Skip links

What Happened Last Week and What It Means to You: Week Ending August 11, 2023

Week Ending August 11, 2023

Nonfarm payroll growth is slowing…For the second straight month nonfarm payroll came in below 200,000 even after revisions.

What does it mean – While labor supply is still relatively tight, and we are starting to see a softening in employment. Employers are still competing with government programs and many employers are their own worst nightmare as they have allowed work from home to dictate employment policy further dividing or separating employees from the office and culture.


Producer prices increased more than expected last month…While starting to slow, inflation has not been tamed.

What does it mean – While Goldman Sachs says rates are heading down next year (2024), we are unfortunately still dealing with the here and now. Energy, specifically gas prices, are still going up. The cost of transportation, cooling and heating your home, travel, food, clothing, etc. all are affected by the cost of energy. This is inflationary.


30-year home mortgage rates hit highest level since 2001…According to, the 30-year mortgage rate hit the highest level since 2001 and is now at 7.5%.

What does it mean – Affordability is suffering. While housing prices remain stubborn and have not backed off much, the average household is struggling to purchase a first-time home or trade up.

Credit card debt hits $1.03 Trillion…The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that U.S. credit card debt stood at a record $1.03 trillion in Q2’23

What does it mean – Yikes. According to Yahoo Finance. The figure represents an increase of 4.6% from the previous record of $986 billion set in Q1’23. According to Transunion, U.S. consumers carried an average bankcard balance of $5,947. This is the highest level in the past ten years while the average U.S. credit card interest rate is now at 24.69% for the week ended 8/7/23.


Super core inflation…The governments new favorite way to measure and convince you that shelter, food and energy are not needed in today’s society. As we covered before, core services are now stripped of housing, food, and energy to prove inflation is in check and the Fed and your elected officials have it all under control.

What does it mean – This administration will depend even more on the Fed to make up for its fiscal shortcomings. Get ready for a lot of teeth grinding and redefining of fiscal policy and what economic success looks like.

Below is what the government is now measuring when they strip out Shelter, food, and energy. Not sure what “other personal services” are but the fed has done an amazing job at keeping them at “0” for the last few years. And thanks to the Chinese virus and massive fear mongering by the government and media, most Americans are now getting vaccinated for almost everything for free or at significantly subsidized pricing thanks to the American taxpayer. You can literally walk into most CVS’s get a flu shot, COVID shot, shingles and several others and in many cases only have to pay your co-pay for a medication that is costing the taxpayer thousands. Do you ever wonder why every station on earth is playing a commercial on multiple drugs and vaccinations every 15 minutes? Ask yourself who is paying for these advertisements and why is your doctors being replaced by CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, etc.?

The 1970’s called and asked for their economic policy back…History has a way of repeating.

What does it mean – Have you ever noticed that certain actions always get certain reactions?

Big government solutions continue to lead to big problems for the citizens. Since the Johnson administration and throughout the 1970’s government expanded at a record rate and with it brought higher inflation, less energy independence, more government agencies to be funded by taxpayers, less economic mobility and higher taxes. The list goes on and on. And here we are today experimenting with the same failed policies that led to the 1970’s.

The difference is that voters decided to hold politicians accountable in 1980. Will bad policy and the destruction of small businesses and entrepreneurism lead to another cycle of accountability?

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.