Category Archives: Economy

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

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

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

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.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

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.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Interesting Consumer Purchasing Item… Upon Review, Makes Total Sense!

As you may know we have found several interesting items to follow this year….

First was the TSA throughput, measuring the upward trend in traffic passing through TSA security … here, here and here

Then we stumbled upon the Kastle back to work index, showing commercial office vacancy rates of the ten largest cities – interesting Kastle is a security monitoring company among other things, but hence the ability to share the data.

Used Auto Prices

Recently through the grapevine we heard stories of used auto purchase increases, which make sense as folks exit the larger metro areas and possibly avoid crowded public transportation …

So here is a longer dated chart …

Let’s look a little closer …magnifying the most recent activity

So this is the Price Index for Used Cars and Trucks from the St. Louis Fed (FRED) database….

Surprising at first, but upon second thought…. not surprising at all !

We will keep track, and hope you find it maybe just a little bit as interesting as we do!

Have a Great “Used Car and Truck Flying off the shelf” 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

Kastle Systems Back to Work Barometer, Another Neat Measurement … Friday

The things we find during such unusual times to measure have just fascinated us, earlier this week the TSA Throughput numbers (reviewing a graph scaling issue – hat tip JP)

Recently we ran across a really neat graphical presentation of folks returning to office buildings.

Meet the Kastle Return To Work Barometer

Kastle based in Virginia, is a comprehensive security and surveillance company with a really neat Graph aka Barometer …..

Good news…. locals, Dallas is leading the charge back to work in the office …

Looking closer…. its a low hurdle of under 40% … and that is well overstated in our area and Downtown!

Like the TSA Throughput numbers mentioned earlier, we will continue to monitor this moving forward … will be interesting to see aw we get back to full capacity!

Ahhhhh… today is a Friday and with a SUPER busy week (Happily of Course) we are looking to a restful weekend … Enjoy!

Have a Great Day and Weekend!

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

Finally Taxes are Done … Rob Kaplan Federal Reserve Chair Town Hall Personal Embarrassment …

Whew…. that was easy…. NOT!

Finally we can say goodbye to 2019 taxes … Wednesday Marked the due day for personal Federal Income Tas Extensions.

Luckily (where work and opportunity cross – neat saying heard recently) in the fall of 2019 we went through EVERY taxable portfolio and confirmed tax basis – both reported and unreported to the IRS…. never knowing what this year would bring. This exercise effectively minimized tax documents to one report per account.

Glad we are done!

A Nerd Incident with Robert Kaplan and the Dallas Federal Reserve

On Wednesday of this week, yours truly attended a Virtual Town Hall chaired by Robert Kaplan (pretty big Fan, here is a link to nine articles we have written for those interested).

In true nerd multitasking form, the Zoom meeting started, on the Cell, why not listen while jogging? Cell inserted into runners band on arm and away we go!

Expect comments on the talk, it was very good and interesting…..

Post jog, cell back off runners arm band and onto the couch as the live question and answer session had commenced.

Then this:

Next Question is from John!

Quick glance to the cell and an Unmute flashing button was covering my entire screen! Yikes

“John you must Unmute your device

Twice from the moderator then twice from Robert Kaplan

With no question, the Unmute button was not going to be touched! Finally after what was likely 5 seconds, but felt like 5 awkward minutes, the moderator and Kaplan moved on!

Whew, embarrassing moment averted… or was it!

A question or two later and then this:

“Ok, that was our last question, let’s go back to John and see if we can get his question answered!

Oh No!!!!

This time the Zoom video was shut off before the Unmute logo hit the phone screen….

Can’t make this up!

Hope you enjoyed a nerds chance encounter with Robert Kaplan and maybe even got a chuckle.

Enjoy your Friday, and your weekend …. going to be chilly for the first time in our neck of the woods…. talk 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

Q 4 2020 Newsletter Video Audio Podcast Review of Year Events, Cause and Effects By John Kvale

Welcome to our Video and Audio Podcast Review of our Q 4 2020 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 here 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

Unlike the last two Newsletters which had very little economic and market related comments, this one is all about where we have been, what has occurred and where we may be going!

J.K. Financial q 4 2020 newsletter

Let’s get going!

Thanks in advance!

Q 4 2020 Newsletter

(YouTube)

As the spread of the Covid Virus occurred, Capital Market Participants in true anticipation form, voted with their feet and sold assets across the board well ahead of the eventual lock downs.

The largely followed S&P 500 (Larger US Companies) fell over 33% along with major international markets such as the German Dax falling over 35% and US Small companies represented by the Russell 2000, falling over 40%.

The most startling item of the drop was the speed at which this drop occurred, 27 days!

Ignoring the speed of these most recent declines is a bad idea as we need only look earlier in 2018 to see ANOTHER very fast drop.

The FOMC Steps In – Lowers Rates

By Mid-March as Capital Markets continued their descent, the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) led by Jerome Powell, dropped the hammer on interest rates by a full 1% to zero. During normal times, .25% is the usual adjustment as can be seen by the late 2019 and early 2020, non-crisis adjustments.

FOMC Adds More Fuel

Correctly using the financial crisis of 07-09 as the play book, the FOMC took the bazooka out, and starting buying assets to flood the markets with liquidity.  The current bazooka is much bigger (about 3 X) this time as can be seen by the difference in balance sheet increase of $1 Trillion in 07-09 versus the $ 3 Trillion and counting increase currently.

It Worked (Maybe Too Well), Capital Markets Took Notice

You know us to be very positive – all through the many negatives that have occurred !

You also know we will call it like we see it!

Markets have officially gone too far and are ahead of themselves, expect bumps and no extra risk taking is warranted at this time – CAREFUL!

We hope you enjoy … talk to you Next Year – 2021 !!!

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

Heavy Week Concludes … Month End … Family Favorite Coming … Friday …

With two heavy posts this week, here and here and not only were they heavy, but they were about the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee), Interest Rates, CPI (Consumer Price Index) and the Trimmed Mean Inflation measures…. Y.A.W.N for many!

Ya Ya we know you guys may not find this stuff as interesting as we do, but we like to at least let you know what we are watching and call attention to some of this so as to know what may or may not change or cause issues… thanks for the reading this week….

Month End Coming

With the afore mentioned heavy posts and month end coming along with two Video reviews shortly (Newsletter and September) we thought we could slide into the weekend as it is a Friday….

Speaking of Month End…. this brings a family favorite into view OCTOBER which means HALLOWEEEN … (over week ago of rats, pumpkins and a Crow that keeps falling of the front rail of the entry at the house already set up for the occasion) – not kidding – ok so yours truly has become fond of the warmer months along with the long days…. but occasionally the guard is let down….. the Mrs. and Myself from a few years ago ….

Hope at least got a chuckle …. Green Make Up stuck around for weeks

Next week, back to heavy … and lot’s to talk about …

Today is a Friday … Enjoy your weekend and see 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