentioned in last month’s ISS that the heated trade rhetoric between the U.S. and our major trading partners, particularly China, escalated to the point that it drowned out almost all other economic issues as June drew to a close. Reflecting on July, we could repeat that statement. The Trump administration imposed tariffs of $34 billion on Chinese products on July 6 and China responded with tariffs on $34 billion of American aircraft, cars, soybeans, and other farm goods. The White House then responded by threatening to assess tariffs on further $200 billion of Chinese goods, deepening the dispute with Beijing.
A particularly strong reason to outsource involves a shortage of a critical resource. This can be available employees that possess knowledge in a certain area (e.g., engineers), the availability of raw material (e.g., petroleum or minerals) and an available labor force that possesses a necessary level of expertise at the right price.
8 Ways to Protect Your Financial Identity Online
A little self-defense can go a long way toward protecting yourself against identity theft. You may not realize it, but shopping, banking, working, and connecting with friends online are all activities that may allow unwanted individuals to collect information about you. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect yourself. Take the following steps to help keep your identity safe in the digital space.
Escalation of Trade Tensions Takes a Toll on Common Stocks.
Hardly a day went by last month without a significant and meaningful headline coming our way. With Donald Trump unable to win trade concessions from his Canadian, Mexican, and European Union counterparts ahead of an early June deadline, the President announced his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the closest U.S. neighbors and allies.
Strong Earnings, Trade Tensions, and Euro Zone Uncertainty.
After trading slightly lower over the first four months of 2018, common stocks advanced across the board during May -- particularly so for technology and small company stocks -- primarily on the back of a remarkable acceleration in earnings growth during 1Q 2018.
Trade Fears Subside, Late Cycle Stimulus Fears Rise.
Investors pushed aside the worries over tariffs and trade wars last month, that had so dominated the discourse during March, and returned to the worries associated with late cycle fiscal stimulus, namely inflation and the rising cost of money.
Threats of Protectionist Trade Policies Undercut Stock Prices.
The tone and tenor in the stock market has changed dramatically since new all-time highs were recorded on January 26, placing the rally in common stocks at a crossroads.
Fundamental Change in the Outlook for the Economy
Investors spent the past month or so adjusting to the fundamental change in the economic outlook
Common Stocks Open 2018 with a Bang!
Up until earlier this week, the reaction of investors to Donald Trump’s election, improving economic growth across the globe, and the rebound in operating earnings over the past six quarters has been nothing short of phenomenal.
No one likes the fear of meeting disaster around the corner. This is true in all areas of life, and money is certainly no exception. The threat of finances spiraling out of control from a few hefty unforeseen bills or life circumstances produces anxiety for millions of people every day.
If you’ve spent any time analyzing your organization’s Facebook page analytics, you know that it is becoming increasingly difficult to reach your fan base. Even the most active brands producing engaging content can struggle to reach 10 percent of their fans with a given post.
If one were particularly optimistic, one might say that the true spirit of the new year is success.
As we covered last week, abandoned resolutions are plentiful. But there’s this unshakeable reality that optimists can hold to no matter what:
The only way to change something you want to change is to try to change it.
New year, new you, right? Time to get healthier; time to save more money for that trip to Austria you’ve been planning for years.
But wait—those two goals don’t fit together at all! Or do they?
It’s pretty widely accepted that if you want to get healthy, you have to be willing to spend more money. Organic and nutrient-rich foods, after all, are far more expensive than potato chips and Hamburger Helper.
It’s a horrible realization.
You look back on your entire 2016, scouring the days and weeks gone by, trying to remember something…
Did I take a vacation last year?
Surely you did, right? Except, all you can remember is that one short weekend at the beach. You know, the one that was pretty much over as soon as you got there.
“Money can’t buy me love,” a famous philosopher once said.
No, but money can buy nice dates. Still, the reality is that most people are not where they want to be financially, and the importance of dating your partner is just as important as it will ever be.
What to do?
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, you don’t have to sacrifice fun because of funds. Check out these eight creative (and inexpensive) date ideas to keep love alive—on a budget.
For those who don’t know, MLB teams are divided into two separate leagues for spring training exhibitions: the cactus league (in Arizona) and the grapefruit league (in Florida). That means that exactly half of America’s professional baseball teams (15) play in our backyard for the whole month of March, plus some change.
The week of the NCAA basketball tournament is finally upon us, and you’re probably scrambling to fill out a bracket superior to your peers.
Don’t worry: we want to see your bracket demolish Dave from Accounting, too. His gloating about picking Villanova last year has gone far enough, am I right?
First, you’ll need to bring some sanity to March madness. We’ve laid out a few steps for what to do and what not to do as you finish up your picks before the first round begins on Thursday.
In America, St. Patrick’s Day is often celebrated by default.
We wear green, we pinch people who don’t, and we don’t really know why we’re doing it. In fact, it’s fair to ask: what are we doing celebrating another country’s saint anyway?
But the history of the day is actually rich, and we would do well to know the past of the famous saint and his significance to the country of Ireland.
Life is hard.
Good, a lot of the time, sure. But really hard, too.
Despite a world of information at our fingertips, most of us simply don’t have time to scour the Internet for simple ways to solve our most mundane problems. Clever people have come up with a lot of apps and tools to make everyday life easier, but of course you have to know about those apps in order to benefit from them.
Central Florida is a pretty amazing tourist destination—even if you took away all of its theme parks.
While Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and other parks are generally the very first things that come to mind when people think about attractions in Florida, the center of the state would rival other areas of the country even if you took those away and only left the “B-players.”
In fact, “B-players” is not an appropriate term at all for the attractions in Central Florida. From sightseeing, to national parks, to top-of-the-line quality bike paths, to crazy sports combinations, the area has a diverse set of entertainment and leisure options that can appeal to anyone.