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What Happened Last Week and What It Means to You: Week Ending August 25, 2023

Week Ending August 25, 2023

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revises year over year jobs numbers down by 306,000…The U.S. added fewer jobs from March 2022 to March 2023 than was previously announced, according to a preliminary revised estimate on Wednesday.

What does it mean – The BLS has an amazing record for overshooting the numbers over the last couple of years. Job gains this year have already been revised down heavily, Jan – Jun have all been revised lower (unusual) by an aggregate of 245k jobs.

According to the BLS, these counts are derived from state unemployment insurance (UI) tax records that nearly all employers are required to file,” the release from the BLS reads. “For National CES employment series, the annual benchmark revisions over the last 10 years have averaged plus or minus one-tenth of one percent of total nonfarm employment. The preliminary estimate of the benchmark revision indicates a downward adjustment to March 2023 total nonfarm employment of −306,000 (−0.2 percent).” Not that we are counting, but the downward revision is consistently almost double reality to the downside causing many to wonder if this government agency has also become a political tool of this administration. In fact, nearly 25% of the jobs we thought we created were not real.


One thing that is growing is your government and what you will have to pay for it. Government jobs increased by 50,000, while the private sector actually loss 356,000 jobs.


Not to mention, on Thursday the 24th, our US Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Thursday over its hiring practices, accusing Elon Musk’s rocket company of discriminating against asylum seekers and refugees. You just can’t make this stuff up. You have to ask yourself why would the DOJ go after Elon Musk and his companies?


Durable goods orders dropped sharply last month…Durable goods orders declined 5.2% month-over-month in July.

What does it mean – Weakness was driven by transportation. Business spending was slow. Excluding aircraft, it came in at 0.1% increase for new orders for nondefense capital goods. Durable goods orders continued to struggle as inflation remains stubborn and interest rates continue to go up.


August US PMI report from S&P Global showed growth stalling in services…As manufacturing orders continue to contract at a faster pace, both measures were below consensus estimates.

What does it mean – Both the reports continue to show contraction in the economy.


Philly Fed’s non-manufacturing survey shows deteriorating sales…Yet costs are going up and prices charged have moved higher.

What does it mean – Manufacturers expect a reacceleration in inflation.

Mortgage rates continue their climb…I Googled Up Up, and Away and the first thing that hit was the song Up Up and Away by Juice WRLD. I read the lyrics and while the song is clearly about drug abuse, it captures the desperation of the trappings of society. Speaking from an economic perspective it captures the numbing effect and benefit that “cheap money” has had on consumers, our government, asset prices and the perception of being able to spend without fear. This façade is now at every dinner table as every family is discussing the reality of inflation and rising interest rates. For nearly 20 years the Federal Reserve has artificially kept rates unrealistically low, sheltering many from reality and creating a perception of wealth that can easily be taken by the sudden removal of a dependency. Cheap money has numbed and created an environment that has concealed the truth and like the lyrics in the song we are left to –


realize that my life is a ride

Buckle up, hold tight, take a left, turn right
GPS don’t work, can’t see at night
So it’s getting hard to drive, anxiety at a stoplight
Hard to think, easy to cry, that’s how I know something’s not right
Numb the pain with fun times.”

As my favorite football coach and Ferris Bueller said, “It’s time to buckle up butter cup!!”


What does it mean – Per the chart below, rates have more than double over the last year 18 months. While Wall Street is clamoring for lower rates, the recent economic news, comments from Fed Chairman Powell, and the lack of fiscal leadership from DC all point to rates going up in the short-run. Expect an increase in rates and a bit of a bumpy ride for the foreseeable future.


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.