As we say goodbye to the end of the second quarter, the middle of the year is currently right before us, and remarkably interesting cross currents abound.
“It was the best of times; It was the worst of times.”
The Charles Dickens old favorite seems like a good quote given the cross currents at our mid-year review and more importantly forward-looking possibilities.
It is no secret that interest rates have risen dramatically, actually on a percentage basis fastest ever, quoting our Q3 2023 Newsletter and main lead article. What is most interesting is the continued stamina of the US economy given the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) chaired by Jerome Powell gigantic attempt to slow the US economy in bludgeon hammer like format, with the afore mentioned higher interest rates.
In true what is old is new again “Higher interest rates for longer” again a terrific article in our Q3 Newsletter. What was once a necessary evil of stability, (fixed income/bonds), is possibly the most pleasurable fixture in our investment house. Now that the preponderance of interest rates hikes is likely far behind us, the hard work is done, and the reward of higher income with lower volatility is looking forward!
Partying like it’s 1999
The vast majority of stocks are adhering to Powell’s desires and at best treading water, at worst admitting defeat. Similar to the dot com (.com) times of 1999, Artificial Intelligence aka AI is the sexy theme of the moment and has put jet fuel on a small handful of company stocks.
Just like lightning, markets rarely tend to repeat, but they do rhyme, and while our hope is that this is not the.com 1999 party, our radar is certainly up.
Referring to our Q3 Newsletter one more time, there seems to be stimulus, just like the candy for the kids at the pool, that has not worked its way through the system. We continue to find more evidence of this and call your attention to the “Slower for longer Article” again in our newsletter.
While cautiously optimistic, we are happy not to be swinging for the fences investors and look forward to how this economic book is finally written! Time will tell and is our Friend.
Thank you for your time talk to you in the fall,
John A. Kvale CFA, CFP
Enclosure (2023 Report)