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Welcome to the Ambient Planning Blog

A collection of thoughts and trends curated and produced by Jeffrey D. Hill, CFP® and his team.  The APB seeks to address the elements of life that surround, fill, and hold together our experience, including money, technology, current events, art, and more.   Jeffrey is a future-thinking financial planning professional with over 30 years of experience walking alongside clients both domestic and abroad.  He would describe himself as an "Ambient Planner," one who professionally synthesizes the background noise of his client's "day-to-day."


Thursday, December 5, 2019

As this year draws to a close, and we look back, as well as forward, we always love sending you our annual outlook publication. As in years past, there is always a creative element to the outlook....


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Consumer spending has upstaged business investment this year, mainly due to uncertainty over trade, but we’re optimistic a trade deal will be reached soon. Global economies are showing signs of recovery.


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

For those of you interested in the most recent market movements, you can follow the link below to listen to the most recent episode of Market Signals.


Thursday, September 5, 2019

For those of you wondering where our investment research originates, here is an excellent road map as the Summer's "dog days" have arrived over the past several weeks. This is an inside look at the convictions our centrally managed...


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

As we celebrate our nation’s birthday, U.S. leadership on the world stage remains in focus. We received good news on the global trade front from the recent G20 Summit in Japan.


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Monday, June 24, 2019

Dear Clients, Friends and Family, We are pleased to announce the release of the LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2019: FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets, with investment insights and market guidance through...


Friday, April 5, 2019

Dear Valued Investor: April brings showers, baseball, and historically, the best month of the year for the S&P 500 Index (for the last 20 years). On top of that, the S&P 500 had its best first quarter since 1998, and in March we...


Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Friday, February 8, 2019

This past month we said a long-prepared retirement farewell to our financial planning coordinator, Peter Samson.


Friday, February 8, 2019

Since the lows in December, the market is up more than 16% (as of Feb. 6, 2019). Some recent reports have been encouraging and point to a steadily expanding economy...


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

An interesting start to the new year after a chaotic end of 2018 #lplmarketsignals #lplresearch


Thursday, January 10, 2019

It’s a new year and resolutions are in place, but investors in the financial markets may be struggling to find their optimism. The past several weeks have been very difficult, as the stock...


Friday, December 21, 2018

#LPLResearch’s #LPLOutlook 2019: "FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets," has guidance on #markets, the #economy, and #investments for the year ahead


Monday, December 17, 2018

A quick note on recent volatility from our research team at LPL as we wrap up 2018. 2019 Outlook coming this week...stay posted.


Friday, December 7, 2018

As we reflect on a challenging 2018 and look for bright spots in 2019, confidence in continued steady growth in the U.S. economy remains.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

In the latest episode, listen to LPL Financial Chief Investment Strategist John Lynch and Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick discuss the Fed, trade issues with China, and the price of crude oil on the economic climate and what it...


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

With the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives, and Republicans maintaining their majority in the Senate, this clarity may bring some reassurance for investors.


Monday, October 15, 2018

A few comments on last week's market volatility to help answer your questions.


Friday, October 12, 2018

The volatility that is often associated with the month of October has arrived with the market sell-off on Wednesday, October 10. Here's some good news to help you weather these challenging periods.


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

As we look back on the month of July, the standout stories for the summer so far have been strong U.S. economic growth and surging corporate profits.


Monday, August 6, 2018

This year, LPL's Focus Conference in Boston served as the kick-off for a new Podcast hosted by Chief Investment Strategist John Lynch and Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick.


Friday, July 13, 2018

How safe is your family's online data when it comes to your social site interaction? #cybersecurity #lastpass


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

We are always proud to reveal our research team's mid-year outlook. The production will serve to help you with investment insights and market guidance to take you through the rest of the year.


Friday, June 8, 2018

As we kick off the month of June, here are some valuable takeaways coming out of recent action in Italy and a quick check-in on the U.S. economy.


Friday, June 1, 2018

Ever wonder how we, as advisors, make investment decisions? While part of the process involves personal experience and current event due diligence, we are also deeply supported by the LPL Research team. Check out their influence here...


Friday, February 9, 2018

For those of you who want to know a little more detail about this last week in the markets...


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Although it is always difficult to endure these declines when they’re occurring, it’s important to focus on the underlying fundamentals of the economy and the markets, which are pointing to the potential for continued growth into the future


Thursday, January 11, 2018

In a perfect world we might be able to achieve it all, but does falling short make one less of a high achiever? I would love to hear your opinions.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Many are wondering how the new tax bill will affect life planning...


Thursday, December 14, 2017

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...the traditional business cycle was alive and well. Will it be back in 2018? Watch this video: YouTube: The Return of the Business Cycle


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Clients and Friends: Presenting the LPL Research Outlook 2018: "Return of the Business Cycle," packed with investment insights and market analysis to guide you through all the action we may see in the year ahead.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Although it has been a relatively quiet year for markets, with no major pullbacks in the broad stock market, there is plenty of activity in the U.S. and around the globe that could be catalysts for change through the end of the year.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Take a look at how the Market fared in the 3rd quarter of 2017. Happy October everyone!


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Friends, In case you missed it, here is LPL's Mid-Year Outlook Presentation for 2017. Please feel free to reach out with conversation about the details....


Monday, June 26, 2017

An in-depth look at our current bull market, the start of earnings season, a congressional recess on the horizon, and three major central bank meetings in the span of one week.


Monday, June 19, 2017

An important shift has taken place in this economic cycle. The Federal Reserve (Fed) was finally able to start following through on its projected rate hike path, raising rates twice in just over a three-month period.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Retirement Environment Index seeks to discover the complicated answer to the simple question: “Which state is most desirable for pre-retirees?”


Monday, May 15, 2017

Weekly Economic Commentary: "U.S. Housing Update - Mind The Gap" / Weekly Market Commentary: "Earnings Update: Raising the Bar"


Friday, May 12, 2017

The latest Thought Leadership enhances awareness to sustainable investing and the range of complementary approaches available to investors who may desire a portfolio that reflects their values.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Weekly Economic Commentary: "Jobs Count: But How Do We Count Them?" / Weekly Market Commentary: "Five Reasons Not To Sell In May"


Monday, May 1, 2017

Weekly Economic Commentary: "May Preview" / Weekly Market Commentary: "Reflecting On Nasdaq 6,000"


Monday, April 17, 2017

Weekly Economic Commentary: "Corporate Tax Reform Takes Center Stage" / Weekly Market Commentary: "Which Breaks First, Stock Prices or Uncertainty?"


Monday, April 3, 2017

Weekly Economic Commentary: "April Preview" / Weekly Market Commentary: "Checking In On Some Trump Trades"


Monday, March 27, 2017

Weekly Economic Commentary: Currency Matters - Eddies In The Interest Rate River / Weekly Market Commentary: The Stock Market's Final Four Factors


Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekly Economic Commentary: President Trump's First 50 (or so) Days / Weekly Market Commentary: Will This 16 Be Sweet?


Monday, March 13, 2017

Weekly Economic Commentary: FOMC FAQs: Will The Dots Move? & Weekly Market Commentary: How Much Is Left In The Tank?


Monday, March 6, 2017



Tuesday, February 28, 2017



Monday, February 6, 2017

NAFTA's Background and History on the Weekly Economic Commentary; and for the historically weak month of February upon us, the Market Commentary takes a closer look at market technicals and sentiment this week.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Market Insight Monthly


Monday, January 30, 2017

Weekly Economic Commentary: The fed funds futures market is not pricing in a rate hike this week. Weekly Market Commentary: Despite a strong 2016, there may still be some value in value.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Growing number of Americans are retiring outside the U.S. The number grew 17% between 2010 and 2015 and is expected to increase over the next 10 years as more baby boomers retire.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

As we turn the calendar to 2017, concerns have shifted. Oil prices have stabilized; while the dollar, despite receiving a post-election boost, is unlikely to create the kinds of headwinds it created over the last three years.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

In the year ahead, we will be reading the gauges and making adjustments, while staying strategic and maintaining a long-term view.


Monday, December 19, 2016

2016 Economic Environment In Review and A Look Back At 2016 for the Economic and Market Commentaries, respectively.


Monday, December 5, 2016

Here are our LPL Weekly Economic and Market Commentaries for this week.


Monday, November 28, 2016

This month has several significant events that have the potential to be market movers on our "December Game Plan"; and "Corporate Beige Book: Better Tone, Little Election Talk" on our Market Commentaries.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

LPL Research team presents a preview of Outlook 2017: Executive Summary, which includes what to watch and what it might mean for stock and bond market performance and portfolio positioning as we enter the New Year.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving…….wishing your family and those you love a very Happy Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday and we will be blessed to be with many family members at our home in downtown Denver. There is so very much...


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Portfolio Compass provides a snapshot of LPL Financial Research’s views on equity, equity sectors, fixed income, and alternative asset classes.


Monday, November 14, 2016

This week we reflect on Donald Trump’s surprising victory and the stock market reaction.


Monday, October 31, 2016

The Chinese yuan was added to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) basket of currencies, called Special Drawing Rights (SDR), on October 1, 2016; and check the 6 Scares on this week's Halloween Special: What Might Scare Markets.


Monday, October 17, 2016

LPL examines the economic, political, and market landscape through the lyrics of the Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Bob Dylan; and we take a closer look at the market with the historically volatile second half of October upon us.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Since our founding, LPL Financial has been committed to enabling the delivery of independent, objective advice to American investors. Discover the strength of LPL and how you may benefit from working with a firm committed to your success.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Weekly Economic Commentary: As the election nears, we see how rules on international trade, and globalization as a concept, have impacted American politics. Weekly Market Commentary: 2016 is a year no one will soon forget.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

How Can The U.S. Economy Start Living Up To Its Potential?


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Follow our Client Letter, Weekly Economic and Market Commentaries.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September is full of potentially influential market and economic events as mentioned in our Economic Commentary; while in our Market Commentary, dividend stocks have been thriving in the low interest rate environment.


Monday, August 29, 2016

The U.S. presidential election is only ten weeks away, and one key topic has been largely absent on the campaign trail in this “unusual” election year: the deficit; while Corporate Beige Book's Q2 offers few signs of improvement.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Election years have historically been good for stocks, and this year has been no different, although with less volatility than we would expect during the summer of an election year.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Banks everywhere are under pressure from the low interest rate environment as mentioned on our Economic Commentary; and on the Market Commentary, we were hoping for more out of corporate America this earnings season.


Monday, August 1, 2016

We continue to expect that the Fed won’t raise rates until the December 2016 meeting and an improving economic backdrop in the second half of the year.


Friday, July 22, 2016

“Buy low, sell high” is one of the most recognizable stock market sayings. But is this really the case?


Monday, July 18, 2016

For the first half of 2016 and aided by a dollar tailwind, stable oil prices, steady consumer spending, record high household net worth, and a slowing, but still solid labor market, the U.S. economy may grow between 2.0% and 2.5%.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

WHAT’S AHEAD FOR THE U.K. & EUROPE? Following its vote to the leave, the U.K. will need to enter negotiations with the EU regarding the terms of the exit.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016



Thursday, June 30, 2016

The nation's biggest independent Broker-Dealers are confronting new regulations, Robo competition, margin pressure and consolidation. Can they remain dominant?


Monday, June 27, 2016

We believe the Brexit’s impacts on earnings and U.S. stocks may be limited; we maintain our 2016 year-end S&P 500 forecast for mid-single-digit returns.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Financial markets reacted swiftly and sharply on Friday, June 24, 2016, to the unexpected decision by the United Kingdom (U.K.) to leave the European Union (EU) in a nationwide referendum held on June 23, 2016.


Friday, June 24, 2016

LPL Chief Investment Officer talking about the outcome of the 'Brexit' vote and how will this impact the U.S


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Economic data received in May, which largely reflect economic activity in April, set a decidedly more positive tone than recent months, although signs of better growth prospects remain preliminary.


Monday, June 6, 2016

BEIGE BOOK: Window on Main Street. The latest Beige Book suggests that the U.S. economy is still growing near its long-term trend. Oil production continues to weigh on economic conditions in the energy-producing states.


Monday, June 6, 2016

A LOOK AT THE GAAP GAP: This week we take a look at the “GAAP gap,” the gap between reported and operating earnings.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Our LPL's Chief Investment Officer, Burt White, has written this Client Letter concerning about the major market events for June 2016, which may determine the direction of the stock market for the rest of the year.


Friday, May 27, 2016

This client letter provides a high-level overview of the recent announcement regarding LPL's new cash sweep option for advisory individual retirement accounts (IRA)


Monday, May 9, 2016

YET ANOTHER DISCONNECT Relative to market expectations and to recent labor market data, the April 2016 employment report was mixed, at best.


Monday, May 9, 2016

WHAT MIGHT TRUMP THE ELECTION YEAR PATTERN: Given that Trump has no formal policy record or political experience of any kind, this election cycle is, unusual. Markets do not like uncertainty, and Trump undoubtedly brings that to the table.


Monday, April 25, 2016

When Doves Cry? Without a press conference or a new set of economic and fed funds projections, the Fed must rely on its statement to communicate a complicated message to markets.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Value Comeback? After under performing most of the last decade, value has shown signs of life recently.


Friday, April 15, 2016

The driverless car is one of the most talked about visions of the future, but just how close is it to reality and affecting everyday life?


Friday, April 8, 2016

After the market dips, reversals, and dramatic shifts in investor sentiment, what can we expect as we look ahead?


Monday, March 28, 2016

As of March 28, 2016, the consensus of economists expects the economy to add 210,000 net new jobs in March 2016 and looking for the unemployment rate to remain at 4.9% and for growth in average hourly earnings.


Monday, March 28, 2016

LPL's Final Four for the stock market this year: China, Earnings, the Federal Reserve (Fed), and Oil.


Monday, March 14, 2016

FOMC FAQs: All About The Dots. As the second of eight Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings of 2016 approaches March 15 - 16, 2016, the market and the Federal Reserve (Fed) remain deeply divided over the timing and pace of Fed rate


Monday, March 14, 2016

Will Eight Be Great For The Bull? We do not see warning signs that would signal the end of the economic cycle, and the bull market.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Embrace the Routine video featuring economic, market, and investment insights to help you navigate the year ahead.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016



Monday, February 29, 2016



Monday, February 22, 2016

The sentiment from corporate America has deteriorated this quarter, based on our Corporate Beige Book, but generally remains positive.


Monday, February 22, 2016

How Fed’s QE programs and global monetary policies have impacted the value of the dollar over time.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Up-to-date and informed with the latest Thoughts on Market Volatility.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Weekly Economic Commentary: CHINA: A ROCKY START TO A NEW (OLD) YEAR / Weekly Market Commentary: CAN EARNINGS HELP?


Monday, January 4, 2016

TURNING THE PAGE - Against the difficult backdrop for stocks, we got some things right and some things wrong.


Monday, January 4, 2016

CAPEX CONUNDRUM - Several key economic reports are due out this week that will be closely watched for signals on the health of the U.S. and global economy.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Fed raised interest rates for the first time in nine years. For the market, this is potentially a positive event. Yet, rate hikes also reaffirm that we can expect additional market volatility.


Monday, December 14, 2015

FOMC FAQS - As we noted in our Outlook 2016: Embrace the Routine publication, investors must distinguish where it is more likely to disrupt their accustomed routine (bonds) and where it is more likely to be just a distraction (stocks).


Monday, December 14, 2015

WHAT DOES THE HIGH-YIELD SELL-OFF MEAN FOR STOCKS? High-yield bond weakness has led investors to fear that a recession or bear market may be forthcoming.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Back to the Routine: 2016 Economic Outlook. Our view is that the U.S. economy is likely to post growth of 2.5 – 3.0% in 2016.


Monday, December 7, 2015

No Pain, No Gain: 2016 May Require Tolerance For Volatility. Although we expect average returns for stocks in 2016, the path to reach them will be anything but routine.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Sales for the Holiday season overall have actually increased over the years, despite the drop in Black Friday sales.


Monday, November 16, 2015



Monday, November 2, 2015

Lowering the Bar? Fed officials may be lowering the bar for the target job count number that would signal "further improvement in the labor market."


Monday, November 2, 2015

A Look Ahead - We believe October's gains were driven primarily by two factors: the market's increased comfort with China and market-friendly central bank actions.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

LPL Research expects to see routine year-end outcomes in many areas of the economy and financial markets in 2016, but how we get there may be anything but routine.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

China's economy is a big deal in terms of global growth, why explains why concerns over China's economy and stock market sparked bouts of global market weakness in recent months. 


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Thematic Investing allows investors to move away from the style box mentality, and instead focus on broad trends that may impact society, the economy, and business in the future.


Monday, October 19, 2015

How long will profit margins continue to defy the skeptics? Profit margins may continue to defy the skeptics and remain elevated.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Beige Book: Window on Main Street. The Beige Book described the economy as expanding at a “modest or moderate” pace in most districts.


Friday, October 9, 2015



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How economic cycles can be counted on to continue month after month, by reminding us that market downturns are part of the natural cycle of investing with some examples for a better understanding.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The renewed downturn in stock prices feels like déjà vu all over again. Just when it appeared the August lows were the bottom and a rebound had begun, stocks retested the recent low on Monday, September 28.


Friday, September 25, 2015

A recent survey reported that approximately 60% of investors had interest in investments that represent their personal values, but 77% indicated they were not aware of these investment options.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Does the market’s recent rocky passage portend an economic slump?


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Fed’s “LOWER FOR EVEN LONGER” message should provide support to high-quality bonds but does not alleviate the low-return environment.


Monday, September 21, 2015

This week we share some of our perspective on what the Fed’s decision may mean for the stock market and offer some investment ideas.


Monday, September 21, 2015

YES AND NO: The title of this commentary is our answer to the question: Does the Fed know something we don’t know?


Friday, September 18, 2015

A statement and a new economic and interest rate forecast released by The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Thursday, September 17, 2015.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

12 Questions for a 12% Correction.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The last couple weeks of volatility and the downward movement of the world financial markets.


Friday, August 7, 2015

House of Charts


Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Volatility of the Chinese Stock Market Viewed by U.S. Investors.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How to make your money grow when you're in that situation.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The easiest way to figure out how to help expatriate by examining the impact on Medicare Parts A, B and D individually.


Friday, July 31, 2015

A market correction is just what the name implies—a correction to a market that has shot too high in valuation. The drop may seem a bit frightening at first but don't panic.


Friday, July 24, 2015

A video presentation of the LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2015: Some Assembly Required.....