Carl Aschenbrenner, Portfolio Manager at HCR Wealth Advisors, reads the tea leaves to provide clues about the market’s future.

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Photo by Marga Santoso on Unsplash

Most people and academics believe market timing is impossible. There’s no way to know what will happen next. It’s true that economic forecasting is difficult and shocks are often a surprise. However, reading the tea leaves of the market on a broad and granular level can provide some clues. The following indicators that I’ll be discussing are ways of quantitatively monitoring and tracking the breadth of the equity market. They depend on the observation that at the beginning of a significant bull market run, economic growth will be picking up and benefiting all or almost all sectors/industries. Near the end…


HCR Wealth Advisors
HCR Wealth Advisors

It’s 2021 and there are new occupants in the White House. That alone is reason enough to do a financial review as each new year brings ample reason to review where your finances stand. After all, 2020 brought the turmoil of the pandemic and now the hope of the vaccines. What no one, Including HCR Wealth Advisors, can say is how things will evolve from here. So, knowing exactly where you stand financially has added value.

Add to that a new administration.

What will be the impact of the new administration?

Each administration has its priorities. Your questions might include:


HCR Wealth Advisors
HCR Wealth Advisors

The third-quarter Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, was recently announced with great fanfare. The question asked by most investing and non-investing Americans, including HCR Wealth Advisors, was: “What does that mean to me?”

HCR Wealth Advisors feels that a little historical perspective can be useful.

First-Quarter (Q1) 2020 GDP — On March 11, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. But by then, the U.S. economy had already been in a technical recession since February as growth in the first quarter declined by 5%. …


HCR Wealth Advisors
HCR Wealth Advisors
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

At 10 times revenues, to give you a 10-year payback, I have to pay you 100% of revenues for 10 straight years in dividends. That assumes I can get that by my shareholders. That assumes I have zero cost of goods sold, which is very hard for a computer company. That assumes zero expenses, which is really hard with 39,000 employees. That assumes I pay no taxes, which is very hard. And that assumes you pay no taxes on your dividends, which is kind of illegal. And that assumes with zero R&D for the next 10 years, I can maintain…


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Worrying about credit scores when one is out of work and trying to keep a roof overhead seems trivial.

But mostly anytime is a crucial time to monitor credit reports because of the long-term effects of any negative remarks.

Creditors and Coronavirus

When the Coronavirus started inching its way onto the evening news, HCR Wealth Advisors realized that the country was in a blissful state of nearly full employment. Unemployment figures were at historical lows in every demographic grouping.

So as “pandemic” became the word du jour, and companies started taking measures to respond, no one was adequately prepared. …


HCR Wealth Advisors
HCR Wealth Advisors

Few people ask about the philosophy of a financial advisory group before deciding who to hire. Yet, that’s the driving force behind every recommendation that advisors will make to their clients.

In the case of HCR Wealth Advisors, that philosophy grew out of a pivotal experience of its Founder and CEO, Greg Heller. Greg’s career started at a brokerage firm where the focus was on the products and services the firm had to sell to its clients.

All too often, he saw brokers giving priority to what most benefited the firm and not the client. It was a case of…


While not all entrepreneurs are seat-of-the-pants managers, many have achieved success by taking a hands-on approach to running their companies. It gives them a sense of full control over their business operations. And that, in turn, brings them peace of mind because “Who will care about my business more than I do?”

The downside comes when maintaining such tight control means it’s hard to let anyone else in — such as a financial advisor — when it comes to the company’s financials.

In their rush to bring their concept to life, some new business owners may do basic planning to…


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Everyone has questions about what is happening with the economy right now. With the pandemic, uncertainty has settled on economies and global markets worldwide. Many people, not just investors but also consumers, are keeping an eye on economic progress as we move forward from the economic turmoil caused by COVID-19.

HCR Wealth Advisors is no exception in that regard. The firm has examined a broad variety of factors and market signals to determine how to proceed through these uncertain times.

Gross Domestic Product Drops

Perhaps the first and most immediate consequence of the pandemic that HCR Wealth Advisors has seen…


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As goes the economy, so goes the market? Not necessarily.

HCR Wealth Advisors’ team of experts started this 3-part series by looking at how the U.S. GDP was reacting to the shutdowns and other disruptions caused by the COVID-19 virus. In Part Two, it reviewed how the Fed had responded to the ever-shifting new economic reality.

Now, in part three, HCR Wealth Advisors examines the health of the market and what’s to come.

Part three: Health of the market and what’s to come

To look at the market more deeply, HCR Wealth Advisors has examined “leadership” in the market, which means the number of stocks that are participating. What is…


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As Q3 2020 unfolds, investors and non-investors alike want to know what to expect from the economy.

The experts at HCR Wealth Advisors have put together a 3-part series that addresses the economy from the viewpoint of GDP, the Fed, and the health of the economy going forward. In Part One, HCR Wealth Advisors explored what effect the COVID-induced economic shutdown had on GDP. Next comes how the Fed responded.

Part Two: The Fed’s response to the downturn

The Federal Reserve’s website says its mission is to “provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and…

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