Pat Webb - Phase 2 Advisors
The Cycle of Growth
Weekly Update - November 07, 2011
In This Issue
Golf Tip
Health Tip
Green Fact
If there is one factor with the greatest potential to mend our economy, it is a steadily improving employment picture. How so? When you look at the U.S. economy as a whole, it is primarily supported by consumer spending.[1] In order for consumers to spend, they must have a measure of disposable income. In order to have disposable income, Americans must have jobs.

To look at it another way: As the employment situation improves, consumer spending typically increases, thus creating additional demand for goods and services. As demand for goods and services grows, more production is needed, thus creating more jobs, and so on. At the risk of oversimplifying, this combination of factors explains the cycle of a healthy economy.

So are we seeing improvement in the nation's jobs picture? Yes. One year ago, the unemployment rate was 9.7%. As of October's report, it dropped to 9%. On average 152,000 jobs have been added each month during the same time period, for a total of 1.8 million jobs. In addition, the workweek has lengthened and wages are up 1.8%.[2] All of this shows that the employment picture is gradually improving. Interestingly, October also showed improvement in chain store sales. Overall, the 23 major U.S.-based retailers that report monthly results posted a composite 3.4% gain, according to Thomson Reuters data.[3]

Does this mean we are completely out of the woods? Not necessarily. For the most part, American wallets aren't fat enough to push the economic expansion into hyper drive. Even the 1.8% wage growth mentioned above isn't enough to keep pace with current inflation rates. We still have a long way to go to reach our full potential, but things are moving in the right direction.

Monday - Consumer Credit
Tuesday - Redbook
Wednesday - Wholesale Trade, Ben Bernanke Speaks at 9:30AM Eastern
Thursday - International Trade, Jobless Claims, Import and Export Prices, Treasury Budget
Friday - Consumer Sentiment



Notes: All index returns exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized.
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, MSCI Barra. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not available.


U.S. stocks stayed under pressure with all major U.S. indexes falling about 2% for the week. Investors remained wary over whether Greece could default on its debt and what that might mean for the global financial system.[4]

European leaders are hoping China will be a major contributor to a $1.4-trillion bailout fund, but many in the Asian nation are uncomfortable with that prospect. They don't think China should shift its foreign trove of U.S. Treasury bonds and debts of other nations to fund the financial recovery of Greece and some of its troubled Eurozone neighbors, analysts say. One reason: Europeans are still better off than Chinese.[5]

A new national poll shows neither Wall Street nor Occupy Wall Street conjuring up strong favorable impressions among the American public. Among 1,005 adults surveyed, 35% had a favorable impression of the protest movement that began in New York City and gained support worldwide. Only 16% could say the same for Wall Street and large corporations. 29% had a favorable impression of the tea party movement and 21% for government in Washington.[6]

Quote of the Week
"Happiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens."
- Andy Rooney
Recipe of the Week

Brie in Puff Pastry with Cranberry Sauce


Crimson cranberries provide a little tartness to mellow Brie cheese encased in flaky puff pastry. Recipe from Betty Crocker.

Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 55 mins
Servings: 12 servings

1 cup fresh cranberries
6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from 17.3-oz package), thawed
1 round (14 to 15 oz) Brie cheese
1 egg, beaten
Assorted crackers or sliced fresh fruit

1) In 1-quart saucepan, mix cranberries, brown sugar, and orange juice. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and cranberries are tender. Stir in orange peel; remove from heat.
2) In 8-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Cook almonds in butter, stirring frequently, until golden brown; remove from heat.
3) Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. On lightly floured surface, roll pastry into 16x9-inch rectangle. Cut out one 8 1/2-inch circle and one 7-inch circle from pastry.
4) Place cheese round on center of large circle. Spoon cranberry sauce and almonds over cheese. Bring pastry up and press around side of cheese. Brush top edge of pastry with egg. Place 7-inch circle on top, pressing around edge to seal. Brush top and side of pastry with egg. Cut decorations from remaining pastry and arrange on top; brush with egg. Place on cookie sheet.
5) Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet on wire rack 1 hour before serving. Serve with crackers.

Golf Tip

Keep an Eye on Your Face

Face loft is the angle of the putter face as it contacts the golf ball. It is best if the face is exactly perpendicular to the ball at impact. Every fraction of a degree that it is away from perpendicular increases the chances of pinching the ball or knocking it off the green. Keeping the putter face perpendicular will also help you achieve true roll.

Healthy Lifestyle

Lean Back


Parking your torso at a 90-degree angle strains your spine, say medical researchers. Instead, give your chair the La-Z-Boy treatment and recline the seat back slightly. The ideal angle is 45 degrees off vertical.


Green Living

Try Recycling

You've heard this a million times before, but it's still important. The habit to develop is to have separate containers for each type of recyclable good, and simply separate them at the point of disposal instead of tossing them in the trash. When they're full, just throw the boxes in your trunk and drop them off on errand day. It's really not that hard once you get used to it.

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Pat Webb
Pat Webb - Phase 2 Advisors
8100 Turman Ct
Fort Collins, CO 80525