A First Foundation Blog

The Week Ahead – Laphroaig

Welcome to “The Week Ahead” where we take a moment to provide our thoughts on what we can expect in markets and the economy during the upcoming week.

Laphroaig. The essence of an Islay single malt Scotch whiskey. Also, my go-to whiskey for many years. Well known for its intense peaty smoke, briny seawater, and seaweed, which is then balanced by the sweetness of vanilla and caramel. A bold Scotch when served “neat.” Add a few drops of water and its character changes as the underlying flavors come out of the woodwork. Sadly, now your favorite single malt Scotch whiskey will potentially cost you a bit more after a 25% tariff has been utilized by the United States in retaliation against the Eurozone for giving subsidies to the aircraft manufacturer Airbus. Additionally, if you love Scottish cashmere sweaters and sweet biscuits, they’ve been hit with a 25% tariff as well. Manufacturers will now have the tough decision to either absorb that 25% tariff or pass it on to their customers as a price increase.

The current global macro environment has stalled capital expenditures by companies. With the global trade wars a norm now, a slowing growth in Europe, Syria, Brexit, and all of the associated social media fears, it is increasingly difficult for many companies to make decisions about how and where to invest in the long term. What is the cost of doing business in China? Mexico? The United Kingdom? How do I not offend a trade partner? In the week ahead, investors will be taking a look at the preliminary durable goods report to get a gauge on how companies are spending for long-term growth. In the meantime, I recommend diversifying out your whiskey cabinet by taking a look at bourbon, rye, and Japanese whiskeys!

Data deck for October 19–October 25:




October 22

Existing Home Sales


October 23

MBA Mortgage Applications


October 24

Initial Jobless Claims


October 24

Durable Goods Orders (Preliminary)


October 24

New Home Sales


October 25

University of Michigan Sentiment (Final)




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Andrew Chan, CAIA, Co-Chief Investment Officer
About the Author
Andrew Chan, CAIA, Co-Chief Investment Officer
Mr. Chan co-leads the strategic investment committee and is responsible for overseeing First Foundation Advisor’s investment solutions platform which includes conducting investment manager research for both traditional and alternative investments as well as asset allocation guidance for portfolio construction. As a member of the investment committee, he provides market commentary and investment insights to clients. Additionally, Mr. Chan serves as a senior executive on the business strategy committee providing guidance on firm wide initiatives. With over 15 years of wealth management experience, Mr. Chan has played key roles across various aspects of investment and wealth management. Prior to joining First Foundation Advisors, Mr. Chan was most recently a portfolio manager at U.S. Trust where, in addition to his daily responsibilities, he served on numerous national committees including the investment manager committee, the portfolio model committee, and the strategic technology committee. He also served on the in-house strategic consultant committee reporting directly to the President of U.S. Trust. Mr. Chan is a graduate of the Wharton School Executive Program on Investment Management and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Riverside. He is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA). Mr. Chan has previously served as an exam working group member and as an exam grader for CAIA. A member of the CAIA SoCal Executive Board since 2015, Mr. Chan has served as executive chapter head since 2017. Read more