Category Archives: Interest Rates

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

Bond Markets and Participants Say Raise Rates Mid 2022, FOMC Says WAY later (EOY 2022), Who is Correct?

Why this is important? Bond Markets are signaling a much faster interest rate increase(s) than Fed Speak… Someone is going to lose this game of chicken… Only time will tell us who?

Frequently, Wall Streeters (my nick name) are quoted as saying the smartest guys in the room are the Bond Markets/Participants.

Some of this rhetoric comes from the simplicity of a bond. Basically you have a time to payback (term) and risk of the asset (Quality i.e. Aa to junk).

With less to focus on, bonds and their players/participants are thought to have greater clarity…. However, in recent years (working on a decade now) the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) led by Jerome Powell currently, have been making direct purchases of bonds, causing possible distortions and lack of true free market discovery….

Well Maybe!

Recent Two Year Treasury Yields Rise Dramatically

Throwing water on the theme that the FOMC has taken TOTAL control of the bond market, this recent move in the 2 year treasury is signally to the FOMC by bond folks, they expect (and want) rate hikes sooner rather than later….. Hmmmmm

CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) FOMC Watch Tool

This neat CME Fed Watch Tool … overlays the current interest rates with a graph to show an expected increase time probability…

The way to read this chart is the orange represents the chance of a FOMC rate increase… March of 22 showing about a 20% chance of a FOMC rate increase….

Push forward to June 22, just two months later, and the probability of at least a .25% increase moves to about 80%!

The thing is, the FOMC is saying maybe one increase very late next year (2022), but certainly not the bond market/participants.

Wait too long and the FOMC may miss their chance to raise … raise too early (not likely at this time) and it could cause an unexpected headwind for the economy.

Let’s grab some popcorn and see who wins this tug of war!

Have a Great “Fed versus Bond Market” 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

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

Hello and Welcome to our October 2021 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!

BREAK IN – HONORED BY D MAGAZINE NOMINATION

Important Disclosure

October 2021 Video

YouTube

Financial Planning Tip(s)

Cell Text Spam and Calls

With the handy, cell phone which is almost like carrying around a powerful computer, replacing our land lines, in this post we remind all to be very careful in which calls you answer and most importantly clicking on a hot link of a text you may have received on you cell… DO NOT BITE!

Here is an example of a very dangerous spam text – do not click on that hotlink as you will be directed to a bad place that may cause your cell harm…

Grant Williams Podcast with Sam Zell

A new found favorite way of continued learning and education, frequently while jogging or walking, in this post, a review of a fantastic hour long podcast with Sam Zell via the Grant Williams Podcast series…

Favorite Notes:

Staying Power is the name of the game… No surprises!

Real money by long term holdings, be patient.

Will you slow down?  People ask me that all the time…”Slow down from what…I like what I do,”

Capital Market Comments

Bonds, Interest Rate Headwind Reminders

In 2018 as interest rates smartly began rising, we reminded folks, those especially with more conservative allocations (larger allocations to bonds) that the immediate effect of higher interest rates are a slight headwind to bond portfolios. For the record, they are big headwinds to very long dated bond portfolios i.e. 30 years, which is why we stay away from such portfolios…

Fast forward to the beginning of the year and very recently, we felt the need to remind again here. The fantastic news is that with shorter dated portfolios as mentioned above, this headwind turns into money in our pockets in the form of higher income as rates again smartly rise on the expectation of greater economic growth prospects.

Have a Great Day, Talk to You at the End of November!

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

Bonds and Interest Rate Movement Analysis/Reminder, Bonds are the Voice of Reason Portion of Portfolio’s, Friend and Foe

Almost every portfolio needs some type of bond investment. Bonds cushion movements during volatile times, kick off regular interest payments usually very frequently and act as a foundation for the entire portfolio.

Bonds are the voice of reason in our portfolios… Much like the friend you had that always calmly mentioned the risk associated with some youthful action that upon second thought was not a good idea…

While a cushion and form of stability during bad times, during higher interest rate times, they act as a small headwind.

Bonds and Interest Rates – Tug of War

As interest rates move up, bonds face a bit of a headwind in the short term, but eventually they catch up to the new higher prevailing interest rate through either maturity in the form of individual holdings or run off in Mutual Fund Holdings.

The following chart show a good example of rates down, bonds up and then the change of rates up and bonds down a bit…

Green = Rates Red=Bond Fund

Just a friendly reminder of short term headwinds by our must have friend, the bond!

Have a Great “Bond v Interest Rates” Reminder 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 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.

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

Hello and Welcome to our September 2021 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!

September 2021 Video

YouTube

Financial Planning Tip(s)

Email Providers

In this post, we spoke to the safety of signing your name to the biggest email providers if possible for your own safety….

Of course not all names will be available, but if yours is, it is a great idea to take it, even if you never use the email platform… think scammers acting as you!

Capital Market Comments

Jerome Powell Gets Angry, Taper Coming

In this market related post, we noted that Powell, head of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) was very stern in taper talk as well as the following quote from us:

“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.”

Unfortunately, Kaplan our favorite announced his retirement as well as the other board member, before the end of the day after our post!

Have a Great Day, Talk to You at the End of October!

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

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

Robert Kaplan Dallas FOMC President Town Hall Analysis and Update, New York President Williams Chimes in, Wall Street Journal’s Favorite Fed Reporter Too – Taper Transition to Begin

While not sure why all Federal Reserve Chairs do not do this type of event … there are an even dozen Fed Banks scattered across the country for roots in various geographic areas, we are very happy our local favorite, Dallas’s own Federal Reserve Bank President, Robert Kaplan has started his own town hall event.

Think this is our third or fourth attendance, with the first as mentioned here, becoming an accidental question…

Incidentally at this event, the first three questions were from acquaintances… Great Minds I guess!

Another Robert Kaplan Town Hall Update New York Fed Williams Chimes in

The most important item mentioned in this town hall was that Kaplan supports a taper of the 120 billion monthly purchases of Mortgage and Treasury bonds as soon as October, with an announcement in two weeks at the September 22, 2021 Fed meeting.

Luckily with the delay of the weekend to produce this full post, New York Federal Reserve (debatably the most powerful bank) Chair John C. Williams in a speech via video conference to St. Lawrence University said the following:

“There has also been very good progress toward maximum employment, but I will want to see more improvement before I am ready to declare the test of substantial further progress being met. Assuming the economy continues to improve as I anticipate, it could be appropriate to start reducing the pace of asset purchases this year. I will be carefully assessing the incoming data on the labor market and what it means for the economic outlook, as well as assessing risks such as the effects of the Delta variant.”

Wall Street Journal’s Go To Reporter Pens Friday Article

Then the following story hit the Wall Street Journal Friday, September 10, 2021 by the Fed’s favorite go to reporter, NIck Timiraos..

NIck runs with a November 2021 Taper Transition and a 15 Billion per meeting drop off from the current 120 Billion monthly purchase…

What to Watch – Longer Term Interest Rates, Markets Themselves

If this is true, and the FOMC does begin taper, we will need to keep a sharp eye on interest rates, especially the longer end i.e. 10 year treasury.

Near then end of 2018, the FOMC began lowering asset purchases AND raising rates at the same time… Markets protested with a sharp 20% drop, causing Fed members to reverse course.

Kaplan and other officials are reiterating that just because the Taper may begin, interest rate increases are not on the horizon yet.

Recall in our very recent Kyle Bass review, where Fed officials are known to carefully watch the Capital Market reaction to their comments. If as true as Bass thinks, Fed officials will be watching close!

Other Kaplan Notes from the Town Hall:

  • Delta hurting travel, and leisure, Dallas Fed US GDP estimate 6.5 down to 6 because of delta
  • Slow workers with Jobs, Aug jobs number not surprised Sept slower than expected, JOLTS showing work avail, fear of delta keeping away,
  • 3 mill folks left workforce since 2-20, 1.5 milion left for care of kids – matching problem work
  • Supply demand on materials,  PCE will be 4% PCE headline will be 2.6% 2022-
  • Economy recovering slow Q3 but still growing, 3% inflation 2021
  • Economic Fits and starts bc delta- vaccine, booster, masks help but
  • High frequency mobility data not falling, folks adapting and managing through
  • Business expect supply demand last longer than thought
  • Worker demand higher pay, higher absence, reluctant to come back to labor force
  • Mid to small business tougher time with employee—Larger Businesses more flexibility
  • Broadly all businesses raising prices and they will stick

Apologies for the length of this post … this was a combination Reporter, notes and collection of various data points…

A smooth transition is very important, and long desired by many in the investment community, buckle up and let’s see how it goes!

Have a Great “Smooth Taper Transition” 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

Thoughts and Forecasts From Kyle Bass … Oil $100/Barrel By Year End 2021 ?

The summer garnered a new found passion towards Podcasts…. While we do our Monthly reviews and Newsletters in an Audio, Video, Podcast like format…. Most podcasts are an hour or longer, making for interesting deep dives into the discussion, especially if the person(s) talking are very intelligent in the specific material….

Hat tip JP for the shove in sharing your favorites…. I have taken the ball and run with it!

In another crossing with this interesting investor, Kyle Bass, on a paid podcast platform, specifically for professional investors…. we highlight Mr. Bass’ current thoughts…

Six years ago, we highlighted his thoughts here in our post and in reviewing his comments, his bets were very correct!

Forecasts and Future Expectations from Kyle Bass

Once again, like we did six years ago, in our public Diary of sorts, we outline Kyle’s thoughts for future reference …. so here we go:

  • The Federal Reserve will continue to support the markets with continued purchases.
  • Federal Reserve feels responsible for Capital Markets … i.e. Every Federal Reserve member has a Bloomberg Investment terminal on their desk and post public talks, Fed members go back to their office to check the markets reactions to their comments.
  • Much more inflation than actually as printed by CPI – (Consumer Price Index) Example of car price increases up 300% over last thirty years, but CPI auto costs increased 5% over that period.
  • Cost of Food increases may cause social inequity problems.
  • Oil hits $100 per barrel this year … due to mal investment over the last 7 years.
  • Short term interest rates not to go higher than 1.5% and long term (10 year) rates will not go higher than 2.5%. i.e. Bernanke Helicopter speech outlines the difficulty in raising rates a lot once they are at a lowered level for some time.
  • We push through the Delta Variant and there is a REAL re-opening effect that works its way through the economy (Hope this is correct!)

These were actually done in order of the Podcast (basically taking notes while listening) but the most interesting in our opinion are the last three points…

Marked as Forecast, which we have had a lot of lately…will review for accuracy in the future!

Have a Great “Kyle Bass” Forecasting 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

Continued Improvement in the US Economy … Monthly BLS Employment Report .. Unemployment Rate, Interest Rate Reaction

On Friday, August 6, 2021 the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) released the prior monthly (July 2021) employment related report. It is worth noting these are preliminary and will be adjusted in future months, but usually major adjustments are not in the picture….

Bottom Line:

943k hires in the month of July … NICE

5.4% Unemployment Rate as of July …Getting there (lower is better of course)

10 Year Treasuries Took note

BLS Unemployment Report for July 2021

The following Chart from the BLS may look unenthusiastic at first glance….. but hold on!

With the DRAMATIC volatility from the past year, the longer term chart does not give a true recent view…. Let’s look a little closer …. Much Better!

In much the same vein as above, the year view of the Unemployment rate does not look like a big deal as can be seen by the next chart!

On second thought, again with a closer view….. NICE! (We want a downward trending chart when measuring Unemployment)

10 Year Treasuries Wake Up

A measure of future expected growth, after some wrong sided players (shorting the 10 year in expectation of much higher rates faster) blew up pushing yields possibly incorrectly lower….

From Business Insider here

A hedge fund reportedly lost $1.5 billion in a bond market short-squeeze as bets on rising rates turned sour

These Good Economic Numbers put yields on the move higher (far right of chart)!

Continued improvement would likely force the FOMC to slow asset purchases…. as discussed here much desired by many !

Have a Great “Good Economic News” and analysis Monday!


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