Category Archives: Economy

Fourth Quarter 2021 Review, Looking Ahead, Private Policy

As the year ended, we cannot help but look back, especially over the last two years, and maybe even farther, to the ups and downs that have occurred, and we are delighted to be on this journey with you!

Thank you for the Collaborative Journey; but “What Have We Done Lately?”

In true “What have we done lately!” form, as we look forward to 2022 and are always very careful to stray from a definitely forecast (burns from prior years attempts) we want to call your attention to the main article in our Newsletter called “The Anatomy of a Slowdown/Recession”.

We are not predicting a slowdown, nor do we want one, but we also know they do come, eventually!

The last decade has given us unique experiences that are somewhat muted from the normal slowdowns. A dramatic drop in 2020, followed by a dramatic and extremely fast recovery.  In similar fashion, two drops in 2018, one early in the year and one late. Collectively, all very short in time!

If we really show our age (mostly present party speaking here) and look back to 2007-2009, that experience was the opposite of a normal slowdown and the absolute antithesis of the prior mentioned slowdowns, long deep and very frightening. Only to follow a 1999 to 2002 similar dramatic slowdown (really showing our age now, but we were there!)

So back to What Have We Done Lately, as we turn the page on the new year many of our allocations may need to be trimmed back “lower our risk“ and this may cause us to incur taxes depending on the situation.

We are always cognizant of taxes, heck we hate taxes and try to minimize them at all cost,  but we don’t want the tax tail wagging the investment risk dog, and as such allocations and reallocations causing taxes but for the benefit of the portfolio safety may occur early this year.

Thanks again for enjoying the journey together, please make sure you are receiving automatic emails from our blog at www.street-cents.com as we post every MWF at 10:30 am CDT

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

Enclosure (2021Report, Private Policy)

J.K. Financial, Inc.

PRIVACY POLICY NOTICE

Our Promise to You

As a client of J.K. Financial, Inc., you share both personal and financial information with us.  Your privacy is important to us, and we are dedicated to safeguarding your personal and financial information.

Information Provided by Clients 

In the normal course of doing business, we typically obtain the following non-public personal information about our clients:

  • Personal information regarding our clients’ identity such as name, address and social security number;
  • Information regarding securities transactions effected by us; and
  • Client financial information such as net-worth, assets, income, bank account information and account balances.

How We Manage and Protect Your Personal Information

We do not sell information about current or former clients to third parties, nor is it our practice to disclose such information to third parties unless requested to do so by a client or client representative or, if necessary, in order to process a transaction, service an account or as permitted by law

In order to protect your personal information, we maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your personal information.  Our Privacy Policy restricts the use of client information and requires that it be held in strict confidence.

Client Notifications

We are required by law to annually provide a notice describing our privacy policy.  In addition, we will inform you promptly if there are changes to our policy.

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

.

Kastle Office Work Index Shows New Normal … Pivot Without the Blink of an Eye …

Had a much heavier post for today, but this hit the inbox early on in the week and my jaw dropped, so thought it worth sharing…

Kastle Back To Work Index – Fast Pivot

The Kastle Back To Work Index has been one of our favorite early finds, and is a fantastic idea of a mostly Security Monitoring service company using their resources for fantastic reporting…

So, looking back at last December (2020) there was a natural Holiday gravitation away from the office (Hat tip JH) …. but nothing like the fast pivot occurring most recently….

A smooth pivot to work from home and a slice down to half in two weeks…. amazing….

Kastle Barometer

Likely the world we live in from now on…. more of a mandatory progress…. but very interesting how fast society adapts….

Have a Great “Easy Pivoting” 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

Q1 2022 J.K. Financial, Inc. Newsletter … Video Audio Podcast Review ! By John Kvale CFA, CFP

Welcome to our Video and Audio Podcast Review of our Q1 2022 Newsletter. For those on the road or just unable to grab the time to read, our podcast type review gives you the behind the scenes insight to our thoughts, observations and deep views of the entire Newsletter.

Click the Download button below, for a direct link to an electronic version (an early peek-good ole fashion paper versions are on their way to you shortly) and here for our Newsletter page

Let’s get going! We hope you enjoy!

Q 1 2022 Newsletter

(YouTube)

Anatomy of a Slowdown/Recession

In our main article, we review the last three drawdowns/slowdowns/recession for examples of how fast they occurred and the extremely fast recovery as can be seen by the main graph below.

We are not calling for a major slowdown/recession or the like, but we wanted to remind ourselves as well as everyone else, the last three drawdowns were not normal.

Longer drawdowns are the norm, and in the Newsletter Article we also go deeper into the Great Financial Crisis of 07-09, which was also not normal… it was much larger and much longer than the normal.

The past decade and a half have had it’s scary moments, but they did not last very long and were quickly attacked by the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) to give support in the system, fortunately very successfully. This may not always be the case, hence a reminder of the Umbrella use during sun shining times!

New Retirement Contribution Maximums, Best Practice, Tips and Tricks

The new retirement maximums are out at the IRS Website .

Again in our Newsletter article we remind those of smooth contributions throughout the year, UNLESS you have knowledge that may have you severed from your 401k some time during the year, in which a neat trick is to accelerate you contribution level in order to max that 401k out before you leave!

IRAs2022202120202019
401(k), 403(b), Profit-Sharing Plans, etc.2022202120202019
Annual Compensation305,000290,000285,000280,000
Elective Deferrals20,50019,50019,50019,000
Catch-up Contributions6,5006,5006,5006,000
Defined Contribution Limits61,00058,00057,00056,000
IRA Contribution Limit$6,000$6,000$6,000$6,000
IRA Catch-Up Contributions1,0001,0001,0001,000
Traditional IRA AGI Deduction Phase-out Starting at2022202120202019
Joint Return109,000105,000104,000103,000
Single or Head of Household68,00066,00065,00064,000
SEP2022202120202019
SEP Minimum Compensation650650600600
SEP Maximum Contribution61,00058,00057,00056,000
SEP Maximum Compensation305,000290,000285,000280,00

We hope you enjoy … talk to you in 2022!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

Department of Transportation (DOT) Travel Volume Updates … Urban still Lag … Rural Rocking and Rolling

Over the weekend, the latest Department of Transportation (DOT) road travel update hit the in-box….ya ya, a bit nerd like to look forward to an update from the DOT, digressing…

While we have analyzed this before, here back in May of this year and we really like the fact that the graphs are the exact same but just updated, so it is an easy comparison…..

A new observation – Look at the graph just after the Great Financial Crisis of 07-09 – Peaking in 2009 and taking 5, yep Five full years before regaining a new high… WOW!

This speaks to the brevity of this most recent recession…. Coming up shortly a review of the Q1 2022 Newsletter will speak directly to the more normal lengths of slowdowns…. i.e. 2020 was a real short one, and 07-09 was a longer, bigger one!

DOT Total All Roads

Urban (City) Highways

The lack of recapture is completely due to Urban highway traffic (A few times lately in my personal city driving, find this hard to believe, but small sample size).

Continued work from home/remote, speaks to this shortfall!

Rural Highway

Notice the fall was shorter, recoup much faster and currently as of this year, a complete recovery….

This makes sense as rural transportation is extremely important, and as such, much less discretionary!

Have a Great “DOT Transportation 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

National Apartment Rent Cost Increase 2017 to Present from Apartmentlist.com … A 30% Increase YTD – Wow!

We had been very excited to show you this, but needed Copyright approval first.

A very timely update to our end of the week CPI analysis.

Last week we finally got Copyright approval….

So here we go!

National Rental Costs from Apartmentlist.com

We have been hearing of rent increases, but did not have a great way to track it. After running across the fantastic Apartment site at www.apartmentlist.com, which has over 5 million apartments and counting for rent, and they are collecting data.

The following is the National Average from 2017 to present. More specific geographic areas are available, but we wanted to use the broadest measure.

Rising rent costs are an understatement, the move from the beginning of the year is approaching 30%…. yep a 30% increase in rent, NATIONWIDE

With Shelter being such a large portion of not only the CPI, but many families expenses, this is worth watching closely!

Have a Great “Rent Increases Analysis” 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

CPI (Consumer Price Index) Prints 6.8% Year over Year Increase, Quick Analysis on Likely Peak … Friday

About three hours ago, the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) released their November 2021 report on CPI (Consumer Price Index) one of the broadest measures of Inflation…

If you have noticed your grocery basket smaller and more expensive, this is why….

This report has a ton of factors in it, as can be seen at the top of the chart from the BLS report, below….

The year over year print was 6.8% increase!

A very large portion of the CPI is Energy…

Have you noticed a LOWER bill to fill your tank lately?

The BLS report is lagging, below is a current Oil price, which is over 10% LOWER currently… hence the cheaper refills…

Very likely peak in CPI as measured by the BLS, next month which will be released in early January, we will take a peak and keep you updated…

Ok, another slightly heavy Friday, BUT the FOMC is watching this very closely and making decisions based on this increase, which may be peaking/lagging already…. Let’s stay tuned!

Have a Great “Friday CPI Analysis” 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

The Great Bottle Neck – Port of Los Angeles – Visual Capitalist

No doubt, in some form or fashion you have experienced some delay in a product.

Maybe a home furnishing?

Maybe a part or tool?

Maybe a vehicle?

Maybe clothing?

This great chart and comments from our friends here at Visual Capitalist helps explain:

Stuck at Sea

As of November 2, 2021, the Port of Los Angeles reported that it had 93 vessels waiting in queue. Altogether, these ships have a maximum carrying capacity of roughly 540,000 containers (commonly measured in twenty-foot equivalent units or TEUs).

On the other side of the equation, the port processed 468,059 import containers in September (the most recent data at the time of writing). Because the port does not operate on Sundays, we can conclude that the port can load roughly 18,000 containers each day.

That capacity seems unlikely to reduce the congestion. Over a two-week timeframe in September, 407,695 containers arrived at the Port of Los Angeles, which averages to around 29,000 containers arriving each day.

Have a Great “Delayed Supply Explanation” 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

Reviews of FULL Two Days of Virtual Gathering…. Cyber, Inflation Transitory NOT, Interesting Fatigue from Event…

Last week the team happily carefully gathered and divided to maximize our time at a two day Virtual Conference that is usually “In Person” lasts about a week, and is located in alternating years on the West Coast and then the East…

The conference lasted two days (Tuesday and Wednesday 10 am-3 pm) and was a straight (small morning break of 20 minutes, but no lunch break or bathroom break) five hours each day, with overlapping events except for several “Main” general sessions such as a talk with Ben Bernanke….

The method of attack was for each of us to choose what looked the most interesting and if there was an accidental overlap of desired events, one change to a different session. Oddly, and maybe this speaks to each of desires and roles, we rarely overlapped… there were a few sessions that were “Full” , for the record not sure how a virtual session can get full, but oh well…

As of this time, the sessions are not up for post live review so our review here is part for our own notes (living diary) and mostly for your shared knowledge …

Cyber Threats and Interesting Home Threat Note

Regular followers know we take Cyber security VERY seriously, and just by chance yours truly ended up in lengthy Cyber Security sessions on both days.

Key Takeaways from an office standpoint were more two factor authorizations (extra step of logging into important programs that includes a text to cell)

For the record over the weekend after telling the team last week “I always have my cell” a chance package delivered to the office led a trip up to the office with the cell in the car and the need to log into an important program….. Guess I DON’T always have my cell…haha

A new interesting reminder for those that work from home at all was a statement “If your home router is older than three years and especially if not a commercial router, you may be unsecure!” This of course led to a quick review of each of our home set ups with the note of having a now 14 year old gamer, and a complete security review of all at home security was completed…. just for extra security additional security was set up along with a special at home “Guest Wifi” rather than the family’s for friends who may carry unwanted programs into the network…

Inflation Less Transitory than Thought

Jerome Powell, chair of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) during a speaking event last week mentioned that the coming inflation may be less transitory than initially expected…

Recall this was the main debate at the Mauldin SIC conference early in the Second Quarter as mentioned here and in our Q 3 2021 Newsletter..

Several guests, most notably Lizanne Saunders echoed this thought during a fast speaking opening session…

The basic thought originally was the CPI line below would roll over quickly, now more are thinking it may last longer, especially with the afore mentioned FOMC on record to allow without intervention…

Interesting Observable Fatigue from Event

This was one our first events of this length and without much of a break, we all noted an interesting (high) level of fatigue. It seems like there would be no reason for any tiredness given sitting in front a computer for 10 hours in two days, but is sure was.. heck we were not participants, only observers…

Will keep a tab on this moving forward, sure others have experienced the same, but our first notable occurrence.

Have a Great “Virtual Conference” Update!

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 3 2021 Review – Let the Taper Begin, Interest Rates, Bumpy Season

Let the Taper Begin

In late 2018 the FOMC learned a valuable lesson that they are intent on not repeating.  At their most recent FOMC meeting Jerome Powell, chair, made it very clear that the large monthly asset purchases, $120 billion to be exact, will begin to be tapered.  Powell also made it very clear that the eventual raising of interest rates would not occur until the taper was complete unlike the events of 2018 in which the FOMC tapered and increased short-term interest rates at the same time, much to market participants dismay.

Bottom line if all goes well scheduled monthly asset purchases will be trimmed and eventually reach zero sometime next year.

Interest Rates

The most widely followed interest rate, the 10-year US treasury, after having a startling move earlier this year from under 1% to over 1.7% dropped back down to the low 1.2% during the most recent slowdown due to the variant.

Whether Powell’s comments, or the turning of the variant, interest rates have taken note and moved up smartly to over 1.5% beginning the normalization of higher interest rates which is very good long-term for the financial system

Kyle Bass Predictions

In our Q4 Newsletter we noted some very positive predictions from local financial mogul Kyle Bass, namely oil reaching $100 a barrel before the year end and continued Federal Reserve protection along with a push through to the end of the variant.

Hopefully all of these predictions come true.

The Worst of Times the Best of Times

September and October tend to be the most challenging months for Capital Markets mostly due to large institutions, think Fidelity as an example, closing their books on the year which make for more volatile times. So far, this theme seems to have played true.

The good news is notwithstanding our 2018 example from above, November and December tend to be some of the better months of the calendar.

As we head to the end of the year, we will be watching all of these and many other things very closely and will be communicating live on our blog at street-cents.

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder J.K. Financial, Inc.

Federal Reserve Detailed Analysis from Last Weeks Announcement … A Very Stern Jerome Powell

As mentioned in our Preview Post last week, we have been watching the FOMC as their posture is due to change with regards to the stimulus put in motion early last year….

Jerome Powell Gets Tough

Recall as the economy was shut down last year the FOMC chaired by Jerome Powell and its members moved interest rates on the short end of the curve to zero and commenced a $120 billion per month purchase of treasuries and mortgage back securities. Both of these moves were to help stimulate the economy and to stabilize the capital markets.

Meeting their goal of stabilization and a much-improved economy the FOMC are ready to shift policies and unless any major economic or other disruption occurs Powell made it very clear that he expects policymakers to begin decreasing the $120 billion per month purchases, and if all goes well to have completely stopped monthly purchases by mid-2022.

As mentioned in some of our prior posts this message has been floated by multiple fed presidents and Capital Markets seem to be taking this news in stride, much to participants and reserve members’ pleasure.

Much of the mainstream media seemed to report that there was no major change in policy or tone to which we disagree.  In listening to Powell especially in his interviews after the pre-plan reading of notes, he seemed much firmer and resolved to stop the monthly purchases and the tone in his voice in our minds, let us know if this would occur in the very near future.

As has been mentioned before many of our fellow professional investors have long desired this happened many months ago, but no matter, it appears that it is about to occur slowly and diligently, and capital markets are accepting.

On another totally different and non-market related and non-economic related topic several federal reserve members had transactions over the past year that were not optically good for the federal reserve. One of the members is our very own favorite Robert Kaplan who had multiple large transactions in securities that the federal reserve was involved.

While we will voice no opinion on this … Jerome Powell was very stern surprisingly, and in our mind so stern that it could be an occupational loss for some of these members. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this, but this is not the end of it and once again Powell was very angry and forceful on this point.

Bottom line we would expect a taper, slow lane of monthly purchases to commence shortly and will be watching interest rates which have already made some moves as well as capital market participation.

Have a Great “About to Taper” 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