Axiom | Vol 256

Markets Show Volatility As Fed Ponders Tapering | Colonial Pipeline Pays $5M Ransom 

Meet The Axiom®’s Guest Editor: Matthew Krenke, CFP®, CHFC®, CASL®

I’m Matthew Krenke, CFP® – Wealth Manager at Annex Wealth Management.

I’m headquartered at our Appleton office where I’ve been a lifelong resident. I’m a proud graduate of University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where I earned a degree in Economics. I’m an avid golfer and enjoy spending time in my kitchen.


Markets Show Volatility As Fed Ponders Tapering

Some believe that it’s not a matter of if the Fed will start tapering this year, but when. But Annex Wealth Management’s Dave Spano and Derek Felske discuss if inflation fears are well-founded, or if this is a “transitory” incident as the Fed seems to be positioning it.


Poll Recap: Employers Have Open Jobs. Why Aren’t They Being Filled?

According to the Labor Department, US employers added 777,000 new jobs in March – but April’s jobs report saw a huge drop off with only 266,000 new jobs added.(1)

In our latest poll, we asked readers why they thought these open jobs weren’t being filled: challenges with childcare and working from home; the extra $300 weekly unemployment is a disincentive to seeking work; or fear of COVID?

While all three reasons could play a role, nearly 70% of Axiom poll respondents theorized that unemployment checks were the chief reason for the lack of job growth. The reality is, the current $300-a-week benefit is more than most minimum wage jobs earn in a week. As that benefit is set to sunset in fall, some experts expect to see jobs fill up at the end of summer.

Fear of COVID-19 is real. Our readers chose this reality as the second most likely reason for jobs not being filled – albeit a distant second from our poll winner. Economists say some workers could still be fearful of returning to work, but as all adult Americans are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, fears may subside.

Only 17 percent of our readers ranked child care concerns as the reason jobs aren’t being filled. Child care continues to pose an issue as in-person classes remain limited in many school districts.(1)




“I enjoy reading and digesting the axiom on a weekly basis. Content is delivered in a way that helps to demystify finance and investing. This is key to increasing overall financial literacy, which is a passion of mine when working with clients on a one-on-one basis.”

– Guest Editor: Matthew Krenke, CFP®, CHFC®, CASL® | Wealth Manager

Consider What You’ll Do After Your Retirement Day

We believe, in its simplest form, retirement planning requires you to consider two chief components: Saving for retirement, and planning on how you will spend your time during retirement.

Do you have a vacation spot you’ve always wanted to visit or distant relatives you would like to reconnect? People are living in retirement longer and it’s important that you’re not only financially ready, but that you have also considered your quality of life during those years.

In this week’s MoneyDo, we suggest you begin thinking about how you’ll spend your free time during retirement. Even if you’re years from retirement, thinking about what you’ll do can help you better plan and visualize what’s ahead.

If you’re already in retirement, don’t skip this MoneyDo. You can always revisit and recreate your purpose for the next couple years of retirement.

Expect the transition from the structure of working 5 days a week to retirement to take time. During this period, it’s normal to experience disruption and confusion. Ultimately, there are 3 components to a successful retirement: identity, relationships and purpose. Understanding these components will ease the transition.

  • Identity: We spend a considerable amount of time working, and may have begunto define ourselves by our job title. Remember, you’re more than a job title.
  • Relationships: Many retirees find they don’t miss work, but they do miss the relationships they developed. It’s important to build and maintain your network, even in retirement. Do you have a networking strategy in your retirement plan? It may involve spending an hour a day on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook “conversing” with people who share your skills and interests. Perhaps you may join a group that meets regularly to discuss or participate in a shared interest.
  • Purpose: It’s very important to have an understanding on how you’ll spend your time in retirement. Often, we plan for a retirement date but don’t consider the years after. Do you want to travel, have a part time job, or do volunteer work?

Start by listing objectives and begin to define how you envision retirement. For now, don’t focus on budget. Focus on ideas, and be as specific as you can. Once you have concrete ideas, you’ll find planning becomes more tangible and realistic.

For example, instead of writing “travel” on your list, create a list of places you want to see and activities you want to experience. Instead of “stay involved in my community,” write down your passions and organizations you want to impact.

The more descriptive you are, the more tangible your retirement will be, which can help keep you focused on a realistic set of goals. Keep in mind, at least some of your goals should be attainable. Sometimes, sadness or malaise is the result of missed expectations instead of actual achievement.


This week’s Ask Annex comes from James, who asks:

“How do you use LEI in determining when to make moves?”


We asked Annex Wealth Management’s Todd Voit, PhD:

Simple answer, we don’t. Long term decisions can be guided by assessing data gleaned from the leading economic indicators, while short decisions are made using more technical/trading criteria.

The best use of LEI by companies and investors is to try and predict recessions. (Predicting recoveries is obviously not as much of a concern.) The credibility of LEI is sometimes the butt of jokes, however, since data has been tracked it has done a good job of forecasting turns in the economy.

A better indicator is the coincident/lagging indicator. The coincident indicators give us an indication of where the economy is now, the lagging, while seemingly unimportant, give us an idea of raw material costs and the two combined have a bit better predictive ability than the LEI.

You can read more about the LEI and it’s components by going to Look for the technical notes in the Press Release section and there is also a Business Cycle Handbook (free) available.

The handbook is a very ‘dry read’, however, Section II is more interesting. It gives you rules of thumb to use when viewing the data. For example, if the LEI falls 3.5% over six months and the diffusion index (number of components) rising is under 50%, a recession is imminent.

Another example is if the LEI, which might be higher and appear to be promising for the economy, declines three consecutive months, it raises a recession red flag. More insight can be added from the coincident /lagging indicator, which is probably the one to watch now given the supply constraints and rise in basic material prices.

Hope this helps.

-Todd Voit, PhD


“It’s peace of mind for myself and my family.”




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Annex Wealth Management provides free workshops, open to the public, on key wealth management topics.

Each week, we provide links to register for upcoming events.