Bear Market Investing: You’re Doing It Wrong!



Hey, everyone!  It’s certainly been an interesting few weeks in financial markets.  As I record this video in March 2020, U.S. stocks are in a bear market, the first “official” bear market since 2009, though there were plenty of interruptions along the way.  The proximate cause of this bear market is the coronavirus and associated economic disruption.

But this video applies to bear markets regardless of the cause… and I imagine that I’ll share it again in the future.Read More »

Monthly Economic Update: October 2019



Hey, everyone! This is Derek Merkler, the Military Financial Advisor, with my economic update for October 2019.

I’ll be discussing headlines from September and offer some perspective on those headlines.

Last month saw some jitters, but investors saw more upside than downside with the S&P 500 gaining 1.7 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 2 percent, the Nasdaq Composite less than 0.5 percent.[1]Read More »

Monthly Economic Update: September 2019


Hello, folks, this is Derek Merkler, the Military Financial Advisor with my economic update for September 2019.

In August, all eyes were on the U.S.-China trade dispute. The White House announced new tariffs on Chinese goods. Some are effective now; some will be effective in December. China retaliated, in two ways. First, it manipulated its currency by reducing its value compared to the U.S. dollar. Currency devaluation makes Chinese goods less expensive for U.S. buyers and it may help offset the impact of tariffs.[1]Second, it scheduled new tariffs on American goods.[2]Trade talks between the U.S. and China may resume this month though, of course, time will tell.[3]Read More »

Monthly Economic Update Video: August 2019

Hello! I’m back with my economic update for August 2019.

The market advanced in July on encouraging earnings news and on anticipation that the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates. That anticipation grew after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s mid-month testimony on Capitol Hill. The S&P 500 gained 1.3 percent in July and passed 3,000 for the first time.[i],[ii]The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1 percent; the Nasdaq Composite increased by 2.1 percent.[iii]

The Fed made a quarter-point cut on July 31st. Chairman Powell did not suggest that additional cuts were coming. Addressing the media, he called the move a “mid-cycle adjustment to policy.”[iv]

Some analysts think the Fed cut is a precaution. Its latest policy statement cited “global developments” and “muted inflation” as factors, and those are concerns.[v]Yearly inflation is still under the Fed’s 2-percent target.[vi]At last look, China’s economy was growing at its slowest rate in 27 years.[vii]

Trade talks also resumed between the U.S. and China. On July 30, trade delegates met, face to face, in Beijing for the first time in months. The market certainly wants a quick resolution to the trade dispute, but the reality may be different. In late July, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin commented that it could take “a few more meetings” to see any progress.[viii]

This month, the Fed and U.S.-China trade relations will likely remain “top of mind” on Wall Street. Note that the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium starts August 22. This event attracts central bank officials from around the world, and the Street pays close attention to what they say. There will also be plenty of earnings calls as the Q2 earnings season rolls on.[ix]

As I record this video, the global drop in stock market values on August 5thhas already happened.  There is certainly a lot of doom and gloom and financial media reporters running around with their hair on fire.  I have no idea what is going to happen over the rest of August as recent events develop and evolve.  So… once again, stick to your plan.

Well, that’s it for this month’s economic update.  See you next month!



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Monthly Economic Update: July 2019



Hello, Derek Merkler here with my monthly economic update video for July 2019.

After a disappointing May, U.S. stock markets roared back in June. The S&P 500 picked up 6.9 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 7.2 percent, and the NASDAQ Composite gained 7.4 percent.[1]During the month, the S&P 500 reached a record high, while the Dow Industrials and the NASDAQ Composite came within a whisper of their historical peaks, which they’ve since broken at the beginning of July.1Read More »