Category Archives: Interest Rates

Technology Upgrade Update – Rates Rise – Friday

On Monday of next week we hopefully successfully do a major upgrade to our internal email systems. This will mean each of our company emails will be down, but not all at the same time. As the switch occurs, while promised nothing will fall through the cracks by our IT team, if you happen to send an email and you have not heard from us, please re-send it just to be safe.


Ok, it’s a Friday so we will be brief, Janet Yellen, head of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) notched another rate increase under her belt without disrupting the capital markets. Once thought impossible, so far, slow and steady (tortoise- not the hare) is winning the interest rate normalization race.

This is a good chart of the ever increasing rates… finally !

Fed Funds Rate 6-15-17 fredgraph

Ahhhh…. Today is a Friday… enjoy your day and your weekend !

Talk to 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.


Interest Rate Increase and No One Cares? We do!

It is very interesting to watch the once ferocious markets hate a possible interest rate increase, only now to greet it like family.

Interest Rate Increase Today

It is highly likely the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) led by Janet Yellen will raise short term interest rates up to the 1% threshold at their announcement later today. What is more interesting is just a few quarters ago even a whiff of a raise threw the capital markets into a tailspin.

Past rate increase events:

  • The US Dollar soared as other countries across the world continued to push their rates down.
  • US Capital Markets threw a temper tantrum in dispute of a raise.
  • Headlines beamed with fear of the crazy FOMC raising rates.

Probably our favorite chart from our friends at JPMorgan- higher rates can be a good thing

There will be a day that it does matter. Rates can go too far which results in an inverted yield curve (short term rates are higher than long). For now it seems everyone is on the same page and digestion of higher rates is occurring.

Have a Great “Higher Short Term Interest Rate” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.

Residential Housing Prices Analysis – Q 3 2017 Newsletter Preview

As a large asset for many, not to mention the emotional aspects of Residential Real Estate, we set off to review historical, current, and future values of Residential Real Estate across the country.

What we found was very interesting!

Something happened about two decades ago

The following key chart from our complete analysis in our coming Q 3 2017 Quarterly Newsletter depicts the change that occurred about two decades ago:

Inflation via the CPI and US House Price Index


So what happened and why?

After many decades of Residential Housing Prices closely following the price of inflation, near the turn of the century a change occurred that can be easily spotted on the comparison chart.

In our coming Newsletter we discuss the following:

  • The change that occurred
  • Why the change?
  • What does it mean for the future?
  • What lessons can be learned?
  • Current value analysis

We look forward to bringing you the full details soon, but wanted to wet your appetite with our initial information and key chart now !

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.


Earnings, the key to Capital Market Growth … Let’s get an update?

The ultimate driver of Capital Markets are Earnings. Yes, we can argue about interest rates, currencies, world political and economic cycles, but all of these events are only important in how they change earnings or the growth there of “Earnings”.

Let’s take a look at early statistics from 2017!

Earnings Via our Friends at Factset

This from Factset, one of our favorite data aggregators in their regular weekly report.

  • Earnings Growth: For Q1 2017, the blended earnings growth rate for the S&P 500 is 13.6%. If 13.6% is the actual growth rate for the quarter, it will mark the highest (year-over-year) earnings growth for the index since Q3 2011 (16.7%).

Looking closely at the following chart, which is TRAILING earnings, forward looking capital market expectations can be seen. The trailing earnings are actually falling over the last few years, but the forward expectations as noted from the first bullet above are expected to climb more rapidly than the past six years.

5-12-17 Factset EPS change and Price


So just where are these revenues that are creating accelerating growth coming from?

5-12-17 Factset Geographic Rev chart

P/E or the Price to Earnings is the most blunt way to measure the valuation of capital markets. A high P/E might mean markets are overvalued and need to grow into their valuations, or a reversion to the mean reset to a lower level may be in the cards.

5-12-17 Factset 12 PE ratio V long term

From Factset’s estimates above, the current market P/E is about 22 with a normal of 16-17, undoubtedly higher than normal but certainly no guarantee of an imminent reversion down to lower levels.

If the growth estimates mentioned in the very first bullet come through in 2017, much of this froth may be taken out of the capital markets.

Either way, we have your back via our good friend diversification!

There you have it, a nice ‘Earnings Update” … We will be watching closely!

Have a great “Earnings 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.

Everybody is Happy! Q 1 Cover Letter

Everybody is Happy!

From Bloomberg Consumer Sentiment to Gallup Polls to the Conference Board and to our University Of Michigan Survey of Consumers (Multiple Polls reviewed in detail in our most recent Newsletter-coming to you soon) all are pointing higher, with some even pointing to all time highs.

A more pro-growth tone seems to have put wind in the sails of those polled as well as capital market participants. Heck, the most recent quarter even garnered an interest rate increase of a small .25% in the shorter term Federal Funds rate. Looking back just over a quarter and including December of 2016, there are now two interest rate increases under the FOMC’s (Federal Open Market Committee’s) belt. The first rate increase in this economic cycle, post 07-09 Great Recession started in December of 2015. According to many, created the “record breaking” rocky start a year ago. Fast forwarding to today, market participants and the economy for that matter, seem to welcome a normalization of short term rate increases.

Speaking of rate increases, under normal circumstances all other items being held equal, which then never are, interest rate increases are a muzzle on the economy and in many cases are the cause of a larger slowdown or recession. The problem with this comparison is rarely have short term rates been zero, which they were held at for over five years in this economic cycle. It is possible that an increase of rates from such a low level to a more normal level may actually be energizing rather than resistance as past comparisons may show.

Is there a downside?

Capital markets look forward, usually 6-12 months. All this positive sentiment has led to stretched valuations from a historical point. The current Price/Earnings ratio, again shown in our latest newsletter, finds itself at 26, with a long term average of 15. Just as economic cycles do not die of old age, capital markets do not go down just because their valuations may be stretched. Higher valuations can lead to less room for errors, not a time to let our guards down and also not a time to be swinging for the fences, however valuations can return to normal simply with all this positive sentiment translating into higher world capital market earnings. Said another way, “Growing into the current Valuation.” Time will tell, and we will be watching closely.

Spring seems to finally have sprung, enjoy !


John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Enclosure (Q 1 Report)

Q2 2017 Newsletter Podcast and Audio Review By John Kvale

Here are a few of the topics discussed in our new Podcast, Audio Video review.

  • David Cameron Speaks at length
  • University of Michigan Sentiment Indicators
  • Updated Price Earnings Multiple
  • Three Travel Tips to save you aggravation and time

Q2 2017 Newsletter Podcast and Video Review


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.


Rate Increase in the Cards today!

Shhh…. at the penning of this post the gang is still sleeping (promised full attention this week) …. Couldn’t keep away from this mid-spring break update…

Rate Increase Today

Janet Yellen and the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) have signaled two rate increases this year. The capital markets have fully priced in an increase today.  Their increase will move “Short term” rates to .75 % or 75 basis points.

This will help short term bonds, checking accounts and the like.

Recall our friends at JPMorgan think rates have been too low for too long…. if they are correct, this increase may help accelerate the economy.

We agree!

Only time will tell if this is correct.

One thing is for certain, the capital markets are much more receptive to these increases than they have been in recent past.

Due to speed and security concerns, this will be my last post until next week …. shhh… the family will never know !

Have a great day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP