Good Afternoon Valued Clients, Friends and Family,

I am so happy to say that I am writing this letter from my desk in our newly renovated office. We moved back into our office this week, and it feels so good to be home, we are looking forward to seeing all of you again in person. In other news this week, the deal with Elon Musk and Twitter finally came to fruition, France has re-elected their president, the U.S. sent top officials to Ukraine, and the pandemic is transitioning to a new phase. Lots to tweet about this week.

The biggest tweet of the week is Tesla CEO Elon Musk is buying Twitter for $44 billion. On Monday, Twitter agreed to sell itself for $54.20 a share, which is a 38% premium over the company’s share price. The deal was unanimously approved by Twitter’s board and is expected to close this year, subject to a vote by Twitter’s shareholders and regulatory approvals. Musk plans to take the company private and promote free speech on the platform. Jack Dorsey co-founder and former CEO of Twitter fully supports Musk as the new owner of Twitter saying that, “Elon is the singular solution I trust.”

A little birdie told me that French President Emmanuel Macron won a second term in France’s presidential election on Sunday. Macron is a centrist and obtained 58.54% votes to beat his opponent Le Pen who is a nationalist and far-right, getting 41.46%. Although Macron won, the vote was close considering back in 2017 the two ran against each other with Macron receiving 66.1% of the vote versus Le Pen’s 33.9%. The results of this election indicates that the tone of politics has shifted in France and one of Macron’s challenges for his second term will be to unify France.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin went to Ukraine last Sunday to meet with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the presidential palace. Their trip is the highest-level American visit to Ukraine since Russia began their invasion on February 24th. Blinken and Austin’s visit shows the United States’ support for Ukraine and its defense. The Biden Administration nominated a new ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, who is currently the U.S. ambassador to Slovakia. The position has been vacant since 2019 and Brink will go before the Senate for voting confirmation.

On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed optimism saying that the U.S. is transitioning out of the pandemic phase. The U.S. has reached the “control” phase (third phase out of five pandemic phases) of the coronavirus pandemic since hospitalizations and deaths are lower than during the winter omicron surge. He went on to say that the pandemic is not over, and that Americans still need to remain cautious since COVID-19 cases are trending up again. Hopefully people can get back to some normality without complete disruption to their daily lives.

Earnings season is now well underway giving investors better insight into how businesses have performed during these turbulent times, but also a peek at their expectations moving forward. Nearly 80% of S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far have surpassed analysts’ estimates, according to FactSet. Despite that fact, the U.S. economy shrank in the first quarter as supply disruptions concealed the strength in consumer and business demand, hinting at growth to come. Consumer spending is the main driver of the U.S. economy, which rose by 2.7% compared to the previous quarter, making it the seventh consecutive positive increase. The question remains on how the Federal Reserve will approach tightening monetary policy in the months to come. Until then, consumers and businesses seem to be weathering things just fine. For the week, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq are all down 2.41%, 2.50%, and 2.30%, respectively, as of today’s close.

I would like to thank everyone who attended our webinar yesterday on “A New Generation of Advising: Foundational Asset Management”. We hope you found it informative, the video will be available on our website soon. The playback video for our last webinar on “Crypto: We’re De-Finally Talking About It” is on our website. Click here to watch. Our next webinar is on “Getting Good Leverage: Credit, Loans, & Borrowing” with our Chief Investment Officer, Benjamin Lau, CFA®, and our Senior Financial Planner, Christopher Whitaker, CFP®, AIF®. Click here to register and learn more. Please share these links with your friends and family if you think they are topics they will find interesting.

I know this has been a volatile time in the market, so please feel free to call our office if you would like to discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding your portfolio or schedule a review. Please call our office at (949) 253-8888 or email Michelle Campos at Michelle@apriem.com to schedule a meeting with your Wealth Manager.

With appreciation,

Rhonda Ducote, AIF®
President

Disclosures:

Advisory services offered by Apriem Advisors (“Apriem”), a registered investment adviser with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in accordance with the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Any reference to or use of the terms “registered investment adviser” or “registered,” does not imply that Apriem Advisors or any person associated with Apriem Advisors has achieved a certain level of skill or training. Apriem Advisors may only transact business or render personalized investment advice in those states and international jurisdictions where we are registered, notice filed, or where we qualify for an exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. For complete information about our firm, please refer to our Form ADV Part 2A, 2B and CRS at any time.

The information provided in this report should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. There is no assurance that any securities discussed herein will remain in an account’s portfolio at the time you receive this report or that securities sold have not been repurchased. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The reader should not assume that investments in the securities identified were or will be profitable.”

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