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What Happened Last Week and What It Means to You: March 30, 2023

Week Ending March 30, 2023

What happens when business competes with government…Costs go through the roof!!!

What does it mean – from 2015 to 2020 the average cost of employment went up roughly 2.5% per year. Since the Fauci Virus made in China, the cost of benefits and employment have increased by roughly 5% in 2022 and 4.7% in 2021. This is inflationary in every way and a big reason public companies are laying off in large numbers. The new CEO of Disney just announced another 7,000 people will be laid off to manage margins. What we need to see is a downsizing in government and the scraping of duplicate welfare policies that entangle and trap people to a system that is more addictive than crack cocaine.

Consumer credit increased by $14.8 billion in January…Consumers continue to swipe the credit card. Hard not to when even the government won’t take their own cash.

What does it mean – Like corporate America and many businesses that are now only taking credit cards, the Federal Government announced that many federal museums and parks will now only take credit cards and will not accept the very currency our government prints. You can expect people to continue to rely heavily on their credit card and for those who are not disciplined expect massive credit card issues going forward. Not to mention the unintended consequences of creating a cashless society. Look at China and the use of a social credit score. It is already being used to cut people off from their money and credit if they do not like what you say.


The shelter index was up 8.1% year-over-year…Cost of owning or renting a home is continuing to go up.

What does it mean – Inflation is not only hitting your back pocket but your rent, mortgage, insurance, and the bills that keep you in your home continue to rise at a record pace. Unfortunately, the Fed has lost control of even keeping close to its target of 2.0% inflation.


New home sales fall year over year…New home sales were down 19.0% from February to February.

What does it mean –New home sales month-over-month/year-over-year by region: Northeast   (-40.0%; -55.3%); Midwest (-1.4%; -20.2%); South (+3.0%; -8.8%); and West (+8.1%; -33.2%). Other than the states with low taxes and less government oversight, new home sales throughout most of the country continue to fall.


Existing home sales increase for month of February…As prices fall existing home sales increase.

What does it mean – The key takeaway from this report is the understanding that the median selling price declined for the first time in 11 years. This underscores the affordability challenges that have been presented by rising mortgage rates and prospective buyers’ beliefs about potentially buying at a cyclical top in the housing market. While they may be seeing multiple offers, sellers are seeing offers below the ask.


Small Banks account for about 80% of commercial real estate lending…Small banks know their clients and are much better suited to lend to the local economy.

What does it mean – If you want local growth, you need local banks. Bring back the Glass Steagall Act and urge your congressman or woman to repeal the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act.

Commercial loans…Small and regional banks account for more than half of all commercial loans.

What does it mean – Banks with less than $250 billion in assets and serve a region or particular market typically know their clients better, have less turnover, and understand the local economy far better than large national institutions. Bring back the Glass Steagall Act and insist that your congressman or woman vote to repeal the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act.

Think globally and act locally…picking up litter and turning off the lights is a great way of keeping your local community and home a beautiful place to live. Not to mention meaningful to our country, our continent, and our planet.

What does it mean – Local banks know the community the best. They know you. They know the needs of the community and understand the economic risks, competition, cost structures and community issues that will hinder or help businesses start, grow, and maintain their ability to serve their community and expand throughout their region.

A banker, or risk management team from NY, SF, or assigned regionally by a national bank will not know you, the needs of the community, the local competition, or potential risks. Large banks will predominantly only understand your financial viability by your personal balance sheet, your demographics, and those of the community. They will not see or know your pride and dedication to your dream and your community. Sounds simple but it’s why small businesses still hire and provide nearly 70% of all jobs across this nation and account for more wealth than all the public companies combined. Big banks are not exactly great when the economic dynamics demand a deeper dive.

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.