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What Happened Last Week and What It Means to You: April 12, 2023

Week Ending April 7, 2023

Initial jobless claims jump amid methodology revision…Why does the government seek to revise how official numbers are counted. I guess the math is the same even when you try to revise the method of how you count. 2 + 2 = 4.

What does it mean – No matter how the Bureau of Labor Statistics tries to count the initial claims. One person filing is still one person filing.

The key takeaway from the report is that it featured a revision to the seasonal adjustment factor, which resulted in big upward revisions to figures from recent weeks. The higher level of claims will invite some to questions the strength of the labor market after last week’s release of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey for February showed a big drop in openings.

 Industrial Production softens…Year-over-year decline in total production and capacity utilization point to continued softening.

What does it mean – Year-over-year decline in total production and capacity utilization rate is near its lowest level since September 2021. Manufacturing continues to be hampered by fiscal policy and overbearing government regulation like the CHIPS Act. Per our letter dated March 3, 2023, here is a look at just a few of regulations buried in a bill that was supposed to bring back manufacturing to the US.


  1. Childcare for all construction workers building the facility plus for all plant workers in an area where there are likely only a couple of such childcare workers. The childcare must be in tandem with the “stakeholders” meaning local community groups.
  2. Union wages and union work rules. States where the plant gets built must change their labor laws to comply with the new union dictated rules if they want a subsidy.
  3. “Family sustaining benefits”, including paid leave, must be paid -whatever that means, but you know it means a lot of cost.
  4. Companies must provide an essay on how they provide “wrap around” support to underserved communities, such as adult care, transit assistance, and housing assistance.
  5. Companies must share profits with the government. We call this Communism!!! And by the way that is already done through taxes.
  6. No stock buybacks for 5 years. Great let’s punish investors and the markets because government knows best.


Below is a chart dated April 4, 2023, showing nearly 800 companies that have shed 473,000 jobs since October 2022. The CHIPS act was passed in 2021and technology companies have shed the most jobs since. Policy matters.

Consumer credit increases…Consumers continue to tap credit cards and sources of revolving credit at record pace.

What does it mean – Revolving credit increased by $11.2 billion to $1.215 trillion. Nonrevolving credit increased by $3.6 billion to $3.581 trillion. Revolving and nonrevolving credit is now over Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.7% in January. Revolving credit is now over $4.796 trillion.


According to the Certified Financial Planner Board, 89% of Americans worry about the Cost of living…63% of people are concerned about their ability to purchase necessities such as food and clothing.

What does it mean – Most Americans struggle with out-of-control inflation. Over half the population is now more worried about basic necessities. This is the worst we have seen since the Great depression. Seems like the more we turn to government the worse the problem becomes.

Your tax dollars hard at work…Does this mean every American taxpayer should get a dividend.

What does it mean – Big government begets Big Business. Wow – government tries to mandate a vaccine policy funded by the American taxpayer and the largest benefactor is Pfizer and the national media getting paid to advertise the vaccine funded by you the American taxpayer.

From the looks of things, COVID has been one heck of an investment for Pfizer. Problem is it really has not done much for the American taxpayer or preventing the spread of COVID.

Speaking of the Tooth Fairy, payouts are on the rise…Even the Tooth Fairy is struggling with out-of-control inflation.

What does it mean – Between the Easter Bunny and the rising cost of eggs, traditions are becoming more and more expensive. Policy matters and our children matter more.

Let’s roll America!!

Doug De Groote, CFP®, MBA, CTC
Managing Director

De Groote Financial Group, LLC is a federally registered investment adviser that maintains a principal office in the State of California. The information contained in this message is confidential, protected from disclosure and may be legally privileged. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient or an employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, distribution, copying, or any action taken or action omitted in reliance on it, is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by replying to this message and destroy the material in its entirety, whether in electronic or hard copy format.

Jeannie Ewing-Nicholson

Operations Manager

Jeannie started her career in the Financial Services industry in 1994 with Oppenheimer & Company. As part of the De Groote Financial Group, Jeannie is responsible for the operational needs of the firm including cash management and account administration. With her upbeat attitude and attention to detail, Jeannie provides an efficient streamlines experience to ensure clients meet their goals. Jeannie enjoys travel, outdoor activities, Pilates, and is a football and basketball fan. She resides in Westlake Village with her husband, daughter and son.

Mary-Ellen Lykken

Executive Assistant

Mary-Ellen, Executive Assistant at DFG, keeps the office running smoothly by providing administrative support and assisting with scheduling and organization. With a background in human resource and office management, Mary-Ellen comes from the non-profit and services industries.

Outside of the office, Mary-Ellen is committed to the advancement of independence and productivity for those with disabilities. By telling her story of the challenges and joys of raising a child with complicated disabilities, she hopes to help others navigate similar circumstances.

She is happiest when visiting her two grown sons. Otherwise, you can find her competing on the pickleball courts.

Sara Mariniello

Operations Manager

Sara is new to the financial industry only starting in 2022 when she was hired at De Groote Financial. As Operations Manager, Sara is responsible for all the paperwork surrounding opening accounts and investment paperwork and is also responsible for much of the client communication. Sara has her bachelor’s in science and nursing from Concordia University, Texas and worked as nurse for over a year prior to moving back to California. She loves all things sports and church related and is likely spending every free moment with her Husband visiting family in Texas and New Jersey.

Fadi Ahmed

Chief Operations Officer and Chief Compliance Officer

Fadi works with clients to ensure an exceptional experience. He coordinates and assures the planning process and wealth management tools are at your fingertips to provide the clarity you deserve and the transparency and access to all your accounts. Fadi ensures the data and information is reflective in our planning software. All changes and updates flow through his desk and he coordinates those changes with the rest of our team.

Andrew Krout

Wealth Advisor, Co-Chief Investment Officer

Andrew Krout is a Wealth Advisor at De Groote Financial Group, LLC. He also serves as a Co-Chief Investment Officer for the firm, focused on wealth management.

Previously, Andrew served as CIO with Kelly Financial in Boston Massachusetts since 2013. He is a licensed investment advisor representative and insurance producer. He graduated from Saint Francis University with a bachelor’s degree in both finance and accounting. He is a candidate for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. Andrew holds life insurance licenses in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

Andrew is passionate about serving his clients and investment management and how to apply news and current events to investment decisions. He played Division 1 golf in college, and still enjoys playing and watching the sport in his free time.

David Darst

Co-Chief Information Officer

David Martin Darst, CFA is an Investment Advisor to DeGroote Financial Group, specializing in asset allocation and product selection. Previously, David served for 17 years as a Managing Director and Chief Investment Strategist at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, with the responsibility for Asset Allocation and Investment Strategy. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1996 from Goldman Sachs, where he held Senior Management Posts within the Equities Division and earlier, for six years as Resident Manager of their Private Bank in Zurich.

David is the author of 13 books, including bestsellers The Art of Asset Allocation, 2nd Edition (McGraw-Hill), and The Little Book that Still Saves Your Assets (John Wiley & Sons). He also appears as a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, FOX, PBS, and others, and has contributed articles across a variety of publications.

David graduated with a BA in Economics from Yale University, and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. He has lectured extensively at Wharton, Columbia, INSEAD, and New York University Business Schools, and for nine years, David served as a visiting member at Yale College, Yale School of Management, and Harvard Business School. He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the CFA Institute. 

Doug De Groote

Managing Director

Doug is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) with an MBA in Financial Planning, and is an active member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). Before establishing De Groote Financial Group, Doug founded the United Wealth Management division of United Capital. Prior to that, Doug was a partner at Crowell, Weedon and Co. He regularly contributes to a variety of financial and general media.

Doug’s passion, and what he believes, is that everyone deserves the opportunity; they deserve to have the freedom and responsibility to be pro-active in achieving independence and financial success.

Doug’s life is focused around his family, wife and three children, and making sure they get the foundation that is necessary for them to have the awareness of the opportunities that abound in our great country.

Doug helps increase his client’s awareness and success, to identify and take advantage of opportunities that present themselves and help protect them from some of the pitfalls or obstacles that are thrown in our paths. With regards to their financial circumstances, Doug helps his clients identify their goals, plan for various outcomes and manage their assets to help them make their vision a reality.