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What Happened Last Week and What It Means to You: Week Ending June 21, 2024

Week Ending in June 21, 2024


Labor market softens…Continuing jobless claims for the week ending June 8 increased by 15,000 to 1.828 million.

What does it mean – The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending June 1 was 1,731,039, an increase of 37,292 from the previous week. Benefit programs have continued to see year over year increases.

Nearly half of U.S. online job posts are fake…According to a recent article by Autumn Spredemann of the Epoch Times.

What does it mean – In a recent survey by Clarify Capital, companies are using fake online job openings to project an image of growth. This could explain some of the issues seen in statistics that show a labor market disconnected from the actual numbers. When the government adds up all the openings vs. the actual hires it looks as if there is a large number of unfilled positions.

According to Insight Global, 55% of unemployed adults who are actively seeking employment are, “completely burned out from job hunting.” Gen-Z was even more stressed and burned out as that generation came in at 66%.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and DC continues to report great numbers only to be revised downward, Main Street faces a plethora of issues due to failed policies of over regulation and mandatory minimum wage hikes all leading to wage inflation and contributing to overall inflation in our economy. According to Bert Bean, Insight Global’s CEO. “It’s no wonder that so many unemployed Americans are feeling unmotivated—between several years of a volatile job market, headcount reductions, budget cuts, hiring freezes and a total overhaul of the way companies are running their businesses, it can feel downright impossible to get back on track.”

Consumer Confidence dipped in June to 100.4…After seeing a revision lower in May from 101.3.

What does it mean – The present situation index improved but the expectations index declined further. For the 7th month in the last 8, consumer confidence was revised down. The consumer continues to find the resources to spend but numbers are fading with confidence per the charts below.





The labor force participation rate decreases…While the (BLS) reported a great number in May, 272,000 new nonfarm jobs, beating all expectations in nonfarm payrolls, we actually saw a small decrease in the labor participation rate to 62.5% from 62.7%.

What does it mean – Expect the numbers to be revised again.

Plentiful vs. Hard to Get…The overall trend in the labor market indicator remains weaker.

What does it mean – According to Bloomberg’s Plentiful vs. Hard-to-Get Index, jobs are becoming increasingly more difficult to get. This falls in line with the previous comments above.



May housing starts declined…According to the BLS, housing starts where down 5.5% in May to a 1.277 million annual rate.

What does it mean – The consensus expected 1.370 million. Year-over-year housing starts are now down 19.3% versus a year ago.

Most folks must be asking themselves why home prices continue to stay out of reach and remain elevated and even rising in a few parts of the country. If you have been reading our letter, “What Happened This Week and What does it Mean”, you have heard me say that our citizens are in competition with our government. The increase in federal, state and local government rules and regulations are a major hurdle for builders in much of the country. We are building too few homes while lax enforcement of immigration laws means rapid population growth and increasing demand on fewer resources.

You just can’t make this stuff up!!

Taxpayers spend $600,000 per unit to house homeless in Los Angeles…Meanwhile the median price of a condo in LA is $564,000 according to the report by Condo Control.

What does it mean – Another government run agency hell bent on taxing you to take care of a problem they created. According to the LA Times there are over 181,000 or 50% of the homeless population in the U.S. living on the streets in CA. They are collecting state and federal aid, free health care and drug paraphernalia, further fostering a life of dependency on the taxpayer’s dime.

Even our Governor, who happens to have overseen the biggest spend on homelessness in State history is now frustrated with the failed results of his very own policies that have sent taxes soaring along with homelessness.

Governor Newsom is recently quoted saying, “I’m not interested in funding failure any longer.” Unfortunately, his policies and the super majority in the State run by his party is running the state into the ground further promoting his policies.

Due to the unholy alliance between big government, unions, and NGO’s, our government agencies and elected officials are now more than ever accountable to the unions and agencies they fund instead of the voters. Follow the money. They do not want to solve a problem that enriches and supports programs that would go away if they did the right thing.

There is no longer a debate in DC or State Capitals like CA, NY, NJ, MI, IL, NV, MN, PA or WI on how we pay for all their free handouts to illegal immigrants and the homeless. They simply pass massive omnibus packages at the Federal level because they are too darn lazy to vote on single issue bills or have no guts to actually debate a single issue with facts. In CA, they simply raise taxes and fees at the state and local level in the name of passion without ever consulting the public/taxpayer or validating and measuring past performance of these failed social projects. Unfortunately, they believe you are their source of funds to manage and fund their socialist utopia and maintain their power.

To my point, Governor Newsome went on to say, “I spent months speaking to people in power, people doing what they think can help their unhoused neighbors and people who’ve forged a path into housing for themselves. Everyone told me a version of the same thing: The systems meant to respond to and reduce homelessness mostly fail to get people on paths to secure housing. They pointed to government ineptness, entrenched political inertia.”

Here are a few reasons why California and Governor Newsome are failing and why CA citizens are voting with their feet and leaving in record numbers never seen before –

  1. Redefining homelessness as unhoused neighbors. I don’t know about you, but I do not want my neighbors sleeping in my yard!!!
  2. Forged a path into housing for themselves. That is redefining theft and not paying your rent.
  3. Entrenched political inertia. This is his way of saying the massive expansion of social programs and experiments (free stuff) dependent on the taxpayer that he favors have failed for over 50 years and now they are embedded in society, and it is not his fault. That he can’t change them, nor does he want to. He knows the facts speak for themselves and voters if educated will reject the massive government intervention and policies as the facts speak for themselves.
  4. Governor Newsome turned a $98 billion budget surplus due to federal grants into a $45 billion deficit in One Year!!
  5. He increased regulations on businesses and water, electricity, and gas usage and what can be sold to consumers. Neither environmentally efficient nor savings.
  6. Minimum wage increases for fast food and healthcare workers (Sacramento agreed to slow roll this until the economy gets better). HMMM. More on this to come.
  7. Overtaxed the wealthy and job creators are fleeing the state in record numbers.
  8. Spent lavishly on new entitlement programs, illegal immigrants, and untried, unvetted and unproven green projects.
  9. According to rain records, CA enjoyed two of the wettest years in recent history. Yet, Newsome gave into environmentalists and squandered all that rainfall. In fact, he violated the voters trust and unilaterally wasted millions!!! Two years ago, CA voters passed a referendum to build more dams, aqueducts, and underground water storage for farmers and cities. Instead, he transferred millions to blow up four historic dams on the Klamath River. For decades these historic dams provided clean, green, efficient, and cheap hydroelectric energy, irrigation storage, flood control and recreation. This is environmental terrorism on society!!
  10. CA has spent billions on subsidizing millions of new illegal migrants with healthcare, housing and food.
  11. Carjackers and thieves own the night and now the day. They are rarely caught, even more rarely arrested — and almost never convicted. Thanks to elected DA’s funded by our favorite socialist George Soros.

We need some “Tough love”. California is the petri dish for big government chaos and an example of how coddling leads to entitlement. Maybe it’s time to start making folks pay their own payroll taxes. Maybe then they will demand a more responsible government that will foster competition, entrepreneurialism, and meritocracy.

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.