Category Archives: Economy

Q 1 2021 Review – Three V’s: Vaccine, Volume of Money, Valuation

Vaccines, Volume of Money, Valuations 

With the continued increase of the number of people getting the vaccine a much-welcomed sigh of relief is being felt across the country and most of the globe. Thankfully thus far the variance seems not to pose a terrible threat and most continue even post vaccine to take the appropriate precautions. This is leading to a slow Opening of the country and a light at the end of the tunnel heading back to some type of normalcy. 

Volume of Money 

The Federal Reserve (FOMC) led by Chairman Jerome Powell continue to buy assets at the rate of $120 billion a month. With a main goal of lowering the Unemployment rate, these funds of course are giving a boost to Capital Markets and providing massive volume liquidity. 

Additionally, the Fed has short term rates at zero and has stated they intend to keep them there for some time. This is also a stimulus for certain parts of the economy, but also a boosting effect on Asset Prices. 

With Fed controlled short interest rates being held low, longer term rates, notably on the 10-year US Treasury have been moving up in minor protest by bond vigilantes that economic stimulus may be too much, fortunately at this time there seems to be no effect. 

With the FED on record saying that short term rates are deemed to stay low, their first move back to normalcy maybe to pair back the purchases.  Our interest will be, when, and if this occurs, and more importantly, capital market participants reactions.  


As mentioned, multiple times in our blog at and again our Q2 2021 Newsletter, valuations by almost any metric are stretched. 

While valuations may be a more somber note, the re-opening and vaccine completion rates should dribble into corporate earnings, the ultimate driver of capital markets and possibly provide a wonderful “Grow into our Valuation” affect. 

If you asked us for our candid opinion, we would like capital markets to trend sideways while we grow into our valuations. Continued rise in capital markets could lead to a bumpier ride once the Fed adjust their policy. 

We of course will be watching carefully!  �


John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Get Ready for Some Possibly Very Positive Macro Economic Reports …. The Year Over Year Comparison

In some ways it seems like an eternity…. in others it seems like a weird dream …. and in others it seems like only yesterday we started with a shutdown of the US Economy to thwart the spread of Covid….

Fast forward to today and we are almost exactly one year to the day when direct Economic Effects began ….

Get Ready For Some Crazy Macro Reports

Many, but not all Economic reports are Year over Year comparisons…

Imagine as we compare reports to an almost shut down economy, especially just in the very near term… to a much more robust, but of course not at full capacity Economy?

Here is the GDP from Fred (Federal Reserve St. Louis) – A rather slower moving Economic Measurement

Today, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Reported the most recent CPI number… here

This is February 2020 to February 2021 – likely to look much different next month!

Over the next few quarters many Economic numbers may have some really jaw dropping changes… just be aware it is likely better to use month over month comparisons if possible for a better measure.

We bet we will all see some pretty interesting Headline Reported numbers though!

Have a Great “Crazy Economic Report Watch” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.



Interesting Research From a Podcast – Food Price Correlation to Inflation, Assets and Other Linkage

Over the weekend while on an extended walk with the 16 year old’s dog, a new Podcast Series from Grant Williams had an interesting guest with an even more interesting theory…

The theory from the guest was that food prices and the increase and decrease there of acts as and inflationary or deflationary force on economies.

His logic was that we must all eat and if you watch food prices around the world you can see a big correlation to not only the afore mentioned economic forces but also government interaction to help offset bad side effects of these movements….


Meet the USDA Economic Research Department

Being HUGE fans of government research sites, (no copyright problems) the USDA Economic Research Department of Agriculture is a new one on our radar…not only that, but this huge page of Interactive Graphs will be watched more closely with important ones likely finding a place here for all of our collective review….

Our favorite starting point graphs to follow … note food is third on the expenditure list … lending credence to Grants podcast guest view:

How about food price movement as it relates to Economic Cycles?

There were certainly spikes prior to these three recessions….

Here is a more detailed chart of expenditures of food at the personal level:

On the margin, food has cost less out of pocket over time.

Ya, ya we are nerds, but this is very interesting stuff to us, especially such a new and interesting Theory worth watching!

Have a Great “Watching Food Price” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.



January 2021 Financial Planning and Capital Market Review – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our January 2021 (First Monthly Review of the New Year) 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!

January 2021 Video – First of Year


Financial Planning Tips

Required Minimum Distributions Now 72

As mentioned here in our post, do not feel bad if you lost track of changes, as in just over 12 months there were THREE – yes three major laws implemented.

Late December of 2019, the SECURE act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement) among other things, upped the first mandatory RMD (Required Minimum Distributions) from Qualified/IRA/401k type plans to 72!

The Covid 19 related Cares Act passed in late March of 2020 nullified RMD’s for all of 2020, making for some confusion.

Second Stimulus Check Update

In this post, we review the new Stimulus check amounts, and where you can CAREFULLY go to check the status of your check…. here are the highlights…

Generally, U.S. citizens and resident aliens who are not eligible to be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s income tax return are eligible for this second payment. Eligible individuals will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment of up to $600 for individuals or $1,200 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.

Here is the link to the US Government tracking site:

Once open need to Click on “Get My Payment” Tab

Be very careful when opening this site to NOT allow your browser to jump to any other site than that associated with the IRS as you will be asked for confidential information!

Capital Market Comments

Buffett Back Of Napkin Valuation Metric

After happily receiving an “OK” to reprint graphs directly from the CEO of this industry publication – Look Out, there are tons of Great Articles that we look forward to bringing you!

Up first, a great broad Buffett “Back of the Napkin” Market Value Metric- This is the Market Capitalization of the S&P 500 divided by the US Gross Domestic Production…. This measure has never been this high before- sending a warning signal for Current Valuations.

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

Chart Via Jill Mislinski 1-5-21 (Advisor Perspectives)

Happy Start to the New Year!

Have a Great Day and Super Start to the New Year!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.



An Interesting Look at Airbnb …

This neat chart here from our friends at Visual Capitalist shows interesting facts of a family favorite Airbnb..

The third chart is most interesting to us…. the huge number of listed rooms, which is not surprising upon further thought of the business model… individuals homes or second homes.

Have a Great “Airbnb Reviewed” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.



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.



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  For more information about Economic Impact Payments, please visit

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.



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 and the raw data site , 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.



Kaplan Town Hall Review … Second Most Recent FOMC Update Meeting Last Week… Procrastination Leads to Lucky Update

As mentioned in our embarrassing post here recently The Dallas Federal Reserve had a Town Hall meeting with special guest speaker Dallas federal president reserve Robert Kaplan.

One of our favorite things to do is listen to people like Robert Kaplan in less public venues in order to try and get their candid or less guarded opinions.

This will make the 10th article talking about Kaplan and as such you may notice that we are pretty big fans.

Kaplan Town Hall Candid Comments

What was interesting about this town Hall meeting was that Kaplan for the first time since his tenure at the FOMC dissented about the federal reserves decision due the fact the the FOMC made a three pronged approach for their interest rate movement decisions.

What do we mean? In the released report from the FOMC chaired by Jerome Powell but with Robert Kaplan a voting member at the meeting they released the following unique statement

1. We intend on having interest rates lower for longer – In Kaplan’s opinion and ours, that was enough

2. We will keep interest rates lower even if inflation ticks up – this is the comment that Kaplan had an issue with and we do as well as we have written multiple times ( here here here and here ) that inflation may actually raise its head , Kaplan agreed!

3. Until a very lower rate of unemployment. is established we will also wait to raise rates

That’s just too many strings to attach to the FOMC and to especially hand over to future decisions makers!

Kaplan, during the Town Hall Event

Maybe the reason we like Kaplan so much is he seems to think very much like we do and have similar concerns. By attaching these three points together future Federal Reserve board members are being bound by a multi point limitation that could cause problems. What if one of these points gets dramatically above target but another is not thereby limiting the increase in interest rates?

Kaplan … like us, believes that there is a time in the not too distant future where interest rates will need to be raised and normalized not only for inflation limitations but also for industries that rely on higher interest rates.

Kaplan also mentioned that low interest rates for too long of a period of time may cause people to take greater risks than they otherwise would.

Lastly, Kaplan once again seeing eye to eye with our beliefs, said that low interest rates for too long of a period of time becomes not only helpful but a stimulus that is unneeded once the economy gets rolling.

Time will tell but once again we like Kaplan’s thoughts on higher interest rates potentially sooner rather than later but likely a year or so out!

Updated Thoughts From More Recent FOMC Statement

So time flew past us on getting this post to you, but in true making Lemonade out of Lemons fashion, something neat occurred….

Our Procrastination lead to a Lucky Update!

Last week, the FOMC released their latest statement here and guess what?

No strings like the prior meeting, just simple slow economy stuff and, Kaplan voted FOR the opinion… no dissenting this time.

Maybe the FOMC members have already backed down from their prior “Strings Attached” discussion!

Have a Great “Kaplan FOMC” Update!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.



Sun on the Horizon … Possible Vaccine … Possible Sigh of Relief

There are multiple reports out this AM that Pfizer along with a biotech partner have discovered a Vaccine that is up to 90% effective in curing infected participants.

Here is the actual press release directly from the company, for your viewing.

Being released from such a large and credible company gives this news legs. There may be disappointments, but the company mentions in the release a goal of selling the vaccine by the end of the month,

This is fast breaking news, but of course very, very good news and may have ripple effects around the world.

A large sigh of relief along with the possibility of returning to some type of normalcy may be in the cards…

Let’s hope this turns out to be accurate and available as they say….if so, we can all mark our calendars, as this may be a very important day, now and in the future!

Have a Great Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.