MWM Weekly Update

The Week of February 14, 2022

MWM Weekly Update

The Week of February 14, 2022

“It is the sunlight of parental love and encouragement that enables a child to grow in competence and slowly gain mastery over his environment”
Felicity Bauer

Greetings Everyone,

As parents, grandparents, teachers, and friends, we all contribute to our children’s futures. This week I wanted to share James Roundy’s story as he engages in parenting his 2 ½ year-old daughter, Juniper. It has been so fun to see what creative play James comes up with to engage his talented, bright, and curious child. He is sharing some of his story and pictures below.

My Story - James Roundy, Juniper’s dad

Becoming a parent and working during Covid over the last 3 years has changed me significantly. I recently talked with a lawyer friend who grew his practice over the past several decades. He is proud of his success, but as we talked about work and being a dad, he told me how little he was able to be around in the early years of his kids lives. The global shifts we have experienced in the past two years have been to put it mildly, unpleasant. One silver lining is my family is closer. When Juniper took her first steps and spoke her first words, I was home and could share those with her. Even if I was in a virtual client meeting, camera phones made it so easy to capture the moments to history and social media allowed us to immediately share them with family and friends across the globe.

Showing my daughter the beauty and joy that exists in the world is my honor and duty. Here are some very fun ways I engage Juniper in art, music, nature, and cooking.

Two weeks ago, Linette and I were meeting with a client who calls himself a “hobby” painter. His work is outstanding. We believe that his work would not look out of place in any major art museum. He mentioned that acrylic pour paintings are a fun way to get started. He inspired me to go to the art store with Juniper and we picked out colors for our first painting.

The process was simple enough. All you need is a canvas, acrylic paint, and plastic wrap. We laid out some cardboard, sat down and squirted each color onto the canvas. Juniper applied one color at a time.

I helped and made sure she didn’t try licking it or acting on an unexpected toddler impulse. I then wrapped the canvas and paint lightly with plastic wrap. Once I put the canvas back on the cardboard with us sitting next to it, we drummed. Smacking, smooshing, and even getting our feet involved. The result is an abstract painting that we will all enjoy.

I have had a lot of fun introducing music to Juniper. She has her own musical instruments, and we share playing the guitar and ukulele. She dances to random music, drums on a bongo, and sings songs (she is very into Frozen and Encanto). Here she is pictured above playing with her ukulele. Music is a fantastic way I see her express herself and through our play together she should develop a love of music and dance. At 2 ½ she thinks I’m pretty good with a guitar.

I grew up with a dad who took us into the wilderness at every opportunity giving me a deep love of the natural world. Our home is steps away from the Fanno Creek wetlands giving us the opportunity to feed the ducks peas and look for other birds and wildlife. Having the natural beauty that we do in Oregon is a true pleasure. With Juniper in tow, my wife Rachel and I take full advantage of it whenever possible.

In my 20s I had a career cooking at high-end restaurants and resorts. It was a fun time and I sometimes miss creating, smelling, and tasting fantastic culinary creations. I love getting Juniper excited about culinary creativity too. This is a picture of Juniper and I making Arepas (a Colombian fried cornmeal dumpling kind of like a fried Tamale).

The food shows up in a Disney movie Encanto. We segue from screen time to making the food she just saw in the movie. Juniper and I pretend to be the movie characters while we cook.

Here’s the recipe. It can make a great side dish for stews and chilis.

Arepa recipe
1 cup Masa Meal
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons room temperature butter
1 Tablespoon salt
2/3 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar because it is what I had on hand)

  1. Mix all the ingredients together. Preferably smooshing it between your fingers a lot because it is more fun.
  2. Make small balls out of the dough about the size of a tangerine or a little bigger than a golf ball.
  3. Flatten the dough balls into flat disks  
  4. Oil a hot skillet and put over medium heat
  5. Cook the Arepas evenly on each side

Being a financial Planner and a parent of a young child gives me perspective on influencing my daughter’s development in all things. I think about her future happiness and success including my own responsibilities to provide for her financially. Click here for an article from one of my colleagues at Mercer Advisors full of some great ideas. Please, reach out if you would like more details about anything discussed in this article.

James R. Roundy, CFP®

Bob’s Swim Challenge for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

As financial planners we have the best jobs ever – being of service and getting to know the most remarkable people. Among them is our friend, Bob Samuels who has personally benefited from the leukemia research at OHSU. He says, I’m going to swim my age (82 laps X25 yards) on my birthday to raise some $$ to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and its mission to improve treatments and outcomes for blood cancer patients.

If you wish to know more, click here to Bob’s page on the LLS website.

Valentine’s Day

Remember when you were a kid and made out all those Valentine’s Day cards for your friends? It was so much fun. Kids love Valentine’s Day probably as much as we romantic adults. I am sure James will be making some heart-shaped cookies or pink and white cupcakes with Juniper. Enjoy your week ahead and hug someone you love.

Judith McGee, L.H.D., CFP®, ChFC®
Executive Vice President and Senior Lead Advisor

In the Markets

  • The major benchmark indexes closed last week lower. Rising tensions over the Russia-Ukraine situation coupled with rising inflation made investors a bit skittish towards stocks. A higher-than-expected jump in the Consumer Price Index added to jitters over an accelerated tightening of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy. The Nasdaq, the S&P 500, and the Dow lost value last week, while the Russell 2000 and the Global Dow advanced. As of late Friday afternoon, concerns increased that Russia could invade Ukraine "any day now." An invasion would likely spur sanctions against Russia's exports of oil and gas, causing supply to decrease and prices to rise. Crude oil prices rose nearly 1.7% last week following Friday's 4.0% jump in the price per barrel. Ten-year Treasury yields were volatile last week, reaching 2.0%, only to drop back down to 1.95% by the end of the week. Gold prices rose for the second consecutive week. Meanwhile, fourth-quarter earnings data continued to be mainly positive, with 78% of the S&P 500 companies exceeding earnings estimates.
  • Last Monday saw Wall Street end lower as stocks gave back gains from earlier in the day. The Nasdaq fell 0.6%, while declines in communication services and information technology dragged the S&P 500 (-0.4%) lower. The Dow was flat, while the small caps of the Russell 2000 and the Global Dow each advanced 0.5%. Crude oil prices extended a streak of six consecutive session advances after climbing 1.83% to $91.92 per barrel. Gold prices also continued to advance, while the dollar and 10-year Treasury yields declined.
  • Stocks rose last Tuesday, even as bond yields approached their highest levels since November 2019. Ten-year Treasuries jumped 4 basis points to close at 1.95%. Information technology, financials, industrials, and materials each increased by at least 1.0%, helping to push up the major benchmark indexes. The Russell 2000 gained for the second consecutive session after advancing 1.6%. The Nasdaq rose 1.3%. The Dow climbed 1.1%. The S&P 500 climbed 0.8% and the Global Dow added 0.7%. Crude oil prices declined, falling to $89.78 per barrel. The dollar inched higher.
  • Tech shares led a broad-based stock market rally last Wednesday. Mega caps helped drive the Nasdaq up 2.1% while the S&P 500 advanced 1.5% as both indexes posted their biggest daily gains this month. The Russell 2000 continued its upward trend after adding 1.9% last Wednesday. The Global Dow gained 1.0%. Ten-year Treasury yields retreated from the prior day's advance, closing at 1.92%. The dollar was flat, while crude oil prices rose about $0.19 to $89.97 per barrel.
  • Each of the major benchmark indexes lost ground last Thursday on the heels of the largest annual increase in the Consumer Price Index (7.5%) since February 1982. The noteworthy jump in price inflation adds to the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will be more aggressive in pushing the federal funds rate higher beginning in March. The Nasdaq fell 2.1%, the S&P 500 lost 1.8%, the Russell 2000 slid 1.6%, the Dow dropped 1.5%, and the Global Dow dipped 0.6%. Ten-year Treasury yields jumped 11 basis points to 2.03%. Crude oil prices climbed to $90.02 per barrel. The dollar also advanced.
  • Stocks closed sharply lower last Friday amid rising Russia-Ukraine tensions. Information technology slumped over 3.0% on the day, pulling the Nasdaq down 2.8%. Energy climbed higher, although the remaining market sectors slid lower. The S&P 500 fell 1.9%. The Dow dropped 1.4%, while both the Russell 2000 and the Global Dow slipped 1.0%. Ten-year Treasury yields continued to bounce up and down, falling to 1.95%. Crude oil prices reached $93.72 per barrel. The dollar advanced.


Inflation and housing information take the stage this week. Inflationary indicators available this week include the latest Producer Price Index, import and export prices, and the retail sales report. Producer prices slowed in December, increasing only 0.2%. However, since December 2020, producer prices rose nearly 10.0%. Both import and export prices have also been on the rise. For the 12 months ended in December 2021, import prices climbed 10.4% and export prices advanced 14.7%. Sales at the retail level actually receded in November and December 2021. However, retail sales increased 19.3% in 2021. The housing sector has been a mixed bag of late, with existing home sales falling 4.6% in December, while new home sales rose. That trend is likely to continue as December saw building permits (+9.1%) and housing starts (+1.4%) increase, which should increase the inventory of new homes for sale.

Source: Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.

Articles & Education

Capital Markets Update and Outlook: January 2023

Although the one-two punch of rising interest rates and inflationary pressure set the global capital markets on shaky footing through much of 2022, the U.S. economy kept motoring ahead. How are financial conditions shaping up in the new year?

Maximize Tax Benefits with a Qualified Charitable Distribution

The qualified charitable distribution has become popular with some IRA holders as a way of donating to charities while saving money on taxes.
Investment Term of the Week

Thought of the Week

Markets & Office Closures

Monday, February 21, 2022 -
Presidents Day - Mercer Advisors office and Markets closed.

Monday, May 30, 2022 -
Memorial Day - Mercer Advisors office and Markets closed.

Monday, July 4, 2022 -
Independence Day - Mercer Advisors office and Markets closed.

Monday, September 5, 2022 -
Labor Day - Mercer Advisors office and Markets closed.

Monday, November 21 through Friday, November 25, 2022 -
Thanksgiving Week - Mercer Advisors office closed entire week. Markets closed on November 24.

Monday, December 26, 2022 -
Christmas Day (observation) - Mercer Advisors office and Markets closed.

Friday, December 30, 2022 -
New Year's Eve (observation) - Mercer Advisors office closed.


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