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Second Quarter 2017

The Markets

The U.S. markets have continued to climb overall with some sectors outperforming others. Technology and financials have been strong, while healthcare and energy have not participated as much. There is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the Affordable Care Act and the future of healthcare. Oil prices have declined this year. It is still unknown whether tax and regulatory reform and some type of infrastructure bill will be able to happen with a Congress that does not seem motivated to compromise. International markets have led all indices this year. Europe’s political picture appears much more stable, as are the currencies, and markets have reacted favorably. As measured by P/E (price-earnings), developed and emerging economy companies are less expensive than the average P/E in the U.S. Our valuations are somewhat stretched, but historically we know that can continue for some time. There does not appear to be a recession in the near future. Companies’ earnings are good and jobs are increasing. Our belief is that an allocation to international makes sense for diversification. Generally, bonds have continued to do better than expected this year as well. The Federal Reserve appears willing to increase rates slowly and expectation is one to two more times this year.

Updates

We have been busy attending industry conferences to stay up-to-date on continuing education as well as working with peers on best practices, technology, economic trends, research and investment strategies. The regulatory environment and new Fiduciary Rule has created complexity and some uncertainty as much of what the industry has adopted may be repealed or amended. We sent a letter earlier this year explaining that we do not anticipate much change from our client’s standpoint as it has been our practice to have a fiduciary standard. However, with any new law, there can be many unintended consequences, costs and additional paperwork - this one is no exception. We will keep in touch with what you need to know and will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Survey

In an effort to improve and grow our services as well as remind you of what our capabilities are, we are sending out a random survey. For those that received it, we would very much appreciate your feedback and suggestions. We strive to be a complete wealth management resource for your family and your business. Our expanding team, expertise and ever improving technology can help us communicate however you like and allows us to get you the information more quickly and efficiently to know how you are doing and to track progress. However, nothing will replace our personal connection and customized approach to helping you work towards your goals. We update information on our website – www.stephensWMG.com and you can go to your account via our website as well on your mobile device or your computer. It can be an easy way for you to stay connected to us.

National Publications

I also wanted to share with you some recent honors I have received. This year I had the privilege of being named on three prestigious lists of top financial advisors:

  1. Barron’s Top 100 Women**
  2. Forbes Top 200 Women***
  3. Financial Times Top 400 Advisors****

This would not have been possible without the assistance of our knowledgeable staff, I am extremely proud to be a part of this talented dedicated team. Thank you for your confidence in us. Let us know how we can be helpful.

Have a great summer!

The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss regardless of strategy selected.

Diversification and asset allocation do not ensure a profit or guarantee against a loss. International investing involves special risks, including currency fluctuations, differing financial accounting standards, and possible political and economic volatility. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

Investments mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Individuals cannot invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance.

*Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Expressions of opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Any opinions are those of Sherri Stephens and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Stephens Wealth Management Group is independent of RJFS.

** Source: Barron's “Top 100 Women Financial Advisors,” DATE, 2017. Barron's is a registered trademark of Dow Jones & Company, L.P. All rights reserved. The rankings are based on data provided by over 4,000 individual advisors and their firms and include qualitative and quantitative criteria. Data points that relate to quality of practice include professionals with a minimum of 7 years financial services experience, acceptable compliance records, client retention reports, charitable and philanthropic work, quality of practice, designations held, offering services beyond investments offered including estates and trusts, and more. Financial Advisors are quantitatively rated based on varying types of revenues produced and assets under management by the financial professional, with weightings associated for each. Investment performance is not an explicit component because not all advisors have audited results and because performance figures often are influenced more by clients' risk tolerance than by an advisor's investment picking abilities. Barron's is not affiliated with Raymond James. Rankings are comprised of wirehouses, independent and RIA advisors; individual advisors not required to be individually registered in FINRA.

*** The Forbes ranking of America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative and quantitative data, rating thousands of wealth advisors with a minimum of seven years of experience and weighing factors like revenue trends, assets under management, compliance records, industry experience and best practices learned through telephone and in-person interviews. Portfolio performance is not a criteria due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. Neither Forbes or SHOOK receive a fee in exchange for rankings. Research Summary (as of February 2017): 3,174 nominations were received, based on thresholds (2,723 women). 4,000 Advisors were invited to complete an online survey. 3,980 Advisors were interviewed by telephone. 716 Advisors were interviewed in-person at Advisors’ location. The final list of the top 200 Advisors was then complied based upon the qualitative and quantitative criteria. Raymond James is not affiliated with Forbes or Shook Research.

**** The FT 400 was developed in collaboration with Ignites Research, a subsidiary of the FT that provides specialized content on asset management. To qualify for the list, advisers had to have 10 years of experience and at least $300 million in assets under management (AUM). The FT then invited a list of roughly 800 advisors to complete a survey used to obtain more information on the advisors practices. 400 qualified advisers were then scored on six attributes: AUM, AUM growth rate, compliance record, experience, industry certifications and online accessibility. AUM is the top factor, accounting for 66 percent of the applicant's score. Additionally, to provide a diversity of advisors, the FT placed a cap on the number of advisors from any one state that's roughly correlated to the distribution of millionaires across the U.S. Raymond James is not affiliated with Financial Times of Ignites Research. These recognitions are not indicative of future performance, are not endorsements, and may not be representative of individual client's experiences. No fees were paid by the Financial Advisors or Raymond James in exchange for these recognitions.

Financial Market Update* Year-to-date change as of June 30, 2017
S&P 500 Index 9.34%
Morningstar Commodities
Broad Basket Category -6.04%
MSCI EAFE US$ (International) 13.81%
Barclay US Aggregate Bond 2.27%

*Indexes are for illustrative purposes only. One cannot invest directly in any index. Assumes dividends are reinvested.
Source: Morningstar

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