The Economy and Markets: Challenges and Positives


Dear Fellow Investors and Friends,

As I’ve mentioned in the past, ADF uses investment advisors from both Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. These advisors help us invest our required reserves, and they provide insights into what factors are driving the economy and financial markets.

In a recent presentation, one of our advisors mentioned the challenges of expensive stocks and bonds (relative to rates and risks). He also talked about the upward pressures of inflation, which will contribute to rising interest rates. Among those inflationary pressures are increases in import prices, commodities (such as oil and metals), home prices, and wages. As interest rates rise, the market value of many bonds will decrease.

The speaker also mentioned a number of positives. He feels that these will overshadow the challenges, for now.  These positives include:

  • Tax relief from the recent tax law change

  • Corporate earnings growth, which improves the values of stocks

  • Growth in global trade

  • Optimism from small businesses

  • Continued high levels of job openings

  • Low energy costs, which will allow people to spend more dollars on other products and services in the U.S. economy

  • Real median household income, which is at a record high

  • The digital transformation we are experiencing with innovations such as artificial intelligence, robots and drones, 3-D printing, autonomous vehicles, etc.

All of these observations are worth contemplating as you evaluate your investments.

ADF continues to offer various products to help you save, along with stable, convenient vehicles for every age and situation. And we do so while providing both a financial return and a KROI (Kingdom Return on Investment). Thank you for your ongoing investments.

Please share your thoughts by contacting me at They are always welcome.

Lawrence L. McCooey, CPA, PFS, CGMA President

Lawrence L. McCooey, CPA, PFS, CGMA

Larry McCooey