Good Afternoon Valued Clients, Friends and Family,

We are in the thick of it this week. Thick smoke surrounded many of us last night with fires locally burning in Laguna Niguel, shortages of baby formula have parents panicking to feed their babies and the thick of the market volatility continues. Hopefully, by the end of the week the thick smoke will clear, and you will all be able to see the lunar eclipse on Sunday.

Yesterday afternoon, a small wildfire, dubbed the Coastal Fire, broke out in the brush near Laguna Niguel, CA but quickly grew to 200 acres due to the windy and dry conditions. Many residents in the Laguna Niguel area, and a luxury resort in Laguna Beach were asked to evacuate. There were approximately 100 homes in the path of the fire along with The Ranch golf course and resort. The fire destroyed 20 homes but thankfully no one was injured. The cause of the fire is under investigation and firefighters continue to battle the 200-acre blaze. Our hearts and prayers go out to all those who lost their homes. Also, our sincere gratitude to the firefighters who saved many homes in the path of the fire.

This week, incoming White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, addressed the shortages of baby formula across the U.S. The Biden administration is claiming this is a top priority for them. The nationwide out-of-stock percentage has reached 43% with many families struggling to find formula not only in stores but online as well. This has caused stores to impose purchasing limits on baby formula. Shortages ramped up after Abbott Nutrition’s voluntary recall in February and been compounded by supply chain challenges, labor shortages and historic inflation. This shortage is causing panic and anxiety across the nation among parents.

As we move further into the second quarter of the year, investors have been getting a clearer picture of underlying economic conditions. Uncertainty remains elevated, as inflation increased at a slower pace versus this time last year, leading investors to think the Federal Reserve will continue with its battle against inflation. Although it can be tough to hear news like this the end goal of the Federal Reserve’s plan will improve conditions for Americans alike. It also shows that this too shall pass, reaffirming my beliefs that financial plans can help weather any storm. For the week, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq are all down 5.17%, 3.78%, and 7.65%, respectively, as of today’s close.

We are looking forward to our next webinar on “Getting Good Leverage: Credit, Loans, & Borrowing” with our Chief Investment Officer, Benjamin Lau, CFA®, and our Senior Financial Planner, Christopher Whitaker, CFP®, AIF®. It will take place on Wednesday, May, 25 2022 at 1pm. Click here to register and learn more. The playback video for our last webinar on “A New Generation of Advising: Foundational Asset Management” is now on our website to watch. Click here to watch the replay. Check out the recordings of our previous webinars to watch on our website here. Please share these links with your friends and family if you think they are topics they will find interesting.

With the volatility of the markets, 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 to schedule a meeting with your Wealth Manager.

On a brighter note, if the smoke clears look up to the sky on Sunday night to see the lunar eclipse. This eclipse will have 1 hour and 25 minutes of totality, which is the period where the full moon is completely covered by the dark part of the Earth’s shadow and turns a reddish color, sometimes called a “Blood Moon”. The totality will begin after 8pm local time and will finish before 11pm. For the west coast which includes California, Washington and parts of Idaho, Nevada and Oregon, May 2022 will be the longest prime-time totality of the 21st century. Hope you will be able to look into the sky to witness this beautiful eclipse.

Warmest wishes,

Rhonda Ducote, AIF®


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