Category Archives: Economy

Let’s Pace Ourselves … Whoa Market Whoa … Points Versus Percent Reminder

Most of our Posts are a work in progress for 3-5 business days prior (at least, many take months) till the actual post. We started our theme of Too fast of a Pace way before the Capital Markets started pulling back the reins. We left the title on this post as an odd coincidence of good timing!

One quick note before we start.

Points Versus Percentage

It has been a LOONG time since we have had a meaningful pause in the capital markets.

While we watch all indexes but not the Dow Jones as much, we do understand that this index is one of the most watched. “The Market” in most circles means the Dow Jones .. such the reminder.

As the Dow Jones Index has risen over the last few years, a percentage move has become a greater number of Points.

Today a 2% move is around 500 Dow Points. At the lows of the great recession of 07-09 a 500 point move would have been near an 8% move … just a friendly reminder to keep things in perspective.

Whoa Baby Whoa

Don’t get us wrong, we like growth, but just like starting a long distance race too fast, this year started too fast … proving even too much of a good thing, is still too much !

2-2-18 SPX w JK Notes and Trendlines

The first white trend line is a high double digit (~20%) annual growth line … unsustainable in itself over a longer period. The second “Super Aggressive is an approximate 40% annual rate, only to be out done by the third trend line which is over a 60% annual clip. This last line is 3x an aggressive pace … clearly unsustainable!

It would not surprise us to rest a while … a much needed rest that is.

Oh, we have plenty of excuses (rates, hot economic numbers, Fed Reserve talk) but we think the unsustainable pace was the key

Have a Great “Paced” Day!

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

 

 

 

 

January 2018 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our January 2018 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 format.

January 2018 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Fraud Reminderthief

Two and 1/2 issues in one week… No one was harmed, but it was a great reminder, they are out there!

As we mentioned in our post just prior to this one, the Grand Enchilada of Tax Forms enters the mail and electronic systems this week. These most popular forms are due by the end of January and fraudsters are taking notice.

Keep your eyes and ears out for anything suspicious!

Vault Saves Day Twice

Here in our real life experience post, we ended up needing the Vault to help save time and a HUGE hassle at a far distant Tennis Tournament. Who would have thought they would be so strict in identification at a Tennis Tournament?

Here is a neat reminder of what might do into your very own Personal Vault:

Legal Documents □ Wills □ Deeds □ Revocable & Irrevocable Trusts □Power of Attorney □ Codicils (Supplements made to a Will) □Living Wills/Health Directives □Prenuptial Agreements □ Buy/Sell Agreements □ Contracts Social Security and/or Veteran’s Administration Info Insurance Policies (Life, LTD, Disability, Medical, Car, Property) Medical Records Bank & Investment Statements □Pensions, IRAs, passport-2642170__340Annuities etc. □Investment Accounts □Stock Options/Certificates Liabilities □List of Credit Cards with contact information □ Mortgages □Loans Taxes □Tax Returns □ W-2 Forms Identification □ Birth Certificates □ Drivers Licenses □Passports Family □ Adoption Papers □ Marriage License □Pictures □ Audio Files □ Video Clips Property □Titles to Homes, Autos, Boats, etc. □ Warranties Employment Benefits

Capital Market Comments

Interest Rates

10 Year Treasury touches 2.70% – Where to next?

After floundering in the low 2% range, it appears interest rates may be on the rise. This is just in time as the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) are set to raise short term rates several times this year and the one thing we DO NOT WANT is an inverted yield curve (more on this another time).

We have argued higher rates are helpful as long as they move gradually.

So far so good!

1-29-18 10 Year Treasury

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.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

December 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Here is our December 2017 Monthly review. If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format.

So Long 2017 … Hello 2018 .. Nice to see you!

December 2017 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

You have been IRMMAAtized – Options for Relief

In our post, here and here we discuss the Medicare Means testing levels, both historic and what we are faced with in 2018.

Due to the faster lower Tiers of income, the Social Security Administration has casted a wider net for all of us.

Here are the new levels, again from our post AND in even GREATER details in our Q1 2018 Newsletter.

2017 V 2018 Medicare IRMAA levels

A life event change may create relief – Life events not limited to the following-

  • Marriage
  • Divorce/Annulment
  • Death of Your Spouse
  • Work Stoppage
  • Work Reduction
  • Loss of Income-Producing Property
  • Loss of Pension Income
  • Employer Settlement Payment

Please see our Q1 2018 Newsletter for detailed instructions on how to get relief from these faster grabbing surcharges.

Personal Spring Cleaning in the WinterUnsubscribe monitor-608241__340

Personal Reminder Email Tip

In our post mid-month here we discussed cleaning your emails to lower the Tidal Wave of daily emails.

After almost four weeks we are down to a trickle.

What was most interesting were the different experiences of who was up front and nice about the “Unsubscribe” request and who was down right dirty about letting us off their list. Surprised and disappointed with some companies.

Capital Market Comments

VIX – Fear Index Goes into Hibernation

We initially wrote in our Newsletter article and Blog post here, the VIX went to sleep … after another few closes below 10, we are coining it “Hibernation”

VIX as of 12-15-17

From 1990 to 2016 this Fear index closed below 10 a total of 9 times. During the year 2017, it has closed below that level 52 times and counting !!

Wow … Hibernation!

Interest Rate Increases

Just few years ago, with former FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) chair Ben Bernanke running the show, a miscalculated mention of a pending interest rate increase threw the Capital Markets into a tail spin – and that was just a mention of one small .25% increase. WOW-

When the history books are written on this period of time, FOMC members “Listening” to markets may be prominent, and possible reason for success.

In 2017, the FOMC raised rates 3 times with very little market disruption. They are on record for 3 more in 2018. The best part of this, market participants are not throwing a hissy fit and seem to be welcoming the increases.

Today, we think NOT increasing the rates as forecasted would cause more harm than increasing – exactly the opposite of just a few years ago. Way to pivot FOMC officials.

2017 Fed Funds Rate Bar Graph

 

Happy 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.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

Did you point-and-click shop over the weekend?

With an economy relying over two thirds in consumer spending, we keep a constant eye on consumers mood/sentiment and what they are doing, not just saying.

By most counts the most recent “Black Friday” shopping day looks good, which bodes well for our investments as the consumer continues to feel good and well … shop until they drop!

E-Commerce as a % of total Retail Sales – 10%?

In most circles this seems like a dramatic understatement. If Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and chairman, has his way this will continue to grow dramatically.

Break-in – According to most monitoring services, E-Commerce sales were up major double digits, far out pacing slightly declining brick and mortar.

Hard to believe E-Commerce is only 10% … so far, stay tuned!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

http://www.jkfinancialinc.com

http://www.street-cents.com

Pausing for a moment to realize just how good Economically it is today …

There are always shortcomings … as a growing “Type A” country, we want more and better … Let’s pause for just a moment …

Maybe my Road Trip is making me sentimental … reflective for sure

March 2009, 823 thousand jobs were reported lost

The lowest bar on this chart was on March of 2009 (coincidentally, the bottom of the great recession stock market too– digressing)

Pause for just a moment … 823k people were fired/left the workforce, IN ONE MONTH … that’s a small town !

11-1-17 All Employees

Unemployment rate hits 4.1%

By scanning the chart above, as the bars turned up the resilient USA economy started rebuilding/hiring workers again.

Looking from a different angle, last Friday the USA unemployment rate logged a fresh great recession low of 4.1%

11-1-17 Unemployment rate 10 year trailing

Pretty good stuff!

Have a “Good” Day!

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

Consumer Sentiment hits a new post Great Recession high

The University of Michigan Survey of Consumer Sentiment publishes one of several consumer sentiment indicators.

Consumer Sentiment

With a domestic economy that relies about 66% on consumer spending, a happy consumer is good for the economic outlook.

From Michigan Survey of Consumer Sentiment October 2017 update

10-13-17 Consumer Sentiment

Looking longer term, this is not an ALL TIME high, but still on the positive side.

10-13-17 Consumer Sentiment 50 years

Have a Positive Sentiment day!

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

 

 

 

Is the United States Dollar in Trouble? Nah

After a monstrous run up against almost all other currencies as the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee- Bernanke now Yellen) began raising rates ……. as a side note and preview of our headline article in our coming Newsletter, this creates headwinds for international investments as well … we digress … recent weakness has brought out the “Chicken Little’s

This chart from 2012-2015

9-16-17 US Dollar Run up 2012-2015

Year to date 2017, the United States Dollar has dropped against other currencies as our international friends begin to pick up their economic pace. Of course this creates chicken little dramatic comments of ….”The US Dollar sky is falling”

YTD 2017 US Dollar

9-16-17 US Dollar YTD 2017

The move up from 70 to 100 (First Chart) is much greater than from 100 back to 92 (Second Chart), but lets look longer term, from a fellow blogger and former chief economist, Scott Grannis…

20170907_150433563_iOS

Not only is the US Dollar not in trouble, over the long term it is still overvalued.

US Dollar in trouble? Nah, not a worry … still overvalued by many!

Have a Great “More Normal Dollar” Day!

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