Category Archives: Market Comments

Another Robert Kaplan Townhall Update – Some Breaking Comments … Slowing Purchases this Year

Back in the fall last year, here we commented on a terrific Robert Kaplan Townhall. Good news, this time we were able to listen to this Townhall which occurred Monday January 11, 2021 without accidentally becoming a participant!

Robert Kaplan is the Dallas Federal Reserve President and is a voting member of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) in 2020 – has a lot of eyes on him, especially during FOMC statements … but – see next

We like to listen to these “Quaint” discussions as more open comments and nuggets of information can be discovered and we are big fans of Kaplan as well…

Kaplan Latest Townhall Comments

Kaplan reiterated an expectation of US Economic growth – if all goes well – of 5% Wow. US Economic growth certainly has easy comparables due to a bad 2020, but a 5% growth rate is really strong and if occurs would help with our Capital Markets growing into their clothes thesis.

Biggest breaking comment, Kaplan believes the FED will at minimum speak of easing on asset purchases and again if all goes well is interested in higher rates later this year – Wow, another big news comment. Recall our concerns if rates get ahead of the Fed and they are forced to chase them down, could be strong headwinds… From our perch this is good news.

Oddly, most major Financial Firms are saying the likely stimulus coming soon will help, but when that runs out a slowing may occur …. someone is wrong !

We will be watching!

Kaplan firmly stated that continued stimulus through asset purchase AND low rates will do more harm than good if continued too long …. We agree, inflated asset prices and excessive risk taking does not work out well.

Best Question – What is Biggest Risk to Economy in 2021?

This question was by far the best and Kaplan’s comment that too slow of Vaccine rollout were both elegantly stated.

Kaplan expressed some concerns with the speed of the current rollout but expected/hoped for acceleration in short order, as we all do.

Kaplan, as a firm believer in higher education, our resident state of Texas is not at the top of the rung on this one, he mentioned several times improving the education system especially as it relates to technology will likely increase productivity in the decades to come.

There you have it, some Breaking News and some Good News!

Have a Great “Kaplan Townhall Update” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Q 4 2020 Review and Annual Private Policy

It’s hard to believe the final quarter of the year included an Election, multiple vaccines, the commencement of vaccine shots and near the end of the quarter, a second stimulus package for the year 2020. Wow!

Three Major Acts in a Little Over Twelve Months

If we look back just a little over twelve months, three major bills, The Secure Act, passed in late 2019, but left in the shadows by lasty years events. Then the Cares Act late first quarter 2020, followed by the Appropriations Act of 2021, which was an extension of the Cares Act. If you are not confused yet (or do not even remember some of these), congratulate yourself, most are! Not to worry, we will be reviewing all of these over the year as the much forgotten, Secure Act will have multiple planning techniques and mandates that once again may have been forgotten.

Who let the dogs out? Or Maybe Better Said, The Dogs Continued to Cheer!

Capital markets bullied by federal reserve purchases and anticipations of good news coming from a vaccine, in true Capital Market form did cheer much of the news, but not as much as many had thought, mostly because it had already been anticipated.

As we had mentioned multiple times, Capital Markets are likely well ahead of themselves currently which may make for tougher rowing in the near term, but just as clothes purchased a little too large for that growing teenager, Capital Markets with an expected economic recovery, should be able to grow into their overzealous clothes. However, with current stretched valuations, negative surprises may be met with more volatility due to the priced-to-perfection levels currently, once again making us happy we are conservative and diversified investors.

Interest Rate Watch

One thing we will be watching closely are interest rates, and their levels, as the economy begins to come back on line. The Federal Reserve is squarely focused on keeping interest rates down through their purchases. Should interest rates begin to rise or should the FED ease off (or even give speak of ease) of the pedal and interest rates rise on their own, especially quickly, this could be a headwind to Capital Markets and other assets. Not to worry, we will be watching and letting you know what we see and taking appropriate actions as needed.

In Closing

Your Fourth Quarter summary is enclosed on the front page of this report we have included our most recent investment allocation from your Investment Policy Statement. This is also the time we attach our Private Policy Statement for the year, along with our opportunity to offer our latest ADV filings and Client Relationship Summary (Form CRS); Requests for review will be accepted via phone, mail or email, and mailed immediately upon request.

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

J.K. Financial, Inc.

PRIVACY POLICY NOTICE

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Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions about this notice.

December 2020 Financial Planning and Capital Market Review – Goodbye Year – Hello 2021 By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our December 2020 (yes the final review of 2020!) Financial Planning and Capital Market Update!

If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast audio format as well as Video!

Newbies –

We like to articulate our thoughts and review on a Monthly basis our Financial Planning Tips, Capital Markets and current events!

Hope you enjoy!

December 2020 Video – Final of Year

YouTube

Financial Planning Tips

Retirement Levels and Contribution Amounts

In our post here, we review the coming 2021 Retirement levels of contributions and max amounts….

With the most popular highlighted and also matching the catch-up amounts, there are a few changes, but for the most part much of the same from last year 2020 !

Money Begins Moving at a Snails Pace

Oddly, something we had not experienced before…. early in the Month of December, as mentioned here in our Warning Post — money slowed to a trickle pace…

While not sure if this was a result of remote workers, last minute movements, procrastination or a combination of all, money slowed alarmingly…. So much so that we have marked our calendars for an earlier start to year end “Stuff” for 2021 !

Thankfully we are happy to announce, we made it through with not too terrible of delays… but got me once, shame on you …. you know the rest !

Capital Market Comments

Why Price is So Important

In a carefully chosen extreme example, meant to remind but not alarm, in this rewind/remember 1999 post of what can happen if price is not remembered, we show the length a badly timed “all in” purchase – again carefully chosen can take almost two decades to get back to even…

“Price is what you pay, value is what you get!”

Final Thoughts As Year Ends

As the year wound down, we shared a collection of points that we hope made you chuckle but also had some serious items as well…. here in this post. If you missed it … worth your time!

There you have it, so long 2020 – That is your December, final for the year review.

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

PPP (Paycheck Protection Plan) Part II, One Especially Time Sensitive Item – Stimulus Checks Repeat … Overview…

Being off, and promising a lighter than normal posting during the holidays was interrupted by the signing of Part II of the Cares Act Sunday, December 27, 2020 …. AKA Appropriations Act of 2021 (all 5593 pages here!)

Given the time of year we will keep this high-level and will expand in great detail shortly, but wanted to give you a couple important bullet points that may be very refreshing, and one call to action should you have not used PPP Part I but want either PPP Part I or II (Your window for both may be closing fast!)

Part II of the Cares Act – AKA Appropriations Act of 2021

PPP Part II has basically the same guidelines for the vast majority of folks in total amount, BUT with a qualifying hurdle to get PPP Part II threshold of having any one quarter of revenues/sales in 2020 being down 25% from 2019.

To clarify, if you as a business owner had only 75% sales revenue in any (just one) quarter versus that same quarter in 2019 you will qualify for PPP Part II.

What follows is most time sensitive, while we do not know anyone in this situation, you guys may and please share if you do.

If you or someone you know did not get PPP Part I  but want PPP I OR II, they need to apply for Part I first … and there is a very limited pool of money. It is not possible to get PPP Part II without first getting PPP Part I. With a very limited pool of money for PPP Part I, it is possible that it may run out in short order, discrediting someone from getting PPP Part I and II …again please share at your leisure.

PPP is Forgivable and Tax Deductible for Appropriate Expenses

Some really good news on the tax front. This latest act clarified that businesses will be able to expense their loan proceeds along with forgiveness. Said another way, the loan will be forgiven if used appropriately, and the use of that loan will be allowed to flow through the Income Statement effectively allowing what Congress had originally intended, a double dip use of the money, forgiveness and tax deductions for appropriately used funds.

Stimulus checks – Break In – $600 Seems to be the Number but No Promises!

The most important thing to know from a high-level is if your income didn’t change much and you received a stimulus check earlier this year, it’s likely you will receive another.

The amount of the stimulus check is $600 (or $2000 – becoming more unlikely) and includes all parties including qualified children. As an example a husband and wife with two qualifying children would start out with four checks of $600 or $2400.

The phase outs are very similar, if not almost the exact same as the prior. Which goes to our original statement, if not much has changed and you received an original stimulus check you will probably receive another one but only around the most likely base amount of $600 per person amount.

BREAK IN – Literally as I was Working on this Post – The following hit my Inbox:

Treasury and IRS Begin Delivering the Second Round of Economic Impact Payments to Millions of Americans

WASHINGTON – Today, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service will begin delivering a second round of Economic Impact Payments to millions of Americans as part of the implementation of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.  The initial direct deposit payments may begin arriving as early as tonight for some and will continue into next week.  Paper checks will begin to be mailed tomorrow, Wednesday, December 30. This second round of payments will provide critical economic support to those who, through no fault of their own, have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Treasury and the IRS are working with unprecedented speed to issue a second round of Economic Impact Payments to eligible Americans and their families,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “These payments are an integral part of our commitment to providing vital additional economic relief to the American people during this unprecedented time.”

Eligible individuals will receive an Economic Impact Payment of up to $600 for individuals or $1200 for married couples and up to $600 for each qualifying child. Generally, if you have adjusted gross income for 2019 up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns and surviving spouses, you will receive the full amount of the second payment.  For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced. 

This second round of payments will be distributed automatically, with no action required for eligible individuals.  If additional legislation is enacted to provide for an increased amount, Economic Impact Payments that have been issued will be topped up as quickly as possible.

The swift issuance of this second round of payments follows the successful delivery of more than $270 billion in CARES Act Economic Impact Payments earlier this year, providing crucial economic support to nearly 160 million Americans.

Later this week, you may check the status of your payment at IRS.gov/GetMyPayment.  For more information about Economic Impact Payments, please visit IRS.gov/EIP.

This email was from about 5PM Tuesday evening December 29th …. reading todays news just before this post in the AM today, it is still not 100% what amount is going to be sent. Just FYI

Now back to our regularly scheduled Post!

Again we will expand on this in the coming weeks, but primarily wanted to deliver the message about the PPP Part I and PPP Part II scenario.

We apologize for interrupting your holiday season, but felt this was important enough to quickly alert and maybe share some good news to many on the Tax Write Off Front and call to action those that passed on PPP I and may want it or PPP II now!

Have a Great New Year’s … Thanks for your time!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Why Price is So Important – An Extreme Almost 17 Years to Break Even, Example!

We actually had planned on putting this in the Q1 2021 Newsletter, but you guys gave us so many great topics, this hit the cutting room floor.

This is an important enough reminder that we wanted to go ahead and send it to you!

By no means are we predicting this will occur again, and we picked a graphic example for sizzle. But living through this first hand, we know it can happen.

“Price is What you Pay, Value is What You Get!”

Warren Buffet

The following is a chart of an index that was full of dot coms … an index that ran to overzealous levels in late 1999 and early 2000.

Had an investor had the misfortune of buying at the very top, it would have taken them about 17 years to break even.

Again we’re not saying this will happen as post the 1999 .com mania many of the companies that were brought public went bankrupt in short order.

Once again, this is an extreme example of what can happen when prices move away from the true value, but worth remembering – we sure will!

Again not meant to frighten just too enlighten!

Have a Great “Reminder that Price Matters” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Another Timely Graph, Post Black Friday and Cyber Monday … Shift Key Continues to Aggravate

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday… just on our rear view mirrors…. the following neat chart from our friends at Visual Capitalist made its way to the inbox…. AND the shift key continues to cause problems.

For those that missed the November Video, the laptop shift key works inconsistently which causes major problems with strong passwords and you really never know how many thing need capitalized until you lose the shift key…haha

As you receive this, a new keyboard is being installed… lookout longer posts.

Have a Great Bricks versus Cyber Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

November 2020 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale …

Hello and Welcome to our November 2020 Financial Planning and Capital Market Update!

If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast audio format as well as Video!

Newbies –

We like to articulate our thoughts and review on a Monthly basis our Financial Planning Tips, Capital Markets and current events!

Hope you enjoy!

November Video

(YouTube)

Financial Planning Tip (s)  –

Vaccines (Times 3 and Counting) are Coming

In a great way to start the week for the past three weeks, each Monday has sported a breakthrough Vaccine announcement, first it was Pfizer, then Moderna and most recently Astrazeneca … WOW what a great way to start the week(s).

Capital Market Comments

Muted Reaction to Vaccine

Many thought the markets would have roared more post trifecta Vaccine announcements above … under the surface many companies left for dead HAVE roared, and markets have edged higher, but as mentioned most recently earlier here at current levels markets are pricing in a lot of good news already and likely are well ahead of themselves.

Have a Great November Update!

Talk to you at the end of December!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

More Good News on the Vaccine Front, Second Possible Vaccine from Moderna … Recalling Peter Diamandis Thoughts

Early on during the onset of the virus, Peter Diamandis which we wrote about here, and here, confidently said not only would there be a vaccine but there would be multiple vaccines.

One thing Diamandis missed on his estimate would be a 50% to 75% cure rate but a cocktail of vaccines combination in order to get the cure rate much higher.

Early last week Pfizer‘s announcement of an approximate 90% cure rate was one upped early this week by Moderna.

Moderna claims almost 94% cure rate

In this press release by fellow drug research and manufacturing firm Moderna their initial trials claim a possible near 94% cure rate.

Of course these are early Stage III trials but on top of the earlier Pfizer news from last week this is very exciting.

One additional positive on the Moderna over the Pfizer is their initial thoughts are the vaccine does not have to be kept at the extreme low temperature as the Pfizer trials.

In a glass is half full fashion if Diamandis correct we should expect even more vaccines to have positive curate and to be available in the market sooner rather than later.

The Future Is Really Brighter than We Think!

Have a “Vaccine is On the Way’ Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Yet ANOTHER Awesome Tracking Find… Indeed Jobs Indexes, 118 Total, Global and Domestic

We are not sure if these have been around for some time, have been created for the current situation, or are just finding our eyes….

But we like them…

First it was the TSA Throughput numbers, which we find extremely interesting in following and tracking air passenger travel, here is our latest post.

Then we stumbled upon the Kastle, back to office working tracker, here, which of all things, is a security firm at its roots, but has created a fascinating graph of office occupancy in the largest 10 cities….

Meet our latest find…

Indeed Job Posting Indexes

In true nerd like fashion, we have reviewed, in Pavlov’s dog fashion (major drooling) all 118, yep … one hundred and eighteen different indexes from Indeed.

This data comes from Indeed’s two research sites https://www.hiringlab.org/ and the raw data site https://github.com/hiring-lab/data , all of this is put together in our favorite St Louis Federal Reserve FRED website.

Here is the link to the FRED website and all 118 Indeed indexes. Multiple Countries and major cities and states included….   

These are job postings, created by Indeed and in terrific format.

Click on Chart for Huge Version or Here for my Fred Data Page Directly continual updated

We find it very interesting the variances by country. Germany is the most shallow of the drop-off in job postings … with the UK oddly being the deepest, and of note, Australia suddenly having an increase to take the lead as of late in the closest to be back to normal.

Indeed Texas Indexes

Here is a more specific regional job postings tracking of the state of Texas and cities, Austin, Dallas Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio.

Here is a link to my data page on FRED or click on Chart for Huge Version

San Antonio, the clear winner, with postings only down 7.9% from early year, our guess was Austin due to it’s high tech influence (wrong!) and the loser so far … Houston, lagging down almost 20% which makes sense due to Oil Dependency.

We will add this to our following and update posts and look forward to researching other areas of the Country/World as well as watching these continue!

Have a Great “Indeed Job Postings World Review” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Vaccine Announcement and Capital Market Reaction Thoughts … Masters Weekend … Friday

After fielding a few curious questions on the market’s reaction to the vaccine news of Monday, we thought we would briefly give you our view of the possibilities.

As we had mentioned a few times here and here Capital Markets were likely a bit over their skis. Smartly and good in our minds after an incredibly positive reaction to the vaccine news Monday market participants realized where they were with relation to earnings and likely cooled their jets.

Said another way … had we been much lower we maybe would have had a much stronger rally but being ahead of ourselves it may have tempered higher market valuations.

One Month SPX R2K

Specific industries such as travel and leisure, left for dead by many, did see significant increases, albeit from extremely low levels.

Masters Weekend

For the first time the Masters a stately golf tournament in Georgia is being played in the fall. Known as one of the most elegant golf courses and well-manicured it will be interesting to watch a Sunday conclusion under much different fall colors

But today is a Friday heading into a mid-November weekend and wonderful day in our neck of the woods getting cooler but nice fall/autumn temperatures!

Enjoy and talk to you next week!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents