Pat Webb - Phase 2 Advisors
We Have to Mention It
Weekly Update - January 16, 2012
In This Issue
Golf Tip
Health Tip
Green Fact

We know you're probably tired of hearing about Europe's debt crisis, and frankly, we don't blame you. At risk of sounding insensitive to the struggles of our European neighbors, we're tired of it too. While there are benefits to globalization, there are also drawbacks as evidenced by the unprecedented level of negative influence Europe's financial issues have had on us in recent years.

As we look at last week's activity, we can see the affect Europe is having yet again. While all three indexes ended the week in positive territory, recent gains came at lower-than-normal trading volumes as wary investors dipped their toes in the water, but were afraid to dive in.[1] Stocks finished in the red Friday on expectations that nine Eurozone nations would be downgraded by S&P (and they were shortly after trading hours), including AAA-rated France and Austria. Italy was lowered two notches to BBB+, dangerously close to junk bond levels that could make it even more difficult for the government to raise money.[2] Here's the report card:[3]

France - AAA to AA+
Austria - AAA to AA+
Slovenia - AA- to A+
Slovakia - A+ to A
Spain - AA- to A
Malta - A to A-
Italy - A to BBB+
Cyprus - BBB to BB+
Portugal - BBB- to BB

While investors have been expecting this downgrade since S&P issued a warning last month, the news is still a harsh reminder that Europe is not out of the woods. It is not yet clear how hard the downgrades will hit markets, but it is likely that we will continue to feel Europe's influence until this situation is resolved. On the bright side, leaders from Germany, Italy, and France have been sounding upbeat about proposed solutions.[4] We hope their optimism will promptly translate into concrete actions.

When any set of circumstances has the potential to affect your financial situation, we are committed to monitoring it closely and to keeping you informed. Please rest assured that the European debt crisis is no exception.

Monday -
U.S. Holiday: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Tuesday -
Empire State Manufacturing Survey
Wednesday - Producer Price Index, Industrial Production, Treasury International Capital, Industrial Production, Housing Market Index
Thursday - Consumer Price Index, Housing Starts, Jobless Claims, Philadelphia Fed Survey
Friday - Existing Home Sales




01/16/12 Chart

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.



The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States on Monday was $3.39, according to motorist group AAA. That's nearly 30 cents higher than a year ago. The national average reached a peak of $4.114 in July 2008.[5]


Saudi Arabia can make up for any loss of crude oil production if sanctions are placed on Iran, the country's oil minister told CNN in an exclusive interview set to air Monday. "I believe we can easily get up to 11.4, 11.8 (million barrels a day) almost immediately, in a few days, because all we need is to turn valves," Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told CNN's John Defterios. "Now to get to the next 700 or so, we probably need about 90 days."[6]


Consumer sentiment this month hit the highest level since May, with both current and future economic conditions seen as improving, according to data released Friday by the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters. The consumer-sentiment index reached 74 in the preliminary reading for January, compared with 69.9 in December.[7]


U.S. defense leaders are increasingly concerned that Israel is preparing to take military action against Iran, over U.S. objections, and have stepped up contingency planning to safeguard U.S. facilities in the region in case of a conflict.[8]


Quote of the Week

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Recipe of the Week

Chocolate Cherry Bombs

01/16/12 Recipe

These appear difficult to make, but are actually quite easy.
Impress your friends with this simple and tasty recipe!



1/3 cup boiling water

1 package (3 oz.) JELL-O Cherry Flavor Gelatin

1 can (5 oz.) evaporated milk

2 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped

14 maraschino cherries with stems, drained



1)    Add boiling water to gelatin mix in medium bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved.

2)    Microwave evaporated milk and chocolate in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 minutes or until chocolate is melted and mixture is blended, stirring each minute. Add to gelatin; whisk until blended.

3)    Pour into 14 (3 oz.) paper cups sprayed with cooking spray. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

4) Top with cherries, pressing in slightly to stick. Refrigerate 20 minutes or until firm. Unmold to serve.




Golf Tip

Align Yourself

Many shots that are hit to the right or left get blamed on a swing fault when they are actually nothing more than poor alignment. In order to hit the ball at a target, you must line up correctly.

Before hitting, stand 3 to 5 feet behind your ball so it is between you and your target. Now pick an object on the ground no more than two feet in front of the ball, (a golf tee, blade of grass, leaf, or anything else) that lies on the imaginary line from your ball to your target.

Walk up and address the ball while pretending the object on the ground is your target. Align the lines on your club face so they are perpendicular to the object. Do not even look at your real target until you have established your address, and then be sure not to change your stance.

Healthy Lifestyle

Get a Second Opinion

Evidence is mounting that second opinions - particularly on radiology images and pathology slides from biopsies - can lead to significant changes in a patient's diagnosis or in recommendations for treating a disease. Thomas Feeley, vice president of medical operations at MD Anderson, says as many as 25% of patients who arrive at the center with diagnoses for certain cancers such as lymphoma may receive a different diagnosis.[9]


Green Living

Make Your Own Candles

Candles have a tendency to burn out before all the wax has been used up, but those "dead" candles can be melted down and re-formed into useful and attractive new candles. Check out this great article from National Geographic's Green Living page:

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Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. 

The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia.

The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

Google Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative or named Broker dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.


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