Spring is coming, and so are the Farmers Markets!

Are you an avid gardener with countless successful growing seasons under your belt, or a novice who just bought their first seed packets this year?  Regardless, growing your own veggies, fruits, and herbs takes time, dedication, and space.  You may not have the interest, the green thumb, or the outdoor space to garden.  Even if you do, growing all the things you may want to eat takes, well, probably more time and resources than the majority of us have time for in this modern world.  That’s where farmers markets and co-ops come in!

 

Many people think growing your own food at home, or on a rented plot of land (this is more common in Europe than it is here in the U.S.), is a less expensive option than farmers markets or co-ops.  That may be true for seeds you sow directly in the ground during the growing season, as they take fewer resources to encourage germination and growth.  However, starting seeds at home has unseen costs, including:

  1. Seeds (range from organic to traditional to heirloom to rare)
  2. Seed starting soil
  3. Seed starting trays and pods
  4. Compostable pots to transplant larger seedlings too
  5. Grow lights (to mimic sunlight indoors)
  6. Heat mats (to encourage germination)
  7. Liquid nutrients to feed the seedlings
  8. Watering can, small fan, and seed starting tools (you don’t need fancy ones)
  9. Cost of electricity to run the heat mats and grow lights
  10. Markers to identify seedlings (they all look the same when they first pop out of the dirt!)

 

You’ll also need an outdoor space with good light to grow your plants once the growing season has started.  This includes additional costs depending on your space.  Are you growing in raised beds, pots, or in the ground?  You may need to amend the soil with natural fertilizers (dried chicken or cow manure work great and aren’t expensive), add soil to beds or pots, or mix in specific fertilizers for specific plants.  The cost of watering and maintaining your plants throughout the growing season is often overlooked or not calculated.  If gardening is a hobby or passion, that may work for you.  However, if you’re time, resource, or financial budgets don’t allow for this investment, you may want to consider a local co-op or identify some local farmers markets.

 

Co-ops are a great way to get fresh, local produce and goods at a good price.  It may be more expensive than the grocery store, but the produce and goods are usually of a better quality and last longer. If you’re researching local co-ops, we recommend asking the following questions:

  1. What kind of goods are included in the co-op membership?  Some organizations provide just meat, dairy, vegetables, or fruits to their members, while others include a mix of some or all of these.  
  2. Are there levels of membership?  Can you sign up for just a season, a specific delivery amount (e.g. for two people or for a family of four), and are there discounts for signing up early or for multiple seasons?
  3. Do you need to pick up your order, or can it be delivered?
  4. Where do they source the items they are providing?  Is it from their farm, local farmers, or a supplier who buys items from agricultural auctions? 

 

Farmers markets can be a fun way to add variety to your pantry and meals.  Local markets have gained popularity in the last decade, and many municipalities have a market on set days each week during the late spring, summer, and early fall.  Some vendors will bring in items they’ve grown themselves, while other vendors are selling fruits and veggies they purchased wholesale early that day or week.  These markets are also usually a great place to source local artisanal goods like honey, baked goods, cheeses, and crafts.

 

Last but not least, you can also find You Pick farms in your area where you can go and pick everything from blueberries to apples to veggies.  You usually pay less for these items than you would at a farmers market or through a co-op.  Good luck with whichever option(s) you choose!

 

Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.

Economic Indicators the VCM Investment Committee Monitors

The VCM Investment Committee is made up of nine of our team members.  We meet quarterly, or more often if we feel the markets and economy require additional research and analysis for our clients.  As a team we evaluate various economic indicators each month as stats and reports are released by various federal organizations and bureaus.  This is a short synopsis of the indicators we watch, and why.

 

Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) – this is the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders during a specific time period.  The U.S. releases estimates of our country’s GDP on a fiscal quarterly basis, and issues a final report after the fiscal year for the year prior.1  Why we watch it: This is a traditional indicator of the strength of the U.S. economy; we monitor these reports and discuss them as a committee to tailor our advice and educational pieces to be as up to date as possible.

 

Housing Permits – The U.S. Census Bureau collects and reports on new housing permits.  Per its website, “[t]he purpose of the Building Permits Survey (BPS) is to provide national, state, and local statistics on new privately-owned residential construction. Data is available monthly, year-to-date, and annually at the national, state, selected metropolitan area, county and place levels.”2  Why we watch it: When this data shows a drop in new housing permits, it can indicate a weakening economy due to a variety of factors.  We balance this data with other indicators to determine where we think the economy is heading in the near and long term.

 

Jobless Claims – The U.S. Department of Labor analyzes data submitted by states related to initial jobless claims (individual first time requests), continued jobless claims (individuals still claiming unemployment), and unemployment insurance covered claims.  This data is reported as-is and seasonally adjusted due to natural fluctuations in labor requirements nationwide.3   Why we watch it: You probably hear a lot about this report in the news whenever new data is released.  A strong or weak labor market is not a sole indicator of the strength of the economy – in our opinion, it must be paired with other data to best analyze and opine on the future of the economy.

 

Consumer Sentiment – The University of Michigan conducts “surveys on random samples of US households. The index aids in measuring consumer sentiments in personal finances, business conditions, among other topics. Historically, the index displays pessimism in consumers’ confidence during recessionary periods, and increased consumer confidence in expansionary periods.4  Why we watch it: We like to know how consumers feel about the overall economy, and specific factors that affect their daily lives.  This indicator, paired with others, helps us build a consensus around where we see the economy going.  

 

Retails Sales – The U.S. Department of Commerce collects and reports on retail sales.  “Retail sales is an important indicator that signals either the contraction or expansion of an economy. An increase in retail sales signals a healthy economy that is expanding while a decrease in retail sales signals the opposite. An increase in retail sales usually moves stocks upward and is good for shareholders.” Why we watch it: This data can change seasonally, and sometimes can shift the markets if reality doesn’t match expectations.  We monitor these reports as a committee and discuss them during our quarterly meetings.

 

Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) – This data is collected, analyzed, and reported on by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The CPI “is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. Indexes are available for the U.S. and various geographic areas.”  Additional data for  select utility, automotive fuel, and food items are also available, but are not included in the core CPI reports.Why we watch it: You’ve probably also heard quite a bit about this economic indicator over the last two years.  Inflation is a part of everyday life, but sometimes it’s not as in your face (or your wallet) as it is today.  We interpret this data along with reports on consumer sentiment, retail sales, wage growth, and jobless claims to build a better understanding of the state of the economy and the direction we believe inflation will take in the future.

 

Wage Growth – The Atlanta Federal Reserve is tasked with collecting and organizing data related to wage growth.  This report “is constructed using microdata from the Current Population Survey (CPS), and is the median percent change in the hourly wage of individuals observed 12 months apart.”Why we watch it: When jobless claims are low and wage growth is high, in may indicate a strong economy, a headwind to reducing inflation, and a resilient workforce.  The IC believes the data must be interpreted with other indicators in order to see the full picture of the health of the economy.

 

Commodities – “Commodities are raw materials used to create the products consumers buy, from food to furniture to gasoline or petrol. Commodities include agricultural products such as wheat and cattle, energy products such as oil and natural gas, and metals such as gold, silver and aluminum. There are also “soft” commodities, or those that cannot be stored for long periods of time, which include sugar, cotton, cocoa and coffee.”  There is a common belief that changes in commodities prices are early indicators of increased or decreased inflation; commodities tend to also respond quickly to unique and sudden shocks in the domestic and global economy.Why we watch it: Since commodities are the raw materials used to create consumer products, we use changes in specific commodity prices to estimate possible effects in retails sales and with inflation.

 

ISM New Orders – The Institute of Supply Management collects voluntary reports from purchasing officers and departments across the U.S.A. and reports on new orders from customers of manufacturing firms.  “A PMI reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally declining.Why we watch it: While this data may seem arcane to most of us, it’s a great indicator of how healthy the manufacturing industry is as a whole, which in turn affects the health of the overall economy.

 

Profit Margins – The Bureau of Economic Analysis, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, compiles and reports on estimated corporate profits.  Per their website, “[c]orporate profits is one of the most closely watched U.S. economic indicators. Profitability provides a summary measure of corporate financial health and thus serves as an essential indicator of economic performance. Profits are a source of retained earnings, providing much of the funding for capital investments that raise productive capacity. The estimates of profits and of related measures may also be used to evaluate the effects on corporations of changes in policy or in economic conditions.”10  Why we watch it: We don’t just watch corporate profits for stocks in the Verde 10, Verde 5, or the Verde Trio, we watch these reports to analyze how companies of all sizes are doing across the country.  This can help us determine which assets to watch closely in the future, and help us diagnose how well the economy is doing.

 

Truck Shipments – The Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS’)  Transportation Services Index (TSI) measures the volume of freight and passenger transportation services moved monthly by the for-hire transportation sector in the United States. BTS produces three indexes: a freight index, a passenger index, and a combined index. The indexes incorporate monthly data from multiple for-hire transportation modes.  Changes in the Transportation Services Index (TSI) reflect changes in the demand for goods and services.”11  Why we watch it: When freight and passenger transportation slows, it can indicate a lower demand for consumer goods and a move away from discretionary spending.  This helps us determine if consumers are concerned about a possible recession, job loss, or other negative situations in the future.

 

Money Supply – “The money supply is the sum total of all of the currency and other liquid assets in a country’s economy on the date measured. The money supply includes all cash in circulation and all bank deposits that the account holder can easily convert to cash… [some] view the money supply as the main driver of demand in an economy, believe that increasing the money supply leads to inflation.”13   Why we watch it: This became a closely watched and often commented on economic indicator during the Covid-19 Pandemic when the federal government injected billions of dollars into the U.S. economy with PPP Loans for businesses and checks to individuals.  Some experts believe this is partly to blame for the high and persistent inflationary environment we currently find ourselves in.  A tighter monetary policy managed by The Federal Reserve is one tool use to help fight inflation.

 

Yield Curve – “The term yield curve refers to the yields of U.S. Treasury bills, notes, and bonds in order from shortest to longest maturity date. The yield curve describes the shapes of the term structures of interest rates and their respective terms to maturity in years.”14   Why we watch it: This economic indicator is usually hyped up in the news as an indicator of a future recession.  While the talking heads in the news may leverage this for headlines, many in the industry realize this data is helpful when balanced with other data, but is not a litmus test for whether a recession will take place in X number of months. 

 

  1. Investopedia; Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Formula and How to Use It; Jason Fernando, March 30, 2023.
  2. U.S. Census Bureau as of May 3, 2023; Link
  3. U.S. Department of Labor News Release of April 22, 2023.  Link
  4. University of Michigan: Consumer Sentiment data per the St. Louis Federal Reserve as of May 2, 2023.  Link.  yCharts U.S. Index of Consumer Sentiment as of May 2, 2023.  Link.
  5. Investopedia; Retail Sales: Definition, Measurement as an Economic Indicator; Will Kenton, April 19, 2023.
  6. U.S. Department of Labor Statistics as of May 3, 2023; Link
  7. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta – Wage Growth Tracker as of May 3, 2023; Link.  
  8. Understanding Commodities; PIMCO as of May 3, 2023.  Investopedia; The Correlation of Commodities to Inflation; Trevir I. Nath, August 1, 2022.    
  9. Trading Economics; United States ISM Manufacturing New Orders; as of May 3, 2023. 
  10. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis as of May 3, 2023.  Link.
  11. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics as of May 3, 2023.  Link
  12. Seeking Alpha; Are Credit Spreads Still a Leading Indicator for the Stock Market?; Pater Tenebrarum; October 15, 2018.  
  13. Investopedia; Money Supply Definition: Types and How It Affects the Economy; The Investopedia Team; February 12, 2023.
  14. Investopedia; The Predictive Powers of the Bond Yield Curve; Troy Segal; June 29, 2023.  The Federal Reserve Board – Yield Curve Models & Data as of May 3, 2023.  Link.

 

Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.

Travel Tips: From Luxury to Budget Friendly

Did you know that 62% of Americans are planning on spending more on travel in 2023 than in years prior?1  It’s no wonder that more Americans have the travel bug this year considering The-Pandemic-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named that made travel to dream or favorite destinations difficult if not impossible.  Many of our Verde Capital team members love to explore everything from national parks to tropical beaches to far flung getaways to iconic destinations.  Here are some of our favorite tips on traveling in style and on a budget.

 

Save for Your Trip

Whether you like to travel spontaneously or after careful planning and deliberation, it’s a good idea to set aside funds for your adventures.  Consider opening a Verde Flourish Savings Account, which as of the writing of this blog, is earning 4.4% interest and is FDIC insured.2  You can dip into this account to pay for travel expenses and accommodations as needed.  Talk to your Verde Advisor for more information on opening an account or planning for extensive travel.

 

Credit Card Points & Frequent Flyer Perks

Traveling in luxury can seem out of reach for many people, but savvy shoppers have been leveraging credit card points to score amazing deals on first class suites on long distance flights.  If you’re on Instagram or follow travel bloggers, you may be familiar with The Points Guy.  If not, check out his website for some cool ideas and insights on how to leverage those credit card points for travel perks, including converting them to frequent flyer miles or hotel points with your favorite providers.   

 

You may also be able to leverage unused frequent flyer miles with your preferred airline to upgrade your seat to a different service/comfort level.  You’ll probably have to read the fine print, and may have to pay a small service fee, but traveling in style and comfort may be worth it to you depending on the length of your flight.  Short flights under two to three hours may not be worth leveraging your miles, points, or the extra cost to fly in more comfortable seats.  Many of our team members will chose to spend their money on accommodations or memorable experiences at their destination rather than spring for more expensive seats.

 

If you’re contemplating traveling to a far off locale (I can hear the beaches of Bali calling my name!), take a look at your budget and consider flying first class.  Some international airlines have amazing and luxurious first class accommodations (heck, some look so comfy you may just want to fly around on the plane for a couple of extra hours just to soak up all the amenities!).  You can expect gourmet meals, free beverages, a sitting area and bed in your “suite”, complimentary pajamas and toiletries, and some even offer private showers!

 

Accommodations and Hotel Loyalty Programs

The world is your oyster, and so are the hotels, short term rentals, and all-inclusive resorts you may stay at during your travels.  If you’re looking for budget friendly options, consider hotels with free amenities like: a pool, fitness center, business center, and complimentary breakfast.  If you plan on spending most of your time away from the hotel and exploring the local area, it may be a good idea to go with a mid-scale hotel, rather than one with amenities you may not use that could increase the cost/night of your stay.  

 

When searching for short term rentals (or “Airbnbs” or “VRBOs”), make sure to follow this short but helpful guide before you book.

  1. Read through the house rules or the guest book for check-in and check-out requirements.  You don’t want to book a place that requires you to essentially clean the entire space before you checkout and still charge a high cleaning fee. 
  2. Read past reviews from other guests to get a feel for the host and the space you’ll be staying in.  Note, I personally recommend picking rentals with high scores in cleanliness as it’s usually a good indicator of the quality of the unit or home as a whole.
  3. Check to see if there’s a discount for booking early, or for X number of nights. 
  4. If you travel with kids or pets, check to see if there’s extra fees to rent pack ‘n plays, high chairs, or to have your pets stay (most places have a daily fee for each pet).  

 

If you’re researching all-inclusive resorts, there are some different tips recommended for selecting and booking your stay.

  1. Read the fine print – does the resort actually offer free drinks and meals, or is there a per diem cap?  This may make a difference to whether you book or not, so balance this based on your personal preferences and budget.
  2. Is your resort family friendly or for adults/couples only.  Again, even if you’re traveling without kids it may not matter to you if the resort is family friendly if it offers the amenities and benefits you really want, in the location you want, at the price you want.  However, if it does matter, make sure that the resort you’re traveling to doesn’t require TWO people per reservation if you’re traveling solo or meeting up with friends.  
  3. Sometimes you can save money if you book your flight through the all-inclusive resort… and sometimes you may end up paying more, so do your research.
  4. Do you want a private dinner on the beach, a poolside cabana every day, or a full day at the spa?  Ask the resort for pricing on these services, and see if there are discounts for selecting these perks early.  

 

You may travel quite a bit with work, or for fun, and may have a hotel brand you prefer to stay in.  If you’ve accumulated hotel points through past stays, you may be able to use those to upgrade your room or get discounted services during your stay.  Check out your loyalty programs terms and offers, and see if you can convert any credit card points over to your program to earn more deals and discounts!

 

Excursions and Experiences

Regardless of your budget, make sure to research some dining and entertainment options in your destination of choice.  Many of our team members leverage Google Maps for restaurant recommendations around their hotel or short term rental.  Being the foodies we are, we tend to look for local, highly rated, unique dining experiences.  Now, this doesn’t always mean fine dining, sometimes it means a great burger joint or brewery with a tasty menu.  If you’re not a fan of Google Maps, check out local news organizations for lists of their top rated restaurants. 

 

If you’re using a short term rental website to book your accommodations, check to see if they have an Excursions option (like Airbnb), where you can book local adventures and tours, sometimes at a discount.  You can also research great local deals on GroupOn too (just read the fine print!).  

 

Last but not least, check out the local municipality or chamber of commerce’s website – many times these are gold mines of information about the local area that can help you plan a phenomenal stay.

 

Regardless of where you may be traveling too, whether it’s a road trip or a flight away, we hope you have a wonderful adventure that inspires you to explore more areas of the world that interest you!  

 

  1. “Stats: 62% of Planning to Spend More on Travel in 2023.” by Matt Turner, March 9, 2023; posted on www.TravelAgentCentral.comLink.

 

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Flourish Cash currently has a tiered interest rate structure, as set forth in the rate tier summary. We deposit your cash first with one or more of the Program Banks in the tier with the highest interest rate, up to the maximum amount of deposits for that tier, and then continue depositing cash at Program Bank(s) in each successive tier until all cash has been deposited, subject to any Program Bank opt out elections you have made. Each annual percentage yield (APY) displayed here is effective as of 04/17/2023 and may change at any time. The rates of interest paid by the Program Bank(s) to Flourish Cash customers may be lower than the rate that could be earned by you opening a deposit account directly with such bank(s).

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The cash balance in a Flourish Cash account that is swept to one or more Program Banks is eligible for FDIC insurance, subject to FDIC rules, including FDIC aggregate insurance coverage limits. FDIC insurance will not be provided until the funds arrive at the Program Bank. There are currently at least 6 Program Banks available to accept deposits for institutional Flourish Cash accounts (accounts for corporations, partnerships and other legal entities) and at least 6 Program Banks available to accept deposits for personal Flourish Cash accounts (individual, joint and revocable trust accounts), and we are not obligated to allocate customer funds across more than this number of Program Banks if there is a greater number of banks in the program. Customers are generally eligible for FDIC insurance coverage of $250,000 per customer, per Program Bank, for each account ownership category. Thus, institutional customers are eligible for up to $1,500,000 of FDIC insurance and personal customers are eligible for (i) up to $1,500,000 of FDIC insurance for either (A) an individual account or (B) an account for a revocable living trust in which one person is the only grantor, trustee and beneficiary of the trust (“Individual Revocable Trust Account”) and (ii) up to $3,000,000 of FDIC insurance for either (A) a joint account with two owners or (B) an account for a revocable living trust in which the same two persons are each the only grantors, trustees and beneficiaries of the trust (“Joint Revocable Trust Account”). The total FDIC coverage for a two-person household is calculated assuming that each household member has an individual account and that both household members share a joint account. If the number of Program Banks decreases for a customer (either because a Program Bank is no longer participating in Flourish Cash, because a customer’s cash is not eligible to be swept to a Program Bank based on criteria set by the Program Bank (which will be disclosed at account opening), or because a customer opts out of having their cash swept to a particular Program Bank), the amount of FDIC insurance for which the customer would be eligible through Flourish Cash would be lower. Typically, all of a customer’s deposits at a Program Bank in the same ownership category (including deposits held outside Flourish Cash or held through multiple Flourish Cash accounts with the same ownership category) count toward the FDIC insurance limit for deposits at that Program Bank. Customers are responsible for monitoring whether they maintain deposits at a Program Bank outside of Flourish Cash and should consider opting out of having their cash swept to any such Program Bank to avoid exceeding FDIC insurance limits. Although Flourish Cash is offered through a brokerage account and cash held in brokerage accounts often has the benefit of SIPC protection, until such time as we offer securities products, customers likely will not have the benefit of SIPC protection for cash held in their Flourish Cash account. Further, SIPC protection is not available for any cash held at the Program Banks. Our current Program Banks can be found here. For additional information regarding FDIC coverage, visit https://fdic.gov/.

 

Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.

Going Green at Home on a Budget

So, you’re thinking about going green at home, or you’ve started and are halfway there, or you’ve been green at home for years.  Regardless of where you are in your “going green” journey, you may be shell shocked at times by the costs associated with using reusable materials and containers, earth safe cleaning products, versus the ease of relying on less expensive traditional items at home.  Here at Verde Capital Management, we do our best to be as green and sustainable as possible in everything we do, as do several of our team members in their own homes.  This is a collection of helpful experiences on how to go green at home on a budget based on our experiences.

 

  1. Buy Bulk and Concentrated Supplies: When possible, and if you have the room to store these items, consider buying concentrated cleansers or regular detergents in bulk at your preferred warehouse store.  
    • If you plan on buying a concentrated cleanser, you can purchase a reusable dispenser or spray bottle to dilute and mix the concentrate at home.  
    • This may reduce your waste footprint and save you money in the long run.  By purchasing detergents and regular cleansers in bulk, you can reduce the number of plastic containers entering local landfills, and use them to refill permanent dispensers or spray bottles at home.

 

  1. Sustainable Brands: You can shop for regular size, sustainable, and/or refill based products at your favorite stores, like Target, which come in aluminum, glass, or cardboard containers.  Or you can buy items online through reputable vendors like Grove Co., and Zero Waste Home.
    • These materials are more easily recycled than plastic.  Brands at Target include: Everspring, Grove Co., etc.  
    • These products can be paired with reusable containers like soap dispensers and spray bottles, which you can select based on your budget and personal aesthetic preferences. 
    •  While buying these items may be more expensive than buying brands which use disposable plastic containers, you will potentially save money long term as the refills tend to be on par with traditional brands.

 

  1. Reduce Waste: You can also reduce your dependence on items like paper towels, disposable dust and cleaning wipes, and similar items.  
  • Consider buying a set of reusable cloth “paper” towels to replace usage of regular paper towels.  
  • Think about purchasing laundry detergent sheets, or a refill based system with permanent dispensers.  These items usually come in compostable or non-plastic recyclable materials.
  • Have some old t-shirts or undershirts you’ve been meaning to toss?  Cut them up and use them as dusting and cleaning rags instead.
  • Check out dishwashing detergent for your dishwasher packaged in aluminum or cardboard based containers.  
  • When grocery shopping, bring your own reusable bags or collapsible containers to pack your groceries in, rather than using paper or plastic bags.

 

  1.   Recycle: There are a lot of options for recycling most items in your home, so check out some local options before tossing items in the garbage.  
  • Clothing & Home Textiles: donate to your local thrift store, Goodwill, or Salvation Army. Alternatively, you can recycle your clothes and linens (they usually don’t take undergarments) with mail in companies like For Days.  They’ll send you a bag, you fill it up, then your drop it off at the USPS, all for a flat fee of $20.00*.
  • Electronics: most local municipalities will collect and recycle old electronics like televisions (even the old, super heavy ones!), computers, screens, e-readers, etc.  This is usually a free service.  You can also check with local office supply stores like Office Max or Staples to see if they offer recycling (there may be a fee).

 

  1.   Hosting Events: We host regular events and team lunches at the Verde Office, and have researched a number of sustainable options and practices to keep costs, and our waste footprint, at a minimum. 
  • Recycled material & Bamboo: Check out Amazon for paper plates, bowls, and napkins made out of recycled and/or sustainable materials.  Instead of purchasing plastic utensils, buy bamboo utensils.  Some companies have even committed to planting trees for every box of supplies sold!  
  • Rent: If you’re hosting a larger party and need table linens or buffet/serving ware items, think about renting items instead of purchasing disposable ones.  There are a ton of local companies that will rent everything from warming trays, linens, serving utensils, and more!
  • Reusable, recycled plastic drinkware: Like to host your friends and family at your place and don’t like doing all those dishes after they leave?  Well, there are some great brands on Amazon that sell recycled plastic, heavy duty drinkware.  They’re hard to break, can be used several times over, and can be recycled rather than tossed out when you’re done with them.

 

  1. Food Storage: If you’re like many Verde Team Members, you probably have a drawer or cupboard full of plastic bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and food storage containers that seemingly misplace their lids on a frequent basis.  There are a ton of budget friendly to expensive options to reduce your waste footprint in this area.  Below are some options that the team has tried and had good experiences with.
  • Silicone Reusable Bags: If you pack lunches regularly, like to take some snacks from home for a quick road trip, or use plastic sandwich/quart/gallon bags for food storage for bulk items or leftovers, consider investing in silicone reusable bags.  They come in a variety of colors, with some promising to hold liquids without leaking.  You can find these items on Amazon, Grove Co., at Target, and other national online and brick-and-mortar retailers.
  • Beeswax Wraps: You can also use beeswax wraps to keep sandwiches fresh instead of plastic bags, seal up leftovers instead of using plastic wrap, and much more.  These wraps come in a variety of sizes and designs, but can usually only be used 100 times (some last longer).  Many wraps come in sets of various sizes so you don’t have to buy them individually.
  • Reusable Fruit & Veggie Savers: If you’re like a lot of us on the team, you’ve probably tossed a partially used onion in a plastic bag in the fridge, or a half used tomato in plastic wrap in the fruit drawer.  Check out fruit and veggie savers that can stretch to cover the cut end of an item, or is made specifically for that fruit or vegetable.  Again, there are tons of options in this area, so shop and find the items that best suit you and your budget.

 

Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.

Fireside Chat – View of the Market Q2 2022

Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.

Russia/Ukraine Crisis

Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.

Recession Risk Update

Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.

Gratitude

We’ve heard it said over the last two years that we should each be “grateful” for the “little things” in life that “truly matter.”  In the last year an invisible wall of social distance and stay at home orders kept most of us from spending the quality time we were accustomed to with family and friends.  The news and social media were full of dire reports about a novel virus, poorly balanced with futile soundbites pointing out the silver linings to a country filled with fear induced shortsightedness.  

 

While the world felt more divided and scary during the last two years, there were our usual constants that we light heartedly poke fun of in easy-to-predict holiday movies, and cherish less often then we should.  Family.  Friendship.  Intangible things we too often take for granted, and so often fail to appreciate fully until they vanish due to time or neglect.  

 

As the world started to return to “normal” the news was full of statistics about soaring retail and restaurant sales.  Most recently it’s been about buying often and early for the holidays to prevent supply chain shortages from ruining this year’s gift giving opportunities.  As I read the news over the last six months I often wondered if we truly failed to learn as a society one of the greatest lessons the last two years tried to teach us.  

 

Gratitude.  

 

Sure, Oprah had gratitude journals years ago that were sold in brick-and-mortar bookstores (or on a new fangled bookselling website called Amazon).  If you check out social media, you can find new fangled gratitude journals (for those youngins not around for the Oprah version) sold in every color and material type, with fancy pens too.

 

It makes me tired just thinking about the material, retail business around gratitude.  An intangible thing we too often take for granted, but we’ll spend $29.95 on (not including shipping and handling… the fancy pen is extra too).

 

Maybe, just maybe, before the holiday season fully revs up its march towards the end of the year, we can pause for a moment and ponder.  What are YOU truly grateful for?  Have you expressed your gratitude to the people who matter in your life?  I’m not just talking about family, although I’ll get to them shortly (you can skip your goofy cousin with the hairbrained get-rich-quick schemes they pitch to you over turkey and mashed potatoes… seriously, it’s okay).  

 

Have you said a heartfelt “thank you” to the often invisible people who help you every day?  Your banker?  Your pet groomer?  Your hair stylist?  Your barista?  Your mail person or delivery person?  No, don’t go Google a list of “service people I should say thank you to.”  Just take the time to pause, make eye contact, and say what you’ve got to say to the people you appreciate.  

 

Spur of the moment works best.  It doesn’t need to be a soliloquy (that would be kinda awkward) and don’t rehearse it (that would also be kinda awkward… maybe more so).  Just be sincere and honest.  See what happens.  And go ahead and quash that urge you may have to go out and buy gifts for everyone – this isn’t about material items.  It’s about gratitude.  I’ve heard it’s a keystone for the season or some such nonsense (insert sarcasm here).

 

Now, on to those people we choose to have in our lives, and those we’re stuck with.  I’m not talking about our coworkers and the tax man (see the paragraph above re: your coworkers… and add your CPA or tax preparer to that list too for good measure).  

 

I’m talking about your friends and family.  Write a note in a holiday card, draft a handwritten letter, or carve out some quality time to share your gratitude.  It’s okay to get a bit sappy with these (maybe awkward to get sappy with others… except your barista, I mean, we all missed our baristas during lockdown).  Again, be sincere (don’t rehearse it) and speak from the heart.  I bet you’ll feel better about sharing your love and appreciation for each person then you will about giving each a tangible gift.  I promise you, the impression and memories you’ll both create by giving and receiving your gratitude through words will last a lifetime. 

 

Because really, at the end of the day when we Marie Kondo our lives all we have are the intangibles.  The relationships.  The love.  The memories.  The skills.  The knowledge.  The moral code.  The manner in which we lived our lives.  The way our deeds and words affected others in the world in ways we may never comprehend.  If we focused on these intangible items a bit more and let go of the material, bigger, better, tangible things, we might just have learned something these last two years after all. 

 

Happy Holidays y’all.  

 

Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.

Fireside Chat w/ Special Guest – Greg Marx, CPA

Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.

How Do Presidential Elections Affect the Market?

Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.