The once dreaded and feared interest rate raise seems to have run its course from a fear standpoint. Just a few quarters ago when Ben Bernanke was the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) chairperson, the whisper of a long-awaited rate hike lead to market calamity and many to believe rates would be permanently artificially low.
Near the end of this most recent quarter, current FOMC chair Janet Yellen raised rates to the 1% level, a level not seen in almost a decade and without much capital market trepidation. Longer term the short-term interest rate controlled by the FOMC may not go all the way back to the higher levels once seen historically, however a 2-3% rate would still be stimulating from our perch. It is possible the gradual move higher will extend this current economic expansion.
Speaking of rates, in our Q3 2017 Quarterly Newsletter we do a complete deep dive on interest rates, among many other items, that may have changed Residential Housing Prices movement for the foreseeable future. While so many argue of reasons for Housing volatility, the answers are less vivid than many may think.
Continued optimism from company executives seems to have given them confidence to expand their businesses dropping the unemployment rate to levels many thought not possible via hiring’s of workers. It is possible an employed consumer is a happy consumer who is also a consumer who spends more. With consumer spending making up over two thirds of Gross Domestic Production (GDP) this bodes well for domestic and world growth, as long as it continues.
Given low but rising interest rates (finally) a happy higher price valued Home Owner (again full details in the Newsletter), a happily employed consumer, it is no wonder many assets and most capital assets, especially the US markets are priced to perfection (high compared to historical values). The fantastic news is that our overseas counterpart capital markets are not priced as high and it looks like investors are finally beginning to warm to their markets. Our good friend diversification keeps us exposed to these markets as the possibly reawakening occurs. Look for more on this on our street-cents.com blog.
Maybe, but we always keep our guards up as risk can happen fast, even if the less tenured folks are at the wheel of the capital markets.
Have a Great Summer!
John A. Kvale CFA, CFP
Q 2 2017 Cover Letter
Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth