Economic outlook for 2014 is the January Chamber of Commerce topic

By Alberta Stojkovic

February 11, 2014

Edward Jones Financial Advisor, Andy Bower got an enthusiastic round of applause at the January Chamber of Commerce meeting after his presentation of the economic outlook for the coming year.

He spoke about four signs of improvement for the economy and stock market for 2014 and encouraged Chamber members to consider investing and making sure their future for retirement was on a firm footing.

Bower noted that businesses are beginning to invest and hire again. The pent-up demand is driving the ongoing housing and auto recoveries. Another sign of improvement is in faster growth around the world with European and Japan emerging from their recessions. Earnings growth for corporations is also forecast as sales increase and companies benefit from cost-cutting over the past few years. A last sign of improvement is the continuing investor confidence.

After a 38 percent drop in the stock market in 2008 investors have returned to the market. The main concern in the coming year is for investors to realize that there will no doubt be a lot of volatility in the stock market. Bower pointed out that there is historically one 10 percent “correction“ in the stock market every year with one or two four to five percent “declines” in the market.

Last year there were only two declines and it has been more than two years without a 10 percent market pullback. Investors need to be prepared to experience a correction and consider the quality of their investments. Bower gave an example of companies that pay dividends and offer excellent return on investment. He added that with the ever rising cost of living and uncertainty of pensions and social security, it is wise to carefully consider savings and investments for retirement.

Bower said he got interested in the stock market in the fifth grade when his teacher gave the students in the class $10,000 (in pretend money) and had them pick two stocks for investment. He kept up his interest of investment through high school and got his Securities License when he was a student at Findlay University.

Before his career with Edward Jones, Bower spent 13 years in the corporate environment. He worked four years at Eli Lilly Corp. and five years for Johnson & Johnson. He enjoys the aspect of helping people as a Financial Advisor at Edward Jones in Mount Gilead.

Each Chamber member present received a packet with a booklet on the Edward Jones Perspective “Outlook 2014: Putting your future on a Firmer Footing.” This newsletter and other information on investing are available at the Edward Jones office at 11 S. Main St. in Mount Gilead.

There will be a special Social Security Seminar March 4th from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. sponsored by Edward Jones at the Emergency Medical Services Building (EMS) 140 S. Main St in Mount Gilead. People from age 58-65 who are not yet taking Social Security are invited. There is limited space so please call the Edward Jones office at 419-946-5558 for reservations.