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J. Michael Stolp

J. Michael Stolp is Managing Member of CFO Solutions LLC, founded by Michael in 1991. CFO is a registered investment advisory and boutique financial planning firm with corporate offices in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is based and resides in Scottsdale. CFO specializes in the unique planning needs of doctors, other professionals, and small business owners, and the economic issues facing them.

Keep Your Money Safe for Retirement! You’ve worked hard. You’ve earned your savings. Don’t lose it all now on risky investments. We can help you keep your money safe and create the retirement you want, when you want it. We charge no commissions, and no client of ours has ever lost a dime who followed our risk averse philosophy. Contact one of our CFO Financial Advisors today and find out how.

At CFO Solutions, we hear the following comments all the time, “I wish I would have started this process earlier in my life”, and “I wish I would have heard about you sooner”. It’s never too late, but when it comes to preparing for the future, the sooner you start the better. An earlier start will allow your investments more time to earn and mature.

Healthy retirement planning depends on asset allocation rather than on the performance of one single investment. For this reason, we recommend that you spread your investment capital around. However, don’t just spread your savings for the sake of diversification. Be sure your investments are safe and thoroughly discussed with a professional.

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Job growth slumps in September, but the unemployment rate hits the lowest level since 1969 The unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.7 percent, the lowest level since December 1969 and one-tenth of a percentage point below expectations.Nonfarm payrolls rose just 134,000, well below estimates of 185,000 and the worst performance since last September, when a labor strike weighed on the numbers.The closely watched average hourly earnings component showed a 2.8 percent year-over-year increase, in line with Wall Street estimates.August’s initial jobs count was revised up dramatically, from 201,000 to 270,000, while July’s numbers came up as well, from 147,000 to 165,000.

Source: US created 134,000 jobs in September, vs 185,000 expected

Middle-class income rose to a record level in 2017 as the strong economy lifted the fortunes of more Americans, the U.S. Census reported Wednesday.The median U.S. household earned $61,372 last year, meaning half of the families in the country brought in more income than this and half earned less.Crossing the $61,000 mark was important as it signals the American middle-class is earning a little more than it did in 1999, although the Census Bureau cautions median income is still not “statistically significant” from the late 1990s. All the income figures have been adjusted for inflation and are reported in 2017 dollars.

Source: Middle-class income hit an all-time high of $61,372 last year, U.S. Census Bureau says – The Washington Post

Facebook Inc. appears to finally be paying for the impact of fake news in the 2016 elections and user privacy concerns, with the stunning disclosure of a revenue deceleration in the second half of this year sending shares on a mind-blowing plunge Wednesday afternoon.During a conference call Wednesday, Facebook FB, -19.45%  Chief Financial Officer David Wehner predicted bad news for the second half, and the company’s shares immediately began a drastic retreat in the extended session. Should the after-hours bloodbath continue into Thursday’s trading session, Facebook would see a $100 billion blow to its market cap after shares plunged 20%.Read more about Facebook’s second quarter earnings and forecast

Source: Facebook pays for all its mistakes at once, and it is a big bill – MarketWatch

Ivanka Trump: Doting daughter posts intimate photo for Donald Trump’s birthdayIVANKA TRUMP is known to have a close relationship with her father, Donald Trump, notoriously referred to as “daddy’s girl” by the US president. As he celebrates his 72nd birthday today, his doting daughter shared an never-seen-before snap to Twitter.

Source: Ivanka Trump: Donald Trump’s daughter shares intimate Twitter photo for father’s birthday | Life | Life & Style | Express.co.uk

WASHINGTON—The U.S. labor market was firing on all cylinders in May: the unemployment rate fell to an 18-year low, employers added jobs at a faster pace and wages modestly improved.The unemployment rate ticked down to a seasonally adjusted 3.8%, matching April 2000 as the lowest reading since 1969, the Labor Department said Friday. Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 223,000 in May, a jump from gains from March and April. Average hourly earnings ticked up to a 2.7% from a year earlier—and raises were even stronger for nonmanagers.

Source: Unemployment Rate Falls to 18-Year Low; Solid Hiring in May – WSJ

Sears Holdings Corp. SHLD -9.50% said Thursday that it plans to close another 72 stores it has deemed unprofitable, as the company continues to struggle with falling sales.Sears has been closing hundreds of stores in recent years, selling brands and spinning off divisions to stay afloat as losses have mounted and as it struggles to keep its customers away from Walmart Inc., Amazon.com Inc. AMZN +0.29% and other outlets.The company said a list of the 72 stores would be posted later Thursday.

Source: Sears Is Closing More Stores as Sales Shrink For 26th Quarter in a Row – WSJ

The Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor department-store chains have suffered a security breach that has compromised shoppers’ personal and financial information.Hackers claim to have stolen five million credit-card and debit-card records from the stores and have been releasing them for sale on dark web forums, according to a notice published Sunday by Gemini Advisory LLC, a New York-based cybersecurity firm.A spokesman for Hudson’s Bay Co. HBC 3.60% , which owns the two chains, confirmed a data security breach involving customer payment card data at its Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th and Lord & Taylor chains in North America.

Source: Saks, Lord & Taylor Hit With Data Breach – WSJ

The economy added 313,000 jobs in February, crushing expectations, while the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent, according to a Labor Department report Friday that could help quell inflation fears.Economists surveyed by Reuters had been expecting nonfarm payroll growth of 200,000 and the unemployment rate to decline one-tenth of a percent to 4 percent.An increase in the labor force participation rate to its highest level since September 2017 helped keep the headline unemployment number steady, as the number of those counted as not in the workforce tumbled by 653,000 to just over 95 million.The total counted as “employed” in the household survey surged by 785,000 to a record 155.2 million.

Source: Nonfarm payrolls increase by 313,000 in February vs. 200,000 est.

Alan Greenspan: We are in a bond market bubble   24 Mins Ago | 01:11 Former Federal Reserve Chariman Alan Greenspan told CNBC on Thursday the decadeslong bull market in bond prices is coming to an end. “We are in a bond market bubble” that’s beginning to unwind, he said on “Squawk on the Street,” as new Fed Chairman Jerome Powell appeared on Capitol Hill for the second time this week. “Prices are too high” on bonds, Greenspan added. Bond prices move inversely to bond yields, which spiked higher in the new year, recently hitting four-year highs of just under 3 percent. Greenspan is in good company in predicting a bond price bubble.

Source: Alan Greenspan: ‘We are in a bond market bubble’

Small-business confidence is surging in 2018 as optimism rises among small-business owners about the newly enacted tax-reform package, according to the latest CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey, released Tuesday.The CNBC/SurveyMonkey Q1 Small Business Confidence Index saw an increase of five points, from 57 to 62, a record high and the largest quarter-to-quarter move the index has seen since CNBC and SurveyMonkey began measuring last year. This is the first survey since President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law on December 22, 2017.In the Q4 survey, small-business owners were split evenly on the core question about the effect that tax policy would have on their business. Opinions have shifted significantly: Twice as many now expect changes in tax policy to have a positive rather than negative effect on their businesses. Forty-six percent of those surveyed say tax policy changes will have a positive effect, up from 38 percent in the fourth quarter. The number of those saying tax policy changes will have a negative impact fell sharply, from 36 percent in the fourth quarter to 23 percent in the most recent survey.Half of small-business owners are now expecting to see tax cuts in 2018.

Source: Small business confidence hits record in 2018 after tax reform win

One of the most popular measures of volatility is being manipulated, charges one individual who submitted a letter anonymously to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.The letter makes the claim to regulators that fake quotes for the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.26% are skewing levels of the Cboe Volatility Index VIX, -2.50% which reflects bearish and bullish options bets 30-days in the future on the S&P 500 to gauge implied stock-market volatility (see excerpt from the letter below).

Source: How Wall Street’s ‘fear gauge’ is being rigged, according to one whistleblower – MarketWatch

U.S. stocks plunged the most in 6 1/2 years, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking more than 1,100 points, as the equity selloff reached a fever pitch amid rising concern that inflation will force interest rates higher. Treasuries rallied and gold rose on haven demand.

Source: U.S. Stocks Sink Most Since 2011 as Rout Deepens: Markets Wrap – Bloomberg

China added to bond investors’ jitters on Wednesday as traders braced for what they feared could be the end of a three-decade bull market.Senior government officials in Beijing reviewing the nation’s foreign-exchange holdings have recommended slowing or halting purchases of U.S. Treasuries, according to people familiar with the matter. The news comes as global debt markets were already selling off amid signs that central banks are starting to step back after years of bond-buying stimulus. Yields on 10-year Treasuries rose for a fifth day, touching the highest since March.

Source: China Weighs Slowing or Halting Purchases of U.S. Treasuries – Bloomberg

he Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped past 25000 for the first time Thursday, possibly notching the fastest 1,000-point gain in its history, should it close above that mark.The blue-chip index, which heavily weights industrial giants like Boeing Co. and Caterpillar Inc., was recently up 97 points, or 0.4%, at 25019.Thursday’s moves marked the latest feat for a rally that has repeatedly wrong-footed skeptics and sent stock indexes around the world to multiyear highs. The Dow industrials hit five thousand-point milestones last year, its most such records in its 120-year history.Faster economic growth around the globe and improving sentiment from both consumers and businesses—both of which were elusive for many years since the financial crisis a decade ago—have helped power this rally in recent weeks.

Source: Dow Industrials Cross 25000 for First Time – WSJ

President Trump lauded the opening of the nation’s first new coal mine in recent memory.Corsa Coal Company will operate the mine in Somerset County, Pa. – outside of Pittsburgh.Corsa CEO George Dethlefsen said the mine will be a boon to the struggling local economy.He praised Trump’s easing of regulations and encouragement for fossil fuel exploration.Dethlefsen told Leland Vittert that for the 70 positions available in the mine, 400 people applied.”It’s a hard day’s work every day, but it’s worth it,” one miner said.

Source: First New Coal Mine of Trump Era Opens in Pennsylvania | Fox News Insider